Written by Alok Mohan on December 17, 2022. Posted in Uncategorized

Till 569 AD, Prithivivigraha-bhattaraka, was a viceroy of the gupta emperor Samudragupta.
The suffix vigraha in  Prithivi-vigraha means that gods manifest in the shape of moorti in order to interact with humans on the earthly plane.
The term Vigraha, mean sculpted image i.e A particular sculpted mode of divine embodiment. The term bhattarka means that that he enjoyed, independent authority. It is understood that he was a member of Gupta family.
Till last decade of sixth century, the eastern ganga dynasty was was ruling Kalinga. They were devotees of Siva and had built Siva temple at mahindragiri. The gupta emperor had defeated kings swamidutta of kottura, near mahindragiri, Damans of erandapalla, and kuvers of Deva-rashtra including rulers of ganga dynasty. He captured these kings, but let them off and reinstated the defeated kings in their respective regions.
Guptas had matrimonial alliancesbwith vakataka in Berar region and kadambas in kannada dynasty.

Inscription number 17.
Suman-dala copper plate Inscription of the time of Prithivivigraha-bhattaraka Gupta Year 250 ( 569 A.D.)
Provenance: Sumandala, Ganjam District. Orissa.
Script: Late Brahmi of the Northern class of 6th century A.D.
Language: Sanskrit
Metre: Vv 1-4: अनुष्टुब (श्लोक)
References: S.N. Rajaguru, Manorama, I, pp.17-24, I.H.Q. XVI, pp-75, Orissa, Historical Research Journal, I, pp.66, D.C. Sircar, Ep.Ind, XXVIII,
pp.79 ff. Select Inss,. I pp. 490-92.
Footnote 1.
1. From the facsimile in Ep.Ind, XXVIII, between pp.84-85.
2. Expressed by the spiral symbol.
3. It may be noted that by this time the Guptas had already lost Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to the Maukharis,
and held only Bengal and Orissa. One Jain tradition assigns them
231 Years to Gupta rule, evidently refering to the end of their rule in U.P. and Bihar in about 550 A.D.
Another Jain tradition assigns them 255 years in recognition of their continuing rule in Bengal and Orissa till
574 AD. See Jadunath Sarkar Presentation Volume, II, pp. 343ff.
4. Sircar surmises that the  name of Ubhaya, the ancestor of Dharmaraja, may have been ubhayachara. But
in prose the constraints of poetry for adjusting names to measured lines do not exist. Hence there is no
ground or believing that the name was actualy longer.
Rajaguru amends it to Abhaya because a proper name. Ubhay is rather queer.
Footnote 2.
1. Sircar (Ep.Ind. XVIII, pp.81) treats Vaishayika also, as an official designation, like Samanta-Maharaja etc, but accepts the possibility of samantta and Maharaja, being two different offices. But in that case, Maharaja should have preceded samanta, being the senior of the two. This list is arranged apparently in order
of seniority.Footnote 3.
1. Another ल was engraved and erased before this ल.
2. The reference is to heating of the plates for afixing the seal. The Kanas plate of Lokavigrahabhattaraka
Gupta year (280 599 AD. Infra IV, 18) shows that the Vigrahas, who had become independent, continued to rule over
the better part of Orissa. However, the Manas of udra tribe, who halled probably from Manbhum-Mayurbhanj
region by stages wrested the whole Orissa and gave it the name Odra
This is indicated by the Soro (Gupta year 260 579 AD. Supra, IV, 5). Patiakella (Gupta year
283 602 AD.Supra, IV, 6) plates of Sambhuyasas of Mana dynasty
and Mudgal gotra and the records of sasanka and his feudatories.
2  Kalinga included all the coastal area from Mahanadi to Godavari and also the Valtarani river valley in the
north east. Tosali (modern Dhauli in Puri district) in northern Kalinga, where an Asoka inscription was found,
was the capital of Asokan Kalinga. But in the last decade of the 5th century A.D. the Eastern Gangas occupied
South Kalinga, and called themselves as the Kalingadhipatis (Lords of Kalinga), although the present Balasore district and parts of Midnapur and cuttack districts, remained
outside their dominion. And these, then came to be called Utkala. This inscription is very important,
because it supplies the only evidence of the Gupta rule having extended as far south as the Ganjam district is in
south Kalinga. Most probably Samudragupta was responsible
for this extention. According to his Allahabad Prasasti, (Infra II, 5)
he captured the kings of Kottura (=Kothur near Mahendra
giri Pishtapur a, Erandapalla probably near chicacole)
and Devarashtra, and reinstated them, no doubt on their acceptance of his suzerainty. But in Gupta year 250
(559 A. D. ). we know that the Guptas had already lost Utkala and almost all their dominions to its north and
west. The continued allegiance of Prithivivigraha to the Guptas was probably, due to his own Gupta blood, opines Sircar.
English Translation of the inscription.
Om ! Peace !  In the year two hundred increased by fifty, when the Gupta empire endured over the earth girdled
by the four oceans and ornamented by the seven continents, mountains, rivers and cities, (and) the Kalinga state was

administered. His Highness (Bhattaraka) the illustrious Prithivivigraha, his devout servant, Padmakholi Maharaja
Dharmaraja belonging to the lineage of Maharaja Ubhaya (or Abhaya?) (and) born of Bappadevi and a worshipper of the Sun god being in good health, duly honours and instructs the present and future samanta Maharajas, the royal princes, the Kumaramatyas, the parikas, their Ayuktakas (or tadayuktakas),
Dandavasikas (or Dandapasikas), sthanantarikas and others of the
class of Superintendents subsisting on the service of the king and the judges (vyavaharin) and the residents of the
district (vaishayikas) in the district of Parakkhalimarga,
Be it know to you that we have granted as a ritual gift (pratigrahena), for the increase of religious merit of mother
father and myself, the Adhakamanduka village attached to this
district togethar with chandan avataka, as an agrahara, duly recorded on a copper plate according the regulation of permanent holdings (sthitya) to last as long as the sun and the
moon, free from all the taxes and penalties (pida) along with
high ground (uddesah) along with the upari-kara, to the
Brahmanas of various gotras and charanas and of character (vritta) and learning. the chief among whom is the Upadhyaya, (teacher) Matthasvamin a brahmana from the homvaka agrahara.
Therefore, thi s gift of ours should be protected out of respect for dharma. And it has been stated in the Dharmasastra.
(Here follow four of the traditional benedictory and imprecatory Verses)
The tamra-patttika was witten by the superintendent, Adhikaranika Dasuka. It was heated (for the purpose of
affixing the seal) by Lakshanasvamin.
Seal of Dharmraja.

Identified with the modern padmakhol near narayankhol, in the erstwhile khallikot state.

Alok Mohan

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