Showing posts with label Gupta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gupta. Show all posts

Origin of Vikram Samvat : Great Vikramaditya

Origin and Vikrama Era or Vikram Samvat at 23rd February, 57 B.C. has been most Controvesial in Indian History. Vikramaditya is said to have initiated this era after defeating sakas. But there is lot of claims on who initiated this era by modern scholars especially from West. Let us study the origins of vikrama samvat

Until 4th century AD. This era was called Krta era. Around 8th century AD. we have Vikramaditya associated with this era.
Some Schoalrs like D C Sircar says it is corruption of the term Kirta, which means purchased.  Altekar says Vikramaditya was the king who founded the era and Krta indicated some kind of leader. Bhandarkar says that the era was actually Krtayuga or Golden Age. He says it was talking about Pushyamitra reign. Bhattacharya says it starts the settlement of Malwa. Why does not the inscriptions say it is Krtayuga is not explained by these theorists.

Malwa Gana
Malwa got name from people Malavas who inhabited this place. In Sanskrit Malav indicates Lakshmi. Malwa was a Mahajanapada (Republic) from 730 BC. Ancient Malwa was called Malloi by Alexander and Greek Historians. The Malwa region with Ujjain as capital had Vikramaditya ruling with navaratnas as ministers and scholars. Now malwa gana represents these groups of eminent scholars.. So Malwa gana era indicates the era of these people. In the Inscriptions from 4th century AD to 8th century AD, it is referred to as Malava Gana, though Krta is also used sometimes. Around 6th century it is called for the fame of Malwa vamsa. We have coins malavaganasya jayah, Malavanam jayah , Jayah Malavanam indicating the victory of Malwa people apparently over Sakas. Malwa Gana Saka show that it was era of malwa people.


Around 9th century it is called vikramaditya Kala. After 11th century the era is fixed to Vikramditya and is so called vikrama Samvat or Vikrama Kala.


Aryavidya (by sudhakar) says that Mahavira attained his Nirvana 470 years before king Vikramaditya. Pattavali says that Vikramaditya was born 470 years after Mahavira Nirvana. So Mahavira Nirvana happened 527 BC. Kalpa Sutra says Mahavira lived for 72 years. So Mahavira lived between 599BC and 527BC.

There was a Jain king Vairisimha of Dhara (Dhar, MP) and Queen Surasundari, who had a son called Kalaka and daughter Sarasvati. Once when they were in Ujjain, King Gardabhilla of Ujjain was enamoured by the beauty of Sarasvati, carried her off. After futile attempts to recover her from clutches of Gardabhilla, Kalaka went westward after crossing river Sindhu reached the country where number of saka chiefs, who were sahi (Subordinates of sahanusahi) ruled. Kalaka broght them under his influence. Once their overlord became angry over Sahis, Kalaka migrated them to India. They came to Ujjain conquering along the way. Sakas defeated captured Gardabhilla alive. They established their ruler in Ujjain and divided the country among themselves. Kalaka recovered Sarasvati and avenged humiliation. After four years of saka rule, Gardabhilla son Vikramaditya drove away sakas and established his rule. Gardabhilla ruled for 13 years, Saka 4 years and Vikramaditya 60 years. This account is from Pattavali (Sanskrit) of Merutunga (14th century AD) sourced from earlier Prakrit Gathas.


D C Sarkar, says that Vikrama era is continuation of Era calculated from Parthian ruler Vonones. Vonones is the earliest parthian king of Eastern Persia is have assumed title king of Kings and flourished after the Parthian Emperor Mithradates II (125 -88BC) and ruled eastern parts of his domains and Afghanistan through Viceroys Spalirises, Azes.

Experts First deduced the parthian Reign of Vonones as between 120-70BC. Now Vonones is parthian name, but his brother and viceroy has saka name, Spalahora. Mithradates II has assumed the title king of kings during this time. So if take that into account. Vonones has to be after 91BC (Gotarzes challenged Mitradates). But considering his Viceroys starting at 90BC. He has to be before that. Is Mithradates = Vonanes. Now there are maues dated to 80-90BC. Vonones is a question for another Article. Now we can say Vonanes is not initiator of Vikrama Samavat.

Azez Era
John Marshall suggest that the Vikarma Era is actually continuation of Azez Era. The Era calculated from regnal years of Saka king who ruled Northwestern Part of the Sub continent. The Era is spelled as Aya, Aja identified as Azez I. This view is supported by B N Mukherjee who cites number of inscriptions of Maharaja Aya, Itravarman. The inscriptions refers to Atida, Varta Kala which indicate Expired Years. Now Krta refers to present time. So Atita and Vratta refers to past and this betrays the logic of saying Vikrama era is continuation of Azez Era.

John Marshall says that the era denotes the start of Azez Aya, Aja) Era which are found in coins. Now we know that there are two Azes: Azez I and Azez II. And Azes can also be dated to 90BC from various theories floating around Mithradates, Vonanes and his brother Spalirises. Indologists have also tried to make Azes II as founder of Azes Era. Azes II can be dated to 22AD as well.

There is theory that Aya, Aja cannot be equated with Azez era and there is no azez era as such other than in the minds of Indologists. Narain argued that aya refers not a king, but is appellation to month or other minor variation to some dating calender. So scholars Konow 84 BC, Narain 88 BC, Lohuizen 129 BC have proposed this to other eras.

Unlike Vikrama era which can be anchored to Kali Yuga date. There is no anchor for Azez Era. Azez Era can be anchored to Greek era with Vijayamitra inscription Azez + 128 = Greek Era. But Greek Era is itself has to be anchored. Vijayamitra of Apraca gives the 27th year of his reign as 73rd year of Azes, 201 year of Yona or greek era . So the date of Azez 128 years after Indo-Greek Era. Now Studying Demetrius I (186-187BC) and Eucratides I (171BC)gives two eras Indo-Greek and Graeco-Bactrian Eras. There is a great Secluid era(Anchor of all western Eras), which also has number of Guesses in it. There is another Bactrian Era starting at 157BC. There is Araces Era. Now which era is Vijayamitra is referring to. If we take the Indo-Greek era as the Greek Era, it gives 171-128 =43BC as the start of Azes Era. This Azes Era 43BC date does not match 57BC of Vikrama Era.

Gupta Chandragupta Vikramaditya

Most Western Scholars argue that the era came into prominence because of Gupta Emperor Chandragupta Vikramaditya. But Guptas ruled from Pataliputra and Ujjain is the capital of Vikramaditya we are talking about. Some have floated the idea of second capital , but there is absolutely no basis for the second capital. Not single Gupta Inscription is dated to this era, not even found in malwa region.

Brihat Kathamanjari, Katha Sarit sagara by Kshemendra narrate the stories of Vikarmaditya defeating Melecchas and ruling gloriously. Bana in Harshacharita sings glowing tribute to Vikramaditya partronage to Literaturers. Kalkacharya Kathanka, Pattavalis, Jyothividabharana all say that the era was founded by Vikramaditya who lived in 1st century BC. Puranas say that Gardabhilla is family name and give 7 kings(Jain 6) from this dynasty and they were followed by Sakas. Kathasaritsagara describes victorious camp of vikramaditya, joined by the king of Saktikumara of Gauda, Jayadhvaja of Karnata, Vijayavarman of Lata, Sunandana of Kashmir, Gopala of Sind, Vindyaballa of Bhills etc

Bhavishya Purana Says at the completion of 3000 years after the advent of the terrible Kaliyuga, a person descended from the abode of Guhyakas in Kailasa, at the command of Siva, for the purpose of destroying the Sakas and uplifting Arya-Dharma. He was born to the Great King Gandharvasena. The father named him ‘Vikramaditya’ and felt very much rejoiced.

Al Beruni
Arabic Traveller Scholar Alberuni says in his Kitab-ul-Hind(1030 AD), Vikrama Era starts 135 years before Saka Era. We know Saka era Starts at 78AD. So vikrama Era is 57BC

There is not much evidence to show that there was a Era named after Vonones. The Azez Era eventhough mentioned in the inscriptions, cannot be said to be era like Vikrama era. The date of Start of Azez Era is suspect. So both these era's cannot be equated with Vikrama Era. We have well known tradition of this era being used as Krta , Malwagana and Vikrama era's. Eventhough the name changes over period, the era is fairly accurate. This era as per tradition started 57BC and had origin in the court of Vikramaditya in Ujjain. The Era seems to have used only in Malwa region as Krta era or golden age. Later when rulers of Ujjain went to other parts of India. The era went outside as Malwagana saka, The era of malwa people. Around 8th century the tributes were paid to the great Vikramaditya. The era was then came to be known as vikramaditya Sake. We have literary evidence in the Jain Literature. Inscriptional evidence of vikramaditya and have coins issued to celebrate Malwa people victory over Sakas. Indology scholars have rejected all the Indian evidence and struck to equating the era to some foreign ruler from that time.

Vikramaditya established the rule of Malwas by driving out Sakas from Malwas and adjoinging areas. The tradition first started to celebrate this success, later went take name of the leader who made this happen, Sakari Vikramaditya of Ujjain. It came to be known as Vikrama Samvat starting from 57BC.

A Note on the Vikrama and Saka Eras by B N MUkherjee Indian Journal of Science 32(1), 1997
Vikrama Era by Ajay Mitra Shastri Indian Journal of History of Science, 31(1), 1996
A rough guide to Kushan History - The Azes Era by Roberto Bracy.
Introduction: numismatic, literary and epigraphic evidence on chronology in Gandhara by Osmund Bopearachchi
ALBEEUNI'S INDIA by Dr Edward C Sachau 


Related Topics
Old Saka Era - Varahamihira Sree Harsha Era
Kanishka Era
Dating Indian History
Date of Kalidasa - Gupta Myth
Did Megasthenes Meet Chandragupta Maurya 
Date of Buddha

Are Maukharis and Malwa Guptas Feudatories of Imperial Guptas?

We are looking at the question "Are Mukharis , Malwa Gupta's, Gaudas and Maitrakas" feudatories of Imperial Gupta's? All these dynasties ruled between 500 and 700 AD. This we can date from Harsha Vardhana, who is historically datable. We are looking at the inscription and other references to see whether any Imperial Gupta presence is there.

Mukharis (Maukhari)
Maukhari has been found in Ashoka inscriptions as Mukhalinam. But First official inscription is of Anantavarman in Barabar Nagarjuni hill cave inscription. We learn a line of Mukhari chiefs starting from Yajnavarman , his son king samanta cudamani sri Sardula and his son king Anantavarman. These Inscriptions are undated. There is not much we can prove here as evidence, except these early Mukharis ruled Northern Magadha and were earlier than the mainline mukharis,whom we are going to talk now.

Maukhari and Malwa Guptas
Let us start the Mukharis with Yajnavarman. His Son Sardula was most ferocious and was death to many rulers. At the same time another Dynasty of Malwa Guptas were rising in West with Krishna gupta. Jivitagupta I clipped the wings of Anantavarman. This Mukhari line went into decline. But at the same time another Mukhari line Harivarman was rising around 500AD. Harivarman was contemproary of Krishnagupta. Adityavarman son of Harivarman married Harshagupta daughter of Krishnagupta. Adityavarman was followed by his son Isvaravarman who has married another Gupta Princess UpaGupta. Third member of the lines both Isvarvarman of Mukhari and Jivitagupta I of Guptas made conquests and brought fame to the dyansties. JivitaGupta I defeated Mukhari Anantavarman and conquered Magadha. Isvaravarman son Isnavarman assumed title Maharajas. Haraha inscription refers to his victories over Andhra (Vishnukundin), Sulki(Chalukya) and Gaudas. The Campaign against Gaudas must be placed in 550AD. After this that Isnavarman takes Imperial Titles, who is styled as Maharaja in the Asirgarh inscription, as Rsitipati in the Haraha inscription, and as Nrpati in the Jaunpur inscription. This conquests alarms his Malwa Gupta Contemporary KumaraGupta and Clash follows between allies. According to Apahad inscription the first round goes to Kumaragupta. Next Attack came from Survavarman son of Isnavarman. Damodaragupta eventhough repulsed the attack succumbed to his injuries (562AD). Sarvavarman declares himself emperor of Magadha. Damodara Gupta was succeeded by Mahasenagupta. Mahasengupta goes for a alliance with AdityaVardhan of Pushyabhutis. But his challanges were huge. Chalukya Kirtivarman (567-597AD) declares that he won victories over Anga, Vanga and Magadha. His Adversary is Mahasenagupta. Guada King occupied South Magadha and Tibetan king Sron Btson gambo (581-600AD), Mana Dynasty has established independent kingdom between Midnapur and Orissa. With so many troubles Mahasenagupta retired to Malwa(582AD). But Peace was not there Kalachuris took over Malwa. Soon Chalukyas dislodged Kalachuris and Mahasenagupta rival DevaGupta unsurped throne and Prabhakaravardhana has to resuce Kumaragupta and Madhavagupta sons of Mahasenagupta (602-603AD). Harsha Vardhan appoints MadhavGupta as the ruler of Magadha. Adityasena(Apshad Inscription) son of Madhavagupta became king of Magadha can be said as the first Independent Malwa Gupta to rule Magadha and rise of Later Guptas.

Mukhari Line is as follows.
Magadha line
king samanta cudamani sri Sardula

Kannauj Line
Isanavarman (530-554 A.D.)
Sarvavarman (560-5 to 585.)
Anantivarman (A.D. 585-600)
Grahavarman (600-605 A.D.),

Malwa Guptas
Jivitagupta I
Kumaragupta III
Deva Gupta
Visnu Gupta
Jivita Gupta II

Rise of Harshavardhana
According to Harsha-Charita, a royal line was founded by one pushyabhuti, a devout Saivite, some where near Thaneswar in the Ambala district of Harayana. Nothing much is known about this ruler. It was only the fourth ruler prabhakaravardhana that the title Maharajadhiraja was assumed. A few details of Prabhkarvardhana are to be found in Harshacharita. He was the great General, who possibly defeated the Hunas also. Bana also mentions that he was the devotee of the sun. Prabhakaravardhana had two sons, Rajhavardhan and Harshavardhana and one daughter Rajyasri. Grahavarman of the Maukhari dynasty was married to Rajyasri. After the death of Prabhakaravardhan in 605AD, Rajyavardhan ascended the throne. Soon bad news came, Mukhari Grahavarman was killed by the Malwa Gupta ruler Deva Gupta. Rajyavardhan went after the Malwa ruler. The Malwa king Deva Gupta was defeated and possibly killed. On his return Rajyavardhana was confronted by Sasanka(Sasanaga), Guada king of Bengal. All the available authorities declare that Rajyavardhana was killed by Sasanka(Shashanika) throught they differ in details. After his death, Harsha succeeded to the throne of Thaneswar and Kanauj with the title of Rajputra and style of Siladitya in 606AD. This is how Harsha Vardhan came to the throne. With Malwa under his arm as his mother was Malwa Princess and Magadha was occupied by Sasanka. Until Sasanka died Harsha could not do anything there. Once Sasanka died, Harsha vardhan got Magadha and Orissa and his ally Baskaravarman of Kamarupa got Guada. As brother in law of Grahavarman he also got the Magadha kingdom.

Guada Kings
Rise of Sasanka
Guada kings were confined to Guada by Later Guptas until the time of MahaSenaGupta. Increasingly the Mahasenagupta faced difficulties from Mukharis, Gaudas, Chalukyas and Tibetans. Gaudas under invaded western and Central Bengal including Karnasuvarna and occupied them. The Mukhari rulling at that time was Avantivarman, son of Sarvavarman. After death of Avantivarman, the Mukharis split into Two amd Jayanaga predecessor to Sasanaga invaded and occupied the southern part of Magadha under Sarva Varman. After the death of Jayanaga, sasanaga came to the Gauda throne. In 601AD Sasanka(Soma) became king of Gauda and he invaded Kamarupa under Baskarvarman and made it subordinate. He also invaded Orissa, defeated Mana king and annexed it. Thus he became the most powerful ruler in the region. Grahavarman seeing the rise of Gauda king should have been alarmed and offered marital relations with Prabhakaravardhana of Pushayabutis and married his daughter Rajyashri. Prabhakaravardhana should have been under threat from Deva Gupta coming on the Malwa throne. With Defeat of Kalachuris by Chalukyas, there was no contest from that space. It is in this scenario that marriage was concluded and their concerns were proved right after the death of Prabhakaravardhan. From 601-625AD, nobody could do anything to Sasanka. Guada Kings eventhough call themselves Mahasamantas do not mention any overlords, neither do Mana rulers.

Break up of Mukharis
Sarvavarman conquered Magadha around 575AD. Sarvavarman is first Mukhari ruler to be recognized as the soverign of Magadha. The Malwa Guptas were feudatories of Mukharis. He was master of Uttarpradesh. Marriage of his granddaughter Vasata(Suryavarman's Daughter) to prince of Mahakosala Harshagupta brought him closer to deccan. Mahakosala ruler Chandragupta has just inherited the throne from his father Trivaradeva who was defeated by Vishnukundin ruler Madhavavarman I around 570AD. Sivagupta son of Harshagupta came to throne after death of Chandragupta in 596AD. Sarvavarman's Mukhari Empire extended from Punjab to Narmada in South.We have seen that breakup of Mukharis into two resulted in weakening of the empire and resulted in disappearance. Let us reconstruct this scenario. Sarvavarman has approinted his brother suryavarman as the incharge of Magadha. Suryavarman strengthened his position by marrying his daughter to Harshagupta of Mahakosala. Suryavarman son was Bhaskaravarman. Normally Baskaravarman would have succeeded Suryavarman. But instead Avantivarman appointed his younger son Suca(Sucandravarman or Suvartavarman) as the governor of Magadha. After the death of Avantivarman Grahavarman succeeded in Kannauj. Suca declared himself ruler of Magadha. This was not liked by Bhaskaravarman son of Suryavarman. With taking over of the throne by Suca the Magadha and Kannuaj became independent of each other and thus lead to invasion and occupation of Magadha by Guadua king soon after.

The Maitrakas ruled over Saurashtra from their capital of Valabhi from about 500to 700AD. The founder of the dynasty was Senapati Bhattarka. They have made grants in which they call themselves Mahasamanta. The Mahasamanta is said by Indology scholars as feudatory position. According to the scholars they must be feudatory to none else but Imperial Gupta. We have to see here that Maitrakas do not mention Guptas.,The phrase Parama Bhattaraka Pandanudhyata(dated 183) occurs in the reoords of the Valabhi ruler Dhruva sena I, who ruled till 545AD. Valabhi Kingdom was visited by Hiuen Tsang in 640 A. D. . He states the that the king was a Kshatriya his name being Dhruvasena, and that he was son-in-law to Harsha the Emperor of India and king of Kannauj. The Gurjaras of Broach use in their grants the Traikutaka otherwise called the Kalachuri era ( starting point 249 A. D. ) Their grants are also written in the Gujarati version of the southern Brahmi character(Satavahana-Kadamba style) while the royal signature at the end is Norther Brahmi. Here again Indologists equate Parama Bhattaraka as Imperial Gupta Monarch. In all these places Era's mentioned by the kings are equated with Gupta era, even though there is no evidence.

In Jaunpur Inscription Isvaravarman describes himself who estinguished the spark of fire coming from dhara. Yasodharman is also of same period. Yasodharman Mandasur inscription is 532AD(589 Vikrama samvat). Yasodharman defeated Huna Mihirkula around 515AD(Mihirkula came to Malwa throne in 510AD). Now here Dhara is equated with Yashodharman. Here we have to know that Dhara is a city (Modern Dhar), while Yashodharman is a person.

We have established the scenario, Now let us come to our Questions
Are Maukharis and Malwa Guptas feudatories of Imperial Guptas?
Nowhere we see in any inscriptions, Imperial Guptas being mentioned. Neither does Imperial Guptas mention Mukharis. So we have to say Imperial Guptas and Mukharis did not know each other. Same goes for Malwa Guptas, they don't mention any Imperial Guptas, neither does Imperial Guptas mention them. Neither of them use Gupta Era. The main claim by indologist is they use the term Mahasamanta in their inscription, which will mean a feudatories.
AsirGarh Copper Plates does not give any Overlord
Haraha Inscription - Does not give any Overlord
Juanpur Inscription - Does not give any overloads
All use Malwa Samvat - Even though there is Gupta Overlords?

Question of Samanta
We may note that even in the Arthasastra, the word samanta has often the meaning “neighbour”, without alternative — as for example in Arth. 3.9 when transfer of title to houses and plots of land is in question. However, in every single case, Samanta can consistently be translated as neighbour, whether royal or commoner, without incompatibility. There is no samanta baron in the Manusmrti. The earlier Guptas rule over no samantas in their inscriptions; the posthumous Harisena inscription of Samudragupta on the Allahabad pillar mentions no Samantas. Dharasena of Valabhi who appears as the first mahasamanta is an independent king friendly to the Guptas (from the tone of his inscriptions), not a peer of the realm. The Mandasor pillar inscriptions of Yasodharman, who drove Mihirakula and the Huns out of Malwa, say that the king defeated and humbled all the samantas, which can only mean neighbour kings. But the Visnusena charter, takes samanta only in the sense of petty feudal viscounts who might press labour for corvee, or infringe upon the rights and immunities of merchants to whom the charter was granted. Thus, the change in meaning falls within a period around 600AD. It is confirmed by the Ten Princes of Dandin,where samanta can only mean feudal baron, though the author shows remarkably close reading of the ArthaSastra as of many other works. The copper plates of Harsa, supported by Chinese travellers Hieun Tsang accounts prove that feudal relationships and samanta “ baron” had come to stay in the seventh Century AD.

Kuvalayamala(700Saka- 778AD), the Jain Account of Toramana tells, He is Soverign of Uttarapatha and his guru was Hari Gupta. The most extensive account is by Hiuen Tsang. Huns led by Mihirkula as per Hiuen Tsang are dated some centuries before 633AD, when he visited Sakala. Watters points out Chinese agree with this view. Both Toramana and Mihirkuala are Staunch saivites. The end of Gupta empire is predicted on Huns, we don't know whether these two are Huns or Kushana chiefs. The territories identified by Huns and the two kings also differs. Beal Identifies areas Tokharistan, Kabulistan and Zabulistna and Chavannes adds according to chinese history (by Sung-Yun), the only Indian Countries under Huns are Gandhara and Chitral. But Toramana and Mihirkula are in a entirely different plane. I dont consider Toramana , Mihirkula and Yashodharman relevant here as Mukharis , Yashodharman, Malwa Guptas and Imperial Guptas ruling whole of North India invisible to one another.

The other place Scholars mention about Imperial Guptas is when Hieun Tsang mentions Baladitya as the one who defeated and eliminated Huns. Baladitya has been identified with the conqueror of Mihiragula. Baladitya captured Mihirakula but later released him on his mother’s request. Paramartha also mentions that Baladitya was sent to Vasubandu to study Buddhism by his father. Hence it is possible that Mihirakula’s move against Buddhism would provoke Baladitya to take strict steps. Mihirakula’s reign is assigned to about 520 CE. Could the Baladitya of Hiuen Tsang same as Narasimhagupta Baladitya of the Gupta dynasty? As per Indology dating there is a gap of fifty years in the current proposed date of Narasimhagupta and the date of Mihirakula which is very hard to justify. Even if we assume that Narasimhagupta was ruling in 520 CE, would it be possible for him to wage war against Mihirakula at that very old age? A N Dandekar mentions that Baladitya of Hiuen Tsang is not Narasimhagupta but someone else. But the existence of several Baladityas renders this identification doubtful.

Yashodharman, Toramana, Mihirkula, Aulikharas and Huns, we will see in different Article.

Mukharis, Malwa Guptas, Gaudas, Maitrakas all had their origin in early part of 6th century AD. According to Indologists Imperial Guptas were still ruling North India and specifically Malwa, Magadha. But we don't find any evidence to the same. So our conclusion is Imperial Guptas are not overlords or Contemproaries of Mukhari, Malwa Gupta, Gaudas and Maitrakas.

Dynastic History Of Magadha By George E. Somers
Rise and fall of the imperial Guptas By Ashvini Agrawal
History of Kanauj: To the Moslem Conquest By Rama Shankar Tripathi
Vakataka - Gupta Age Circa 200-550 A.D. By Ramesh Chandra Majumdar, Anant Sadashiv Altekar
The imperial Guptas and their times By Dilip Kumar Ganguly
Ancient India: History and Culture By Balkrishna Govind Gokhale
Rise and fall of the imperial Guptas By Ashvini Agrawal
Indian History and Architecture

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Dating Vatsyayana's Kamasutra

Vatsyayana Kamasutra played a significant role in the history of Indian Literature, particularly Sanskrit Kavya literature in which Shringara rasa(Erotic sentiment) was one of the main rasas to be evoked by the poet. The tradition in erotics grew in association with esoteric religious practices in later Vedic period, but acquired an independent status by the the time of Babhravya of the panchala region, a pre vatsyayana authority on the subject, who traces his work to nandikeshava and Uddalaka shvetaketu. Similar to Babhravya , we have charayana, suvarnanabha, Ghotakamukha, Gonardiya, Gonikaputra,Dattaka and Kuchumara specialized in seven section namely sadharana, Samprayogika, kanyasamprayuktaka, bharyadhikarika, paradarika,vaishika and aupanishadika. Vatsyayana while condensing the individual contributions of Dattaka and others, retained the general scheme of Babhraya in his comprehensive work called kamasutra. Vatsyayana kamasutra became the standard and definitive work on the subject for years to come. It has eclipsed the previous writings on the subject and became the basis of later Kamashastras of 10th century AD.Learning of Kamasutra was mandatory in ancient and medieval India along with Dharmasastra and arthasastra. A Good poet were required to be proficient in knowledge of erotics as well as poetics, logic, grammer and other technical sciences. The work is Sanskrit Sutra Style.

Dated between 4th century BC to 4th century AD.
Vatsyayana mentions Grhya and Dharma Sutras , the Arthasastra of Kautilya and the Mahabhashya of Patanjali. Arthasastra is similar to Kamasutra and both cannot be separated by more than a century or so.They quote the same rare authorities like Charayana and Ghata(ka) mukha. Shamasastri quotes common passages in Arthasastra and Kamasastra. Kalidasa quotes Arthasastra in Sakuntala. Shamasastry also says that Kautilya did not know Panini. Varahamitra Brihatsanhita quotes Vatsyayana ,so the lowest limit can be 6th century AD. Shama Shastri says that Vatsyayana flourished between 137 AD to 209 AD, while Bhandarkar places him around 100 AD, and Keith before 4th century AD. A.K. Warder suggests that Kamasutra was probably produced in 3rd century AD. Doniger and Kakar (2003) almost agree with Warder by assuming that kamasutra must have been composed after 225 AD. Vatsyayana has referred king Satakarni by name. According to Puranas Kuntala Satakarni was 13th Andhra king in Satavahana dynasty. He was son of Mrgendra Svatikarna and he ruled in Kali era 2487-2481 (615-607 BC). The Satavahanas flourished till second century BC. So what is the date let us find out.

Two Vatsyayanas
One Vatsyayana also called Mallanaga, earlier than kalidasa wrote Kamasutra and belonging to Avanti to Banavasi. THe other Vatsyayana wrote Nyaya-Bhaya, a well known exposition on Nyayasutra. The latter is supposed by some scholars to have flourished about fourth century AD in Bihar, but not much is known. The Style of NYaya Bhasya resembles the Mahabhasya and is also comparable to Vartikas in the Astadhyayi. Subandhu, in his well-known prose-romance Vasavadatta refers to Mallanaga as the author of Kamasutra. Yasodhara, the author of Jayamangala, the most authentic commentary available in Sanskrit on this work, also says at the very outset of his commentary that the real name of the author of Kamasutra is Mallanaga, and , he again says that Vatsyayana is just the family name of the author of this text and the name given to him through Samskara (ritual for naming) is Mallanaga.

His name is sometimes confused with Mallanaga, the prophet of the Asuras, to whom the origin of erotic science is attributed. This is an error; as Danielou says -The attribution of the first name Mallanaga to Vatsyayana is due to the confusion of his role as editor of the Kama Sutra with that of the mythical creator of erotic science

Literary works

Babhravya of Panchala region
Babhravya of panchala region is pre vatsyayana authority who traces his works to uddalaka shvetaketu and Nandikeshavara. M M shastri identifies Savataketu Aryneya the highly cultured Philosopher of Upanishads. The Rig veda shows well organised family life with institution of Marriage fully developed in India, therefore the age of the institution of marriage developed should have preceded Rig veda by a very long period, since Rig veda does not discuss any development of the Institution. So the age of Svetaketu Aruneya - an age of of intense metaphysical speculation when the Upanishad literature grew, could certainly not be identical with it.

Vatsyayana quotes Auddalaki three places. One belongs to Samprayoga, another Paradarika and third Vaisika, the third is the longest quotation. Vatsyayana says Rig veda was called Dasatayi and he does not mention Auddalaki at all. Madhavavarman - II, a king of Ganga dynasty wrote a Vrtti on Datakasutras. He was the fifth ancestor of king Durvinita and lived around 380 AD. A fragment of his Vrtti has survived. So Auddalakai is prior to atleast 380AD. Besides these authors, Vatsyayana refers to the views of Babhravya, Ghotakamukha, Gonardiya, Gonikaputra, Carayana, refers to the views of Bharavya, Ghotakamukha, Gonardiya, Gonikaputra, Carayana, Ouddalaki and Suvarnanabha(All before 2nd century BC) very often in his text. He also cites the school of Babharavya or the followers of Babhravya. It seems that the texts of these Acaryas were available to Vatsyayana. But as time passed, these texts by his predecessors were made obsolete by his own work – Kamasutra.

The work follows in the footsteps of Kautilya, the author of Arthasastra, It has seven Adhikaranas or books, 36 chapters, and 64 Prakaranas or topics. Its extent in slokas is a thousand and a quarter. But unlike Kautilya, it gives the tradition of the Sastra first, and then gives its contents. Kautilya does not give the tradition at all. They are to be inferred from his quotations.  Hemacandra's Abhidhanacintamani and Yadavaprakasa's Vaijayanti say that Vatsyayana, Mallanaga, Kautilya, Paksilasvami etc. are the names of one and the same person. Another name associated with the authorship of kamasutra is that of Kamandaka, the famous author of a work Kamandakiya on ethics. We can conclude that both these works stand close to each other in respect of their period of composition. M. Krishnamachariar therefore places Vatsyayana the author of Kamasutra in 4th or 3rd century BC.

Kamasutra Tradition
The tradition of the kamasutra is exceedingly interesting. It says that Prajapati after the creation, delivered a work in one hundred thousand chapters on the three aims of human life. These three aims are : — Dharma, Artha and Kama (Law, Economics and Erotics ) Manu separated the portion assigned to Law and Vrhaspati that to Economics ,Nandi the follower of Mahadeva separated Erotics in one thousand chapters. Auddalaki Svetaketu abridged Erotics in live hundred chapters. Babhravya abridged Svetaketu's work in one hundred and fifty chapters divided into seven Adhikaranas or books, namely, :- (i) Sadharana (preliminary), (ii) Samprayogika (union), (iii) Kanyasamprayuktaka (induc- ing of girls), (iv) Bharyyadhikaranika (section about a wife) (v) Paradarika (adultery) (vi) Vaisika (about public women) (vii) Aupaniadika (secrets).

Gonardiya and Gonikaputra have been referred in the Mahabhasya of Patanjali. Kancinatha, a later author on Kamasastra also quotes from Gonikaputra, so that the work of Gonikaputra might have existed during his times. Jyotirisa, another author in Karnasastra also knew of Gonikaputra.Natyasastra prof. Batuknath Bhattacharya says it is hard to believe that kamasutra was later than Natyasastra. He says considering the style in which it is composed- distinctly Aphoristic in nature and reminiscent of Sutra period(600-200BC). Vatsyayana divides men into sasa , vrsa , Asva and woman into Mrgi,Badava, Hastini from their different capacities of Samproyoga. While Bhrarta in Natyasastra divides women into 24 varieties based on Aestheic, intellectual and Moral Standards. Kamasutra does not mention Natyasastra.

On the request of Pataliputra courtesans, Acharya Dattaka wrote work on Courtesans is used by Vatsyayana for kamasutra. Now Dattaka work is not avaialable in complete gives the vivid details of Pataliputra courtesans. The way Dattaka is mentioned in Kamasutra, it can be safely assumed that Dattaka preceded Vatsyayana by a couple of centuries. But Bana of Harshacharita quotes Dattaka, so the book was still in existence during Bana Period.

The story of dattaka is very interesting. A Brahmin from Mathiira migrated to Pataliputra. A son was born to him at his old age. The mother died at child bed, and the father gave the child to a Brahmani, who named him Dattaka (because he was given to her). The boy grew up, acquired a knowledge of all the Sastras and all the fine arts. On account of his great skill in the exposition of the Sastras, he became famous as Dattakacaryya. Attaining maturity, he was anxious to learn the ways of the world, which, he thought, could be best learnt from public-women. So he went to their quarters every day and learned their ways. So thoroughly did he learn, that at last they used to come to him for advice in matters erotic. Then Virasena and other noted courtesans of Pataliputra requested him to write a treatise on the art of winning lovers.
Father of Dattaka came from Mathnra to Pataliputra and the Brahmana who came there seem to have been attracted by the fact that it was the capital of a big monarchy. Now why are we going so much into Dattaka, because it is during his time the pataliputra was capital, so who was the king at that time.According to Puranas Pataliputra became capital during Guptas.

Vatsyana date may be uncertain ,but it is earlier than Kalidasa. But kalidasa does not talk about vatsyayana, but we have very similar techniques in kalidasa works, this may be from a common source. Kalidasa reveals the knowledge of erotics in the description of Yaksha's wife's svapnasamgama(Union in Dream), in which he specifies the exact period of kamasastra and many other instances as well.


Avagosha the buddist poet makes daring ride into Amorous depictions. The Avagosha seems to well versed with topics in Kamasastra and in Buddhacarita he describes the courtesans of Nanda king and also love-dalliance with his wife Sundari before his conversion to Buddhism.

Historical People and Places.

Vatsyayana mentions Abhiras and Andhras ruling side by side. He Speaks of Abhira Kottaraja Jayatsena, king of kotta in Gujarat, who was killed by Washerman employed by his brother. Then Again in the chapter on conduct of Woman confined to Harems, he describes the sexual abuses practiced in the seraglio of the Abhira kings among others.

King Isvarasena, son of Abhira sivadatta is mentioned as the ruling soverign in on one of the inscriptions. Now we have to get the date for inscriptions. Isvaradatta coins have been found in Malwa, Gujarat and Kathiwad(Saurastra). So there are no kshatrapas during this period. In the Inscription Abhira king names Madhariputra Isvarasena found at Nashik, Madhariputra Isvarasena is described as the son of sivadatta. It records the gift of sakani visnudatta, daughter of saka Agnivarman, wife of the Ganapaka Rebhila and mother Ganapaka visvavarman, of three investments of 2000,1000 and 500 Karspanas in the trade guilds of Govardhana for the purpose of providing medicines for the sick buddhist monks living at the monestery on mount Trirasmi. Following things can be deduced from the inscription

1. Sivadatta is not given any royal Honorific, so Isvarasena is first king of his line.
2. Satavahana mode of dating
3. Satavahanas are living in western maharastra and Guajarat possibly in the service of the Abhira lord.

Gunda inscription, shows the Abhira general Rudrabhuti referring to Rudrasimha as Ksatrapa, ignoring the existence of any Mahasatrapa altogether. This shows that though not assuming any higher title, the Abhira general was the de facto ruler in the state. Gerneral Rudrabhuti is described as the son of general Bapaka.
We have Inscription of Abhira Vasusena of the year 30 at NagarjunaKonda. We dont have any knowledge of Abhira ruling Guntur region, but the Inscripion is not about Pilgirmage. Kadamba King Mayurasarma (340-360AD) refers to a fight with Abhiras and Trikutakas (We dont know if Trikutakas are subordinates or overlords of Abhiras). But we don't have any evidence in inscriptions or Puranas of Abhiras and Andhras ruling side by side. In the Chapter Isvarakamita or the The Lust of the Rulers. Abhiras had been found from Mahabharata days. Abhiras had been found along with Alexander. Abhiras has been mentioned by Ptolemy. So dating Vatsyayana using Abhiras is not possible. And we have to find a period when Sakas were not there. Only Satavahanas and Abhiras were there. And Malwa is different from Abhira. So we can't date Vatsyayana to Gunda Inscription 180AD, when Abhira rule was in Malwa.

Saka, Bhoja, Gupta

Vatsyayana refers to Abhiras and Andhras lived side by side. And no mention of Sakas Vatsyayana refers to the scandal by Dandakya , the Bhoja who must have lived many centuries prior to him.  Guptas are not mentioned in Kamasutra. We have seen Bhoja's and Mahabhoja are just the titles of kings like Raja and Maharaja. Guptas are not mentinoed but the capital is mentioned as Pataliputra.

Vatsyayana mentions southern countries to be south of Karnata visaya and Vanavaso visya was east of Gokarna and Vaijayanti(Modern Banavasi) is place of his composition.

R. G . Bhandarkar points out that Kuntala Satkarni. According to Puranic list of Andhra's, Kuntala Svati or Svatikarna is the thirteenth in the descent from Simuka founder of the family. Vatsyayana has to be nearer to Kuntala satkarni because the sex scandal seems to be very fresh in presenatioan. K P Jayaswal points out Sri Malla Satakarni, the third monarch from the list with Hathigumpha inscription of Khravela. The difference between Kuntala and Malla is 168 Years from puranas. Again from Puranas Gautamiputra Satakarni is separated from him by 133years.

Vatsyayana mentions how Satakarni of Kuntala killed his queen Malayaevati with an instrument called kartari by striking her in the passion of love and vatsyayana quotes this case to warn people of the danger arising from some old customs of striking women when under influence of passion.. Vatsyayana mentions kuntala as tht country with Vaijayanti(Banavasi) as the capital. According to Puranas Kuntala Satakarni was 13th Andhra king. He was son of Mrgendra Svatikarna and he ruled in Kali era 2487-2481 (615-607 BC). The Satavahanas flourished till 3rd century BC.

Countries Mentioned
The tribes and tribal countries mentioned by him are Andhras, Vatsagulmakas, Vaidarbhas, Apaiantakas, Saurastrikas, Abhirakas, Strairajyakas, Gaudas, Saindhavas, Haimavatas, Pracyas, Vangas, Angas, Kalingas, Xagarakas, Madhyadesa- kas Valhikas, Avantikas, Malavas, Abhiras, the land en- closed by six rivers (with the Sindhu as the sixth). Lata, Kosala, Saketa, Ahicchatra, Saurasena Mahaiastra, Dravida, Vaaavasika and Cola. The commentator gives some accurate directions for finding out these countries or the habitations of these tribes. Vatsyayana describes various forms of sexual abuse practised by the kings. The Kings are Aparantakas, Vaidarbhas, Saurashtrakas, Vatsagulmakas and Andhras. The Andhras mentioned here is not the Imperial Andhras ,but Andhrabhrtyas or servants of Andhra dynasty. Among them Vastsyayana mentions Abhiras, Gardabinas,sakas.

Literary works
Prof Bhattacharya remarks that all the predecessors like Bhabharvya are before 4th century BC, while vatsyayana is pushed back to 3rd or 4th century AD. As Prof Bhattacharya says all the works that Vatsyayana quotes are in 4th century to 3rd Century BC. Vatsyayana does not quote Natyasastra. Varahamihira mentions Kamasutra, Virahamihira dated around 6th century AD.

Saka's are mentioned in Kamasutra, the period of sakas we know is between 6nd century BC(Darius) to 1st century AD(Saka Era). So Kamasutra can be any period between these dates, as it does not mention any Huns.

Andhra and Andhrabritya
The Only known king mentioned is Satakarni.. Shatakarni as such seems to be important position like commander of battalion in Andhra dyansty hierarchy. Now who is is this satakarni. Let us go to the basic identities. According to Puranas there are Andhra's and Andhrabritya's. However for Indology both are same. The puranas mention Andhras ruled Magadha before Guptas and dating is before 300BC. After start of Gupta rule, they Andhras lost power but Andhrabritya's (Servants of Andhra's) that is commanders, feudatories and Generals continue to rule as separate entities. Andhrabritya's are Ikshvakus, Abhiras, Chutu Nagas etc. While Andhras ruled from Magadha with Girivraja (Rajgir) as the capital. Andhrabritya's were confined to south of Vindhyas and Malwa. Without going any further let us treat Andhrabritya as different from Andhras. Now we have Satakarni, one of the Andhrabritya ruling in kuntala region. Also we have a Satakarni mentioned in Hathimgumpha inscription by Kharvela. Remember Kharvela when invading Magadha ransacks Capital Rajgir, not Pataliputra. So during Andhra shatakarni time the Magadha capital was still Rajgir.

One line of Andhrabritya Chutu Nagas have marital relation with Andhras. So we can see Andhra names in this Naga line as well. Megasthanes discusses about Andhras in south. So by time of Megasthanes the Andhra dynasty in Magadha is finished and already Andhrabritya's are ruling. As per Puranas Chutu Nagas are ruling in most parts of central and southern India. But shatakarni was ruling from kuntala. So we defintely speaking about one from kuntala or karnataka region. This Shatakarni is not before 300BC, but later. The Ashoka rock edict mention about satyaputo. We have already seen in Satavahana article, shatakarni means son of Sata, Satyaputo also means the same. Since both are same, we can come to a conclusion that Satyoputo in Edict means Andhrabritya. The chutus Nagas, who had marital relations with Andhras can be called satyoputo's. We know Saka rule ended in 78AD Saka era. So From these accounts we can say that Shatakarni of kamasutra can have ruled between 4th century BC to 1st century AD.

Kamasutra as inferred from literary sources to be after 3rd century BC as it quotes Arthasastra. Kamasutra is slightly ahead in literary style  than Kalidasa. We have already put kalidasa to be around 50BC. Now the Saka's are ruling upto 1st century AD. Our identification of Shatakarni or Abhira has hit a dead end. The Pataliputra became capital during Guptas. Now Guptas are dated to 4th and 5th century AD. So we have to date Dattaka to be that period. Then when do you date Kamasutra. This is now Indology dates ties us up in knots. We can very clearly see Guptas to be dated to 4th and 3rd century BC. So the dating of Vatsyayana Kamasutra will be century later that Dattaka (3rd Century BC) and Century Earlier than Kalidasa(1st century BC), that is 2nd century BC.

Social life in ancient India: studies in Vatsyayana's Kama Sutra By Haran Chandra Chakladar
The Positive Background of Hindu Sociology : 'Introduction to Hindu Positivism By Benoy Kumar Sarkar
Some early dynasties of South India  By S. Chattopadhyaya
Foreign influence on ancient India  By Krishna Chandra Sagar
The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland  1911
Kamasutra Of Vatsyayana by Radhavallabh Tripathi
The Encyclopaedia Of Indian Literature  By Amaresh Datta

Related Links
Date of Kalidasa
Origin of Satavahana
Did Megasthanes Meet Chandragupta

Reign of VishnuKundin

The Vishnukundina Empire (Telugu: విష్ణుకుండిన సామ్రాజ్యము) was one of the Middle kingdoms of India, controlling the Deccan, Orissa and parts of South India during the 5th and 6th centuries, carving land out from the Vakataka Empire. It played an important role in the history of the Deccan during the 5th and 6th centuries CE.

With pulikesin II coming to power in South India and Harshavardhana  in North India, Indian chronology becomes very clear. The chronologies of  Earlier dynasties who ruled the country especially south India unclear. Indologists having introduced Satavahanas just before 3rd century AD, have found a number of dynasties ruling at the same place at almost same time. Unable to come to terms with this new realities, Indologists have called these dynasties phantom dynasties. One of the Phantom Dynasties is Vishnukundin. Is it a phantom dynasty, whose period cannot be fixed, whose origin cannot be fixed?
Let us see


Vishnukundina is a Sanskritized name for Vinukonda. Kielhorn suggested a connection of the name of the family with that of the hill-fort and town of Vinukonda in the Krishna district, about 60 miles east of Srmaila and 50 miles south of the Krishna river. Vinukonda, according to Kielhorn, was possibly the early home of the Visnukundins.

Tummalagudern plates describe the members of the Vishnukundi family as Srlparvatlyas. That is of Srisailam. In fact all the grants except Madhavavarman I call themselves as the devotees of sriparvata. So their origin is mainly Sriparvata or Srisailam.

Ayodya Origin
One theory states that they are of Koundinya gotra of Kshatriyas who migrated from Ayodhya (Oudh) during the early 5th century. But we have evidence to back up this theory. Theory deriving the name from 'Vishnukunda' fire-pit-the theories connecting it with the 'Vishnukundi' river.

Western (Karnataka) origin
Madhavavarman II has been described in this inscription as trikuta-malay-adhipati, " lord of Trikuta Malaya. Is this Trikuta refers to Trikutas. Experts say that they may assisted the overloards Vatakatas against Trikutas. But to say Lord of Trikutas puts it beyond their capabilities. Vatakata Narendrasena and Harisena who defeated Trikutas ruled the same time as Madhavavarman and the claim may be due to this relation.
On the basis of Indrapalanagara grants, B.N. Sastri assumes that the earlyrulers of the dynasty migrated to the west in search of employmentand under the Vakatakas they might have attainedfeudatory status with Indrapalanagara in the Nalgonda districtas their capital.

Central Indian Origin
Trikuta is identified as Tagara (Maharastra), Mahendragiri(Ganjam Dist) and Amaroati(MP) and said they are from Central regions. But the evidences are lacking.

Vatakata origin
Madhavavarman I married a Vatakata princess and they occupy the vakataka areas of srisailam after the demise of vatakatas. So this leads to the speculation that they are related to Vatakatas and they are protege of Vatakatas.

We come to the conclusion that the original home of Vishnukundin is Vinukonda in Andhra and they were a local dynasty. They were devotees of Srisailam. Malaya in the inscription can been taken to be the Srisailam hills.

Period of VishnuKundins
Vishnukudin cave temples are similar to Early Pallava , orissan and Kadamba Cave temples.  So VishnuKundins are of Early Pallava Period.

Chalukya Conquest of Vengi
Pulikesin II conquered vengi and went to kalinga , there he appointed Ganga officers for revenue collection and in 615AD his kid brother and Yuvaraja Kubja Vishnvardhan was appointed viceroy in Vengi. After this time there is no other Independent rulers in south India, other than Pallavas and Harshavardhana in North. Chalukya empire stretched West coast to East coast. So 615AD is the last date of ending of Any Independent king who ruled in vengi. So who was ruling vengi before them. Harsha empire did not include Vengi. Harsha empire did not even touch Kalinga coast, then we have Pallavas, but we know pallavas are not ruling in vengi , their empire ruled south of Guntur. That leaves as to the vishnukudins. So the king who was defeated by Pulikesin is Vishnukundins. But we have Kubja vishnuvardhana brother presence around vengi in 609AD. Eventhough Vishnukundins were deposed of their earlier stature by pulikesin, vishnukundins were found ruling as feudatories of Eastern Chalukyas even in 8th century AD. But let us this issue later.

Indrapalanagar grant of Vishnukundin king Vikramednra II , says that he broke the twig of pallavabhoga, that is defeated Pallava king Simha in Saka 488 (566 CE). The Pallava Simha has to be Simhavishnu (550-580). The Amaravati hold of Vishnukudins seems to be a brief one. Since Guntur was held by pallavas throughout vishnukudin era. Again we have to note that Pallava Bhoga is identified as Ananda Gotrikas or Anandas ,but we have no evidence to back up this theory.

We get geneology of kings from these Vishnukundin inscriptions
1. Tummalagudem Plates (Set I) of Govindavarman Year 37
2. Velpuru Pillar Inscription of Madhavavarman , Year 33
3. Ipur Plates (Set I) of Madhavavarman, Year 37
4. Khanapur Plates of the Time of Madhavavarman
5. Ipur Plates (Set II) of Madhavavarman Year 47
6. Ramatirtham Plates of Indravarman, Year 27
7. Chikkulla Plates of Vikramendravarman , Year 10
8. Tummalagudem Plates (Set II) of Vikramendravarman , Year 11, Saka 488
9. Kundulapalem Plates of Vikramendravarman , Year 14
10. Polamuru Plates (Sot I) of Madhavavarman

Here is the kings list based on Velpuru pillar, Ipur I, Ipur II, Ramatirtham, Chikkulla and Godavari Grants,Khanapur plates(Identification with Rastrakuta),Tumma-lagudem plates, set II,Kandulapalem plates
Madhavavarman (Sainyabhitta)(Extended kingdom to coast) (Husband of Vatakata)
Madhavavarman Janakaya (First Vishnukudin king of Vengi)(Destoryed Salankayana)
vikramahendravarman (Defeated by Prithvimula of Kalinga)
IndraBhattaraka (Defeated Simha of Pallava)(Crosses the Godavari )
Vikramahendravarman uttamaraya
Madhavavarman (Janasraya)(Becomes Indpendent)

Constructing Geneology
Now the reign of last known ruler of Vishnukudin is Vikramahendra Varma II has to start 11 years before the Tummalagudem Plates(Saka 488 - 566AD) that is 555AD.

So Indravarman reign father of Vikramahendravarman.
Ramathirtham plates are issued 27th year of his reign, his reign cannot start later than 528AD(555AD-27). Even assuming short reign of 10 years after this plate, puts his accession to 517-518AD.

Now to Vikramahendravarman I father of Indravarman
He did not give any Inscriptions, Assuming minimum 10 years to his reign we come to 508-518 for this rule.

Now coming to his father Madhavavarman I, his Polamaru plates(Eighth Year of Reign) cannot be dated before 478AD or his accession 470AD. Now Ipur plates are issued in 37th year of his regime. Ajaya Mitra Shastri says that Madhavavarman I reign is between 487-528AD. We can deduce that Madhavavarman regime to be between 470-507AD. We know Madhavavarman extended the kingdom to the coast(Vengi). But we don't have any evidence to back the theory he defeated Salankyana's. So cannot link him to dating of Salankyana's.

Not much achievement is given by inscriptions on Devavarman father of Madhavavarman, except he is respected as mularaja(founder) and his crown queen is held in high esteem. So giving him a minimum decade or two , we can say the Vishnukundins started their regime in 455AD.

Let us go to the pain (Problem) points
Trivara and Madhavavarma
Madhavavarman Janasraya gives in his inscription both in Ipur Plates and Polamuru Plates.

Meaning The Delighter of the hearts of the young ladies in the palace(Palaces) of Trivaranagara. Scholars point out that Madhavavarman did not undertake any military expedition to trivarnagara, but only resided there. one of the scholar identifies Tiruvuru to be in krishna Dist. Some scholars identify Trivara to be three cities and it refers to Madhavavarman capturing three cities or simply it refers to three affluent cities of his kingdom,where he had palaces full of girls. We will go Traivaranagara and Trivaradeva in another article. The term does not seem to hold any significance in the present context.

Fall of Vatakatas
One more question that Vishnukudins comes into play is fall of vatakatas. The theory is Madhavavarman I became too powerful and occupied the vatakata empire. This theory is based on the khanapur plates, where one madhavavarman is said to have made elevan asvamedha 's and thousand Agnistomas etc. As this is plate is given in Maharastra, And Madhavavarman of this plate is identified with Vishnukudin Madhavavarman and the conclusion drawn that Vishnukudins gave death blow to Vatakatas. However scholars dimiss this Madhavavarman to be different and they say that no other record of vishnukudin is found Maharastram, And Also Chikkulla plates of vishnukudin say Madhavavarman(535AD) is son in law of Vishnukudin. But one possibility may be Madhavavarman might have defeated Vatkatas and also got the daughter of vatakata in marriage as a peace proposal, Another possibility may be, He married vatakata princess and inherited the kingdom. But we have see that Vatatakata Prithvisena II's Mother is Kadamba origin, so any usurping of rule from Prthvisena or his successor would have got the kadamba wrath. So defeat of Vatakata by Vishnukundin is just a myth.

After the death of Prithvisena II (main branch of vatakatas), Harisena of Basim(Western) branch of vatakatas became king of all vatakatas, as prithvisena II did not leave any heir. Now we have to see madhavavarman in this context. The Vatakata princess may been married to him to keep peace on the eastern side. Prithvisena II is dated to 460-480AD,based on this Madhavavarman can be dated to 470-507AD.

Madhavavarman I regime
Now Prithvisena II date is confusion when he ruled, as Harisena of Basim branch ruled from 475 to 510AD and Prithivisena II died soon after Harisena ascended throne. And we have Harisena replacing the main line of vatakatas. We do not hear Harisena or his successors having marital relations with Visnukundins. So the Vatakata princess has to be daughter of Prithivisena II(Prithvisena II mother Kadamba). If there were any Son to Prithivisena II , kadambas may have come to their aid, if Madhavavarman I has defeated vatakatas. Based on this date and dates from the plates. let us take Madhavavarman I regime to be 470-507AD.

Confusion in Indrapur Plates.
Indrapura Plates I by vikramahendravarman give the geneology of vishnukundinas Govindavarman , his son Madhavavarman (Eleven Asvamedhas,several sacrifices such as Bahusuvarna, pundarika,vajpeya etc and husband of vatakata), his son vikramahendra (Devout follower of Buddha and great poet) , his son Indrabhattarkavarman(Lord of chakravartishetram by his victories over many four tusked elephants),his son vikramahendrabhattaarakavarman(Has Several Samantas) and he treated one Madhavaraja(forcibly ousted many kings , handsome and has several qualities like political wisdom and valour) as his own son, also we get paramabhattarikamahadevi (Crowned queen) of Govindaraja was born in the famous royal family of Prithvimula

Indrapura Plate II , was issued by Govindavarman. The Indrapura plates II gives the geneology as Maharaja Indaravarman, his son Maharaja Madhavavarman, his son maharaja govindavarman (Made several grants to temples and viharas), the last king of the grant is dvarvembadala also known as penka, to the paramamahadevivihara at the instance of the crowned queen

Now these plates gives the following problems in genology.
1. Who is this madhavaraja and what part he played in making this grant.
2. How do the kings mentioned in Second grant relate to kings mentioned in First plates chronologically.
3. Were both Govindaraja's identical or same.
4. How was prithvimula related to Vishnukundins

Let us try to solve this problem. Scholar Mirashi says that Madhavavarman of First plate is kid brother of Vikramahendravarman of Second plates. This madhavavarman succeeded his brother after his death as he was without children and he is the madhavaraja of first plate. Madhavavarman II also served as the Yuvaraja of Vikramahendravarman II and won many battles and deposed many kings.

In Jaunpur Inscription Isvaravarman describes himself who estinguished the spark of fire coming from dhara. Yasodharman is also of same period. So Spark of Malwa is Yasodharman and he was defeated by Isvaravarman. Yasodharman defeated Huns in 515AD, so the date of defeat of Yasodharman to Mukharis has to be post 515AD.
Now how Mukharis and Malwa Guptas(Not connected to Imperial Guptas) fight is legendary. Kumara gupta of Malwa(Son of Jivita Gupta) defeated Gaudas as per Damodurpur grant(543-544AD). Isnavarman won victory over Huns between (560-590AD).
Haraha Inscription(Vikrama 611 or 554AD) is as follows.

Jitv-Andhr- Adhipatim sahasra-ganita-tredha-ksharad-varanam
vyavalgan-niyut-ati-samkhya-turangan-bhanktva rane sulikan
kritvach-ayati-mau(mo)chita-sthalo-bhuvo Gaudan smudr-asraya
n-adhyasishta nata- kshitisa-charanah singha(mha) sanam yo jiti.

He also defeated Andhra king(Vishnu kudin) as per the Haraha inscription. One more king he defeated is Sulikas, who identity is under dispute. Fleet believes Sulikas are Mulikas of Northwest Frontier, H.N Shastri Says they belong to Kalinga and Vidharba, Raychaudhari correctly identifies sulikas as branch of Chalukyas. Mahakuta inscription says Kirtivarman I (566 - 597AD) obtained victories over Anga , Vanga and Magadha. So it has to be Chalukyas.

Now Isnaravarman defeated Andhra king before his accession that is during the rule of his father isvaravarman. Now the date of Accession of Isnavarman is 550AD, so the the victory over Andhra king should have been before 550AD. Now the Indrapalanagara or Tummalagadem plates (Saka 488 or 566AD) given at 11th year of Vikramahendra varman II, Since the Andhra rules at the time of clash was not Vikramahendravarman, the clash should have taken place before 555AD. Now his father Indravarman ruled for atleast 27years as per Ramathirtham plates(given at 27th year of accession). Even assuming just 27years as the reign , the date of accession cannot be earlier than 528AD. Indravarman's Father Vikramamahendravarman I often described as Maharaja left no inscriptions and if we assume the 10 years for his reign, he could have came to power 518AD that is before reign Isnavarman father Isvaravarman. So Madhavarman date preceding Vikramahendra I cannot have been defeated by Isnavarman.
This is a sticky point. Did Isnavarman defeated the Andhra king or is it just a raid. If it was a raid than Isnavarman would have been beaten back and the Vishnukundins would have blown the trumphet as victory. So we have to take that Isnavarman did defeat Andhra king and It could have occurred during the reign of Indravarman. Whom I have conveniently named as Madhavavarman II, though we have no evidence that the Isnavarman defeated Andhra king.

Not going to any other arguments we get the genology as follows.

Govindavarman I (Founder) (455-470AD)
Madhavavarman I (470-507AD)(Extended Kingdom to Vengi)(Marital Alliance with Vatakatas)(Title Lord of Dakshin Chakravartishethram)
his son vikramahendra I (508-518AD)(Title Maharaja)(Ornament of Vakataka and Vishnukundin Dynasties)
his son Madhavavarman Indrabhattarkavarman (Madhavavarman II)(518-554AD)(Contemproary of Mukhari Isvaravarman)
his son vikramahendra bhattaarakavarman (vikramahendra II) (555- 567AD)(Raided Pallavas of Guntur)

his brother Madhavavarman III (567-578AD)
his son Govindavarman II (578-615AD) deposed by Pulikesin II

Ganga Era
The dates of Early Eastern Ganga Dynasty has been always questioned. Nadagam plates of Vajrahasta state that Ganga rule was established by destorying Baladitya(467AD). But we have no evidence to support this date or theory. There are two inscriptions of Early Eastern Ganga Dynasty. Hastivarma dated 80th year of Ganga Era is first king (Adhiraja) and Indravarman dated 80th year of Ganga Era. Both are styled as the founders of Early Eastern Ganga Dynasty and devotees of Gokarna in comforts of kalinganagara. Both grants are given by VinayaChandra son of Bhanuchandra. who is enemy of IndraBhattaraka How do you date this era.
Mr.Ramadas dates to 350AD found on Salankyana Pedda Vegi. But the lettering and other things dont match.
Mr. Subba Rao of Rajamundary dates it to 450AD, based on the contention Indra varman of Achyuthapuram same as Indravarman Bhattaraka.But Visnukundins were ruling Kalinga at that time. We cannot date this to 540AD, because where will you place Prithvimula and Mukharis.
So the IndraBhattaraka has to be a Eastern Chalukya IndraBhattaraka. So Early Eastern Gangas came as Revenue Administrators to orissa under Chalukya Command is valid.

Vishnukundinas are Local Andhra origin. Their Geneology has been given. Vishnukundins ruled from 450 to 615AD and during that time they were a force to reckon with. The vishnukundins are successors of Ikshavakus. They allied with Vakatakas and successfully fought with Pallavas and Salankayanas to expand the territories.

Buddhist remains in Āndhra and the history of Āndhra between 224 & 610 A.D.By K. R. Subramanian
Inscriptions of the Śarabhapurīyas, Pāṇḍuvaṁśins, and Somavaṁśins: IntroductionBy Ajay Mitra Shastri
Some early dynasties of South India By S. Chattopadhyaya
Vakataka - Gupta Age Circa 200-550 A.D. By Ramesh Chandra Majumdar, Anant Sadashiv Altekar
Literary and historical studies in indology By Vasudev Vishnu Mirashi
Cultural contours of India: Dr. Satya Prakash felicitation volume By Satya Prakash, Vijai Shankar Śrivastava
The Vishnukundis and Their Times by S. Sankaranarayanan, T.V Mahalingam

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Date of Kalidasa - Gupta Myth

Kalidasa most renowned classical Sanskrit scholar is widely regarded as the greatest poet and dramatist in the classical history. His period has not been dated to precise. Most likely falls in Gupta period in 5th century AD. This is a wikipedia introduction, you will mostly come across the same in many places as well. There is very little is known about kalidasa apart from his literature. But let us not go into other questions. Stay to main question: Date of Kalidasa.  Let us see what the scholars say.

Kalidasa Works
Four poetic works, Raghuvamsa, Kumarasambhava, Meghaduta, and Ritusamhara, and three dramas, Vikramorvasiya, Malavikagnimitra, and Abhijnanasakuntala are attibuted to him, in addition to these, Indian tradition attributes to him several other works(around 30) in diverse disciplines, ranging from poetics and astrology to mathematics and astronomy. It goes without saying that he had more than a little mastery of all these disciplines.

Kalidasa was clearly closely associated with, or lived in Ujjain, the capital of Vikramarka; his love for this city and the Malwa country is particularly apparent in the Meghaduta, from the way he holds forth lovingly on this city in the poem. The Yaksha's request to the cloud messenger to make a detour to visit Ujjain, the description of the dance of the devadasis in the Mahakaleswara Temple, and the incomparable descriptions of the city and of the river Sipra leave no one in doubt of this.

Kalidasa Life
Almost nothing definite is known about Kalidasa's life, although legends abound. What one can definitely infer from his works is that he was a Brahman, a devotee of Siva but no fanatic of any Hindu sect, was widely travelled and very well versed in the arts, sciences and philosophy of his day. He lived in a city in affluent circumstances, and was well acquainted with royal courts and court politics, almost certainly because he was patronised by a powerful king.

BanaBhatta of Harsha Charita
Banabhatta, court poet of Harsavardhana (AD 606-647) in Harsacaritaoffers prefatory salutations to Kalidasa.

Aihole Inscription of Chalukya pulikesin II(634AD)
Talks about poet Ravikirti who was in the court of Chalukya Satyasraya(pulikesi II )whose poetic skills have attained the fame of Kalidasa(Sanskrit) and Bharavi(Kannada)(520AD). This inscription does not give any date of Kalidasa. But the inscription shows the kalidasa fame has reached the courts of karnataka kings and held in high esteem.

Yasodharman who is believed to have assumed the title Sakari Vikramaditya after routing the Huns (Toramana at Malva in 528 AD). Kashmir Kalhana says that Kalidasa was the court poet of Vikramaditya.

Mandasor Inscription (473AD)
Mandasor inscription 5 dated to 473 AD which names Kumaragupta, has verses borrowed from Kalidasa and imitating his style by the poet Vatsabhatti.

Hero of Kumarasambhavam  Kumaragupta son of Chandragupta-II  (Vikramaditya) is the places him in 5th century AD.

According to Kshemendra in Auchityavicharacharcha says, An envoy sent as to kuntala king capital and he was not properly received and was made to stand. King Boja of Dhara(11century AD) in Sringaraprakasa says  kalidasa was sent as envoy from court of Vikramaditya to Kuntaleshwara. There is a conflicting  reports on who is the kuntaleshwara  the envoy met . Kadamba king Kakusthavarman says Guptas sent the envoy at the time of Kadamba Bhagiratha.  Some scholars say the envoy visited Vatakata court. But Vatakata's never called themselves kuntaleshwara's , eventhough they raided kuntala few times, they never ruled kuntala. There is scribe called kalidasa in one of vatakata inscriptions, but it is not kalidasa. Some point to another royal clan in the infancy, Rastrakutas of manapura also had conflict with Vatakatas. Mananka , founder of Rastrakuta dynasty called himself Lord of Kuntala. There is one more dynasty Chutus satakarnis apart from Satavahans who called themselves kuntaleshwaras. But as far as envoy there is only one claim kadambas, so the Gupta envoy should have visited kadamba kingdom.

Astronomical Data
There are two schools of thought on the astronomical evidence.
Sengupta's discussion on astronomical evidence places Kalida sa at the middle of the 6th  century AD, between AD 525-575 during the rein of Budhagupta.
Dasgupta has quoted Jacobi's demonstration of astronomical evidence vis-à-vis influence of Greek astronomy of the period around 350 AD.

Some Say that the work Meghasandesa is the communication that Kalidasa addressed to Prabhavati, sister of Chandragupta-II when the great poet was banished to Ramagiri by the Emperor. Prabhavati Gupta, widow of Rudrasena-II who died in 390 AD and mother of Pravarasena-II who is believed to be have authored Setubandhanam and Saundaryalahari.  Popular legends say that Malavikagnimitram was written for staging on the occasion of the marrigae of Prabhavati Gupt a at Ujjayini. The Drama was staged at the wedding.

Chandragupta II
This date is propounded by Dr. A.B. Keith. According to him, Kālidāsa flourished during the reign of king Candragupta 2nd (380-413) who made Ujjainī second capital, who crushed Hūnas and as a result, assumed the title ‘Vikramāditya'. The poet expresses in his works his deep sense of gratitude for his Gupta patrons. Smith and MacDonnell support Dr. Keith. On the basis of astronomical calculations Jacobi places Kālidāsa after 3rd century A.D. Dr. Bűhler is of opinion that he should placed before 472 A.D. Sircar admits that the earliest historical Vikramāditya is Candragupta 2nd of imperil Gupta dynasty who defeated Śakas, conquered western India and made Ujjainī, as the capital of his empire. This theory founded by Dr. Keith has received support from Winternitz, Konow, Liebich, Bloch and many other scholars

Gathasapthasati mentions Kalidasa to be court poet of Vikramaditya.  Hala's Sapthasati gives glowing accounts of Vikramaditya.

Aśvaghosa, the Buddhist poet, has prepared the ground for Kālidāsa by his compositions in the field of poetry and drama. Kālidāsa took clue from this great poet and presented his own poetry and drama in polished and refined manner. The date of Aśvaghosa is definite. He enjoyed the patronage of Kusāna king Kaniska who ruled in 1st century AD.

Vikaramaditya(1st century BC)
Most of the scholars including Baladev Upaddhyaya, William Jones, Peterson, M.R. Kale, and R.N. Apte  say that kalidasa lived during King Vikramaditya of Ujjain who ruled in 1st century BC. After whom the Vikram era is known.  After he defeated  sakas. Kalidasa has consistently called Pururavas "Vikrama" in the drama Vikramorvasiya. It is generally conjuctured that Kalidasa did this to honour his patron. He included the name in the title of the drama itself to ensure propagation of his patron's name. In addition, the name Mahendra is mentioned together with Vikrama several times in the Vikramorvasiya; we know from the Kathasaritsagara that Vikramaditya's father was known by this name. Since Vikramaditya father was Mahendraditya. It suits fine.

Kalidasa mentions three historical persons, Pushyamitra(conducts horse sacrifice to pronounce supreme soverignity) his son Agnimitra (governor of vidisa and hero of the story Malavikagnimitra and vidarba princess who disguises as maid) and lastly his grandson vasumitra   the brave guardian of horse, who returns triumphantly defeating the yavanas. These are historical incidents. According to Dr. C. Kunhan Raja, on the basis of Bharatvākya of the ‘Malvikagnimitra' Kālidāsa' was the contemporary of king Agnimitra of Sunga dynasty and flourished in the 2nd century B.C. Kalidasa talks about the vasumitra grandson of pushyamitra who defeated Yavanas. This is the upper limit of the kalidasa date. Kalidasa gives lot of intimate details of pushyamitra  and sungas ,which only the closest can give.

Raghu Dynasty.
800 B.C.- Mr. Hippolyte Fauche places Kālidāsa in the 8th century B.C., on assumption that he was contemporary of Agnivarna, the last king of Raghu dynasty. Hippolyte thought Ramayana to be this date.

Having seen the scholars opinions ,Let us bring in more material to discuss.

Basic of discussion
  1. All the sources say Kalidasa was in the Royal court of King Vikramaditya
  2. Kalidas widely travelled was based out of Ujjain in malwa. He Praises  vidisha capital of 3.sungas. Kalidasa speaks of defeat of Yavanas by Pushyamitra grandson vasumitra.
  3. kalidasa knew Huns.
  4. Historical person mentioned by Kalidasa was Agnimitra of Sunga Dynasty who ruled in 2nd century BC.
  5. Guptas employed  his literary works in Inscriptions and functions.
  6. There is a close resemblances between the works of kalidasa and Avagosha's Buddha charita
  7. kumargupta is called Mahendra and father of Vikramaditya is also called Mahendra.
  8. Vikrama - Many of the Guptas have titles vikrama Chandragupta, samudragupta etc.

Raghu Victory of Hunas
The cheeks of huNa women glowed with embarrassment by the action of raghu in waging war with their husbands and that flush itself appeared as an index to raghu's valour. Now the context has to be known, he is talking about Raghu(Legendary father of Ram) and also mentions Raghu Conqured Parasikas, Kambojas,Yavanas.  Reached Oxus river. Did chandragupta II defeated these kings. Huns are there , but Parasikas, Kambojas or yavanas.

now the principal difficulty in the identification of this river has arisen by the fact that Mallinatha, the most brilliant commentator on the works of Kalidasa has chosen to read Sindhu for Vanksu. But in view of some very important reasons, given below, Mallinatha's reading is evidently erroneous. It is to be borne in mind that six manuscripts of the mallinatha, out of nine, with their commentaries read vankS (four of these) or vanksu (two). There hardly seems an occasion for Mallinatha to adopt the reading Sindhu. This reading has landed him in obvious difficulties which he has sought to explain away. The unsuitability of his reading is so patent in his own explanation that, thinking that his readers would easily confuse Sindhu with the great river Indus.

Huns Locations
The history of the Huna expansion in Central Asia is very interesting.  During the reign of Pou-non-tanjou (A. D. 46) the Huna country and their  empire suffered from severe famine. While they were yet in difficulties the  Eastern Tartars and the Chinese drove them out of their land and pushed them to  west and south. In the middle of 5th century AD, Huns formed a powerful army and starts invading far of lands. The defeated the persian empire in 225AD. The First invasion of India took place during Skandagupta time, they were soundly defeated. The second invasion during Yasovarman. So until 46AD, Huns were in Oxus basin.

Kalidasa was in the royal court of vikramaditya , that  is confirmed by everybody. The  vikramorvisya mentions Vikramaditya to be son of Mahendraditya. There are two sets Mahendraditya - vikramaditya(2-1century BC) and Gupta dynasty Kumaragupta Mahendraditya - Skandagupta Vikramaditya. So who is the vikramaditya we are speaking.

Vikramaditya the Legend.
The tales of the vampire (Vetala) tell twenty-five stories in which the king tries to capture and hold on to a vampire that tells a puzzling tale and ends it with a question for the king. In fact, earlier the king was approached by a Sadhu to bring the vampire to him but without uttering a word, otherwise the vampire would fly back to its place. The king can be quiet only if he does not know the answer, else his head would burst open. Unfortunately, the king discovers that he knows the answer to every question; therefore the cycle of catching the vampire and letting it escape continues for twenty-four times till the last question puzzles Vikramaditya. A version of these tales can be found embedded in the Katha-Saritsagara.

Bhoja and Vikramaditya
The tales of the throne are linked to the throne of Vikramaditya that is lost and recovered by king Bhoja, the Paramara king of Dhar, after many centuries. The latter king is himself famous and this set of tales are about his attempts to sit on the throne. This throne is adorned by 32 female statues who, being able to speak, challenge him to ascend the throne only if he is as magnanimous as Vikramaditya is depicted in the tale she is about to narrate. This leads to 32 attempts (and 32 tales) of Vikramaditya and in each case Bhoja acknowledges his inferiority. Finally, the statues let him ascend the throne when they are pleased with his humility. This is story created in 11th century AD by Bhoja paramara king after he declared indepndence from chalukyas.

Vikramaditya of Ujjain
Kalakacharyakathanaka a jain works says that at the instance of Kalaka ( jain teacher whose sister was abducted by Garadabilla, king of ujjain), the shakas invaded ujjain and took Garadabilla prisoner. They ruled for sometime and was overthrown by vikramaditya , king of malwa. vikramaditya started his own era. Brihatkatha of Gunadaya and kathasaritsagara endorse this event. And Gathasaptasati of Hala Satavahana also describes the event. The works say vikramaditya also called vikramasila son of mahendraditya was the founder of vikrama samvat. According to Bhavishya Purana. Vikram era started in 57 BC by Vikramaditya the Great as a commemoration of his victory upon the Shakas. There is plentiful literature on Vikramaditya, and in the Bhavishya Puran itself there are descriptions of Vikramaditya in more than 40 chapters between Pratisarg Parv I and IV. Bhavishya Purana (Pratisarg Parv I, chapter 7) says that, "After the elapse of a full 3,000 years in kali yuga (3102 - 3000 = 102 BC), a dynamic Divine personality was born who was named Vikramaditya.  Bhavishya Puran further says that  the great King Vikramaditya ruled for one hundred years. Then his son Deobhakt ruled for ten years and his grandson Shalivahan, who established Shalivahan Shaka era (in 78 AD), defeated the Shaks and ruled for sixty years."  Alberuni also mentions about Vikram era (57 BC) and also the Shalivahan Shaka era which starts 135 years after the Vikram era.

One poet quoting another

Brihat katha by Gunadaya(1st century AD)

This work is lost but there are several versions available.The story is brihat katha manjari has lot in common with kathasarit sagara  of  kalidasa.

Some of the situations and Ideas are common to both asvagosha and kalidasa plays. But the big argument is waste because we can never say that the one copied from other. The ideas and situations seems to be borrowed from the situations and ideas common at that time frame. But indologist scholars(Kowell and Keith) will say kalidasa copied and Indian scholars say Asvagosha copied. But in concluding verses of  saundarananda . The Humble Asvaghosa says he is not poet of eminence. The Subject of interest for Asvaghosa is religion and philosophy. He is monk first and then a author. He wants to preach the his ideals through a kavya, So he sets himself after famous Kavyas of his time. Hence the resemblences and similarities to kalidasa kavyas. The Master kavya writer is of course kalidasa. That gives atleast a century or more earlier to asvagosha, which puts kalidasa in 1century BC.

Yajnasri Satakarni (2nd century AD
Yajna sri satakarni releases a coins with king on one side and  with crescent on hill, crescent on ujjain symbols, zig zag lines and cirle of dots. The meaning can be found in kalidasa verses in raghu vamsa. The king's fame ascended the mountains(symbolized by the moon on hill), crossed the oceans(figured by the four circles of the ujjain symbol and crescent), penetrated into the subterrannean abode of vasuki(zig zag line) and went up to the most high(as represented by dots representing sttary heaven).

Also kamasutra of Vatsyayana has similar styles to sakuntala.

Bhita Medallion
The terrocota medallion recovered from Allahabad  depicting the scene from sakuntala, has gateways like sanchi  dated to 1st century BC. But scholars say it Buddha in kapilavastu.

Astronomical observances
The astronomical references by ketki  like dakshinayana (summer solistice) cannot be taken to be conclusive as they can go each side 100 to 200 years.
Sengupta observations based on ashada month references cannot be taken as kalidasa mention lunar months ,not solar months. The works clearly show that that Gupta system  is not followed by kalidasa.
The term Jamitra in kumarasambhava has been mischeviously  interpreted as Greek diametron and claimed that kalidasa lived in the ideas of Greek astronomy and also claiming Greek astronomy has become popular in India. In Hindu Astrology Jamitra simply means seventh zodiacal sign from the natal(lagna).
And kalidasa knew lot  about Astronomy ,but he is basically a  poet not astronomer.

yavanas were defeated in persia, which fits the time frame of 1century BC and pallavas are absent in kalidasa account. kalidasa talks about Independent Anga , which is impossible in Gupta age. Kalidasa speaks about ruler in madura again not possible during gupta period.

Pushyamitra capital was Pataliputra, his son agnimitra was governor of vidisha, when pushyamitra was the senatipati and when the capital was shifted to vidisha, it remained the capital until 57BC, Later he shifted to Ujjain.  In Megaduta and Malvakiagnimitra the scenes of the city are vidisha, not pataliputra , not ujjain. Vikramovisaya completed after the victory of vikramaditya over sakas. why he does not tell about pataliputra or Ayodhya Imperial capital of Guptas, because he has come to a independent kingdom in Ujjain.


The Dharma(Law)  followed in Kalidasa works  like  " widow cannot inherit the property"  is of the times of Apastamba and Baudhayana. Brhaspati, vyasa,sankha and likita  belonging to Gupta period rule that the widow has the right to succeed in Husband's property. In Sakuntala there is capital punishment for theft. In the days of Brhaspati, this was relaxed and a heavy fine was introduced. So clearly kalidasa is not of Gupta times.

Several revisions of the Kalidasa works has taken place and many authors have included their current events in their works. For example there is an argument between Dinnaga(6th century AD) and Kalidasa, which looks unlike kalidasa. While Dinnaga was critic of kalidasa , Nicula is friend in megaduta. Since Dinnaga cannot be dated earlier, Kalidasa is brought down. We do not know who is Nicula. Another is refrerence to kalachuri dynasty ( 6th century AD).  For some commentators Dinnaga becomes Nagarjuna
D.C.Sircar draws attention to Tibetan passage in early 18th century AD , which says kalidasa was contemproary of King Bhagabadra of Sunga Dynasty ruling from vidisha,Wima kusala Khadphises  and king savti satavahana of dakshinatya and Aparanta. He Married daughter of Khadphises by name vasanti.

In Tenth Century AD Sanskrit scholar Rajashekara gives three great kalidasa who are renowned authors and masters of aesthetic language. There are many kalidasa's and more than dozen vikramadityas, Western scholars have done what they do best to confuse and combine everybody to one kalidasa and some vikramadityas to one vikramaditya. In effect they have hit two mangoes in one. Denying kalidasa antiquity and also stricking off the glorious vikramaditya(1century BC)  from history to mythical ruler.  For the time being we can go with Puranic account and say Kalidasa lived in the era of Vikramaditya (son of Mahendraditya) around 57BC. Vikramaditya who established vikram era in 57BC.

My Theory
Now the date is settled , All our problems are solved right?
No, we have only one problem. Panini talks about Pushyamitra. Panini cannot be dated later than 4th century BC. How can Panini talk about pushyamitra who is two centuries later. We  have to see pushyamitra dated to Mauryas. But keeping Mauryas in 3rd century BC, Indologists have brought pushyamitra to that date. But Panini is struck at 4 century BC . If Mauryas are dated in 15-14century BC, how come his Senapati dated in 2nd century BC. Indology Scholar Vogel equated Bruhaspatimitra of Magada with Pushyamitra and scholars like K P Jaiswal followed suit. We have one more mythical king pushyamitra.

I feel Gupta Emperors Chandragupta I and Samundragupta are the rulers in 3rd century BC. The Raghu in Raghuvamsa  campaign eeringly follows samudragupta campaign.There are several mitras ruling in many places in North India  as per inscriptions in 2nd century BC.   Kalidasa reads samudragupta campaign into Raghu campaign. And reads Sunga rulers  Pushyamitra, Agnimitra and vasumitra tales in to local mitra tales. And we have a big confusion.  Kalidasa says Agnimitra to be kasyapa lineage and belonging to Baimbika family, According to Panini Sungas belong to Bramhana family of Bharadvaja. The Vikramaditya son of Mahendraditya are the rulers whose time kalidasa lived that is 1 century BC. But with new additional information the things will change

Giravani  by desiraju hanumanta rao
Definitive Astronomical Evidence for the Date of Kalidasa  by K. Chandra Hari
The Role of Kālidāsa in the Development of Indian Literature by Parmeshwar Gangawat
Kalidasa and Ancient India by Chhattisgarh - Ambikapur
Numismatic parallels of kalidasa by sri c.sivaramamurti
Kalidasa: Date, Life And Works by  V.V. MIRASHI N.R NAVALEKAR
The Gupta polity By V. P. Ramachandra Dikshitar, V. R. Ramachandra Dikshitar
Old Buddhist Shrines at Bodh-Gaya Inscriptions By B.M. Barua

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