In a curious historical discovery, scholars from Telangana have found an ancient Buddhist inscription on terracotta in Prakriti language on the banks of Manjira river near Kulcharam of Medak district. According to a team of historians, the inscription reads as "devanam" with a prefixed symbol of ''nandipada" indicating a link to Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty. The characters on the inscription are said to be from the 3 BC century.
Historical and Archaeological researcher MA Srinivasan and his team members B Shankar Reddy, B Nagaraju and Arun Kumar have located the mound at the island formed by two streams of Manjira. "The script paleo-graphically assignable to Mauryan period on the terracotta is a rare and landmark epigraphical discovery in India in general and Telangana state in particular," said the scholars in the release.
As many as three Buddhist label inscriptions which are also in Prakrit language and Brahmi script of 1 BC -1 AD were also found in rock shelters near the site of terracotta. The rock shelter has evidence of neolithic period too.
The inscriptions read as 'Henamo Buddeya', 'dhamma', 'he jama' are found on the rock boulders. The researchers found them after cleaning these rocks and in the process of finding a supporting ancient habitation site for the Buddhist rock shelter.
The site spreads an area of about 100 acres and is likely to yield a large number of archaeological materials besides evidence like fortification wall, terracotta objects such as different pot-shreds of red slipped ware, black polished ware and dull red ware according to MA Srinivasan.
While urging the department of Heritage and the Archaeological Survey of India to take up the survey and excavations of the site to bring out more evidence to light MA Srinivasan said "This discovery unveils a new chapter in the history of Telangana as this is the first time we could find such precious evidence in Manjira valley."