Let’s save the oldest stone inscription in Goa’s history

A 4th Century ‘Ubo Gunho’ that dates back to the Chalukyas

Goa’s history dates back to prehistoric times

The fourth century AD was the era of the Badami Chalukya rule in Goa. Who were the Badami Chalukyas? You’ve probably heard of the Kadambas (most Goans have, we use the Kadamba bus services so we remember that dynasty). Once the Kadamba dynasty declined, the Chalukya dynasty took over. They brought a golden age to South India, especially to Karnataka. Vikramaditya was the most famous Chalukya emperor. The Chalukyas had a viceroy who ruled the outlying areas of their empire – an area called the Konkan. Goa was part of that Konkan which was ruled by the Chalukyas. In the 4th Century AD, Portuguese rule and Portuguese influence in Goa was several thousand years away. In fact, the 400 years of Portuguese rule and Portuguese influence, is just another phase of Goa’s history. If you study Goa’s history carefully, it dates back to prehistoric times.

That’s what makes Goa so special. That’s why it is so important to preserve remnants of the different parts of Goa’s history.

According to a report by the Times of India, there is an ancient stone with an inscription, in Sateri, Ponda that dates back to the Chalukya period. Unfortunately, this important part of Goa’s history is lying under an old ficus tree that fell on it. This stone needs to be protected and preserved.


An inscribed stone dating back to the Chalukya period

The locals call it Ubo Guno (upright stone). They consider it a sacred stone, but they are unaware of its archaeological significance and history. Though it has sentimental value, it is slowly decaying due to exposure to natural elements. This is why it is so important that the stone should be well preserved.

According to the TOI report, professor Ritti, an expert in the epigraphy from Dharwad, identified the script as Brahmi… dating back to the mid-third or fourth century AD. The word inscribed ‘netravarisha,’ means two years. The other portion could not be deciphered. The inscription was incomplete and disjointed and so could not be deciphered. Palaeographically, the stone inscription has been dated to the mid-3rd to 4th century AD making it the state’s earliest stone inscription.

Here’s what Shankar Rao, a well-known archaeologist of Indira Gandhi Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal has to say about the stone:

“This inscription is unique since it tells us about the rich pre-Portuguese cultural and historical heritage of Goa. It is an indication that Goa is a part and parcel of Indian culture.”

It must be remembered that before Portuguese rule, Goa was under Shilahara, Rashtrakuta, and Chalukya rule. Not to mention the Kadamba rule.

The inscribed stone at Sateri and all such artefacts are an integral part of Goa’s history and must be carefully preserved.

Information source TOI and Wikipedia


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