Wednesday, March 9, 2011

On Kolancha - 2

Irrespective of which geographical location Kolancha refers to, the fact that by the 10th century AD Kolancha was already famous as a home to learned Brahmins, can be established without doubt. Not only did Brahmins migrate from Kolancha to Bengal, but also to Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and Assam.

The Dhenkanal copper plate of Odisha written during the 10th century AD during the reign of King Jayastambhadev (jayastambhadeva) of the Sulki dynasty refers to the King granting a village called Chandrapur to Baban (bAbana) resident of Kolancha, belonging to Shandilya Gotra, Asitdaivala pravara, versed in 3 Vedas and trained in Kauthuma shakha of Sama Veda and son of Khambara, son of Nibarana).

Another copper plate found in Laheriasarai of Bihar probably written in 12th century AD during the reign of Sangramgupta refers to the grant of land to Kumarswami Sharma of Kolancha (and of Shandilyaasitdaivala pravara, trained in Yajur Veda and son of Krishnaditya, son of Ram).

Yet another copper plate written during the reign of King Vigrahapala III of Bengal (1058–1075 AD) refers to the grant of land to Khodula Sharama of Chatra village (whose ancestrors migrated from Krodhanchi (kroDAnchI) to Matsyabasa to Chatra) of Shandilya Gotra, shAndilyAsitadaivala pravara, harishbramhachArI, sAmavedI of Kautuma shakha, mimAmsa-vyAkarana-tarakavidhyavit, vedAntavit and son of padmAvanadeva, son of mahopAdhyAya arkadeva.

Please note that in Old Bengali dialect (Magadhi Prakrit) kroDa is same as kola. Again among the vArendra Brahmins of Shandilya gotra, matsyASi is an important village - and thus the matsyabAsa alluded to above in the Vighrapala plate may be the same as matsyAsi which would imply that khodula sharmA was a Bengali vArendra Brahmin.

Although these plates do not throw any light on the actual geographical location of Kolancha, they do provide a very useful insight into importance of Kolancha as a homeland of learned and brilliant Brahmins, who frequently migrated to various neighboring regions at the request of kings and local lords.

In the next post I shall talk about the Dharmapala copper plates of Assam (1100 to 1125 AD) which provide some sort of insight as to the possible location of Kolancha.

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Reference
1. Banger Jatiya Itihaas - Radhiya Brahman Kanda by Sri Nagendranath Basu
2. Pala kingdom details - wikipedia

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