On December 25, 2019 the Epigraphy Branch of the Archaeological Survey of India(ASI) has recently discovered earliest epigraphic evidence of the Saptamatrika cult. It is the earliest Sanskrit inscription discovered in South India as on date and was discovered in Chebrolu village in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh(AP). This discovery predates the evolution of the language by almost 200 years.
i.Saptamatrikas: They are 7 female deities worshipped in Hinduism. The inscription is in Sanskrit and in Brahmi characters issued by Satavahana dynasty king Vijaya in 207 A.D.
ii.Inscription: The inscription records about construction of prasada(temple) a mandapa and consecration of images based on the southern side of the temple by a person named Kartika.
iii.Verification: After verification by team led by Dr. K. Muniratnam, Director, Epigraphy branch, ASI, Mysuru, Karnataka, proved that the Chebrolu inscription of Satavahana king Vijaya issued in his 5th regnal year – 207 A.D. is also earliest dated sanskrit in South India so far.
iv.Prior known earliest inscription: Prior to this discovery Nagarjunakonda inscription of Ikshavaku king Ehavala Chantamula was considered as the earliest Sanskrit inscription in South India. It was issued in his 11th regnal year corresponding to the 4th century A.D
v.Other discovery: An inscription in Prakrit language and of Brahmi characters belonging to the 1st century AD was also discovered. It is the earliest epigraphic reference to Mutts.
vi.Epigraphy: It is the study of inscriptions, or epigraphs (phrase, quotation, or poem), as writing; it is the science of identifying their meanings, classifying their uses according to dates and cultural contexts, and drawing conclusions about the writing and the writers
About Andhra Pradesh(AP):
Governor- Biswabhusan Harichandan.
Chief minister- Yeduguri Sandinti Jaganmohan Reddy.
State animal- Blackbuck.
State bird- rose ringed parakeet.