Amarakoshodghatana of Kshirasvamin (study)

by A. Yamuna Devi | 2012 | 77,297 words | ISBN-13: 9788193658048

This page relates ‘Town Planning (5): Roads’ of the study on the Amarakoshodghatana of Kshirasvamin (in English) which represents a commentary on the Amarakosha of Amarasimha. These ancient texts belong the Kosha or “lexicography” category of Sanskrit literature which deals with the analysis and meaning of technical words from a variety of subjects, such as cosmology, anatomy, medicine, hygiene. The Amarakosa itself is one of the earliest of such text, dating from the 6th century A.D., while the Amarakoshodghatana is the earliest known commentary on that work.

Town Planning (5): Roads

Amarakośa mentions synonyms of a road and its kinds in the Bhū varga (II.1.16-20) some of them are–ayanam–road, atipanthāḥ -a good road, vyadhva–a bad road, apanthāḥ–wrong road, śṛṅgāṭaka-junction of four roads, prāntaram–long and lonesome way, kāntārama difficult road, ghaṇṭāpathaḥ–Highway and upaniṣkaram-a street. Some remarks of Kṣīrasvāmin on these are as follows:

(a) Śṛṅgāṭaka (II. 1. 18; p. 73)–

[Junction of four roads:]

Amarakośa mentions it as synonymous to catuśpatha. Kṣīrasvāmin adds saṃsthānaka and catvara to denote the same–

saṃsthanakaṃ catvaraṃ ca |

(b) Ghaṇṭāpathaḥ (II. 1. 19; p. 73)–


Amarakośa mentions saṃsaraṇa as its synonym.

Kṣīrasvāmin explains ghaṇṭāpathaḥ as that which is characteristic of the ringing of the bells of elephants and he also gives the view of Kauṭilya (II. 4. 3) who opines that the royal highway, (and roads in droṇamukha, sthānīya, the country-side and pasture-lands, as well as paths in harbour towns a cremation ground and village) should be eight daṇḍas (in width)–

ghaṇṭopalakṣitānāṃ hastināṃ panthā ghaṇṭāpathaḥ cāṇakyokto'ṣṭadaṇḍaḥ |

(c) Upaniṣkaram (II. 1. 19; p. 73)–

[A street:]

Amarakośa defines it as a street.

Kṣīrasvāmin explains it as a suburban city where military forces were stationed–

tatsaṃsaraṇaṃ puraṃ rājadhānī tasyā upaniṣkarākhyamupaniṣkīryate'tra sainyamiti |

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