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A copperplate inscription recording the emancipation of three women from slavery by Sundara Giri and his wife (VS 1869)

ID: PN_0004_0065

Edited and translated by Manik Bajracharya
Created: 2016-12-05; Last modified: 2018-06-15
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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.


Sundara Giri and his wife emancipate three women slaves named Lakṣmi, Koili and Jvālā at the entrance of the Paśupati temple.

Diplomatic edition




4ई­ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯का­दषिन्‌­दर्वाजामा­भादा­टाम्वाका­दि­न:दो
6रा­गर्या­ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯को­कुदष्टि­होला­तेस­वाटका­साछि­वि
:वषतवर­गिरि­शुभम्­ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯




Glorious Paśupati

Hail! On the 26th solar day of the month of Phālguna in the Śaka year 1734 and the [Vikrama] era year 1869 (1813 CE), we, Sundara Giri and Sundara Giri's wife, have freed these three female slaves—Lakṣmi, Koili and Jvālā—by giving copper utensils at the southern door of --- [i.e., glorious Paśupati],1 and by cutting off the ḍoko [from] the nāmlo.2 If anyone creates a dispute at a [future] point in time (kālakalā),3 he will be struck with the evil eye of --- [i.e., glorious Paśupati]. The witnesses to this act are: Viṣṇu Nārāna, Bhavāni Giri, Rāmā Purī Gosāñi, Rūpa Nārāna Giri [and] Bakhatavara Giri. Auspiciousness.


This is a copperplate dating to 1813 found at the Paśupati temple. The text on it records formal measures a certain Sundara Giri took to free three female slaves. Interestingly, the document mentions that during this ceremonial act, Sundara Giri offered some copper utensils and cut off a carrying strap (nāmlo) from its basket basket (ḍoko), perhaps as a symbol of the laborious work the slaves no longer had to carry out. Maske 1996: 34 mentions of this ceremonial procedure, referring to a document of 1877 from Foreign Political A of the National Archives of India: "The slave takes a Dhoka (doko) or basket on his or her back with a goat in it, and the master cuts and (sic!) band by which the Dhoka is held, and which passes round the forehead of the carrier. The slave is then free."

The document lists five persons as witnesses to the act. The donors and the witnesses mentioned in the document belong to the daśanāmī order.

For another document regarding the freeing of slaves at the Paśupati temple, see PN_0002_0030.


1. The original text has daṣin darvājāmā bhādā ṭāmvākā di naḥ. Here, I have considered the letter naḥ as superfluous. Also, it is not clear whether the copper utensils were given to the slaves or to Paśupati. In another such document, PN_0002_0030, household utensils were offered to Paśupati while freeing a female slave. If it is the case, Paśupati would be the recipient, and the offering was made to the outer door of the temple for the slaves would not be allowed inside. []

2. A ḍoko is a basket, commonly made of woven bamboo, carried on the back. A nāmlo is a strap to secure the ḍoko round the forehead or neck. []

3. N. Pant et al. (VS 2025: 1039 n.) state that kalakalā is equivalent to kālakālāntaramā. []