Showing posts with label saurastra. Show all posts
Showing posts with label saurastra. Show all posts

Are Maukharis and Malwa Guptas Feudatories of Imperial Guptas?

We are looking at the question "Are Mukharis , Malwa Gupta's, Gaudas and Maitrakas" feudatories of Imperial Gupta's? All these dynasties ruled between 500 and 700 AD. This we can date from Harsha Vardhana, who is historically datable. We are looking at the inscription and other references to see whether any Imperial Gupta presence is there.

Mukharis (Maukhari)
Maukhari has been found in Ashoka inscriptions as Mukhalinam. But First official inscription is of Anantavarman in Barabar Nagarjuni hill cave inscription. We learn a line of Mukhari chiefs starting from Yajnavarman , his son king samanta cudamani sri Sardula and his son king Anantavarman. These Inscriptions are undated. There is not much we can prove here as evidence, except these early Mukharis ruled Northern Magadha and were earlier than the mainline mukharis,whom we are going to talk now.

Maukhari and Malwa Guptas
Let us start the Mukharis with Yajnavarman. His Son Sardula was most ferocious and was death to many rulers. At the same time another Dynasty of Malwa Guptas were rising in West with Krishna gupta. Jivitagupta I clipped the wings of Anantavarman. This Mukhari line went into decline. But at the same time another Mukhari line Harivarman was rising around 500AD. Harivarman was contemproary of Krishnagupta. Adityavarman son of Harivarman married Harshagupta daughter of Krishnagupta. Adityavarman was followed by his son Isvaravarman who has married another Gupta Princess UpaGupta. Third member of the lines both Isvarvarman of Mukhari and Jivitagupta I of Guptas made conquests and brought fame to the dyansties. JivitaGupta I defeated Mukhari Anantavarman and conquered Magadha. Isvaravarman son Isnavarman assumed title Maharajas. Haraha inscription refers to his victories over Andhra (Vishnukundin), Sulki(Chalukya) and Gaudas. The Campaign against Gaudas must be placed in 550AD. After this that Isnavarman takes Imperial Titles, who is styled as Maharaja in the Asirgarh inscription, as Rsitipati in the Haraha inscription, and as Nrpati in the Jaunpur inscription. This conquests alarms his Malwa Gupta Contemporary KumaraGupta and Clash follows between allies. According to Apahad inscription the first round goes to Kumaragupta. Next Attack came from Survavarman son of Isnavarman. Damodaragupta eventhough repulsed the attack succumbed to his injuries (562AD). Sarvavarman declares himself emperor of Magadha. Damodara Gupta was succeeded by Mahasenagupta. Mahasengupta goes for a alliance with AdityaVardhan of Pushyabhutis. But his challanges were huge. Chalukya Kirtivarman (567-597AD) declares that he won victories over Anga, Vanga and Magadha. His Adversary is Mahasenagupta. Guada King occupied South Magadha and Tibetan king Sron Btson gambo (581-600AD), Mana Dynasty has established independent kingdom between Midnapur and Orissa. With so many troubles Mahasenagupta retired to Malwa(582AD). But Peace was not there Kalachuris took over Malwa. Soon Chalukyas dislodged Kalachuris and Mahasenagupta rival DevaGupta unsurped throne and Prabhakaravardhana has to resuce Kumaragupta and Madhavagupta sons of Mahasenagupta (602-603AD). Harsha Vardhan appoints MadhavGupta as the ruler of Magadha. Adityasena(Apshad Inscription) son of Madhavagupta became king of Magadha can be said as the first Independent Malwa Gupta to rule Magadha and rise of Later Guptas.

Mukhari Line is as follows.
Magadha line
king samanta cudamani sri Sardula

Kannauj Line
Isanavarman (530-554 A.D.)
Sarvavarman (560-5 to 585.)
Anantivarman (A.D. 585-600)
Grahavarman (600-605 A.D.),

Malwa Guptas
Jivitagupta I
Kumaragupta III
Deva Gupta
Visnu Gupta
Jivita Gupta II

Rise of Harshavardhana
According to Harsha-Charita, a royal line was founded by one pushyabhuti, a devout Saivite, some where near Thaneswar in the Ambala district of Harayana. Nothing much is known about this ruler. It was only the fourth ruler prabhakaravardhana that the title Maharajadhiraja was assumed. A few details of Prabhkarvardhana are to be found in Harshacharita. He was the great General, who possibly defeated the Hunas also. Bana also mentions that he was the devotee of the sun. Prabhakaravardhana had two sons, Rajhavardhan and Harshavardhana and one daughter Rajyasri. Grahavarman of the Maukhari dynasty was married to Rajyasri. After the death of Prabhakaravardhan in 605AD, Rajyavardhan ascended the throne. Soon bad news came, Mukhari Grahavarman was killed by the Malwa Gupta ruler Deva Gupta. Rajyavardhan went after the Malwa ruler. The Malwa king Deva Gupta was defeated and possibly killed. On his return Rajyavardhana was confronted by Sasanka(Sasanaga), Guada king of Bengal. All the available authorities declare that Rajyavardhana was killed by Sasanka(Shashanika) throught they differ in details. After his death, Harsha succeeded to the throne of Thaneswar and Kanauj with the title of Rajputra and style of Siladitya in 606AD. This is how Harsha Vardhan came to the throne. With Malwa under his arm as his mother was Malwa Princess and Magadha was occupied by Sasanka. Until Sasanka died Harsha could not do anything there. Once Sasanka died, Harsha vardhan got Magadha and Orissa and his ally Baskaravarman of Kamarupa got Guada. As brother in law of Grahavarman he also got the Magadha kingdom.

Guada Kings
Rise of Sasanka
Guada kings were confined to Guada by Later Guptas until the time of MahaSenaGupta. Increasingly the Mahasenagupta faced difficulties from Mukharis, Gaudas, Chalukyas and Tibetans. Gaudas under invaded western and Central Bengal including Karnasuvarna and occupied them. The Mukhari rulling at that time was Avantivarman, son of Sarvavarman. After death of Avantivarman, the Mukharis split into Two amd Jayanaga predecessor to Sasanaga invaded and occupied the southern part of Magadha under Sarva Varman. After the death of Jayanaga, sasanaga came to the Gauda throne. In 601AD Sasanka(Soma) became king of Gauda and he invaded Kamarupa under Baskarvarman and made it subordinate. He also invaded Orissa, defeated Mana king and annexed it. Thus he became the most powerful ruler in the region. Grahavarman seeing the rise of Gauda king should have been alarmed and offered marital relations with Prabhakaravardhana of Pushayabutis and married his daughter Rajyashri. Prabhakaravardhana should have been under threat from Deva Gupta coming on the Malwa throne. With Defeat of Kalachuris by Chalukyas, there was no contest from that space. It is in this scenario that marriage was concluded and their concerns were proved right after the death of Prabhakaravardhan. From 601-625AD, nobody could do anything to Sasanka. Guada Kings eventhough call themselves Mahasamantas do not mention any overlords, neither do Mana rulers.

Break up of Mukharis
Sarvavarman conquered Magadha around 575AD. Sarvavarman is first Mukhari ruler to be recognized as the soverign of Magadha. The Malwa Guptas were feudatories of Mukharis. He was master of Uttarpradesh. Marriage of his granddaughter Vasata(Suryavarman's Daughter) to prince of Mahakosala Harshagupta brought him closer to deccan. Mahakosala ruler Chandragupta has just inherited the throne from his father Trivaradeva who was defeated by Vishnukundin ruler Madhavavarman I around 570AD. Sivagupta son of Harshagupta came to throne after death of Chandragupta in 596AD. Sarvavarman's Mukhari Empire extended from Punjab to Narmada in South.We have seen that breakup of Mukharis into two resulted in weakening of the empire and resulted in disappearance. Let us reconstruct this scenario. Sarvavarman has approinted his brother suryavarman as the incharge of Magadha. Suryavarman strengthened his position by marrying his daughter to Harshagupta of Mahakosala. Suryavarman son was Bhaskaravarman. Normally Baskaravarman would have succeeded Suryavarman. But instead Avantivarman appointed his younger son Suca(Sucandravarman or Suvartavarman) as the governor of Magadha. After the death of Avantivarman Grahavarman succeeded in Kannauj. Suca declared himself ruler of Magadha. This was not liked by Bhaskaravarman son of Suryavarman. With taking over of the throne by Suca the Magadha and Kannuaj became independent of each other and thus lead to invasion and occupation of Magadha by Guadua king soon after.

The Maitrakas ruled over Saurashtra from their capital of Valabhi from about 500to 700AD. The founder of the dynasty was Senapati Bhattarka. They have made grants in which they call themselves Mahasamanta. The Mahasamanta is said by Indology scholars as feudatory position. According to the scholars they must be feudatory to none else but Imperial Gupta. We have to see here that Maitrakas do not mention Guptas.,The phrase Parama Bhattaraka Pandanudhyata(dated 183) occurs in the reoords of the Valabhi ruler Dhruva sena I, who ruled till 545AD. Valabhi Kingdom was visited by Hiuen Tsang in 640 A. D. . He states the that the king was a Kshatriya his name being Dhruvasena, and that he was son-in-law to Harsha the Emperor of India and king of Kannauj. The Gurjaras of Broach use in their grants the Traikutaka otherwise called the Kalachuri era ( starting point 249 A. D. ) Their grants are also written in the Gujarati version of the southern Brahmi character(Satavahana-Kadamba style) while the royal signature at the end is Norther Brahmi. Here again Indologists equate Parama Bhattaraka as Imperial Gupta Monarch. In all these places Era's mentioned by the kings are equated with Gupta era, even though there is no evidence.

In Jaunpur Inscription Isvaravarman describes himself who estinguished the spark of fire coming from dhara. Yasodharman is also of same period. Yasodharman Mandasur inscription is 532AD(589 Vikrama samvat). Yasodharman defeated Huna Mihirkula around 515AD(Mihirkula came to Malwa throne in 510AD). Now here Dhara is equated with Yashodharman. Here we have to know that Dhara is a city (Modern Dhar), while Yashodharman is a person.

We have established the scenario, Now let us come to our Questions
Are Maukharis and Malwa Guptas feudatories of Imperial Guptas?
Nowhere we see in any inscriptions, Imperial Guptas being mentioned. Neither does Imperial Guptas mention Mukharis. So we have to say Imperial Guptas and Mukharis did not know each other. Same goes for Malwa Guptas, they don't mention any Imperial Guptas, neither does Imperial Guptas mention them. Neither of them use Gupta Era. The main claim by indologist is they use the term Mahasamanta in their inscription, which will mean a feudatories.
AsirGarh Copper Plates does not give any Overlord
Haraha Inscription - Does not give any Overlord
Juanpur Inscription - Does not give any overloads
All use Malwa Samvat - Even though there is Gupta Overlords?

Question of Samanta
We may note that even in the Arthasastra, the word samanta has often the meaning “neighbour”, without alternative — as for example in Arth. 3.9 when transfer of title to houses and plots of land is in question. However, in every single case, Samanta can consistently be translated as neighbour, whether royal or commoner, without incompatibility. There is no samanta baron in the Manusmrti. The earlier Guptas rule over no samantas in their inscriptions; the posthumous Harisena inscription of Samudragupta on the Allahabad pillar mentions no Samantas. Dharasena of Valabhi who appears as the first mahasamanta is an independent king friendly to the Guptas (from the tone of his inscriptions), not a peer of the realm. The Mandasor pillar inscriptions of Yasodharman, who drove Mihirakula and the Huns out of Malwa, say that the king defeated and humbled all the samantas, which can only mean neighbour kings. But the Visnusena charter, takes samanta only in the sense of petty feudal viscounts who might press labour for corvee, or infringe upon the rights and immunities of merchants to whom the charter was granted. Thus, the change in meaning falls within a period around 600AD. It is confirmed by the Ten Princes of Dandin,where samanta can only mean feudal baron, though the author shows remarkably close reading of the ArthaSastra as of many other works. The copper plates of Harsa, supported by Chinese travellers Hieun Tsang accounts prove that feudal relationships and samanta “ baron” had come to stay in the seventh Century AD.

Kuvalayamala(700Saka- 778AD), the Jain Account of Toramana tells, He is Soverign of Uttarapatha and his guru was Hari Gupta. The most extensive account is by Hiuen Tsang. Huns led by Mihirkula as per Hiuen Tsang are dated some centuries before 633AD, when he visited Sakala. Watters points out Chinese agree with this view. Both Toramana and Mihirkuala are Staunch saivites. The end of Gupta empire is predicted on Huns, we don't know whether these two are Huns or Kushana chiefs. The territories identified by Huns and the two kings also differs. Beal Identifies areas Tokharistan, Kabulistan and Zabulistna and Chavannes adds according to chinese history (by Sung-Yun), the only Indian Countries under Huns are Gandhara and Chitral. But Toramana and Mihirkula are in a entirely different plane. I dont consider Toramana , Mihirkula and Yashodharman relevant here as Mukharis , Yashodharman, Malwa Guptas and Imperial Guptas ruling whole of North India invisible to one another.

The other place Scholars mention about Imperial Guptas is when Hieun Tsang mentions Baladitya as the one who defeated and eliminated Huns. Baladitya has been identified with the conqueror of Mihiragula. Baladitya captured Mihirakula but later released him on his mother’s request. Paramartha also mentions that Baladitya was sent to Vasubandu to study Buddhism by his father. Hence it is possible that Mihirakula’s move against Buddhism would provoke Baladitya to take strict steps. Mihirakula’s reign is assigned to about 520 CE. Could the Baladitya of Hiuen Tsang same as Narasimhagupta Baladitya of the Gupta dynasty? As per Indology dating there is a gap of fifty years in the current proposed date of Narasimhagupta and the date of Mihirakula which is very hard to justify. Even if we assume that Narasimhagupta was ruling in 520 CE, would it be possible for him to wage war against Mihirakula at that very old age? A N Dandekar mentions that Baladitya of Hiuen Tsang is not Narasimhagupta but someone else. But the existence of several Baladityas renders this identification doubtful.

Yashodharman, Toramana, Mihirkula, Aulikharas and Huns, we will see in different Article.

Mukharis, Malwa Guptas, Gaudas, Maitrakas all had their origin in early part of 6th century AD. According to Indologists Imperial Guptas were still ruling North India and specifically Malwa, Magadha. But we don't find any evidence to the same. So our conclusion is Imperial Guptas are not overlords or Contemproaries of Mukhari, Malwa Gupta, Gaudas and Maitrakas.

Dynastic History Of Magadha By George E. Somers
Rise and fall of the imperial Guptas By Ashvini Agrawal
History of Kanauj: To the Moslem Conquest By Rama Shankar Tripathi
Vakataka - Gupta Age Circa 200-550 A.D. By Ramesh Chandra Majumdar, Anant Sadashiv Altekar
The imperial Guptas and their times By Dilip Kumar Ganguly
Ancient India: History and Culture By Balkrishna Govind Gokhale
Rise and fall of the imperial Guptas By Ashvini Agrawal
Indian History and Architecture

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Case of Sourashtrians

Sourashtrians are mostly silk weavers and silk thread merchants, originated in the Saurashtra region (present day Gujarat, and parts of Maharashtra) in Northern India and later settled in Madurai and surrounding regions of Tamilnadu, few centuries ago.

The origin is certain, and research has proved the current day Sourashtra spoken by us is a modern form of pre-Gujarati spoken thousands of years ago. "

Their home language (Sourashtra language) is still a modern form of the old Saurashtri or Pre-Gujarati as it was over a thousand years ago, which was the language they brought with them through Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra pradesh to Tamilnadu. This language preserves, naturally enough many archaic features of Gujarati and at the same time shows influence of the sister Aryan languages of Konkani and Marathi and of Dravidian Telugu, kannada besides of course Tamil which has now virtually become the second mother tongue of the Sourashtrians...." says Suneetkumar Chatterjee a famous linguist.

But the time period when they migrated from Saurashtra region to south is still uncertain.

Theory 1:
The first theory is that, during the times when the infamous Ghazani Mohammed invaded Northern India from Afghanistan, a few families might have migrated South to escape from the series of invasions.

Theory 2:
Another assumption is a few families that came with the entourage of Shatrapathi Shivaji when he invaded south, might have stayed back to form their own community.

Theory 3:
This is the most popular and widely accepted theory by historians. During the Vijayanagaram Empire rule in Northern India, the Nayakars ruled the South as part of the empire with Madurai as their capital. During that period a few families from the Saurashtra region were called into Madurai to be the "Royal Weavers" for the Nayakars. This would explain very high concentration of Sourashtrians still today around the Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal, the Nayakar's Palace. Since Sourashtrians are Silk Weavers by profession it would also disprove the theory that they came with Shivaji.

Later Sourashtrians settled in Madurai, spread around to Trichy, Salem, Kumbakonam and other surrounding areas as the population grew, but still managed to keep their unique language, and culture intact. Current day Sourashtrians, refer themselves as Tamilians as their identities and still speak Sourashtra at home. An estimated half a million Sourashtrians are living now mostly in Tamilnadu and a few are spread around all over the world.