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Historicity of the Monument of Damupal

Historicity of the Monument of Damupal

It is assumed that the monument date carved on the historical stone is Shak Sambat 903. It is equivalent to Bikram Sambat 1038 and A.D. 981. On a period basis, the monument belonged to pre-medieval period (880-1380 A.D.). It was the initial development time of Nepali language, as some noted scholars have stressed that the origin of Nepali language could go as back as to the fifth century A.D. In the monument of Damupal, upper part of the texts have already wiped out, while only the lower part and a few lines can be seen and read now. Various scholars still have different opinions about the date of the monument. The mention of the word "Pal" in the inscription is evidence that the monument was erected before the Khasa Malla kingdom came into being. In this context, it becomes irrelevant discussing whether the monument is before or after Shak Sambat 903. It further indicates whether Nepali language had already evolved at the time of Katyuri dynasty rule. To raise the curtain about the exact date of the monument, research based on sophisticated technology or carbon dating would be the most appropriate one. Only such a research can resolve disputes about the date.

It is pathetic that the monument, which is directly linked with the early medieval history of entire western Nepal and deserves to be in the World Heritage Site list, hovers around disputes and even fails to be included in the Government of Nepal's Heritage Sites' List. It is vital that the local intellectuals, local government bodies, social organizations and all heed this genuine concern and provide it its long overdue respect and recognition.

At present, for the physical development of Dailekh district, Dullu-Sahubada road sector is under construction. The threat is that this historical Monument of Damupal now lies right at the western drainage side of the road, ready to be rooted out anytime. Equal is the threat that this monument damaged by heavy construction materials and vehicles may get broken or the remaining lower inscription part may get wiped out, since the upper inscription part has already plucked out. Likewise, the passengers and loads getting on and off the vehicles may further damage the monument. If the monument falls, the oldest evidence of Nepali language, too, will perish forever causing huge loss of heritage to mankind.

Therefore, it is a must that people from all walks of life – all human communities, cultures, preservationists, various professionals, political leaderships, media, national and international organizations, government and non-governmental bodies, locals of Dullu and all Dailekhis come together and work towards the preservation of the monument. This heritage belongs not to us, but to the future generations, who would demand us the marvel to be handed over to them, intact.

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