| Articles | Notes on diacritics | Maps | Comments | the Licchavi Kings | References
Published: July 10, 1996 | Updated 7/14/96, also 8/14/97, 12/13/99, 3/28/00 (Click here for updates)
another interpretation of the inscription by R. Garbini | Orientations version

This version of our article is that which has appeared on since the last update shown. It is longer than our present "lead" version, and contains important references and illustrations. The major difference in our interpretation is that we have accepted the reading of the inscription of Riccardi and Garbini - with the important exception of their interpretation of the date as 207. - the authors.

A Kushan-period Sculpture
from the reign of Jaya Varma-, A.D. 184/185
Kathmandu, Nepal

by Kashinath Tamot and Ian Alsop
the authors and Asian Arts

click on the small images to go to a full page image with caption

1. Discovery

Sculpture inscribed with the name of Jaya Varma-, Nepal ca. 184/185 AD
1. Sculpture of Jaya Varma- or a yaksha, Nepal, sandstone: 184/185 AD
Torso of Jaya Varma sculpture
2. Torso of a Sculpture of Jaya Varma- or a yaksha, Nepal, sandstone: 184/185 AD

In early May 1992 workers digging a trench for the foundation of a house in Ma-liga-on stumbled across the most important art historical discovery in the Kathmandu Valley for many years. Lying face-down at a level of about three feet they found a life size (171 x 49 cm) standing male figure carved in pale sandstone. (1) (left, fig. 1, and right, fig. 2)

The sculpture is the donation of an early Licchavi monarch, named Jaya Varma(x) in an inscription on the pedestal; although the identity of the figure is contested, it is our opinion that it is Jaya Varma himself who is portrayed. (2) Shortly after it was discovered the image was moved to the archeological garden in Patan. It is now in the Conservation Laboratory there.

This statue, carved in a clearly Kushan style and from a stone type favored by Kushan sculptors, joins a few others of the same general type found in the Kathmandu valley. These images, which have been dated on stylistic grounds to the early centuries of the Christian era, have long posed a challenge to art historians who have had to analyze their presence in the valley without any documentary evidence. The inscription on this sculpture, clearly dated to sam*vat 107, most likely corresponding to AD 184/185, provides this previously missing evidence, and pushes back the epigraphical documentation of Licchavi rule in the Kathmandu valley nearly three hundred years.

2. Description of the sculpture

(The following description of the image is linked to various views showing the features described: click on the small images to view an enlargement)

detail, left arm detail, right arm detail of chest
3. detail, left arm 4. detail, right arm with hand missing 5. detail of chest

The sculpture is presently in four pieces: body from neck to ankles, head, right arm (with hand missing), and pedestal with inscription and feet. The carving is not entirely in the round, as the rear of the image is flat and cursorily carved. The figure is shown in a firm stance, fully frontal in disposition, with feet equally spaced and planted without any dehanchement or turning of the body. The left arm is held akimbo at the hip , with the left hand held as a fist against the body (see figure 3 above left); the right arm is broken off but appear to have been held with the elbow tucked back against the body and the forearm raised (see figure 4, above center); as the right hand is missing it is impossible to ascertain its position. As we shall see below, this disposition of the two arms is typical of Kushan sculpture of various subjects. The lower body, from the waist down, is clothed in a dhoti with a central gathering falling straight between the legs. The waist is secured by a belt with ribbons hanging down the figure's right side. The upper body is bare except for a scarf across the chest, which appears to continue down over the figure's left shoulder and thence between the arm and body. Jewelry on the chest and upper body consist of a flat necklace folded across the chest and a torque-like thick necklace at the neck, armlets on the upper arm (see figure 5, above right) and two bracelets at the left wrist (see figure 3, above left).

detail of headdress detail of headdress from right detail of face
6. detail of turban or headdress. 7. detail of turban, from right side. 8. detail, face.

The head is adorned with an unusual turban or cap (see figure 6, above right); in one view we can see traces of braiding that suggest a turban (see figure 7, above center); the same view clearly shows the heavy spiral earrings in the ears and the flat rear of the sculpture. The features of the face are somewhat eroded but are clear enough to show a wide, open and relatively flat face, with wide, open eyes and fleshy lips (see figure 8, above right). The figure is barefoot.

3. The inscription

(Click on the inscription image to go to a full discussion of the various readings of the inscription, complete with further photographs and various reconstructions)

Inscription on base of Jaya Varma sculpture
9. Inscription on the pedestal of the Jaya Varma- sculpture, length 42 cm. Photograph courtesy HMG Department of Archeology; photograph by Govind Ghimire, taken May 7, 1992

The inscription, some 42 cm. in length, is written in Kushan Brahmi comparable to Kushan epigraphy found elsewhere (3), and can be read as follows :

sam*vat a 7 s'ri- paramadevapka(4) maha-ra-jasya jaya va(r)m(m)a(x)

We supply the following tentative translation:

In the year 107, the supreme lord Jaya Varma-, (in the form of?) the four Great (Guardian) Kings.

In our Orientations article, we have changed this to read:

sam*vat a7 gri- pa 7 d(i)va pka maha-ra-jasya jaya varm(m)a(n*ah*)

(In) the (Shaka) year 107 (AD 185), (on) the 4th (lunar) day of the 7th fortnight of the summer (season), of the great King Jaya Varman. This is similar (but not in year date) to R. Garbini's version.

(please note that another interpretation of this inscription has been published by R. Garbini - click here (see updates))

This inscription is the earliest epigraphy of the Nepal Mandala. Prior to this discovery, a broken pillar inscription of the year 381 [A.D. 459] found in a Pashupati courtyard was the earliest known Licchavi inscription (4). Before the discovery of the Pashupati inscription, Ma-nadeva's Ca-n^gu Na-ra-yan*a pillar inscription of the year 386 [A.D. 464] was accepted as the earliest inscription for about a century. The earliest inscribed and dated stone sculptures were the pair of Trivikrama (Vis*n*uvikra-nta) figures of A.D. 467, one in the National Museum and the other at Tilganga, Pashupati (5).

It is quite natural that the appearance of an inscription of such unprecedented age would cause some controversy among scholars; although no research in English has yet been published on this sculpture, the sculpture and its inscription have attracted considerable notice among the scholarly community in Nepal, and several articles in Nepali have been published. There is no debate among these scholars that the date inscribed is 107, consisting of the letter "a", representing 100, followed by the numeral 7. Most scholars have accepted this date to be in the same era as other inscriptions of early Licchavi period, that is the S'aka sam*vat which began in A.D. 77/78 and is said to have been started by the great Kushan emperor Kanis*ka.(5a) Almost all scholars except Regmi (1992) (6) agree with this view, which would place the inscription in A.D. 184/185. It should however be noted that, although the era of the S'aka sam*vat as employed in later centuries has been determined with comfortable accuracy, it is not entirely certain that the sam*vat in use in the early Kushan period and employed during the period of Kanis*ka is the same sam*vat, and scholars still debate the era of Kanis*ka's sam*vat. Estimates of the beginning of that era range from the A.D. 77/78 of the S'aka sam*vat to later beginnings, as late as 128 or 144 A.D.. (7)

There are other differences in readings, most of these are minor, with the exception of the reading accepted by Mohan Prasad Khanal (please see "Identity of the sculpture" below): the variant readings are noted on the Inscription page (linked to fig. 9 above) where the informed visitor can examine the evidence along with the readings.

Several of the words used are familiar in other Licchavi inscriptions, particularly paramadeva 'great god' and maha-ra-ja 'great king': paramadaivata 'like a great god' is used in the Tha-nkot* A-dina-ra-yan*a, T*ist*un*g and Jaisi-deval inscriptions of Vasantadeva (A.D. 506 - 532) and Sva-mi- Va-rta's inscription of Deopa-t*an (8) . Maha-ra-ja is a common word used in ancient inscriptions in both Nepal and India. The particle "pka" denoting "four" is somewhat problematic, and there was some conjecture that it related to the king's place in the line of the Licchavi dynasty, which seems unlikely; our present translation raises another possible interpretation, that the four great guardian kings, or four great protectors are implied. The concept of the four great Guardian kings was popular among the Buddhists, and usually expressed in the term caturmaha-ra-ja. This would partially account for the resemblance of the sculpture to a Yaksha figure, as noted by Khanal (see below, section 5, "Identity of the Sculpture").

4. Site and similar sculptures

Detail map of find spot of Jaya Varma sculpture
10. Map showing the find spot of the sculpture marked in red. Click on the map for further maps and pictures of the find spot.

The area of Ma-liga-on (Ma-liga-m* or Ma-gah* in Newari) and Ha-d*iga-on (Narah* in Newari) in Kathmandu is supposed by most scholars to be the site of the ancient capital of Licchavi Nepal. The present discovery of course lends further evidence to support this view.

Several Licchavi inscriptions have been found there. Thakur Lal Manandhar (9) believed that the words Ma-gah* or Ma-gala (Newari) and Ma-liga-on (Nepali) are derived from the first Licchavi Royal Palace Ma-nagr*ha. Neils Gutschow (10) has sketched a map of Ha-d*iga-on - Ma-liga-on area showing the settlements of the Licchavi period.(see Maps page, map showing ancient settlements). Several hundred metres north of the find site of the Jaya Varma- statue is the famous Satya Na-ra-yan*a temple at Ha-d*iga-on. Excavations carried out just outside of the temple compound by an IsMEO team in 1984-1988 revealed several archaeological objects of the Kushan period. (11) An earlier excavation was also held in Ha-d*iga-on at the Ma-nes'vari- area in 1965 (12), although no objects of the Kushan period were found at that site. The area of Ma-liga-on-Ha-d*iga-on is a rich source of sculptural remains. Lain Singh Bangdel identifies some 40 sculptures of Kushan period in Nepal among which eight are from the Ha-d*iga-on -Ma-liga-on area. (13)

Yaksha torso
11. Torso of a yaksha/bodhisattva, 2nd century
yaksha/bodhisattva, side
12. Torso of a yaksha/bodhisattva, 2nd c., side view

Among these eight images is the one which most closely resembles the Jaya Varma- sculpture, and which most clearly shows the Kushan antecedents of the early Nepalese material: this image is now in the Nepal Museum in Chauni (fig. 14, left). There are different views on the identification and dating of this sculpture: Banerjee - Rijal (14) call it a "Yaks*a/bodhisattva". Ramesh Jung Thapa (15) calls it a bodhisattva. Dr. Pratapaditya Pal referred to it as a bodhisattva, and assigned a 2-3rd c. date (16). Lain Bangdel, citing a dearth of early Buddhist images in the Kathmandu valley as supporting evidence against the bodhisattva identification, concluded the figure is a yaksha, and dated it to the 1st century (17).

A comparison with Kushan figures of yakshas on the one hand and bodhisattvas on the other reveals the arguments for each (please see figs. 14-16 and 18-20 below). The lack of jewelry and the inclusion of the sash over the shoulder would argue for the bodhisattva identification. It is also worth noting that the yaksha as a sculptural type in the Indian tradition is generally earlier than the bodhisattva, which is relatively more common during the 2nd century, when we can surmise the torso was made; but as Bangdel has pointed out (note 17 above), Buddhist images of any type are strangely lacking in the earliest periods of Nepalese sculptural history, so this remark is valid primarily in the Indian context.

As we feel the torso is in too fragmentary a condition to permit a positive identification, we shall adopt the awkward "yaksha/bodhisattva" label of Banerjee-Rijal.

The torso was first seen by Ramesh Jung Thapa and Tara Nanda Mishra in 1965, laid in a ditch on the way to Sa-no Gaucar from Ma-nes'vari-. Mr. Mishra in a recent communication (18) informed the authors that the image was found at an area called Maca-ga-l in Ma-liga-on some fifty yards from where the Jaya Varma- statue was found. We confirmed the yaksha find spot with local people who remembered the statue, which, when Thapa and Mishra first discovered it, was being stoned by the children of the locality as a headless ghost. Locally the image is still remembered as Murkat*t*a- Murti (headless image).

Yaksha torso, rear view
13. Torso of a yaksha/bodhisattva, rear view, 2nd c. A.D.

It is certainly noteworthy that the yaksha/bodhisattva image and the Jaya Varma- sculpture were found so close together; as in addition they are both made of a similar pale sandstone and are stylistically linked, we may well assume that they belong to the same period and context of manufacture. The stone used is referred to in Newari as "sakva lvaham*", that is "Sankhu stone", after the locality of Sankhu where it is found; it is not generally used in Nepalese sculpture of later periods, which is usually of a darker, denser stone known in Newari as "kotakha- lvaham*" (18a). That both of these sculptures were carved in a lighter sandstone might indicate that they were manufactured by or under the direction of carvers from the Indian Kushan tradition who favored sandstone as a material.

Previously the yaksha/bodhisattva torso held the peculiar fascination of an enigma. As Banerjee and Rijal put it:

" It is difficult indeed in the present state of our knowledge to account for its presence in Nepal, especially because of the existence of...a yawning gap in style and chronological affiliation between it and the earliest dated sculptural pieces known". (19)

When Banerjee and Rijal wrote in 1968, little did they suspect that barely 50 meters from the ditch where the yaksha was found lay an even more impressive sculpture from the same tradition, The Jaya Varma- sculpture, which was most likely in the same complex.

5. Identity of the sculpture

For comparative analysis, we include below Indian Kushan sculptures of various subjects
click on the small images to view full screen with full caption
for illustration sources and credits, please see full-screen captions

1. Kushan sculpture: Yakshas and related imagery

Parkham yaksha Yakhsa figure, Patna Kubera Yaksha Ka-rttikeya, Mathura-
14. Yaksha, Parkham, 200 B.C. 15. Yaksha, Patna, 200 B.C. 16. Kubera Yaksha, 1st c. B.C. 17. Ka-rttikeya, ca. 234 to 254 CE

2. Kushan sculpture: bodhisattva figures and related imagery

Bodhisattva, Sa-rna-th Maitreya attendant or bodhisattva
18. Boddhisattva, Sa-rna-th, ca. 2nd c. 19. Maitreya, Ahicchatra, ca. 2nd c. 20. Bodhisattva or attendant, Mathura-, 2nd, c.

3. Kushan sculpture: Royal portraits

portrait of Kaniska A Kushan king (?) King Vima Kadphises
21. Kanis*ka, 2nd century A.D. 22. a Kushan king (or, Su-rya), 2nd c. A.D. 23. King Vima Kadphises, 2nd c. A.D.

Most of the Nepali scholars who have discussed this image have assumed that the image is that of the king Jaya Varma- himself, based obviously on the inscription. In a very recent publication, however, Mohan Prasad Khanal has vigorously challenged this view, claiming the image to be "indisputably" that of a yaksha (20). He cites strong stylistic evidence for this view, noting that the jewelry, stance and coiffure of the image are comparable with yaksha figures from Pre-Kushan periods (see figs.14 to 16) and Kushan period in India (see figs. 17 to 20). Khanal's stylistic analysis is well-taken, as comparison with Kushan yaksha figures do show many similarities. Furthermore, the present sculpture shows none of the royal accoutrements found in other known Kushan portrait figures (please see figs. 21-23 above). In these portrait figures, the sculpture is normally fully clothed and booted, and bears royal arms. This figure shows none of these royal characteristics. (21)

Khanal's interpretation is based partially on his interpretation of a reading of the inscription which varies somewhat from ours, as follows:

sam*vat 107 s'ri- pan~cadevapka maha-ra-jasya jayavarma

Khanal explains the pan~cadeva and maha-ra-ja of his reading of the inscription as references to Kubera, Lord of the Yakshas, with pan~cadeva interpreted as a variant of pa-cika (pa-n~cika)(for a full discussion of inscription readings, please see the Inscription page). We find his interpretation somewhat tortured, and flawed by his failure to discuss or explain the reference to the name Jaya Varma-; in addition, we do not agree with his reading of the inscription. But his stylistic arguments for identifying the figure as a yaksha are reasoned and not to be dismissed out of hand. In this context it should be noted that in many respects the figure bears an equally strong resemblance to Kushan bodhisattva images.

Despite Khanal's arguments to the contrary, it is still possible that the image is indeed intended to represent the king Jaya Varma-, so clearly mentioned in the inscription. It is not unknown for a king to pose in the form of a god, particularly in Nepal. Mary Slusser and Gautamvajra Vajracharya, in one of their ground-breaking articles on Nepalese art within the historical context, showed an image of Visnu with two attendant figures on the grounds of Pashupatinath to be a portrait of the early 7th century Lichhavi-period monarch Vis*n*ugupta with his two sons (22). It is worth noting that this portrait clearly shows the king in divine guise, and barefoot. In weighing the dissimilarities to other known Kushan royal portraits we should consider the dangers inherent in using prior Indian traditions to interpret contemporary conventions in Nepal. Certainly the boots and greatcoats of most of the known Kushan royal portraits were themselves foreign in the Indian context and equally so in Nepal, and we should not necessarily be suspicious of the idea of a barefoot Licchavi monarch unencumbered by the heavy clothing of these other portraits (see figs 21-23 above).

6. Jaya Varma-

Whether or not the image is intended to represent the "maha-ra-ja Jaya varma", the inscription clearly refers to this personage, either as subject or donor (or, both). Who is he?

There is no inscriptional evidence in Nepal between this second century inscription and the fifth century inscription of Pashupati, a span of some 274 years. So to interpret this inscription, we must turn to later documentary references to this earlier, previously undocumented period of Licchavi rule. Among the most important of these later references is a genealogy in Jayadeva II's Pashupati inscription of A.D. 733. In that inscription another Jayadeva (Jayadeva I) is described as twelve generations before king Vr*s*adeva, the great-grandfather of the historical king Ma-nadeva. (For a listing of Licchavi kings from this and other sources, please click here)

Dhanavajra Vajracarya (23) surmised that Jayadeva I was the king who established the Licchavis as the ruling house in Nepal as there is a qualifying 'vijayino' (victorious) before Jayadeva's name in this genealogy (although as we shall see below the most important Nepali chronicle lists several predecessors to this king). It is our opinion that the Jaya Varma- of our inscription is in fact this very king.

In previous work with the Gopa-lara-ja vam*s'a-vali- (GV), Nepal's treasured and unique early chronicle, Mary Slusser and Gautamvajra Vajracarya have shown its unexpected accuracy in matters of ancient history (24). It is thus of interest to note that GV records the twelfth king preceding vis'vadeva (for vr*s*adeva) as Jaya Varma-, while Jayadeva II's geneology in the Pashupati stele separates Jayadeva I from Vr*sadeva by the same number of kings (25). It is also of interest that the GV uses Varma- as the name of many of the kings before Vr*s*adeva; the name is also used in the later Bha-s*a vam*s'a-vali-s.

This interpolation of fourteen monarchs between Jaya Varma-/ Jayadeva I and Ma-nadeva of Changu Narayan, a span of some 280 years, results in a reign span of twenty years per king, a not unreasonable figure, although it is a longer reign period than the succeeding period between Ma-nadeva and Jayadeva II, when 22 kings reigned in a period of some 270 years, only some 12 years per king. It is perhaps worth mentioning that the GV assigns reigns of varying length to the early Licchavi monarchs, the least being 37 years.

Although both the impressive nature of the present sculpture and the use of "victorious" in reference to the first Jayadeva/Jayavarma- in the inscription of A.D. 733 would lead us to believe that Jayavarma- was an important early king, the evidence of this inscription - which hints that he is fourth in his lineage - indicates that he was not the first Licchavi king in Nepal. Indeed, the GV ascribes the founding of the Licchavi dynasty in Nepal to a king at least 8 generations prior to Jaya Varma-.

6. Conclusion The implications of this sculpture in our assessment of the artistic traditions of the Kathmandu Valley are profound. Previously, the various clearly pre-Gupta sculptures that have been found in the valley were considered as puzzling precursors to the voluminous sculptural remains from the fifth century onwards. Early Nepalese art was considered largely in the context of the art of the Guptas, and rightly so, for the majority of the early sculpture which has come down to us clearly shows a relationship to the Gupta style. A sculpture such as the headless sandstone yaksha of the National Museum could only be the subject of conjecture: clearly Kushan in style and materials, it had no closely related, similar examples with which it could be compared. The Jaya Varma- sculpture now provides a previously missing context for the small and scattered group of sculptures that can clearly be seen to be pre-Gupta. Our conception of the sculpture of Nepal must now stretch back farther in time than we had once believed. The second century, not the fifth, must now be our starting point for charting the history of Nepal's sculptural traditions. The Kushan tradition, not the Gupta, must be seen as the tradition in which Nepalese sculpture first arose and developed.

Top of article
Asian Arts | Articles | Notes on diacritics | Maps | Comments | the Licchavi Kings | References


1. That the sculpture was discovered at such a shallow level would strongly suggest that it was above ground until relatively recently, and may have been buried only in the last century or so. Click here to return to text

2. Khanal, Mohan Prasad, Nepa-li- Kala-, Center for Nepal and Asian Studies, published by Sajha Prakasan Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, V.S. 2052 - 1995, pp. 261-268, gives a detailed analysis of the image in which he concludes unequivocally with the identification of the figure as a yaksha ( "...there can not be two opinions that this sculpture is a yaksha", p. 265). Most other Nepalese scholars have described the image as that of Jaya Varma-. Click here to return to text

3. Sharma, G.R. and J.S. Negi 1968 "The S'aka - Kus*a-n*as in the central Gan^ga- Valley", in G.R. Sharma, Kus*a-n*a Studies, Papers presented to the International Conference on the Archaeology, History and Arts of the people of Central Asia in the Kus*a-n*a period, Dushambe (Tadjikistan), U.S.S.R, September 25- October 4, 1968. (Allahabad:The University of Allahabad), pp.43-73, PL XIXa and b. The scripts are similar to that of this inscription. Click here to return to text

We have a similar epigraph from Kaus'a-mbi- (Allahabad, India) engraved on the base of Mathura red sandstone Bodhisattva image with the name of Kanis*ka established by the nun Buddhamitra-:

1. Maha-ra-jasa Kan*(i)s*ka ..... 5(?) Bodhisattvam* prat (I)
2. Yati bhikhun*i buddhamitra- (trept*ika- bhagava)to budhasa cam^kkam(e)

[Sharma - Negi 1968 : 44, PL XIX]

Beside this there are some other inscriptions from the Kushan period in the same publication: among them the seal of Kanis*ka (r. ca. A.D. 78-102) (PL. XX A) and the A-ya-gapat*t*a (a gift tablet given at a sacrifice) (PL. XXII) mentions Ghos*ita-ra-ma monastery are worth noticing. [Sharma - Negi (1968:45-46)]

Inscription of Buddhamitra- with the name of Kanis*ka, pl. XIX-A, " The s'aka - Kus*a-n*as in the Central Gan^ga- Valley" Kus*a-n*a studies, Allhabad, U. Of Allahabad, 1968

Inscription of Buddhamitra- without the name of Kanis*ka, pl XIX-B:

1. Mahara-jasya.............6 He 3...............
2. Buddhamitra-ye bhiks*uniye trepit*ika-ye Bodhi(i)sattv(o) (p)rati (s*t*ha-)
3. Pito Bhagavato Buddhasya ca(m^)krame

4. Rajbanshi, Shyam Sundar 1990. "Pas'upatina-tha pra-n^ganama- pra-pta apraka-sita licchavi abhilekha", Ancient Nepal, 115 (Dec. 1989 - Jan. 1990), pp. 1-2. Click here to return to text

5. Pal, P., 1974, The Arts of Nepal, Part I, Sculpture, Leiden, E.J. Brill, pp 18-20, (figs 1 and 2). Since these two steles represent the same subject and have identical inscriptions, there has been some debate whether one is a copy of the other; Dr. Pal, while accepting that they may be both A.D. 467, suggests that is if one is in fact a copy of the other, the Tilganga stele is likely the earlier. Click here to return to text

5a. It would appear that the S'aka sam*vat as recognized in Nepal, was Ka-rtika-di, that is, the year began in the month of Ka-rtika (this tradition is preserved in the Nepal sam*vat which eventually replaced S'aka). The difference between a Saka sam*vat date and a CE or AD date then would be 78 years except for that period between the beginning of the new S'aka year in Ka-rtika (approximately October/November) and the beginning of the CE year on Jan. 1st, when the difference is 77 years. Obviously which applies of course depends on the month of S'aka date, which in the present case is not given.Click here to return to text

6. Regmi, Dinesh Chandra 1992a. "Jayavarma-, vam*sa-vali- ra pura-lekhana", Madhuparka, 25:5 / Sept.-Oct. 1992 (VS 2049 Asoj), pp 42-46. He rejects S'aka era or Ma-nadeva era for the inscription, and is inclined to assign it to the Gupta era (started on A.D. 320). Paleographically he thinks it to be close to Samudra Gupta's Allahabad inscription (A.D. 360). Click here to return to text

7. For a brief discussion of the issues surrounding Kanis*ka's era, see Rosenfield, John M., 1967, The Dynastic Art of the Kushans, Berkeley, Los Angeles, University of California Press, pp. 254 ff. Click here to return to text

8. Vajracarya, Dhanavajra 1973. Licchavika-laka- abhilekha. Kathmandu : Institute for Nepal and Asian Studies: inscription pp 91,110,122,198; inscription nos 22, 23, 25 and 50. Click here to return to text

9. Manandhar, Thakur Lal 1977: "Nepal in the Early Medieval period : Gleanings from the Bendall vam*s'a-vali", Journal the Nepal Research Centre, Vol.I, pp.86-87. Click here to return to text

10. Gutschow, Neils 1977: "Notes on the Topography of present day Had*iga-on", Journal of the Nepal Research Centre, Vol. I, p. 90 Click here to return to text

11. Verardi, Giovanni 1988: Harigaon Satya Na-ra-yan*a, Kathmandu, A Report on the Excavations carried out in 1984-1988. Rome:ISMEO. The excavation team named it stratiographically as, 'period I', supposing it pre-Licchavi. They have confirmed it with radiocarbon dating [Verardi 1988 : 181] Click here to return to text

12. Deo, Shantaram Bhalchandra 1968, Archaeological excavations in Kathmandu : 1965. Kathmandu : Department of Archaeology, HMG. Click here to return to text

13. Bangdel, Lain Singh V.S 2039, 1982. Pra-ci-na Nepa-li- mu-rtikala-ko itiha-sa. (The history of the sculpture of ancient Nepal) Kathmandu : Royal Nepal Academy, has the following list:

  1. 1. s'ri-laks*mi-, Hadigaon, AD 1st Century [plate no. 5]. This image was recently shifted (on June 6 1996) to the National Museum.
  2. Yaks*a, National Museum (taken from Maliga-on), 1st century (pl. no.7)
  3. Ma-tr*ka-, Maligaon, 2nd - 3rd cent. [pl. no. 15]
  4. Ma-tr*ka-, Hadigaon, 3rd cent. [pl. no. 28]
  5. Mahis*amardini-, Hadigaon, 3rd cent. [pl. no. 40]
  6. Kubera, Hadigaon, 3rd - 4th cent. [pl. no. 50]
  7. Vis*n*u, Hadigaon, 2nd - 3rd cent. [pl. no. 77]
  8. Vis*n*u, Hadigaon, 3rd. cent. [pl. no. 78] Click here to return to text

14. Banerjee, N.R. and B.K. Rijal 1968 "Three early sculptures in the National Museum of Nepal", Ancient Nepal, No. 4, pp 37-43. Click here to return to text

15. Thapa, Ramesh Jung 1970 "Nepa-li- mu-rtikala-", Ramjham, 6:3 [VS 2027 Asvin], pp.12-13 Click here to return to text

16. Pal, Dr. Pratapaditya, 1974, The Arts of Nepal, Part I, Sculpture, Leiden, E.J. Brill, fig. 54. Click here to return to text

17. Bangdel, Lain S, 1982, The Early Sculpture of Nepal, Delhi, Vikas, Pl. 1 and p. 12. Click here to return to text

18. Personal communication with Kashinath Tamot, Feb. 25, 1996. See also Tara Nanda Mishra, "Archeological Discoveries and Field Activities in Nepal during Recent Years", in Journal of Nepalese Studies, 1:1, March 1996, published by Royal Nepal Academy, pp. 73-85Click here to return to text

18a. Terminology for Sakva loham* furnished by Shukra Sagar Shrestha from the Department of Archeology, For kotakha- lvaham* Regmi, D.R., 1966, Medieval Nepal Part IV, published by the author, Patna, p. 323, inscription on the base of a stone tub in Kumarichowk, Bhaktapur, dated NS 797 / AD 1677; the tub, donated by King Jitamitramalla is described as being made from "kvat*akha- loho" Click here to return to text

19. Banerjee, N.R. and B.K. Rijal 1968 "Three early sculptures in the National Museum of Nepal", Ancient Nepal, No. 4, p. 38 Click here to return to text

20. Khanal, Mohan Prasad, Nepa-lko Kala-, Center for Nepal and Asian Studies, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, V.S. 2052 - 1995, pp. 261-268 Click here to return to text

21. See Rosenfield, John M., 1967, The Dynastic Art of the Kushans, Berkeley, Los Angeles, University of California Press, figs. 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 11, 13, 16, 17, 43 and 49. It should be noted that while Rosenfield identifies his fig. 43, a male figure seated western-style with a sword at his belt and a turban not unlike the Jaya Varma sculpture, as Surya, while Zimmer, H, 1955, The Art of Indian Asia, Princeton, Bollingen, fig. 60, identifies the same figure as a Kushan king, thus highlighting the possible confusion that can occur. Click here to return to text

22. Slusser, Mary Shepherd and Vajracarya, Gautamavajra, "Some Nepalese Stone Sculptures : A Reappraisal within their Cultural and Historical Context", Artibus Asiae, vol. 35 , 1973. Click here to return to text

23. Vajracarya, Dhanavajra 1973. Licchavika-laka- abhilekha. Kathmandu : Institute for Nepal and Asian Studies, inscription no. 148, p. 548 ff Click here to return to text

24. Slusser, Mary Shepherd and Vajracarya, Gautamavajra, "Some Nepalese Stone Sculptures : A Reappraisal within their Cultural and Historical Context", Artibus Asiae, vol. 35 , 1973. Click here to return to text

25. Vajracarya, Dhanavajra and Kamal P. Malla 1985. Gopa-lara-javam*s'a-vali- Wiesbaden : Franz Steiner Verlag Gmbh: p. 28. See also, Vajracarya, Dhanavajra 1973. Licchavika-laka- abhilekha. Kathmandu : Institute for Nepal and Asian Studies, inscription no. 148, p. 548 ff. It is noteworthy here that there are several kings with the Varma- name before Vr*s*adeva. Aside from the GV, Jaya Varma- is also listed in later Bha-s*a- Vam*s'a-vali-s. The name Jaya Varma- may be a short form of Jayadevavarma- also. Bhagavanlal Indraji has listed Licchavi kings as - devavarma- names. They could be listed as : 17. Rudradevavarma-, 18. Vr*s*adevavarma-, 24. Udayadevavarma-, 25. Ma-nadevavarma-, 26. Gun*aka-madevavarma-, 27. s'ivadevavarma-, 28. Narendradevavarma-, 29. Bhi-madevavarma-, 30. Vis*n*udevavarma-, 31. Vis'vadevavarma- [Pant 1986 : 197-198] Click here to return to text

Asian Arts | Articles | Notes on diacritics | Maps | Comments | the Licchavi Kings | References