Raula Vela: Poetry on Stone

SI 9

Raula Vela: Poetry on Stone

SI 9


Raula Vela: Poetry on Stone
Script: Nagari
Language: Six dialects

The inscription narrates a poem about the raula vela (creeper of the royal household), composed by poet Rada, who describes the beauty, dress, and ornaments of the raula vela. The inscription is unique — linguistically and historically — and shows the great literary ability of the composer.
The poem talks of a marketplace where some men have brought with them good-looking and well-dressed girls from their regions, either for marriage or for sale. The scene may be that of a white slave market or a brothel. The text suggests the presence of seven men from seven different regions of the county. The presence of the first six is evident but due to damage to the text, that of the seventh person is not very clear. Each person speaks a different dialect.
This type of a poem is also called nakha-shikha (adorned from the toes to the tresses). In this kind of poetry, the glory, charms, beauty, and costume of the nayaka or nayika are described. The six sections it contains are written in six different dialects — Maithili, Marathi, western Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, and Malavi.



Object Type









12th –13th centuries CE


Dhar, Madhya Pradesh


91 × 129 × 7.5 cm