ancient indian history

Pravarasena Inscriptions

A brief introduction of Vakataka dynasity.

Vindhyasakti 1, (250 to 270 CE) was earliest known brahmin king of Vakataka dynasity. Cave 16 inscription, glorifies him as the banner of vakataka family.

As per Visnupurana, he was crowned as a king.

Pravarsena 1, (270 to 330 CE) was the most powerful king of the vakataka family, therefore he is invariably mentioned as the head of the royal genealogy in all vakataka grants.

 His rule had spread to vindhya mountain. Eldest son of praversena 1, married daughter of naga king, bhavanaga. This matrimonial alliance with nagas, had greatly increased power of vakatakas.

He was a staunch supporter of vedic relgion. During his reign, parvarsena 1, performed four Asvamedha sacrifices and seven soma sacrifices.

Pravarsena 1, had four sons. All of them, became kings.

Rudersena was eldest son of gautmiputra. He was devout worshipper of maha-bhairava. He ruled vidharba from his capital purika. He had powerful support of naga rulers of padmavati. Prithvishena 1, a devout worshipper of siva was the successor of rudrasena. Prithvishena was a virtuous king and is always compared with yudhishtra by historians. He always refrained from being entangled in wars. During his reign vakataka capital had shifted from purika to nandhivardhan.

Chandergupta gave his daughter prabhavatigupta to Rudrasena 2, son of prithvisena. Gupta influence on vakatakas is evident from their conversion towards vaishnavism thereafter .

Rudrasena 2, died soon after his accession during 405 CE. Prabhavatigupta 405-420 CE. She preferred carrying gupta  gotra of her father after marriage. Prabhavatigupta

 became vakaka queen regent, consequent to death of her husband.

Her son divakarsena was short lived. His younger brother damodarsena succeeded him who on coronation assumed the name of Pravarasena 2. He had long reign of 30 years.

Pravarasena founded a city pravarapura and shifted his capital there. This city was later on identified with mansar.

Several land grants, record the donations of Pravarasena, in Amarvati, Wardha, Nagpur, Betul Chhindwara Bhandara and Balaghat, as these areas were under his dominon.


Inscription number 5.

Indore Plates of Pravarasena 2, (Regnal) year 23.

Provenance: Exact uncertain. They were originally in the possession of late Wamanrao Islampurkar

Sastri of the erstwhile Indore state.

Script: Bo-headed variety of Central Indian Brahmi.

Language: Sanskrit.

References S.K. Bose, Ep.Ind., XXIV,, pp.52-56.


Of the original four plates, the first together with the ring and the seal is 1ost. A comparison of the text with that of the other plates of the king shows that the lost plate was inscribed with

seven lines on one side only.

Second plate second side

From the facsimile in Ep-Ind XXIV facing pp 55.


Third plate First side


1. This sign of colon with hyphen is actually engraved after दत्तामिति The phrase मया दत्तामिति 

is Superfluous.

2. Bose hints at the Identity of this place with Kosambakhanda mentioned in the Tirodi plates of the same king.

Third plate Second side

1. Tadyatha refers to the word parihararan in the

last, but one sentence.

The last sentence beginning

with ‘atra’ and ending with bhagavatpadam should have

been placed Immediately after the sentence ending in atisrishta.

2. Note the sign for the matra of लृ in क्लृ  

Fourth plate.

Siwani and Tirodi plates have also dharmmadhikarane,

while chammak, Dudia and Riddhapur plates, Supra III,infra, III, 6 and Supra III,2 respectively have dharrmadara-karane


English Translation of the inscription


(The first part of the inscription supplies the stereotyped pedigree of Pravarasena 2. The first plate being lost the geneology from Gautamiputra onwards only survives.

For translation of the genealogical part, see chamak plates III, Number 4,


Translatlon with effect from the line 8 in our text above is as follows:-


At the command of Maharaja Sri Pravarasena 2, of the

vakatakas, our serving officers in Gepurakamarga assigned to

supervisory offices, officers of noble birth, charged with transmission of orders (ajna-sancharins), the regular and irregular soldiers, be ordered according to the orders, already

transmitted (vyushitapurvaya) Be it known to you that


since we had already given land in this victorious (and) sacred place to the northern side of Aramaka, to the eastern side of Kovidaraka, to the southern side of Kosambaka (and)

the western side of Aajanavataka, to Gondarya, son of Visakharya, of Kausika gotra and Vajasaneya sakha, and a resident of Aramaka, and to Gondarya’s sons (namely) Manoratharya,

Govarya, Devarya and Bopparya, and Kumararya and Dronarya,

for(increase of our piety, longevity strength and supremacy 

and for our welfare in this and the next world; we have written 

down (this) charter in respect of visakharya-vataka and have

granted (this vataka or enclosed land) with the libation of

water as a new gift, and grant to this (village) the appropriate immunities customary for the villages of the

scholars of the four Vedas, as approved by the former kings.

Here half the vataka, i.e. the village has been purchased at a price for the Brahmanas as the Lord’s portion by the

merchant chandra. These (immunities)

are free from

taxes out of bounds for regular and irregular soldiers and, free from the customary supply of cows and bulls, free Erom extraction of flowers and milk, free from the obligation of

supplying pastures, camping sites, hides and charcoal (to Passing troops), free from the obligation of supplying

minerals, liquid commodities and salt, imumunised with the immunity of all types of free labour, together with major and minor treasure-troves. together with fixed and casual taxes,

to last as long as the moon and the sun do, as a heritage going

down to sons and grandsons, While enjoying (this gift) nobody

should cause hinderance and should be protected and enhanced by all actions

And he who disregarding our command, makes or

causes to be made even a small obstruction, on being

reported by the Brahmanas, we shall arrest and punish him.

In this legal instrument, we do not praise the pieties performed in giving, caring and nursing (of such religious

gifts) by many past kings in order to avoid repetition. (And)

to the present (kings) subdued with our valour, exertion and determination. we issue it and as a command and to the

potentates of coming ages, because of our regard for their power, we request.

And in this context a verse sung by vyasa should be regarded as


(Here follows, one of the usual imprecatory verses)

In the twenty third year, on the fifth tithi of the dark fortnight of Vaisakha, order (issued) by self. Written by

Rajuka Kottadeva.



Footnote- 1.

Rajuka, was an important limb of the Mauryan revenue administration and is frequently mentioned in Asoka’s

inscriptions. But after them this is the first and presumably the last occasion that the existence of this Official is recorded. In Gupta administration, this

offcial does not seem to flgure at all, In northern India, the Maurya administrative machinery was perhaps

totally supplanted by the Kushanas with their own, brought from their Central Asian home. The Guptas

may have retained some of the Kushana system, giving the various offices, Sanskrit names. But

south of the Narmada, the Mauryan system, seems to have

continued longer, though Rajukas, being senior revenue officials, rarely come into the picture in the land

transfer deeds.


The garden described as the visakharyavataka was

evidently a former gift to visakharya, the father of the present donee and his sons. Half this gift was from a merchant named chandra. Presumably due to loss of the original copper charter the necessity of issuing a fresh copper-charter along with

reaffirmation of the gift arose. Accordingly this charter was issued in favour of the descendants of



1. Chhatra according to Sircar (Select.Inss.I, pp.437, n.7)

is used in the grants of Pravarasena 2, in the same sense as chata is used elsewhere, and has the sense

of a leader of a group of bhatas.

But since the officials are referred to in these records in the order of seniority and diminishing status, the

chhatra here should be an official junior to a bhata. 

2. Asana-charma can also be taken together to mean hides for seats or saddles.

3. According to the Artha sastra, Klipta is one of the seven sources of state revenue. According to sircar (op.cit.

pp.438, n3) it is possibly a fixed tax, as against upaklipta, an occasional tax.




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