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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Yelburga (येलबुर्गा) is a panchayat town in Koppal district in the Indian state of Karnataka.



Yelburga is located at 15.63°N 76.02°E. It has an average elevation of 605 metres (1984 feet). It is around 40 km north-west of Koppal.


Yelburga was ruled by Yelambarga dynasty during the dawn of the 11th century. An edict obtained explains about Yelburga from AD 1026 to AD 1126. It was one of the last talukas during Nizam rule.

The king Madhurāntakadeva of Bhramarakotya Kingdom, who belonged to the Chhindaka family of the Naga (Cobra) race (related to the Sinda family of Yelburga) is mentioned by E. Hultzsoh & Sten Konow[1] in the Inscription No. 23. Rajapura copper plates of Madhurantakadeva Shaka Samvat 983 (=A.D. 1065). (For details see Inscriptions From The Bastar State)

No. 23. Rajapura copper plates of Madhurantakadeva Shaka Samvat 983 (=A.D. 1065).

E. Hultzsoh & Sten Konow[2] mention following facts in the Inscription No. 23. Rajapura copper plates of Madhurantakadeva Shaka Samvat 983 (=A.D. 1065). (For details see Inscriptions From The Bastar State)

[p.175]: ....this is perhaps the most ancient Sanskrit inscription yet found in Bastar. Mr. Baijnath found the plates in the possession of a Brahman named Gangadhar Pārhi of Kawadgaon close to Rajapura. Gangādhar received them from his sister-in-law, who found them buried in a field at Naharni, sixteen miles from Rajapura.

[p.176]: The object of the inscription is to record the grant of Rajapura village, situated in the Bhramarakoṭya mandala, to one Meḍipota or a Chhurikara Medipota and his descendants, together with 70 gadyāṇaka2 gold. The grant was made by the king Madhurāntakadeva, who belonged to the Chhindaka family of the Naga (Cobra) race. The inscription is dated in the [Saka] year 887, in the Parābhava samvatsara, on Wednesday o the bright fortnight of Karttika month. Although the tithi has not been given, there is a most minute description of the moment of the grant, the nakshatra being stated to be Anuradhā, the yoga to be Saubhāgya and the karana, to be Gara. From these data the exact date has been kindly calculated for me by Professor Kielhorn who says : " The date for Saka 987 expired corresponds to Wednesday, the 5th October A.D. 1065...." [3]

[p.178]: Some remarks about the dynasty of the king mentioned in this grant will be found above on pp, 161 and ff, where I have dealt with the inscriptions of the Nagavanshi kings found in Bastar, most of, which are not yet published and which I propose to edit in due course as intimated before. The dynasty is clearly related to the Sinda family of Yelburga. Though styled "Lord of Bhogavati, the best of cities," Madhurantakadeva appears to have been a Mandalika (feudatory chief), as the verse in LL. 24-25 shows that his rāj was limited to Bhramarakotya, which is described as a mandala in L. 15. He belonged to the Chhindaka family, one of the 36 Agnikulas 1 mentioned by Chand Bardai, the court poet of Prithviraja.

With regard to the localities mentioned in the record, Rajapura is identical with the present village of the same name, 22 miles north-west of Jagdalpur (the capital of Bastar), on the bank of the Indravati river. There are ruins of a fort there, and it is believed that it was once a royal capital. The present Raja family also dwelt there for some time. Chakrakotya is, I feel little doubt, the town mentioned by the Kashmirian poet Bilhana in his Vikramānkadevacharita (विक्रमांकदेवचरित), in which he records that Vikrama as yuvaraja set out on a series of warlike expeditions, with the permission of his father. He repeatedly defeated the Cholas and plundered Kanchi. He assisted the king of Malava in regaining his kingdom and carried his arms as far north as Gauda and Kamarupa. He attacked also the king of Simhala or Ceylon, destroyed the sandal wood forests of Malaya Hills and slew the lord of Kerala. He finally conquered Gangakunda (गंगकुंड) (IV 21) Vengi (IV. 29) and Chakrakota (IV. 30). After haying accomplished these brilliant exploits Vikrama turned homewards, and, on coming as far as the Krishna", he was suddenly disquieted by the news of his father's death. Dr. Buhler2 remarks that " Bilhana's rhapsodic treatment of this portion of Vikrama's career makes it impossible to determine the chronological order of these wars. Only so much may be considered certain that his last exploits were performed in the south as he came on his homeward march to the Krishna." There can be no doubt about these exploits of Vikrama. They were, as related above, the conquest of Gangakunda, Vengi and Chakrakota, and at least these seem to have been conquered in the order in which they have been mentioned. Gangakunda was the Chola capital, situated in the north-east corner of the Trichinopoly district,3 whence Vikrama proceeded north to Vengi, the country between the Krishna,

[p. 179]: and the Gadavari. He apparently crossed the latter and raided the country of Chakrakota and then wended his way homewards. This occurred just a few years after the present grant was made (1065 A.D.), in. as much as Vikrama became king in 1076 A.D. Many a southern king 1 like-wise raided this somewhat weak power, which must accordingly have been situated near to their kingdoms. Therefore Chakrakota was not near Dhara, as some scholars have supposed, but was contiguous to Vengi, being situated in the present Bastar state. I think the confusion with Dhara is due to the fact that Chakrakotya (चक्रकोट्य) had a king named Dharavarsha (which has been apparently wrongly interpreted to mean 'king of Dhara' 2 ). In an unpublished inscription found at Kuruspal, a place close to Rajapura, there occurs Chakrakutādhīshvarāṇām kulam=alaṁkarishṇuḥ .... samabhavad Dharāvarshanāmo nareshvaraḥ (चक्रकूटाधीश्वराणाम् कुलम्=अलंकरिष्णु:...समभवद् धरावर्शनामो नरेश्वर:). The Nararayanpala inscription also mentions Dhāravarsha (धारावर्ष), whose widow Gunda-mahadevi (गुण्ड महादेवी ) gave away-the Narayanapura village in her grandson's reign in the year 1111 A.D. 3 The name Chakrakotya (चक्रकोट्य) probably survives in the present Chitrakuta or Chitrakota, 8 miles from Rajapura. Bhramarakotya (भ्रमरकोट्य) was possibly an alternative name of Chakrakotya, which seems to survive in Ghumara, a name given to the fall of the Indravati at Chitrakota .

1. The first raid so far as is known appears to have been made by Vijayaditya III of the Eastern Chalukya line, who ruled between 844 and 888 A.D. He burnt Chakrakota (चक्रकोट) (above, Vol. IV. p. 226). Then the Chola Rajendra-Chola I. (A.D. 1011-33) took Sakkara-kottam (South. Ind. Inscr. Vol. II. p. 108), while one of his successors, king Virarajendra I., claims to have crossed the Godavari, passed through Kalinga, and advanced against Chakrakota (ibid. Vol. III. p. 70). Next the Chola king Kulottunga, while yet a youth, won his first laurels in battle by storming Chakrakota. This happened prior to 1070 A.D. and is mentioned in the Tamil poem Kalingattu Parani (X 24), and also in inscriptions (see e.g. Ind. Ant. Vol. XXI. p. 286), Vikrama was probably the fifth raider, the sixth being Vishnuvardhana Hoysala in the 12th century (Kielhom's Southern list,No. 396).

2. I would therefore, instead of ' Rajakesarivarman (i.e. Kulottunga Chola I.) conquered the king of Dhara (varsha) at Chakrakotta ' (see Kielhorn's Southern list No.756)

3 See above, page 161.

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