NOTE ON PLACES AND AREAS IN ANCIENT INDIA 22. CHIDAMBARAM a town in south Arcot district in Tamilnadu is famous for its great Hindu Siva Temple dedicated to Nataraja, i.e. Siva in his aspects of cosmic dance. The Nataraja sculptures are esteemed as tehgreatest specimens of sculpture in the world. Also, Chidambaram bears evidence to the birth as well as the development of Shaivism to begin with insouthern Indian and its consequential spread to the whole of India. 23. CHEDI OR CHETI one of the 16 Janapadas of 6th century B.C. roughly corresponds to modern Bundelkhand and adjacent tracts. It lay near the Kanuna, its metropolis was suktimati to Sottihivatinagar. 24. CAAMPA the capital city of the Anga Janapada on the border of Bengal was of great commercial importance in ancient times; for it was a river port from which ships would sail down the Ganges and the coast the south India, returning with jewels and spices which were much in demand in the North. By Mauryan times, with the eastward expansion of Aryan culture, Tamralipti replaced in in importance. An interesting feature of this is the fact that a Hindu Kingdom with the same name came into existence in the mainland of South east Asia. Indeed it is difficult to say how exactly this name came to be transplanted in South-east Asia. 25. DASAPURA modern Mandasor in western Malwa, was disputed between the Sakas and the Satavahanas. Its famous Siva temple of the guild of Silk weavers, was built during the reign of kumar Gupta I (414 A.D.-455 A.D.) the institution that is responsible for building the Siva temple indicates the climax of Indian trading and commercial activities in ancient Indian. It also reveals that manufacture of silk was no longer the secret monopoly of China and it had taken roots in India by the 5th century A.D. 26. DEVAKA modern Dokak in Nowgong district in Assam, a frontier country which paid tribute to Samudragupta claiming the payment of tribute by Kamarupa goes along with Devaka. However, it is to be borne in mind that Harisena’s Prasasti is of doubtful historical validity. The one significant thing that is known is the fact that no ruler of the northern India could ever conquer the Assam region but instead Burma conquered it and it was wrenched from Burma by the British in 1829 by the Treaty of Yandavoo. 27. DEOGARH in Jhansi district of U.P. is famous for its Dasvatara Vishnu temple belonging to the Gupta period. The temple may be considered as most
respresentative and well known example of the early sikhara style of temple architecture in example of the early sikhara style of temple architecture on the panels of its walls. Deogarh is one the temples with which began the temple architecture of India. In particular, the Shikhara is the unique feature of the northerntemples compared to those of southern Indian. 28. DWARAKA Legends associate this place toYadavas after the battle of Kurukshetra. According to mythology Dwaraka was destroyed by the huge tidal 108
wave as per the forewarning of Lord Krishna. In very recent times Dr. S.R.Rao with the cooperation of the Department of Ocenography, did carry out under-sea explorations. Some artifacts including stone anchors have been found dating back to the Harappan period. The exploration is still continuing. 29. ELLORA With three distinct groups of rock-cut architecture associated with Buddhism, Jainism and Brahmanical Hinduism, is famous for its temple of Kailash (Siva) “an entire temple complex completely hewn-out of the live rock in imitation of a distinctive structural form”. The temple ws built by the Rashtrakuta king Krishna I (758-773 A.D.) and is one of the most magnificent examples of Dravida architecture with its four principal characteristic components, viz. Vimana, Mandapa, nandi mandapa and gopuram. The Ellora sculptures are famous for their liveliness. 30. ERAN Besnagar district (Madhya Pradesh) is famous on account of Eran Inscriptions dated 510 A.D. This inscription mentions the practice of Sati, first of its kind. It is also famous for its colossal board, the zoomorphic incarnation of Lord Vishnu. 31. ELEPHANTA beautiful little island off Bombay, with latest cavetemples in Ellora style was famous for their sculpture, especially the great Trimutti figure of Siva, emblem of the Maharashtar Govt. representing the highest plastic expression of the Hindu concept of divinity. 32. GANDHARA with Taxila and peshwar as two capitals, in earlier and later ancient periods was one of the 16 Janapadas (6th century B.C.) onthenorth-western frontier of India. Under the Kushans it become a popular center of Mahayana Buddhism and Gandhara art- Indian images both secular and religious (the Buddha and Lord Krishna) but in long floating garments, as is the tradition of early Greek sculpture. It was a meeting ground for several civilizations and mercantile communities belonging to different countries. 33. GORATHAGIRA A hill fortress on the modern Barabar hills in the Gaya district of Bihar, was attacked by King Kharavela of Kalinga in the 8th year of his reign. This fact is known from the Hathigumpha Inscription of king Kharavela. 34. GANGAIKOND-CHOLA-PURAM was capital city of the greatest Chola ruler Rajendra Chola I (1012-1044 A.D.) who built it after the successful Chola military camaign upto the bank of the river Ganges in 1021-22. Currently the city lies inruins and its enormous tankshas dried up. 35. GIRNAR hill near Janagarh in Gujarat, where a Mauryan governor is said to have built an artificial lake, known as Sudarsana lake which Rudradaman, the Saka ruler renovated. Rudradaman’s Sanskrit Inscription was located here and it is the first Sanskrit inscription It had been a sacred place to the Jainas since remote times because Jain shrines are also located here. 36. HASTINAPURA aim district Meerut in U.P. (known as Asandivant) was the capital of the ancient tribe of the Kurus. Later the floods destroyed it. Recent
excavations prove that the people of this region used iron by about 700 B.C. that is the Aryans had learnt the art of making iron which revolutionized the whole socioeconomic pattern of Aryan communities. It was this fact that lay at the base of the Economic Revolution that India passed through between 1000 B.C. to 600 A.D. with far too many consequences like the emergence of an empire, various kinds of guilds, brisk trade both with in and with out the country and links with buth Southeast Asia and the Roman empire. 109
37. HATHIGUPHA on Udaigir hill, three miles from Bhuvaneshwar in the puri district of Orissa, is famous for an inscription in post-ashokan character, engraved inside the elephant cave. It depicts the meteoric and dazzling carer of Jaina king Kharavela, the 3rd ruler of the Cate dynasty. It also refers to the building of an equeduct in Kalinga by one of the Nanda rulers of Pataliputra. The importance of this inscription lies in the fact that it is the first important sign-post in fixing the chronology of ancient India. 38. HAILBID is famous for Hoysalesvara temple (Hoysala period) designed and built by Kedoroja, the master-building of Narasimha I. The infinite wealth of sculpture over the exterior of this temple makes it one of the most remarkable monuments of the world. Known as Dwaramudra it was the capital of the Hoysalas. 39. INDRAPRASTHA identified by Jain scholars with the site around the enclosure of the Purana Oila (Delhi) one of the sites of painted Grey Ware (10th century B.C.) finda, was the legendry capital of the Pandava brothers of the epic Mahabharata, which they lost to the Kauravas having been defeated in the gambling match. After the second battle of Tarain (1192) Moh. Gauri appointed Outbuddin Aibak as his deputy at Indraprastha which became a base for Aibak’s successful operations against north Indian states. 40. KURA one of the 16 Janapadas of 6th century B.C., was in the neighbourhood of Delhi. Among its towns may be mentioned Indraprastha and Hastinapur. This place clearly brings home the truth to us that Mahabharata was not purely fictional story but some amount of historical evidence is embedded in the story. As a matter of fact, Vasudeve Krishna is now known as a historical personality as borne out by the writings of patanjali and other sources of evidence. 41. KAJANGALA in Raj mahal district in Eastern Bihar, where king Harsha (606- 647 A.D.) held his court while campaigning in eastern India.The Chiense pilgrim Huen-Tsang first saw Harsha here. 42. KAPISA It is the region near Kabul, probably Kipin as referred to by Chineses writers. The presiding diety of the city according to Chiense writers was zeus. The Greek god. The gold and silver coins issued by the Greek kings have been discovered from this region in big numbers. The Greeks were the first to issue gold coins in India. These coins testify to the growing trade links between India and Central Asia and China and also with the Roman world. Far more important is the fact that these coins testify to the gowing worship of Vasudeva-krishna or the Bhagavata cult which later repened as Vaishnavism. 43. KIPIN is identified with Kapisa or Kafirstan in Kashmir. It indicated the wide region know in earlier times as the Mahajanapada of Kamboja. It was ruled by the Sakas, the Kushans and the Hunas in succession. The name Kamboja reappears as the name of kamboja, an important of the mainland of South-East Asia.
44. KAMPILYA was the capital of southern Panchalas, one of the tribal communities of the Aryans. This fact proves that the Aryans, to begin with in India, lived as various tribes. The tribes were in constant war with eachother culminating in the emergence of the Magadha Empire. 45. KUSAMDHVALA (Patliputara) Gargi-Samhita alludes that in the 2nd century B.C. the Yavanas (Indo-Bacterians) having reduced Saketa, Panchala, and Mathura reached kusumdhvana. Demetrios, was, most probably, the Yavana leader. He was defeated or he retired withouth fighting. 110
46. KASI one of the 16 Janapadas of the 6th century B.C. with its capital of the same name. It was also called Varanasi (69). It greatly prospered under the rule of Brahmadatta. 47. KOSAL one of the 16 janapadas of the 6th century B.C. had three different capitals (Saketa, Ayodhya and Sravasti) in three different periods. It region roughly corresponded to modern oudh. 48. KUSINAGAR (Kusinara ?) moder Kasia, in Gorakhpur district in UP was a small town where the Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana. It was one of the two capitals of the Mall Janapada in pre-Buddhists times. It was visited by Ashoka and the Chinese pilgrim Fa-hien. 49. KANYAKUBJA (Kanauj) on the bank of river Gangas in UP rose to prominence during the time of Mukhar is, Harsha and Gujara-Pratiharas. Under the pratiharas, Kanauj successfully resisted the Arabs. In the 9th century A.D. It was disputed among the Palas of Bengal, Prathiharas, and the Rashtrakutas. It was situated on a very important trade-route linking north-Western regions of India with Prayaga, Kasi, Vaishali, Pataliputra, Rajagriha, Tamralipti. 50. KAUSAMBI identified with the villagesof Kosam near Allahabad was one of the earliest cities, so prominent that Anand, the Buddhist monk, though it important enough for a Buddha to die in. Recent excavation it here unearthed historically and culturally important terracotta figures. It was built in the shape of a trapezium and was the capital of the vastse Janapada. One of the Ashokan Pillars was located here. It was also an inscription of the Kushan monarch. 60. KARNA-SUVARNA : refers to the region of Bengal and some parts of Bihar and Orrisa, fuled by sasanka in the early 7th century A.D. Harsha conquered the region from him after 619 A.D. 61. KANHERI In Thana district near Bombay, has rock cut Chaitya shrines with elaborately decorated railings belonging to the third century A.D. One inscription of the last great ruler of the Satavahana dynasty. Yajnasri Satakarni is found here. Kanheri Buddhist Tank inscription makes mention of Matiemonial relationship between the Sakas and the Satavahanas. It was the chief center of Buddhism in Rashtrakuta times. Faint traces of the art of paintings may be traced in the caves of Kanheri. 62. KANCHI modern canjeevaram, south-west to Madras is reckoned among the seven sacred cities of the Hindus. It was an important center of Jaina culture in the first half of the first millennium A.D. It was one of the south Indian kingdoms conquered by Samudragupta. It was visited by Huen-Tsang. It rose to prominence in 7th century A.D. Under the Pallava king. It possesses the famous Kailashnath temple (built by Pallava King Narsimhavarman – II) and Vaikuntha perumalla (constructed sometime after the kailashnath). The Kailashnath temple is a landmark
in the development of dravida temple style with its characteristic componentsvimana, mandapa gopuram and an array of vimanas along the walls of the court, i.e. peristyle cells. 63. KAVERIPATTANAM known as Puhar, was the Chola capital and chief port in Sangam period (200 B.C.- 300 A.D.) with a large colongy of foreigners. It was an important trade center. Ships sailing from here to South-East Asia. A long poem on this Chola capital is the part of the famous Sangam work pattupattu (Ten Idylls). 111
64. KURUKSHETRA near Thaneswar, to the north of Delhi in Haryana, was the site of the great battle of Mahbharata. This battle fought between the Kauravas and the Pandavas, formed the basis of the story of the greatness of India epics the Mahabharata. It is in this great war that Krishna prached his gospel of the Gita, to the Pandava hero Arjuna who saw his own elders and kishmen arranged himself for the fith and then early decided to renounce and retire. Krishna gave him the message of disinterested perfomance of duty i.e. renunciation in action but no renunciation of action. That a great war ws fought between the cousin brothers – Kauravas and Pandavas is quite possible. 65. MANYAKHET (modern Malkhed in Hyderabad region) was the capital of Rashtrakuta Amoghavarsha I in the 9th century A.D. 66. MAHABALIPURAM is today a tiny coastal village 65 kms. south of Madras. This port-city was founded by Pallava king Narasimhavarman in the 7th century A.D. Pallava kings created an architecture of their own which was to be the basis of all the styles of the south. In fact Mahabilipuram, the Pallava art with its monolithic temples (rathas) and rocks sculptured in the shapes of animals with a wonderfully broad and powerful naturalism, with whole cliffs worked in stone frescoes, immenspictures unparalleled at the time in all Indian in their order movement and lyrical value. The Descent of the Ganges, the unique masterpiece of Pallava art was surely one of the most remarkable compositions of all time (in which is portrayed the Ganges coming down to earth, with gods, animals men and all creation in adoration). The shore temple built by Rajasimha represents one of the earliest examples of structural temples. the Pallvava monuments at Mahabalipuram symbolize not only the transition from rock-architecture to structural stone temples but also significantly the completion of the “Aryanisation” of South India during the Pallava period. 67. MADHYAMIKA is identified with Nagari near Chitor in Rajasthan. Patanjali alludes toYavana (Indo-Bacterian) invasion of Madhyamika. 68. MUSHIKAS on the lower Indus with its capital at Alord. Was the greatest principality at the time of Alexander’s invasion. Its king mousikanas submitted to Alexander after brave resistance. 69. MATIPUR modern Mandawar in district Bijnor of UP was a center of Hinayana Buddhist studies in the 6th and 7th centuries A.D. Huen-Tsang stayed here for some time. 70. MADURAI popularly known as the city of festivals, was the seat of the 3rd Sangam and was till the 14th century the capital of the Pandyan kingdom which had sea-borne brade with Rome and Greece. It is famous for the Minakshi temple. 80. MACCHA or Matsaya, was one of the 16 janapads. The Matsyas ruled to the west of the Jamuna and south of the Kurus. Their capital was at Viratnagar (modern Bairrat near Jaipur).
81. MALLA was one of the 16 Janapadas of the16th century B.C. The territory of the Mallas was on the mountain slopes probably to the north of the vijjain confederation. They had to branches with their capitals at Kusinagar and Pawa. But in pre-Buddhist time the Mallas were a monarchy. 82. MUZIRIS modern canganors in Kerala at the mouth of the river Periyar, an important port in Sangam period (20 B.C. – 300 A.D.) abounded in ships with 112
cargoes from Arabia and Roman world. Later literature speaks of Roman settlements and a temple was built here ni honour of Augustus. 83. NAGARJUNAKONDA is Krishna Velley, harboured a Neolithic community with stone-axe-culture and primitive mode of agriculture. With a few classical accidental looking sculptures in proves trade and culture contacts with the Roman world. Survival of a Buddhist stupa proves it to be a Buddhist center in early Christian centuries. The beginning of Hindu temple architecture in south India are best traced in the remains of the early brick temples of the Ikshavakus excavated here anticipating the Nagara, Dravida and Vasars styles. 84. NASIK (also known as Naiskya and Govardhan) is famous for exquisite rockcut Buddhist temple (of the period 2nd BC – 1st A.D.) with an engraved iscription of Gautami Balsari recording the achievement of the Satavahanas ruler Gautamiputra Satakarni). A large board of silver coins bearing the name, the titles of Nahapana were discovered at Jogalthambi very close to the Nasik suggesting the defeat of the Saka ruler bythe Satavahana knig. It is also famous for the Chaitya and Vihar as pan-du-lonea. 85. PITHUNDA on the Godavari, was the capital of the Avapeople or the Avamukta which was conquered as Samudragupta. 86. PADMAVATI was Nag capital is Gwalior region. Its king Ganapati Naga was defeated by Samudragupta. 87. PRATISHTHANA (Paithan) at the mouth of the river godavri in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, was the capital of Satavahana kings. It was an important commercial mart linked with Sravasti. 88. PURUSHPURA (modern Peshawar) was the capital of Kanishka’s vast empire and the center of Gandhara art. It became the chief center of Buiddhist activity and studies with building of number of huge Chaityas and viharas and with one stupa. The Chiense pilgrims refer to a many storied relic-tower in which some relics of Buddha were enshrined. It is here that the icons of Buddha and other Hindu gods were first finely carved. In provided the meeting place of the marchants of India, China, central Asia, Persia, and the Roman world. 89. PATTADAKAL near Aihole Badami is famous for magnificentrock-cult and sculptures temples in Chalukya and Pallava style. The number of such temples is ten – four in the northern style and six in southern. Most famous of these temples is lokesvara temple (now called Virupaksha). 90. PANCHALA was one of the 16 janapadas of the 6th century B.C. Its area correspondent to modern Bundelkhand and the portion of the Central Doab. It had two divisions northern and southern, the Ganges forming the boundary line. Their capitals were Ahicchatra and Kampilya respectively. One of the early Panchalas kings, Durmukha, is credited with conquests in all directions. 91. PUSHKALAVATI i.e. the “city of lotuses’ in Afganisthan to the north of the river Kabul (modern Charasadda) in the district of Peshawar was conquered by
Alexandar. It was the old capital of western Gandhara. A gold coin (belonging to the 2nd century B.C.) with the city goddess (Lakshmi) holding a lotus in her right hand and an appropriate Kharoshthi legend “Pakhalavati devata” had been discovered here pointing to the popularity of Indian goddess. It remained under the rule of the 113
Indo-Greeks, the sakas and the Kushana. It was an important link in India’s trade relations with central Asia and China. 92. RAJAGRIHA moder Rajgir, near Patna in Bihar was and ancient capital of Magadha under Bimbisara and Ajatsatru. It was here that first Buddhist council was held after the death of Buddha. The cyclopean walls of the this old commercial town are among themost remarkable finds in India. 93. SAKALA modern Sialkot, capital of Menander, was the refuge of Buddhist monks. It was here, according to Buddhist tradition, that Pushyamitra Sungha declared to give an award of 199 dinars for the head of a Buddhist monk. 94. SANCHI :near Bhopal famous for a Buddhist stupa and for one of Ashoka’s Minor Pillar Edicts. Sanchi sculptures along with Bharhut Godh-Gaya represent the first organized art activity of the Indian People. There are reliefs of the Jatkas on the stone walls around the stupa. Sanchi revealed historically important inscription of the Satavahanas and the Gupta kings. Kakanodbota probably was the ancient name for Sanchi, which was inhabited by the tribal people Kakar, and was conquered by the Samudragupta. 95. SRAVASTI moder Saket-Mahet on the borders of the Gonda and the Bahraich districts of U.P. On the river Rapti – It was a famous center of trade in ancient times, from where three important trade routes emanated linking it with Rajagriha, Pratishthana, and Taxila. It was one of the early capitals of the Janapad of Kosal. Later, it served as the provincial headquarters of the Gupta kings. Fa-hien visited it. 96. SAKETA region around Ayodhya, was invaded by Yavanas (Indo-Bacterin) is attested to by Patanjali. 97. SARNATH near Varanasi, is the place where the Buddha delivered his frist sermon in the Deer park, this event being known as the “Turning of the Wheel of Law”. It is the site of the famous Ashokan Pillar of Polished sand-stone whose lion capital was adopted by the people of Free India as the state emblem. It was also the famous seat of Gupta sculpture. Gupta plastic art reached its perfection e.g. the seated Buddha in preaching posture. 98. SRAVANA-BELGOLA in Hasan district of Karnataka, is famous for the monolithic statue of Gometeswara- 85fit. High, erected in 980 A.D. by Chemundya Rai, the chief minister of the Ganga king Rachmal. 99. SOPARA port town known to the Periplus and ptolmey, carried most of the ancient Indian trade with foreign countries; gradually it began to lose its importance to Berygaza and Barharium- Ist century A.D. onwards. It ahs survived as a village 40 miles north of Bombay. 100. TOSALI (Dhauli) near Bhuaneshwar in Puri district of Orissa, was the seat of one of the Mauryan viceroyalties as well as one of the fourteen major rock edicts of Ashoka. The Tosali rock edict refers only to the conquered province. 101. TRIPURI now village near Jabalpur, was the capital of the Kalachuri dynasty. The Kalachuri kings became independent in 10th century A.D. In 1939, Tripuri had the distinction of being the venue of the 54th session of Indian National congress. 102. TAMRALIPTI Tamluk in the Midnapur district of Western Bengal was one of
the most important port-towns of ancient India. Outlet to south-east Asia when there was trade boom. 114
103. TANJORE is famous for Rajarajeswava or Brihadeswara temple of lord Shiva which is the largest and tallest of all India temples with its vimana towering to a height of nearly 200 feet over the Garbhagriha with Pyramidal body in thirteen tiers. It was the seat of Chola government in the 9th century A.D. and later of an independent kingdom after the fall of ther Vijayanagar Empire. Weight of the cap 80 tonnes. Conceived on a gigantic scale. Stone relief as minute as that of jewelers. 104. THANESWAR near Kurukshetra, to the north of Delhi in the province of Haryana, was the capital of the Pushyabhuti dynsty. The kingdom of thanesar emerged into a powerful state under Harsha’s (606-647 A.D.) father, Prabhakarvardhan who was in constant warfare against the Huns on the frontier and with the rulers of Malwa. Harsha shifted his capital from Thaneswar to Kannauj. According to Heun-Tsang the people of this city were specially inclined to trade. Thus thanesar was a principal center of trade. It was attacked by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1014 A.D. it is here that ahmad Shah Abdali first defeated the Maratha army in 1759 boding to the Maratha collapse at Panipat in 1761. NOTE ON PLACES AND AREAS IN ANCIENT INDIA 105. UJJAIN in Madhya pradesh was the capital of Avanti (6th century B.C.) and Chandragupta II, and was one of the provincial capitals of the Mauryas. It was the modal point of two ancient trade routes, one from Kausambui and the other from Mathura, its chief exports being agate, jasper and carnelian. It has an observatory built by Maharaja Savai Jai Sing II (1686-1743). 106. URAIYUR also known as Aragaru,on the river Kavari, was for some time the Sangam chola capital, was famous for its pearls and muslin, the latter being as think as the slough of the snake. 107. UTTARMERUR is a village of Tamil Nadu where nearly two hundred inscriptions belonging to Pallava and Chola periods indicating the nature and working of the village administration have been found. According to Uttarmerur inscriptions Pallava and Chola villages enjoyed maximum of autonomy inadministrative matters with popular village assemblies like the Ur, Sabha, Mahasabha or Nagaram looking after the village affains without any interference from royal officers. The village of Uttarmerur was divided in thirty wards. 108. VATSGULMA modern Basim in the Ahoka district in the South of Ajanta, was the capital of a Junior branch of the Vakatakas who are mentioned in the Ajanta cave inscriptiona No. XVI. 109. VIDISA modern Besnagar, near Bhilsa, in East Malwa, was a part of Sunga empire with Agnimitra, the sone of Pushyamitra Sunga as viceroy. The Vidisa guild of ivory worker was famous for these workers carved the stone sculpture on the gateways and railings surrounding the Sanchi Stupa. It indicates commercial prosperity. It was also famous for the Garuda Pillar Inscription which testified its erection by a Greak ambassabor named Heliodorus in honour of Vasudeva Krishna, the god of the Bhagavatas. 110. VAISHALI indentified with modern Basali in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar, was apulent and prosperous town in the Buddhist period. The second Buddhist Councial was held here. It served as the capital of lichchavis. Later, Ajatsatru annexed it to this kingdom. Ambapali, the famous charming courtesan, lived here and hosted to
the Buddha at one time and later she became a convert to Buddhism. 115
111. VENGI (in Andhra Pradesh) one of the south Indian kingdoms probably joined the Sangha conquered by Samudragupta. It was the capital of the eastern Chalukyas, and was disputed between the Chalukyas and the Pallavas. 116
MAP INDEX : ANCIENT PLACE NAMES AND HISTORIC SITES Bamiyan Kapsa Pushkalavati Purushpura (Peshawar) Massage Sahabazgarhi Manshere Taxila Burzahom Srinagar Sakala Mehrgarh Marappa (Hariyupa?) Yaudheya Jalandhara Rupar Kalibangan Banavali Thanesvara Kalsi Topra Kurukshetra Alamgirpur Hastinapur Indraprastha Ahicchatra Mathura Kampilya Kanyakubja Sravasti Niglava Ayodhya Rummindei Kapilvastu Pavapuri Kusinagar Rampurva Lauriya-Nandangarh Lauriya – Araraj Vaisali Chirand Pataliputara Purnia Gaya Barbar and Gorthagiri Rajagriha Nalanda Champa Devaka Navadvipa Tamralipti Kandhar Mohenjodro Kot Diji Amri Chanho-daro Barbaricum Pushkar (Ajmer) Sakambhari Nindowari (near 53) Bairat (Bhabra) Jaipur Padmavati Deogarh Bharhut Kausambi Prayaga Sarnath Kasi 117
Arbuda Madhyamika Daspura Eran Ujjayani Besnagar Sanchi Vidisa Rupanath Tripuri Surkotada Evarka Lothal Rangapur Girhar (Girinagar or Junagarh) Bharukacche (Broach, Barygaza) Valabhi Somnath Bagh Mahismati Harda Bhagtrav Surat Anupad Ajanta Ellora Devagiri Pratisthana (Paithan) Nasik Aparanta
Kanheri Surparaka (Sopara) Elechanta Karle Bhaja Vatagulma Maha Kosal Mahakantar Sisupalgarh Dhauli (Tosali) Puri-Hathigumpha Jauguda Gangam Kottura Mahendragiri Devaragiri Devarasthra Visakhapatnam Pishtapura Kalyana Manyakheta Vengi Kaurala Ghantasala Amravati Vatapi Aihole Maski Yarragudi Vanavasi (Banavasi or Vaijayanti) Brahmagiri Pallaka Dwarsmudra Belur Sravana Belgola Kanchi Uttarmerur Mamlalpuram Sopatma Arikamdeu Chidambaram Puhar (Kaveripatnam) 118
Gangaikonda – Choleapuram Nagapattanam Naura Tyndis Kongu Uraiyar Srirangam Tiruchirapali Tanjor (Tanjavur) Madurai Muziris Nelcynda Balita Korkai Kanyakumari Tondi Anurudhapur Sriengri (near 133) Kajangala (near 43) Pattakakal (near 125) Iskkeri (near 132) CONTACTS WITH SOUTH-EAST ASIA : ADDITIONAL NOTES SOURCES : (1) LITERARY EVIDENCE: (A) Chinese records refer to an Indian belonging to Kaundinya gotra – corroborated by later iscriptions – some of the Chinese sources are in the form of narration of diplomatic missions, or cultural literature. (B) INDIAN LITERATURES : Jataka stories talk of golden lands and islands (Suwaranadeep and Suwaranbhumi) – the Ramayana mentions Java and Sumatra – the Kathasaritasagara talks of ships sailings to the port of Kataha or modern keda in Malaysia. (C) WESTERN LITERATURE : (Ptolemy of the second century talks of brisk trade – refers to the direct route from Ganjam to Malaysia. This route to Malaysia is confirmed by recent reseaches. (2) WESTERN EVIDENCE : This constitutes the earliest material evidence – B uddhist imagef rom the school of Amaravati – later in Thailand , combodia, Annam, Sumatra, Java and Celebes. (3) EPIGRAPHIC EVIDENCE : The oldest Vo-Canh inscription on the Vietnamese coast (third century A.D.) referring to one king Srimara -Sanskrit inscriptions form the 5th century found in Borneo – Borneo inscriptions talk of evidence sacrifices and
the cult of Shiva while the oc-eo inscriptions talk of trade relations inscription in south Vietnam and excavations at Oc-eo in modern Combodia – from the 7th century, epigraphicall sources became more numerous (Borneo, Java Sumatra, Malayan Peninsula and Indo-China Peninsula) – Combodia has more than 1,000 inscriptions both in Sanskrit and Khmer language. (4) ARCHEOLOGICAL SOURCES : The Khmer remains the marvelous the city of Oc-eo was the nucleus of the later Khmer kingdom. The two Khmer temples are Angkor Vat and Beyon – close to modern Jakarta is Baraboudur wherein we have got a Buddha temple. 119
(5) SIGNIFICANCE : The history of South East Asia lets in a fresh breeze into the repetitive revents of ancient Indian like rise and fall of empires, foreign invascions weak successors and so on. By the end of the fifth century, Mekong Valley, Malaya peninsula and the Indonesian islands were dotted with Hindu principalities. Particularly the kingdom of Funan attained eminence. South-East Asian history bearn witness to the youthful vigour of Indian civilizations, primarily the pioneerings and adventurous zeal of Indians in the swamps and jungles of the East, Commercial zeal of merchant class, and exceptional missionary zeal of Hindus. Probably Hindus were great navigators as borne out bythe Agastya lenged. Political expansion of south-East Asia was motivated partly by a desire on the part of the enterprising princes driven by misfortune to find new homes and kingdoms for themselves are partly to spread Indian culture. A few adventurous men like kaundinya settled down in the kingdoms explored by them, where they were accepted by the local population as their rulers. Also the march of Indian culture in south-East Asia was the outcome of the thirst for reaching the eastern El Doradokanakapuri -the land of gold. Merchants and adventures or banished princes, seeking to try their luck in the unknown land, embarked either at the ports of Tamralipti and Paloura or took the land route through dense forests and mountains noticed a Chinese traveler and also mentioned in Burmese chronicles. HISTORY OF FUNAN AND CAMBODIA In the beginning of the first century A.D. a Hindu community existed in Funan. The oldest Hindu kingdom established in the lower valley of the Mekong, the area now included in the Indo-China peninsula was known as the funan with its capital at Vyadhapura, probably near Ba Phnom. According to the tradition recorded in inscriptions, it was founded in the 1st century B.C. by a Brahamana and Kaundinya from India who defeated and married the Naga prnices soma of that place. The second Kaundinya – again a Brahmana from India was elected king by the people, thus marking the next stage of Indian colonisation, Hinduism too deep root in that country, and the rulers bore Indian names and followed Indian religion. The brahminical hierarchy was a notable feature in the social order. Chinese records mentions the year as 191 A.D. when Kaundinya, a Brahmin, “planted his javelin and married a local naked princes”. This was confirmed by the inscriptions relating to King Srimara of the third century A.D. History of Thais also confirms this evidence. One of the kings, Ashvanarman performed otrthodox Aryan sacrifices. For certain, another Kaundinya who ruled over Funan in the fourth century A.D. appears to have reorganized the state and society. The successor of Kaundinya II, Gu navarman,
built temples in honour of Vishnu. In the fifth century A.D. there was a war between funan and the newly emerging champa. At this time Jayavarma of Funan sent an emissary to China seeking its help. This kingdom established by Kaundinya flourished for a few centuries. Chinese annals refer to some of the vasslas of Funan in the seventh century A.D. Funan lost its importance and was merged in the famous kingdom of Kambuja (Cambodia) named after Kambu-Svayambhuva. By abo to the 6th century A.D, King Bhavavarman founded a new royal family. Consolidating his hold over kingdom of Kambuja and Funan. His successors ruled for a very long time. The later story is that of the empire of Kambuja extending over a period of more than five centuries. 120
Three important kingdosm existed at the opening of the sixth century – Kambuja (Cambodia), Champa (Thailand) and Srivijaya, a great maritime empire which included the Malaya peninsula and Simatra. KAMBUJA: Kambuja began as a vassal state of Funan but by the middle of the sixth century ir became an independent State of Funan. The founder was Stiravarman. The early inscriptions are in classical Sanskrit, Full of references to ancient India. The kings were Hindus, mainly Saivite. More interesting is the fact that the prasati of Bhavaarman was written in the Kavya style closely imitating the Rabhuvansa of Kalidasa. Buddhism appeared ni Kambuja by the middle of the seventh century, and two religions, Hinduism and Buddhism, co-existed as in India. From the homeland it was the Pallava influence that dominated. It was the Pallava doctrine of Saivism that the official cult of Kambuja also. Kambuja’s architecture bears the influence of the Pallava tradition. CHAMPA: Champa or Thailand was also an anceitn kingdom. It too broke away from Funan. Chmapa covered Vietna, Laos and Cambodia at one time. Founded by the turn of the first century A.d. with its capital at Indrapura, Its nucleus was modern Thailand. Probably might have been the first historical king, if not the founder of the Hindu dynasty. The first known-important king was Rudravarman. One king Indravarman III mastered the six systems of Hindu Philosophy, the Buddhist philosophy system, the grammer of Panini, and the sacred texts of the saivitis. The Vedas and the Dramasastras were studied and one king Sri Jaya Idnravarma VII had mastery of the Dharmasastras. Even the Ramayana and the Mahabharata were videly known. The architecture of Champa was of the southern type. Champa disappeared in the 14th century from History after many centuries of fight with the kingdom of Annam which was the advanced post of Chiense culture. SAILENDRAS: Probably, the sailendras were merged with the Srivijaya kingdom of Sumatra in the fourth century A.D. By the end of the eighth century, the empire spread to Malaya peninsula, One
of the kings sent an expedition to Java. I-Tsing visited one king, Sri Jayanasa. Inscriptions talek of Sailendra rule over Sumatra, java and the Malay peninsula by theend of the thirteenth century A.D. As a naval power the Sailendras continued till the 12th century. The third kingdom of Srivijaya had the glory of guarding the sea routes. The kingdom was first established in Sumatra. Soon the king conquered the other island groups and established their hegemony over the Malaca straits by the beginning of the seventh century. In the eighth century they extended their power to the Malay peninsula. “Thus withone foot on the continent and the other on the great island of Sumatra they bestrode the straits and retained the mastery of both seas for over 500 years.” It was this authority of Srivijaya kingdom that was challenged by the Chols in the eleventh century. It was Rajendra Chola who began the 100 years war with the Sailendras. At the end of the war the Sailednras remained masters of the sea. Thus for full 700 years they did had held sovereignty over the seas surrounding the islands and upheld Indian culture in the archipelago. 121
They maintained friendly relations with the Palas of Bengal. Balaputradeva of the Sailendras built a monastery at Nalanda. Another ruler built a monastery at Nagapatnam. The Sailendras were Mahayana Buddhist. Sumatra and Java attracted foreign scholars. Atisadipankara of the Vikramsila university styed for ten years in Sumatra. Their greatest stupa is the Buddha temple at Baraboudour largest in the world – 2000 relief scultupres on the life of the Buddha – built in the from of terraces – the top-most terrace crowned with a bell-shaped stupa. Arab travelers by compliments to the wealth and grandeur of the empire in the 8th century. But Camobida as Java broke away in the 9th century. SOCIAL LIFE: The Indian, immigrants in South-East Asia, while setting up their kingdoms, tried to build a social structure on the orthodox Indian model with the traditional four castes (caturvarna) and the supremacy of the brahmins and the ksatriyas. The distinction between brahmins and the Kastriyas was more apparent than real. Intermarriage between the two was not unknown. But the caste system in these regioins was not as rigid as in India. The aristocracy and the common people had a sharp line of distinction, specially noticed in their dress, which was scanty in the case of ordinary people but gorgeous and ornamented for the aristocrats. Caste did not interfere in the Choice of the avocation. A Kambuja record refers to the members of a Brahmin family being elephant drivers. Artisans and priests. The Indian dhoti wsa very commonly used. It is mentioned by Chinese historians. A sculpture at Bayon depicts the king dressed in dhoti with a hara – jeweled gold garland – round his neck. The history of the Sui Dynasti mentions that the kings was dressed in purple silk clothes which were embroidered. Inscriptios and sculptures bring out the use of Indian ornaments.
The food habit of the people was the same, tandula (rice) was the staple food with pulses like tila and mudga. Likewise gharta, dadhi and guda (ghee, curd anomolasses) are mentioned in inscription s. ART: It is astonishing that the greatest Buddhist temple is found not in India but in Baraboudur in Indonasia. Considered to be the largest Buddhist temple in the whoel world, It was constructed in the eighth century A.D. and 436 images of Buddha were engraved onit. The temple of Angkorvat in Kampuchea to medieval times of Baraboudur. Although this temple belongs to medieval times in can be compared to the best artistic achievements of the Egyptians and Greeks. The stories of the Ramayana and Mahabharata are written in relief on the walls of the temple. The story of the Ramayana is so popular in Indonasia that many folk plays are performed on its basis. The Indonesian language called BHASHA INDONESIA contains numerous Sanskrit words. In respect of sculptures the head of the Buddha from Thailand, the head from Kambuja and the Magnificent bronze images from Java are regarded as the best examples of the blending of Indian art with local art traditions of South- East Asia. Similarly beautifull examples of painting comparable to those of Ajanta have been found not only in Sri Lanka but in the Tun Huang Caves on the Chinese border. It was a two-way traffic. Indians acquired the craft of minting gold coins from the greeks and Romans. They larnt theart of growing silk from Cinha. That of growing betel leaves from Indonasia, and several other products from the neighbouring countries. Similarly the method of growing cotton spread from India to China and 122
central Asia. However, Indian contribution seems to be more important in art, religion and language. REASONS FOR COLLAPSE (a) Neither the Hindu nor the Budhist emigration was supported by any kingdom or empire in India, clearly provingthat the expansion was not colonial in nature. (b) Since no home support was there for these kingdoms, they later easily succumbed to local influences.The Chinese influence as spear-headed by the Annamites caused the destruction of the Khmer rule. The arab capture of trade and their subsequent penetration into this region led to the spread of Islam in Indonesia and to some extent in Malaysia. (c) The early Hindu influence succumbed to the Buddhist influence partly coming from India and partly from China. (d) The thais coming from Yunnan maountains in China established themselves at the expense of Hindu kingdoms in Indo-China. (e) The local influences over which Hinduism was super imposed re-asserted themselves. Somehow the Buddhist influence remained partly because of the cultural patronage of China to Buddism.
(f) The final disappeaance of Hinduism must definitely be because of Hinduism going to seed in its own home land by 1000 A.D. CONTACTS WITH CENTRAL ASIA The expansion of Indian culture and influence both in Central Asia and in the southeast towards the countries and islands of the pacific is one of the momentous developments in the period immediately preceeding the Christian era. Asoka’s missionaries traveled for to the west but the result of their work in Antioch and Alexandria and other distant countries must remain a matter of speculation. It is however the Kushan empire of Kanishka, Huviska and Vassudeva which became the carriers of Indian thought into Central Asia. Kanishka was the patron of Mahayana Buddhism, and his empire outside Indian became a scene of Indian missionary activity. The great Kasyapa Matanga and Dharmaratna were actually employed in missionary work in Indo-Scycthian counries when the Chinese ambassadors met them (68 A.D.) From that time there was a countinous and uninterrupted flow of Scholars, Monks and missionaries to china of whom the most famous was Kumarajuna and Vasubandhu. The Indianisation of Khotan, Kucha, and others areas in Central Asia is still evidenced by the great mass of Buddhist literatures that has been discovered there by various expeditions. With the archaeological discoveries of Sir Aurel Stein began our knowledge of India and central Asia. Manuscripts belonging to second century A.D. were found at Khotan-written in Prakrit. Another script was found at Kucha belonging to the 4th century A.D. quotations from Charaka and Susruta. And Russian archaeologists discovered 182 frescos in Tun-Hunang known as the cave of the thousend poets. 2. Chinese Turkestan, called by sir Aurel Stein as the innermost heart of Asia and forming a vast basin was at one time a prosperous country of flourishing cities with their rich sanctuaries and monasteries. The remains in Turkestan and the finds that and monasteries. The remains in Turkestan and the finds that different sites explored or excavated by archaeologists have established beyond boubt that a large 123
number of Indians had migrated from the Punjab and Kashmir and settled in the Tarim basin where thet when stein was exploring that region he felt as if he was in some Punjab village, although he was nearly 3,00 km. Away from the land of the five rivers. 3. There was an Indian Kingdom in Khotan. It is alleged that it was founded by son of emperor Asoka. The names of the early kings all begin with Vijeta. Buddhism was introduced in that kingdom more than a century after its establishment. Later many Buddhist monasteries were set up in the region; two famous ones, Gosrnga and Gomati Viharas, were great centers of learning. Many other Indian monks visited khotan and many Buddhist monasteries flourished there. Both Prakrit and Sanskrit were studied in Khotan. The whole of Central Asia was a meeting place of different cultures since it contained the famous silk trade route between China and Roma. The northern route touched Kucha (Kuchi) Oarashara (ancient Agnidesa) and Turfan, while the Southern route passed through Kashgar, Yarkand, Khotan, Niya, Miran and other important centers. The two routes fimally converged at Tung-huang on the western border of China, a strong Buddhist center noted for its famous grottos. Buddhism flourished in all these regions but traces of Brahmanical religion are also found in khotan and other places. Besides religion, Indian influence can also be traced in art and architecture.
Probably some Indian artists from Khotan had migrated to China. Various remnants of frescos leave no doubt that not only the whole oconography but the technique of drawing, conventions and mannerism were derived from the Buddhist paintings in India. Stucco figures were modeled on the existing ones at Gandhara. The Indian influence is even more distinctly confirmed by the finds from khotan, Tumshuq and Schorshuq. 4. BUDDHIST missionaries went first to Central Asia. Fahien and Biuen-Tsang spoke of thousands of Buddhists living in the area. From this area, Buddhism spread to China. Kashyapa Matanga a and Dharmaratha visited the Chinese empire in the 2nd century B.C. and converted the people to Buddhism. And historical evidence shows that it was kumarjiva of the fourth century B.C. who converted the people of Kucha to Buddhism. 5. Tibet was brought under the orbit of Buddhist in the 7th Century A.D. Later, Tibetans borrowed the Kashmiri script which was later transformed into the Tibetan script of today. Later, the Tibetan Buddhists came in large numbers to India during the pala period and there was a lively exchange between Tibet and Pala kingdom. Tibetan monks studied at the monasteries of nalalnda and Vikramasila. 6. Political and cultural ties between India and central Asia continued till about the 8th century A.D. the gradual advance of Islam and the suspension of the silk trade on account of insecureties between India and the innermost heart of Asia. 7. This Indian cultural expansion into Central Asia was no attempt at political expansion. Instead the assimilation of all the foreigners who came to Indian- Greeks, Parthians, Sakas, Kusanas and Hunas-in the socio-religious structure of India was the triumph of Indian culture. 8. During the long course of history, India’s attitude towards political and cultural expansion has never been imperialistic. Armies were never sent to conquer andy region. The conquest was mainly intellectual, and incidentally the superior culture triumphed over the native one. Individual men or groups set up kingdoms which in 124
course of time shaped into empires. The contact with the motherland was maintained but India never exploited the colonies for her own benefit. The kingdoms were, however, repositories of Indian culture-replicas of the ones in India. ADDITIONAL NOTE The post-Mauryan era is known for meaningdul contacts between central Asia and India. North-western India came under the rule of a number of dynasties hailing from Central Asia. The first were the Indo-Greeks who earlier ruled over Bactria situated to the South of Oxus river in the area covered by north of Afghanistan. (For details see Indo- Greeks.) The Indo-Greeks were followed by the Sakas. One of their branches settled in India with Taxila as their capital. Another branch ruled over western India. The latter came into conflict with the Satavahanas. There is nothing conspicuous regarding this contact. The only famous ruler was Rudradaman (130 to 150 A.D.) who undertook repairs to improve Sudarshana lake in Kathiawar, this lake was used for a very long time. Also, he was a patron of Sanskrit. It was the who first issued a long inscription in chaste Sanskrit. After the Sakas, the Central Asians who influenced India were the Kushans. They originally came from the steppes of north Central Asia and lived in the
neighbourhood of China. (Refer to the topic on the Kushans for further details). In general the central Asia contactsled to certain developments. Building activity was very brisk. Burnt brick was used for flooring and tiles were used forboth flooring and roofing. Also, brick wells wre constructed. The typical pottery of the Saka- Kushan period was the red ware, both plain and polished. Some pots have spouted channels. Such like objects have been found in Soviet Central Asia also. More important is the fact that the Sakas and the Kushans settled in India for good. They adopted the scripts, languages and religious of India. Thus they became integral parts of Indian society and this fusion of the Sakas and the Kushans with Indian society left its own imprint. They introduced better cavalry and use of riding hourses on a large scale. Use of reins and Saddles became common as shown in the Buddhist sculptures of the second and the third centuries A.D. Numerous equestian terracotta figures of the Kushan period have been found. Horsemen were heavily armed and fought with spears and lances. More important are the changes introduced by them in the ordinary pattern of life – turbans, tunics, truousers and heavy long coat. The first one is worn by the Afghans and Punjabis till today and probably the Sherwani of today is the successor of the long coat. The close contacts between Central Asia and India also led to the import of gold from the Altai mountains in Central Asia. Also, as the Kushans controlled the silk Route they derived large revenues. This made the Kushans issue gold coins for the first time on a wide scale in India. Furthermore, the rule of central Asian conquerors strengthened the feudal tendencies of society. The very fact that the Kushans called themselves ‘King of kings’ shows that they exercised suzerainty over small princes. Along with this new dimension in polity, the Sakas and Kushans introduced the concept of Divieright of kingship. The Kushan kings called themselves sons of god. Possibly this has made 125
manu state that the king should be obeyed because he is a great god ruling in the form of human beings. In matters relating to society, the Greeks, the Sakas, the parthians and the Kushans came to be absorbed as the Kshatriya community. These were known as the falled kshatriyas. In matters of religion, a good number of foreign rulers believed in Vaishanavism. The greek ambassador Heliodorus got a pillar constructed in honour of Vishnu near Vidisa in Madhya Pradesh. A few took to Buddhism like the Greek ruler. Menander. The exchange of views between the Buddhist teacher Nagasena of nagarjuna and Menander constitutes a good source for the cultural history of this period. Finaly, some Kushan rulers took to worship of Shiva and the Buddha. These contects with foreigners led to some changes in Indian religions. The old form of Buddhism was too puritanical and too abstract for foreigners. They were in no position to apprecie the philosophy of Buddhism as emphasized by the existing Buddhist schools. To satisfy these foreigners, the Mahayana or the Great Vehicle came into existence in which the Buddha is worshipped in the form of images. Those who followed the older version of Buddhism or lesser Vehicle were known as Hinayanists. Kanishaka was a great patron of Mahayana. He convened a council in Kashmir and he had set up many stupas in memory of the Buddha. Also, these foreign rulers became patrons of Indian ort and literature. Masons and artisans trained in different schools of thought were employed by the Kushans
particularly in north-western India Indian artisans came into contact with their Greek and roman counterparts. Such was the beginning of the Gandhara art in which images of the Buddha were made in Graeco-Roman style. This from of art gradually spread to Mathura is borne out by the famous headless statue of Kanishaka. This particular school of art was also instrumental for a good number of stone images of Mahavir. It was this impetus that activated the artistic impulse of India. In several places south of the Vindhyas beautiful Buddhist caves were carved out of rocks, the famous ones in Maharashtra. In Andhra Pradesh, nagarjunkunda and Amravati were the centers of Buddhist art. The stories related to the Buddha have been portrayed in numerous panels. The foreign rulers were also instrumental for providing a stimulus to literature and learning. The inscription of Rudradaman in Kathawar reveals the Kavya style in Sanskrit. More and more inscriptions came to be composed in chaste Sanskrit. It is also held that Asvaghosa was probably patronized by the Kushans. He wrote Buddha Charita, a biography of the Buddha. He also wrote Saundarananda which is a fine example of Sanskrit Kavya. In matters relating to theeatre also, the contact with central Asian rulers led to some changes. The feature of curtain in dramatic performances was borrowed from the Greeks. Finally, in the field of science and technology contacts with central Asian foreigners led to certain developments. The presence of a great number of Greek terms in Sanskrit shows that Indian astronomy and astrology benefited from their contact with the Greeks. It is said that the term Horasastra’ meaning astrology in Sanskrit was adapted from the Greek term horoscope. In technology, Indian gained from its contacts with the Central Asians. Kanishaka is represented as wearing trousers and long boots. It is conjectured that the practice of making leather shoes began in this 126
period. Also, the copper and gold coins of the Kushans were imitations of the Roman coins. There was exchange of embassises between India and the Roman experors. These contactw might have led to new practices in technology. For certain, working in glass during this period was influenced by foreign ideas and practices.