..Like several great kings of ancient times, the Silāhāras also gave liberal patronage to
Sanskrit learning and literature. Unfortunately, most of the works composed in that period
have been lost. Only three of them, viz., the Udayasundarīkathā of Sōḍḍhala, the commentary
of Aparārka on the Yājñavalkyasmṛiti, and that of Sōmadēva called Śadbārṇavachandrikā on
the Jainēndra Vyākaraṇa, representing respectively the Champū-kāvya, Dharmaśāstra and
Vyākaraṇa branches of Sanskrit literature, are still extent. A work in Kannada, viz., the
Nēmināthapurāṇa by Karṇapārya has also come down to us. A short account of each of them
is given here.
I. THE UDAYASUNDARĪKATHĀ OF SōḌḌHALA
The work was edited by Krishnammacharya from a single manuscript, found in the
Pārśvanātha Bhāṇḍāra at Pātaṇ in the from Baroḍā State, in the Gaekwaḍ’s Oriental
Series in 1920. Though it can be reckoned among the best Champū-kāvyas in Sanskrit, it has
not so far attracted the attention of the scholars as it deserves.
Sōḍḍhala has, like Bāṇa, given considerable information about himself in the begin-
ning and also at the end his work. He was born in a Kāyastha family of Valabhī (modern
Valā in Saurāshṭra), which was for a long time the capital of the Maitraka dynasty. Sōḍḍhala
gives the following traditional or rather imaginary account of his family :-
There lived in Valabhī a king named Śīlāditya. He had a brave and learned younger
brother named Kalāditya. Once upon a time the Rājalakshmī (Goddess of Royal Fortune )
appeared ina dream before the king, who was greatly worried about the safety of his kingdom
and told him as follows :− “A gaṇa of Śiva known as Kāyastha, as he always resided in water
which is the kāya (body) of that god, lifted me up as I was sinking in the water of the ocean,
having come out of it when it was being churned by gods and demons with the rod of the
Mandara mountain. He then made me over to the gods. In the Kshatriya family descended
from that Kāyastha Gaṇa, your younger brother Kalāditya has been born. Give him this
Garuḍa seal and entrust him with the administration of the kingdom.” The king did accordingly. From that Gaṇa of Śiva, the Kāyastha family of Valabhī is said to have descended. This
story about the origin of the Kāyastha caste, like several others of the type, is, of course,
quite imaginary. There were, no doubt, as many as seven kings of the name Śīlāditya in the
Maitraka family of Valabhī, who ruled in the seventh and eighth centuries A.D., but none of
their descendants is known to have been in occupation of that city in the eleventh century
A.D., when Sōḍḍhala flourished. The poet evidently knew about them from tradition and so
he has connected his family with them.
Soḍḍhala has given considerable information about his ancestors, fellow-students, friends
and contemporaries in th present work. His family originally belonged to Lāṭa (Southern
Gujarāt). It held the important office of the Dhruva or Revenue Collector of the following
among other divisions –Sikkarahārīya-72, Vāhirihāra-700, and Annāpallīya-70. Sōḍḍhala
Udayasundarīkatjā, pp. 4 f.
For one of them, see C.I.I., Vol. IV, pp. 271 f.
These localities have been kindly identified for me by Dr. H.G. Shastri of Ahmedabad. Annāpallī is
probably identical with Anāval in the Surat District. It was the original home of the Anāval Brāhmaṇas
of south Gujarāt. Vāhirihāra may be the same as Vihāra in the Olpāḍ tālikā of the Surat District, or
Vihāra in the Mangrōl tālukā of the same district. Sikkarahārī may be Sikar in the Valodā mahāl of the
Surat District. The numbers following the names of the localities probably indicate number of villages
comprised in them.