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Created: 2014-12-04; Last modified: 2018-06-14
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[1r]1अर्जि¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯
[Regarding the] following: This time a big ruttish (mattā)1 elephant captured in an area of Citavana [and given the name] Raṇa Prakāśa has been sent to you. [Hopefully], it will have reached you. The elephant [named] Haidaraveg is not always so useful. This time, thanks to the hard labour of the elephant stable manager (dārogā)2 , head of the elephant care team (rāut)3 and elephant riders (māhut), Haidaraveg caught [Raṇa Prakāśa]. The popular chief elephant Aḍaṅga Bahādura from the elephant stable (hātisāra) in Pālpā is the one who is always useful for elephant hunts,4 and catches elephants best suited for your outings. The elephant stable here would [therefore] be much better, if you could also send the elephant Aḍaṅga Bahādura. Once elephants suited for outings are caught, they would be continously turned over to you. [We will do] as you order. What more [to say] to our learned lord whose feet are lotuses!
Monday, the 15th of the bright fortnight of Caitra in the [Vikrama] era 1894 from the Tānasen residence. [Let it be] auspicious.
Tens of millions of eightfold salutations5 from [your] always [faithful] servant Raṇadala Pā̃ḍe, at [your] service. Three times reverence. [Let it be] thousandfold auspicious.
Most documents on elephants deal with elephants used for hunting and riding for kings and nobility. They are regarded as a prized symbol of status and, due to their association with Gaṇeśa, of power combined with auspicious qualities. This became last evident in 1975 when King Vīrendra and Queen Aiśvaryā undertook their coronation proccession on the back of an elephant. The Śāhas and Rāṇās were famous for organizing hunts which could last several weeks and involve hundreds of elephants (Locke 2006: 11). Jaṅga Bahādura Rāṇā’s fondness for elephants and his courage in dealing with them is well-known.
Elephants were important for the economy and lucrative trading commodity (Regmi 1984: 198-199). They were also used in war and in controlling the borders, as is clear from a lālamohara issued by King Gīrvāṇayuddha dated Mārga sudi 1, VS 1867, to all officials where elephant stables had been established and in which the dārogās, rāutas, māhutas etc. are told: “In case you vacate a single inch of the territory under our occupation, you shall be held to have committed a serious crime” (Regmi 1972: 46 referring to RRC, vol. 38, p. 645).