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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (Retd.)

Map of Orissa Districts

Orissa (उड़ीसा) has a history spanning a period of over 3000 years. The history of Orissa is in many ways atypical from that of the northern plains and many of the common generalizations that are made about Indian history do not seem to apply to the Oriya region. The word Oriya is an anglicised version of Odia which itself is a modern name for the Odra or Udra tribes that inhabited the central belt of modern Orissa.

Districts in Orissa

There are 30 districts in Odisha— Angul, Boudh, Bhadrak, Bolangir, Bargarh, Balasore, Cuttack (Kataka), Debagarh, Dhenkanal, Ganjam, Gajapati, Jharsuguda, Jajapur, Jagatsinghpur, Khordha, Keonjhar, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Koraput, Kendrapara, Malkangiri, Mayurbhanj, Nabarangpur, Nuapada, Nayagarh, Puri, Rayagada, Sambalpur, Subarnapur, Sundargarh.

Places connected with Jat history

Asika Orissa, Baleshwar, Bhadrak, Bhubaneshwar, Chilka Lake, Dhauli, Dhavaleshwar, Dharakot, Jatani, Ganjam, Hathigumpha inscription, Kalinga, Khordha, Puri, Titlagarh, Umarkot


Ancient History

Present Odisha can be classified into part of three different kingdoms in ancient time. Kalinga, Kantara or Mahakantara and South Kosala were the kingdoms during Mahabharata/Ramayana where Kalinga existed in the eastern part of present Odisha, South Kosala existed in the North Western part of present Odisha and Kantara (Mahakantara) existed in the South Western part of present Odisha. Cuttack-Bhubaneswar and Kalinga Nagar (North Andhra Pardesh) were the central places for Kalinga kingdom, whereas Sripur/Bilaspur was center for South Kosal and Asurgarh region in Kalahandi was center for Kantara/Mahakantara. As per Mahabharata, Kalinga fought war in the side of Kauraba and Sahadeb had vanished in Kantara, which was known as a kingdom consisting of dense forest during that period, large part of KBK in Odisha and Bastar of Chhattisgarh were known as Kantara. Kosal was divided as North and South Kosala where Kusha, younger son of lord Sri Rama, got the South Kosala consiting present days North Chhattisgarh and North West Odisha.

Kalinga and Utkal

Orissa has also been the home of the Kalinga and Utkal tribes that played a particularly prominent role in the region's history, and one of the earliest references to the ancient Kalingas appears in the writings of Vedic chroniclers. In the 6th C. BC, Vedic Sutrakara Baudhayana mentions Kalinga as being beyond the Vedic fold, indicating that Brahminical influences had not yet touched the land. Unlike some other parts of India, tribal customs and traditions played a significant role in shaping political structures and cultural practices right up to the 15th C. when Brahminical influences triumphed over competing traditions and caste differentiation began to inhibit social mobility and erode what had survived of the ancient republican tradition.

In ancient times, it was the proud kingdom of Kalinga. Kalinga was a major seafaring nation that controlled and traded with most of the sea routes in the Bay of Bengal. For several centuries, a substantial part of South Asia & Southeast Asia was under its cultural influence. The temple at Angkor Wat is a fine example of Oriya-influenced Indian architecture. Some parts of Southern and South Eastern Asia such as Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Java, Sumatra, Bali, Vietnam and Thailand were colonized by people from Orissa. In Malaysia, Indians are still referred as Kalings because of this. Many illustrious Sri Lankan kings such as Nisanka Malla and Parakarama Bahu claim Kalinga origin. The king who destroyed the Sinhalese Buddhist control of Northern Sri Lanka and established a Hindu Kingdom in Jaffna was known as Kalinga Magha. One theory holds that the name of the country "Siam" for Thailand is derived from Oriya/Sanskrit Shyamadesha. The Angkor Wat in Cambodia has Oriya influence, with local variations. Bali in Indonesia still retains its Oriya-influenced Hindu heritage. These sea faring adventures are still celebrated during Kartik Purnima.

Kalinga war

A major turning point in world history took place in Orissa. The famous Kalinga War that led emperor Ashoka to embrace non-violence and the teachings of Buddha was fought here in 261 BC. Ashoka's military campaign against Kalinga was one of the bloodiest in Mauryan history on account of the fearless and heroic resistance offered by the Kalingas to the mighty armies of the expanding Mauryan empire. Perhaps on account of their unexpected bravery, emperor Ashoka was compelled to issue two edicts specifically calling for a just and benign administration in Kalinga. Later on, Asoka was instrumental in spreading Buddhist philosophy all over Asia.

Nanda Rule

Mahapadmananda of Nanda Dynasty who ascended the throne of Magadha in 362 B. C. conquered and instituted Kalinga to his extensive empire. Although Kalinga lost her independence, she became economically prosperous under the Nanda rule. Mahapadmananda undertook irrigation projects to eradicate famine condition in Kalinga. The pre-Mauryan black polished potteries and punch-marked coins having four symbols found in plenty from Asurgarh in Kalahandi district and Sonepur district indicate the flourishing economic condition during the time of the Nanda rule.After Mahapadmananda his eight sons ruled one after the other and the last Nanda king was overthrown by Chandragupta Maurya who found the Maurya empire in Magadha. During the time of Chandragupta’s rebellion against the last Nanda king, Kalinga declared herself independent and tried to build her strength as an overseas power.

Kalinga War & Mauryan Empire

A major turning point in world history took place around 261 BC when the Mauryan emperor Asoka, invaded Kalinga, which is famously known as Kalinga War war. Ashoka's military campaign against Kalinga was one of the bloodiest in Mauryan history on account of the fearless and heroic resistance offered by the people of Kalinga to the mighty armies of the expanding Mauryan empire. Though Asoka succeeded in occupying Kalinga but he could not the bear the horrendous slaughter caused by the war and therefore took up the path of non-violence and become the follower of Buddhism. Later on, Asoka was instrumental in spreading Buddhist philosophy all over Asia. Perhaps on the account of Kalinga's unexpected bravery, emperor Ashoka was compelled to issue two edicts specifically calling for a just and benign administration in Kalinga under the Mauryan. Kalinga became one of the administrative provisions in the empire of Magadha with headquarters of a Kumara (Viceroy) located at Tosali. The second headquarters was at Samapa where a high executive officer called Rajavachanika was stationed. Tosali was also the headquarters of the highest judiciary authority of the province.Asoka aimed at a benevolent administration with a well organized bureaucracy and vigorously worked for the consolidation of the Maurya rule in the newly conquered province. Buddhism spread over Kalinga under his patronage and became the State religion while the art of stonemasonry developed to a great extent. Edicts were engraved on the Dhauli and Jaugada (this is a fort made of Jau by the King of Utkal. Situated beside the Village Nuagaon in Ganjam District, Odisha is about 40 KM away from Silk City Berhampur) rocks to inculcate his administration and religious principles to the people. Asoka died in 232 BC and the Maurya empire lasted up to 185 BC.

Mahameghavahana Kharavela

Main article: Kharvela

In the early past of the 1st century BC, Kalinga became independent under the Chedi Chief Mahameghavana. The third ruler of this dynasty was Kharavela who flourished during the second half of the 1st century BC. The Hatigumpha inscription in Udayagiri near Bhubaneswar furnishes detailed accounts about the life and activities of Kharavela from his boyhood to his 13th reigning year.* Reigning year 1-5 : In the first year of his coronation he repaired the gates and ramparts of his capital Kalinganagari which had been damaged by cyclone. In the second year he invaded the territory of the Satavahana king Satakarni I and marching up to the river Krishna stormed the city of Asika. In the 3rd year of his reign he organized various performances of dance and music and delighted the people of Kalinganagari. In the fourth year he again invaded the Satavahana kingdom and extended his political supremacy over the region. In the fifth year he is known to have renovated the aqueduct that was originally excavated three hundred years back by Mahapadmananda.

Major Dynasties after Kharavela

Ancient names of Odisha

Harshavardhana's rule in Orissa

Extent of Harshavardhana's Kingdom

Harshavardhana (590–647 AD) (हर्षवर्धन), also Harsha, was a Buddhist Jat emperor who ruled Northern India for over forty years. He was the grandson of king Pushyamitra of Thanesar and son of Prabhakaravardhana. At the height of his power his kingdom spanned the Punjab, Bengal, Orissa and the entire Gangetic plain North of the Narmada River. He ruled from 606-647 AD.

After the downfall of the Gupta Empire in the middle of the sixth century C.E., North India reverted back to small republics and small monarchial states. Harsha united the small republics from Punjab to Central India, and they, at an assembly, crowned Harsha king in April 606 AD when he was merely 16 year old.

Harsha's empire was at its greatest extent in his times. Though quite a young man when he came to power, Harsha proved himself a great conqueror and an able administrator. After his accession, Harsha united the two kingdoms of Thanesar (Kurukshetra) and Kannauj and transferred his capital from Thanesar to Kannauj.

Harsha defeated Sasank, the ruler of Bengal. He also brought the Eastern Panjab (present day Haryana), Bengal, Bihar and Orissa under his control. He conquered Dhruvasena of Gujarat and married his daughter to him. He also conquered Ganjam, a part of the modern Orissa State.

Harsha's ambition of extending his power to the Deccan and Southern India were stopped by Pulakesin II, the Chalukya king of Vatapi in Northern Karnataka. Pulakesin defeated the Harsha army on the Banks of the River Narmada in 620 AD. A truce was arrived at the River Narmada that marked the river as the southern boundary of Harshas kingdom.

Tank Jat rulers

A Tak kingdom is mentioned by Hiuen-Tsang (631-643 A.D.) It is mentioned as situated towards east of Gandhara. Hiuen-Tasng Gives its name as Tekka, and the History of Sindh, ChachNama, mentions it as Tak. Its capital was Shekilo (Sakala, modern Sialkot) and formerly King Mihiragula was ruling from this place. In seventh century A.D. Its people were not preeminently Buddhists, but worshiped the sun, too. Abhidhana Chintamani Says that Takka is the name of Vahika country (Punjab). For what follows, we are indebted to Chandrashekhar Gupta for his article on Indian coins. [1] The Tanks must have come to India, Prior to fourth century A.D. i.e. with the Kushana. And with the Kushanas, they must have spread up to Bengal and Orissa, like the Manns and Kangs who spread into southern Maharashtra and the Deccan. In Orissa, the Tanks, had their rule in Orissa proper, Mayurbhanj, Singbhoom, Ganjam, and Balasore Districts. They are called by historians as “ Puri Kushans” or Kushanas of Puri (Orissa). Their coins have been found at Bhanjakia and Balasore (Chhota Nagpur) and these coins have the legend Tanka written in Brahmi script of the fourth century A.D. Allan suggested the reading Tanka as the name of a tribe “ [2] and others generally accepted the reading Tanka as correct. [3] Allan placed them in the third or early fourth century A.D., while V.A. Smith placed them in the fourth or fifth century A.D. ; R.D. Bannerji called them “ Puri Kushanas[4]


In the third century BC, Kalinga flourished as a powerful kingdom under the Jat king, Kharavela. He ruled all the way down south to include parts of the Tamil country. He built the superb monastic caves at Udayagiri and Khandagiri. Subsequently, the kingdom was ruled under various monarchs, such as Samudragupta and Sasanka. It also was a part of Harsha's empire. In 795 AD, the king Yayati Kesari I of Kesari or Soma dynasty united Kalinga, Kosala and Utkala into a single empire. He is also supposed to have built the first Jagarnnath Temple at Puri although the current structure of the temple is entirely different and was built by Kings Choda Gangadeva and Ananga Bhimadeva of the Ganga Dynasty in the 12th century. The famous Lingaraja temple in Bhubaneshwar was started by Keshari dynasty king Yayati Keshari III and completed by his son Lalatendu Keshari in the 10th century. King Narasimha Dev is reputed to have built the magnificent Sun Temple at Konark. Although now largely in ruins, the temple may have rivaled the Taj Mahal in splendour.

British Period

The Moguls conquered Bengal and Orissa in 1576.The Mughals divided Orissa into two parts i.e. Garhjat and Mughalbandi.The coastal plain of Orissa from Medinipur to Vishakhapatnam came under Mughalbandi rule which was broadly divided into three parts as Jaleshwar Sarkar,Cuttack Sarkar and Chicacole (Srikakulam) Sarkar.The Garjat areas of Orissa's Central, Northern, Western & Southern hilly areas were ruled independently by the Hindu kings.These Hindu kings were paying their tribute to the Mughal Subahdar of Orissa who was residing at Cuttack. Orissa was subsequently ceded to the Marathas in 1751.

In 1803, the British under the British East India Company occupied Orissa after the Second Anglo-Maratha War. In 1823, Orissa was divided into the three districts of Cuttack, Balasore and Puri, and a number of native tributary states. Orissa was administered as part of the Bengal Presidency. Following famine and floods in 1866, large scale irrigation projects were undertaken in the last half of the 19th century. The coastal section was separated from Bengal and made into the Province of Bihar and Orissa in 1912, in response to local agitation for a separate state for Oriya-speaking peoples. In 1936, Bihar and Orissa were split into separate provinces.

Ancient Jat clans in Orissa

Orissa state apparently seems to have no Jat connection but if we study the ancient history of Orissa we find rule of many Jat clans in Orissa. Orissa itself is derived from Odra and we have Odhran which is a Jat clan. We have Uriya as a Jat clan who ruled in Orissa. Odasi (ओडसी) is is also a gotra of Jats. They are considered descendants of Nagavansh.

Bhim Singh Dahiya writes that We know that Orissa and the adjoining areas were under the Jats for a pretty long time. The coins of the Tanka clan of the Jats identified by historians as the Puri Kusanas, have been found during excavations. It was In 592 A.D. that the Kesari King, Yayati, superseded the Tank Jat ruler in Orissa.[5] The 'Guptas' are called Karaskaras by some people, and this was thought to be a tribal name. In fact, it was the name of a country. Mahabhashya knows a plant (used in medicine) named Karaskar, obviously after the country.[6] Vayu Purura says that Karaskara, Kalinga and countries north of Indus river, are inhabited by people devoid of Ashrama Dharma (Hindu division of caste, etc.).[7] This is further proof of the fact that 'Guptas' were not originally Indian as the Karaskaras did not follow the caste system. Mahabharata mentions Karaskara, Mahishaka, Karambha, Katakalika, Karkara and Viraka. 95It is again clear, that like the Khatkal, Kakaran, Virk, etc., the Karaskars were Jats. [8]

Bhim Singh Dahiya further writes that it is possible that the Mahishaka (mentioned as Musika in Hathigumpha inscription) may be a Sanskritised form of Bains, which, in Indian languages sounds like Bhains (buffallo). [9] [10]

Hiuen Tsang has given a vivid account of the condition of Buddhism in Orissa. He reported about the existence of three kingdoms in region - Odra, Kangoda and Kalinga. Here again Kangoda = Kang + Oda, in which Kang as well as Oda are both ancient Jat clans. Kalinga was ruled by Ashoka Maurya who was Maurya Jat. Kalinga War took place at Dhauli hills in Bhubaneswar and Dhaulya is a Jat gotra.

There are many ancient sites in Orissa named after Jat gotras, such as Jatni, Banpur (Bana Jats), Kakudia (Kakodia, Kak + Uria), Narasimhapur (Nara Jats), Balangir (Bal Jats), Toshali (Toshniwal Jats), Jakhapur (Jakhar Jats). Jaina images have been excavated in many parts of Orissa, notably Bhadrak (Bhadara or Burdak Jats) , Balasore (Bal Jats), and Khiching (Khichi or Khichar Jats) in district of Mayurbhanj.

Hathigumpha inscription consists of seventeen lines incised in deep cut Brahmi letters of the 1st Century BC on the overhanging brow of a natural cavern called Hathigumpha in the southern side of the Udayagiri hill near Bhubaneswar in Orissa. It provides evidences about the Kharavela king to belonging to Jat clan. The minor inscriptions at Udaygiri hills in Bhbbaneswar provide evidences of Jat rulers belonging to Kaswan, Chalka, Lal, Burdak etc. clans.

Hathigumpha inscription

The Hathigumpha inscription mentions that:

In the 2nd year of his reign, he attacked the country of the Asikas, "disregarding Satakarni", the Satavahana king.

In the 8th year of his reign, he attacked Rajagriha in Magadha and forced the Indo-Greek king Demetrius (described as the Yavana named Dimita) to retreat to Mathura.

In the 12th year of his reign, he attacked the king of Uttarapatha. He then attacks the kingdom of Magadha, and in Pataliputra, the capital of the Sunga, makes king "Bahasatimita" (thought to be a Sunga king Brhaspatimitra, or Pusyamitra himself) bow at his feet.

An article about Raja Kharavela in Orissa mentions about the rule of Kaswan in 2nd century of Vikram samvat. It has been mentioned in ‘Hathi Gumpha and three other inscriptions’ (page 24) in Sanskrit as under:

कुसवानाम् क्षत्रियानां च सहाय्यतावतां प्राप्त असिक नगरम्
Kusawānāṃ kshatriyānāṃ ca Sahāyyatāvatāṃ prāpt masika nagaraṃ”.
This translates that the city of 'Asika' was obtained with the help of 'Kuswan' Kshatriyas [11]

He seems to have abandoned his throne in the 13th year of his reign, and was succeeded by his son Kudeparisi.

Kharavela (IAST: Khāravela, Devanagari: खारवेल) was the king of Kalinga, in Orissa state of India. He was responsible for the propagation of Jainism in East India. He led many successful campaigns against Magadha, Anga and what is today Tamil Nadu. He restored the power of Kalinga after it had been devastated in a war with Maurya King Ashoka. He was the third king of the Mahameghavahana dynasty. The main source of information about Kharavela is his famous seventeen line Hathigumpha inscription in a cave in Udayagiri hill near Bhubaneswar in Orissa.


Exact origin of Kharavela is not yet known to the historians. Some historians have tried to speculate the origin of Kharavela. Suniti Kumar Chatterji is of the opinion that Kharavela belonged to Dravidian stock. But how he came to the conclusion has not been explained. It would be better to take Kharavela as the prakrit form of Sanskrit word Ksharavela (Devanagari:क्षारवेल). It is significant to note here that the letter Khā (Devanagari:खा) in the Hathigumpha inscription invariably stands for kshā (Devanagari:क्षा) So, Khāra (Devanagari:खार) has to be taken as Kshāra (Devanagari:क्षार) meaning saltish and Vela means wave or shore. The word Khāra(Devanagari:खार) is still in vogue in many a northwestern Indian language in the sense “Saltish”, and the second component, vela, is also reminiscent of the word vela meaning wave or shore. [12] Khāra (Devanagari:खार) word of Hindi indicates its linkages with northwest India. Khar is a Jat clan in northwest India. Also We find mention of Khārvel as a clan originated from samrat Kharavela, in the list of Jat clans given by Jat historians. Similarly in Jat history books Ail (ऐल) has been mentioned as Aryans habitatants in northwest and Air (ऐर) as a Jat clan originated from Nagavanshi ruler named Airawat. [13] It needs more research to find the exact origin of Kharavela.

Dynasty of Kharavela

In the first line of Hathigumpha inscription Kharavela styles himself as IAST-Aireṇa Mahārājena Mahāmeghavāhana Cetarāja vasa Vadhanena xxx Kalimgādhipatinā Siri Khāravelan (Devanagari:ऐरेण महाराजेन महामेघवाहनेन चेतराज वस वधनेन पसथ सुभलखलेन चतुरंतलुठन गुणउपेनेत कलिंगाधिपतिना सिरि खारवेलेन) While the earliest scholar Prinsep and R L Mitra take the word Aira as the name of the king of Kalinga eulogised in the inscription, other few scholars are inclined to take the word as dynastic name and connected the ancestry of Kharavela with the puranic Aila belonging to the lunar Kshatriya dynasty. Bhagwan Lal Indraji is the first scholar to assert that the King whose activities are glorified in the inscription in named Kharavela.

It is a significant to note here that there is also no direct evidence in Hathigumpha inscription to show that Kharavela belongs to Chedi Dynasty. The only meaning conveyed by this expression is that Kharavela was the son of Cetarāja (Devanagari:चेतराज). [14] There is a small crack in the stone above the letter ta (त) giving the impression of medial i. this crack misled some eminent scholars like R.D. Banerji and D.C. Sircar to decipher the word as Ceti (Devanagari:चेति) and this conjectural reading led the renowned scholars to hold the view that Kharavela belongs to Cedi dynasty. But in no way this can be accepted. It is pertinent to note in this context that a small inscription is found engraved in the Mancapuri Cave where King Kudepasiri (one of the successor of Kharavela) styled him self as Aira Maharaja Kalingadhipati Mahameghavahana (Devanagari:ऐरे महाराजा कलिंगाधिपतिना महामेघवाहन).

The King Sada has also been styled himself as Maharaja Kalinga Mahisika Adhipati Mahameghavahana. Both Kudepasiri and Sada, happen to be the successors of Kharavela, have never been stated in their respective inscription to be belonging to Cedi dysasty. It is significant that the word Aira has not been prefixed with the name of Sada. The Vahana ending dynastic (and personal) names were quite popular during the few centuries preceding. The meaning of Mahameghavahana is the great one riding on clouds. Dr. Sahu takes Maha as the prefix of Megha and opines: “ Mahameghavahana literary means one whose vehicle is great cloud”.

In line 17 of the Hathigumpha inscription Kharavela claims to have been descended from Rajarsi Vasu Kula. King Vasu recorded in Hathigumpha inscription can not be taken as Cedi king. It is pertinent to note in the context that in Mahabharata, Meghavahana as a dynastic name is found mentioned (Sabha Parva, XIV, 13) while the same epic preserves detailed accounts regarding the activities of Cedi dynasty. Cedi and Meghavahana have been flourished as two distinct dynasties since the early times, so both the dynasties should not be equated. [15] We have already stated earlier that Cetaraja was the father of Kharavela and it seems probable that he was the immediate predecessor of Kharavela, belonging to be the second king in the Mahameghavahana line in Kalinga. The line-7 of the Hathigumpha inscription indicates that the Queen of Vajiraghara (Chief Queen of Kharavela ?) gave birth to a son. Another inscription in the lower storey of the same caves informs us that it had been executed by the Aira Maharaja Kalingadhipati Mahameghavahana Kudepasiri. In this cave another inscription is incised which reveals the name of Kumara Badukha. It is to be noted here that Kumara Badukha has not assumed any royal title. However, it is difficult to be sure of the relationship between Kharavela and Kudepasir. As no available record speaks any thing more about prince Badukha, he stands an obscure figures, in history but seems to be the son or brother Kudepasiri.

Mahiska country denoted the modern coastal Andhra (Guntur – Krishna region) which was apparently added to the Mahameghavahana kingdom at least during the reign of Maharaja Sada.

The sada rule came to an end during end first century / early second century A.D. [16]

Clan of Kharavela

As pointed out earlier it needs more research to find the exact origin of Kharavela. Author[17] got a chance to visit Udayagiri and Khandagiri caves near Bhubaneswar on 15-2-2007 and saw Hathigumpha inscription personally. The main source of information about Kharavela is his famous seventeen line Hathigumpha inscription in a cave in Udayagiri hill near Bhubaneswar in Orissa.

To arrive at some conclusion we have to find the origin of words mentioned in Hathigupha inscription. From the very first line we find that

Aireṇa Mahārājena Mahāmeghavāhana Cetarāja vasa Vadhanena xxx Kalimgādhipatinā Siri Khāravelan

Khāra word of Hindi indicates its linkages with northwest India. It means the origin of this clan is from Salt-range area situated in Sindh, which is considered to be the original home of Jats by historians. [18]

We agree with scholars who are inclined to take the word’ ‘El’ or ‘Ail’ as dynastic name and connected with the ancestry of Kharavela with the puranic Aila belonging to the lunar Kshatriya dynasty. Chetraja was his father as proved above. It is very important to note the significance of word Mahāmeghavāhana. I did an analysis of Jat gotras in Muzaffarnagar district in Uttar Pradesh and found that Kharav gotra Jats live in village called Meghakheri.

Meghakheri (मेघाखेड़ी) is a village in Sadar tehsil of Muzaffarnagar district in Uttar Pradesh. It is very ancient village. Population of the village is about 3000. It is mainly a village of Kharav Jats. Out of total population 50 percent are Kharav gotra Jats. Other Jats are Malik only four families. [19]

Thus we can conclude that Kharavela was a king of Kharav Jat clan originated from village Meghakheri and got the title of Mahāmeghavāhana on this basis.

Other Jat clans associated with Kharavela

If Kharavela was Jat then there must be other Jat clans to assist him. Now we find from Hathigumpha inscription some clues about other Jat clans also.

Asiagh and Kaswan Jats

It is revealed from Line-4 of the Hathigumpha inscription that Kharavela in the second year of his reign dispatched a strong force comprising cavalry, elephantry, infantry and chariotry to the western quarter without caring for or bothering about Sātakarnī, and Asikanagara was frightened on its reaching the river Kanhavemṇā. Some scholars prefer to read Masikanagara instead of Asikanagara and locate it in the coastal region of Andhra Pradesh.

An article about Raja Kharavela in Orissa mentions about the rule of Kaswan in 2nd century of Vikram samvat. It has been mentioned in ‘Hathi Gumpha and three other inscriptions’ (page 24) in Sanskrit as [under:

Sanskrit - कुसवानाम् क्षत्रियानां च सहाय्यतावतां प्राप्त मसिक नगरम्
IAST - “Kusawānāṃ kshatriyānāṃ ca Sahāyyatāvatāṃ prāpt masika nagaraṃ”.

This translates that the city of 'Masiknagara' was obtained with the help of 'Kuswan' Kshatriyas [20]

According to Sadananda Agrawal interpretation of the city as Masikanagara is not well-supported. Kanhavemṇā is commonly equated with the river Krishna coastal flowing in Andhra Pradesh. However, Krishna lies much to the south of Kalinga, and not west as averred in the epigraph (Devanagari: पछिमदिसं). But there is another stream flowing to the west of Kalinga in Vidarbha and known locally at present as Kanhan which flows about 17 km northwest of Nagpur and joins the river Vena (Wainganga), and it is the combined flow of these two streams that is spoken as Kanhavemṇā in our records. [21]

The recent find of a sealing belonging to the Asikajanapada in course of intensive archaeological excavations at Adam (Nagpur district) has solved also the problem of locating Asikanagara whose king or and people became frightful at the arrival of Kharavela's army at Kanhavemṇā. In view of the evidence of a highly prosperous city unearthed at Adam, Prof AM Shastri is of the opinion that Adam itself represents the Asikanagara of Hathigumpha inscription. It is worth noting in the present context that a terracotta sealing having a legend, has been discovered from Adam, situated on the right bank of the river Wainganga, which reads Asakajanapadasa (Devanagari: असकजनपदस). [22]

The township of Asikanagara to the west of Nagpur indicates the township of Asiagh or Siyak jats. This is also supported by Thakur Deshraj that Asiagh Jats moved from Asirgarh in Malwa to Rajasthan. This must have been migration to Rajasthan of these people when their rule came to an end. After this period their rule is recorded in Jangladesh by the Historians James Tod and Thakur Deshraj.

From the above description we can interpret that Kaswan Jat was a chieftain who helped Kharavela in his war expedition. Kaswan Jats must also have moved along with Kharavela to Kalinga. It is also confirmed from following inscription:

X- Tatowāgumphā inscription (Cave No -1)

The record of this inscription is incised over one of the entrances to the inner chamber. The Text reads in Sanscrit as

पादमुलिकस कुसुमस लेणं x [।।] (IAST: pādamulikas kusumas lenam x)

Translation: The cave of Kusuma, the padamulika.

Notes:- There is a syllable after the word lenam, which may be read as 'ni or phi,. padamulika literally means, one who serves at the feet [of king].

According to Kishori Lal Faujdar, Here Kusuma seems to be related with Kaswan clan of Jats. He refers an article ‘Hathi Gumpha and three other inscriptions’ (page 24) in Devanagari as under[3]:

कुसवानाम् क्षत्रियानां च सहाय्यतावतां प्राप्त मसिक नगरम्
IAST - Kusawānāṃ kshatriyānāṃ ca Sahāyyatāvatāṃ prāpt masika nagaraṃ.

Translation:- This translates that the city of 'Masikanagara ' was obtained with the help of 'Kuswan' Kshatriyas.

Burdak Jats

There is one small inscription in Udayagiri caves about Prince Vaḍukha, which has not yet been interpreted by the historians. Had the historians knowledge about Jat clans it would have been easy to interpret it. The inscription details are as under.

III-Manchapuri cave inscription 'B' (Lower storey)'

This inscription has been engraved on the right wall of Veranda, to the right of the entrance to the right-hand side chamber of the main wing, consisting of one line. The text in Devanagari script is as under:

कुमारो वडुखस लेणं (IAST: kumāro vadukhas lenam)

Translation - [This is] the cave of Prince Vaḍukha.

Note:- On palaeographic ground Prof Banergy considers this inscription to be a little earlier than the inscription of king Kudepasiri. According to Sadananda Agrawal, Prince Badukha stands an obscure figure in history, but Badukha seems to be the son or brother of Kudepasiri. Here Badukha is the prakrat form of Barduk or Burdak, where 'r' is missing in inscription. Burdak is again a Jat clan of northwest India.

Chalka Jats

IV- Inscriptions in the sarpagumpha (Over the door way)

This inscription consisting of one line, is incised over the doorway of the sarpagumpha. The text in Devanagari script is as under:

चूलकमस कोठाजेया च (IAST: chūlakamas koţhājeyā cha)

Translation - The chamber and veranda/or side chamber of hūlakama. Note:- However Dr. Sahu interpreted Ajeya being united by a Sandhi qualifying Koṭha there by denoting invincible. But he ignored the conjunction ca (Devanagari: च) which follows Koṭha(Devanagari:कोठा) and Jeya (Devanagari:जेया).

VI- Haridas cave inscription

This inscription contains one line has been incised over one of the three entrances to the main chamber of the cave from the veranda. The text in Devanagari script is as under:

चूलकमस पसातो कोठाजेया च (IAST: chūlakamas pasāto koţhājeyā cha)

Translation :- The chamber and veranda (or side chamber) are the gift of chūlakama.

Note- Historians are unable to interpret it but infact it was the cave of Chalka or Chilka clan Jats.

Queen of Kharavela was Lal Jat

I- Mancapuri cave inscription (Upper storey)

This inscription is engraved on the raised space between the second and third doorways of the cave. The text in Devanagari script is as under:

L.1- अरहंत पसादाय कलिंगानं समनानं लेनं कारितं राजिनो ललाकस
L.2- हथिसिहस पपोतस धुतुना कलिंग चकवतिनो सिरिखारवेलस
L.3- अगमहिसिना कारितं

Translation - By the blessings of Arhats the chief queen of Kharavela, the Cakravarti monarch of Kalinga, the great grand-daughter of Hathisiha (Hasti Simha) and the daughter of Lalāka or Lalārka caused to be excavated the cave for the sramanas of Kalinga.

The Line of Hathigumpha inscription mentions that in the seventh year of his reign [the Queen] of Vajiraghara was blessed with a son attained motherhood. Sometime before his coronation the prince very probably married chief queen as per presence was essentially required in anointation ceremony. The chief queen, whose record has been engraved in the upper storey of Mancapuri Cave, was the great-grand daughter of Hastisimha and the daughter of king Lalaka or Lalarka. It is to be pointed out here that nothing is known abouth Hastisimha and Lalarka from any other source.

Note:- It is to be noted here that historians do not have any idea about queen of Kharavela. Infact she was daughter of Lalaka or Lala gotra Jats found in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh. Lal (लल) gotra Jats live in Muzaffarnagar district in Badhai Kala, Barwala, Chunsa, Fahimpur, Lisad, Moghpur, villages and Muzaffarnagar town .

The famous Panjtar stone inscription, now in (Pakistan), written in the year 122 of Saka ara, refers to one “ Lala, the protector of the Kushana dynasty of Maharaja Kanishka”. This Lala, was a Lalli “Jat” It also refers to the gift of two trees by one Moika in the eastern region of “ Kasua”. That last word Kasua is the same as Kasuan the name of the Kushana clan (and territory) which is still existing. [23]


After the death of Kanishka, his successors continued to rule north-west India, but their empire was much reduced. About the middle of 3rd century Vasudeva, one of Kanishka's successor, was defeated by Shahpur I of the new Sasanian dynasty of Persia, and from now on the north-west came under Iranian influence. Meanwhile new kingdoms had been set up in India. In Orissa a great conqueror, Khāravela, appeared in the latter half of the 1st century BC; he raided far and wide over India and was a great patron of Jainism; but his empire was short-lived, and we know nothing of his successors. [24]

Visit by Xuanzang in 639 AD

Alexander Cunningham[25] writes that The kingdom of U-cha. or Oda, corresponds exactly with the modern province of Odra, or Orissa. By a reference to the ' Biography of Hiouen Thsang,'[26] it would appear that the capital of Odra was 700 li to the south-west of Tamralipti, and as this bearing and distance agree with the position of Jajipura, I think that the pilgrim must have returned to Tamluk from Kirana Suvarna before proceeding to Odra. In the travels of the pilgrim[27] the bearing and distance are taken from Kirana Suvarna; but this is perhaps a mistake, as they are usually referred to the capital, which, whether we place it at Jajipur or at Katak, is due south of Kirana Suvarna.

The province was 7000 li, or 1167 miles, in circuit, and was bounded by the great sea on the south-east, where there was a famous seaport town named Che-li-ta-lo-ching, or Charitrapura, that is, the " town of embarkation " or " departure." This was probably the present town of Puri, or "the city," near which stands the famous temple of Jagannath. Outside the town there were five contiguous stupas with towers and pavilions of great height. I presume that it is one of these which is now dedicated to Jagannath. The three shapeless figures of this god and his brother and sister, Baladeva and Subhadra, are simple copies of the symbolical figures of the Buddhist triad, Buddha,


Dharma, and Sangha, of which the second is always represented as a female. The Buddhist origin of the Jagannath figures is proved beyond all doubt by their adoption as the representative of the Brahmanical Avatar of Buddha in the annual almanacs of Mathura and Banaras.

The political limits of Orissa, under its most powerful kings, are said to have extended to the Hughli and Damuda rivers on the north, and to the Godavari on the south. But the ancient province of Odra-desa, or Or-desa, was limited to the valley of the Mahanadi and to the lower course of the Suvarna-riksha river. It comprised the whole of the present districts of Katak (Cuttack) and Sambhalpur, and a portion of Medinipur. It was bounded on the west by Gondwana, on the north by the wild hill-states of Jashpur and Singhbhum, on the east by the sea, and on the south by Ganjam. These also must have been the limits in the time of Hwen Thsang, as the measured circuit agrees with his estimate.

Pliny mentions the Oretes as a people of India in whose country stood Mount Maleus ;[28] but in another passage he locates this mountain amongst the Monedes and Suari; and in a third passage he places Mount Mallus amongst the Malli. As the last people were to the north of the Calingae, and as the Monedes and Suari were to the south of the Palibothri, we must look for the Oretes somewhere about the Mahanadi river and its tributaries. The Monedes and Suari must therefore be the Mundas and Suars, as already

[p.512]: noticed, and the Oretes must be the people of Orissa. Male is one of the Dravidian terms for a mountain ; and as the Uraons, or people of west Orissa, still speak a Dravidian dialect, it is probable that Mallus was not the actual name of the mountain. May not this have been the famous Sri-Parvat of Telingana, which gave its name to the Sri-Parvatiya Andhras ?

The ancient metropolis of the country was Katak on the Mahanadi river, but in the early part of the sixth century Raja Jajati Kesari established a new capital at Jajatipura on the Vaitarani river, which still exists under the abbreviated name of Jajipura. The same king also began some of the great temples at Bhuvaneswara ; but the city of that name was founded by Lalitendra Kesari. The language and pronunciation of the people is said to have differed from those of central India, which is still true at the present day.

To the south-west there were two hills, on one of which, called Pushpagiri, or the "hill of flowers," there was a monastery of the same name and a stupa of stone, and on the other to the north-west only a stupa. These hills I take to be the famous Udayagiri and Khandagiri, in which many Buddhist caves and inscriptions have been discovered. These hills are situated 20 miles to the south of Katak and 5 miles to the west of the grand group of temples at Bhuvaneswara. The stupas were said to have been built by demons ; from which I infer that the origin of the great caves, and other Buddhist works on these hills was quite unknown at the period of Hwen Thsang's visit.

Garhjat region in Orissa

Garhjat is the hilly area of eastern plateau in Orissa. Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar areas come under Garhjat. Many Gond tribes live in the Garhjat Hills of northern Orissa. Rourkela is an industrial city of Sundargarh district in Orissa state and is located in the Garhjat hills of eastern plateau between 20°-12’N and 84°-53’E at an altitude of 200 mt above sea level.

Chilka Lake

Chilka Lake (also Chilika Lake) is a brackish water coastal lake in India's Orissa state, south of the mouth of the Mahanadi River. It is the largest coastal lake in India. The lake was formed due to the silting action of the Mahanadi River, which drains into the northern end of the lake, and the northerly currents in the Bay of Bengal, which have formed a sandbar along the eastern shore leading to the formation of a shallow lagoon. The area of the lake varies from 1165 km² in the monsoon season to 906 km² in the dry season, and is studded with numerous small islands. The larger islands lie between the sandbar and the lake, separated by shallow channels, and include Parikud, Phulbari, Berahpura, Nuapara, Nalbana, and Tampara. These islands, together with the peninsula of Malud, constitute the Krushnaprasad revenue block of Puri District. The open air and scenic natural flora and fauna of Krushnaprasad are an attraction for tourists and visitors. The north shore of the lake is part of Khordha District, and the western shore is part of Ganjam District.

The lake is an important habitat and breeding ground for both resident and migratory and aquatic birds, most notably flamingoes. Migratory birds arrive in October from as far away as Siberia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Himalaya, and generally stay until March. Part of the lake is protected by the Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary, which harbors over 150 migratory and resident species of birds. The Nalaban Island within the lagoon is classified as a Bird Sanctuary under the wildlife protection act. The lake is also home to a diverse range of aquatic life, including 225 species of fish and the Irrawaddy Dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris). The rare limbless lizard Barkudia insularis is endemic to one of the lake's small islands.

Notable persons

External links


  1. Vishveshvaranand Indological Journal (Hoshiarpur, Pb.) Vol, XVI, pt. I. p.92 ff
  2. Ancient India, Plate XII, fig. 3
  3. Journal of Numismatic Society of India, 12, 1950 p.72
  4. Bhim Singh Dahiya : Jats the Ancient Rulers ( A clan study), 1980, Sterling Publishers New Delhi, p. 274
  5. 92. JBORS, 1930, Vol. XVI, p. 460.
  6. P.D. Agnihotri, op. cit. p. 277.
  7. Vayu Purana, 78/23.
  8. Bhim Singh Dahiya : Jats the Ancient Rulers ( A clan study), 1980, Sterling Publishers New Delhi, p. 194
  9. Bhim Singh Dahiya : Jats the Ancient Rulers ( A clan study), 1980, Sterling Publishers New Delhi, p. 195
  10. ASI, 1971-73, Vol. VI, P. 47.
  11. Kishori Lal Faujdar:Jat Samaj Monthly Magazine, Agra, January/February (2001) page-6
  12. Sadananda Agrawal: Śrī Khāravela, Published by Sri Digambar Jain Samaj, Cuttack, 2000
  13. Dr Mahendra Singh Arya, Dharmpal Singh Dudee, Kishan Singh Faujdar & Vijendra Singh Narwar: Ādhunik Jat Itihas (The modern history of Jats), Agra 1998
  14. Sadananda Agrawal: Śrī Khāravela, Published by Sri Digambar Jain Samaj, Cuttack, 2000
  15. Sadananda Agrawal: Śrī Khāravela, Published by Sri Digambar Jain Samaj, Cuttack, 2000
  16. Sadananda Agrawal: Śrī Khāravela, Published by Sri Digambar Jain Samaj, Cuttack, 2000
  17. Laxman Burdak
  18. Dr S.Jabir Raza, The Jats - Their Role and Contribution to the Socio-Economic Life and Polity of North and North West India. Vol I, 2004, Ed Dr Vir Singh
  19. Interview dated 21-4-2007 with Shri Rishipal Singh, Bachan Singh Colony, Muzaffarnagar (UP). Mob-9412110179
  20. Kishori Lal Faujdar:Jat Samaj Monthly Magazine, Agra, January/February (2001) page-6
  21. Sadananda Agrawal: Śrī Khāravela, Published by Sri Digambar Jain Samaj, Cuttack, 2000
  22. Sadananda Agrawal: Śrī Khāravela, Published by Sri Digambar Jain Samaj, Cuttack, 2000
  23. EI, Vol.XIV, p-134
  24. AL Basham: The wonder that was India, 2004, Page 62, ISBN 0 330 43909 X
  25. The Ancient Geography of India/Eastern India, p.510-512
  26. Julien, i. 181. See Map No. I.
  27. Julien, iii. 88.
  28. Hist. Nat. ii. 75. " In India; gente Oretum, mons est Maleus no-mine." See also vi. 22, "Monedes et Suari, quorum mons Mallus and VI. 21, " Malli, quorum mons Mallus."

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