South Indian Inscriptions
had suffered any diminution at the beginning of the latter’s reign. It may, therefore, be asked how Kumāragupta allowed Subandhu to enjoy independence just on the border of the Avanti province which was undoubtedly under Gupta rule at the time. The reason is not far to seek. The Anūpa country, where Subandhu was ruling, comprised the territory along both the banks of the Narmadā, now included in the Nemad Districts of Madhya Pradesh and Madhya Bharat as well as the adjoining territory. Just about this time there was rising the powerful State of the Traikūtakas across the Narmadā.1 According to the Purānas, the Ābhīra rule lasted for 167 Years. The Ābhīras were succeeded by the Traikūtakas, who soon extended their sway to Northern Maharashtra, Konkan and Gujarat. The Kingdom of Māhishamtī may, therefore, have been allowed to continue as a buffer state between the dominions of the Traikūtakas and the Guptas.
Subandhu’s descendants may have continued to rule from Māhishmatī for some years more; but when the Vākātaka Narēndrasēna (circa 405-470 A.C.) extended his suzerainty to Malwa, he must have annexed the intervening kingdom of Anūpa. Thereafter, the country was governed by a scion of the Vākātaka family. The narrative in the eighth chapter of the Daśakumāracharita, which appears to have a historical basis,2 shows that the last Vakataka Emperor (probably Harishēna) had placed one of his sons on the throne of Māhishmatī. Soon thereafter, the country was occupied by the Kalachuris in circa 525 A.C.
This royal dynasty derived its name from Trikuta or a three-peaked mountain or
the district in which it was situated. This was evidently the home of the royal family.
Several mountains named Trikūta situated in all the four directions of India are known
from Sanskrit literature and lexicons. According to the Vishnu3 and Mārkandēya4 Purānas,
Trikūta was the name of the southern ridge of the mythical Mēru mountain. It was,
therefore, situated in the north. Hēmachandra5 and Mahēśvara,6 who in their lexicons
give Suvēla as its synonym, evidently place it in Ceylon. An ancient commentator of
Bhartrihari’s Vākyapadāiya7 states that Trikūta was the name of a mountain in the Trikalinga
or Andrha country. Finally, Kālidāsa places Trikūta in Aparānta8 or North Konkan,
and his view receives confirmation from Kēsava’s Kalpadrukōśa9 which gives it as a name
of the Sahyādri range. In recent times, R. B. Hiralal, who identified the Traikūtakas
with the Kalachuris, has expressed the view that Trikūta is identical with the Sātpurā mountain which was so called on account of its three prominent peaks, viz., the
1 The earliest known Traikūtaka king was Indradatta, who must have flourished about 415 A.C. as
his son Dahrasēna’s Pardi grant is dated in K.207 (456-57A.C.) Dahrasēna is known to have performed
an Aśvamēdha sacrifice. See No. 8, 1.2.