Orissa News

The Mayuras of Banei Mandala had close relation with the Bhanjas of Kalinga Mandala. The Bhanja rulers in subsequent periods accepted the peacock emblem of the Mayuras as their royal insignia. The name Mayurbhanj has been derived from the close relation between these two families – the Mayuras and the Bhanjas. Sometimes after Udaya Varsha the Banei Mandala was occupied by the Somavamsis of South Kosala.

The Gangas of Svetaka Mandala

Svetaka Mandala comprised the ex-zamindaris of Sana Khemundi., Bada Khemundi and Chikiti. The capital was Svetaka or Svetakapura identified with modern Chikiti.

The earliest known king of Svetaka Mandala was Jayavarma Deva who was a feudatory of the Bhauma king Sivakaradeva alias Unmattasimha. He was succeeded by Anantavarman who appears to have challenged the authority of the Bhaumas. Anantavarman was succeeded by Gangaka Vilasa. The next ruler of Svetaka was Bhupendra Varman and after him his son Mahendravarman became the ruler. He was succeeded by his son Prithivarman. He had three sons of whom the second son Indravarman I succeeded him. When he died childless his nephew Indravarman II became the king Svetaka. The last ruler of this Mandala was Samantavarman who was a feudatory of the Bhauma queen Dandi Mahadevi. After Samantavarman the Svetaka Mandala was occupied by the Somavamsi king Dharmaratha sometime in the third quarter of the 10th century A.D.

The Sarabhapuriyas

The actual name of this dynasty is Amararyakula, but it is is generally referred to as the Sarabhapuriya. The capital was known as Sarabhapura which was established by Sarabha, the founder ruler of this dynasty towards the close of the 5th century A.D. He was succeeded by his son Maharaja Narendra about 525 A.D. The next king known Prasannamatra, was a well known administrator who circulated gold coins inscribing his name on the obverse and with the figure of Gajalakshmi on the reverse. The city Prasannapura was very likely founded by King Prasannamatra. He was succeeded by his son Manamatra who is also known as Jayaraja or Mahajayaraja.

After him his eldest son Sudevaraja succeeded to the throne. His queen Rajya Mahadevi is known to be a patron of the Brahminical religion. He is known to have made land grants to many Brahmins. After Jayaraja there ensued a struggle among sons-Sudevaraja and Pravararaja, the latter being supported by the third son Vyaghraraja.

Ultimately Pravararaja established a new territory with a portion of the kingdom and ruled from the headquarters Sripura. Vyaghraraja became the Governor of Purvarastra with his headquaqrters at Prasannapura under his brother Pravararaja who was ruling from Sripura.

The family quarrel of the Sarabhapuriyas was responsible for their ultimate downfall.

The Somavamsis

Tivaradeva who found the rule of this dynasty in South Kosala, was an ambitious ruler. After consolidating his power over Kosala and Mekala he extended his authority over Utkal. His power started waning after he was defeated by Dharmaraja of Kangoda. In the battle for the throne that was ensuing in Kangoda between the two brothers of Dharmaraj and Madhavraj, Tivaradeva had pledged support to Madhav by sending in his army to support his cause. As a result of the defeat, Tivaradeva lost his hold over Utkal.

Tivaradeva was succeeded by his son Nannaraja who ruled for a brief period and was overtherown by his uncle Chandragupta. This king being advanced in age had a short rule and was succeeded by his son Harshagupta. About the middle of the 8 th century A.D., the Rastrakuta king Dantidurga invaded Kosala and defeated and killed the King Harshagupta.

Valarjuna, the son of Harshagupta, being a minor then, the widowed queen Vasata became the ruler of Kosala. She was a devout worshipper of Purushottama Narasinha and built many Vishnu temples in Kosala. Her brother Bhaskaravarman patronized Buddhism in Kosala. Valarjuna after attaining the age of majority became the king of South Kosala and patronized Saivism. He ruled for a long period from 750 A.D. to about 810 A.D and was able to provide a stable administration. The offsprings to the throne although not as competent were able to drag on the dynastic rule.

The ascent of king  Mahabhavagupta Janamejaya I who came to the throne about the middle of the 9th century A.D, marked the resurgence of the Somavamsis. He was an ambitious king and conquered Khinjali Mandala which comprised the Sonapur-Boudh region. Ranabhanja, the king of Khinjali Mandala who has a rule for a period of more than 58 years fought with Janamejaya I and was defeated and killed by him. After this victory Janamejaya avoided the struggle with the Bhaumas who were the overall lord of the Bhanjas of the Kinjali Mandala by concluding a matrimonial treaty with them. Prithvi Mahadevi, the daughter of Janamejaya was given in marriage to Subhakaradeva IV, the Bhauma king of Tosali. Janamejaya had built a new capital at Aramakatak identified with Rampur near Sonepur. Mahabhavagupta Janamejaya was succeeded by his son Mahasivagupta Jajati I about 885 A.D. He shifted his capital to Vinitapura, the modern Binika on the Mahanadi. After sometime he built a new capital at Jajatinagar identified with modern Jagati on the Mahanadi near Boudh. During his rule his sister Prithvi Mahadevi became the ruler of the Bhauma kingdom of Tosali after the death of her husband Subhakaradeva IV. After the death of Jajati I his son Bhimaratha became the king of Jajatinagar. He ruled for a long time and was succeeded by his son Dharmaratha about 960 A.D.