South Indian Inscriptions
THE DISCOVERY OF THE VAKATAKAS
were vivified . . . . The credit of the revival of Hindu art which had been universally attributed by the present-day writers wholly to the Guptas, like the credit of Sanskrit revival, really belongs to the Vākāṭakas.”1 Many of Jayaswal’s theories about the Nāgas, Vākāṭakas and Pallavas have been shown by sober criticism to be untenable, but there is no doubt that his powerful advocacy of the Vākāṭakas brought that dynasty into prominence and served to obtain recognition for their achievements.
...Further progress in our knowledge of the history of the Vākāṭakas was made in 1939 by the discovery of a copper-plate grant of the Vākāṭaka king Vindhyaśakti II at Bāsim (or Vāśīm) in the Akōlā District of Vidarbha. Before this discovery all writers who wrote on the Vākāṭakas believed that there was only one line of succession in the Vākāṭaka dynasty,2 notwithstanding the explicit statement in the Purāṇas that Pravīra, the son of Vindhyaśakti, who is plainly identical with the Vākātaka Samrāṭ Pravarasēna I, had four sons, all of whom came to the throne,3 and the discrepant evidence of the inscription in Ajaṇṭā Cave XVI which, multilated as it is, did not seem to give quite the same line of succession as the copper-plate grants.4 From the Bāsim plates, which I edited in the Epigraphia Indica, Vol. XXVI, pp. 137 f., I showed for the first time that the Vākāṭaka family branched off after the death of Pravarasena I. The statement in the Purāṇas that he had four sons is probably correct. Two of these are known (i) Gautamīputra, who predeceased his father and whose son Rudrasēna I succeeded Pravarasēna I ; and (ii) Sarvasēna, whose son Vindhyaśakti II issued the Bāsim plates.
I also showed from the inscription in Ajaṇṭā
Cave XVI, which I re-deciphered from a fresh estampage,5 that the record contained the
names, now partly mutilated, of the princes Sarvasēna and Vindhyasēna, the latter being
evidently identical with Vindhyaśakti II, who issued the Bāsim plates. It would seem,
therefore, that the extensive empire of Pravarasēna I was divided among his sons after
his death. His grandson Rudrasēna I obtained Northern Vidarbha as his patrimony, and
ruled from the old capital Purikā. Sarvasēna, the second son, obtained Southern
Vidarbha extending to the Gōdāvarī. Where the other two sons were ruling is not yet
known. They may have held the country south of the Gōdāvarī as well as Dakshiṇa Kōsala.
Their rule seems to have come to an end by the rise of the Early Rāshṭrakūṭas and the
Śakas in Kuntala, and the Nalas and others in Dakshiṇa Kōsala. In my article on the
Rāshṭrakūṭas of Mānapura.6 published in 1944, I showed that Mānāṅka, the progenitor
of this Rāshṭrakūṭa family, flourished about 375 A.C. and ruled from Mānapura which
is probably identical with the modern village Māṇ on the Māṇ river in Sātārā District from Mānapura which
of the Mahārāshṭra State. Later, from some coins discovered in the excavations at Kōṇḍāpur
and other plactes I showed that a Śaka dynasty flourished in the Mahisha country comprising
the southern portion of the former Hyderabad State and the adjoining territory.7 It was
founded by the Śaka king Māna who rose to power after the downfall of the Sātavāhanas.
These Early Rāshṭrakūṭas and the Śakas were thus the southern neighbours of the Vākāṭakas.
1 Jayaswal, History of India, 150 A.D. to 350 A.D., pp. 95 f.