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Dhanabhuti (B.C. 240-210) was a king of Sughna or Srughna, which has been identified with the modern village of Sugh which is situated in a bend of the old bed of the Yamuna, close to the large town of Buriya.


Bharhut Inscriptions

Alexander Cunningham[1] mentions about the inscription of Raja Dhanabhuti, the munificent donor of the East Gateway of the Bharhut Stupa — and most probably of the other three Gateways also. In his inscription he calls himself the Raja of Sugana, which is most likely intended for Sughna or Srughna, an extensive kingdom on the upper Jumna. I have identified the capital of Srughna, with the modern village of Sugh which is situated in a bend of the old bed of the Jumna, close to the large town of Buriya. Old coins are found on this site in considerable numbers. In this inscription on the East Gateway at Bharhut Raja Dhanabhuti calls himself the son of Aga Raja and the grandson of Viswa Deva, and in one of the Rail-bar inscriptions we find that Dhanabhuti's son was named Vādha Pala. Now the name of Dhanabhuti occurs in one of the early Mathura inscriptions which has been removed to Aligarh. The stone was originally a corner pillar of an enclosure with, sockets for rails on two adjacent faces, and sculptures on the other two faces. The sculpture on the uninjured face represents Prince Siddhartha leaving Kapilavastu on his horse Kanthapa, whose feet are upheld by four Yakshas to prevent the clatter of their hoofs from awakening the guards. On the adjacent side is the inscription placed above a Buddhist Railing. At some subsequent period the Pillar was pierced with larger holes to receive a set of Rail-bars on the inscription face. One of these holes has been cut through the three upper lines of the inscription, but as a few letters still remain on each side of the hole it seems possible to restore some of the missing letters. We read the inscription as follows :

1. Kapa (Dhana)

2. Bhutisa * * * Vatsi

3. Putrasa (Vadha Pa) lasa

4. Dhanabhutisa dānam Vedika

5. Torana cha Ratnagraha sa —

6. -va Buddha pujāye sahā māta pi-

7. -tā ki sahā* chatuha parishāhi.

There can be little doubt that this inscription refers to the family of Dhanabhuti of Bharhut, as the name of Vātsi putra of the Mathura pillar is the Sanskrit form of the Vāchhi putra of the Bharhut Pillar. This identification is further confirmed by the restoration of the name of Vādha Pāla, which exactly fits the vacant space in the third line. From this record, therefore, we obtain another name of the same royal family in Dhanabhuti II., the son of Vadha Pala, and . grandson of Dhanabhuti I. Now in this inscription all the letters have got the matras, or heads, which are found in the legends of the silver coins of Amoghabhuti, Dara Grhosha, and Varmmika. The inscription cannot, therefore, so far as we at present know, be dated earlier than B.C. 150. Allowing 30 years to a generation, the following will be the approximate dates of the royal family of Srughna :

  • B.C.150. -------------

Now we learn from Vadha Pala's inscription, Plate LVI., No. 54, that he was only a Prince (Kumara) the son of the Raja Dhanabhuti, when the Railing of the Bharhut Stupa was set up. We thus arrive at the same date of 240 to 210 B.C. as that previously obtained for the erection of the magnificent Gateways and Railing of the Bharhut Stupa.

To a later member of this family I would ascribe the well-known coins of Raja Amogha-bhuti, King of the Kunindas, which are found most plentifully along the upper Jumma, in the actual country of Srughna. His date, as I have already shown, must be about B.C. 150, and he will therefore follow immediately after Dhana-bhuti II. I possess also two coins of Raja Bala-bhuti, who was most probably a later member of the same dynasty. But besides these I have lately obtained two copper pieces of Aga Raja, the father of Dhana-bhuti I. One of these was found at Sugh, the old capital of Srughna, and the other at the famous city of Kosambi, about 100 miles to the north of Bharhut.

I may mention here that my reading of the name of the Kunindas on the coins of Amogha-bhuti was made more than ten years ago in London, where I fortunately obtained a very fine specimen of his silver mintage. This reading was published in the "Academy," 21st November 1874. I have since identified the Kunindas, or Kulindas, as the name is also written, with the people of Kulindrime, a district which Ptolemy places between the upper courses of the Bipasis and Ganges. They are now represented by the Kunets, who form nearly two-thirds of the population of the hill tracts between the Bias and Tons Rivers. The name of Kunawar is derived from them ; but there can be little doubt that Kunawar must once have included the whole of Ptolemy's Kulindrine as the Kunets now number nearly 400,000 persons, or rather more than sixty per cent, of the whole population between the Bias and Tons Rivers. They form 58 per cent, in Kullu ; 67 per cent, in the states round about Simla, and 62 per cent, in Kunawar. They are very numerous in Sirmor and Bisahar, and there are still considerable numbers of them below the hills, in the districts of Ambala, Karnal, and Ludiana, with a sprinkling in Delhi and Hushiarpur.

Buddhist Stupa at Chaneti

In the south-east of the village lies the site containing a Kushana period Buddhist Stupa. Dr. D.D. Handa of Kurukshetra University has given detailed description of this Stupa (VIJ, Vol. IV, Part I, pp. 75-80) and recently ASI branch of Chandigarh Circle has undertaken steps for its restoration. We produce below some of the details about it available in the earlier studies.

The height of the mound is nearly 8 meters and its diameter about 20 meters. The original height must have been more than it is at present. The bricks used are well-burnt and yellowish-red in colour. The two sizes of the bricks are 30X30X7 cms and 30X15X7 cms. Laying down the rules of construction of a Stupa, is said that the first step was probably merely to build the cairn, the next step was to build the cairn of concentric layers of huge bricks in use at the time and to surround the whole with a wooden railing. Eluding to the very shape of this Stupa (Brick mound), Dr. Handa avers that it corresponds greatly to the Shahpur and Dharmarajika Stupas at Taxila as the same method of laying the concentric layers of huge bricks, the gradually diminishing diameter as the structure rise up and up. The bricks well-set in the circular fashion, the core of burnt bricks, and the place of Harmika as the top, all lead to its being a Stupa. The testimony of Huen Tsang, who visited Sulo-kin-na i.e. ancient Srughana/Sugh in the first half of seventh century AD, is also very important. He notice there “an Asokan tope” to the south-east of the capital, antother tope having “hair and nail relics of the Ju-lai (Buddha) and round about were some tens of topes with similar relics of Sariputra, Mudgalaputra, and other great arhats.” It seems that the Chaneti Stupa must have been one of these “tens of topes” which were erected in Dhanabhuti’s time in and around the capital city. The yellowish red colour of the bricks which is typical of the Mauryan period and the plain, square and large sized bricks, corresponding with those used in the construction of the Bharhut Stupa lend further support to surmise that this Stupa was erected some time during the reign of King Dhanabhuti who ruled from 240 to 210 B.C. a find which has however, to be confirmed by more positive epigraphically or excavation evidence.


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[2] ने लेख किया है....भरहुत, सतना जिला,(p.666): मध्य प्रदेश के बुन्देलखण्ड के भूतपूर्व नागोद रियासत में स्थित एक ऐतिहासिक स्थान है। भरहुत द्वितीय- प्रथम शताब्दी ईसा पूर्व में निर्मित बौद्ध स्तूप तथा तोरणों के लिए साँची के समान ही प्रसिद्ध है। स्तूप के पूर्व में स्थित तोरण के स्तंभ पर उत्कीर्ण लेख से ज्ञात होता है कि इसका निर्माण 'बाछीपुत धनभूति' ने करवाया था जो गोतीपुत अगरजु का पुत्र और राजा गागीपुत विसदेव का प्रपौत्र था. इस अभिलेख की लिपि से यह विदित होता है कि यह स्तूप शुंगकालीन (प्रथम-द्वितीय शती पूर्व) है और अब इसके केवल अवशेष ही विद्यमान हैं। यह 68 फुट व्यास का बना था। इसके चारों ओर सात फुट ऊँची परिवेष्टनी (चहार दीवारी) का निर्माण किया गया था, जिसमें चार तोरण-द्वार थे। परिवेष्टनी तथा तोरण-द्वारों पर यक्ष-यक्षिणी तथा अन्यान्य अर्द्ध देवी-देवताओं की मूर्तियाँ तथा जातक कथाएँ तक्षित हैं। जातक कथाएँ इतने विस्तार से अंकित हैं कि उनके वर्ण्य-विषय को समझने में कोई कठिनाई नहीं होती। भरहुत और साँची के तोरणों की मूर्तिकारी तथा कला में बहुत साम्यता है। इसका कारण इनका निर्माण काल और विषयों का एक होना है। इसके तोरणों के केवल कुछ ही कलापट्ट कलकता के संग्रहालय में सुरक्षित हैं किन्तु ये भरहुत की कला के सरल सौंदर्य के परिचय के लिए पर्याप्त हैं.

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