This is a statement made by one of the best-known epigraphists of the twentieth century, D.C. Sircar: “There is no aspect of life, culture and activities of the Indians that is not reflected in inscriptions.” Discuss.

The statement of renowned epigraphist D.C Sirkar has highlighted the importance of inscription as single sources of information which as impact on our lives.

Inscription are writing engraved on hard surfaces such as stone, metal or pottery they usually record the achievements activities of those who commissioned there and exploits of kings.

i) Inscriptions have helped construct political history; historians used inscription to reconstruct the political history of major dynasties that ruled the subcontinent. As a result, broad contours of political history were in place by the early decades of the 20th century. This helps us find out about the boundaries of kingdoms and their expansions.

ii) The names of the kings are mentioned in the inscriptions and titles that were given to them. The best example is of the title that Asoka got, this was revealed to us through inscription itself, alongside the important historic events that shows the culture and activities of Indians at that time like the rituals, celebrations and war.

iii) Inscription in praise of kings; Inscription like “Prayag Prashasti” help the historians to draw factual information about a certain rules i.e.; Samudara Gupta; though it is of little historical value.

iv) Inscription mention about grand, unique events and help in constructing social history for eg: Asokan inscription on Kalinga war interpreted as reflecting the “Anguish of the king “ as well as marking a change in his attitude towards warfare. It informed us about the character and conduct of a king.

v) Inscriptions on land grants; Inscriptions on land grants give us an idea about rural population and also give us an insight into the relationship between cultivators and the state.

vi) These inscriptions also gave us insight about the Administration. It is only through the inscriptions that we know Asoka appointed his son as a viceroy.

vii) Votive Inscription gives an idea on economic life; votive inscription tell us about people who lived in cities and their occupations like weavers, scribers, goldsmiths blacksmiths etc. They tell us that craft producers and merchants were organized in guilds – which regulated production and marketing.

Thus inscription cover all aspects of life, activities and culture of Indians of the ancient times.