South Indian Inscriptions
INSCRIPTIONS OF THE MAIN BRANCH
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.