We have seen about the important materials that are used for manuscripts viz Palm leaf, Paper, Bhūrjapatra and Sāñcīpāt. Now we can move into other materials. As I have stated elsewhere, other materials are divided into two.

  1. Metals
  2. Non metals.

Among metals, now we can see the usage of gold the royal metal in the field of manuscripts. Since gold is malleable like copper it could be hammered into thin sheets. But the usage is very rare due to its rarity and prohibitive cost.


Jātaka texts inform us that golden sheets (Suvaṇṇa patra) were used to preserve poetic verses of value or moral sayings or to maintain important family records. Sahasā na vidadhīta na kriyām, a verse of Bhāravi  was inscribed in golden sheets.

Naiṣadhīya Carita speaks of golden Ketakī leaves for writing.

दलोदरे काञ्चनकेतकस्य क्षणीन्मषीभावुकवर्णरेखाम्।

तस्यैव यत्र स्वमनङ्गलेखं लिलेख भैमीनखलेखनीभिः।। (6.63)


          A gold plate was discovered near Gangu stupa near Taxila. The plate is written in Kharoṣṭī script.

Two golden leaves of 5th CE with Buddhist formulae were discovered from Mauggan village near old Prome, Burma.

Another set of twenty leaves of same period were found from Hmazwa village, Burma. It is inscribed in Telugu-Kannada script.

From North Srilanka, it is reported that a golden book weighing about 2kgs was discovered.

British museum there is a roll of gold plate with Malayalam script is deposited.

At Mysore palace, the golden umbrella with 24 verses in Sanskrit is present.

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