Written by Alok Mohan on October 3, 2022. Posted in Uncategorized

The Nalas ruled parts of Chhattisgarh and Odisha during the 6th century CE. Their core territory included the areas around Bastar and Koraput districts. Their capital was probably Pushkari, identified with the modern Garhdhanora in Bastar district.
Maharaja Arthapati, Bhavadatta and Skandavarman are the members of the Nala family.
There are a few gold coins, which suggest a few other rulers of this dynasity – Varaharaja, Nandanaraja, and Stambha.
These coins bear the bull-and-crescent dynastic emblem of the Nala kings.
The coins of Varaharaja have also been discovered along with those of Arthapati and Bhavadatta. All these evidences indicate that Varaharaja, Nandanaraja and Stambha were all Nala kings.
Vrishadhvaja was the founder of the Nala dynasty. The last known king of the dynasty is Skandavarman, whose Podagada inscription mentions him as a son of Bhavadattavarman. The inscription states that Skandavarman retrieved the lost glory of the Nala family, and re-populated the deserted city of Pushkari. It also records the construction of a vishnu shrine by the king. Nala kings,were Brahmins and therefore patronized shaivism Vaishnavism and Shaktism.
A copper-plate inscription, of Bhavadatta was found at Rithapur in Amravati district, Maharashtra. The inscription was engraved by one Boppadeva. It mentions the king’s name as Bhavattavarman ( Bhavadattavarman). The inscription names the place of issue as Nandivardhana, and states that the king and the queen were staying at Prayaga as pilgrims. Like Arthapati’s inscription, it mentions Maheshvara, Mahasena and the Nala family.
The find spot of Bhavadatta’s inscription suggests that he extended the Nala territory to the present-day Vidarbha region.
During his last years, Bhavadatta seems to have suffered reverses against the Vakatakas and the Chalukyas. An inscription of Bhavadatta’s successor Skandavarman indicates that Bhavadatta lost the control of Pushkari, possibly to the Vakatakas or the Chalukyas. The Vakataka king Prithivisena 2, is said to have restored the glory of his family, apparently by defeating the Nalas. An Aihole inscription credits the Chalukya king Kirtivarman 1, with the destruction of the Nalas.

Inscription number 16.
Rithapur Plates of Bhavattavarman–(Regnal) year 11.
Provenance: Rithapur, (Riddhapura of the Mahanubhavas), Morsi taluka, Amaravati district, Maharashtra.
Script: Box-headed variety of Brahmi, current in central India in 5th to 6th centuries A.D.
1. Bhavatta/appears to be a Prakritsm for Bhavadatta. A king named Bhavadatta, also of Nala family, is known from an epigraph of the 12th year of his son, skandavarman from Podagadh, koraput district, orissa.
(see below III, No: 18, also, Annual Report on Epigraphy, 1921-22,
Madras Presidency, pp.95, Pl.II; and
Ep.Ind.XXI, pp.153.
Language: Sanskrit.
Metre: V1:
References: Y. R. Gupta, Ep.Ind, XIX, pp-100-104.
Second plate

1. From the facsimile in Ep.Ind,, XX, between pp.102-103.
2. Gupte identifies this Nandivardhana with Nandur in Yaotmal taluka of Maharashtra, and considers it
different from the one identified by Hiral Lal shastri with Nagardhan in Nagpur district, Maharashtra.
3. Identified with Kalamba in Yeotmal taluka.
Second plate second side
द in दत्त is inserted below the line by way of
interlineation. The to horizontal line is in the margin are superfluous.
2. कि is engraved below the line.

Third plate First side

1. का is engraved under the line. विरक may be the same as बिल or बितक = a cave. Gupte thinks, it stands for a village or its suburb.
2. या is engraved over the line. Here begins a verse in the Arya metre.
3. या is engraved under the line below भि Gupte wrongly takes it as सा


1. Kesaribeda Plates (D.C. Sircar Ep-Ind. XXVIII, pp 12-17
and infra, III, 17 show that Arthapati Bhattaraka is a proper name not an adjective. Three kings of Nala
dynasty are known from their inscriptions. (1) Bhavatta-varman from his Rithapur grant. (2) Arthapati from his Kesaribeda plates and (3) Skanda?varman from his Podagadh stone slab inscrlption. Rithapur falls in
Amaravati district in north eastern
Maharashtra, while Kesaribeda and Podagadh are in Koraput
district in the extreme south of Orissa. The Rithapur grant was issued from Nandivarahana, identified variously
with Nagardhan in Nagpur and with Nandur in Yeotmal
districts of Eastern Maharashtra The Maharashtrian districts, Nagpur and Yeotmal, are separated from
Koraput in orissa, by chanda and Bastar. (Jagdalpur)
The latter in Madhya Pradesh. A hoard of gold coins of Bhavadatta was found from edenga village in Bastar. Thus
the dominions of the Nalas can be located in the districts
around Bastar and falling now within the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and the Northern tip of
Andhra Pradesh.
The Rithapur grant proper made in the present tense in the eleventh regnal year by Bhavattavarman ends in l.21
with/usual statement of the year of grant, the executor
and the writer of the grant. Strangely. it is followed by recording that Maharaja Arthapati Bhattaraka, issued
the copper charter. Since it is clear from kesaribeda plates that Maharaja Bhavattavarman and
Maharaia Arthapati are not alternate names of the same
person. Arthapati was only registering or confirming a grant that his father, Bhavattavarman in his own reign but
failed to issue a charter, because of his sudden death.
Maharaja Arthapati Bhattaraka issued another grant after accession in his regnal Year seven, namely, the
Kesaribeda Plates. Now Since both these grants are recorded by the Rahasyadhikrita chulla, it is evident
that Arthapati was the immediate successor of Bhavatta or Bhavadattavarman. He was succeeded by Skandavarman of Podagadh stone Slab inscription, who claims to be the
son of Bhavadatta. He may have been a younger brother of Arthapati. Note that the Writer of Skandavarman’s record was the son of Chauli,
who may be the same as Chulla or his son. For the history of the
Nala dynasty, see Sircar, Ep.Ind. XXVIII pp. 12-17.
English Translation of the inscription.
1. Success Hail From Nandivardhana.
The illustrious Maharaja Bhavattavarman, whose banner bears tripataka, who is born of the lineage of Nala kings, upon whom has been
be stowed the glory of royalty by Mahesvara (siva) and Mahasena
(Karttikeya), orders the householders headed by the Brahmanas
and, the Mahattaras (residing) in the village of Kadambagiri,
(as follows) –

2. “Know) ye (that) by us while stationed at Prayaga at the confluence of the Ganga and the Yamuna, the place blest by the favour of the Lord Brahma, this village) is bestowed for
blessing the matrimonial relationship of ours i.e. myself and (my) queen, with libation of water on Matradhyarrya of the Parasaragotra and his eight sons, namely Devarya, Devadattarya,
Kumaradattarya, Viradattarya, Vasudattarya, Gauridattarya
Dhruvadattarya and Durgattha dattarya, Matradhya himself, being the ninth (donee) wherefore, to these Brahmanas all the proceeds including gold duely accruing from the place should be
given and (customary service should be rendered. And this Village has been immunized from all taxes, made out of bounds for troops and free from supply of carriers (or horses) (a-vahan)
made free from tolls and customs duties and immunised from all
litigation, in perpetuation till the moon and the sun endure.
Therefore, it should not be (Officially) Spoken to (i.e addressed) according to the same restrictions as applicable to
the village of Chinchala-Palasa. Whosoever, out of greed or
passion, levies taxes or confiscate the land shall incur the five great sins. And we have granted this village, measuring ten nivarttanas in area, along with the cultivable land (स हल:) and the garden. For this reason, nobody should question anything regarding it. And the boundaries of this village are: to the north is the mountain, which is the
boundary-nark of the district (vishaya), (the village of) Malukaviraka together with the end of its construction
(or cultivation) work, Madhuklatika, Bakasamalaka by the
pomegranate tree and Trimandaraviraka (and) the state
boundary. This (royal grant) has been written at our oral command by chulla, the Confidential 0fficer, on the seventh
day of the dark fortnight of Karttika in the eleventh (regnal) year.
This copper-plate charter, a matter of religious duty that increases the religious merit and fame of (not only)
himself (but also) of his other and father, has been caused
to be made by His Majesty, the illustrious Maharaja Arthapati
Bhattaraka, who is favoured (i.e. blessed) by the said Aryakka
(i.e. Matradhyarya) , so that it may become inalienable for
as long as the moon and the sun last, for (his) eight sons.
May there be well-being of the cows, the Brahmanas and the
subjects! May there be success
Engraved by Boppadeva, the son’s son of Paddopadhyaya.


1. आर्यक in this context relates to Arya Matradhya, the donee for whose eight sons. (See 1.7 above) It is wished
by the king that the donation become inalienable till the moon and the sun endure. In this very sentence.
here Arthapati Bhattaraka is not referring to the favour of his grandfather, though the word was commonly used in this Sense.
2. The grant was made when the king was on a pilgrimage to Pryaga.
We have no reason to conclude that this city was within the dominions of Bhavattavarman.

1. A-vahah is not clear. Gupte translates, not to be
entered by soldiers or horses, which is obviously wrong. The word pravesa, compounded with a-bhata cannot be
carried to qualify the next word a-vahah.

2. Chinchała (tamarind) and Palasa are species of trees. Possibly the padraka or village was named after clusters
of such trees standing in the locality. It is also possible, that two villages, namely, Chinchala padraka and
Palasapadraka, are meant here.

Alok Mohan

The admin, Alok Mohan, is a graduate mechanical engineer & possess following post graduate specializations:- M Tech Mechanical Engineering Production Engineering Marine engineering Aeronautical Engineering Computer Sciences Software Engineering Specialization He has authored several articles/papers, which are published in various websites & books. Studium Press India Ltd has published one of his latest contributions “Standardization of Education” as a senior author in a book along with many other famous writers of international repute. Alok Mohan has held important positions in both Govt & Private organisations as a Senior professional & as an Engineer & possess close to four decades accomplished experience. As an aeronautical engineer, he ensured accident incident free flying. As leader of indian team during early 1990s, he had successfully ensured smooth induction of Chukar III PTA with Indian navy as well as conduct of operational training. As an aeronautical engineer, he was instrumental in establishing major aircraft maintenance & repair facilities. He is a QMS, EMS & HSE consultant. He provides consultancy to business organisations for implimentation of the requirements of ISO 45001 OH & S, ISO 14001 EMS & ISO 9001 QMS, AS 9100, AS9120 Aero Space Standards. He is a qualified ISO 9001 QMS, ISO 14001 EMS, ISO 45001 OH & S Lead Auditor (CQI/IRCA recognised certification courses) & HSE Consultant. He is a qualified Zed Master Trainer & Zed Assessor. He has thorough knowledge of six sigma quality concepts & has also been awarded industry 4, certificate from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation Knowledge Hub Training Platform  He is a Trainer, a Counselor, an Advisor and a Competent professional of cross functional exposures. He has successfully implimented requirements of various international management system standards in several organizations. He is a dedicated technocrat with expertise in Quality Assurance & Quality Control, Facility Management, General Administration, Marketing, Security, Training, Administration etc. He is a graduate mechanical engineer with specialization in aeronautical engineering. He is always eager to be involved in imparting training, implementing new ideas and improving existing processes by utilizing his vast experience.