Friday, August 6, 2010

Dandabhukti

Dandabhukti a territorial unit of ancient Bengal, located in the southwestern part of West Bengal (India). Dandabhukti or Dandabhuktimandala emerged into prominence in the first half of the seventh century AD when it was ruled by Mahapratihara Shubhakirti, who was a subordinate ruler under SHASHANKA, the King of GAUDA. Samanta-maharaja Somadatta, who served under Shashanka, was entrusted with the administration of Dandabhuktimandala and Utkala. Dandabhukti is mentioned as a distinct geopolitical unit in several epigraphic records: the two Midnapur copper plates of Shashanka, Irda copper plate of the Kamboja rulers of Bengal, and the Tirumulai inscription of Rajendra Chola. SANDHYAKAR NANDI also mentions it in his RAMACHARITAM. On the basis of the available evidence Dandabhukti may be taken to have comprised the southwest of Bengal, particularly southern and southwestern regions of the modern district of Midnapur in West Bengal and a part of the district of Balasore in Orissa. The memory of Dandabhukti survives in the name of the modern locality of Dantan/Datan in the district of Midnapur.
Two copperplate grants of a Bhaumakara queen refer to Dandabhukti mandala as being attached to the Uttara-Toshali and having contained Tamala-Khanda and Daksina-Khanda districts. These two districts have been identified with Tamluk and Dakinmal respectively, which are also mentioned as parganas in the Mughal revenue accounts of Midnapur district. The Irda copper plate (10th century AD) records the inclusion of the Dandabhukti mandala within the Vardhamana bhukti, ruled by the Kamboja Kings. The Tamil Tirumulai inscription (11th century AD) records the name of Dandabhukti, distinct from southern and northern Radha, and its location is placed between Orissa and southern Radha.
The well-known archaeological sites like Tamluk, Bahiri and Dantan/Datan in Midnapur district, West Bengal produced numerous antiquities throwing light on the trade, commerce and culture of the coastal region of the Bay of Bengal. TAMRALIPTI may have been included within the Dandabhukti settlement.
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