Settlement in Early Historic Ganga Plain

by Chirantani Das | 143,447 words

This page relates “Nalanda’s Rise of a Multi-functional Nodal Centre” as it appears in the case study regarding the settlements in the Early Historic Ganga Plain made by Chirantani Das. The study examines this process in relation to Rajagriha and Varanasi (important nodal centres of the respective Mahajanapadas named Magadha and Kashi).

Part 7 - Nalanda’s Rise of a Multi-functional Nodal Centre

Summary: Epigraphic Evidence for the History of the Rise of a Multi-functional Nodal Centre.

Having a relative humble origin as a bahirika or suburb of Rajagriha and enjoying only the privilege of being the seat of emerging protestant faiths Nalanda managed to grow as a Buddhist educational spot. A large amount of epigraphic material in the form of variety of seals and inscriptions recovered from the site is really helpful for capturing the transformation of Nalanda to an educational site of world repute and to its many other activities. It would be difficult to fix a date for the foundation of the sangharama at Nalanda. H.D. Sankalia attributes it to the early Gupta period, because only this period can claim the earliest antiquity. Our knowledge of the place earlier than this period is really scanty. Following Hiuen Tsang, he stated that a sangharama was the starting point of the university and nucleus of the university was founded by Sakraditya.[1] He has been identified as the Gupta emperor Kumaragupta I.[2] Archer type seals of Kumaragupta I has been found in the north end of the eastern verandah of the monastery site no 4 are the ‘earliest finds’ of Nālandā and confirms Kumaragupta’s association with Nalanda.[3] On the basis of Bilsad stone inscription and Mankuwar inscription of Kumaragupta I the earliest and latest assignable date to him are 415-16 and 448-49 CE. Originally he was a shaivite, later converted to Buddhism and probably he built a sangharama at Nālandā between these years. Looking in a reverse order Baladitya Narasimhagupta was the restorer of the university after the Huna ravage by Mihirakula. He was assigned the date of 500 CE roughly. His two predecessors Puragupta and Skandagupta were allotted 25 years each and a date of 450 CE can be reached for Kumaragupta I. But he was the emperor of Magadha then. So he built the monastery between 420 to 448 CE. So a rough date of 425 CE can be given to the foundation of the Nalanda monastery. At any rate the date of its foundation cannot be pushed further than 415- 16 CE. Alexander Cunningham also conclusively stated that the foundation must have been laid after 410 and fixed the probable date of the monasteries and temples of Nālandā between 425 to 625 CE.[4] From Kumaragupta’s time Nālandā enjoyed a consistent patronage by an unbroken line of monarchs which Sankalia calls the ‘royal rise’ of Nālandā.[5] But during the time of the Guptas it only started to rise and did not reach the stage when students flocked there for its world renown.

In all twenty six Gupta seals were found, most of them broken, destroyed or unclear. Rather than donative they are genealogical in character. They are not always flawless and bear serious anomalies. Yet their finding at the monastery site of Nālandā proves beyond doubt that the imperial Guptas are the earliest patrons of the Nālandā University. In fact from the Gupta times only Nālandā registered a remarkable growth.

Since then the university received consistent royal favour instrumental for its growth. The seals also help to settle the identity of many descents and queens of the Gupta line. The earliest of them could have been the Nālandā copper plate of Samudragupta had it not been spurious in character. Unearthed in 1927-28 the inscription was composed in Sanskrit of late Gupta script. It was issued from Samudragupta’s victorious camp at Nripuri on second day of Magha and the fifth regnal year of the emperor. The inscription mentions Gopasvamin as the Mahasenapati or commander in chief and Akshapatalidhikrita or the great minister in charge of depository of legal documents. Under his supervision the inscription was written. Other than commemorating Samudragupta’s victory the inscription gives his genealogical details and registers the grant of a village. Badly burnt in many places the writings have become too obscure to read. In the fifth line a village named Pushkaraka can be found. Probably this village was gifted but to whom is not known. The place Nripuri has been identified with present Nripura which is a large mauza, lying some 1.5 miles to the west of Nalanda comprising four talukas namely Nripur, Chak Nripur, Jalalpur and Tajubigha. The name of the village was either Chandrapushkara or Vadrapushkara. Probably it was situated on a pokhara or a tank and named after it. The date given to the charter is 335 CE, assuming that Samudragupta ascended the throne in 330 CE.[6] But its credibility was questioned by different scholars. A. Ghosh highlighted discrepancies pointed out by other scholars. Fleet shows that in the genealogical portion adjectives are genitive and the names are nominative. It is highly probable that it was copied from his successors’ grants. Some of the words are antique but some are more modern. H. N. Sastri and R.G. Bhandarkar agree to the same. Ghosh also draws our attention to the ungrammatical portion of the genealogy. Errors like frequent dropping of letters and lengthening of vowels are not accidental nor are expected from the Secretariat of Samudragupta and Ghosh concluded it was a poor copy of some authentic Gupta grant. Moreover the inscription dated in the year 5, 2nd day of Magha, followed by the word nibaddham. This is a Pratihara style and was found in none of the Gupta records. The time given to Chandragupta I is very short and allots an abnormally long period of 136 years (319-455 CE) to three emperors-Samudragupta, Chandragupta II and Kumaragupta I. All these anomalies prove beyond doubt that it was spurious.[7] D. C. Sircar added some new points. He pointed to the indiscriminate use of the letters v and b which is unlikely to any genuine Gupta grant. He expressed objection against the phrase ‘Asvamedha Ahurtta’–a phrase used by the successors of Samudragupta and never by himself not even in his Allahbad Inscription. The inscription is dated in the fifth regnal year of the emperor and it was impossible that he conducted this sacrifice at such an early stage of his career. Sircar expressed his strongest reservation against the title ‘Paramabhagavata’. This title was applied to his succcessors.

Chandragupta II was the first ‘Paramabhagavata’ of the line. Samudragupta might have been a Vaishnava but never a proclaimed follower of the Bhagavata cult. Considering all these and the points raised by other scholars Sircar thinks it is forged and composed at a much later time than that of the emperor.[8] So Kumargupta I’s seal stood the earliest of the epigraphic materials related to Nalanda. Gupta seals became more abundant in a relatively later period of the imperial Gupta regime. The next Gupta seal is of Buddhagupta, giving full account of the Gupta genealogy starting from Srigupta mentioned all the queen consorts and descendants, however some names are damaged. Kumaragupta was mentioned as Buddhagupta’s immediate predecessor though the name of his queen cannot be read due to breakage. She has been called the customary Mahadevi. Their son was Puragupta. The name of his queen is also illegible. Buddhagupta was their son.[9] Now Sankalia identifies Puragupta as Tathagatagupta and Buddhagupta as Skandagupta. But Tathagatagupta was assigned a later date than Skandagupta on the basis of other seals.[10] His successor was Narasimhagupta whose seal was also found at Nalanda. His seal was almost identical to the last one except some important additions. In the Buddhagupta’s seal Kumaragupta’s queen’s name was damaged. Here it was mentioned as Anantadevyam and Puragupta’s queen as Vainyadevyam. Their son was Paramabhagavata Narasimhagupta.[11] In the last seal Buddhagupta was mentioned the son of Puragupta, apparently making Buddhagupta and Narasimhagupta brothers. The next one is a seal of Kumaragupta III. Importance of this seal is to put an end to the confusion regarding Kumaragupta II’s mother. In this seal she was clearly called Mitradevi which is a synonym of a solar deity. In this seal it is notable that Srigupta the first in line was called ‘sarvarajochchhettuh or vanquisher of kings. Secondly queen consort of Puragupta-Vatsadevi was called the mother of Narasimhagupta. His queen was Mitradevi and they had a son Kumaragupta II. This seal is almost identical to the Bhitari seal. It also speaks that vatsadevi was the queen of Puragupta and their son was Narasimhagupta. His queen was Srimati, interpreted as Mahalakshmidevi and the mother of Kumaragupta, which must be Kumaragupta III.[12] In the Nalanda seal of Narasimhagupta his mother was called Vainya devyam while in the last two seals she was called vatsa devi making it confusing and difficult to know the identity of the lady. The last in the row was the seal of Vainya gupta. The content of the seal is vague and short. It calls Vainyagupta as guptasyaputra or the descent of the Guptas and Maharajadhiraja. H.N. Sastri compares it with Gunaighar inscription of the same king dated December 506. At that time India was attacked by the Hunas and that seriously threatened the Gupta supremacy. Sastri thinks Guptas of Bengal and Magadha formed a separate house than the imperial Guptas to which Vainyagupta belonged. The title Maharajadhiraja indicates his independent status.[13]

The Maukharis were the next to the Guptas to offer active patronage to Nalanda. We find here a valuable Maukhari seal belonging to Sarvavarman Maukhari. The seal is largely in a good condition except some names which have become too blurred to read. The chief merit of the seal is that it furnished the full genealogical details of the Maukharis till the time of Sarvavarman. But it did not speak about any endowment of donation made to the monastery. According to the seal Harivarman Maukhari was to begin the line. He had a son named Adityava by his queen Jayasvamini Bhattarika. The name of the next ruler is missing but his queen’s name was Harshagupta. Isvaravarma was the next in line. His queen was Upagupta. Their son was Isanavarma. His queen was Lakshmivati. They had a son named Sarvavarman Maukhari to whom the seal belonged. He was addressed as Paramamahesvara Maharajadhiraja Sri Sarvavarman Maukhari.[14] From the address he appears to be a Shaiva. But in some way he must have been connected to Nalanda, otherwise his seal would not have been found there.

Hiuen Tsang speaks of a king of central India who was also among the patrons of Nalanda. This king has been identified as Harshavardhana of Kanauj. It has been suggested that Hiuen Tsang must have visited Nalanda first and therefore might not have known Harsha. Harsha’s connection to Nalanda was confirmed by his seal bearing the details of his lineage. Maharaja Sri Nara vardhana was the first of the line and his queen was Vajrini. Their descendant was Maharaja Sri Rajyavardhana. He had a son addressed as Paramadityobhakto Maharaja Srimad Adityavardhana by his queen Apsarodevyam. Adityavardhana and his queen Mahasenguptam had a son Pravakaravardhana. He and his queen Yasomatyam had two sons, namely Paramabhattaraka maharajadhiraja Rajyavardhana and his younger brother Paramamaheshvara, Paramabhattaraka Maharajadhiraja Sri Harsha.[15] The seal does not directly speak of any charity or donation of Harsha made to the monastery. But we learn from other sources that he caused to build a vihara covered with brass plates beside Nalanda monastery with a height of hundred feet, and a high wall round the buildings. He also provided the university with adequate food and other necessities.[16]

There are two documents, one is a Pragjyotisha seal of Bhaskarvarman and the other is the Shahpur stone inscription of Adityasenadeva both belonging to post Harsha times and almost contemporary to each other. The seal of Bhaskarvarman is available only in portion. It is a genealogy composed in Sanskrit Nagari script. In the left side only the names of queens are found and names of kings are lost. However the names found in this seal match with those found in the authentic Nidhanpur plates of Bhaskarvarman.[17] Due to breakage it is not possible to know the date or any grant or donation mentioned in the the seal. But its discovery from the site proves Bhaskarvarman’s association with the university and perhaps it made some endowments to the monastery. The Shahpur stone image inscription was first discovered by Alexander Cunningham in 1882. It is engraved on a sun deity. This suggests its Brahmanical rather than Buddhist links. Hirananda Sastri thinks that Nalanda was never an exclusive Buddhist place. The inscription is short and partial but thoroughly gives the date which was the year 66, the month of Marga, the bright fortnight and the day 7 of the reign of Adityasenadeva. It has been calculated to the 66th year of Harsha era i.e. 672-73 CE. Curiously the inscription calls Nalanda an agrahara or a gift village. It reads Salapaksha-the Baladhikrita of his reign made a religious gift to the agrahara of Nalanda for enhancing his and his parents’ religious merit.[18]

After Harsha the Varmans patronised Nalanda for quite some time. Some of them were probably the Maukharis and ruled over Kanauj. Purnavarma gifted a Buddha figure of 80 feet height and a pavilion of six stages. He was probably the Last Maukhari. But again we find one Suresvara Varman in the Nalanda clay seals.[19] This limited data about this ruling house was strongly supplemented by the Nalanda stone inscription of Yasovarmmadeva. Confusion persists regarding his ancestry. Originally found during excavation of 1925-26, in the debris of the southern verandah of the monastery site 1, the Nalanda stone inscription of Yasovarmmadeva was in a good condition but for a crack in the middle. It is a eulogy composed in Sanskrit by Shilachandra, under the command of the sangha. The inscription is donative and helps to reveal the identity of the lesser known king Yasovarmmadeva. It contains much information about Baladitya who built an important vihara at Nalanda mentioned by Hiuen Tsang and marked by Alexander Cunningham. While discussing Baladitya’s Vihara Hiuen Tsang assigns it a height of 200 to 300 feet of which Cunningham thinks the lower one could be near the actual height. To the north of the mound which he marked G is located the vihara of Baladitya, in which there is a colossal statue of the Buddha. In magnificence the temple is comparable to the great vihara of Bodhgaya.[20]

The inscription speaks of Malada-a son of a minister of Yasovarmmadeva. Malada made huge gifts to the temple of Nalanda built by Baladitya to mark some important victory. Gifts of Malada consisted of ghee, curds, a brilliant lamp, pure water mixed with fragrant items and some permanent endowments. Sankalia added that these permanent endowments meant money equal to the price of the whole Nalanda institution. Malada also served delicious food and scented water to the monks. Tikina was the father of Malada and the guardian of the whole northern route. Their names appear to be un-Sanskritic and his association with northern routes has suggested that he was Tukharin. Probably all these gifts and endowments were done under the direction of Yasovarmmadeva, though it is a conjecture and nowhere mentioned in the inscription.[21] The last stanza of the inscription mentions that it must be honoured for the sake of not committing sins against the sangha or because of the fear of Baladitya’s sword. Naturally it poses questions about baladitya’s identity and the nature of his relations with Yasovarmmadeva.

Hirananda Sastri opines that there are two Baladityas-one who flourished in the early sixth century CE and crushed the Huna power around 529-30 CE. Another is Narasimhagupta alias Baladitya identified on the basis of Sarnath and Bhitari seal which mentioned Kumaragupta II as his successor who was ruling even before the sixth century CE. The inscription does not give any date but bears enough data to fix a date. Sastri categorically states that of the two the Baladityas the one mentioned in this inscription must be identified with the one described by Hiuen Tsang as the vanquisher of the Hunas and the builder of the magnificent temple at Nalanda. The inscription is silent about the exploit is either because it has no such relation with the inscription or all it happened much before the creation of the inscription as suggested by Vincent Smith. Therefore this Baladitya flourished in 530 and Yasovarmma was his overlord and the two were contemporaries.

There were more than one Yasovarmma in ancient India. Sastri thinks in this case he was not the ruler of Kanauj defeated by the ruler of Kashmir and the patron of the eminent poet Bhababhuti. Nor was he the Chandel king of the same name flourished in the 10th century. So by all probability he seems to be the Yasovarmma of the Mandasor stone inscription of 589 i.e. 533- 34 CE. The date closely matches with the Nalanda inscription. He was reported to have ruled over a vast area, almost the whole of northern India. Considering all these sastri believes Yasovarmma of the Nalanda and Mandasor inscriptions are the same. In this connection Dr. Fleet thinks that though names ending with dharma are not unknown but Yasodharma must be corrected to Yasovarmma. Sastri also held that Yasodharmma is mainly credited with the destruction of Huna power and Baladitya must have played an important role in that. In this way the inscription marks the name of the real subduer of the Huna power but nothing about his ancestry or successors and the real nature of the relation between Baladitya and Yasodharmma.[22] However Sankalia very clearly states that the evidences cited by Sastri does not point to the Yasovarmma of mandasor inscription, rather they indicate the Yasovarmma of kanauj reigning around 728- 45 CE.[23] In this connection Sastri cites the Ghosrawan inscription for the tone and content of two inscriptions are alike. The inscription mentions a Yasovarmmapura-vihara, most probably built by Yasovarmma himself. A number of Buddha images lying in the village Ghosrawan proved its Buddhist link and many monks visited the place. Sastri thinks that Ghosrawan is nothing but the Yasovarmmapura vihara though it is highly conjectural. The inscription also says that Baladitya built a huge and extraordinary temple to show his respect to the Buddha.[24] In any case Yasovarmma and his vassal Baladitya were the last important beneficiaries of Nalanda before the emergence of the Palas.

From the middle of the eighth century the Palas came to patronise the monastery. Gopala emerged as the elected ruler of Bengal after a long chaotic situation. Epigraphic evidences of the Palas from Nalanda are available in plenty. Starting from the The Kapatiya Vagisvari image inscription of Gopala, seals and inscriptions of other Pala kings amply reflected their friendly relations with Nalanda. Originally discovered by Alexander Cunningham in a collection lying in a temple at a hamlet near Nalanda named Kapatiya this inscription addressed Gopala as Paramabhattaraka Maharajadhiraja Paramesvara Sri Gopala. Some portions of the inscription are missing making it meaningless. That the inscription mentions the date is known from the word samvat found in the text but the year is lost. But it was issued in the month of Asvin is known from the text. In the second line the name of Sri Vagisvari Bhattarika is found but her relation to the place or the king is not known. Gopala of the inscription has been identified as Gopala I or the founder of the dynasty by Cunningham and Kielhorn but Hirananda Sastri thinks this Gopla is some other king belonging to the Pala lineage but not the founder.[25] The nature of the text is obscure owing to frequent dropping of words. Probably it had to do something with some grant or donation.

A number of epigraphic materials are found from the time of Dharmapaladeva the son of illustrious Dharmapala. The earliest of them is probably the Nalanda Inscription of Dharmapaladeva of the year 4. It was discovered much later during excavation in 1977. Engraved in a votive stupa this inscription is not free from Grammatical and orthographic errors. It bears the Sarnath emblem of Dharmachakra which was also the symbol of the symbol of the Palas of Bengal. Short though it contains useful information. It has only two lines and both start with the word Siddham. It was issued in the Vaishakhi Purnima of 4th regnal year of Dharmapala. It naturally implies that by this time Nalanda came under the hold of Dharmapala and he had to face formidable adversaries like Rashtrakuta king Dharavarsha and Pratihara king Vatsaraja. It also speaks of a goldsmith Vajjaka who in pursuit of gaining supreme knowledge erected a miniature votive stupa.[26] The second and the most important one was the Nalanda plate of Dharmapaladeva found buried in the burnt debris of the north verandah of the monastery no 1 in the course of excavation during 1927-28. The inscription bore the legend Sriman Dharmapaladeva and the emblem of Dharmachakra of Sarnath. Calligraphically it is similar to Khalimpur plate. Both sides of this inscription are inscribed with twenty four lines in the obverse and twelve lines in the reverse. But due to fire major part has been destroyed. Only a few letters existed here and there. Nevertheless it can be comprehended that it registers the gift of a village by the Pala king Dharmapaladeva. The name of the village or the grantee is not clear but it laid in the Gaya vishaya and Nagara bhukti. It mentions Dharmadatta as the donator. The purpose of this grant is not known because of the damaged condition of the plate.[27] P. N. Bhattacharya adds some more points.It was issued from the royal camp of Kapila. The purpose was to record the gift of the village Uttarama near the village of Niguha in the Gaya vishaya and Nagara bhukti. This Nagara bhukti has been identified as the modern Patna and gaya was still district of that division.

From the Nalanda inscription of Devapala we learn Nagara bhukti included the vishayas of Rajagriha and Gaya. Probably Nagara bhukti included the districts of Patna, Gaya and Shahbad. Rest of the places mentioned in the grant could not be identified.[28] In the legible portion of the plate a long list of officials were mentioned that included Rajaputra, Rajamatya, Mahakartakrittika, Mahadandanayaka, Mahapratihara, Mahasamanta, Maharaja, Dauhsadhanika, Pramatri, Sarabhanga, Kumaramatya, Dasaparadhika, Chauraddharanika, Dandika, Dandapasika, Tadayuktaka, Viniyuktaka etc. Their exact nature can’t be determined. Perhaps they were employed in the administrative functions. This list more or less matches with the Mungir plate of Devapala and Khalimpur plate of Dharmapaladeva. The last of his inscriptions was a fragmentary stone inscription. It is a verse in Sanskrit carved in on the rim of a sculptured stupa available only partially. The preserved portion starts with the praise of Dharmapaladeva described as a ruler of diffused fame. Purpose of this inscription is eulogy of the king and Magadha fell under his dominion. It speaks of construction of a stupa by the local masons under the order of Dharmapaladeva. Names of these masons are mentioned suggesting Nalanda had its own mentions the name of the benefactor Vairochana who was the right hand assistant of Sridharagupta. The inscription does not speak about his identity but speaks of his lavish charity. Hirananda Sastri thinks he might be a descent of the imperial Gupta family.[29] Dharmapaladeva’s inscriptions amply reflect his patronage of the Buddhist educational centres. He was also credited with the foundation of the university of Vikramshila and Somapuri at modern Bangladesh.

Nalanda found its most liberal patron in Devapala. In his 3rd regnal year a metal image inscription in Sanskrit was issued. But for its grammatical and orthographic errors it had four short lines. It was issued from Rajagriha vishaya by a lady named Vishakha. Her husband, though his name is missing, was called the vanquisher of the Kalachuris. After this victory Vishakha and the residents of the village Purika built something at Nalanda. What did they build is not known.[30] The other dated inscription of Devapala belongs to a quite later period. The Hilsa copper statue inscription belonged to the 35th regnal year of Devapala. This is a Sanskrit inscription having only three lines written in Nagari script. The inscription aimed to consecrate the image which was erected in the 35th regnal year of Devapala by one Gagadhara at the instance of a great monk of the Nalanda mahavihara named Sri Manjusrideva, for attainment of supreme knowledge by his teacher, parents and other beings.[31]

Two other votive inscriptions are available from Devapala’s reign but are undated. The first one is carved on the back of a female image. It is concerned with some kind of donation but the name of the donor or donors is not clear. It speaks of Nalanda Mahapatale which must be a great administrative division. It also mentions Rajagriha vishaya. Probably Rajagriha fell in the same division in which Nalanda was the head quarter.[32] Interestingly while Nalanda was an ordinary suburb of the Magadhan capital Rajagriha in the earliest period, later it stole all the limelight from Rajagriha and grew as a principal town with diverse functions. Rajagriha gradually took a backseat. The second one is the Sankarshana image inscription engraved on the pedestal of a bronze statue of standing Sankarshana. H. N. Sastri is of the opinion that it must have been an inscription Devapala and records some kind of donation. The next is Ghosrawan inscription that gives an account of one Viradeva who was born in a noble family of Nagarahara. Having studied at Kanishka vihara under Sarvajanasanti, he chose asceticism. He visited famous viharas like Mahabodhi and Yasovarmapura. Then he met Devapala. Eventually he became very close and dear to Devapala so much so that Devapala appointed him to govern Nalanda mahavihara by a decree of the assembly of monks.[33] That means Devapala exerted strong influence and he took active part in the management of the mahavihara. He could pass the resolution of electing his chosen candidate by a board of monks. Another inscription written on the back of a bronze image of Balarama found in the northern verandah of monastery site 1. It is undated and has the usual grammatical and orthographic errors. The characters of the inscription belongs to the eastern variety and similar to the copper plate inscription of Devapala. The date may be ascribed to the ninth century CE. The inscription registers the dedication of this image of Balarama at Devapaladeva hatta by Nisinghaka–wife of Soujjeka. Identity of this couple is not known. The hatta or mart mentioned in the document was either created by Devapala or at least named after him.[34] This proves Devapala’s close association with the place Nalanda. By that time Nalanda was not merely an educational spot but engaged in multiple other functions. Probably it grew as one of the principal towns in the reign of Devapala.

The most important and magnificent inscription was the Nalanda copper plate of Devapala. Unearthed in 1921, this was a pretty long document having 42 lines on the obverse and 24 lines in the reverse and found almost entirely. Composed in Sanskrit, this discusses a land grant of Devapala to the Nalanda mahavihara on the request of Balputradeva of Shailendra dynasty of Suvarnabhumi (Java, Sumatra). Fairly vivid in nature the inscription speaks very little about Balaputradeva probably because the author knew little about him. It only says that he was the ruler of Suvarnabhumi, a descent of lunar race. He was the son of the queen Tara, daughter of Dharmasetu. It does not name his father but simply calls him the son of the ruler of Yavabhumi. For his respect and admiration for the Buddha and being attracted to the fame of Nalanda he wished to donate something to Nalanda to accrue religious merit for his parents and himself. He sent a request to Devapala through his ambassador Balavarmana-the chief (Adhipati) of Vyagratati mandala of Pundravardhana bhukti. Therefore in the 39th regnal year of Devapala on the 21st day of Karttika, he being in a good health he made it known to all officials assembled there that five villages named Nandivanaka, Manivataka, natika and Hastigrama of the Rajagriha vishaya and Palmaka of Gaya vishaya and Sri nagara bhukti, for increase of merit or punya and comfort of bhikshus engaged in the Buddhist studies, for the upkeep of monastery which was built at Nalanda.[35]

The inscription gives a long list of officials and staffs who were called in this occasion to make them aware of the grant. It also discussed at length the benefits conferred to the institution. The resources of income transferred were undivided lands attached to the village, entire area up to the boundaries, grass and pasture lands, grounds, places, mango and Madhuka trees, water and dry lands, uparikaras, dasaparadhas, chauroddharanas (rural levies), freedom from molestation of Chatas and Bhatas, exemption from all taxes, otherwise due to the royal family or court. Nothing of these required to be paid under the ordinance of bhumichhidra.[36] Archana Sharma considers this an inscription a unique combination of land grant and Pratishtha Shashana. Balaputradeva, a monarch of Suvarnadvipa, wanted to establish a monastery at Nalanda. Naturally it was his responsibility to look after the necessities of the monastery. Instead he requested Devapala to bear the expenses through a land grant. The whole operation was done by Balavarman-the overlord of Vyagratati mandala and most likely the official of the king of Magadha in charge of all arrangements required for this grant. He acted as the ambassador of Balaputradeva. However it is not known that what Devapala received in exchange from the Shailendra king. Some trade interest might have been served, for it is well known that merchants of Bengal were engaged in a brisk overseas trade with Malaya archipelago. From the presence of a mahanavika from Rakta Mrittika (Murshidabad) proves that. Probably Devapala tried to strengthen the bond of friendship by this move. But the whole discussion is a conjecture. On the nature of this grant she opined that Devapala donated five villages on behalf of Balaputradeva. So Devapala is the donor in legal sense and Balaputradeva’s purpose was completely religious.

Sharma reminds that this type of religious activity was often a forerunner of some kind of diplomatic relation. So in her view it is a joint statement of land grant of Devapala and Pratishtha shashana by Balaputradeva which might have some long term implications.[37] On the other hand in sankalia’s view this grant placed Balaputradeva in the same class of rulers who offered their liberal charity to the institute. On Nalanda’s part this land grant amply reflected the reputation and prestige that it earned by 8th century CE. Rulers of far-off places wanted to contribute to Nalanda to enhance their own glory and merit. In this regard this grant of five villages was not a grant of any mean status.[38]

Another short, undated prasasti of only four lines has been discovered from Nalanda. It does not mention any king and praises a monk named Manjusrivarman of Sarvastivadin sect. Characters of the inscription Match with other inscriptions of Devapala. On that account it was believed to belong to the times of Devapala. From the inscription we only know that this Manjusrivarman was a great monk of Nalanda and it was a seat of sarvastivadin sect.[39]

After Devapala Nalanda found no such liberal patron, however the trend of patronising the institution was on. Some Pala rulers like Gopala II, Mahipala or Ramapala also stretched their hand of charity to the institution. The Kapatiya Vagisvari seal that has been ascribed to the founder of the Pala dynasty may be of Gopala II also.[40]

The next elaborate discussion of royal favour given to Nalanda comes from Mahendrapala the great Pratihara ruler. Hirananda Sastri discovered an inscription of Mahendrapala engraved on the pedestal of a Buddha image in a teaching pose. Rescued from the hands of ignorant villagers it was not in a very good state. Though the inscription does not explicitly mention Nalanda but was found at Nalanda with other inscriptions of the king. It is a dated document and therefore proves that Magadha was under the Pratihara rule during the early phase of Mahendrapala’s time. It signifies the establishment of the Buddha image by Kumarabhadra as a gift from the Saindhavason the 10th day of the bright half of Chaitra in the 4th regnal year of Mahendrapala. The inscription is silent about Kumarabhadra’s identity or his relation to Mahendarapala. In all probability he might be a vassal king or high official under Mahendrapala. In extreme case he may be an independent king set up this image due to his devotion and admiration for the Buddha and Nalanda. In the second place sastri says that in the stupa area of Nalanda three little stone stupas were built between 869- 908during the time of Mahendrapala-the son and successor of the famous Pratihara king of Kanauj-Bhoja. They bear Sanskrit inscriptions of early Nagari script. The portion reading the Buddhist formula remained undeciphered but the more useful part clearly records the construction of chaitya in the reign of Mahendrapaladeva, though did not specify any date. It reads that Panthaka’s son set up the chaitya, though his own name has blurred beyond reading. Panthaka was a Kayastha and that is all we can know from the document.[41]

From Nalanda a very rare type stone inscription of a monk named Vipulasrimitra has been found from the latest layer of monastery 7, during excavation in 1928-29 and 1929- 30, in two parts. It was composed by Kanaka and Vashishtha proficient in the art of Tarka and Shilpa, in Sanskrit verse of north eastern variety of Nagari script. According to its discoverer N.G. Majumdar it has the most striking similarity with the Govindapur inscription of the poet Gangadhara dated in the Saka year 1059 i.e. 1137 CE. On the basis of this similarity and other contemporary and resembling inscriptions Majumdar has placed this in the first half of the 12th century. The inscription is about the usual benefactions of the Buddhist sage Vipulasrimitra. It refers to his predecessors. It starts with one Karunasrimitra of Somapura, well known for his piety and compassion. He was killed by an army of Vangala when they set his house to fire but did not state the reason of this act. Hirananda Sastri suggests that some kind of religious animosity may be the reason. His disciple was Maitasrimitra, followed by Ashokasrimitra. Vipulasrimitra was the disciple of the last. He made a casket and set up an image of Tara in the great temple of Khasarpana. He carried on masonry work in the monastery of Pitamaha (the meaning of the word is not clear but might be the Buddha himself-Hirananda Sasrti) at Choyandaka and set up an image of Dipankara Buddha in the city of Harsha. He constructed a temple of Tarini, carried on a good deal of masonry work at Somapura, donated gold ornaments to the Buddha, built a splendid monastery and handed over to the Mitra monks and set up a Buddha image there.[42]

A large volume of seals has been discovered from Nalanda. Hirananda Sastri has divided them into two broad categories–monastic or ecclesiastical and secular or civil. A large number of religious seals were recovered from Nalanda, most of them had dharmachakra symbol on them. Majority of them are composed in Sanskrit of early medieval Nagari script, most calligraphically crafted. Maximum number of seals was found at monastery site 9, suggesting that it served as some kind of record room.[43] Generally they contain the name of the monastery and the assembly of monks who issued it. These seals are of various types and were evidently issued by the different viharas or sanghas at Nalanda. Perhaps there were many subordinate colleges under Nalanda mahavihara. At least the archaeological remains of the different monasteries suggest that Nalanda mahavihara actually was a conglomeration of different colleges. Probably the mahavihara had an apex body to manage the whole institute but each college had its own governing body to look after internal matters.[44] They were affiliated to the central authority of Nalanda mahavihara.

R.K. Mookerji explained the nature of these seals and found that the subordinate institution or colleges are called simply viharas with their governing bodies described as sangha. Each college had its own seal.[45] Some of the important college seals found at Nalanda were Sri Nalanda mulanava kummavarika-bhikshunam(S. I. 1005;S. 4,40). They were in charge of constructing and repairing of buildings of campus. Sri Nalanda cha or va krare varika bhikshunam (S.I. 1005).The word varika means the head. So the seal suggested that samavarika vikshus were working under his supervision. Sri Nalanda-mahavihara- (Gunakara) Bauddha Bhikshunam(S.I. 130)meaning the college belonging to the Buddhist Gunakara sect and affiliated to the central institution of Nalanda. Sri Nalanda Chatur Bhagavatam Sanavarika bhikshunam (S.I. 919) pointing to a college of some other sect with the special appellation of Chatur bhagavad asanavarika. Sri Nalanda Baladitya gandhakudya Varika-Bhikshunam(S. I. 675). The legend signifies that varika bhikshus residing at gandhakudya built by Baladitya was under the jurisdiction of the great universal vihara of the bhikshus of Nalanda. The seal bearing the legend Sri Nalanda Chaturdissika Samavarika Bhuikshu sanghasya was probably of the college of Samavarika bhikshus (S.I. 938). Sri Nalanda satraka samabharika bhikshunam probably means bhikshus placed in charge of the administraataion of satras or alms houses of the university. It was their seal (S.9,R.91). A seal reading Sri Devapala Gandhakutyam may be the seal of the famous vihara built by Devapala (S.I.A, 357). Sri Nalanda mahavihara ya chaturdissika vriddha bhikshunam probably refers to an abode of the aged and old monks (S.9, R.15). Sri Nalanda chivaraka jya pan a rya Bhikshusanghasya was undoubtedly the organisation in charge of supply of garments but was under the jurisdiction of the Nalanda mahavihara.It was probably the department dealing with the storehouse and distribution of robes among the monks (S.9,R.15). Another seal reads Sri Harivarman Mahavihariy aryabhikshu sanghasya (S.9, R.15). It was either a seal of Maukhari king Harivarman or of the house of Varmans of east Bengal. Srimad Uddandapura sri Bodhisatvayama Mahavihariy Arya Bhikshusanghasya (S.1, 1006). It was the seal of a bhikshu community of Bodhisatvagama located at Udantapuri or Bihar sharif.[46] These seals were issued by colleges as tokens of their authority to prove ingenuity of their certificates and diplomas (prasamsa or pramana patras) from those issued by other low grade colleges. It maintained the sanctity of the students of Nalanda. As a centre of Buddhism and academic excellence Nalanda earned a far reaching fame. So its certificates were always open to threat of being imitated. Therefore the symbol of dharmachakra was attached to them in most cases. Often Nalanda students travelled to far off places with their certificates. Symbols and seals of different colleges under the central authority of Nalanda evolved to validate their certificates.[47]

At Nalanda many village seals were found because the mahavihara owned a large number of donated villages. Once donated they directly go under the administrative and legal jurisdiction of the grantee. Nalanda was also responsible for the administration of these villages. But it was not the case always. As we have seen the villages donated by Devapala were still under his general administration but the revenue of these villages went to Nalanda mahavihara. There are other such examples. But there were many such villages which were completely under the monastery’s control. For example, a seal with the legend Sri Nalanda Mahavihare Chaturddisarya bhikshu sanghasya. On its right there is written Padapag gramasya. This village has been identified as Padpa, a village lying 6 miles to the south of Rajgir. Possibly this village had a separate establishment whose nature is not clear and bore a seal. Similarly villages like Udumbaraka (S.1. 789), Mallirasala (S.I. 645, 811), Amkothasatta (S.I. 836, 807), Sevathalika(S.I. 787), Nanadana(S.I. 831),Dvitra (S.I. 547), Tataka (S.I. 668), Kalapinaka (S.Ia.442). We have reference of monks of Nalanda residing at village of Vaitala (S.I.A. 401), at Gandhakuti of Dharmapaladeva (S.I. 730). One interesting seal says Sri Somapala Karita ka-mmeyika vihara (i) ya-bhikshu sanghasya (S.I.1006). Hirananda Sastri thinks that some letters are missing and suggested that it must be kammeyika vihara built by Somapala. Identity of Somapala is not known.[48] From the seals it appears that these villages were affiliated to Nalanda. Though it was a sangharama initially, Nalanda later had many other roles to play. It certainly grew as an important administrative seat. Villages as local and popular administrative units were subservient to Nalanda’s authority.

Large number of Janapada seals found at Nalanda further reinstates its administrative role. B. N. Misra has explained this term as municipal office.[49] This has been amplified by Janapada seals found at Nalanda. The names of villages found in the seals showed they were managed by these municipal offices, yet they were under Nalanda’s jurisdiction. This type of arrangement really proved to be ideal for a monastic establishment like Nalanda because the monks could enjoy the income of these villages while municipalities looked after administration of the villages. Sri Nalanda pratibaddha Angami grama–vihara stha Janapadasya (S.9,R.144). H. N. Sastri has translated it as municipal office of Angami village located at the Nalanda monastery. Dantha or Dangha gramiya janpadasya (S.9, R.56) refers to municipality of Dangha village. A seal (S.9,R.92) of the municipality of Panchamutika village has been found. Other villages with seals of their municipal boards under Nalanada were Dhanjana(S.9, R.IA), Chandekaya(S.9,R.IA), Alikaprishtha (S.9,R.1A), Jakkuraka sthana (S.I. 780). Probably the last one was a police station. The seals of these village municipalities had impressions of different Brahmanical deities like eight armed simhavahini, Mahakali, linga, bull and trident together etc. suggesting that though these village municipalities had some kind of allegiance to Nalanda, it was purely administrative and secular in nature. These villages retained their distinct religious faith. Some other village communities had their seals found at Nalanda. Such villages were Purika (S.I.374), Varakiya (S.9, R.92), Brahmani (S.9, R.92). Nalanda had police stations under it and the village community living in that police station issued that seal. One such seal was of Uradvara Sthane village (S.9, R.92). Likewise we have the seal of traders of the mart of Valladeha. Its seal reads Valladihiya hatta mahajanasya (S.I.159). Corporations under Nalanda also issued their seals like Sri Nalanda prativa (ba)ddha-Mammayika grama janapadasya (S.9,R16). H. N. Sastri interprets the name of the village Mamva or Mamlayika.[50]

Nalanda has also yielded a large number of office seals making it clear that other than its academic pursuits it had other important roles to play. From the reference of Rajagriha vishaye Sri Nalanda Mahapatale from a votive inscription of Devapaladeva B. N. Misra has concluded that Nalanda functioned as a great territorial subdivision in the district of Rajagriha which was subdivided into seven units-saptanaya (Saptanayapratishthita rajagriha Vishayasya).[51] Office seals of many administrative units were found at Nalanda. Maximum seals were issued by Rajagriha, followed by Gaya, Sona doab, Ninna and krimila vishaya, Sravasti bhukti etc. Two of the seals read Rajagriha vishaya adhikaranasya (S.I. 794, S.I.694) implying some important office located at Rajagriha. Another seal speaks Rajagriha Vishaye Pilipinka Nayasya. It means subdivision of Pilipinka and district of Rajagriha. These two seals imply some administrative functions performed by Rajagriha. Seals are not always governmental and administrative. We have specimens of seals of private organisations located at Rajagriha. For example a seal speaks Sanghasya apratishtitha Rajagriha vishayasya (S.I. 687). It belongs to 7th- 8th centuries and refers to some kind of sangha or church located at Rajagriha but affiliated to Nalanda. The last seal of Rajagriha vishaya says Rajagriha Chaturvaidya(S.I. 648, 806, P. 49). It is probably issued by the Chaturveda community of Rajagriha. At Gaya there were some important government offices which had their seals. One seal speaks Gaya vishaya adhikaranasya (S.I. 799, 829) meaning some office at Gaya or another seal saying Gaya vishayasya (S.I. 825) meaning of the district of Gaya. Another interesting seal of Gaya (S.I. 827) belonging to the 7th century has been found but some letters are missing. It reads Gaya adhishthanasya and two other letters are satya and sha. Sastri read it Satyendravesha. It was probably the seal of the chief officer of the court of justice at Gaya. Another seal of a completely different character reads Aghoriya dipa na mudr evam(S.9,R.15). It was issued by practitioners of Aghora cult-a degenerated form of Mahayanism staying at Aghoriya dipa. Seal of Sona doab and Magadha bhukti was also found at Nalanda. The first one says Sona antarale vishaye adhikaranasya (S. I. 790). It is a seal of the court of justice in the district of Sona doab.

It is well known that Sona is an important tributary of the Ganga in this region and a district in the 8th century came to be known after this. Seals with Gajalakshmi symbol issued by the Kumaramatya’s office of Magadha bhukti were found at Nalanda. One of them says Magadha Bhuktau Kumaramaty Adhikaranasya (S. I. 674). We have other interesting seals belonging to subdivision or other bigger division like naya. One such seal goes Sravasti bhuktau naya adhikaranasya (S. I. 821). With the Lakshmi symbol another seal is available concerning the Ninna district court with the saying Ninna vishayadhikaranasya (S.I. 812). With the gajalakshmi symbol more than one seal of the Kumaramatya’s office saying Nagara Bhukti Kumaramaty-adhikaranasya(S.797, S.I. 359, S.I. 803, S.I. 658, 836). We have two seals of the Dharma adhikarana or justice of law, one unnamed with only the writing dharma adhikaranasya (S.I. 669 and 785), another inscribed as Sri Siladitya Dharma Adhikarane (S.I.644). A seal of a treasurer named Bhadrabhanu has been found. The seal (S. I. 644) says Mahabhandarika Sri Bhadrabhanu. Another seal (S.I. 938) with somewhat obscure content probably belongs to the chief officer of the district with the saying Dakshina meroh paschima skandhe sapradhana vishayasya. The meanings of meru and skandha are not clear. Krimila was another district under Nalanda with its seals. One was of Narasvamin. It bears the writing Krimila vishaye kava or chala grame vishaya mahattama Narasvamin, meaning in the district of krimila, in the village of Kevala of the mahattama Narasvamin (S.I. 824). There are two other seals (S.I. 346, 802) from Krimila issued from the office of the chief officer of the district. They read Krimila vishaye Sapradhanasya, meaning in the district of Krimila with the pradhana. Seal of a police station has been found with the symbol of Mahishasura mardini. The name of the village is not clear. It goes dikari grame Vashishtha Sthanasya. The word sthana clearly points to a police station.[52] Seals of different institutions explicitly show how much administrative functions were undertaken by Nalanda. Interestingly they were all found in the monastic complex which was primarily had to do with academics. Perhaps, with consistent royal favour the monastery grew very large, both spatially and by importance. Diverse occupational groups and sects settled down at Nalanda and its surroundings. Significant administrative functions were allotted to Nalanda. The monastery had the set up necessary for these operations and hence many offices were set up there. At least if not anything else, the monastery functioned as a storehouse of the official documents.

Some agrahara seals were found at Nalanda. The agraharas are revenue free settlements created in favour of religious donees. Such sedentary settlements are generally made in hitherto uncultivated, uninhabited forest or marshy tracts. It served the purpose of bringing fresh lands under cultivation and to earn religious merit. But the regular creation of agraharas in favour of religious personages and establishments started roughly from 4th- 5th centuries. The donees, whether individual, collective or institutional grew as major landholders. I-Tsing–the famous Chinese traveller has found Nalanda as receiving as many as 209 villages for the maintenance of the establishment. To this were added five more villages during the time of the Pala ruler Devapala on the request of Balaputradeva of Yavadwipa. So the Buddhist vihara along with its educational and administrative duties emerged as a great landholder.[53] The Shahpur stone inscription of Adityasena calls Nalanda agreat mahagrahara. Other agrahara seals of Nalanda amply reflect this view. Seals of Traivaidya(chief officer) of Vantagravataka (S.I. 782), Bhallavataka (S.I. 330), Sri Purika (S.I. 791). Two other seals are available, though broken and therefore not fully legible. One of them only showed. grama Traividya (S.I. 832), the name of the agrahara is not visible. Another broken seal only showed the name of the agrahara as Meshaka (S.I. 917) and not the other details.[54]

Private individuals of Nalanda also had their seals. We have the seal of the poet-Udayendra kavih (S.I.367), of Jnanasrimitra (S.I. 296) pointing to his ownership of the seal. Other private seals belonged to individuals like Bana va(ba)la mitrah (S.I. 263), Sihasena (S.I. 301), Amarasena(S.I. 278), Sri Sakrayudhadeva (S.I. 687). Two seals showed Pala names. One reads Sri Yasahpaladevah (S.I. 687) though it is not certain if he was the Pala king of the same name. The other seal (S.9, R.15) reads Sri Narayanapala devasya, meaning of Narayanapala. Sastri is of the opinion that it was the seal of the Pala ruler Narayanapala. One peculiar seal (S.I. 786) speaks of a private agrahara, with the saying Tripabhasik agraharasya. Sastri interpreted this as an agrahara where three languages were taught. Other than these nearly a hundred more private seals were found at Nalanda monastery site 9, with two or three words.[55] All these suggest that a large number of private individuals were associated with Nalanda in some way or the other. Their seals were either businesslike or donative or express some kind of affiliation to the Nalanda mahavihara.

The case study of Nālandā, as a satellite settlement of Rājagṛha is an interesting one. In the broad sense,Rājagṛha-Nālandā typified centre and periphery of a settlement zone. Having a common geographical and cultural frame, Rājagṛha had a much earlier beginning as reflected by literary sources. While Rājagṛha found a definite role and identity under the tribal chieftainship we don’t hear of Nālandā at all. Nālandā’s reference can be found from the Jain, Buddhist texts of early period, where it was mentioned only as a bāhirikā of Rājagṛha. So it was favourite to these new sects for its closeness to Rājagṛha. In the early phase therefore Nālandā’s settlement logic was Rājagṛha-centric. From this humble position Nālandā took only an upward curve. While it was gradually rising higher as an academic seat, Rājagṛha was decayed as an administrative settlement, creating a political vacuum. This was fully exploited by Nālandā. Securing already a position of an academic seat, it had to perform much management duties. This was further enhanced by accumulation of miscellaneous functions attributed to the place. By the early medieval time it started playing an array of functions for a large area. Thus it acquired the role of a nodal point, but it never represented an urban model. Rājagṛha represents the urban cum nodal point model, but that was not the case with Nālandā. This shows that the growth of a nodal point is not a corollary to urbanism, nor dependent on that.

Footnotes and references:


H.D. Sankalia, The University of Nalanda, New Delhi, 1972, p.49




A. Ghosh, 1959, op.cit. p.21


Alexander Cunningham, Four reports made during the years 1862-63-64-65, vol. I, 1994, op.cit. p.30.


Sankalia, op.cit. pp. 56-57.


Hirananda sastri, 1942, op.cit. pp. 77-78.


A. Ghosh, The Nalanda Plate of Samudragupta, the year 5 in N. P. Chakravarti ed., Epigraphia Indica, vol-XXV, 1939-40, New Delhi, 1985,pp.50- 52


D.C. Sircar, Spuriousness of the Nalanda plate of Samudragupta in N. P. Chakravarti ed. Epigraphia Indica, vol. XXVI, 1941-42, New Delhi, 1985, pp.135-36.


Hirananda Sastri, op. cit. S.I. Reg no. 660, p.64.


H. D. Sankalia, op.cit. p. 55.


Hirananda Sastri, op. cit. S.I. 650, 687, p.65


Ibid, S.I. 849,843,pp.65-66


Ibid, S.I. 687,p.67


Hirananda Sastri, Clay seals of Nalanda in Hirananda Sastri, K.N. Dikshit and N. P. Chakravarti ed., Epigraphia Indica, vol-XXI, 1931- 32, New Delhi, pp.73-74


Ibid, pp. 74- 76, Hirananda Sastri, 1942,op. cit. pp.68- 69.


H.D. Sankalia, op.cit. p.6.1


Hirananda Sastri, op.cit. 1942, S.I. 362, p.69.


Ibid, pp.82-83.


H.D. Sankalia, op.cit. p.63.


Cunningham, op.cit. pp.30,32,34.


Sankalia, p.64


Hirananda Sastri, Nalanda stone inscription of the reign of Yasovarmmadeva in Hirananda sastri, K. N. Dikshit, N.P. Chakravarti ed., Epigraphia Indica, vol XXI, 1931-32, New Delhi, 1984, pp.40-41.


Sankalia op.cit. p. 64.


Hirananda Sastri, op.cit. 1942, pp. 78-9.


Ibid, pp.83- 84.


S. Subramonia Iyer in Dr. K. V. Ramesh ed., Epigraphia Indica, vol. XLII, 1977-78, New Delhi, 1992, pp.103-05.


Hirananda Sastri, op.cit. 1942, pp.84-85.


P.N. Bhattacharya, Nalanda plate of Dharmapaladeva in N.P. Chakravarti ed., Epigraphia Indica, vol. XXIII, 1935-36,, New Delhi, 1984, pp.290-91.


Hirananda Sastri, op.cit. 1942, pp.85- 86.


Ibid, p.87


Ibid, p.87-88


Ibid, p.88


Ibid, pp.89-91


A. Ghosh, A Bronze Image Inscription from Nalanda in N.P. Chakravarti ed., Epigraphia Indica, vol XXV,1939-40, New Delhi, 1985, pp.334-35.


Hirananda Sastri, op. cit. 1942, pp.92-103.


Radha kumud Mookerji, The University of Nalanda, from the Journal of Bihar Research Society, vol-XXX, part II, 1944,pp. 16-17.


Archana Sharma, The Nalanda Copper plate of Devapaladeva in C. Mani ed., The Heritage of Nalanda, New Delhi, 2008, pp.71- 72.


H.D. Sankalia, op.cit. p.67.


Hirananda Sastri, op.cit. 1942, p. 103.


H.D. Sankalia op.cit, pp.68-69.


Hirananda Sastri, op.cit. 1942, pp.105- 06.


N.G. Majumdar, Nalanda inscription of Vipulasrimitra in Hirananda Sasrti, K. N. Dikshit and N. P. Chakravarti ed., Epigraphia Indica, Vol-XXI, 1931-32, New Delhi, 1984, pp. 97- 101


Hirananda Sastri, op.cit. 1942, p.36.


Arpita Chaterjee, Management of Nalanda Mahavihara from epigraphic material, in C. Mani ed., The heritage of Nalanda, New delhi, 2008, p.75.


R.K. Mookerji, 1944, op.cit. p.19.


Hirananda Sastri, op.cit. 1942, pp.36-40.


R.K. Mookerji, 1944 op.cit. p. 21.


Hirananda Sastri, op.cit. 1942, pp.41-44.


B.N. Misra, Nalanda, New Delhi, 1998, p.238.


Hirananda Sastri, op.cit.1942, pp.45-48.


B. N. Misra, op.cit. p.240.


Hirananda Sastri, op.cit. 1942, pp.49-54.


Ranabir Chakravarti, Exploring early India up to C.A.D. 1300, New Delhi, 2010, pp.250, 316.


Hirananda Sastri, op.cit. 1942, pp.54-56.


Ibid, pp.57-63.

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