1894-1977 Epigraphia Carnatica

Epigraphia Carnatica

The digital library of Tuebingen university has many volumes of Epigraphia Carnatica, a very important book series that is related to Karnataka and Kannada language. In this post I am introducing those digital scans.

Epigraphia Carnatica is a set of books (now in public domain) on the epigraphy of the Old Mysore region of India. Epigraphy is the study of inscriptions. It is the science of identifying graphemes, clarifying their meanings, classifying their uses according to dates and cultural contexts, and drawing conclusions about the writing and the writers.

Epigraphia Carnatica is compiled and published by B. Lewis Rice (Benjamin Lewis Rice), the great archaeologist. He was the Director of the Mysore Archaeological Department from 1885 to 1906. B. Lewis Rice is the son of Rev. Benjamin Holt Rice who was associated with the London Missionary Society (LMS). The Rice Memorial Church, located at Avenue Road, Bangalore is named after Rev. Benjamin Holt Rice. (I have seen this church many times when ever I pass through the busy Avenue road. Today only I came to know that this Church is connected to the great archaeologist B.Lewis Rice.)

Over a period of about ten years between 1894 and 1905, B.Lewis Rice published Epigraphia Carnatica in a set of twelve volumes. This was a monumental work. The books contain the study of about 9000 inscriptions from stone surfaces and copper plates, which were found in the Old Mysore region. In Epigraphia Carnatica, apart from the original inscription, an English translation and a Roman transliteration are also provided. The inscriptions that B.Lewis Rice documented were in Kannada, Sanskrit, Telugu, and Tamil languages.

Epigraphia Carnatica
Epigraphia Carnatica

The twelve original volumes of “Epigraphia Carnatica” were:

  1. Inscriptions in Coorg
  2. Inscriptions in Sravanabelagola
  3. Inscriptions in the Mysore district, Part I
  4. Inscriptions in the Mysore district, Part II
  5. Inscriptions in the Hassan district
  6. Inscriptions in the Kadur district
  7. Inscriptions in the Shimoga district, Part I
  8. Inscriptions in the Shimoga district, Part II
  9. Inscriptions in the Bangalore district
  10. Inscriptions in the Kolar district
  11. Inscriptions in the Chitaldroog district
  12. Inscriptions in the Tumkur district

After B.Lewis Rice retired, his successors, R. Narasimhachar, M. H. Krishna and others continued the work of discovering of new inscriptions and documenting about it. Many supplementary volumes came after B.Lewis Rice’s 12th volume. The original editions went out of print soon. So in 1972, the Department of Kannada at Mysore University undertook the task of reprinting the volumes, but could bring out only six volumes.

Read more about B. Lewis Rice and Epigraphia Carnatica in the following wikipedia articles.

Tuebingen University has collected the various volumes of Epigraphia Carnatica from various European universities, digitized and released it for the use of general public. The following section provide links to 20 various volumes of Epigraphia Carnatica. Hope research community will make use of this.

Since the Tuebingen University has provided high quality raw scans, the file size of all the volumes are large. To reduce the file size some post processing work need to be done using the tools like Scan Tailor. But for that volunteers need to come forward. Till then it is better to use the online reading option instead of direct download. If you prefer to download, better use good broadband connection.


Hyperlinks to the digital scans

Scan 1: Epigraphia Carnatica Volume 1: Inscriptions in Coorg (Kodagu), 1972 reprint.

Scan 2: Epigraphia Carnatica Volume 2: Inscriptions in Sravanabelagola, 1973 reprint.

Scan 3: Epigraphia Carnatica Volume 3: Inscriptions in the Mysore district (part I), 1894

Scan 4: Epigraphia Carnatica Volume 3: Inscriptions in the Mysore district, 1974 reprint

Scan 5: Epigraphia Carnatica Volume 4: Inscriptions in the Mysore district (part II), 1898

Scan 6: Epigraphia Carnatica Volume 5: Inscriptions in the Hassan district (part I), 1902

Scan 7: Epigraphia Carnatica Volume 5: Inscriptions in the Hassan district (part II), 1905

Scan 8: Epigraphia Carnatica Volume 6: Inscriptions in the Kadur district, 1901

Scan 9: Epigraphia Carnatica Volume 6: Inscriptions in the Mandya district: 1977 (reprint)

Scan 10: Epigraphia Carnatica Volume 7: Inscriptions in the Shimoga district (part I): 1902

Scan 11: Epigraphia Carnatica Volume 8: Inscriptions in the Shimoga district (part II): 1904

Scan 12: Epigraphia Carnatica Volume 7 and 8: Supplementary inscriptions in the Shimoga district, 1970

Scan 13: Epigraphia Carnatica Volume 9: Inscriptions in the Bangalore district, 1905

Scan 14: Epigraphia Carnatica Volume 10: Inscriptions in the Kolar district, 1905

Scan 15: Epigraphia Carnatica Volume 11: Inscriptions in the Chitaldroog district, 1905

Scan 16: Epigraphia Carnatica Volume 12: Inscriptions in the Tumkur district, 1904

Scan 17: Epigraphia Carnatica Volume 14: Supplementary inscriptions in the Mysore and Mandya districts, 1943

Scan 18: Epigraphia Carnatica Volume 15: Supplementary inscriptions in the Hasan district, 1943

Scan 19: Epigraphia Carnatica Volume 16: Supplementary inscriptions in the Tumkur district, 1955

Scan 20: Epigraphia Carnatica Volume 17: Supplementary inscriptions in the Kolar district, 1965



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