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Volume: IV, Issue: I, January-June 2013



Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat contain a number of Sanskrit inscriptions of Khalji and Tughluq period. In the present paper an attempt is made to collect historical evidence from these inscriptions that lie scattered either in published form or in reported summaries in various journals. These are arranged in two groups: Group I for those found in Madhya Pradesh, and Group II for Gujarat. These epigraphic evidences throw significant light on the history of Khalji and Tughluq period adding to the already existing corpus of historical knowledge.

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Inscriptions of the last phase of 13th century and beginning of the 14th century show that Sultans of Delhi extended their power into Madhya Pradesh which was governed by the rulers and chiefs of different dynasties. The two sati pillar inscriptions1 dated 1302 and 1303 A.D. of Jubbalpur and Patan record that these regions were governed by Mahārājaputra Pratihara chief Vaghdeva. But, on the other hand, a sati record2 from village Bamhani of Damoha district mentions that Maharajaputra Vaghdeva governed these districts under the sovereignty of Hammiradeva.3 A sati record at Saliya4, three miles from Bamhani, dated 1309 A.D., shows that Alayadina Sultāna (Sultāna Alaud-din) probably conquered this region from Vahadeva. The Kadahawa inscription5 of Guna district tells us that one ascetic Bhūteśwar “practiced austere penance when the whole earth was overrun by the Mlecchas”. It seems that by 1310 A.D. Alauddin Khaljī had conquered the whole of Madhya Pradesh.

Narwar inscription6 mentions the name of Suratrāṇa Gayasdīn. It belongs to the 14th century. This ruler may be indentified with the Sultān Gayāsuddīn Tughluq who reigned form 1320-1325 A.D. Futher, inscriptions indicate that the territory of Damoh and other adjoining regions was controlled by Muhammad Tughluq. An inscription7 of Bangaon, 13 miles from Damoh, dated 1328 A.D., mentions that Vennigoan (Bangaon) as the village of Hasamuddín who was the local governor during the reign of Muhammad Moizuddin.8 It seems that Muhammad Moizuddín here refers to Muhammad bin Tughluq and the Moizuddin might be the corrupt form of Abul Mujahid9 as this epithet occurs in his coins.

Three Batigadh inscriptions10 dated 1328 A.D. show that this part of Madhya Pradesh was controlled by the local governor of Muhammad Bin Tughluq. Further, an undated record belonging to the 14th century, records the construction of a garden and well at Khalchipur during the time of Jallala. Another inscription gives the date 1328 A.D. and mentions Suratrāṇa Muhamuda. It also describes the construction of a cow temple and step-well together with a garden at Batihadum by the order of local ruler Jallāl Shojā (Jalāl Khwāzah) son of Īsāka (Isāqar). This Jallāl Shojā is stated to have been appointed as his representative by Hisāmuddin Chipaka,11 son of Malik Julaci who was made the commander of the Kharapara12 armies and the lord of Cedi by Śakēndra Suratrāņa Mahamuda13  (Sultāna Mahmud) of Yoganipura (Delhi) who had conquered other kings also. The inscription further states that Jallāla appointed his servant Dhanau as manager of the institutions as mentioned in the inscriptions. The principal architects were Bhojuk, Kamadeva and Hala of the Silapaṭṭavaṁśa.14 The composer of the record is Baijūk and the writer is Vasu son of Sahadeva, both belonged to the Māthura Kayastha subdivision.

Sati pillar inscriptions are numerous in this region. They record the names of the Sultāns and their officers and sometimes the names of local potentates. Sati pillar inscriptions15 of Tikamagarh district dated 1329 A.D., Isagarh, dated 1330 A.D., Shivapuri, dated 1331 A.D., and Bhiliya in district Bhilsa, dated 1338 A.D. record the name Patisaha Mahamud. This ruler has been identified with Muhammad Bin Tughluq. Another Sati Pillar inscription16 of Jabalpur district, dated 1342 A.D. says that Saulagrām was ruled by a local ruler Salasha Khān. Another Sati pillar inscription,17 dated 1343 A.D. of Sagar district mentions the name of two officers Mahāmalik Tāja and Puta Bhoja. Further a pillar inscription18 at Nayagan village at district Narwar, dated 1388 A.D. says that during the reign of Mhammad Ghazni19 of Dhilli Udharan and his son Mahārāj erected this pillar. It also mentions the name Gaha Khān Dilawar of Chanderi. According to the date of the inscription Mohammad Ghazni has been identified with Prince Muhammad who was the youngest son of Firuz Shāh Tughluq and Dilawar Khān was an important amīr who played an important role in the regency of prince Muhammad.20

Sagar district inscription21 dated 1400 A.D. indicates that during the reign of Mahārājādhirāja Dilawar Khan, Mahammada was the Mahāmalika of Duluchipura. It shows that now Dilawar Khān had become practically an independent ruler of Malwa. Inscriptions also give evidence to the fact that local chiefs and potentates of even these territories were governed by the officers of the Delhi Sultāns. Kevati Kunda inscriptions22 dated 1331 and 1340 A.D. mention two petty chiefs, Mahārāja Hammir Deva of Lukasthana and Mahārājādhirāja Devaka Kathaulisthana. The Narwar and Gwalior inscriptions23 give detailed accounts of the chiefs of Yajvapal dynasty of Nalapura (1293 A.D. to 1394 A.D.); the Chaura inscription24 mentions the name Mahārāja Ramchandra of Nagavaṁśa (1350 A.D.); and Udaypur inscription25 mentions Mahārāja Jayasimha deva of the Paramara family (1310 A.D.).

Inscriptions also give interesting information about the Kayasthas of Mathura, they being known as Māthura Kayasthas. Some of them were probably servants of the Hindu kings of Gwalior and a good of many of them appear to have been absorbed under the Yajvpal kings of Nalapura. The inscriptions also show that some of the Kayasthas of Mathura were the learned students of Sanskrit literature and composed prasatis.


In the last phase of the13thcentury, some parts of Gujarat were governed by different dynasties such as the Chaulukyas, Vaghelas and Paramaras. From the inscriptions26 of Sāraṅgadēva‒a Vaghela ruler, and of the Paramara rulers‒Pratapsimha and Visala27 who later on became the feudatory of this Vaghela ruler, it becomes clear that they also saved the territory of Gujarat from the invasions of Turuskas. But another inscription28 indicates that they also subdued local chiefs. The Vanthalī inscription29 dated 1290 A.D. informs us that Sāraṅgadev’s governor of Vāmanasthalī Bijayanandadeva, son of Kshēmānand and grandson of Viradhavala, invaded Bhubhrit Palli and fought with one Bhānu.30 In this battle his Mahāsādhanika31 Haripālla, son of Malla, died while trying to save Kedārputra. In his memory a Raṅa stambha32 was erected by his brother who succeeded him as Mahāsādhanika.

An inscription on the wall of Ramaji temple at Bhavanatha33 in Sabarkantha district dated 1297 A.D. has preserved the name of the next Vaghela ruler Karna. This Karna has been identified with Karna II who was the son of Ram, the elder brother of Sāraṅgadeva. D.C. Sircar has suggested that this is the only inscription of the time of Vaghela king Karna II who was popularly known to be insane and was ousted from the throne of Gujarat by Alauddin Khaljī. As we know Karna II ruled from A.D. 1296 to 1303, or 1304 A.D.34 This inscription was engraved in the second year of his reign. The question arises when Karna lost his kingdom‒whether in A.D. 1299 or in A.D. 1304, as Alauddin sent his army to conquer Gujarat in A.D. 1296-97. Junagadh inscription35 dated 1299 A.D. records the death of two soldiers in a fight with Turuśkās. So it seems that in the year 1299 A.D. Karna had been defeated by Alauddin Khaljī. The Cambay inscription36 dated A.D. 1310 records that Alp Khān was the representative of Sultān Alavadina stationed at Stambhtīrtha. Alp Khān was the title of Malik Saujar, brother of Alauddin Khaljī’s wife. He was appointed the governor of Gujarat in 1300 A.D. and remained in this position up to 1314 A.D.37

The Palanpur inscription38 dated 1313 A.D. informs us that during the reign of Suratrāṇa Alavadin when Alp Khān was the governor or Gujarat, Mahārāṇaka Mahīpaladeva ruled over Tharpadra maṇḍala. It also records some benefaction of Mahipāladeva’s wife of Kamla Devi, daughter of the Solanki King Muñjala Deva. The Navasari inscription39 of 1303 A.D., a record coming from the northern most area of the Yadava empire refers to the reign of the Yadava king Rāmadeva or Rāmachandra. It also shows that Nausari belonged to the dominions of Yadavas of Devagiri about the beginning of the 14th century. It informs us that Karnadeva, Yadava Rāmachandra’s subordinate, then ruled over Naurasika region and enjoyed the title of Pradhāna, Mahārājā and Rāṇaka side by side with certain official designations. This Karna cannot be indentified with the Chaulukya Vaghela Karna II who continued to rule over the parts of Khandesh as a vassal of Yadava Rāmachandra after he had lost the kingdom of Gujarat. Therefore, it seems that this Karnadeva was a governor of the Yadava king stationed at Nausari.40

The Junagadh inscription41 dated 1389 A.D. gives an account of some chiefs of Śaṭtriṁśa family. In this description the record also gives an idea about the conquest of Saurashtra by Mohammad Bin Tughluq. The inscription informs us of Maṁkaṇaka, Lūniga,42 who came from Marusthalī to Saurasthra as a general, his son Bhīmsingha, his eldest son Lakśma Singh who died fighting at Jīrṇadurga (Junagadh), his son Rajasimha who married Ratandevi, daughter of the Vaghela Vira, his eldest son Malla, who married Vimaladevi of the Paramara family, his son Yuvaraja Sivaraja. In the Karakarapuri of Muru-maṇḍala, the Vaghela Kshemaraja, his grandson Vira, who came to Saurashtra and died along with his brother’s son Bhimdeva, fighting for Khaṁgāra when Jīrṇadurga was besieged by the Pātisāha Mahammada.

Commissariat has mentioned that in 1349 A.D. the emperor (Mohammad Bin Tughluq) marched towards Girnar; the Rā of Junagadh saw the strength of the royal army he decided to imprison and deliver up rebel leader. But Sultān captured the hill fort of Girnar and brought the whole coast-line and island under subjection, Rā-Khengar,43 the ruler of Girnar tried to escape but was caught and brought back.44 It seems that when the Sultan besieged Junagadh, Rā-Khengar got the help of Pramara and Vaghela chiefs.

Number of inscriptions45 show that local chiefs were designated as Pradhāna, Mahārāna, Rānā and Rāv Māndalik. Rāv Māndalikk appears to have been the official title of the Hindu rulers of Junagadh. It means a feudatory prince, one of the petty rulers who formed a maṇḍal.46 Inscriptions also give us the names and designation of Muslim officers, the Pēṭlād inscription47 dated 1323 A.D. mentions “…the illustrious Gayāsdīna (Ghias-uddīn Tughluq) the paramount king, by the order of Dīwān at Anhilpattana…appointed, under the despension of the glorious Badradina Avubaka Ahmada Amīra-Koha (Badr-ud-din Abu Bakr Ahmad Amīr-i Koh)48 agent in the circle of Pētilāpadra in the proximity of the revered Arjun-Ghori at Petila…by Ismaila Usman Siraj (Ismail Usman Shirazi) an inhabitant of stambhatīrtha (Cambay) were given 20 kūbhā of land marked off with boundary…repaired well…The illustrious ṭhakurs should protect (these gifts) written also in Persian”. This record indicates that the ancient name of Pēṭlād is Peṭilāpadra. The well adjoined the sacred sanctuary of Baba Arjun Ghori at this town. The builder was one Haji Ismail Utmān of Shīrāz and resident of the neighbouring city of Cambay. The order of the imperial diwan at the provincial capital of Patan Anhilvad was probably secured for the grant of 20 kubhas of pulic land for the construction of well in the town of Pēṭlād.

The Baroda inscription49 dated 1340 A.D. of Mahārājādhirāja Mohammad (Mohammad bin Tughluq) records the construction of mosque with a well in the village Karkhadin in Vatapadraka in Lata dēśa by the order of Mlik Muzzaffar, who was a local officer. The Mangrol inscription50 dated 1396 A.D., tells us that during the victorious reign of Pādshah Nusrath at Yognipura, Śrī Dafar (Zafar) Khān was appointed and was ruling on his behalf in Gujarat. At Mangalpura in Surashtra, Malik Yākūb muqti the son of Rāi Multānī was carrying on trade, doors fitted with iron were fixed into the gateway by Kotwāl Malik Mūsā.

This inscription relates to the construction of the town wall of Mangrol. The Sultān Pādshāh Nusrath was Nāsiruddin Nusarat Shāh, the son of Fateh Khān and grandson of Firuz Tughluq. Śri Dafar was Muzzaffar Zafar Khān, Wazīr of the Sultān.51 The inscriptions52 also record the names of two merchants i.e. Sri Phazarala Ahmad and Śresṭhin Samayaka son of Pragavati gotra.

While the Sanskrit inscriptions do not themselves constitute a comprehensive source of information in this period, but they do add details not known to us otherwise. In a sense they are important cultural records, since Muslim rulers and officers appear in them as effortlessly as their Hindu predecessors or contemporaries. Clearly, there is a need to further explore this kind of evidence.


1. Sati Pillar Inscription of the Saṁvat year 1361/1302-03. Bhandarkar, D.R., A list of the inscriptions of Northern India in Brahmi and its Derivative script from about 200 A.C. Appendix to Epigrapia Indica, Vols. 19-23 (henceforth B.L.); Epigraphia Indica (henceforth E.I.). XVI,p.II,fn.I; Cunningham ASR, IX, 49.

2. E.I., p.II, fn.2.

3. Hammiradeva was a Candella ruler and successor of Bhojavarman. H.C. Ray, Dynastic History of India II, (Delhi 1973), p.734.

4. B.L. No. 665; E.L. XVI, p.II, No.2.

5. Annual Report of Archaeological Department of Gwalior State, 1994, no.4.

6. Ibid., 1929-30, No.35.

7. B.L. No.686.

8. There is another inscription of 1328 A.D. which also designatgeds Muhammad Bin Tughluq as Muhammad Moijadin, Cunningham, ASR, XXI, p.158.

9. Mahdi Husain, Tughluq Dynasty, (Delhi 1976), p.55.

10. Hira Lal, Inscriptions in Central Provinces and Berar. (Nagpur 1932), Nos.104, 105, 106. EI, XII, pp.44-47; Journal of Indian History, XV, pt.II, p.80; DHNI. II, pp. 800-01.

11. Dr. Barnett suggests that ‘Chipaka’ is probably an Indian name, but Hiralal takes it to stand for ‘Shafiq’ which is not convincing. El, XII, p.44.

12. Kharapara are identical with the Kharparikas mentioned in Samudragupta’s pillar inscription of Allahabad. Fleet, Gupta Inscriptions. p.18. It seems here to be used for the Sultān’s army.

13. Hira Lal has identified Śakēndra Suratrāņa Mahamuda with Nasiruddin Mahmud of slave dynasty which is not possible. El, XII, p.45. DHNI, II, p.801.

14. Silapaṭṭa is now known as the Silawat caste who are masons and found in neighbouring region of Damoh.

15. Annula Report of Indian Epigraphy, 1962-63, c.1897; Annual Report of Archaelogy of Gwalior State, 1925-26, No.12; 1979, No.14; 1986, No.2; 1929-30, No.1.

16. H.N. Dvivedi, Gwalior Rajya Ke Abhilekha, No.195.

17. ARIE, 1962-63, B.433.

18. Annual Report of Archaeology of Gwalior State, 1929-30, No.29.

19. Khadwah inscription of V.S. 1451 also mentions the same designation for king. Gwalior Report, No.116.

20. Mahdi Husain Tughluq Dynasty, pp.444-45; U.N. Dey, Medieval Malwa, (Delhi, 1965) pp.9-10.

21. ARIE, 1962-63, B.433.

22. B.L. Nos.692, 702. Kathauli and Luka are the large villages. Kathauli is situated on the table land near Mamani pass, 30 miles to the west of north from Rewa, and Luka is on the right bank of Tons river, 27 miles to the east of north from Rewa. Cunningham, ASR, XXI, p.143.

23. B.L. Nos. 628, 633, 636,637, 642, 654, 737; El, XXXII, pp.339-46.

24. B.L. No.707.

25. B.L. No. 661.

26. Indina Antiquary, (henceforth I.A.), p.21; B.L., No.631; Poona Orientalist, III, p.69.

27. B.L No.. 639; ARIE, 1966-67, B.100.

28. ARIE, 1950-51, B.390.

29. B.L. No.624; Annals of Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, V, pp.171-174.

30. The Bhānu hs been identified with Bhānu Jethva, the well known warrior, Annals of Bhandarkar Oriental Research InstituteI, V, p.171.

31.The Prākrit form of Sādhānika is Sahānia which means army or a general. It also signifies a royal official of importance D.C. Sircar, Epigraphical Glossary, pp.283-84; According to Pargiter the work does not occur in dictionaries. It is formed from Sādhana and would seem to mean a person who transacts any kind of business or who carried any matter through. Indian Antiquary, XXXIX, 211-12. AK. Majumdar sugests that Mahāsādhanik was incharge of the Police of a city, exercising control by means of Sādhanika - Chaulukyas of Gujarat (Bombay1956), pp.228, 234.

32. Raṇa Stambha is a memorial pillar raised for a person who died in battle for his master. D.C. Sircar, Epigraphical Glossary, p.276.

33. This inscription is not mentioned buy Commissariat in History of Gujarat, nor by A.K. Majumdar. See EI, XXXIV, pp.151-52.

34. A.K. Mjumdar, Chaulukyas of Gujarat, p.188.

35. ARIE, 1950-51, B.392.

36. B.L. No.664. JinVijaya, Prācina Jain-Lekha Saṁgraha, pt. II, No.447.

37. Commissariat, History of Guajrat, I (Bombay, 1938), p.10.

38. B.L. No.665; Annual Report of Watson Museum, Rajkot 1924-25, p.9.

39. ARIE, 1958-59, B.280; B.L. XXXV, pp.50.

40. Nausari is situated in Baroch district. N.L. Dey, The Geographical Dictionary of Ancient and Medieval India, p.249.

41. B.L. No.731. Revised List of Antiquarian Remains of Bombay Presidency, p.250.

42. Maṁkaṇaka seems to be the originator of Makawana Rajputs, EI, XIX-XXIII, p.103.

43. Ra-Khengar was one the chief of Chudasama dynasty. Commisssariat, History of Gujarat, I, p.168; Bayley, Early History of Gujarat, pp.42, 55.

44. Commissariat, History of Gujarat, I, p.39.

45. ARIE, 1966-67, B. 100, 41; EI, II, p.33. No. XVII; ARIE, 1958-59, B.280; B.L. Nos.665-674.

46. D.C. Sircar, Epigraphical Glossary, pp. 195, 280; Commissariat, History of Gujarat, I, p.165. 47. B.L. No..679; Epigraphia-Indo Moslemica, 1915-16, pp.16-80. 48. Amir-i Koh, an officer was appointed to take charge of a territorial division approximately 30 karohs by 30 karohs upon conditions that one span of land would not remaine uncultivated in a stretch of so many karohs and that whatever was being cultivated would be changed. The Cambridge Economic Hisory of India (ed.) by Tapan Ray Chaudhari and Irfan Habib, (Delhi 19833), p.65. 49. ARIE, 1961-62, C.1311; Bulletin Museum and Picture Gallery Baroda, XII,1955-56, pp.35-36. 50. B.L.. No.734, Revised list of Antiquity Remains Bombay Presidency, p.246. 51. Commissariat, History of Gujarat, I, pp.74-75. 52. El, II, p.25; ARIE, 1954-55, B.521.