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Inscriptions of the Minor Ruling Dynasties of Odisha (Circa 8th-12th Century CE)

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Item Code: AZG159
Publisher: Agam Kala Prakashan, Delhi
Author: Subrata Kumar Acharya
Language: ENGLISH
Edition: 2022
ISBN: 9789392556074
Pages: 482 (Throughout B/w Illustrations)
Other Details 11.00x9.00 inch
Weight 1.50 kg
Book Description
About the Book
The present work is a handy volume of all the available inscriptions so far known to us of the several minor ruling dynasties ruling in different sub-regions of early medieval Odisha roughly from the 8 to the 12th century CE. It has two sec tions: Section 1: Introduction and Section 11: Texts and Abstracts. In Section 1, an analysis of the copper plate inscriptions of twenty minor ruling families have been included. The features of the cop per plates and the royal seals attached to them have been narrated, and it also con tained the script, language, and or hog raphy of the inscribed texts. The genealogy and chronology of the ruling houses, the locality they held and the land grants they issued have been examined. In Section II, the texts and abstracts of each in scription has been given. Meticulous care has been taken to re-decipher the inscriptions from the original facsimiles or fresh photographs and offer our own readings at places. Some of unpublished inscriptions are incorporated in this work for the first time which adds merit to the work.

The General Introduction in the beginning of the work is an original piece of work negotiating with the corpus of epigraphically literature of the period and arguing for a spatial spread of state-so city in the relatively difficult terrai The formation of the mandala stores i these sub-regions and their polifical onomie interactions with the la gional polities have been discussed a ength to formulate a perspective on the process of state formation. Sustenance of the regional polities, it is maintained, largely rested on the material foundations than cult appropriations. The process of cult appropriation should be viewed as an afterthought and not a concomitant development.

Students and scholars working on early medieval Odisha and India will definitely find it worth and enlightening.

About the Author
Subrata Kumar Acharya is presently Professor and Head in the Department of History, Ravenshaw University, Cuttack, Odisha. His area of research is mainly epigraphy and palaeography. Besides, he is also working on the socio economic dynamics in early medieval Odisha. His major publications include Numerals in Orissan Inscriptions (Shimla, 2002), Palaeography of Orissa (New Delhi, 2005), and Copper Plate Inscriptions of Odisha, A Descriptive Catalogue (New Delhi, 2014). He has also edited a volume titled Studies on Odishan Epigraphy (Delhi, 2015).

Inscriptions as primary sources for reconstruction of the ancient and medieval Indian history have long been recognized and it is needless to reiterate their importance here. In the last two or three decades the Indian Council of Historical Research (CHR) has sponsored a number of programs to bring out dynasty wise volumes of Indian inscriptions edited by many renowned epigraphists. As part of this project the epigraphs of a number of dynasties of Odisha have been published by eminent scholars like Ajay Mitra Shastri and Snigdha Tripathy. But the inscriptions of a number of minor dynasties ruling roughly from the 8 to the 12 century CE have not been taken into consideration. In the present work we have made a humble attempt to study all the inscriptions of the minor ruling dynasties of Odisha. Although they have been published in different journals and periodicals with or without facsimiles, sincere steps have been made to obtain fresh facsimiles or photographs of the inscriptions for the purpose of re-reading and re interpreting them. Originally, the project was mooted to encompass the available inscriptional data of the minor dynasties of Odisha from the 8 to the 10 century CE, but as the work progressed it was realized that there are several other minor families whose inscriptions could be incorporated in the volume to present it before the scholarly world. Further, I intend to put on record that the Bhanja (both Khinjali-mandala and Khijjinga-mandala)) inscriptions have not been included here on the ground that they have been published in a separate volume by S. Tripathy in 1976.

I have made a thorough reading or re-reading of all the published and unpublished inscriptions of the minor ruling dynasties of Odisha and carefully prepared this volume for the benefit of the scholars working on various aspects of the history and culture of India. Some of the inscriptions were discovered very recently and they have also been incorporated in the volume. The volume contains two sections. In the first section the general features of the inscriptions such as the language, script, orthography, etc.. and an outline history of the ruling dynasties has been prepared. The introduction of the dynasty largely included the genealogical and chronological history of the family as well as their territorial extent. New interpretations regarding the date of inscriptions, origin of families, their relationship with the overlord, administrative arrangements, and many other such problems have been examined in the light of both the internal and circumstantial evidences. In the second section, the texts and the abstracts of each inscription of the minor ruling families have been prepared. There are a total of eighty-seven copper plate inscriptions which have been incorporated in the volume. Of these the photographs of eighty-four inscriptions have been appended for the benefit of scholars. The photographs of the other three inscriptions namely, the Puri plate of Kulastambhadeva of Sulki family, the Bonai plate of Vinitatunga of Tunga family and the Khillingar plates of Kalyanadevi of the time of Dänarnava of the Ganga family of Amvävadi-mandala have not been published in any journal and have been lost permanently. Therefore, we could not include them is me volume. Interestingly, there is no trace of any stone inscription of these ruling families.

The political history of the early medieval Odisha was characterized by proliferation of kingdoms, rise. to power of many new lineages and constantly changing contours of their territorial limits. These early medieval politics did not emerge from the fragmentation of any erstwhile large kingdom but from the process of transition from the pre-state to state societies that was initiated in the early phase and much more pronounced in this phase. The horizontal spread of state societies in the Gupta and post-Gupta period to the areas which did not have any experience of complex society and organized state activity prompted the local lineages to assume power and carve out smaller kingdoms. These smaller kingdoms in many cases were very short-lived and either they were displaced or subjugated by larger polities. But in the process, they provided a structural foundation for local state formation. The larger polities in Odisha began to surface from the eighth century onwards chiefly in the nuclear regions having potentially rich resource bases. U. Singh has rightly observed "The contours of the kingdom of early medieval India were fluid and difficult to define. These kingdoms are in fact more easily identifiable by their nuclear areas and political centres than by their boundaries." These regions are further characterized by reverie deltaic zones with surplus agrarian economy, craft production, hectic trade and commercial activities, organized state apparatus, concentration of elites and army, and above all mushrooming of religious establishments of diverse faiths. Thus, the nuclear regions witnessed sustained political development from the eighth century and the stability of these larger polities largely depended on their material foundation than anything else. During this period, there were a larger number of minor ruling houses who held sway over relatively smaller territorial units in the forest and hilly hinterlands called Mandalay and they acknowledged the suzerainty of their overlords of the larger polities ruling from the nuclear regions (Map 1). The most interesting aspect of this process is that all the larger polities like the Bhauma-karas, the Somavarsis and the Imperial Gangas did not flourish contemporaneously, rather each one of them appeared at the cost of the other. In other words, military victories and reversals largely determined one's assumption to power or disappearance from the political map; and accordingly redefined the foci of one's kingdom.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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