Showing posts with label Malwa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Malwa. 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

Origin of Rastrakuta

The Rashtrakuta Dynasty was a royal Indian dynasty ruling large parts of southern, central and northern India between the sixth and the thirteenth centuries. During this period they ruled as several closely related, but individual clans. The earliest known Rashtrakuta inscription is a seventh century copper plate grant that mentions their rule from Manpur in the Malwa region of modern Madhya Pradesh. Other ruling Rashtrakuta clans from the same period mentioned in inscriptions were the kings of Achalapur which is modern Elichpur in Maharashtra and the rulers of Kannauj.

The clan that ruled from Elichpur was a feudatory of the Badami Chalukyas and during the rule of Dantidurga, it overthrew Chalukya Kirtivarman II and went on to build an impressive empire with the Gulbarga region in modern Karnataka as its base. This clan came to be known as the Rashtrakutas of Manyakheta, rising to power in South India in 753. Period between the eight and the tenth centuries, saw a tripartite struggle for the resources of the rich Gangetic plains, each of these three empires annexing the seat of power at Kannauj for short periods of time. At their peak the Rashtrakutas of Manyakheta ruled a vast empire stretching from the Ganga River and Yamuna River doab in the north to Cape Comorin in the south.

During their rule, Jain mathematicians and scholars contributed important works in Kannada and Sanskrit. Amoghavarsha I was the most famous king of this dynasty and wrote Kavirajamarga, a landmark literary work in the Kannada language. The finest examples of which are seen in the Kailasanath Temple at Ellora and the sculptures of Elephanta Caves in modern Maharashtra as well as in the Kashivishvanatha temple and the Jain Narayana temple at Pattadakal in modern Karnataka, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The origin of Rashtrakuta dynasty has been a controversial topic. These issues pertain to the origins of the earliest ancestors of the Rashtrakutas during the time of Emperor Ashoka in the second century BCE, and the connection between the several Rashtrakuta dynasties that ruled small kingdoms in northern and central India and the Deccan between the sixth and seventh centuries. The relationship of these medieval Rashtrakutas to the most famous later dynasty, the Rashtrakutas of Manyakheta (present day Malkhed in the Gulbarga district, Karnataka state), who ruled between the eighth and tenth centuries has also been debated

Punjab origin
The appearance of the terms Rathika, Ristika (Rashtrika) or Lathika in conjunction with the
terms Kambhoja and Gandhara in some Ashokan inscriptions of 2nd century BCE from Mansera and Shahbazgarhi in North Western Frontier Province (present day Pakisthan), Girnar
(Saurashtra) and Dhavali (Kalinga) and the use of the epithet "Ratta" in many later inscriptions has prompted a claim that the earliest Rashtrakutas were descendants of the Arattas, natives of the Punjab region from the time of Mahabharata who later migrated south and set up kingdoms there, while another theory points more generally to north western regions of India. Based on this theory, the Arattas may have become natives of the Deccan having arrived there during the early centuries of the first millennium. But this is a far fetched theory having no proof.

Maharastra origin
Term Rishtika used together with Petenika in the Ashokan inscriptions implied they were hereditary ruling clans from modern Maharashtra region and the term "Ratta" implied Maharatta ruling families from modern Maharashtra region. But this has been rejected on the basis that from ancient books such as Dipavamsha and Mahavamsha in Pali language it is known the term Maharatta and not Rashtrika has been used to signify hereditary ruling clans from modern Maharashtra region and the terms Rashtrika and Petenika appear to be two different displaced ruling tribes.

Marathi or Telugu origin
The argument that the Rashtrakutas were either Marathi speaking Marathas or Telugu speaking Reddies in origin has been rejected. Reddy's in that time period had not come into martial prominence even in the Telugu speaking regions of Andhra, being largely an agrarian soceity of cultivators who only much later (in the 14th century - 15th century) came to control
regions in the Krishna - Rajamundry districts. The Rashtrakuta period did not produce any Marathi inscriptions or literature (with the exception of a 981 CE Shravanabelagola inscription which some historians argue was inscribed later). Hence Marathi as the language of the Rashtrakutas, it is claimed, is not an acceptable argument

The Rashtrakutas emerged before the term "Rajput" came to be used as a community. The emergence of Rajputs in Rajasthan and Gujarat coincides with the arrival of the Rashtrakutas and Chalukyas in the region. So it is just a coincidence

kannadiga origin
  1. Ruling clans called Rathis and Maharathis were in power in parts of present day Karnataka as well in the early centuries of the Christian era, which is known inscriptions from the region and further proven by the discovery of lead coins from the middle of 3rd century bearing Sadakana Kalalaya Maharathi in the heart of modern Karnataka region near Chitradurga. In the face of these facts it is claimed it can no longer be maintained that the Rathi and Maharathi families were confined only to present day Maharashtra. There is sufficient inscriptional evidence that several Maharathi families were related to Kannadiga families by marriage and they were naga worshippers, a form of worship very popular in the Mysore region.
  2. The epithet Ratta, it is a Kannada word from which the word Rashtrakuta has been derived. The use of the word Rattagudlu (meaning an office) has been found in inscriptions from present day Andhra Pradesh dated prior to the 8th century indicating it was a South Indian word. From the Deoli plates and Karhad records it is clear prince called Ratta and his son was called Rashtrakuta. Thus Rashtrakutas were of Kannada origin. It is also said the term Rashtra means "kingdom" and Kuta means "lofty" or Rashtra means state and Kuta means chieftain.
  3. Another epithet used in inscriptions of Amoghavarsha I was Lattalura Puravaradhiswara. It referes to their original home Lattalur, modern day Latur in Maharashtra state, bordering Karnataka. This area was predominantly Kannada speaking based on surviving vestiges of place names, inscriptions and cultural relics. So Latta is a Prakrit variation of Ratta and hence Rattana-ur became Lattana-ur and finally Lattalur.
  4. Connections between the medieval Rashtrakuta families to the imperial family of Manyakheta, It is clear that only the family members ruling from Elichpur (Berar or modern Amravati district, modern Maharashtra) had names that were very similar to the names of Kings of the Manyakheta dynasty. From the Tivarkhed and Multhai inscriptions it is clear that the kings of this family were Durgaraja, Govindaraja, Svamikaraja and Nannaraja. These names closely resemble the names of Manyakheta kings or their extended family, the name Govindaraja appearing multiple times among the Manyakheta line. These names also appear in the Gujarat line of Rashtrakutas whose family ties
    with the Manyakheta family is well known.
  5. Princes and princesses of the Rashtrakuta family used pure Kannada names such as Kambarasa, Asagavve, Revakka and Abbalabbe as their personal names indicating that they were native Kannadigas. It has been pointed out that princesses of family lineage belonging to Gujarat signed their royal edicts in Kannada even in their Sanskrit inscriptions. Some examples of this are the Navsari and Baroda plates of Karka I and the Baroda plates of his son Dhruva II. It has been attested by a scholar that the Gujarat Rashtrakuta princes signed their inscriptions in the language of their native home and the race they belonged to. It is well known that the Gujarat line of Rashtrakutas were from the same family as the Manyakheta line. It is argued that if the Rashtrakutas were originally a Marathi speaking family, then the Gujarat Rashtrakutas would not have
    signed their inscriptions in Kannada language and that too in far away Gujarat.
  6. While the linguistic leanings of the early Rashtrakutas has caused considerable debate, the history and language of the Rashtrakutas of Manyakheta has been free of such confusion. It is clear from inscriptions, coinage and prolific literature that the court of these
    Rashtrakutas was multi-lingual, used Sanskrit and Kannada as their administrative languages and encouraged literature in Sanskrit and Kannada. As such, from the Kavirajamarga of 9th century, it is known that Kannada was popular from Kaveri
    river up to the Godavari river, an area covering large territory in modern Maharashtra.
  7. The Rashtrakuta inscriptions call them the vanquishers of the Karnatabala, a sobriquet used to refer to the near invincibility of the Chalukyas of Badami. This however it should not be construed to mean that the Rashtrakutas themselves were not Kannadigas. Their patronage and love of the Kannada language is apparent in that most of their inscriptions
    within modern Karnataka are in Kannada, while their inscriptions outside of modern Karnataka tended to be in Sanskrit. An inscription in classical Kannada of King Krishna III has also been found as far away as Jabalpur in modern Madhya Pradesh which further supports the view of their affinity to the language kannada.
So Rastrakutas are kannadiga origin