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Kausambi District Map

Kaushambi (कौशाम्‍बी) is one of the districts of Uttar Pradesh state of India, and Manjhanpur town is the district headquarters. Kaushambi district is a part of Allahabad Division. Kaushambi is a newly created district out of Allahabad. Kosam is the ancient Kosambi. It consists of major towns such as Chail, Manjhanpur, Bharwari, Kashiya Muratganj, Sirathu, Karari and Kara. In 1997, Kausambi was carved out of Allahabad district by the Uttar Pradesh Government as a populist ploy to appeal to its large neo-Buddhist population. The three largest towns are Sarai Aquil, Bharwari and Ajhuwa

Variants of name


It is bordered by the districts of Chitrakoot in the south, Pratapgarh in the north, Allahabad in the east, and Fatehpur in the west. Ancient Kosambī was on the Jamuna River, about 35 miles south-west of Allahabad.

Origin of name

The Kaushambi city is said to have been founded by Kushamba (कुशम्ब) the tenth in descent from Pururavas.

Mention by Panini

V. S. Agrawala[1] writes that Panini mentions Kauśāmbī (कौशाम्‍बी) (IV.2.97).

Kaushambi (कौशांबी) is mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi. [2]


V. S. Agrawala[3] writes that Panini mentions Kauśāmbī (कौशाम्‍बी) (IV.2.97). This site is good for history lovers who have interest in ancient history. Many Kaushambi artifacts are in Allahabad Museum. It has a few excavated sites, including a Pillar of Ashoka with inscriptions in Pali; surrounding the pillar is a historic site of ruins of the Vatsa Mahajanapada and its university. There is a Jain derasar 14 km from Sarai Akil. The soil is very fertile and it is world-famous for the Surkha Guava. The Surkha region lies mainly in Allahabad.

In ancient India it was the capital of the Vatsa Mahajanapada,[4][5] one of 16 such regions. The Puranas state that Vatsa was named after a Kaśī king.[6]

The Ramayana and the Mahabharata attribute the credit of founding its capital Kauśāmbī to a Chedi prince Kuśa or Kuśāmba. The Puranas state that after the washing away of Hastinapura by the Ganges, the Bhāratas king Nicakṣu, great-great grandson of Janamejaya, abandoned the city and settled in Kauśāmbī. This is supported by the Svapnavāsavadattā and the Pratijñā-Yaugandharāyaṇa attributed to Bhāsa. Both of them have described the king Udayana as a scion of the Bhāratas family (Bhārata-kula). The Puranas provide a list of Nicakṣu’s successors which ends with king Kshemaka.[7]Gautama Buddha visited Kaushambi several times during the reign of Udayana on his effort to spread the dharma, the Noble Eightfold Path and the Four Noble Truths. Udayana was a Buddhist upāsaka. The Chinese translation of the Buddhist canonical text Ekottara Āgama states that the first image of Buddha, carved out of sandalwood was made under the instruction of Udayana. According to the Puranas, the 4 successors of Udayana were Vahināra, Danḍapāṇi, Niramitra and Kṣemaka. Later, Vatsa was annexed by Avanti. Maniprabha, the great-grandson of Pradyota, ruled at Kauśāmbī as a prince of Avanti.[8] Ashoka gave importance to Kaushambi and placed a pillar of Ashoka in Kaushambi, which has inscriptions there in Pali. A Jaina derasar was also constructed in Kaushambi. Both the pillar and the temple still exist there and the ruins of Vatsa and its university are still being excavated by archaeologists. Kaushambi is also the birthplace of sixth Jain Tirthankar Padam Prabhu Ji.

Kosambi was one of the greatest cities in India from the late Vedic period till the end of Maurya empire with occupation continuing till the Gupta empire. As a small town, it was established in the late Vedic period.[9] During the Sunga period, it was the capital of the Vatsa which was a vassal state of the Sungas. After the decline of the Sungas, Vatsa (Kausambi is itself the fomal name associated with recovered coinage) became an independent kingdom, one of the Mahajanapadas (Great Kingdoms) of ancient India. Kausambi was a very prosperous city by the time of Buddha, where a large number of wealthy merchants resided. It was an important entreport of goods and passengers from north-west and south. It figures very prominently in the accounts of the life of Buddha. The excavations of the archaeological site of Kausambi was done by the late Prof. G.R.Sharma of the Allahabad University in 1949 and again in 1951-1956 after it was authorized by Sir. Mortimer on March, 1948.[5] Carbon dating of charcoal and Northern Black Polished Ware have historically dated its continued occupation from 390 BC to 600 A.D.[10]

Kosambi was a fortified town with an irregular oblong plan. Excavations of the ruins revealed the existence of gates on three sides-east, west and north. The location of the southern gate can not be precisely determined due to water erosion. Besides the bastions, gates and sub-gates, the city was encircled on three sides by a moat, which, though filled up at places, it still discernible on the northern side. At some points, however, there is evidence of more than one moat. The city extended to an area of approximately 6.5 KM. The city shows a large extent of brickworks indicating the density of structures in the city.

The Buddhist Commentarial scriptures give two reasons for the name Kausambi/Kosambī. The more favoured [11] is that the city was so called because it was founded in or near the site of the hermitage once occupied by the sage Kusumba (v.l. Kusumbha). Another explanation is that large and stately margosa-trees (Kosammarukkhā) grew in great numbers in and around the city.

According to Dilip Singh Ahlawat [12], The Naga Jats ruled over Kantipur, Mathura, Padmavati, Kausambi, Nagpur, Champavati, (Bhagalpur) and in the central India, in western Malwa, Nagaur (Jodhpur- Rajasthan). In addition they ruled the ancient land of Shergarh, (Kota, Rajasthan), Madhya Pradesh (Central India), Chutiya Nagpur, Khairagarh, Chakra Kotiya and Kawardha. The great scholar, Jat Emperor, Bhoja Parmar, mother Shashiprabha was a maiden of a Naga Clan.

Excavation at Hastinapur, Kurukshetra and Surrounding sites

Hastinapur and Surroundings: Excavations were conducted at Hastinapur (29°9'; 78°3', Dt Meerut ,Uttar Pradesh ) in 1950-52 by B.B.Lal on behalf of the ASI. Hastinapur, which is located between Meerut and Mawana in Uttar Pradesh is now a forgotten village, but the 1952 excavations revealed a few interesting discoveries which are highly debatable as whether they can be really correlated with the Mahabharata period.

After the archaeological excavations at ‘Vidura-ka-tila’, a collection of several mounds ,some being 50 to 60 feet high and extending a few furlongs, named after Vidura, a site 37 km (23 miles) north-east of Meerut, it was concluded to be remains of the ancient city of Hastinapur, the capital of Kauravas and Pandavas of Mahabharata, which was washed away by Ganges floods. In the archaeological excavations around hastinapur, about 135 iron objects which included arrow and spearheads, shafts, tongs, hooks, axes, and knives were found, which indicate the existence of a vigorous iron industry. There are indications of brick – lined roads and drainage systems, and an agro – livestock based economy. The painted grey ware (PGW) of Hastinapura has been assigned to 2800 BCE and beyond.

Further excavations at what is today referred to as Draupadi–ki–rasoi (Draupadi’s Kitchen) and Draupadi Ghat resulted in the finding of copper utensils, iron seals, Ornaments made of gold and silver, terracotta discs and several oblong shaped ivory dice used in the game of chauper, all dating to around 3000 BC. These places are visited frequently by tourists since the excavations.

Kota venkatachalam assigns 3138 B.c., as the year of Mahabharata War according to the calculations based on the movement of saptarishi mandala given in the text of Mahabharata Later, according to the Matsya and vayu puranas a heavy flood on the river Ganga destroyed Hastinapura and Nichakshu, the fifth king after Parikshit (Arjuna’s grand son) who ascended the throne after Kurukshetra war, shifted his capital to Kausambi, 50 kms from prayagraj. There is definite archaeological evidence of a massive flood level. The devastation by the Ganga is still visible in the thick clay soil. After the exile, the pandavas asked for three villages: Paniprastha, Sonaprastha and Indraprastha, generally identified with the modern panipat, Sonepat and Purana Kila in New Delhi. These sites have also yielded the same pottery and anti Quities. Building structures with drainage sytems and painted grey ware (PGW) were excavated at purana Qila.

Kurukshetra and Surroundings: Kurukshetra, now in Haryana, was the site kurukshtra war. Excavations here now yielded iron arrow and spearheads dated by Thermoluminence Test (TM) to 3100 B.C. (CIRCA). The Mahabharata mentions many small villages, tanks and hills, which are still identifiable. What is the historicity of the Mahabharata? Our doubting historians will never accept any of these finds unless they are supported by inscriptions, which will never be forthcoming as the earliest inscriptions belong to 300B.C.

Reference: Dwarka to Kurushetra. Dr. S. R. Rao. Journal of Marine Archaeology (1995-96).


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[13] ने लेख किया है ...कोसम (AS, p.239) इलाहाबाद ज़िला, उत्तर प्रदेश में स्थित एक प्राचीन गाँव का नाम है। यमुना नदी के तट पर स्थित इस ग्राम का अभिज्ञान बौद्ध काल की प्रसिद्ध नगरी कौशांबी से किया गया है। (दे.कौशांबी)

हाल ही में 'प्रयाग विश्वविद्यालय' की पुरातत्त्व परिषद ने कोसम की खुदाई द्वारा अनेक प्राचीन स्थलों को प्रकाश में लाकर उनका अभिज्ञान किया है। इस सम्बन्ध में सबसे अधिक महत्त्वपूर्ण कार्य घोषिताराम की खोज है। घोषिताराम, कौशांबी में बुद्ध का सर्वप्रथम निवास स्थान था। इसका अभिज्ञान कुछ अभिलेखों की सहायता से किया गया है। इन अभिलेखों से कौशांबी का कोसम से अभिज्ञान भी, जिसके विषय में पहले विद्वानों में काफ़ी मतभेद था, निश्चित रूप से प्रमाणित हो गया है। ज़िला इलाहाबाद के कड़ा नामक स्थान से एक अभिलेख प्राप्त हुआ था, जिसमें इस स्थान को कौशांबी मण्डल के अंतर्गत बताया गया है। [14]


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[15] ने लेख किया है ...कौशांबी (AS, p.243), बुद्ध काल की परम प्रसिद्ध नगरी, जो वत्स देश की राजधानी थी। इसका अभिज्ञान, तहसील मंझनपुर ज़िला इलाहाबाद में प्रयाग से 24 मील पर स्थित कोसम नाम के ग्राम से किया गया है। यह नगरी यमुना नदी पर बसी हुई थी।

पुराणों के अनुसार (दे. विष्णु.4,21,7-8)) हस्तिनापुर नरेश निचक्षु ने, जो परीक्षित का वंशज (युधिष्ठर से सातवीं पीढ़ी में) था, हस्तिनापुर के गंगा द्वारा बहा दिए जाने पर अपनी राजधानी वत्स देश की कौशांबी नगरी में बनाई थी—'अधिसीमकृष्णपुत्रो निचक्षुर्भविता नृपः यो गंगयाऽपह्नते हस्तिनापुरे कौशंव्यां निवत्स्यति।' इसी वंश की 26वीं पीढ़ी में बुद्ध के समय में कौशांबी का राजा उदयन था। इस नगरी का उल्लेख महाभारत में नहीं है, फिर भी इसका अस्तित्व ईसा से कई शतियों पूर्व था। गौतम बुद्ध के समय में कौशांबी अपने ऐश्वर्य के मध्याह्नाकल में थी। जातक कथाओं तथा बौद्ध साहित्य में कौशांबी का वर्णन अनेक बार आया है। कालिदास, भास और क्षेमेन्द्र कौशांबी नरेश उदयन से सम्बन्धित अनेक लोककथाओं की पूरी तरह से जानकारी थी।

[p.244]: उदयन के समय में गौतमबुद्ध कौशांबी में अक्सर आते-जाते रहते थे। उनके सम्बन्ध के कारण कौशांबी के अनेक स्थान सैकड़ों वर्षों तक प्रसिद्ध रहे। बुद्धचरित 21,33 के अनुसार कौशांबी में, बुद्ध ने धनवान, घोषिल, कुब्जोत्तरा तथा अन्य महिलाओं तथा पुरुषों को दीक्षित किया था। यहाँ के विख्यात श्रेष्ठी घोषित (सम्भवतः बुद्धचरित का घोषिल) ने 'घोषिताराम' नाम का एक सुन्दर उद्यान बुद्ध के निवास के लिए बनवाया था। घोषित का भवन नगर के दक्षिण-पूर्वी कोने में था। घोषिताराम के निकट ही अशोक का बनवाया हुआ 150 हाथ ऊँचा स्तूप था। इसी विहारवन के दक्षिण-पूर्व में एक भवन था जिसके एक भाग में आचार्य वसुबंधु रहते थे। इन्होंने विज्ञप्ति मात्रता सिद्धि नामक ग्रंथ की रचना की थी। इसी वन के पूर्व में वह मकान था जहाँ आर्य असंग ने अपने ग्रंथ योगाचारभूमि की रचना की थी।

कौशांबी से एक कोस उत्तर-पश्चिम में एक छोटी पहाड़ी थी, जिसकी प्लक्ष नामक गुहा में बुद्ध कई बार आए थे। यहीं श्वभ्र नामक प्राकृतिक कुण्ड था। जैन ग्रंथों में भी कौशांबी का उल्लेख है। आवश्यक सूत्र की एक कथा में जैन भिक्षुणी चंदना का उल्लेख है, जो भिक्षुणी बनने से पूर्व कौशांबी के एक व्यापारी धनावह के हाथों बेच दी गई थी। इसी सूत्र में कौशांबी नरेश शतानीक का भी उल्लेख है। इसकी रानी मृगावती विदेह की राजकुमारी थी। मौर्य काल में पाटलिपुत्र का गौरव अधिक बढ़ जाने से कौशांबी समृद्धिविहीन हो गई। फिर भी अशोक ने यहाँ प्रस्तर स्तम्भ पर अपनी धर्मलिपियाँ—संवत 1 से 6 तक उत्कीर्ण करवायीं। इसी स्तम्भ पर एक अन्य धर्मलिपि भी अंकित है, जिससे बौद्ध संघ के प्रति अनास्था दिखाने वाले भिक्षुओं के लिए दण्ड नियत किया गया है। इसी स्तम्भ पर अशोक की रानी और तीवर की माता कारुवाकी का भी एक लेख है।

गुप्तकाल में अन्य बौद्ध केन्द्रों की भाँति ही कौशांबी का महत्त्व भी बहुत कम हो गया। गुप्तसंवत 139=459 ई. का एक लेख प्रस्तर मूर्ति पर अंकित है, जो स्कन्दगुप्त के समय का है और महाराज भीमवर्मन से सम्बन्धित है। चीनी यात्री युवानच्वांग की भारत यात्रा के समय (360-645 ई.) कौशांबी खण्डहरों की नगरी बन चुकी थी। कन्नौजाधिप हर्ष के प्रसिद्ध नाटक रत्नावली की मुख्य घटनास्थली कौशांबी ही है। जैन ग्रंथ विविधतीर्थकल्प में भी शतानीक के पुत्र उदयन का उल्लेख है और उसे वत्सनरेश कहा गया है।

कालिंदी के तट पर स्थित कौशांबी के अनेक वनों का भी उल्लेख है। चंदनवाला ने महावीर के सम्मानार्थ छः मास का उपवास कौशांबी में किया था। भगवान पद्मप्रभु ने यहीं पर जैन धर्म दीक्षा ली थी। नगरी में अनेक विशाल छाया वाले

[p.245]: कौशंब वृक्ष थे-'यत्य सिनिद्धछाया कोसंवतरुत्रोमहापभागा दीसंति'। हाल ही में प्रयाग विश्वविद्यालय की पुरातत्त्व परिषद ने कोसम की खुदाई द्वारा अनेक प्राचीन स्थलों को प्रकाश में लाकर उनका अभिज्ञान किया है। इस सम्बन्ध में सबसे अधिक महत्त्वपूर्ण कार्य घोषिताराम की खोज है। जैसा ऊपर लिखा जा चुका है घोषिताराम, कौशांबी में बुद्ध का सर्वप्रथम निवासस्थान था। इसका अभिज्ञान कुछ अभिलेखों की सहायता से किया गया है। इन अभिलेखों से कौशांबी का कोसम से अभिज्ञान भी, जिसके विषय में पहले विद्वानों में काफ़ी मतभेद था, निश्चित रूप से प्रमाणित हो गया है। ज़िला इलाहाबाद के कड़ा नामक स्थान से एक अभिलेख प्राप्त हुआ था, जिसमें इस स्थान को कौशांबी मण्डल के अंतर्गत बताया गया है।


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[16] ने लेख किया है कि....इंद्रप्रस्थ वर्तमान नई दिल्ली के निकट पांडवों की बसाई हुई राजधानी थी. महाभारत आदि पर्व में वर्णित कथा के अनुसार प्रारंभ में धृतराष्ट्र से आधा राज्य प्राप्त करने के पश्चात पांडवों ने इंद्रप्रस्थ में अपनी राजधानी बनाई थी. दुर्योधन की राजधानी लगभग 45 मील दूर हस्तिनापुर में ही रही. इंद्रप्रस्थ नगर कोरवों की प्राचीन राजधानी खांडवप्रस्थ के स्थान पर बसाया गया था--

'तस्मातत्वं खांडवप्रस्थं पुरं राष्ट्रं च वर्धय, ब्राह्मणा: क्षत्रिया वैश्या: शूद्राश्च कृत निश्चया:। त्वदभ्क्त्या जंतग्श्चान्ये भजन्त्वेव पुरं शुभम्' महाभारत आदि पर्व 206

अर्थात धृतराष्ट्र ने पांडवों को आधा राज्य देते समय उन्हें कौरवों के प्राचीन नगर वह राष्ट्र खांडवप्रस्थ को विवर्धित करके चारों वर्णों के सहयोग से नई राजधानी बनाने का आदेश दिया. तब पांडवों ने श्री कृष्ण सहित खांडवप्रस्थ पहुंचकर इंद्र की सहायता से इंद्रप्रस्थ नामक नगर विश्वकर्मा द्वारा निर्मित करवाया--'विश्वकर्मन् महाप्राज्ञ अद्यप्रभृति तत् पुरम्, इंद्रप्रस्थमिति ख्यातं दिव्यं रम्य भविष्यति' महाभारत आदि पर्व 206.

इस नगर के चारों ओर समुद्र की भांति जल से पूर्ण खाइयाँ बनी हुई थी जो उस नगर की शोभा बढ़ाती थीं. श्वेत बादलों तथा चंद्रमा के समान उज्ज्वल परकोटा नगर के चारों ओर खींचा हुआ था. इसकी ऊंचाई आकाश को छूती मालूम होती थी--

[पृ.76]: इस नगर को सुंदर और रमणीक बनाने के साथ ही साथ इसकी सुरक्षा का भी पूरा प्रबंध किया गया था तीखे अंकुश और शतघ्नियों और अन्यान्य शास्त्रों से वह नगर सुशोभित था. सब प्रकार की शिल्प कलाओं को जानने वाले लोग भी वहां आकर बस गए थे. नगर के चारों ओर रमणीय उद्यान थे. मनोहर चित्रशालाओं तथा कृत्रिम पर्वतों से तथा जल से भरी-पूरी नदियों और रमणीय झीलों से वह नगर शोभित था.

युधिष्ठिर ने राजसूय यज्ञ इंद्रप्रस्थ में ही किया था. महाभारत युद्ध के पश्चात इंद्रप्रस्थ और हस्तिनापुर दोनों ही नगरों पर युधिष्ठिर का शासन स्थापित हो गया. हस्तिनापुर के गंगा की बाढ़ से बह जाने के बाद 900 ई. पू. के लगभग जब पांडवों के वंशज कौशांबी चले गए तो इंद्रप्रस्थ का महत्व भी प्राय समाप्त हो गया. विदुर पंडित जातक में इंद्रप्रस्थ को केवल 7 क्रोश के अंदर घिरा हुआ बताया गया है जबकि बनारस का विस्तार 12 क्रोश तक था. धूमकारी जातक के अनुसार इंद्रप्रस्थ या कुरूप्रदेश में युधिष्ठिर-गोत्र के राजाओं का राज्य था. महाभारत, उद्योगपर्व में इंद्रप्रस्थ को शक्रपुरी भी कहा गया है. विष्णु पुराण में भी इंद्रप्रस्थ का उल्लेख है.

आजकल नई दिल्ली में जहाँ पांडवों का पुराना किला स्थित है उसी स्थान के परवर्ती प्रदेश में इंद्रप्रस्थ की स्थिति मानी गई है. पुराने किले के भीतर कई स्थानों का संबंध पांडवों से बताया जाता है. दिल्ली का सर्वप्रचीन भाग यही है. दिल्ली के निकट इंद्रपत नामक ग्राम अभी तक इंद्रप्रस्थ की स्मृति के अवशेष रूप में स्थित है.


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[17] ने लिखा है....बाँधवगढ़ मध्य प्रदेश में स्थित और इतिहास प्रसिद्ध रीवा रियासत का पुराना नाम है। वास्तव में बाँधवगढ़, रीवा से दक्षिण की ओर कुछ दूरी पर स्थित है। यह स्थान अति प्राचीन है, जैसा कि दूसरी-तीसरी शती ई. के 23 अभिलेखों से ज्ञात होता है, जो पुरातत्व विभाग को 1938 में यहाँ से प्राप्त हुए थे। इन अभिलेखों की भाषा प्राकृत और संस्कृत का मिश्रण है। लिपि ब्राह्मी है। यहाँ से मिले अभिलेखों में महाराज 'वैशिष्टीपुत्त भीमसेन' तथा उनके पुत्र और पौत्र का उल्लेख है। अभिलेखों का विषय मथुरा तथा कौशांबी के वणिक्-गणों द्वारा दिए गए दान का वृत्तांत है। एक अभिलेख में व्यायामशाला बनावाए जाने का भी उल्लेख है, जिससे सूचित होता है कि इतने प्राचीन काल में भी जनता के स्वास्थ की ओर संघटित रूप से पार्याप्त ध्यान दिया जाता था। बाँधवगढ़, रीवा की प्राचीन राजधानी होने के कारण काफ़ी प्रख्यात नगर था और रीवा नरेश अपनी राजसी उपाधियों में अपने को बांधवेश कहलाना उचित समझते थे।


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[18] ने लेख किया है ... दिल्ली (AS, p.434): दिल्ली की संसार के प्राचीनतम नगरों में गणना की जाती है. महाभारत के अनुसार दिल्ली को पहली बार पांडवों ने इंद्रप्रस्थ नाम से बसाया था (देखें इंद्रप्रस्थ), किंतु आधुनिक विद्वानों का मत है कि दिल्ली के आसपास--उदाहरणार्थ रोपड़ (पंजाब) के निकट, सिंधु घाटी सभ्यता के चिन्ह प्राप्त हुए हैं और पुराने किले के निम्नतम खंडहरों में आदिम दिल्ली के अवशेष मिलें तो कोई आश्चर्य नहीं. वास्तव में, देश में अपनी मध्यवर्ती स्थिति के कारण तथा उत्तर पश्चिम से भारत के चतुर्दिक भागों को जाने वाले मार्गों के केंद्र पर बसी होने से दिल्ली भारतीय इतिहास में अनेक साम्राज्यों की राजधानी रही है. महाभारत के युग में कुरु प्रदेश की राजधानी हस्तिनापुर में थी. इसी काल में पांडवों ने अपनी राजधानी इंद्रप्रस्थ में बनाई. जातकों के अनुसार इंद्रप्रस्थ 7 कोस के घेरे में बसा हुआ था. पांडवों के वंशजों की राजधानी इंद्रप्रस्थ में कब तक रही यह निश्चय पूर्वक नहीं कहा जा सकता किंतु पुराणों के साक्ष्य के अनुसार परीक्षित तथा जनमेजय के उत्तराधिकारी ने हस्तिनापुर में भी बहुत समय तक अपनी राजधानी रखी थी और इन्हीं के वंशज निचक्षु ने हस्तिनापुर के गंगा में बह जाने पर अपनी नई राजधानी प्रयाग के निकट कौशांबी में बनाई. (देखें पार्टीजर, डायनेस्टीज ऑफ दि कलि एज-पृ.5).

जाट इतिहास

दलीप सिंह अहलावत [19] ने पुष्टि की है कि नागवंशी जाटों का राज्य कान्तिपुर, मथुरा, पद्मावती, कौशाम्बी, अहिक्षतपुर, नागपुर, चम्पावती (भागलपुर), बुन्देलखण्ड तथा मध्यप्रान्त पश्चिमी मालवा, नागौर (जोधपुर) पर रहा. इनके अतिरिक्त शेरगढ़ कोटा राज्य की प्राचीन भूमि पर, मध्यप्रदेश में चुटिया, नागपुर, खैरागढ़, चक्रकोट एवं कवर्धा में भी इस वंश का राज्य था.

Buddhist History of Kosambi

In the time of the Buddha its king was Parantapa, and after him reigned his son Udena (Pali. Sanskrit: Udayana). Kosambī was evidently a city of great importance at the time of the Buddha for we find Ananda mentioning it as one of the places suitable for the Buddha's Parinibbāna. It was also the most important halt for traffic coming to Kosala and Magadha from the south and the west.

The city was thirty leagues by river from Benares (modern day Varanasi). We are told that the fish which swallowed Bakkula travelled thirty leagues through the Yamunā, from Kosambī to Banares. The usual route from Rājagaha to Kosambī was up the river (this was the route taken by Ananda when he went with five hundred others to inflict the higher punishment on Channa, (Vin.ii.290), though there seems to have been a land route passing through Anupiya and Kosambī to Rājagaha. In the Sutta Nipāta (vv.1010-13) the whole route is given from Mahissati to Rājagaha, passing through Kosambī, the halting-places mentioned being: Ujjeni, Gonaddha, Vedisa, Vanasavhya, Kosambī, Sāketa, Sravasthi/Sāvatthi, Setavyā, Kapilavasthu/Kapilavatthu, Kusinārā, Pāvā, Bhoganagara and Vesāli.

Near Kosambī, by the river, was Udayana/Udena's park, the Udakavana, where Ananda and Pindola Bharadvaja preached to the women of Udena's palace on two different occasions.[[Vin.ii.290f; SNA.ii.514; J.iv.375] The Buddha is mentioned as having once stayed in the Simsapāvana in Kosambī.[S.v.437] Mahā Kaccāna lived in a woodland near Kosambī after the holding of the First Buddhist Council.[PvA.141]

Buddhist monasteries in Kosambi

Already in the Buddha's time there were four establishments of the Order in Kosambī - the Kukkutārāma, the Ghositārāma, the Pāvārika-ambavana (these being given by three of the most eminent citizens of Kosambī, named respectively, Kukkuta, Ghosita and Pāvārika), and the Badarikārāma. The Buddha visited Kosambī on several occasions, stopping at one or other of these residences, and several discourses delivered during these visits are recorded in the books. (Thomas, op. cit., 115, n.2, doubts the authenticity of the stories connected with the Buddha's visits to Kosambī, holding that these stories are of later invention).

The Buddha spent his ninth rainy season at Kosambī, and it was on his way there on this occasion that he made a detour to Kammāssadamma and was offered in marriage Māgandiyā, daughter of the Brahmin Māgandiya. The circumstances are narrated in connection with the Māgandiya Sutta. Māgandiyā took the Buddha's refusal as an insult to herself, and, after her marriage to King Udena (of Kosambi), tried in various ways to take revenge on the Buddha, and also on Udena's wife Sāmavatī, who had been the Buddha's follower.[DhA.i.199ff; iii.193ff; iv.1ff; Ud.vii.10]

Bakkula was the son of a banker in Kosambī.[MA.ii.929; AA.i.170] In the Buddha's time there lived near the ferry at Kosambī a powerful Nāga-king, the reincarnation of a former ship's captain. The Nāga was converted by Sāgata, who thereby won great fame.[AA.i.179; but see J.i.360, where the incident is given as happening at Bhaddavatikā] Rujā was born in a banker's family in Kosambī.[J.vi.237f] Citta-pandita was also born there.[J.iv.392] A king, by name Kosambaka, once ruled there.

During the time of the Vajjian heresy, when the Vajjian monks of Vesāli wished to excommunicate Yasa Kākandakaputta, he went by air to Kosambī, and from there sent messengers to the orthodox monks in the different centres (Vin.ii.298; Mhv.iv.17).

It was at Kosambī that the Buddha promulgated a rule forbidding the use of intoxicants by monks (Vin.ii.307).

Kosambī is mentioned in the Samyutta Nikāya [20]

Mauryan Kosambi

Historically Kosambi remained a strong urban center through the Mauryan period and during the Gupta period is now without question. Asoka pillars are found both in Kosambi and in Allahabad. The present location of the Kausambi pillar inside the ruins of the fort attests to the existence of Mauryan military presence in the region. The Prayag pillar, now located in Allahabad actually is an edict issued toward the Mahamattas of Kosambi giving credance to the fact that it was also originally located here.[21]

The schism edict of Kausambi (Minor Pillar Edict 2) states that, "The King instructs the officials of Kausambi as follows: ..... The way of the Sangha must not be abandoned..... Whosoever shall break the unity of Sangha, whether monk or nun from this time forth, shall be compelled to wear white garments, and to dwell in a place outside the sangha.".[22]

All sources site Kausambi as an important site during the period. More than three thousand stone sculptures have been recovered from Kausambi and its neighbouring ancient sites – Mainhai, Bhita, Mankunwar and Deoria. These are currently housed in The Prof. G.R. Sharma Memorial Museum of the Department of Ancient History, University of Allahabad, Allahabad Museum and State Museum in Lucknow.

Visit by Xuanzang in 636 AD

Alexander Cunningham[23] writes that The city of Kosambi was one of the most celebrated places in ancient India, and its name was famous amongst Brahmans as well as Buddhists. The city is said to have been founded by Kusamba the tenth in descent from Pururavas ; but its fame begins only with the reign of Chakra, the eighth in descent from

[p.392]: Arjun Pandu,who made Kosambi his capital after Hastinapura had been swept away by the Ganges.

Kosambi is mentioned in the 'Ramayana,' the earliest of the Hindu poems, which is generally allowed to have been composed before the Christian era. The story of Udayana king of Kosambi, is referred to by the poet Kalidasa in his ' Megha-duta,' or ' Cloud Messenger,' where he says that Avanti (or Ujain) is great with the number of those versed in the tale of Udayana."[24] Now, Kalidasa flourished shortly after A.D. 500. In the 'Vrihat Katha,' of Somadeva, the story of Udayana is given at full length, but the author has made a mistake in the genealogy between the two Satanikas. Lastly, the kingdom of Kosambi or Kosamba Mandala, is mentioned in an inscription taken from the gateway of the fort of Khara which is dated in Samvat 1092, or A.D. 1035, at which period it would appear to have been independent of Kanoj.[25] Kosambi, the capital of Vatsa Raja, is the scene of the pleasing drama of ' Ratnavali,' or the 'Necklace,' which was composed in the reign of King Harsha Deva, who is most probably the same as Harsha Vardhana of Kanoj, as the opening prelude describes amongst the assembled audience "princes from various realms recumbent at his feet."[26] This we know from [[Hwen Thsang]] to have boon true of the Kanoj prince, but which even a Brahman could scarcely have asserted of Harsha Deva of Kashmir. The date of this notice will therefore lie between 607 and 650 A.D.

[p.393]: But the name of Udayana, king of Kosambi, was perhaps even more famous amongst the Buddhists. In the 'Mahawanso,'[27] which was composed in the fifth century, the venerable Yasa is said to have fled from Vaisali to Kosambi just before the assembly of the second Buddhist Synod. In the Lalita Vistara,[28] which was translated into Chinese between 70 and 76 A.D., and which could not, therefore, have been composed later than the beginning of the Christian era, Udayana Vatsa, son of Satanika, king of Kosambi, is said to have been born on the same day as Buddha. In other Ceylonese books Kosambi is named as one of the nineteen capital cities of ancient India. Udayana Vatsa is also known to the Tibetans[29] as the king of Kosambi. In the ' Ratnavali ' he is called Vatsa Raja, or king of the Vatsas, and his capital Vatsa-pattana, which is therefore only another name for Kosambi.

In this famous city also Buddha is said to have spent the sixth and ninth years of his Buddhahood.[30] Lastly, Hwen Thsang relates that the famous statue of Buddha, in red sandal-wood, which was made by King Udayana during the lifetime of the Teacher, still existed under a stone dome in the ancient palace of the kings.[31]

The site of this great city, the capital of the later Pandu princes, and the shrine of the most sacred of all the statues of Buddha, has long been sought in vain. The Brahmans generally asserted that it stood either on the Ganges or close to it, and the discovery

[p.394]: of the name of Kosambi mandala, or " Kingdom of Kosambi," in an inscription over the gateway of the fort of Khara, seem to confirm the general belief, although the south-west bearing from Prayaga, or Allahabad, as recorded by Hwen Thsang, points unmistakably to the line of the Jumna.

In January, 1861, Mr. Bayley informed me that he believed the ancient Kosambi would be found in the old village of Kosam, on the Jumna, about 30 miles above Allahabad. In the following month I met Babu Siva Prasad, of the educational department, who takes a deep and intelligent interest in all archaeological subjects, and from him I learned that Kosam is still known as Kosambi-nagar, that it is even now a great resort of the Jains, and that only one century ago it was a large and flourishing town. This information was quite sufficient to satisfy me that Kosam was the actual site of the once famous Kosambi. Still, however, there was no direct evidence to show that the city was situated on the Jumna ; but this missing link in the chain of evidence I shortly afterwards found in the curious legend of Bakkula, which is related at length by Hardy.[32] The infant Bakkula was born at Kosambi, and while his mother was bathing in the Jumna, he accidentally fell into the river, and being swallowed by a fish, was carried to Benares. There the fish was caught and sold to the wife of a nobleman, who on opening it found the young child still alive inside, and at once adopted it as her own. The true mother hearing of this wonderful escape of the infant, proceeded to Benares, and demanded the return of the child, which was of course refused. The matter was then referred

[p.395]: to the king, who decided that both of the claimants were mothers of the child, — the one by maternity, the other by purchase. The child was accordingly named Bahula, that is, of "two kulas., or races." He reached the age of 90 years without once having been ill, when he was converted by the preaching of Buddha, who declared him to be " the chief of that class of his disciples who were free from disease." After this he is said to have lived 90 years more, when he became an arhat, or Buddhist saint.

As this legend of Bakula is sufficient to prove that the famous city of Kausambi was situated on the Jumna, it now only remains to show that the distance of Kosam from Allahabad corresponds with that between Prayag and Kosambi, as recorded by Hwen Thsang. Unfortunately this distance is differently stated in the life and in the travels of the Chinese pilgrim. In the former, the distance is given as 50 li, and in the latter as 500 li, whilst in the return journey to China, the pilgrim states that between Prayag and Kosambi he travelled for seven days through a vast forest and over bare plains.[33] Now, as the village of Kosam is only 31 miles from the fort of Allahabad, the last statement would seem to preclude all possibility of its identification with the ancient Kosambi. But strange to say, it affords the most satisfactory proof of their identity ; for the subsequent route of the pilgrim to Sankissa is said to have occupied one month, and as the whole distance from Prayag to Sankissa is only 200 miles, the average length of the pilgrim's daily march was not more than 5^ miles. This slow progress is most satisfactorily accounted for, by

[p.396]: the fact that the march from Prayag to Sankissa was a religious procession, headed by the great king Harsha Vardhana of Kanoj, with a train of no less than 18 tributary kings, besides many thousands of Buddhist monks, and all the crowd of an Indian camp. According to this reckoning, the distance from Prayag to Kosambi would be 38 miles, which corresponds very closely with the actual road distance as I found it. By one route on going to Kosam, I made the distance 37 miles, and by the return route 35 miles. The only probable explanation of Hwen Thsang's varying distances of 50 li and 500 li that occurs to me is, that as he converted the Indian yojanas into Chinese li at the rate of 40 Ji per yojana or of 10 li per kos, he must have written 150 li, the equivalent of 15 kos, which is the actual distance across the fields for foot passengers from Kosam to the fort of Allahabad, according to the reckoning of the people of Kosam itself. But whether this explanation be correct or not, it is quite certain that the present Kosam stands on the actual site of the ancient Koshambi ; for not only do the people themselves put forward this claim, but it is also distinctly stated in an inscription of the time of Akbar, which is recorded on the great stone pillar, still standing in the midst of the ruins, that this is Kaushambi-pura.

The present ruins of Kosambi consist of an immense fortress formed of earthen ramparts and bastions, with a circuit of 23,100 feet, or exactly 4 miles and 3 furlongs. The ramparts have a general height of from 30 to 35 feet above the fields ; but the bastions are considerably higher, those on the north face rising to upwards of 50 feet, while those at the south-west and south-cast angles arc more than 60 feet. Originally

[p.397]: there were ditches all around the fortress, but at present there are only a few shallow hollows at the foot of the rampart. The length of the north front is 4500 feet, of the south front 6000, of the east front 7500 feet, and of the west front 5100, or altogether 23,100 feet. The difference in length between the north and south fronts is due to the original extension of the fortress on the river face ; but the difference between the east and west fronts is, I believe, chiefly, if not wholly, due to the loss of the south-west angle of the ramparts by the gradual encroachment of the Jumna. There are no traces now left of the western half of the ramparts on the southern face, and the hotises of the village of Garhawa are standing on the very edge of the cliff overhanging the river. The reach of the river also, from the Pakka Burj at the south-west angle of the fortress up to the hill of Prabhasa, a clear straight run of 4 miles, bears 12 degrees to the north of east, whereas in the time of Hwen Thsang there were two stupas and a cave at a distance of 1½ miles to the south-west of Koshambi. From all these concurring circumstances, I conclude that the west front of the fortress was originally as nearly as possible of the same length as the east front. This would add 2400 feet, or nearly half a mile, to the length of the west front, and would increase the whole circuit of the ramparts to 4 miles and 7 furlongs, which is within one furlong of the measurement of 5 miles, or 30 li, recorded by Hwen Thsang. In the three main points therefore of name, size, and position, the present Kosam corresponds most exactly with the ancient Kosambi as it is described by the Chinese pilgrim in the seventh century.

[p.398]: According to the text of Hwen Thsang, the district of Koshambi was 6000 li, or 1000 miles, in circuit, which is quite impossible, as it was closely surrounded on all sides by other districts. I would, therefore, read hundreds for thousands, and fix its circuit at 600 li, or 100 miles.

Kosam Stone Image Inscription of the Maharaja Bhimavarman (458-459 CE)

  • . . . . . . . . . . . . . (In the government) of the Mahârâja, the illustrious Bhîmavarman; - the year 100 (and) 30 (and) 9; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 (?); the day 7; - (on) this day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  • From: Fleet, John F. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum: Inscriptions of the Early Guptas. Vol. III. Calcutta: Government of India, Central Publications Branch, 1888, 267.

See also



  1. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.72
  2. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.72
  3. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.72
  4. Geographical Review of India. Original from the University of Michigan: Geographical Society of India. 1951. p. 27.
  5. Hermann Kulke, Dietmar Rothermund (2004). A History of India. Routledge. p. 52. ISBN 0-415-32920-5
  6. Pargiter, F.E. (1972) Ancient Indian Historical Tradition, Motilal Banarasidass, Delhi, pp.269-70
  7. Raychaudhuri, Hemchandra (1972) Political History of Ancient India, University of Calcutta, Calcutta, p.117-8
  8. US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population"
  9. A. L. Basham (2002). The Wonder That Was India. Rupa and Co. p. 41. ISBN 0-283-99257-3.
  10. S. Kusumgar and M. G. YadavaMunshi Manoharlal Publishers, New Delhi (2002). K. Paddyya, ed. Recent Studies in Indian Archaeology. pp. 445–451. ISBN 81-215-0929-7.
  11. E.g., UdA.248; SNA.300; MA.i.535. Epic tradition ascribes the foundation of Kosambī to a Cedi prince, while the origin of the Vatsa people is traced to a king of Kāsī, see PHAI.83, 84
  12. Jat History Dalip Singh Ahlawat/Chapter III, p.242
  13. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.239
  14. भारतकोश-कोसम
  15. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.243-245
  16. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.75-76
  17. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.616
  18. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.434
  19. Jat History Dalip Singh Ahlawat/Chapter III, p.242
  20. S.iv.179; but see AA.i.170; MA.ii.929; PsA.491, all of which indicate that the city was on the Yamunā) as being "Gangāya nadiyā tīre." This is either an error, or here the name Gangā refers not to the Ganges but to the Yamunī.
  21. Romila Thapar (1997). Asoka and the Decline of the Mauryas. Oxford University Press, New Delhi. pp. 290–291. ISBN 019564445
  22. Vincent Smith (1992). The Edicts of Asoka. Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, New Delhi. p. 37.
  23. The Ancient Geography of India/Kosambi, p.391-398
  24. Wilson, 'Megha-duta,' note 01; and 'Hindu Theatre,' ii. 257,
  25. ' Asiatic Researches,' ix. 433. Journ. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, v. 731.
  26. Wilson's 'Hindu Theatre.' ' Ratnavali ; ' prelude, ii. 264
  27. Turnour's ' Mahawanso,' p. 16.
  28. Foucaux, translation of the Tibetan version of the ' Lalita- Vistara.'
  29. Csoma de Koros, in ' Asiatic Researches,' xx. 299.
  30. Hardy, ' Manual of Buddhism,' p. 356
  31. Julien's ' Hiouen Thsang,' ii. 283.
  32. 'Manual of Buddhism,' p. 501.
  33. Julien's 'Hiouen Thsang,' i. 121 ; ii. 283 ; and i. 260