[INDOLOGY] Question about a copper plate

jacob at fabularasa.dk jacob at fabularasa.dk
Tue Oct 19 11:58:30 UTC 2021

Dear Anna,

It looks like a 5x5 grid yantra (which might explain the number 25 next 
to the grid). Perhaps if the inscriptions were easier to make out, it 
would be possible to identify it more precisely. There does not seem to 
be any obvious connection to games, though the Yantracintāmaṇi does 
contain a similar yantra for achieving success in games (yantra no. 73). 
It is inscribed on an 8x8 grid which is navigated by a knight's tour 
(vājikrama). This means that you place a chess-knight in one space, and 
then jump around the grid according to the knight's move until you have 
landed on all the squares without landing on the same square twice. If 
you do it correctly, the resulting series of 64 syllables go together to 
form two ślokas which can be used as a mantra to ensure success in 


Jacob Schmidt-Madsen
Postdoctoral Researcher in Indology
Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies
University of Copenhagen

Anna Slaczka via INDOLOGY skrev den 2021-10-19 12:20:
> Dear Colleagues,
> I came across a small copper plate from India (approximately 18 cm in
> length) with an image of an elephant engraved on it. On the back of
> the elephant there is a ‘cloth’ with checkered pattern with in each
> square a Devanagari letter (too worn out to read them all) and on top
> there is something more, perhaps a figure holding a banner (I might be
> horribly wrong). A few more single letters and even a longer word and
> a number (25) are ‘scattered’ around the elephant. Please see the
> photograph. The back of the  plate is not decorated.
> Does any of you even seem something like that and know perhaps wat it
> is, and what was it used for? A (card) game perhaps?
> Many thanks and with best wishes,
> Anna.
> Sent from my iPhone
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