[The section on Anclent Period is contributed by Dr. V.V. Mirashi Nagpur. The section in Mediaeval Period onward have been contributed by Dr. B. G. Kunte M. A. Ph. D. (Economics) Ph. D. (History) Executive Editor and Secretary]

 Early History.

THE DISTRICT OF DHULIA WAS PREVIOUSLY KNOWN as the West Khandes district. The ancient name of this region was Rsika. Varahamihira places Rsika in the southern division. In the Ramayana Rsika is coupled with Vidarbha and Mahisaka. Vidarbha is the ancient name of modern Berar, while Mahisaka was the name of the southern portion of the former Hyderabad State with the adjoining Kanarese districts of Raicur and Bijapur. In the Ramayana Sugriva asked the monkeys to go in search of Sita in the countries of the south such as those of Rsika, Vidarbha and Mahisaka. In the Mahabharata also Rsika is coupled with Vidarbha.

Another verse of the Mahabharata connects Rsika with the western Anupa country. Anupa is known to be the country of which the capital was Mahismati modem Mahesvar on the Narmada. Elsewhere the Mahabharata couples Rsika with Asmaka while mentioning the countries conquered by Karna. The Nasik cave inscription of Pulumavi mentions Asika (Sanskrt-Rsika) with Asaka (Sanskrt-Asmaka) among the countries which were under the rule of his father Gautamiputra Satakarni. In the Dasakumaracarita the ruler of Rsika, like that of Asmaka, was shown a feudatory of the king of Vidarbha. All these references show that Rsika was contiguous to Asmaka, Vidarbha and Anupa. The only country which answers to this geographical position is Khandes; for it is bounded on the east by Berar (ancient Vidarbha), on the north by the Nemad district (ancient Anupa) and on the south by the Aurangabad (ancient Mulaka) and Bhir (ancient Asmaka) districts. Later, the country came to be called as Seunadesa after king Seunacandra of the Early Yadava dynasty, who ruled over it. Subsequently, its name was changed to Khandes to suit the title Khan given to the Faruqi kings by Ahmad I of Gujarat. [A.B.O.R.I., Vol. XXI, p. 167 f.]

From the excavations made by Mr. B. K. Thapar at Prakase at the confluence of the rivers Tapi and Gomai, it appears that the " earliest settlers of this region belonged to the microlithic period. The use of copper, though known, was extremely rare. The principal ceramic industry of this people comprised a distinctive red ware with designs executed in black on red-slipped surface; the designs consisted mainly of hatched diamonds, horizontal or oblique bands, crisscross and wavy lines, ladder-pattern and also animal-motifs. In association with this industry was found a burnished grey ware of thinner fabric, occasionally having faint linear designs in white. Some of the sherds with thicker and coarser fabric in dull grey ware seemed to be treated with an ochre-paint mainly on the rim portions. Beads of shell-paste and semi-precious stones were also obtained from this period. [Indian archaeology, 1954-55, p. 13]

The characteristic features of this period as brought to light during excavations at Nasik, Nevasa and other places in the Deccan may be described as follows [Summarised from H. D. Sankalia's Indian Archæology Today, p. 88 f.]: -

"The earliest habitations of the people of this period must have been in the river valleys. The thick forests which must have covered them were first cut down with their stone and copper tools. The elevated sites on the banks of rivers were chosen for a settlement. Each settlement may have consisted of about 50 to 100 huts. The huts were small, measuring about 10 ft. X 9 ft., and were either rectangular or round. They were constructed with wooden posts, the walls being of mud and the roof of bamboo matting, dry leaves etc, covered with a layer of mud. The houses were furnished with large and small storage jars, bowls (vatis) and vessels (lotas) with long spouts. Their red surface was painted in black with geometric designs or figures of animals. They wore garments of cotton and probably also of silk. For their ornaments they used beads of semi-precious stones, crystal, terracotta and rarely of copper and even of gold. Silver was unknown. Bangles were made of copper, burnt clay or bones, rarely of ivory.

For weapons they used products of chalcedony blade industry, flat copper axes and slings with round balls of various sizes. Their tools were made of dolerite and copper. They pounded their grains with plano-convex rubber stones. Besides, they ate beef, mutton, pork, venison and river fish. Hunting and animal grazing formed their main occupations.

They buried their dead either within the house floor or outside. The children were buried in wide-mouthed jars. The dead were provided with bowls, spouted vessels and necklaces of copper and carnelian.

Economically these people were in a pastoral-cum-hunting-cum-agricultural stage and lived in small villages on river banks. They still used stone for various purposes, the use of copper being rare. This kind of life continued until it was changed by a fresh influx of people who came with a knowledge of iron, agriculture and town-planning in about the fourth century B. C.

Who these people were is not definitely known, but one plausible conjecture is that they belonged to some of the Aryan tribes. This theory, however, needs confirmation by stronger evidence."

The above gleanings are from the excavations at such places as Nasik, Jorve and Nevasa in the Deccan. The duration of this Early Bronze Age is surmised by archaeologists to be from 1500-1000 B. C. to 500 B. C.

We shall next see what light is thrown on this period by literary sources. According to literary tradition, when the Aryans penetrated to the Deccan, the whole region was covered by a thick jungle, which extended southward from Central India. Agastya was the first Aryan who crossed the Vindhya and fixed his residence on the bank of the Godavari. This memorable event is commemorated by the mythical story which represents Vindhya as bending before his guru Agastya when the latter approached him. The sage asked the mountain to remain in that position until he returned from the south, which he never did. Agastya was followed by several other sages who established their hermitages in different regions of the south. The cluster of hermitages on the bank of the Godavari was called Janasthana to distinguish it from the surrounding forest country. The region to the south of the Godavari was inhabited by the aborigines, who are called Raksasas in the Ramayana. The sages living in the Janasthana were constantly harassed by these Raksasas. " These shapeless and ill-looking monsters testify to their abominable character by various cruel and terrific displays. They implicate the hermits in impure practices and perform great outrages. Changing their shapes and hiding in thickets adjoining the hermitages, these frightful beings delight in terrifying the devotees; they east away their sacrificial ladles and vessels; they pollute cooked oblations and utterly defile the offerings with blood. These faithless creatures inject frightful sounds into the ears of the faithful and austere hermits. At the time of the sacrifice they snatch away the jars, the flowers and the sacred grass of these sober-minded men. [Muir's Original Sanskrit Texts, Vol. V.]

We learn from the Ramayana that Rama, accompanied by his brother Laksmana and wife Sita, met Agastya on the bank of the Godavari. The sage presented him with a bow and two quivers and advised him to settle down at a place called Pancavati from the five great banyan trees which grew there. Even now there are some caves near Pancavati on the Godavari, which go by the name of Sitagumpha ' Sita's Cave', and which have in a large niche in the back wall the images of Rama, Laksmana and Sita. Here Rama is said to have lived for some time and killed many Raksasas who were harassing the sages. From here Sita was abducted by the demon king Ravana, which ultimately led to the invasion of Lanka by Rama with the help of the monkey hosts.

Jana sthana and Pancavati were situated on the fringe of the great forest country called Dandakaranya, the story of which is narrated in the Uttarakanda of the Ramayana. We are told that a large country was founded north of the Godavari by Vidarbha, the son of Rsabhadeva. His capital was Kundinapura in the Amravati district. Agastya married a princess of this country, Lopamudra by name. Agastya is the seer of some hymns of the Rgveda. His wife Lopamudra is mentioned in the Rgveda I, 179, 4. The Ramayana states that Danda or Dandaka, the son of Iksvaku and grandson of Manu, ruled over the country between the Vindhya and Saivala mountains with his capital at Madhumanta. He led a voluptuous life and once upon a time he violated the daughter of the sage Bhargava. The sage then cursed the king that his whole kingdom between the Vindhya and Saivala mountains, extending over a thousand yojanas, would be devastated by a terrible dust-storm. The whole country was consequently turned into a great forest, which since then, came to be known as Dandakaranya. It was in this forest that the Sudra ascetic Sambuka was practising penance. According to the notions of those days, this was an irreligious act and so Rama beheaded him and revived the life of a Brahmana boy who had died prematurely. The place where Sambuka was beheaded is still shown on the hill of Ramtek, about 28 miles from Nagpur. In the Uttararamacarita Bhavabhuti tells us that the Dandaka forest extended southwards from this place up to Jana sthana on the Godavari.

The central part of the Deccan was divided into several countries known by different names. The region on the north of the Godavari, west of Vidarbha, now included in the Aurangabad district was known by the name of Mulaka. This country together with its capital Pratisthana (modern Paithan) is mentioned in the Pali literature. To the north of it lay the country of Rsika, now called Khandes as shown above. Along the southern bank of the Godavari extended the country of Asmaka (Pali-Assaka). which comprised the modern Ahmadnagar and Bhir districts. Later, this region was included in the country of Kuntala, which extended far to the south. It included what is now known as the Southern Maratha Country as well as Northern Karnataka and the Simoga and Citaldurg districts of the old Mysore State. In an inscriptional passage the upper valley of he Krsna is said to be included in the country of Kuntala. [ Ep. Ind., Col. XII, p. 153, See Mirashi, Studies in Indology, Vol. 1. p. 9, n. 4.] In the Udayasundarikatha of Soddhala (11th cen. A.D.) Pratisthana on the Godavari is said to be the capital of the Kuntala country. In early times Kuntala was probably included in the larger country called Maharastra. The Aihole inscription (7th cen. A. D.) speaks of three Maharastras which probably included Vidarbha, western Maharastra and Kuntala. In later times Kuntala came to denote the predominantly Kanarese-speaking country included in the Mysore State. The Early Calukyas of Badami and the Later Calukyas of Kalyani were known as Kuntalesa. In early times, however, the districts of Kolhapur, Satara, Solapur, Ahmednagar and Bhir, which are now Marathi-speaking, were included in Kuntala. As we shall see later, the Early Rastrakutas, who were ruling over this territory were known as Kuntalesvaras (Lords of Kuntala).

The modern districts of Osmanabad, Bidar, Gulbarga, Medak and Raicur, now included in the States of Maharastra, Mysore and Andhra Prades, were probably comprised in the country of Mahisaka. The references to this country occurring in the Puranas and the Epics suggest that it was situated in the Deccan. The Ramayana couples the Mahisaka country with Vidarbha and Rsika (Khandes), as countries of the south to which Sugriva directed the monkeys to go in search of Situ. Other references to this country in the Mahabharata and the Puranas also indicate its situation in this region. As we shall see later, a Saka family which was ruling in this region as shown by the finds of its coins, was known as Mahisa.

Historical Times. Mauryas.

Coming to historical times, we find that all this territory was included in the empire of Asoka. An inscription issued by the Dharmamahematra of Asoka has been found at Devtek in the Candrapur district of Vidarbha. It was issued in the fourteenth regnal year of Asoka and interdicts the capture and killing of animals. [Mirashi. Studies in Indology, Vol. I, p. 109 f.] Again, the fifth and thirteenth rock-edicts of Asoka mention the Rastrika Petenikas and the Bhoja-Petenikas. According to many scholars, the Petenikas were the inhabitants of Pratisthana, the Rastrikas ruled as Maharathis, while the Bhojas held Vidarbha.


After the overthrow of the Maurya dynasty in circa 184 B.C. the . imperial throne in Pataliputra was occupied by Senapati Pusyamitra, the founder of the Sunga dynasty. His son Agnimitra was appointed Viceroy of Malva and ruled from Vidisa, modern Besnagar, a small village near Bhilsa. Vidarbha, which had seceded from the Maurya Empire during the reign of one of the weak successors of Asoka, was then ruled by Yajnasena. He imprisoned his cousin Madhavasena, who was a rival claimant for the throne. The sister of Madhavasena escaped to Malva and got admission to the royal harem as a handmaid to the queen Dharini under the name of Malavika. Agnimitra, who had espoused the cause of Madhavasena and had sent an army against the king of Vidarbha, fell in love with Malavika and married her. The Malava army defeated the king of Vidarbha and released Madhavasena. Agnimitra then divided the country of Vidarbha between the two cousins, each ruling on one side of the Varada. (Wardha). The story of Malavika forms the theme of the Sanskrt play Malavikagnimitram of Kalidasa.

Kalidasa does not state to what royal family Yajnasena and Madhavasena belonged and these, names do not occur anywhere else. Still, it is possible to conjecture that they may have been the feudatories of the Satavahanas, who rose to power in the Deccan soon after the death of Asoka. From the Hathigumpha inscription at Udayagiri near Bhuvanesvar, we learn that Kharavela, the king of Kalinga, who was a contemporary of Pusyamitra, soul: an army to the western region, not minding Satakarni. The latter evidently belonged to the Satavahana dynasty as the name occurs often in that family. Kharavela's army is said to have penetrated up to the river Kanhabenna and struck terror in the hearts of the people, of Rsika. The Kanhabenna is evidently the river Kanhan, which Hows about 10 miles from Nagpur [Mirashi, Studies in Indology Vol. Ill, p. 46.] and not the river Krsna as supposed by some scholars; for the latter flows not west but south-west of Udayagiri. Kharavela's army thus invaded Vidarbha. He knew that as the ruler of Vidarbha was a feudatory of king Satakarni, the latter would rush to his aid. When Vidarbha was thus invaded the people of Rsika (Khandes), which bordered Vidarbha on the west, were naturally terror-stricken. No actual engagement seems however, to have taken place and the army returned to Kalinga perhaps at the approach of the Satavahana forces. Two years later, Kharavela penetrated further west as he claims to have received submission from the Rathikas and the Bhojakas, who were probably ruling in the Deccan as feudatories of the Satavahanas.


Satakarni belonged to the Satavahana family. This family derived  its name from king Satavahana [Ibid., Vol. III, p. 1 f.], who rose to power soon after the death of Asoka and had his capital at Pratisthana (modern Paithan in the Aurangabad district). It received support from the local rulers called Maharathis, with whom it formed matrimonial alliances. This family is called Andhra in the Puranas, but that it originally hailed from Western Maharastra is indicated by its earliest inscriptions which are found in the caves at Naneghat near junnar and at Nasik. Its earliest coins issued by the founder Satavahana have been found at Aurangabad and in Vidarbha. In later times it extended its rule to Andhra as shown by its later inscriptions and coins found in that region. The Puranas call it Andhra evidently because it was ruling in that country when the Parana account was compiled in the early centuries of the Christian era.

Though Satavahana was the founder of this family. his name does not occur in the Puranas. The first king of the Andhra (i.e. Satavahana) family mentioned in the Puranas is Simukha (Srimukha), who is also known from a relievo statue of his in a cave at Naneghat. We do not know the. extent of his kingdom, but it must have comprised at least Poena, Nasik, Khandes, Ahmadnagar and Aurangabad districts. When he ended his rule, his son Satakarni was a minor and so his brother Krsna ascended the throne. He has left an inscription in the cave which he got excavated for Buddhist monks at Nasik. Krsna is described in a record in this cave as belonging to the Satavahana family. This indicates that he was not a son of Satavahana, but a grandson or some lower descendant.

The next ruler of the family was SatakarnI I, who also is known from a relievo figure now mutilated in the aforementioned cave at Naneghat. He seems to have extended his rule over the whole of the Deccan and even carried his arms north of the Narmada. As stated before king Kharavela of Kalihga, who was his contemporary, sent an army to the west, not minding him. When the army reached the Kanhabenna, which as shown above is probably identical with the river Kanhan flowing near Nagpur, it struck terror in the hearts of the people of Rsika (Khandes). [Ep. Ind., Vol. XX, p. 79.]

Satakarni performed the Rajasuya and Asvamedha sacrifices (the latter twice), which probably commemorated his important victories or supremacy in the Deccan and had political significance. He performed also several other Srauta sacrifices such as Agnyadheya, Aptoryama, Dasaratra, Trayodasardtra, Angirasatriratra, Sataratra, Gavamayana etc., all of which were marked by munificent gifts of horses, elephants and Karsapanas. They are recorded in a large but now badly mutilated inscription in a cave at Naneghat.

Satakarni left behind two sons, Vedisri and Saktisri who are mentioned in the aforementioned Naneghat inscription. It was believed for a long time that this record was incised during the minority of the former prince when his mother Naganika was acting as a regent; but this view is now shown to be incorrect. The inscription describes her as one who fasted during a whole month, who, even in her house, lived like an ascetic, who led a self-restrained life and was well acquainted with initiatory ceremonies, vows and offerings. She had evidently lost all interest in world life and was devoting herself to religious practices. Such a lady is hardly likely to busy herself with the governance of an extensive kingdom like that of the Satavahanas. As a matter of fact, the inscription describes Vedisri as a very brave prince who was a unique warrior on the earth and was the lord of the Daksinapatha (Deccan). [Mirashi, Studies In Indology, Vol. I, p. 76 f.]

Vedisri was followed by a number of princes who are named in the Puranas, but about whom they furnish little information except their reign-periods which also vary in different Puranas and even in the manuscript of the same Purana. But one name among them is noteworthy. It is that of king Hala, the reputed author of the Gathasaptasati, a unique collection of seven hundred Pralcrt verses, descriptive of the social, religious and economic life of the period. Hala flourished in the first century A.D. [Ibid., Vol. I, p. 76 f.]

Shaka Interregnum.

Some years after Hala's reign Maharastra was conquered by the Saka Ksatrapas. Nahapana a Saka Ksatrapa probably appointed by the contemporary Kusana Emperor, was ruling over Konkan, Poona, Nasik and some other districts of Maharastra as well as some portion of Central India as far north as Ajmer. Several  inscriptions of his son-in-law Usavadata (Sanskrt-Rsabhadatta) have been incised in the Pandulena caves near Nasik. Usavadata was the son of Dinika and had married Daksamitra, the daughter of Nahapana. These records in the Nasik caves describe the charities and conquests of Usavadata, who was evidently governing Northern Maharastra and Konkan on behalf of his father-in-law. We learn from these inscriptions that Usavadata gave away three hundred thousand cows, constructed ghats at the river Barnasa, gifted sixteen villages to gods and Brahmanas, fed a hundred thousand Brahmanas every year, got eight Brahmanas of Prabhasa or Somnath Patan married at his expense, constructed rest-houses, made gardens and tanks at Bharukachha (Broac), Dasapura (Mandasor), Govardhana (near Nasik) and Sorparaga (Sopara in the Thana district), provided ferry-boats at the rivers Iba, Parada, Damana, Tapi, Karabena and Dahanuka and founded some benefactions in the village Nanangola for Brahmanas residing in Pinditakavada, Govardhan, Sorparaga and Ramatirtha. The same inscription further tells as that he marched to the north at the command of Nahapana and rescued the Uttamabhadras who had been attacked by the Malayas (Malavas) and then proceeded to the holy tirtha Puskara near Ajmer and there he bathed and gave three thousand cows and a village in charity. He got a cave excavated in the Trirasmi hill near Nasik and assigned it to the Buddhist monks. He invested large sums of Karsapanas with the trade-guilds at Govardhana and assigned the yearly interest on them for the maintenance and well-being of the monks living in the cave excavated by him. [Ep. Ind., Vol. VIII, p. 82 f.] In another inscription in the cave-tample at Karle he is said to have assigned the village Karajika for the maintenance of the Bhiksus living in the cave at Valuraka (Karle). [Ibid., Vol. VII, p. 57 f.] Another inscription at Nasik records the gift made by his wife Daksamitra. In an inscription at Junnar, Ayama, the Amatya of Nahapana, has recorded his gifts of a mandapa and a cistern evidently for the benefit oi the monks living there. These inscriptions range in date from the year 41 to 46, which are usually referred to the Saka era. Nahapana therefore flourished in the first quarter of the second century A D.

Vidarbha also was under the rule of another Mahaksatrapa named Rupiamma, whose pillar inscription was recently discovered at Pavni in the Bhandara district [Mirashi, Studies in lndology, Vol. IV, p. 109 f.] It records the erection of a chaya-stambha or sculptured pillar at the place. The Satavahanas had therefore to leave Western Maharastra and Vidarbha. They seem to have retired to their capital Pratisthana where they continued to abide, waiting for a favourable opportunity to oust the Saka invaders.


Later, Gautamiputra Satakarni retrieved the fortune of his family. He made a daring dash into Vidarbha and occupied the Benakata (or the Wainganga district). Thereafter he invaded the Western Maharastra and defeated Nahapana somewhere in the Nasik district. This is shown by his inscription in one of the Nasik caves, wherein he is called Benakataka-svami or the lord of Benakata (Wainganga district). He extended his rule to a large part of the peninsula, as his chargers are said to have drunk the waters, of the three oceans. The following provinces are specifically mentioned as comprised in his dominion-Rsika (Khandes), Asmaka (Ahmadnagar and Bhir districts), Akara and Avanti (Eastern and Western Malva), Suratha (Kathiavad) and Aparanta (North Konkan). That his empire extended much farther is shown by the description that the mountains Setagiri (near Nagarjunikonda), Sristana (in the Karnul district) and Mahendra (between the Godavari and the Krsna) were situated in his kingdom.

After defeating Nahapana, Gautamiputra called back the silver coins of Nahapana and restruck them. The hoard discovered at Jogaltembhi contained more than 10,000 silver coins so restruck. He himself issued a large number of potin coins with the figure of an elephant with uplifted trunk on the obverse and the Ujjain symbol on the reverse. [Mirashi, Studies in Indology, Vol. III, p. 38 f.] In the hoard of potin coins found at Tarhala in the Akola district of Vidarbha, out of nearly 1200 decipherable coins, as many as 575 were of Gautamiputra.

Gautamiputra Satakarni was succeeded by his son Vasisthiputra Pulurnavi, who also ruled over a large kingdom, but seems to have lost some northern provinces like Akaravanti (Malva) and Saurastra (Kathiavad) to the Ksatrapas. He is mentioned by Ptolemy as ruling at Pratisthana. He was succeeded by his brother Vasisthjiputra Satakarni, who married a daughter of the Saka Ksatrapa Rudrada-man I. Among his successors the most noteworthy was Yajnasri Satakarni, whose inscriptions and coins have been found over a large area. They show that he ruled over a large kingdom extending from Konkan in the west to Andhradesa in the east. He issued among other types the ship-type lead coins indicative of his rule over the maritime province of the Coromandel coast. [Ibid., Vol. III. p. 17 f.]

Within fifty years after Yajna Satakarni the rule of the Satavahanas came to an end. The Satavahanas were liberal patrons of learning and religion. As stated above, the early kings of the family performed Vedic sacrifices and lavished gifts on the Brahmanas. Krsna, Gautamiputra Satakarni, Pulumavi, and Yajnasri excavated caves and donated villages to provide for the maintenance, clothing and medicines of the Buddhist monks. As stated above, the Gathasaptasati or Sattasai, an anthology of 700 Prakrt verses, is, by tradition, ascribed to king Hala of this family. Another Prakrt work of the age was the Brhatkatha of Gunadhya. It was written in the Paisaci Prakrt. The original Prakrt work is not extant now, but two Sanskrt versions of it viz., the Kathasaritsagara of Somadeva and the Brhatkathamanjari of Ksemendra, are well-known. Gunadhya was a native of the town Supratistha, which from references in some grants of the Vakatakas, is known to have been situated in the Hinganghat tahsil of the Wardha district. [ Mirashi, Studies in Indology, Vol. I, p. 65 f.] It may be identified with the modem village Pothra, situated on a small river of the same name, which joins the Wardha.

Trade flourished during the age of the Satavahanas. Nasik, Pratisthana and Tagara were famous trading centres. Tagara modern Ter, is mentioned in the Periplus of the Erythrean Sea as one of the two famous trading centres, the other being Pratisthana (modern Paithan in the Aurangabad district). From there various kinds of merchandise were taken to Barygaza (Broac). From Pratisthana a great quantity of onyxstone and from Tagava a plentiful supply of fine linen cloth and all kinds of muslins and mallow-coloured stuffs and several other kinds of merchandise were carried by wagons to the ports on the western coast.


About A.D. 250 the Satavahanas were supplanted by the Abhiras in Western Maharastra and by the Vakatakas in Vidarbha. The founder of the Abhira dynasty was Rajan. Isvarasena, the son of Sivadatta. who has left an inscription in Cave IX at Nasik. It records the investment of hundreds of Karsapanas in certain guilds at Nasik for providing medicines for the sick among the Buddhist mendicants residing in the viharas of Trirasmi.

Isvarasena started an era commencing in A.D. 250 which later became known as the Kalacuri-Cedi era. The earlier dates of this era come from Northern Maharastra, Gujarat, Central India and Vidarbha. Judging by the expansion of this era, Isvarasena and his descendants seem to have ruled over a large territory, comprising Konkan, Gujarat and Northern Maharastra. [ Mirashi Inscriptions of the Kalachuri-Chedi Era (C.I.I., Vol. IV, p. 34);] Isvarasena was followed by nine other kings of the family, whose names unfortunately do not occur in the Puranas. They only state that they ruled for 167 years. From the inscription on a casket recently discovered during excavations at Devni Mori in Gujarat, we have come to know the name of one more king viz., Rudrasena. The name Kathika of this Abhira family has also become known from the same source. Rudrasena was ruling in the year 127 of the Abhira ear [Mirashi, Studies in Indology, Vol. IV, p. 120. f.] corresponding to A. D. 376-77. The Abhiras were later supplanted by their feudatories, the Traikutakas.

Some feudatories of the Abhiras ruling in Gujarat and Khandes have become known from copper-plates recently brought to light. From a fragmentary copperplate grant recently discovered at Kalachala near Chota Udaipur in Gujarat we learn that Isvararata was ruling over Central Gujarat and some portion of Khandes. He is described in the grant as meditating on the feet of a lord paramount, which indicates that he owed allegiance to some paramount power. On the evidence of palaeography he appears to have flourished in the fourth century A. D. He was therefore probably a feudatory of the contemporary Abhira king. [C.I.I., Vol. IV, Part II, p. 603 f.] The grant was issued from Prakasa, which is probably identical with Prakase in Khandes. No successor is known, but his family may have continued to hold Gujarat until it was ousted by Sarva Bhattaraka. who rose to power in circa A. D. 400.

Two other feudatory families are known to have ruled in Khandes in the age of the Abhiras. From three copper-plate grants we have come to know about the following feudatories:-

Maharaja Svamidasa (Year 67).

Maharaja Bhulunda (Year 107).

Maharaja Rudradasa (Year 117).

The relation of these princes inter se is not known. They are described as meditating on the feet of their lord paramount and were probably feudatories of the Abhiras. The years in their grants must therefore be referred to the Abhira era and correspond to A.D. 316-17, 356-57 and 366-67 respectively. Their capital was Valkha, which is probably indentical with Vaghli in Khandes. Most of the villages mentioned in their grants can be identified in the neighbourhood of Vaghli. [Ibid., Vol. IV, p. 5 f.]

Another family ruling in Khandes has become known from an inscription in Cave XVII at Ajanta. It gives the following genealogy:—

(Name lost)
Kaca I
Kaca II
|                                                      |
(Name lost)                                      Ravisamba

The elder son of Krsnadasa, whose name is lost, was overwhelmed with sorrow at the premature death of his younger brother Ravisamba. He began to lead a pious life and constructed several stupas and viharas. He also caused the Ajanta Caves XVII and XIX to be excavated and decorated with paintings and sculptures.: He was a feudatory of the Vakataka king Harisena (circa A. D. 475-500). He was preceded by ten princes of the family. The first of them, whose name is lost, probably flourished in circa 275-300. He was evidently a feudatory of the contemporary Abhira king. This family was contemporary with the family ruling from Valkha, but its capital is not known. It acknowledged at first the supremacy of the Abhiras, but after the downfall of the latter transferred its allegiance to the Vakatakas. The last of these princes; became a feudatory of the Vakataka king Harisena, The eighths ucchvasa of the Dasakumaracarita, which reflects the last period of Vakataka rule, states that the king of Rsika was a feudatory of the: king of Vidarbha. After the fall of the Vakatakas this family seems; to have been overthrown by the Kalacuri king Krsnaraja in circa A. D. 550. [Mirashi, Inscriptions of the Vakatakas (C.I.I., Vol. V), p. 120 f.]

The Traikutakas, who also were at first feudatories of the Abhiras, took their family name from the mountain Trikuta, which borders the Nasik district on the west. The names of three Traikutaka kings viz., Indradatta, Dahrasena and Vyaghrasena have become known from their inscriptions and coins found in the Nasik district and Gujarat. Dahrasena performed an Asvamedha and was there-fore an independent king. A copper-plate grant discovered at Pardi in the Surat district records the donation, by Dahrasena, of the village Kaniyas-Tadakasarika in the Antarmandali visaya to a Brahmana residing at Kapura. This visaya comprised. territory on both the banks of the river Mindholii. The donated village is probably identical with Tarsari in the Vyara sub-division of the Surat district. Kapura still retains its ancient name and Is situated three miles from Vyara. Dahrasena was succeeded by his son Vyaghrasena, who had acknowledge the supremacy of the Vakataka king Harisena His copper-plate grant, dated in the year 241 (A. D. 490) of the Abhira era, was discovered at Surat and records the donation of the village Purohitapallika (modern Pal, two miles to the west of Surat) [ C.I.I., Vol. IV, p. 25 f.] The coins of both these kings have been found in Gujarat any Maharastra. They have the head of the king on the obverse and the hill with the sun to the left and the respective legend round the edge inside a circle of dots.[ Ibid., Vol. IV, p. clxxix f.]


After the downfall of the Satavahanas the Vakatakas rose to power in Vidarbha. This family was founded by a Brahmana named Vindhyasakti I, who is mentioned in the Puranas as well as in an inscription in Cave XVI at Ajanta. His son Pravarasena I, called Pravira in the Puranas, ousted Sisuka who was ruling at Purika at the foot of the Rksavat (Satpuda) mountain. Pravarasena I ruled over an extensive empire in the Deccan. He performed several Vedic sacrifices, including four Asvamedhas and assumed the title Samrat (Emperor). According to the purdnas, he ruled from the aforementioned city Purika. He had four sons among whom his extensive empire was divided after his death. Two of these are known from inscriptions. The eldest was Gautamiputra, who predeceased him. His son Rudrasena I held the northern part of Vidarbha and ruled from Nandivardhana near Ramtek in the Nagpur district. He had the powerful support of king Bhavanaga of the Bharasiva family, who ruled from Padmavati in the former Gvalior State and who was his maternal grandfather. Rudrasena I was a fervent devotee of Mahabhairava. He had therefore no regard for the ahimsa doctrine of Asoka. He got some portion of the aforementioned Devtek inscription of Asoka's Dharmamahamatra chiselled off and had his own record incised in its place. [CI.I., Vol. V. p. XXI.] The latter proclaims the construction of his dharmasthana (temple) at Cikkamburi (modern Cikinara near Devtek).

Rudrasena I was followed by his son Prthivisena I, who ruled for a long time and brought peace and prosperity to his people. During his reign this branch of the Vakatakas became matrimonially connected with the illustrious Gupta family of North India. Candragupta II-Vikramaditya married his daughter Prabhavatigupta to Prthivisena's son Rudrasena II, probably alter securing the Vakataka king's aid in his war with the Western Ksatrapas of Malva and Kathiavad. Rudrasena II died soon after accession, leaving behind two sons, Divakarasena and Damodarasena alias Pravarasena II. As neither of them had come of age, Prabhavatigupta ruled as regent for at least thirteen years. She seems to have been helped in the administration of the kingdom by the military and civil officers sent by her father Candragupta II. One of these was the poet Kalidasa, who, while residing at the Vakataka capital Nandivardhana, must have often visited Ramagiri (modern Ramtek), which lay only three miles away. The theme of his excellent lyric Meghaduta seems to have suggested itself to his at this place. [Mirashi, Studies in Indology, Vol. I, p. 12 f.]

Prabhavatigupta has left us two copper-plate grants. The earlier of these, though discovered in distant Poona, originally belonged to the Wardha district of Vidarbha. It was issued from the then Vakataka capital Nandivardhana and records the dowager queen's grant of the village Danguna (modern Hinganghat in the Wardha district) to a Brahmana after offering it to the feet of the Bhagavat (i.e., the god Ramacandra) on Kartika Sukla Dvadasi evidently after observing a fast on the previous day of the Prabodhini Ekadasi. Some of the boundary villages mentioned in the grant can still be traced in the vicinity of Hinganghat. They are described as situated in the ahara or territorial division of Supratistha. The latter seems to have comprised roughly the territory now included in the Hinganghat tahsil. [C.I.I., Vol. V, p. 6 f.]

Divakarasena also seems to have died when quite young. He was succeeded by his brother Damodarasena, who, on accession, assumed the name Pravarasena of his illustrious ancestor. He had a long reign of thirty years and was known for his learning and liberality More than a dozen grants made by him have come to light. One of them made at the instance of his mother Prabhavatigupta in the thirteenth regnal year is noteworthy. The plates recording the grant were issued from the feet of Ramagirisvamin (i.e., the god Ramachandra on the hill of Ramagiri, modern Ramtek) and register the grant which the queen-mother had made as on the previous occasion after observing a fast on the previous day of the Prabodhini Ekadasi. [Loc. cit., p. 34 f.]

Pravarasena II founded a new city, which he named Pravarapura and where he shifted his capital some time after his eleventh regnal year. He built there a magnificent temple of Ramacandra evidently at the instance of his mother, who was a devout worshipper of that god. Some of the sculptures used to decorate the temple have recently been discovered at Pavnar on the bank of the Dham, six miles from Wardha and have led to the identification of Pravarapura with Pavnar in the Wardha district. [Mirashi, Studies in Indology, Vol. II, p. 272 f.]

Pravarasena II is the reputed author of the Setubandha, a Prakrt kavya in glorification of Ramacandra. This work has been very highly praised by Sanskrt poets and rhetoricians. According to a tradition recorded by a commentator of this work, it was composed by Kalidasa, who ascribed it to Pravarasena by the order of Vikra-maditya (i.e., Candragupta II). Pravarasena II is also known as the author of some Prakrit verses, which were later incorporated in the Gathasaptasati. [Ibid., Vol. I, p. 81 f.]

Pravarasena II was succeeded by his son Narendrasena, during whose reign Vidarbha was invaded by the Nala king Bhavadatta-varman. The latter penetrated as far as the Nagpur district and even occupied Nandivardhana, the erstwhile capital of the Vakatakas. The Rddhapur plates record the grant which Bhavadatta made while on a pilgrimage to Prayaga. The plates were issued later from Nandivardhana, which was evidently his capital at the time. [ Ep. Ind., Vol. XXX, p. 100 f.] In this emergency the Vakatakas had again to shift their capital. They moved it to Padmapura near Amganv in the Bhandara district. A fragmentary copper-plate inscription which was proposed to he issued from Padmapura has been discovered at the village Mohalla in the adjoining Durg district of Madhya Prades. This Padmapura is probably identical with the birth-place of the great Sanskrt playwright Bhavabhuti, who flourished there in a later age.

The Nalas could not retain their hold over Vidarbha for a long time. They were ousted by Narendrasena's son Prthivisena II, who carried his arms into the enemy's territory and burnt and devastated their capital Puskari, which was situated in the Bastar district of Madhya Prades. Prthivisena II, taking advantage of the weakening of the Gupta power, carried his arms to the north of the Narmada. Inscriptions of his feudatory Vyaghradeva have been found in the former Ajaygadh and Jaso States in Central India. [ C.I.I., Vol. V, p. 89 f,]

The elder branch of the Vakataka family came to an end in circa A. D. 490. The territory under its rule was thereafter included in the dominion of the other or Vatsagulma branch to which we may now turn.

Vatsagulma branch.

The Vatsagulma branch was founded by Sarvasena, a younger son of Pravarasena I. Its capital was Vatsagulma, modern Basim (Vasim), in the Akola district of Vidarbha. This branch also produced some brave and learned princes. Sarvasena, the founder of this branch, is well-known as the author of the Prakrt kavya Harivijaya, which has, for its theme, the bringing down of the Parijata tree from heaven. This kavya has received unstinted praise from several eminent rhetoricians like Anandavardhana. [Mirashi, Studies in Indology, Vol. I, p. 89 f.]

Sarvasena was followed by his son Vindhyasena, called Vindhya-sakti II in the Basim plates, which were issued in the 37th regnal year. These plates record the grant of a village situated in the northern marga (sub-division) of Nandikata (modern Nanded), the headquarters of the district of that name in the Marathvada Division. [C.I.I., Vol. V, p. 93 f.]

Vindhyasena pursued a vigorous policy and defeated the lord of Kuntala, who probably belonged to the Early Rastrakuta dynasty of Manapura as shown below. Like his father and grandfather, he assumed the title of Dharmamaharaja. His Basim plates record the earliest known grant of the Vakatakas. The genealogical portion of his grant is written in Sanskrt and the formal portion in Prakrt. This shows how the classical language was gradually asserting itself under the patronage of the Vakatakas. All the earlier inscriptions of the Satavahanas are in Prakrt, while all the later grants of the Vakatakas are in Sanskrt.

Vindhyasena II was followed by his son Pravarasena II, about whom little is known. The Ajanta inscription says that he became exalted by his excellent, powerful and liberal rule. He seems to have had a short reign; for, when he died, his son was only eight years old. The name of this boy prince is lost in the Ajanta inscription. He was followed by his son Devasena, whose fragmentary copper-plate inscription is now deposited in the India Office, London. [C.I.I., Vol. V, p. 101 f.] Another record of his reign, inscribed on stone, was recently discovered near Basim. It is dated in the Saka year 380 (A. D. 458-59) and records the excavation of a tank named Sudarsana by Svamillaka, a servant of Devasena. [Dr. Mirashi Felicitation Volume, p. 372 f.]

Devasena was succeeded in circa A. D. 475 by his son Harisena. He carried his arms in all directions. A mutilated verse in the inscription in Cave XVI at Ajanta states that he conquered Avanti (Malva) in the north, Kosala (Chattisgadh), Kalinga and Andhra in the east, Lata (Central and Southern Gujarat) and Trikuta (Nasik district) in the west and Kuntala (Southern Marathii Country,) in the south. [C.I.I., Vol. V. p. 106 f.] He thus became the undisputed suzerain of the entire country extending from Malva in the north to Kuntala in the south and from the Arabian Sea in the west to the Bay of Bengal in the east.

Harisena is the last known Vakataka rider. As we have seen, he had an extensive empire in the Deccan. The causes that led to the sudden disintegration of that great empire have not been recorded in history, but the last chapter of the Dasakumaracarita of Dandin, who flourished only about 125 years after the fall of the Vakatakas, seems to have preserved a living tradition about the last period of Vakataka rule. [Mirashi, Studies in Indology, Vol. I, p. 165 f.] It seems that Harisena's son, though intelligent and accomplished in all arts, neglected the study of science of Politics (Dandaniti). He gave himself up to the enjoyment of pleasures and indulged in all sorts of vices, neglecting the affairs of the Slate. His subjects imitated him and led a vicious and dissolute life Finding; this a suitable opportunity, the crafty ruler of the neighbouring' Asmaka country sent his minister's son to the court of Vidarbha. The latter ingratiated himself with the king and egged him on in his dissolute life. He also decimated his forces by various means. Ultimately, when the country was thoroughly disorganised, the ruler of Asmaka instigated the king of Vanavasi (North Kanara district) to invade Vidarbha. The king of Vidarbha called all feudatories to his aid and decided to give battle to the enemy on the bank of the Varada (Wardha). But while he was fighting with the forces of the invader, he was treacherously attacked in the rear by some of his own feudatories and was killed on the battle-field. Thus ended the Vakataka dynasty after a glorious rule of two hundred and fifty years.

The Vakatakas were patrons of art and literature. In their age the Vaidarbhi riti came to be regarded as the best style of poetry and several excellent poetical works were then produced in Vidarbha. Kalidasa also adopted the same riti for his works. Some Prakrt kavjas were also produced in this period, two of which viz., the Harivijaya of Sarvasena and the Setubandha of Pravarsena have been mentioned above. Harisena's minister Varahadeva and his feudatory ruling in Khandes got excavated and decorated with paintings and sculptures three caves viz., the two Vihara Caves XVI and XVII and Caitya Cave XIX at Ajanta. Several temples of Hindu gods and goddesses and Stupas and Caityas of the Buddhists were also built. The ruins of one temple dedicated to Ramacandra have come to light at Pavnar. [Mirashi, Studies in Indology, Vol. II, p. 272 f.] Others are known from references in copper-plate grants.

Early Rashtrakutas.

According to the Puranas, the Vakataka Pravarasena I had four sons, all of whom ruled as kings. As stated before, the eldest of them was Gautamiputra, whose son Rudrasena I founded the Nandi-vardhana branch. The second son was Sarvasena, who established himself at Vatsagulma. Where the other sons were ruling is not known definitely. But one of them may have been ruling over Southern Maharastra. He seems to have been overthrown by Mananka. the founder of the Early Rastrakuta family. The history of this family has been unfolded during the last few years. From three copper-plate grants which have been discovered in Southern Maharastra. we get the following genealogy [Mirashi. Studies in Indology, Vol. I, p. 89 f.]:—

|                                               |                                               |
Mana alias Vibhuraja                        Avidheya                                    Bhavisya


Mananka. the progenitor of the family, flourished in circa A. D. 350. He founded Manapura, which he made his capital. He is described in one of the grants as the illustrious ruler of the Kuntala country. As stated before Kuntala was the name of the upper Krsna valley in ancient times. The places mentioned in some of the grants can be identified in the Satara and Kolhapur districts. Their capital Manapura is probably identical with Man, the headquarters of the Man taluka of the Satara district. These Rastrakutas of Manapura sometimes came into conflict with the Vakatakas of the Vatsagulma branch. The Pandarahgapalli plates of Avidheya state that Mananka harassed the rulers of Asmaka and Vidarbha. On the other hand, an inscription in Cave XVI at Ajanta states that the Vakataka king Vindhyasena (i.e., Vindhyasakti II) defeated the king of Kuntala, who evidently belonged to this Rastrakuta family.

From certain passages in the Kuntalesvardautya, a Sanskrt work ascribed to Kalidasa, which have been cited in the Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara, the Srngaraprakalsa and the Sarasvatikanthabharana of Bhoja and the Aucityavicaracarca of Ksemendra, we learn that the famous Gupta king Candragupta II-Vikramaditya sent Kalidasa to the court of the king of Kuntala. Kalidasa. was at first not well received there, but he gradually gained the Kuntalesa's favour and stayed at his court for some time. When he returned, he reported to Vikramaditya that the lord of Kuntala was spending his time in enjoyment, throwing the responsibility of governing the kingdom on him (i.e., on Vikramaditya). This Kuntalesa was probably identical with Devaraja, the son of Mananka. [ Mirathi, Studies in Indology, Vol. I, p. 10.] Through the influence of Candragupta II the two royal families of the south viz., the Vakatakas and the Early Rastrakutas were reconciled with each other. Later Harisena, the last known Vakataka ruler, raided Kuntala and exacted a tribute from its king. It is noteworthy that in the eighth ucchvasa of the Dasakumaracarita the king of Kuntala is described as a feudatory of the Emperor of Vidarbha.


Contemporary with the Vakatakas of Vidarbha and the Early Rastrakutas of Kuntala there was a Saka family ruling over the: Mahisaka country comprising the Osmanabad, Solapur and Bijapur districts. The founder of this family was the Saka king Mana, who is mentioned in the Puranas as the ruler of the Mahisas i.e., of the Mahisaka country. [Ibid., Vol. III. p. 69.] The mention of his name in the Puranas indicates that he was a powerful king ruling over an extensive territory. His coins have been found at Hyderabad and during excavations at Kondapur in the Medak tahsil and at Maski in the Lingasur tahsil of the Raipur district. The coins found at Kondapur have, on the obverse, a big Svastika in the centre with the legend Mahasena-patisa Bharadajdputasa Saga-Mana-Cutu-Kulasa (meaning that this coin is of the Saka king Mana, son of Bharadvaja who is Mahasenapati and belongs to the Cutu family). [Loc. cit., p. 67 f.] The coins haw on the reverse the thunderbolt and arrow pointing downward, which connect them with the coins of Nahapana, which also have the same devices, It seems therefore that after the extermination of Nahapana by the Satavahana king Gautamiputra Satakarni, some of his Saka descendants escaped to the Mahisaka country, where in course of time, they carved out a small kingdom. Mana, who, on the evidence of palaeography of his coin-legends, can be referred to A. D. 250, seems to have come to power about the downfall of the Satavahanas. At first he issued his coins with the title of Mahasenapati. Perhaps he-had not proclaimed his independence at the time; but later, he issued other coins with the legend Ratio Saga-Mana-Mahasasa (i.e.,. this coin is of the Saka king Mana of the Mahisa dynasty) [Loc. cit., p. 56 f.]. These coins which proclaim his title Rajan were evidently struck when he became independent.

This Saka family ruled over the southern parts of the former Hyderabad State and the adjoining Kanarese districts for some generations. The Puranas state that among the successors of the Andhras (i.e., the Satavahanas) there were thirteen Saka kings, who ruled for 183 years. The Puranas unfortunately do not name these rulers, but some of them have become known by the recent discoveries of their coins. These kings of the Saka origin probably used the Saka era in dating their records as their ancestor Nahapana is known to have done. This era was probably current throughout their dominion which comprised the southern parts of the former Hyderabad State and the adjoining Bijapur and Dharvad districts. The era was later taken up by the Calukyas of Badami when they rose to power in the sixth century A. D. When the Calukyas conquered Maharastra and Vidarbha, they introduced the era there. Since then it has been current there. [Mirashi, Studies in Indology, Vol. II, p. 85 f.]


After the downfall of the Vakatakas in the beginning of the sixth century A. D. Vidarbha was occupied for some time by the Visnukundin king Madhavavarman I. This is shown by the Visnukundin coins found at Pavnar and some other places in Vidarbha. [These are under publication in J. N. S. I.] Madhavavarman I was a very powerful ruler. He married a Vakataka princess, who was probably a daughter or some other near relative of the last known Vakataka Emperor Harisena. He took advantage of the opportunity afforded by the downfall of the Vakatakas and extended his dominion far and wide. He performed several Vedic sacrifices including eleven Asvamedhas. That he brought even Western Maharastra under his rule is shown by his copper-plate grant discovered at Khanapur in the Satara district. [Ep. Ind., Vol. XXVII, p. 312 f.] His grandson Madhavavarman I describes himself as the lord of Trikuta and Malaya. So he may have ruled in Western Maharastra for some time.


The Visnukundins were, however, ousted from Maharastra and Vidarbha by the Kalacuri king Krsnaraja, who rose; to power in circa A. D. 550. He ruled from Mahismati, modern Mahesvar in the former Indore State. His coins have been found over a wide territory extending from Rajaputana in the north to Maharastra in the south and from Konkan in the west to Vidarbha in the east. They resemble the silver coins of the Guptas and the Traikutakas which were struck to the Greco-Bactrian weight standard of the hemidrachma. But while the Ksatrapa and the Traikutaka coins have the symbols of the Caitya (or a hill), the sun and the moon, these coins of Krsnaraja have, like some western issues of Skandagupta, the figure of a couchant bull, facing right in the centre of the reverse side. They have the legend Parama-Mahesvaramata-pitri-pad-anudhyata-sri-Krsnaraja (meaning that the coins are of the illustrious Krsnaraj, who is a devout worshipper of Mahesvara and who meditates on the feet of his mother and father). [C.I.I., Vol. IV. p. clxxx f.] These coins were known as Krsnaraja-rupakas and have been mentioned in the Anjaneri plates dated in the year 461 of the Abhira era (corresponding to A. D. 710-12). They were therefore in circulation for at least 150 years after Krsnaraja. These coins have been found at Dhamori in the Amravati district of Vidarbha. That Vidarbha was included in the empire of the Kalacuri Krsnaraja is also shown by the Nagardhan plates of his feudatory Svamiraja, dated in the year 322 (A. D. 573) of the Abhira era. [Ibid., Vol. IV, p. 611 f.] The plates were issued from Nandivardhana. which seems to have retained its importance even after the downfall of the Vakatakas. Svamiraja, who issued the plates, probably belonged to the Rastrakuta family.

Krsnaraja was succeeded by his son Sankaragana. whose copper-plate grant has been discovered at Abhona in the Nasik district.[ Loc: cit.. p. 38 f.] it is dated in the year 347 of the Abhira era, corresponding to A. D. 597. It records the gift of some nivartanas of land in the village Vallisika situated in the visaya (district) of Bhogavardhana (modern Bhokardan in the Aurahgabad district). Vallisika is modern Valsa 7 miles south of Bhokardan. The donee was a Brahmana residing at Kallivana (modern Kalvan, the chief town in the taluka of the same name in the Nasik district). Some other inscriptions of the Kalacuri Sahkaragana have been found in Gujarat. One of his copper-plate grants was made at Ujjayini, which showa that Sankaragana, like his father, was ruling over an extensive kingdom extending from Malva in the north to at least the Nasik and Aurahgabad districts in the south. Khandes was undoubtedly included in his dominion.

Early Chalukyas of Badami.

Sahkaragana was succeeded by his son Buddharaja. who was involved in a struggle with the Calukya king Mangalesa soon after his accession. Before we describe this engagement, we must briefly review the history of the Early Calukyas of Badami.

The Calukyas of Badami rose to power in the first half of the sixth century A. D. The Badami stone inscription of Pulakesin I, who is the first independent ruler of this dynasty, is dated in A. D. 543. [Ep. lnd., Vol. XXVII, p. 312 f.] He performed the Asvamedha and several other Srauta sacrifices. He was succeeded by his son Kirtivarman I, who made some conquests in South India and is described as the night of destruction to the Nalas (of the Bastar district in Madhya Prades), the Mauryas of Kohkan and the Kadambas of Vanavasi (in North Kanara).

When Kirtivarman died, his son Pulakesin II was a minor. So his vounger brother Mahgalesa succeeded him. He defeated Buddha-raja, the Kalacuri king who was ruling in Northern Maharastra, Kohkan, Gujarat and Malva and also Svamiraja of the Calukya family, who was governing the Revati-dvipa (modern Redi in the Ratnagiri district). The Aihole inscription [Ep. Ind., Vol. VI, p. 1 f.] describes this fight as follows:- "In the temple in the form of the battle-field, Mangalesa married the lady in the form of the royal fortune of the Kataccuris (Kalacuris), dispelling darkness in the form of the enemy's elephants by means of hundreds of blazing torches which were the swords of his warriors." The description shows that Buddharaja was completely routed and fled away, leaving his whole treasure behind, which was captured by Mangalesa. The latter could not, however, follow up this victory; for just then Svamiraja of the Calukya family, a redoubtable warrior who had attained victory in eighteen battles and was ruling over Revati-dvipa, rose in rebellion. Mangalesa had therefore to abandon his original plan of making an expedition of conquest in North India and rush to Konkan to chastise the rebellious feudatory. In the fight that ensued he killed Svamiraja and made a grant of a village in South Konkan to the god in the temple of Mahakuta. So Buddharaja continued to rule in Maharastra for some years even after his defeat by Mangalesa.

Mangalesa's rule ended in disaster and he lost his life in a civil war with his nephew Pulakesin II. Just about this time one Govinda, who probably belonged to the aforementioned Rastrakuta family ruling in Southern Maharastra, invaded the Calukya kingdom from the north. Pulakesin adopted conciliatory measures in dealing with him as he was a powerful foe. His descendants do not, however, appear to have held Maharastra for a long time; for Pulakesin soon annexed both Southern and Northern Maharastras and extended the northern limit of his empire to the Narmada. That he ousted the Rastrakutas from Southern Maharastra is shown by the Satara plates of his brother Visnuvardhana, which record the grant of a village on the southern bank of the Bhimarathi (Bhima). Pulakesin defeated also the Kalacuri king Buddharaja and annexed his kingdom. He is said to have thereby become the lord of three Maharastras, including Konkan. The Rastrakutas of Vidarbha, who were feudatories of the Kalacuris, transferred their allegiance to the Calukyas of Badami and like the latter, began to date their records in the Saka era. Two grants of this feudatory Rastrakuta family have been found in Vidarbha-one dated Saka 615 was found near Akola and the other, dated Saka 631, was discovered at Multai in the Betul district previously included in Vidarbha. They give the following  genealogy   [ Ibid, Vol. XXIX, p. 109 f.; Ind.  Ant., Vol.   XVIII, p. 230 f.]:—

Nannaraja alias Yuddhasura

Pulakesin obtained a resounding victory over Harsa, the lord paramount of North India. Thereafter, he assumed the title of Paramesvara (Emperor). He defeated the rulers of several countries such as Aparanta (North Kohkan), Kosala (Chattisgadh), Kalinga (Orissa), Pistapura (Pithapuram) and Kanci (Conjeeverum). He made the Colas, the Keralas and the Pandyas his allies. He thus became the undisputed lord of North India.

The capital of Pulakesin II in the beginning of his reign was Badami in the Bijapur district. When his empire extended to the Narmada, he must have felt the need of a more central place for his capital. The Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang calls him the lord of Maharastra. Several identifications of his capital have been proposed by scholars from the description of it given by the Chinese pilgrim, but the most likely view seems to be that of Fleet and Burgess, who identify it with Nasik. The pilgrim says that in the east of this country (i.e., Maharastra) is a mountain range with ridges one above another in succession, tiers of peaks and sheer summits. Here was a monastery, the base of which was in a dark defile and its lofty halls and deep; chambers were quarried in the cliff and rested on the peak; its tiers of halls and storeyed terraces had the cliff on their back and faced the ravine. [Watters, On Yuan Chwang, Vol. II, p. 239.] This description seems to suit the caves at Ajanta and as this monastery lay to the east of the capital, the latter appears to be Nasik rather than any other place in Maharastra. Hiuen Tsang has left a graphic picture of Maharastra and its people. "The soil is rich and fertile; the disposition of the people is honest and simple; they are tall of stature and of a stern vindictive character. To their benefactors they are grateful; to their enemies, relentless. If they are insulted they will risk their lives to avenge-themselves. If they are asked to help one in distress, they will forget themselves in their haste to render assistance. If they are going to seek revenge, they first give their enemies a warning; then each being armed, they attack each other with spears... If a general loses battle, they do not inflict punishment, but present him women's clothes and so he is driven to seek death for himself.. Each time they are about to engage in conflict they intoxicate themselves with wine and then one man with a lance in hand, will meet ten thousand and challenge them to a fight. Moreover, they inebriate many hundred heads of elephants, which, rushing forward, trample every thing down so that no enemy can stand before them. The king in consequence of possessing such men and elephants, treats his neighbours with contempt. He is of the Ksatriya caste and his name is Pulakesin.[S. Beal, Buddhist Records of the Western World (pub. by Susil Gupta) Vol. IV, p. 448 f]

After the overthrow of the Kalacuris, Pulakesin divided his extent-sive kingdom among his relatives and trusted chiefs. Southern Gujarat extending from the Kim in the north to the Damanganga in the south was placed in charge of a Sendraka chief. The Sendrakas ruled over this territory for three generations. The founder of the family was Bhanusakti alias Nikumbha. His son was Adityasakti and the latter's son was Allasakti. Only four grants of this family have been discovered so far. Three of them were made by Allasakti. The earliest of them is dated in the year 404 of the Abhira era (A. D. 653) and registers the donation of some land in the village Pippalikheta (modern Pimpalner) about 45 miles west of Dhulia in Khandes. [C.I.I.Vol IV, p. 110 f.] This grant shows that Allasakti was ruling over Khandes also. Another grant of Allasakti was found at Bagumra in Gujarat and is dated in the year 406 of the Abhira era. [ Loc. cit., p. 106 f.] It records the grant of the village Balisa (modern Banesa in the Bardoli taluka of the Surat district). After the issue of these plates, the Sendrakas were ousted from Gujarat and their rule was confined to Khandes. A grant made by Allasaktis son Jayasakti was found at Mundakhede and is dated in the Saka year 602 (A. D. 680). It registers the donation of the village Senana, which was situated in the visaya Kundalikamala (modern Kundalganv, 14 miles west of Nandganv in Khandes).

Pulakesin's own grant, dated in the Saka year 552 (A. D. 630), was found at Lohaner in the Baglan taluka of the Nasik district. It registers Pulakesin's gift of the village Goviyanaka to a Brahmana residing at Lolianagara (modern Lohaner). [ Khare, Sources of the Mediaval History of the Deccan (Marathi), Vol. I. p. 1 f.]

Pulakesin was killed in a battle at Badami in circa A. D. 642 by the Pallava king Narasimhavarman, who conquered Vatapi and assumed the title Vatapikonda (the conqueror of Vatapi).

Pulakesin was succeeded by his son Vikramaditya I (A. D. 651-81) after a long-continued struggle. He appointed his younger brother Dharasraya - Jayasimha to govern South Gujarat, North Konkan and the Nasik district. Jayasimha's Nasik plates are dated in the Abhira year 436 (A. D. 685) and record the grant of the village Dhondaka on the occasion of Visuva or vernal equinox. Dhondaka is identical with Dhondeganv 12 miles north by west of Nasik. The plates contain an interesting reference to Jayasimha's victory over Vajjada in the country between the Mahi and the Narmada. It seems that some king named Vajjada (or Vajrata) invaded the country of the Gurjaras, who were feudatories of the early Calukyas. The Gurjara king sought the help of his suzerain Vikramaditya I. The latter ordered Jayasimha to proceed to the north for the rescue of the Gurjara feudatory. He won a decisive victory, winch is placed on a par with Pulakesin's brilliant victory over Harsa and is mentioned as one of the most glorious achievements of the Western Calukyas in many records of their political successors, the Rastrakutas. This Vajjada is probably identical with Siladitya III, the king of Valabhi in Kathiavad. Vikramaditya I then appointed Jayasimha to govern South Gujarat, ousting the Sendrakas, who were previously ruling there. Jayasimha appointed his son Sryasraya Siladitya to rule in Southern Gujarat as Yuvaraja. Two inscriptions of Sryasraya dated in the years 421 and 423 of the Abhira era have been discovered in Gujarat, recording his grants of land in Southern Gujarat. That he was ruling on behalf of his father is indicated not only by his title Yuvaraja mentioned in them but also by the seal of the latter grant which bears the legend Dharasraya. Sryasraya predeceased his father Jayasimha Dharasraya. [C. I. I., Vol. IV, p. lx f.]

Jayasimha's younger brother Mangalarasa, who assumed the biruda Jayasraya, is known to have made some land-grants in Konkan. He ruled from Mahgalapuri which was evidently founded by him. It has not yet been identified. He was later appointed to govern South Gujarat after the death of his elder brother Sryasraya Siladitya. He placed his younger brother Avanijanasraya in charge of the territory.

During the reign of Vikramaditya II, a later descendant of Pulakesin II, Gujarat was invaded by a formidable force of the Tajikas or Arabs. The Navsari plates of Avanijanasraya - Pulakesin, who was ruling over Southern Gujarat, give a graphic description of the battle. The Arabs had already defeated the Saindhavas, the Cavotakas, the Surastras, the Mauryas and the Gurjaras and were attempting to penetrate into Daksinapatha (Deccan), but Avanijanasraya Pulakesin inflicted a crushing defeat on them. The Calukya Emperor then honoured Avanijanasraya with several titles, one of which was Anivdrtaka-nivartayitr (the Repeller of the unrepellable). [Loc. cit., p. 138 f.]

From two land-grants discovered at Anjaneri, [Loc. cit., p. lxvi. f.] a village near Trimbak in the Nasik district, we have come to know of a feudatory family which ruled over Northern Konkan and the Nasik district in the seventh and eighth centuries A. D. This family traced its descent from Hariscandra, the famous legendary king of the Solar race. Svamicandra, who rose to power in the reign of Vikramaditya I, was the founder of this family, and flourished in circa A. D. 660. Three generations of this family are known from the two sets of the; Anjaneri plates - Svamicandra, his son Simhavarman and the latter's. son Bhogasakti alias Prthivicandra, who made the two grants. One of these is dated in the year 461 of the Abhira era, corresponding; to A. D. 710-11. It records the grant of eight villages and certain-rights, dues and taxes in favour of the god Narayana, who was named Bhogesvara, evidently after the king Bhogasakti and was installed in a temple at Jayapura, modern Jarvar Budrukh near Anjaneri. Bhogasakti is said to have brought by his valour the whole country of his dominion under his sway. This was probably at the time of Vinayaditya's death (A. D. 696), when owing to the captivity of his son Vijayaditya, there was anarchy in the kingdom. The second set of Anjaneri plates tells us that Bhogasakti granted certain rights, privileges and exemptions to merchants of Samagiripattana when he resettled the town and the neighbouring villages some time after their devastation. Bhogasaktis successor was probably overthrown by Rastrakuta king Dantidurga, who, from his Ellora plates, is known to have occupied the Nasik district some time before A. D. 715.

Kirtivarman, the last of the Early Calukyas, was defeated by Dantidurga some time before A. D. 754, when he issued his Samangad plates. Kirtivarman continued to rule for some years more, but he had lost the paramount position in the Deccan.


The Rastrakutas, who succeeded the Early Calukyas in the Deccan, originally hailed from Lattalura (modern Latur in the Osmanabad district). When they rose to power they were probably residing in the Aurangabad district, where their earlier records have been found. Dantidurga was the real founder of the Rastrakuta imperial power. His Ellora Cave inscription mentions five ancestors beginning with Dantivarman, but we know nothing about them. These earlier members of the family were probably feudatories of the Early Calukyas. Dantidurga made extensive conquests. His Ellora Cave inscription records his victories over the rulers of Kanci, Kalinga, Srisaila, Malava, Tanka and Lata, but they do not all seem to have resulted in the acquisition of territory. Though there is much exaggeration in the description of his conquests, there is no doubt that he ruled over Karnataka, Konkan, Maharastra, Vidarbha and Gujarat.

Dantidurga was succeeded by his uncle Krsna I, who completed the conquests and shattered the power of the Early Calukyas. One of his inscriptions was discovered at Bhandak in the Candrapur district of Vidarbha. It is dated in he Saka year 694 (A. D. 772) and records the grant of the village Nagana to a temple of the sun in Udumbara-manti (modem Rani Amaravati in the Yeotmal district). The king was then encamped at Nandipurdvari, which is probably identical with Nandura in the Yeotmal Taluka.

Krsna I was not only a great conqueror but also a great builder. He caused the great Siva temple at Ellora to be carved out of solid rock. It was originally named Krsnesvara, but is now known as Kailasa. It is described in the following words:-When the gods moving in their acrial cars saw it, they were struck with wonder, and constantly thought much over the matter and exclaimed, " This temple of Siva is self-existent; for such beauty is not to be found in a work of art." Even the architect who constructed it was struck with wonder, ' Wonderful! I do not know how I could construct it' It is one of the noblest monuments of India.

In Vidarbha also the Rastrakutas built several magnificent temples. Those at the village Markandi in the Candrapur district, where the Vainganga takes a northern bend, are specially noteworthy. One of them, which is by far the best, is dedicated to Siva. Cunningham has described it as follows [Cunningham, A.S.R., Vol. IX. p. 145 f.]:-"The general style of the Markandi temple is like that of Khajuraho temples; with three rows of figures all round, two feet and three inches in height. In each of these rows there are 45 human figures, making 135 in the lower part of the temple. Higher up than these there is a row of geese and a row of human figures. The whole surface of the temple is in fact literally covered with statues and ornaments. Altogether I counted 409 figures and there are about as many' lions and elephants forming divisions between human figures. About one half of the panels are given to Siva and Parvati in various form. There are also many subordinate female figures, some dancing, some playing musical instruments and one holding a mirror, while putting antimony to her eye-lids."

Krsna I was succeeded by his son Govinda IT in circa A. D. 773. Soon after his accession Govinda II abandoned himself to a life of pleasure. He left the administration to his younger brother Dhruva. The latter took advantage of the opportunity and began to secure all power for himself. He also made land-grants in his own name though Govinda II was then the de jure king. The plates discovered at Pimpri (Jalgaon district) dated in the Saka year 697 (A. D. 775) record the grant of the village Lilagrama made by Dhruva on the occasion of a solar eclipse in Kartika. Lilagrama was situated in the visaya (district) of Vatanagarika. [Ep. Ind., Vol, X, p. 85 f.] It is identical with Nilagavhana. Vatanagarika has been identified with Vani in the Nasik district. Govinda II was then on the throne as is shown by the Dhulia plates dated Saka 701, which record his grant of the village Rakkhulla in the Nasika visaya. Soon after this grant Govinda was deposed by, Dhruva in circa A. D. 780. Several of his land-grants have been dis- covered in the Marathvada Division. The Daulatabad plates, dated in Saka 715, record the grant of a village made by his feudatory Sankaragana with the consent of Dhruva named therein as Kali-vallabha (favourite of warriors). Another grant made by Dhruva himself was discovered in Paithan and records the gift of the village Limbaramika in the Pratisthana-bhukti.

The Rastrakuta family produced several great conquerors who boldly invaded North and South India and achieved memorable, victories. Dhruva was the first among them. He defeated both the Gurjara-Pratihara king Vatsaraja and the Pala king Dharmapala, who were contending for supremacy in North India, and pressed as far as the Doab. Since then the two rivers Ganga and Yamuna began to appear on the Rastrakuta banner.

Govind III, the son and successor of Dhruva, proved to be a still greater conqueror. After obtaining an easy victory over the Ganga king Muttarasa, he led victorious campaigns in Central and North India. He first defeated the Gurjara-Pratihara king Nagabhata and his ally Candragupta in Central India and then routed Dharma-pala of Bengal, who had espoused the cause of Cakrayudha of Kanauj. He next marched victoriously until his horses drank and his elephants plunged into the spring waters of the Himalayas. He then returned to the Narmada and marching along the bank of the river, he conquered Malava, Kosala, Vanga, Dahala and Odra countries. He next spent the rainy season at Sribhavana (modern Sarbhon in Gujarat), where his son Sarva-Amoghavarsa was born. Thereafter Govinda marched with his forces to the bank of the Tungabhadra. Using Alampura (or Helapura) on the bank of the river as his base, he led victorious campaigns against the Keralas, the Colas, the Pandvas and the Pallavas. Even the king of Lanka submitted to him, sending two statues-one of himself and the other of his minister to his camp at Helapura. [Ep. Ind. Vol. XXXII, p. 157 f.]

Several copper-plate grants of Govinda III have been found in Vidarbha and Marathvada Divisions. It is not possible to describe all of them, but we may notice some. A set of plates discovered at Vani in the Dindori taluka of the Nasik district was issued by Govinda III and is dated in the Saka year 730 (A.D. 808). It records his grant of Ambaka-grama in the Vatanagara visaya of the Nasika-desa to the Brahmana Damodarabhatta, an inhabitant of Vengl.[ Ind. Ant., Vol. XI, p. 157 f.] Another discovered at Bahulavad (Pacora taluka), dated in the Saka year 732 (A. D. 809) records Govinda's gift of the village Bhulavara to the Brahmana Mahidhara-bhatta who was a resident of Nimbas-thali.[Khare, Sources of the Mediaeval History of the Deccan (Marathi), Vol. II, p. 13 f.] A third set of plates discovered recently at Dharur in the Bhir district is dated in the Saka year 728 (A. D. 806) and records the grant of the village Anahe (modern Aneganv) in the visaya of Dharaura (modern Dharur). Most of Govinda Ill's grants were issued from Mayurkhandi, which was evidently his capital. It has not been identified satisfactorily so far.

Govinda III was succeeded by his son Amoghavarsa I who was a man of peaceful disposition, but whose reign was full of troubles. He had first to fight with the Eastern Calukyas of Vengi, then the Gangas of Gangavadi and his own relatives in Gujarat. He transferred his capital to Manyakheta (modern Malkhed). A copper plate grant made by him and dated in the Saka year 742 was discovered at Javakheda in the Sahada taluka of the Dhulia district. It records the king's donation of the village Vayipadraka in the territorial division of Prakasaya on the occasion of Daksinayana Sankranti. Vayipadraka cannot now be traced, but Prakasaya is probably identical with Prakase in the Dhulia district. Javakheda is only 15 miles north-east of Prakase.

Amoghavarsa I loved and encouraged science and literature and treated all religions with equal reverence. He is the author of the Kavirajamarga, which is the earliest work on poetics in the Kanarese language. He patronised Jinasena, the author of the Kanarese work Adipurana. Amoghavarsa voluntarily retired from public administration to engage himself in religious pursuits. On one occasion he offered a finger of his hand to the goddess Mahalaksmi of Kolhapur to ward off a public calamity. Such instances are rare in the history of any country.

Another noteworthy king of this Rastrakuta family was-India III. the great-grandson of Amoghavarsa I. Like his illustrious ancestors Dhruva and Govinda III, Indra also led a victorious campaign in North India. He followed the route of Bhopal, Jhansi and Kalpi in the course of his invasion of Kanauj, the imperial capital of North India for more than three hundred years. At Kalpi his army was encamped in the courtyard of the temple of Kalapriyanatha well-known to Sanskritists as the place where all the plays of Bhavabhuti were staged. [Mirashi, Studies in Indology, Vol. 1, p. 33 f.] His horses crossed the Yamuna at Kalpi and then marched on Kanauj, which he completely devastated. The Gurjara-Pratihara king Mahipala fled to Mahoba to seek the help of his Candella feudatory Harsa. Indra III's northern campaign was a memorable event unparalleled for its brilliance in the history of the Rastrakutas.

Recently a grant of Indra III made on the occasion of his coronation has been found at Jambganv in the Gangapur taluka of the Aurangabad district. It is dated in the Saka year 833 (A. D. 914) and records the donation of the village Khairondi near Pratisthana (modern Kharvandi near Paithan). The boundary villages also can be identified in its vicinity. [Ep. Ind., Vol. XXXVI, p. 223 f.]

Indra III was succeeded by his son Amoghavarsa II, but he died within a year. His younger brother Govinda IV came to the throne thereafter. He was known for his liberality and rightly had the biruda Suvarnavarsa (the gold-miner). On the occasion of his coronation he donated eight hundred villages, four lakhs of golds coins and thirty-two lakhs of drammas (silver coins) to temples and bestowed on Brahmanas six hundred agraharas and three lakhs of gold coins. Recently another copper-plate grant dated in the Saka year 851 (A. D. 929) has been dicovered at the village Andura in the Akola district of Vidarbha. It records the donation of the village Elauri (modern Erali) near the Nandurbar railway station on the Central Railway. Most of the boundary villages can be identified in its vicinity.

The Rastrakutas of Manyakheta and the Kalacuris of Tripuri were matrimonially connected and their relations were generally cordial. But in the reign of Govinda IV they became strained. The Kalacuri king Yuvarajadeva I espoused the cause of his son-in-law Baddiga-Amoghavarsa III, the uncle of Govinda IV, and sent a large army to invade the Rastrakuta dominion. When the army reached the Payosni (modern Purna), a pitched battle was fought near Acalapura between the Rastrakuta and Kalacuri forces, in which the latter became victorious. This event is commemorated in the Sanskrt play Viddhasalabhanjika of Rajasekhara, which was staged at Tripuri in jubilation at his victory. [C. I. I., Vol. IV, p. lxxviii f,]

The Rastrakuta feudatories who rose in rebellion against Govinda IV, deposed him and placed his uncle Baddiga-Amoghavarsa III on the throne. The latter was a man of quiet nature and spiritual temperament, who left the administration of the kingdom entirely to his ambitious and able son Krsna III. Like some of his ancestors Krsna III also led an expedition in North India and captured the forts of Kalanjara and Citrakuta. He succeeded his father in A. D. 939. He then led an expedition against the Colas and defeated them in a sanguinary battle at Takkola in the Arcot district. He next carried his victorious arms to Ramesvaram, where he built two temples. Hearing of his victories the kings of Kerala, Pandya and Ceylon submitted to him. He also placed his own nominee on the throne of Vengi. He thus became the lord paramount of South India.

Several stone and copper-plate inscriptions of the reign of Krsna III have been found in the different parts of the Deccan, one of which may be described here. The Devil plates dated Saka 862 (A. D. 940) register the donation of the village Tatapurusaka in the visaya (district) of Nagapura-Nandivardhana, which evidently means Nandi-vardhana near Nagpur.[Mirashi, Studies in Indology, Vol. II, p. 263 f.] This is the earliest mention of the place-name Nagapur. Among the boundaries of the village is mentioned the river Kanhana, modern Kanhan, which flows 10 miles from Nagpur.

After the downfall of the Vakatakas there was no imperial power in Vidarbha. The centre of political power shifted successively to Mahismati, Badami and Manyakheta. Men of learning who could not get royal patronage in Vidarbha, had to seek it elsewhere. Bhavabhuti, who ranks next only to Kalidasa in Sanskrt literature was a native of Vidarbha. In the prologue of his play Mahaviracharita he tells us that his ancestors were known as Udumbara. They probably hailed originally from a place of that name, which may be identified with Umred in the Yeotmal district. There is a tradition still current at the place which corroborates this identification. The ancestors of Bhavabhuti later moved to Padmapura in Vidarbha as stated in his plays Mahaviracarita and Mdlati Madhava. This place was once the capital of the Vakatakas and is probably identical with Padmapur near Amganv in the Bhandara district.[Ibid., Vol. I, p. 21 f.] With the downfall of the Vakatakas that place lost its importance. In the beginning of the eighth century when Bhavabhuti flourished there was no great king ruling in Vidarbha. Bhavabhuti had therefore to go to Padmavati, now called Padam Pavaya in North Idnia and had to get his plays staged at the fair of Kalapriyanatha (the sun-god at Kalpi). Later, he got royal patronage at the court of Yasovarman of Kanauj. Rajasekhara, another great son of Vidarbha, was probably born at Vatsagulma (modern Basim in the Akola district) which he has glorified in his Kavyamimamsa as the pleasure-resort of the god of love. He and his ancestors Akalajalada, Tarala and Suranand had to leave their home-country of Vidarbha to seek patronage at the court of the Kalacuris of Tripuri. Rajasekhara's early plays viz., the Balaramayana, the Balabharata and the Karpuramanjari, were put on boards at Kanauj under the patronage of the Gurjara-Pratiharas. Later, when the glory of the Pratiharas declined as a result of the raids of the Rastrakuta king Indra III, who was assisted by the Kalacurl king Yuvarajadeva I, Rajasekhara returned to Tripuri. There his last play Viddhasalabhanjika was staged as stated before.[ C.I.I., Vol. IV, p. clxxv f.] Another great poet of Vidarbha who had to go abroad in search of royal patronage was Trivikramabhatta, the author of the Nalacampu, in which he has given a graphic description of several towns, holy places and rivers of Vidarbha. He flourished at the court of the Rastrakuta king Indra III and is known to have drafted two sets of the Bagumra plates of that king.[Ep. Ind., Vol. IX, p. 29 f. and p. 33 f.]

Shilahara Feudatories.

During the Rastrakuta period a feudatory family named Silahara established itself in Northern and Southern Konkan and in the Southern Maratha Country comprising the modern districts of Kolhapur, Miraj and Satara. The Silaharas bore the little of Tagarapuradhisvara, which indicates that they originally hailed from Tagara (modern Ter in the Osmanabad district). All the branches of this family traced their descent from the mythical Vidyadhara prince Jimutavahana, the son of Jimutaketu, who offered to sacrifice himself to rescue a Naga, from the clutches of Garuda. The family name is supposed to have been derived from this incident. The Silaharas of South Konkan rose to power as feudatories of the Rastrakutas. Sanaphulla, the founder of this family, is said to have had the favour of Krsnaraja, who is evidently the first Rastrakuta king of that name. His capital was probably Candrapura, modern Candod on the left bank of the, river Paroda, south of Goa. His successor Dhammiyara is said to. have founded Balipattana (modern Kharepatan in the Ratnagiri district) which he made his capital. This family ruled in South Konkan from A. D. 765 to A. D. 1020. These Silaharas remained loyal to their suzerains who were the Rastrakutas and gave their genealogy in their grants even after their overthrow by the Later. Calukya king Tailapa. Rattaraja, the last known king of this branch, of the Silaharas, made a grant to the teacher Atreya, the disciple of the Saiva Acarya Ambhojasambhu, who belonged to the Karkaroni branch of the Mattamayura clan of the Saiva sect. Mattamayura, the original seat of the clan, is probably identical with modern Kadvaha in Central India.

Rattaraja is the last known king of this branch. He declared his independence during the reign of the Later Calukya king Vikramaditya V, when the imperial power became weak. But Jayasimha, the younger brother of Vikramaditya V, invaded South Konkan, overthrew the reigning king and appropriated his kingdom as stated in his Miraj plates dated in A. D. 1024.

North Konkan was conquered by the Rastrakuta king Dantidurga some time in the second quarter of the eighth century A. D. Kapardin I, the first known Silahara king of North Konkan, was placed in charge of the country by the Rastrakuta king Govinda III. Since then North Konkan came to be known as Kapardi-dvipa or Kavadi-dvipa. The capital of this branch was Puri, now known as Rajapuri in the Kolaba district. This branch also produced several kings, who built magnificent temples like the one at Ambarnath and gave liberal patronage to Sanskrt learning. They continued to hold North Konkan till A. D. 1265. The last king Somesvara was overthrown by the Yadava Emperor Mahadeva in circa A. D. 1265.[The last dated inscription of Someshvara is dated Shaka 1182, Ep. Ind., Vol. XXIII, p. 279.]

The third branch of the Silaharas ruled over the Southern Maratha Country, comprising the modern districts of Satara, Kolhapur and Belganv. Their family deity was the goddess Mahalaksmi of Kolhapur, whose boon they claim to have secured in their copperplate grants. Their capital was probably Kolhapur, though some of their grants mention Valavada and the hill fort of Panhala as places of royal residence. This branch rose to power late in the Rastrakuta period and so unlike the kings of the other two branches, they do not give the genealogy of the Rastrakutas even in their early grants. Later, they acknowledged the suzerainty of the Later Calukyas for some time. This branch continued to hold the Southern Maratha Country from circa A. D. 940 to A. D. 1215.

In the Vikramankadevacarita Bilhana gives a graphic description of the Vidyadhara (i.e., Silahara) princess Candralekha. She was probably a daughter of the Silahara prince ruling from Karahata (modern Karhad); for the svayamvara of the princess is said to have been held at Karahata. She chose the powerful Calukya king Vikramaditya VI as her husband in that svayamvara. In the Rajata-rangini Kalhana describes how when Harsa, the contemporary king of Kasmir, saw a protrait of Candala (i.e., Candralekha), the beautiful wife of the Karnata king Parmandi, he became smitten with love and vowed that he would obtain Candala, overthrowing Parmandi. Kalhana holds the king to ridicule for his foolishness. [Rajatarangini, VII, vv. 1119 f. ]

The last known king of this branch was Bhoja II, the greatest ruler of this family. On account of his great valour, he was known as Vira-Bhoja. He assumed the imperial titles Rajadhiraja, Parama-bhattaraka and Pascima-Cakravarti. This could not, however, be tolerated by the Yadavas, who were then establishing their supremacy in the Dcccan. Singhana, the mighty Yadava king of Devagiri, invaded the Silahara kingdom and laid siege to the fort of Panhala. He soon reduced it taking Bhoja captive. He threw him into prison on the same fort. Thereafter, we begin to get the inscriptions of the governors who were appointed by the Yadavas to administer that country. Like the kings of the other two branches of the Silahara family, those of Kolhapur also extended their patronage to learned men. One of these was Somadeva. the author of the Sabdarnavacandrika of the Jainendra Vyakarana. [Ind Ant., Vol. X. P. 76 n.]

Later Chalukyas.

The Rastrakuta power became weak soon after the death of Krsna III. Within six years his large empire crumbled to pieces like a house of cards. Taila II, the founder of the Later Calukya dynasty, who was a Mahasamanta of the Rastrakutas, suddenly came into prominence. He defeated and killed in battle Karka II, the last Rastrakuta king and captured his capital Manyakheta. He had to fight against the Colas, the Pandvas and the Paramaras. The Paramara king Vakpati-Munja planned to invade the Calukya dominion, but his wise minister Rudraditya advised him not to cross the Godavari. which was the boundary between the Calukya and Paramara dominions. Munja did not heed his advice and was taken prisoner by Tailapa. He was placed in a prison where he was waited upon by Tailapa's sister Mrnalavati. He fell in love with her and foolishly disclosed to her the plan of his escape. She communicated it to Tailapa, who is said to have made Munja beg from door to door and then beheaded him.

Among the successors of Tailapa II, the most famous was Vikramaditya VI, the founder of the Calukya-Vikrama Samvat. He ascended the throne in A.D. 1075. He had to fight against the Colas, the Caulukyas of Gujarat and the Hoysalas and signally defeated them. Two inscriptions of his reign have been found in Vidarbha. One of them called the Sitabaldi Pillar inscription seems to have originally belonged to the Vindyasana hill at Bhandak in the Candrapur district. It is dated in the Saka year 1008 (A. D. 1087) and registers the grant of some nivartanas of land for the grazing of cattle made by a feudatory called Dhadibhandaka. The other inscription was discovered at Dongarganv in the Yeotmal district. It throws interesting light on the history of the Paramara dynasty. It shows that Jagaddeva, the youngest son of the Paramara king Udayaditya, the brother of Bhoja, left Malva and sought service under Vikramaditya, who welcomed him and placed him in charge of some portion of Western Vidarbha. The Dongarganv inscription is dated in the Saka year 1034 (A. D. 1112).[Ep. Ind., Vol. XXVI, p. 177 f.] Another inscription of this Jagaddeva has come to notice at Jainad in the adjoining Adilabad district of Andhra Prades. It records several victories of Jagaddeva in Andhra, Dorasmudra and near the Arbuda mountain and registers the construction of a temple by Padmavatl the wife of Lolarka, a minister of Jagaddeva. [Ep. lnd. Vol. XXII, p. 54 f.]

Vikramaditya's reign is renowned on account of some learned men. who flourished at his court. Bilhana, who was patronised by him, wrote the Vikramankadevacarita, which is his poetic biography. Another great writer who flourished at his court was Vijanesvara, the author of the well-known Mitaksara, a commentary on the Ydjnavalkya-smrti.

Vikramaditya VI was succeeded by his son Somesvara III, who became known as Sarvajna-Cakravarti on account of his extensive knowledge. He composed the encyclopaedic work Manasollasa or Abhildsitarthacintamani. An inscription of his reign has been discovered at Latur in the Osmanabad district.[Khare, Sources of the Mediaeval History of the Deccan, Vol. II, p. 84 f.] It records the construction of a temple of the god Papavinasana at Lattalura, modern Latur. It is dated in the Saka year 1049 (A. D. 1128), which falls in the reign of Somesvara III.

Taila III, the last Calukya king, was overthrown by the Kalacuri Bijjala, who was his Commander-in-Chief, in A. D. 1157. The Kalacuri usurpation lasted for more than two decades. Bijjala's reign is noted for the rise of the Lingayat sect. An inscription of the Kadamba prince Maradadeva, dated in the Saka year 1086 (A. D. 1164), was discovered at Savarganv in the Osmanabad district. It records the gift of some money for the construction of the temple of the goddess Amba at Savarganv.[ Loc. cit.] Maradadeva, who bears the title of Mahamandalesvara, was probably a feudatory of the Kalacuri Bijjala as the date falls in the latter's reign (A. D. 1156-68), though the inscription makes no mention of his name.

Yadavas of Devagiri

In the last quarter of the twelfth century A. D. the Yadavas of Devagiri came into prominence. They had previously been ruling . over Seuna-desa (Khandes) as feudatories of the Calukyas of Kalyani. The founder of the family was Drdhaprahara, the son of Subahu. His capital was Srinagara as stated in the Vratakhanda while from an early inscription it appears to have been Candradityapura, which has been identified with the modern Candor in the Nasik district. His son and successor was Seunacandra I, from whom the country ruled over by him came to be known as Seunadesa. This corresponds to modern Khandes. It comprised the country from Nasik to Devagiri.

From a stone inscription[ Ep. Ind., Vol. II, p. 221 f.] found at Vaghli six miles from Calisganv, we learn that a Maurya family hailing from Valabhi (modern Vala in Kathiavad) settled in Khandes where it ruled for several generations. Govindaraja, a later prince of this family built a temple at Vaghli, to which he made several donations for the worship of the god installed therein and for the support of the learned men and their pupils who resorted to the sattra attached to the temple, Govindaraja, whose inscription at Vaghli is dated in Saka 991 (A. D 1069) was a feudatory of the Yadava king Seunacandra II.

Bhillama II, one of the early Yadava kings, assisted Tailapa of the Later Calukya family, in his war with Munja. Seunacandra II, a later member of this family is said to have saved Vikramaditya VI from a coalition of his enemies and placed him on the throne of Kalyani Bhillama V, a later prince of this Yadava dynasty, taking advantage of the decline of the power of the Later Calukyas, made a bid for paramount power in the Deccan. He led victorious expeditions against the Hoysalas, the Paramaras and the Caulukyas and made himself master of the whole country north of the Krsna. He them founded the city of Devagiri (modern Daulatabad) and made it his capital. Thereafter the Yadavas ruled from that city.

From a stone inscription [Ind. Ant., Vol. XII, p. 126 f.] found at Anjaneri near Nasik and dated A. D. 1142 it appears that there was a minor branch of the Yadava family ruling at Anjaneri. Seunadeva of this branch made some grant to a Jain temple. Seunadeva calls himself Mahasamanta and evidently was dependent on the main branch. This family ruled over a small district, of which Anjaneri was the chief city. 

Bhillama V's son Jaitugi or Jaitrapala killed Rudradeva of the Kakatlya dynasty on the field of battle and released his nephew whom he had put into prison. Under Jaitrapala's son Singhana the power of the family greately increased. We get considerable information about his victories from four stone inscriptions of his general Kholesvara at Ambe-Jogai in the Bhir district. Kholesvara was a native of Vidarbha and was residing at Ambe, where he has left his inscriptions. Some more details are furnished by a later copper plate grant of Ramacandra found at Purusottampuri in the Bhir district. [Ep. Ind., Vol. XXXII, p. 31 f.]

Singhana achieved several victories. He defeated the Hoysala king Vira-Ballala, the Kakatiya king Ganapati and the lord of Bhamgiri, modern Bhamer in the Sakri taluka of the Dhuli district. He confined Bhoja II of the Silahara family on the hill of Pranala (modern Panhala), a strong fort 12 miles to the north-west of Kolhapur. Most of these victories were won by his Brahmana general Kholesvara. The latter vanquished Arjunavarma deva, king of Malva, and even pressed as far north as Varanasi, where he put Rajyapala to flight. Kholesvara constructed several temples in Vidarbha and also established agraharas on the bank of the Payosni (Purna) and 'the Varada (Wardha). The former agrahara still exists under the name of the village Kholapur in the Amravati district.

Singhana was succeeded by his grandson Krsna, who obtained victories over the kings of Gurjara, Malava, Cola and Kerala. The Gurjara king was Visaladeva and the Malava ruler was Jaitugideva. The contemporary Cola king was Rajendra III. (A. D. 1246-1279). The Kosala king was evidently the contemporary ruler of Ratanpur in Chattisgadh, who was probably the successor of Jajalladeva, defeated by Singhana, but no records of his have yet been discovered. An inscription of the reign of Krsna has been found in the temple of Khandesvara in the Amravati district. It is dated in the Saka year 1177 (A. D. 1254-55), and records the donations of some gadyanas for the offering of flowers in the temple of Khandesvara.

Krsna was succeeded by his brother Mahadeva. From the recently discovered Kaleganv plates we know the exact date of his coronation as the 29th August A. D. 1261. The most notable event of his reign was the annexation of North Konkan after defeating Somesvara of the Silahara dynasty. He left the throne to his son Amana, but the latter was soon deposed by Krsna's son Ramacandra, who captured the impregnable fort of Devagiri by means of a coup d'etat. He won several victories as mentioned in the Purusottampuri plates dated in the Saka year 1222 (A. D. 1310). He is said to have defeated with ease the ruler of Dahala (i.e., the Cedi country), subjugated the ruler of Rhandagara (i.e., Bhandara) and dethroned the king of Vajrakara (Vairagad). He is further credited with a victory over the Muhammedans, whom he drove out of Varanasi. He built there a golden temple dedicated to Sarngapani (Visnu). His minister Purusottama received from him the grant of four villages of which he formed an agrahara and donated it to several Brahmanas on the holy day of Kapila-sasthi in Saka 1232. The agrahara was named Purusottamapura after the donor. It is still extant under its original name on the southern bank of the Godavari, about 40 miles due west from Parbhani. The villages together with their boundaries can still be identified in the vicinity of Purusottampuri.

A fragmentary inscription of the time of Ramacandra is built into the front wall of the temple of Laksmana on the hill of Ramtek. In the first half it gives the genealogy of Ramacandra and in the second half it describes the temples, wells and tirthas on and in the vicinity of the hill, which it names as Ramagiri. The object of the inscription seems to have been to record the repairs to the temple of Laksmana done by Raghava, a minister of Ramacandra.

In A. D. 1296 Ala-ud-din Khilji invaded the kingdom of Ramacandra and suddenly appeared before the gates of Devagiri. Ramacandra was taken unawares and could not hold out for long. He had to pay a heavy ransom to the Muslim conqueror. He continued, however, to rule till A. D. 1310 at least; for the aforementioned Purusottampuri plates are dated in that year. He was succeeded by his son Sankaragana some time in A. D. 1311. He discontinued sending the stipulated tribute to Delhi. He was then defeated and slain by Malik Kafur. Some time thereafter Harapaladeva, the son-in-law of Ramacandra, raised an insurrection and drove away the Muhammedans, but his success was short-lived. The Hindu kingdom of Devagiri thus came to an end in A. D. 1318.

Like their illustrious predecessors, the Yadavas also extended liberal patronage to art and literature. During their rule a peculiar style of architecture called Hemadpanti after Hemadri or Hemadpant, a minister of Mahadeva and Ramacandra, came into vogue. The temples built in this style are found in all the districts of Maharastra. Several learned scholars flourished at the Yadava court. Of these Hemadri was the foremost. During the reign of Mahadeva he held the post of Srikaranadhipa or the Head of the Secretariat. He was appointed minister and Head of the Elephant Force by Ramacandra. He was as brave as he was learned. He conquered and annexed to the Yadava kingdom the eastern part of Vidarbha called Jhadi-mandala. Hemadri is well-known as the author of the Caturvargacin-lamanl, comprising five parts, viz., (1) Vratakhanda, (2) Dana-khanda, (3) Tirthakharuja, (4) Moksakhanda, and (5) Parisesa-khanda. Of these the third and the fourth khandas have not yet come to light. Hemadri's work is held in great esteem and has been drawn upon by later writers of Dharmasastra. He is the author of a commentary on Saunaka's Pranavakalpa and also Srdddhakalpa, in which he follows Katyayana. His Ayurvedarasayana, a commentary on Vagbhata's Astangahrdaya and Kaivalyadipika, a gloss on Bopadeva's Muktaphala are well-known.

Hemadri extended liberal patronage to learned men. Among them the most famous was Bopadeva. He was a native of Vedapada (modern Bedod) on the bank of the Wardha in the Adilabad district Bopadeva is said to have composed ten works on grammar, nine on medicine, one for the determination of tithis, three on poetics, and an equal number for the elucidation of the Bhagavata doctrine. Only eight of these are now extant. The Mugdhabodha, his work on Sanskrt grammar, is very popular in Bengal.

Marathi literature also flourished in the age of the Yadavas. Cakradhara, who propagated the Mahanubhava cult in that age, used Marathi as the medium of his religious teachings. Following his example, several of his followers composed literary works in Marathi. They are counted among the first works in that language. Mukundaraja, the author of the Vedanta works Viveka-sindhu and Paramdmrta, and Dnyauesvara, the celebrated author of the Bhavarthadipika, a commentary on the Bhagavadgita, are the most illustrious writers of that age.