The meaning of Itihasa
India is one of the ancient countries in the world with its unique knowledge, culture and civilization. To know the culture and civilization of ancient India, there are no contemporary historical documents. In ancient India, knowledge was spread through oral tradition learning orally from one another. The word ಇತಿಹಾಸ ‘Itihasa’ in Sanskrit refers to the incident that has happened.
The history of a country do not only mean the lives of kings and queens who ruled that region; but also the lives of the people who lived in that region. The actual history of a country consists of the detailed account of its people, their living style, religion that they followed, the art form that they executed, the problems of life that they faced and values of life that they established.
The inscriptions are the authoritative sources to tell us about life of our ancestors. They are the rare wealth of our country. Many incidents described in inscriptions are significant and important . They show us the cultural values of people of that time.
We have more than a 1.1 million inscriptions found in India. All of them are not maintained in good condition. Many of them are almost lost. People with ignorance and without any historical sense have tended to use many inscriptional slabs for constructional purposes. Scholars say that in the southern Indian belt, Karnataka has the maximum number of inscriptions when compared to the other Indian regions. Till now more than 30000 records are found in the Karnataka region. Only 30-35 % of them have been published with notes and exhaustive study.
The 3rd BC edicts of Ashoka found in the districts of Bellary, Chitradurga, Koppal, Raichur and Gulburga are the earliest inscriptions in Karnataka. The famous among them are the Gavimutt record at Koppal (3rd century BC), Brahmagiri record of AshokSiddapur (3rd century BC) in Chitradugra district.