Talking Stones: Royal Inscriptions in Medieval Karṇāṭaka




Karṇāṭaka, Hoysaḷa, inscription, medieval, Kannaḍa, foundation legend, legitimation


The specific motivation of the medieval Hoysaḷa king Viṣṇuvardhana for a program of inscriptions that included both local and trans-regional elements was the necessity to present his lineage as a strong dynasty comparable to that of his forerunners. On the top of it, he chose a particularly shiny stone, the sandstone: this element of unicity in his program might be understood in relation to the necessity of the king to differentiate himself from other lineages and to make his presence on the territory quite noticeable. If the epigraphic sources—together with the temples, the sacred areas, and the literary courtly production—are to be considered as forms of media of communication, even of “mass-media”, we must read them in the space where they are located, as part of a broader cultural and political process.

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How to Cite

Mucciarelli, Elena. 2016. “Talking Stones: Royal Inscriptions in Medieval Karṇāṭaka”. Cracow Indological Studies 18 (December):265-98.

Funding data

  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
    Grant numbers “Kings of the Wild: Re-use of Vedic and local elements in the legitimation process of Medieval Karṇāṭaka” (ZUK 63)