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Annual Reports 1935-1944

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Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum Volume 2, Part 2

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Early Gupta Inscriptions

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of Bennākaṭa, it is evident that the donated village was situated in it. The grant was written by the Chief Minister (Rājy-ādhikṛita) Chamidāsa1 by the King’s own order.

...The grant is dated, in words, on the twelfth day of the dark fortnight of Māgha in the twenty-third year, evidently of Pravarasēna II’s reign. Unlike most other grants of Pravarasēna II, the present grant was not made at the royal capital2, but at a place called Narattaṅgavāri which may have been a tīrtha. The month of Māgha is specially praised in the Purāṇas as very sacred, and various legends are narrated in them to evince the great merit of bathing at a holy place during that month3. The eleventh tithi of the dark fortnight of the pūrṇimānta Māgha, which is called Shaṭtilā Ēkādaśī and is observed as a fast-day, is highly glorified in the Padmapurāṇa4. Pravarasena may therefore have gone to the Narattaṅgavāri tīrtha to bathe there on the Shaṭtilā Ēkādaśī day and may have made the present grant on the following day before breaking his fast. The grant was made by him for his religious merit, life, strength and prosperity, for securing his well-being in this world and the next, as well as for augmenting the religious merit of his mother. As he mentions only his mother and not his father also, who was long since dead, it is likely that she was living at the time of the present grant and many have accompanied him to the holy place. Only four years before, she had made her own grant recorded in the Ṛiddhapur plates.

...As for the geographical names occurring in the present plates, Narattaṅgavāri was probably a tīrtha as suggested above. This is probably a joint name like Nāgapura-Nandivardhana, and means Vāri near Narattaṅga5. In that case it can be identified with Wāri, also called Bhairavagaḍh, now a deserted village on the river Bāṇ or Wāṇ in the extreme north-west of the Akōt tahsil in the Akōlā District6. It is only 18 miles to the west of the old fort of Narnālā, which probably represents ancient Narattaṅga, and is still regarded as a holy place. Kōśambakhaṇḍa, the donated village, is evidently Kōsamba, about 6 miles to the north-east of Tirōḍī, where the plates were found. Bennākaṭa was evidently a district7 comprising the territory round the modern village Bēṇī, 35 miles to the east of Kōsamba in the Gondiā tahsil of the Bhaṇḍārā District, which may have been its headquarters. The district seems to have been divided into two parts by the river Bennā, modern Waingaṅgā8. Kosamba, which now represents ancient Kōśambakhaṇḍa, is only 20 miles from the Waingaṇgā, and was evidently included in the western division (apara-paṭṭa) of Bennākaṭa. Of the villages that formed its boundaries, only one can now be traced. Jamalī which bounded it on the east is probably modern Jamuntōlā, 3 miles to the east of Kōsamba. Chāndrapura, where the

1 Dr. N. P. Chakravarti suggests that the name may be read as Navamidāsa.
2 It is noteworthy that the expression vaijayikē dharmasthānē, which occurs in the grants made at the royal capital, does not occur in this charter.
3 Cf.कामधेनुर्यथाकामचिन्तामणिस्तुचिन्तितम्‌।माघस्नानंददातीहृतद्वत्सर्वमनोरथान्‌॥ Padmapurāṇa, Uttarakhaṇḍa, Adhyāya 124, v. 164.
4 Ibid., Uttarakāṇḍa, adhyāya 43, vv. 5 f.
5 As there are now and were probably in ancient Vidarbha several villages named Vāri or Vārkheḍ, Narattaṅga seems to have been fixed to the place-name to define the position of the place intended.
6 At this place there are ruins of a fort called Bhairavgaḍh, with an image of Kāla-Bhairava. The place may have attained importance in the time of Pravarasēna II’s ancestor I, who was a fervent devotee of Kāla-Bhairava.
7 Bhōjakaṭa is another name ending in kaṭa. The Mahābhārata, Sabhāparvan, Adhyāya 31, vv. 10-12, states that Sahadēva vanquished the lords of Bhōjakaṭa. and Vēnātaṭa The name of the latter occurs as Vēnākaṭa in many Grantha MSS. of the epie,
8 Beṇṇākārpara-bhōga mentioned in the Siwanī plates is another territorial division named after the river Brṇṇā. As shown elsewhere, the villages mentioned as situated therein can be identified in the Āmgaon Zamindarī, east of the Waingaṅgā.

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