ancient indian history

Kesaribeda Plates

Inscription number 17.
Kesaribeda Plates of Arthapati Bhattaraka.
Regnal year 7.
Provenance: A Forest adjoining the village Kesaribeda, Koraput district. orissa.
There are two ancient villages in Koraput-sub-division; one is in the Dasmanthpur area (on hills) called Paiko Puki. The other place near to Perata village and very close to Koraput town, which is known as Poraja Puki.
Script: Scooped out type of the box-headed variety of the South Indian Brahmi.
Language: Sanskrit.
The Nalas had consolidated their position when Vakataka Empire was under the regency of queen Prabhavatigupta (390-410 A.D.) and Nala king. Varaharaja had proclaimed independence and rose to great prominence.
The Nalas ruled in Kantara-Kosal region in 4th and 5th centuries. They claim to be descent from the Nishadha king Nala of the epic fame. Vayu-Purana and Brahmanda- Purana also support it. According to Matsya purana and Hari Vamsha, they belonged to the solar dynasty; but the Mahabharat narrates that they were of the lunar race. Nalas ruled over the land between river Wian Ganga in the west to the Indravati in the south and from the Eastern Ghats in the east to the Mekala region in the north. This territory was within the dominion of Nalas , when they went at the height to the power but their original country was confined to the modern Koraput district of Orissa and part of Bastar district of Madhya Pradesh, may be a part of Kalahandi District of Orissa also.

Arthapati Bhattaraka is known from these Kesaribeda Plates I.e only known inscription, which was issued from Pushkari, which may have been the then capital of the Nala kings. The inscription suggests that the king was a devotee of Maheshvara Shiva and Mahasena Kartikeya. The inscription mentions that he was from the family of Nala.

References: D.C. Sircar, Ep.Ind.. XVIII, pp.12-17.

Arthapati Bhattaraka caused the Rithapur plates to be made on behalf of Bhavattavarman, who was
probably his father.
Second Plate first Side

1. From the facsimile in Ep.Ind., XXVIII, facing pp.16.
2. This town has to be located in Podagadh region of Koraput district, orissa.
3. Identified with Kesaribeda, the first spot of the plates.
4. The Visargas seem to have been inserted later.
No Space having been left after bhi, they are almost overwritten on the following syllable Kau.
Footnote 3.
Third plate first side.
1. Karmanta means cultivated land.But in the present context it seems to have been used in the sense of business occupation.
2. Hiranya = Rent for land payable in Cash besides the share of produce.
English Translation of the inscription.

Peace ! From Pushkari, a scion
of the royal family of Nala, the illustrious Maharaja Arthapati-bhattaraka,, whose banner bears ( the symbol of) three fingurs (or three pennons), and upon whom the glory of royalty has been bestowed by the gods Mahesvara and Mahasena or who has dedicated his kingdom and wealth to Mahesvara, and Mahasena, orders the house holders headed by the Brahmanas as well as the headmen in the village of Keselaka, that we have granted this with as libation of
water for as long as the moon and the stars last, not to be entered by soldiers, exempt from all taxes, free from
supplying conveyance (a-vahan) (to state officials) to
venerable Durga, venerable Ravi and venerable Ravidatta, all of Kautsa gotra, to be enjoyed by their sons and
grandsons for favouring Arthapati bhattaraka. Nobody
should question anything. Wherefore you should live well- relieved and confident, busy in your permanent occupations and you render the services (to the donees) customary in the district and should pay the dues such as cash rent etc.
and from that will arise satisfaction to the Bhattaraka-raja (=Arthapati Bhattaraka). we have granted on being highly pleased. Whosoever, devoid of morality obliterates (i.e. destroys anything in the village out of wrath, animosity or greed, he joined with great sins with five of them, may go
to hell. Further it has been sald:
(He follows a customary verse)
Year 7 on the amavasya day of the month of Marga– Sirsha.
Written by the Privy Councellor chulla on (the king’s) own oral order.

1. Likhitam is engraved in cursive form. There are traces of halanta m a little lower in the line after लिखित
2. Close of the record is indicated by two curved vertical strokes followed by a horizontal line.

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