Saturday, March 5, 2011

On Kolancha - 1

Common wisdom has it that the ancestors of present day Bengali Radhi and Varendra brahmins migrated from Kanauj (in present day Uttar Pradesh) somewhere during the 9th or 10th century AD.

However, a closer inspection of ancient texts especially Brahmin Kula-granthas (Brahmin genealogical treatises) reveal a differnt story. These texts insist that a migration indeed took place, however not from Kanauj, but from Kolancha (kolA.ncha).

Among the oldest Radhi kula-pujis are the ones of Hari Mishra (harimishrA) and Vachaspati Mishra (vAchaspati mishrA), and both of them allude to a place called kolA.ncha, a place from where 5 Brahmins migrated to Gauda (present day Bengal) during the reign of Maharaja Adisura. Where kolA.ncha is (or was) is a big question, but there is no doubt that all the 5 Brahmins came to Gauda from kolA.ncha.

On the other hand, the Varendra genealogical books (kula pujis) say something different, and there is quite a bit of controversy regarding the place of origin of the ancestors of Varendra Brahmins. Apparently only, sUsena of Kashyapa gotra came from kolA.ncha - remaining 4 Brahmins came from different places.

Parashwara of Savarna Gotra from Madra
Gautama of Bharadwaj from Ourambar
Susena of Kashyapa gotra from Kolancha
Dharadhara of Vatsya gotra from Tadhita
Narayana of Shandilya gotra from Jambuchattar

However, the question remains, where is Kolancha? Is Kolancha same as Kanauj or is it a different place? These are some of the questions we would try to answer in the next few articles.

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