“This will surely open a new horizon in the history of the Kathmandu Valley’’
When it comes to Emperor Asoka’s children, the standard line in most textbooks is about how Mahinda and Sanghamitta were sent to Ceylon to spread Buddhism. There is not much mention about his other children and what they did.
He had other sons named Kunala and Tivara. Apparently he also had a daughter named Charumati, and recently one stupa constructed by her was found in the Kathmandu Valley.
Archaeologists at the Department of Archaeology, a government institution to conserve and protect ancient monuments of the country, said this is the first time something has been found in the Kathmandu Valley written in Brahmi script, which was prevalent in 300 BC.
Only two inscriptions have been found so far in Brahmi script in Nepal — one in Lumbini and the other in Lignihawa, both erected by emperor Ashoka.
“We were just enlightened. We could not believe when we found bricks with a word in Brahmi script. This will surely open a new horizon in the history of the Kathmandu Valley,”said senior archaeologist Prakash Darnal.
The brick has a Dharma-Chakra emblem, two Swastikas, a word “Cha-ru-wa-ti”in Brahmi script and also two other words in the most ancient form of Nepalbhasa script, Bhujimol.
“Till date, historians believe that the sixth century AD inscription of Mandeva at the Changu Narayan is the oldest inscription found in the Valley and a statue of Jaya Barma, found at Mali Gaon, is regarded as made in the second century AD”, he said.
“What we have found in Chabahil may prove that Kathmandu has a 2,300-year-old written history,”Darnal said. But he also added that the evidence is not yet scientifically tested and the word could have been written later in Brahmi script that was extinct by the second century in Nepal.
“The word “Charuwati”proves the legend of Charumati, said to be Ashoka’s daughter, and this has some grounds in the history”, he said.[2300-year-old inscription found in Chabahil]