How dodgy is the Ashokan inscription at Nigali Sagar?

Part of the colorful history of the Ashokan edicts is this guy.

He was kind of the George Santos of Indology; every “fact” leads to a bigger lie. One of his “discoveries” was a minor edict at Nigali Sagar. However it was later found out that almost everything he said about the site was made up. It’s really an amazing story.

It’s unclear to me, however, whether the actual inscription itself was faked, or whether he just made up the circumstances. I’m wondering if any scholarship has looked at this point and can clear this up?


A very interesting subject…even Donald Trump, a sociopathic liar, has told the truth before. Once, on a Tuesday, he said it was Tuesday. Likewise, Fuhrer, whose life and finances were built, apparently, on frauds, may have truthfully come across an actual Ashokan pillar. He embellished the circumstances of the find, but of course the simple truth of the pillar is interesting enough. So, in a way, maybe he poisoned a pristine well with his need to embellish and monetize a find.

Koṇāgamana is mentioned in a 3rd-century BCE inscription by Ashoka at Nigali Sagar, in today’s Nepal. There is an Ashoka pillar at the site today. Ashoka’s inscription in Brahmi is on the fragment of the pillar still partly buried in the ground. The inscription made when Emperor Asoka at Nigali Sagar in 249 BCE records his visit, the enlargement of a stupa dedicated to the Kanakamuni Buddha, and the erection of a pillar:

“Devanam piyena piyadasin lajina- chodasavasa bhisitena Budhasa Konakamanasa thube-dutyam vadhite Visativa sabhisitena –cha atana-agacha-mahiyite silathabe-cha usa papite”
“His Majesty King Priyadarsin in the 14th year of his reign enlarged for the second time the stupa of the Buddha Kanakamuni and in the 20th year of his reign, having come in person, paid reverence and set up a stone pillar”.[7][8]

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