Monday, October 24, 2022

मड़वा महल शिलालेख

अलेक्जेंडर कनिंघम ने 1881-82 की रिपोर्ट में इस शिलालेख का संक्षिप्त विवरण दिया है। राय बहादुर हीरालाल ने पर्याप्त विस्तार से चर्चा करते हुए, अभिलेख के मुख्य आशय को स्पष्ट किया है, जिनका उल्लेख यहां प्रस्तुत मसौदे में भी आया है। डॉ. विष्णु सिंह ठाकुर ने अभिलेख के आवश्यक हिस्से का पाठ तैयार किया था, वे पुटिकापुर की चर्चा किया करते हुए मानते थे कि कवर्धा का नागवंश, बस्तर के छिंदक नागों से भिन्न फणिनागवंश है और पुटिका, फणि का पर्याय है।

बालचन्द्र जैन जी (20 नवंबर 1924 - 06 जून 1995) सेवानिवृत्ति के पश्चात विरक्त अपरिग्रह भाव से ऐसी सामग्री, 'आपलोग इसका उपयोग अपने लिए कर लीजिएगा', कहते हुए सौप देते थे। रायकवार जी के साथ मैं उनके स्नेह का भागी रहा। यह पेपर मुझे 1986-87 में उनसे प्राप्त हुआ था। इस दीर्घ शिलालेख का पाठ व संपादन उन्होंने किया था और संभवतः प्रकाशित नहीं करा पाए, इस शिलालेख का एक अधूरा पाठ डॉ. विष्णुसिंह ठाकुर ने तैयार किया था। मैंने रायकवार जी के साथ मिल कर एक कच्चा पाठ किया था। बालचन्द्र जैन जी से जिस रूप में मुझे प्राप्त हुआ था, वह संपूर्ण लेख यहां प्रस्तुत -

Mandawa Mahal Inscription of Ramachandra 
V.S. 1406 

The inscription was found in the mandapa of a ruined temple known as Mandawa Mahal, about 15 Km. from Kawardha in the Durg Rajnandgaon district of Madhya Pradesh. It was removed from there and kept under a tree near that temple. In 1963, the inscription was brought to Raipur under my directions and deposited in the local Mahant Ghasidas Memorial Museum. 

The inscription has been noticed by Cunningham in his Archaeological Survey Reports (Vol- XVII pp- 40-41). Rai Bahadur Hiralal gave an account of the same in his list of inscriptions in Central Provinces and Berar (Second Edition, No- 305). But, the inscription remained unedited so far. I take this opportunity to edit it from the original stone and an ink-impression from the Chief Epigraphists' office. 

The stone slab bearing this long record is in two pieces. The right piece is about three times bigger than the left one and is in a better state of preservation than the other one. Left piece is damaged at its top and bottom both. Further, the inscription has also suffered a great deal by exposure to weather, particularly in its lower part. 

The writing covers a space measuring about 160 cms. broad and 70 cms. high. The record consists of 37 lines. In addition, four letters are engraved above the first line; of them three belong to line 3 where in they were omitted. The average size of the letter is 1.5 cm. but the letters in line 1 are comparatively larger and measure about 2 cm. each. 

The characters are Nagari of the fourteenth Century A.D. Form of Ksh and dh is developed, and prishthamatras are absent. Language is Sanskrit and the record is metrically composed through-out. There are in all 96 verses in the record which are numbered. But because the writer made mistake in numbering, the verse 23 as 22 and continued his mistake onwards, the last number of the verses as given in the inscription is 95 which in fact should be as 96. The record shows the usual orthographical peculiarities such as substitution of v for b, s for s, kh for sh and sh for kh. Ri has been substituted for ri and gga is written as gra. 

The inscription is dated in the last line which is too much damaged. It mentions Vikrama Saka 1406 bearing the name Jaya. Cunningham suggested that the year is clearly intended for the era of Vikrama and is therefore equivalent to A. D. 1349 which corresponded in its latter half with the samvatsara Jaya of the 60 years cycle of Jupiter, according to the northern reckonings (A.S.R. Vol XVII p. 40). Rai Bahadur Hiralal accepted it and expressed that the word 'saka' used in the phrase is merely an equivalent of a year and because the prasasti was composed by a southerner, the era is indicated in a curious way (Hiralal's list, Sec. ed. p. 177). The name of the composer is mentioned in verse 86. He was Vitthala a dakshinatya. The name of the engraver was possibly mentioned in verse 94 but the same is now lost. 

The object of the inscription is to record the construction of a temple of Ramesvara Siva (same as Mandawa Mahal), to the east of the city of Chaturapura Standing on sankari river, by Ramachandra, a king of Phanipativansa who also built a vapika and granted village of Rajapura rich in money and rice for the arrangements of the offerings of the god, Bhogisvarabhushana. The architect of the temple was Mahadeva who was well-versed in the silpa sastras. The architect is mentioned in verse - 94, and the temple itself is described in verse 77. The day and month of the pratishtha of the temple were probably given in verse 88 but now lost. The king is also said to have sanctioned agraharas and granted ... a village named kumbhipur to Mahesawho was best among the dvijas, from verse 83, appears that one of the sons of king Ramchandra (name lost) also granted ... some village. Names of Voparaja (v.86), Gopaladeva (v.90), Lakshmanadeva (v.91) and -himadeva (v.91) are also mentioned but the context is not clear. King Ramachandra's prime minister was Ramadeva who is said to have been born in the family of Narayana. The purohita was Harihara. He had mastered the magical arts of sanstambhana, uchchatana, mohans, vidravana, akarshana and va-ikriya etc. (v. 70-71). Verse 73 mentions one Jagajjyoti. A preacher of the Pasupati sect whose name seems to be Ihunbhira is refered to in verse 79. Names of the queens and sons of king Ramachandra as known from the inscription are as below - 

1. Queen Subhambika. She gave birth to three sons, 1. [Kanha] dadeva, 2 Chandana and 3 name lost (v. 62-63). 
2. Queen Dhanyambika. She was born in the family of Haihaya. She also gave birth to three sons, one of them being Arjuna (V. 64-65). 
3. Queen Ramambika. Her son was Lakshi-Brahma ? (v. 66). 
4. Queen Bhil-amba. Her son was Harshapala (v. 67). 
5. Queen Padma born in Kamalajavamsa (v.68). 
6. Sixth queen whose name started with the letter bha was perhaps born in the family of the Nagas (v. 69). 
7. Queen Vachamba. She donated something to the temple built by her husband (v. 82). 

The inscription gives the genealogy of the / Phanivamsa to which king Ramachandra belonged. The accuracy of the genealogy is however doubtful and it appears that a number of fictitious names have been inserted to swell it (Hiralal's list, p. 176). 

The legend of the origin of the family is also narrated. It is stated that on the southern bank of the river Narmada in Vindhya mountain, there lived a Brahmana sage named Jatukarna. His wife was Vrata. They had two sons called Susarman and Devsharman and a daugher named Mithila. Verse 10 tells us that in due course of time, a small town was inhabited there and the same was called to Parnaputi or Patraputi. 

After having taught all the fourteen Vidyas to his sons, the sage left the daughter in their charge and along with his wife went to the heaven (v. 11). A servant of the serpent king saw Mithila when she was playing in the courtyard of her cottage with dolls. The servant informed his master. The serpent-king became eager to see the daughter of the sage. He assumed form of a brahmana youth and went to her cottage: He fell in love with her. They were married and their issue was Ahiraja (v. 16-2). 

Ahiraja conquered the armies of neighboring chiefs and founded the dynasty of Ahikula. His son was Rajalla. Dharani Dhara was the son of Rajall Deva but at the time of his fathers' death he was a minor and was therefore put in the charge of one Dharalla (v. 33) who appears to be a brother of Rajalla. Dharalla was conquered by Mahimadeva (v. 34). The identity of Mahimadeva is not disclosed in the verse but it seems that he was none but Dharani Dhara himself who was compelled to fight against his uncle perhaps because the lattar was not willing to handover the kingdom to the nephew even after his attaining the major hood. 

Son of Mahimadeva was Sakti Chandana? The latter's son was Gopaladeva who is stated to have been a powerful ruler of the dynasty. It cannot be said in definite terms whether this Gopal deva is identical with Ranak Gopal deva, during whose reign the Chhapari statue of umamaheśvara was set up in (Kalachuri) samvat 8-40 or 1048-49 A.D. CII Vol. IV pp. 580 ff., but Gopals of Pujaripali inscription. ibid pp. 588 ff. and Seorinarayana inscription of Jajalladeva II dated K.S. 919 ibid pp. 519 ff. cannot, in any way, be identified with this Gopal deva because of the developed script of the undated Pujaripali inscription and the other Gopala belonging to a branch of the Kalachuris. 

Gopaladeva was succeeded by his son, Naladeva who was again followed by his son Bhuvanpala. After Bhupanapala, his two sons, Kirtipala and Jaitrapala ascended the royal throne in order of seniority. Jaitrapala was followed by his son Mahipala. After Mahipala, his son Vishamapala as ascended throne. His son was Jahuna who became an ascetic after handing over the kingdom to his son Jagapala, whose son was Yasoraja (v. 45). He is also called Jasaraja in next verse 46 wherein it is stated that he had many sons including Chandana and Khadgadeva. Chandana succeeded his father and assumed the name of the Kanhadadeva. After him, Yuvaraja Khadgadeva got the kingdom and was known by the name of Lakshmavarman. 

We know that the Sahaspur Statue inscription of K.S. 934 (1182 A.D.) (C.I.I. Vol. IV pp. 595-96.) and the Boria statue inscription of K.S. 910? were inscribed during the reign Maharanaka Jasarajadeva and Yasoraja respectively. In Sahaspur inscription, his queen Lakshmadevi, two sons Bhojadeva and Rajadeva and one daughter Jasalladevi are mentioned. But we do not find the names of Chandana or Khadgadeva who according to the present inscription were his elder sons. This again throws a doubt on the accuracy of the genealogy given in the present inscription. The question of identification of Yasoraja is however discussed below while dealing with Malugi deva and Bhojadeva. 

Son of Khadgadeva was Bhuvanaikamalla. He is stated to have built the fortified city of Chaturapuri, to the south of which the river Sankari flowed. A temple of Hattakesvara stood on the bank of that river. The king is stated to have worshipped the goddess Brahmani in that temple (v. 49-50). Bhuvanaikamalla also built a high temple of Siva to the north of the city and excavated a large tank (v. 51). The temple has been identified with the ma magnificent Bhoramedeva temple which stands on a large tank. It was repaired in V. S. 1608 by Maharajadhiraja Sri Ghaghuji whose inscription states that the temple was of Bhuvanapala . (I.H.Q. XXXVI, Nos 2 and 3, 1960, pp. 85), which as suggested by Dr. S.L.Katare may be a mistake for Bhuvanaikamalla. But the view of Dr. Katare that the temple was constructed in 1280 A.D (Ibid, page 90.)is not agreeable, because the monument cannot be assigned to a period later than the 12th Century A. D. Most probably the temple of Bhoramadeva was constructed in Circa 1140 (Journal of Indian History Vol XL, part II, p. 256). 

The inscription informs that Vijjana, son of Chandana, the elder brother of Khadgadeva was appointed as Yuvaraja during the reign of Bhuvanaikamalla. It further tells that after Bhuvanai kamlla, his son Arjuna become king and Vijjana son of Vijjana was appointed Yuvaraja (v.53). Son Arjuna was Bhima who succeeded his father. Malugideva who seems to be the son of Vijjana was then given the post Yuvaraja. 

Bhima was followed by his son Bhoja, during his reign, Lakshmana son of Malugideva acted as Yuvaraja (v.55). From verse 56, we know that Bhoja died issueless. And, therefore, Ramachandra either son or son-in-law of Lakshmana was selected for the royal throne, by the ministers (v.x 57-58). The inscription was set up during the time of this Ramachandra. 

Both the ancestors of Ramachandra, Malugideva and Bhojadeva are known from two copper plates ((Journal of Indian History Vol XL, part II, p. 253 ff) obtained from village Kotera in the Balod Tahsil of Durg district, M.P. The plates are dated in Saka years 1106 and 1126 respectively, corresponding to 118 4-85 and 1204 A. D. In those records, both Malugideva and Bhojadeva are styled as Maharanaka, from these we came to know that Malugideva was a Paramamahesvra and that Bhojdeva had attained the five great sounds. It is true that the genealogy of those two kings is not given in those records because of their being merely business documents, but the use of the title Maharanaka indicates that they were feudatories and acknowledged the sovereignty of some other mightier kings who may be the Kalachuri rulers. Among the Kalachuris, Ratnadeva III is known to have been ruling in Chedi Samvat 933 or 1181-82 (C.I.I. Vol. IV, pp. 533 ff) while the first known date of his son Pratapmalla is K.S. 965 or 1214 A.D. (Ibid, Vol. IV, pp. 543 ff.) 

I have shown my inclination (Journal of Indian History, Vol XL part II, p. 255) to identify maharanaka Bhojadeva of Kotera C.P. inscription with Kumara Bhojadeva of Sahaspur statue inscription of K. S. 934 or A.D. 1182 and with Bhoja, son of Bhima of the present inscription. As Yasoraja is known to have been ruling in 1182 A.D., his elder son Bhojadeva seems to have succeeded him in about 1200 A. D. This finds support from the Kotera copper plate which was written in A.D. 1204. But, in the present inscription, Bhoja is said to be the son of Bhima, who was great grandson of Khadgadeva, grandson of Bhuvanaikamalla and son of Arjuna. This again throws a doubt on the accuracy of the genealogy. 

The known date of Malugi deva is 1184-85 A. D. (Kotera plate, Saka Samvat 1106) This suggests that Bhoja's father was a contemporary of Malugideva, and since a king named Yasoraja whose elder son was one Bhojadeva was actually ruling in 1182 A. D. (C.I.I. Vol IV, pp. 595-66), it is evident that Bhima of this inscription and Yasoraja of Sahaspur statue inscription are identical. Jasarajadeva of the Boria statue inscription may also be identified with Yasoraja of Sahaspur statue if the date 1110 on the former as read by Cunningham in one place (A. S. R. Vol XVII p. 45) is correct and is referred to in terms of Saka era. In that case the period would be equivalent to 1188 A. D. But if the date is read as 910 and is referred to in terms of K. S. (A.S.R. Vol. XVII, p. 44; C.I.I. Vol. IV, p. 585) correspond to 1158-59 A. D. This would be too early for it would Yasoraja whose known date is 1182 A.D. However, this is all conjecture, and unless fresh evidence is coming forth-with, we can not say anything definitely. 

The genealogical table as known from the inscription is given below (The present table differs at certain places from the table given in Hiralal's list (p. 175). It seems that the king and Yuraraja both possessed powers of ruling chief and were styled as Ranaka or Maharanaka as evidenced by other inscriptions.) – 

The geographical names mentioned in the record are Vindhya mountain, Narmada river, Parnaputi, Chaturapuri, river Sankari, Rajapura and Kumbhipuri. Of these, Vindhya and Narmada are well known. The site of Parnaputi can not be identified. However, in the Puranas, the name of Purikä as the capital of the Nagas occurs (Dyn. of Kali age p. 49 दौहित्रः शिशुकोनाम पु-रकायां नृपोSभवत्।). Chaturapuri or Chaturapura is undoubtedly village Chaura within whose limits the inscription was originally found. Sankari is the same river which is less than a Km. from the findspot of the inscription. Rajapura may be identified with the village of same name about 5 Km. from Chaura. Kumbhipuri is not traceable.

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