The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI),informed on 8th September, 2021 that it has found the stairs and platform of what was probably a temple, dating back to the Gupta period, during excavation near Aliganj town of Etah district, Uttar Pradesh.
It is a protected site in Bilsarh village near Aliganj area of Etah district in Uttar Pradesh.
It is believed to be the site of a temple built during the rule of the Gupta dynasty.
Here ASI excavated two pillars on which there is an inscription about Kumargupta-I, the powerful ruler of Gupta dynasty, in ‘sankh lipi’ (conch script or shell script) typical of the fifth century AD.
The inscription was deciphered as ‘Sri Mahendraditya’ which was the title of king Kumargupta-I who had even conducted ‘ashwamedh yagya’ during his rule.
The discovery becomes significant since only two other structural temples from the Gupta age have been found so far — Dashavatara Temple (Deogarh) and Bhitargaon Temple (Kanpur Dehat).
What is the Shankhalipi script?
Shankhalipi or “shell-script” is a term used by scholars to describe ornate spiral characters assumed to be Brahmi derivatives that look like conch shells or shankhas.
They are found in inscriptions across north-central India and date to between the 4th and 8th centuries.
A similar inscription was found on the back of a stone horse sculpture from that period that is at present in the State Museum at Lucknow.
Both Shankhalipi and Brahmi are stylised scripts used primarily for names and signatures.
The inscriptions consist of a small number of characters, suggesting that the shell inscriptions are names or auspicious symbols or a combination of the two.