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A copperplate inscription recording the offering of two slave girls by Bālakṛṣṇa Upādhyā to serve at Paśupatinātha (ŚS 1695)

ID: PN_0002_0002

Edited and translated by Manik Bajracharya in collaboration with Rabi Acharya
Created: 2016-10-07; Last modified: 2023-03-15
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Published by Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities: Documents on the History of Religion and Law of Pre-modern Nepal, Heidelberg, Germany, 2017. Published by the courtesy of the National Archives, Kathmandu. The copyright of the facsimile remains with the Nepal Rashtriya Abhilekhalaya (National Archives, Government of Nepal). All use of the digital facsimiles requires prior written permission by the copyright holder. See Terms of Use.
The accompanying edition, translation/synopsis and/or commentary are available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License CCby-SA.


This copperplate inscription memorializes Bālakṛṣṇa Upādhyā’s dedication of two Newar slave girls named Naku and Guṇavatī to the service of Lord Paśupatinātha. The document specifically mentions that the Bhaṭṭa temple priests shall have no authority over the girls.

Diplomatic edition



[a figure of the Sun]

[a figure of the Moon]


[a figure of a triśūla]

साक्षी­श्री­वीरभद्र­राणा­॥ शुभं­


6संप्रदत्तौ­॥ ॥अथ­भाषा­॥स्वस्तिश्री­शाके­१६९५­आषाढ­शु
8- - - -चरणतल­दुइ­गोटी­कमारी­नकु­गुण­भन्याकी­ने
9वार्नीकन­- - - -देवदासी­गरि­चढायौं­इनमाथी­पुजारा­
12इन­दुऐकन­जो­हरण­गरला­तस्कन­पंचमहापातंक­होला­॥ ॥



May the five-fold venerable Paśupati be victorious!

[a figure of the Sun]1

[a figure of the Moon]2

the fivefold venerable Paśupati's3

[a figure of triśūla]4

Witness: the venerable Vīrabhadra Rāṇā; auspiciousness5

Witness: the venerable Ṣaḍānana Upādhyā, the son [of Bālakṛṣṇa Upādhyā]6

Oṃ. Today, [in] the aeon called Śvetavārāha, and so on; on the 4th of the bright fortnight of the month of Āṣāḍha, in the Aśleṣa lunar mansion, in the Vajra yoga, in an appropriate karaṇa and muhūrta, when the Sun and the Moon were in the zodiacal signs Mithuna and Karkaṭa respectively, within the Ātreya lineage, the venerable Bālakṛṣṇa Deva Śarmā together with his son has offered two slaves, named Naku and Guṇavatī, as devadāsīs7 for the pleasure of the threefold venerable Paśupati Bhaṭṭāraka.

Now, [in the] vernacular language. Hail! On the 4th of the bright fortnight of Āṣāḍha in the Śaka year 1695, [I], the venerable Bālakṛṣṇa Upādhyā of Bhīrakoṭa, have offered the two Newar slaves named Naku and Guṇa to the feet of --- [i.e., the fivefold venerable Paśupatinātha]8 as devadāsīs of --- [i.e., the fivefold venerable Paśupatinātha]. The Bhaṭṭa caretakers [of the temple] [shall] have no authority over them. Witnessed by the five brothers of the venerable Harihara Upādhyā. Witnessed by Bhagavatī Bana Gosāi. Writer [of the inscription]: the venerable Durgānātha Mahācārya. Whoever takes these two [slaves] away will be guilty of the five great sins (pañcamahāpātaka).


This copperplate from Paśupatinātha temple, dating to 1773 (ŚS 1695), concerns a donation of two Newar female slaves to the temple by a Bhīrakoṭa Brahmin named Bālakṛṣṇa Deva Śarmā (also named as Bālakṛṣṇa Upādhyā in the document). The document does not mention the name of the king, Pṛthvīnārāyaṇa Śāha, reigning over the Kathmandu Valley at the time. Bhīrakoṭa, the the donor’s place of residence, was a part of the Caubīsī kingdoms to the west of Gorkha. A previous edition of this document appears in Śreṣṭha 1974: 104-105. Also, for a short analysis of the document, see Pant 1997: 138.


1. In the top left margin. []

2. In the top right margin. []

3. In the top margin. []

4. In the top margin. []

5. In the right margin. []

6. In the left margin. []

7. Servants attached to a shrine []

8. The name has been added ........ This spaceholder in the original contains symbols which has been reproduced in the edition as dashes (-). []