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Lata (लाट) was a historical region located in the southern part of the present-day Gujarat state of India.


Jat clans


The Lata region is not mentioned in the earliest of the Puranas or the Sanskrit epics. The earliest mention of the region probably comes from the writings of the 2nd century Greco-Egyptian writer Ptolemy.[1] The Larike mentioned by him is identified with Lata by multiple scholars including H. D. Sankalia[2] and D. C. Sircar,[3] The Greek name might have derived from Lār-deśa ("Lār country"), the Prakrit form of Lāṭa.[4] Ptolemy mentions that the delta of the river Mophis (identified with Mahi River) and Barygaza (Bharuch) were located in Larike.[5] Vatsayayana in his Kama Sutra of the third century calls it Láṭa; describes it as situated to the west of Malwa; and gives an account of several of the customs of its people.[6]

In Sanskrit writings and inscriptions later than the third century, the name is frequently found. In the sixth century, the astronomer Varahamihira mentions the country of Láṭa, and the name also appears as Láṭa in an Ajanta and in a Mandasor inscription of the fifth century. It is common in the later inscriptions (a.d. 700–1200) of the Chaulukya, Gurjara and Ráshṭrakúṭa kings as well as in the writings of Arab travellers and historians between the eighth and twelfth centuries.[7] Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa mention that Prince Vijaya came from the Sinhapura city in the Lala or Lada region. This region is variously identified as Lata in Gujarat or Rarh in Bengal.[8]

In the Gupta-era records, Lata is mentioned as a vishaya or district.[9] The Lāṭa-viṣaya was well-known until the 8th century.[10]

The Latesvara country mentioned in some early Gurjara-Pratihara and Rashtrakuta records is probably same as Lata.[11]

The Chalukyas of Lata ruled the region during the 10th and 11th centuries.[12]

Tej Ram Sharma on Lata

Tej Ram Sharma[13] writes that Lata139 (लाट) is mentioned in Gupta Inscription (No. 17, L. 3) = Mandasor Stone Inscription mentioning Kumaragupta I and Bandhuvarman Malava Years 493 and 529 (=A.D. 436 and 473).

The district or vishaya of Lata is here described as "pleasing with choice trees that are bowed down by the weight of (their) flowers, and with temples and assembly-halls of the gods, and with viharas, (and) the mountains of which are covered over with vegetation".

The country south of Mahi or at times south of the Narbada up to the Purva or so far as Daman, was called Lata and 'it corresponded roughly with Southern Gujarat'. 140 It comprised the collectorates of Surat, Bharoch, Kheda and parts of Baroda territory. 141

According to Prof. Buhler, Lata is Central Gujarat, the district between the Mahi and Kim rivers and its chief city was Broach. 142 Lata has been identified with Central and Southern Gujarat in the Rewah Stone Inscription of Karna. 143 We also find the Lata kingdom mentioned in other epigraphical records. 144 Latarastra 145 is identical with the old Lata kingdom of Gujarat, the capital city of which is stated in the Dipavarhsa to have been Simapura (Sihapura). 146 In the early days of the imperial Guptas, the Lata country was formed into an administrative province in the Latavisaya. 147 The Saktisangam Tantra places the Lata country to the west of Avanti and to the north- west of Vidarbha. 148

Lata is the same as the Larike of Ptolemy which lay to the east of Indo-Scythia along the sea-coast. 149 The word Lata is

[p.219]: derived from Sanskrit Rastra. 150 The Nagara brahmanas of Lata (Gujarat) are said to have invented the Nagari character which is believed to have been derived from the Brahmi alphabet. 151

139. लाट-विषयान्नागावृत-शैलाज्जगति प्रथित-शिल्पा:।।

140. H.D. Sankalia, Studies in the Historical and Cultural Geography and Ethnography of Gujarat by H. D. Sankalia. p. 9; Cf. N.L. Dey, Geographical Dictionary of Ancient and Medieval India by N. L. Dey. p. 114.

141. N.L. Dey,Geographical Dictionary of Ancient and Medieval India by N. L. Dey. p. 114.

142. Ibid.

143. Epigraphia Indica. XXIV, Pt. III, July 1937, p. 110.

144. Ibid.; Economic Life of Northern India in the Gupta Period by S. K. Maity. pp. 278-80; Journal and Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta. Vol. VIII, p. 292; Geographical Dictionary of Ancient and Medieval India by N. L. Dey. p. 114.

145. Pali Lalarattha

146. B.C. Law, Historical Geography of Ancient India. p. 287.

147. Ibid.

148. D.C. Sircar, Studies in the Geography of Ancient and Medieval India. p. 79 : Saktisangama Tantra, Book III, Chapter VII. v. 55. अवन्तीत: पश्चिमे तु वैदर्भाद्दक्षिणोत्तरे । लाटदेश: समाख्यातो....

149. McCrindle's Ancient India as described by Ptolemy (ed.) S. N. Mazumdar. pp. 38, 152-53.

150. Sanskrit-English Dictionary by Monier Williams. p. 900, col. 2.

151. N.L. Dey, Geographical Dictionary of Ancient and Medieval India. p. 114.

Mahavansa: Built city of Sinhapura

Mahavansa/Chapter 6 tells that Sinhabahu accepted the kingship but handed it over then to his mother's husband and he himself went with Sinhasivali to the land of his birth. There in the country of Lála he built a city, and they called it Sinhapura, and in the forest stretching a hundred yojanas around he founded villages.

Mahavansa/Chapter 6 tells....In the kingdom of Lala, in that city did Sihabahu, ruler of men, hold sway when he had made Sihasivali his queen. As time passed on his consort bore twin sons sixteen times, the eldest was named Vijaya, the second Sumitta; together there were thirty-two sons. In time the king consecrated Vijaya as prince-regent.

In Mahabharata

Sandhya Jain[14] describes Lata (लाट) - mentioned in Anusasana Parva (XIII. 34.17) in the list of the Mahabharata Tribes with unclear position in Kurukshetra War; they hailed from southern Gujarat.

Jat History

Bhim Singh Dahiya [15] has equated Varahamihira's Lata with Lat/Lathar Jat clans.

Hukum Singh Panwar (Pauria)[16] mentions Varahamihira[17] who describes him (Malavya) as the prospective ruler of the Mallavas, Bharukachha, Lata, Sindhu and the Paryatra mountain and his age is fixed at 70 years.


लाट (AS, p.816): दक्षिणी गुजरात का प्राचीन नाम था, जिसका गुप्त अभिलेखों में उल्लेख है। संस्कृत काव्य का लाटानुप्रास नामक अलंकार, लाट के कवियों द्वारा ही प्रचलित किया गया था। मंदसौर अभिलेख (422 ई.) में लाट देश से दशपुर में जाकर बसने वाले पट्टवाय-शिल्पियों का उल्लेख है- 'लाटविषयान्नगावृतशैलाज्जगति प्रथितशिल्पाः।' इस अभिलेख में लाट को 'कुसुमभरानततरुवरदेवकुलसभाबिहाररमणीय' देश कहा गया है। बाण ने प्रभाकरवर्धन को 'लाटपाटवपाटच्चर' ( लाट देश के कौशल को चुरा लेने वाला) कहकर उसकी लाट विजय का निर्देश किया है। (हर्षचरित, उच्छ्वास-4)[18]

External links


  1. Pruthi, R. K. (2004). The Epic Civilization. Discovery. ISBN 9788171418633. p. 148.
  2. Sankalia, Hasmukhlal Dhirajlal (1977). Aspects of Indian History and Archaeology. p.3
  3. Sircar, D. C. (1968). Studies in Indian Coins. Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 9788120829732. p. 116.
  4. Pruthi 2004, p. 148.
  5. Pruthi 2004, p. 148.
  6. James Macnabb Campbell, ed. (1896). "II. ÁHMEDÁBÁD KINGS. (A. D. 1403–1573.)". History of Gujarát. Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency. Volume I. Part II. The Government Central Press. pp. 236–241
  7. James Macnabb Campbell, ed. (1896). "II. ÁHMEDÁBÁD KINGS. (A. D. 1403–1573.)". History of Gujarát. Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency. Volume I. Part II. The Government Central Press. pp. 236–241
  8. Pruthi 2004, p. 149
  9. Pruthi 2004, p. 149
  10. Sank
  11. Pruthi 2004, p. 150.
  12. Syed Amanur Ra
  13. Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions/Place-Names and their Suffixes ,p.218-219, s.n. 5.
  14. Sandhya Jain: Adi Deo Arya Devata - A Panoramic View of Tribal-Hindu Cultural Interface, Rupa & Co, 7/16, Ansari Road Daryaganj, New Delhi, 2004, p.140, s.n.193.
  15. Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/Appendices/Appendix II, p.331
  16. The Jats:Their Origin, Antiquity and Migrations/An Historico-Somatometrical study bearing on the origin of the Jats,p.145
  17. Shastri, A.M., op. cit., p. 365.
  18. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.816