William Wilson Hunter.

The imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 7) online

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India in ancient times. Its exact limits varied, but included the
Eastern Madras coast, from Pulicat to Chicacole, running inland from
the Bay of Bengal to the Eastern Ghats. The name at one time had
a wider and vaguer meaning, comprehending Orissa, and possibly
extending to the Ganges valley. A modern authority speaks more
narrowly of it as ' the country on the coast of the Bay of Bengal, south
of Orissa.' The Kalinga of Pliny certainly included Orissa, but latterly
it seems to have been confined to the Telugu-speaking country ; and
in the time of Hwen Tsiang (a.d. 630) it was distinguished on the
west from Andhra, and on the north from Odra or Orissa. The
language of the country is Telugu. Taranatha, the Tibetan historian,
speaks of Kalinga as one division of the country of Telinga. Hwen
Tsiang speaks of Kalinga (' Kie-ling-kia ') having its capital at what
may now be identified with the site either of Rajamahendri (Rajah-
mundry) or Coringa. Both these towns, as well as Singhapur, Kalinga-
patam, and Chicacole, divide the honour of having been the chief cities
of Kalinga at different periods. The modern Kalingia ghdt^ Kalinga-
patam, and Coringa may be taken as traces of the old name.

The following account of Kalinga, as described by Hwen Tsiang in
639-40 A.D., is condensed from General Cunningham's Ancient Geo-
graphy of India ^ vol. i. p. 515 : —

' In the 7th century, the capital of the kingdom of Kie-ling-kia, or
Kalinga, was situated at from 1400 to 1500 //, or from 233 to 250


miles, to the south-west of Ganjam. Both bearing and distance point
either to Rajamahendri on the Goddvari river, or to Coringa on the
sea-coast; the first being 251 miles to the south-west of Ganjam, and
the other 246 miles in the same direction. But as the former is known
to have been the capital of the country for a long period, it seems to
be the place that was visited by the Chinese pilgrim. The original
capital of Kalinga is said to have been Srikakulam, or Chicacole, 20
miles to the south-west of Kalingapatam. The kingdom was 5000 //,
or 833 miles, in circuit. Its boundaries are not stated ; but as it was
united to the west by Andhra, and to the south by Dhanakakata, its
frontier line cannot have extended beyond the Godavari river on the
south-west, and the Gaoliya branch of the Indravati river on the north-
west. Within these limits, the circuit of Kalinga would be about 800
miles. The principal feature in this large tract of country is the
Mahendra range of mountains, which has preserved its name unchanged
from the time of the composition of the Mahdbhdrata to the present
day. This range is mentioned also in the Vishnu Purdna as the source
of the Rishikuilya river ; and as this is the well-known name of the
river of Ganjam, the Mahendra Mountains can at once be identified
with the Mahendra Male range, which divides Ganjam from the valley
of the Mahanadi.

' Rajamahendri was the capital of the junior or eastern branch of
the Chalukya princes of Vengi, whose authority extended to the frontiers
of Orissa. The kingdom of Vengi was established about 540 a.d. by
the capture of the old capital of Vengipura, the remains of which still
exist at Vengi, 5 miles to the north of Ellore, and 50 miles west-south-
west of Rajamahendri. About 750 a.d., Kalinga was conquered by the
Raja of Vengi, who shortly afterwards moved the seat of Government
to Rajamahendri.

'The Calings are mentioned by Pliny as occupying the eastern
coast of India, below the Mandei and Malli, and the famous Mount
Maleus. This mountain may perhaps be identified with the high
range at the head of the Rishikuliya river in Ganjam, which is still
called Mahendra Male, or the Mahendra Mountain. To the south,
the territory of the Calingae extended as far as the promontory of
Calingon and the town of Dandaguda, or Dandagula, which is said
to be 625 Roman miles, or 574 British miles, from the mouth of the
Ganges. Both the distance and the name point to the great port-town
of Coringa as the promontory of Calingon, which is situated on a
projecting point of land at the mouth of the Godavari river. The
town of Dandaguda, or Dandagula, seems to be the Dantapura of the
Buddhist chronicles, which, as the capital of Kalinga, may with much
probability be identified with Rajamahendri, only 30 miles to the north-
east of Coringa.


' A still earlier name for the capital of Kalinga was Sinhapura, so
called after its founder, Sinhabahu, the father of Vijaya, the first re-
corded sovereign of Ceylon. Its position is not indicated, but there
still exists a large town of this name on the Lalgla river, 115 miles to
the west of Ganjam, which is very probably the same place.

' In the inscriptions of the Kalachuri or Haihaya dynasty of Chedi,
the Rajas assume the titles of Lords of Kalanjjwrapura and of Tri-
Kalinga. Kahnjar is the well-known hill fort in Bundelkhand ; and
Tri-Kalinga, or the " Three Kalingas," must be the three kingdoms of
Dhanaka or Amaravati (on the Kistna), Andhra or Warangal, and
Kalinga or Rajamahendri. The name of Tri-Kalinga is probably
old, as Pliny mentions the Macco-Calingae and the Gangarides-Calingse
as separate peoples from the Calingge, while the Mahdbhdrata names
the Kalingas three separate times, and each time in conjunction with
different peoples. As Tri-Kalinga thus corresponds with the great
Province of Tehngana, it seems probable that the name of Telingana
may be only a slightly contracted form of Tri-Kalingana, or the " Three
Kalingas." '

Kalingapatam {Calingapatam). — Town and port in Ganjam Dis-
trict, Madras Presidency; situated at the mouth of the Vamsadhara
river, 16 miles north of Chicacole, in lat. 18° 20' 20" n., and long.
84° 9' 50" E. Population (1881) 4465. Hindus numbered 4334;
Muhammadans, 95 ; Christians, 34 ; and ' others,' 2. Area of town
site, T246 acres. The capital of the ancient Kalinga, and one of
the early seats of Muhammadan Government in the Telugu country.
Signs of its ancient greatness are still visible in the ruins of many
mosques and other large buildings. After rain, a mound which
covers the site of the old city gives up small gold coins of great age.
Kalingapatam is again rising in importance as a harbour, being in the
south-west monsoon the only safe roadstead along a stretch of 400
miles of coast ; and it has become a regular port of call for steamers.
The vessels of the British India Steam Navigation Company put in
fortnightly. A lighthouse, 64 feet high, stands on a sandy point at the
mouth of the river. The town lies between this point and the south
bank of the stream. A reef of rocks extends from the shore half a mile
seawards. In passing, vessels ought not to approach nearer than 50 feet.
Greatest depth over the bar, 14 feet 6 inches. In 1880-81, imports
were valued at ;2^i 1,259, ^^^ exports of rice, seeds, and sugar at
^^131,916. Kalingapatam is one of the four salt factories of Ganjam
District. The manufacture of salt is by evaporation ; the pans cover
an area of 306 acres, and yield a revenue of from 4 to 5 lakhs of
rupees (^40,000 to ;i^'5 0,000). The country round the town is
desolate and barren.

Kalingia. — Ghdt or pass in Ganjam District, Madras Presidency;


over which runs the only good cart road from Giimsar (Goomsur) into
!the Maliyas. Lat. 20° 6' n., long. 84° 30' e. The length of the ascent
!to the crest of the ghat is 5 miles ; gradient severe for heavily loaded
icarts, but strong bullocks or buffaloes take up a cart loaded to the
extent of 600 lbs. easily; elevation, 2396 feet above sea-level

Kalinjar. — Town and celebrated hill fort in Badausa iahsil, Banda
District, Bundelkhand, North-Western Provinces. Lat. 25° i' n., long.
80° 31' 35" E. Situated on a rocky hill, in the extreme south of Banda
District, 33 miles south of Banda town. The fort occupies a site at
the extremity of a spur of the B'.ndachal range, the first and lowest
terrace of the Vindhyan system, commanding the Bundelkhand plain.
Jt rises abruptly, and is separated from the nearest eminence by a
valley about 1200 yards wide. Elevation, 1230 feet. The crown of
the hill is a plateau with an almost perpendicular scarp on all sides ;
at weak points the rock has been cut away and was formerly defended
I by artificial works. Vast polyhedral masses of syenite form the base of
the hill, and afford a comparatively accessible slope ; but the horizontal
strata of sandstone which cap the whole, present so bold an escarpment
as to be practically impossible of ascent.

I Kalinjar is one of the very ancient forts of Bundelkhand, and separate

I names for it are recorded in each of the three prehistoric periods of

I Hindu chronology. It is said to have been called Ratnakuta in the

\S>atya-yug, Mahagiri (' the great hill') in the Treta^ and Pingalu (the

' brown-yellow ' hill; in the Dwdpar-yug. Other accounts transpose or

vary these names. But its present appellation, Kalinjar, is itself of

great antiquity. It occurs, as will be mentioned hereafter, in \\it Malid-

\bharata ; it is conjectured to appear in Ptolemy under the Greek guise

of Kanagora ; and it is mentioned in the Sheo Purdna as one of the

nine iitkals, from which will burst forth the waters that are to finally

destroy the world. The modern name is sometimes rendered Kalan-

jar, from the local worship of Siva under his title of Kalanjar, or ' He

who causes time to grow old.' It was a very ancient seat of Sivaite

rites, and according to local tradition was strongly fortified, probably

not for the first time, by Chandra Brim or Varmma, the legendary

founder of the Chandel dynasty, who is variously assigned to the 4th

I and 7th centuries of the Samvat era, corresponding to the 3rd and 6th

i centuries a.d.

As in many other cases, Kalinjar was a high place sanctified by
i superstition, and fortified partly by nature and partly by art. The
\Mahdbhdrata mentions it as already a famous city, and states that
whoever bathes in the Lake of the Gods, the local place of pil-
grimage, is as merhorious as he who bestows in charity one thousand
cows. The hill nmst have been covered with Hindu temples before
the erection of the fort, for the dates of inscriptions on the sacred sites


are earlier than those on the gate of the fortress ; and the ramparts
consist largely of ornamental pillars, cornices, and other fragments of
carved work, which evidently belonged to earlier edifices. Ferishta speaks
of it as having been founded by Kedar Nath, a reputed contemporary
of the Prophet, in the 7th century a.d. The Musalman historians
make mention of the King of Kalinjar as an ally of Jaipdl, Raja of
Lahore, in his unsuccessful invasion of Ghazni, 978 a. d. A Raja of
Kalinjar was also present at the battle of Peshawar, fought by Anand
Pal in 1008, when endeavouring to check the victorious advance
of Mahmiid of Ghazni in his fourth expedition. In 102 1, Nanda,
then Raja of Kalinjar, defeated the King of Kanauj, and in the fol- !
lowing year, Mahmiid of Ghazni besieged the fort, but came to
terms with the Raja. The Chandel clan of Rajputs removed the seat
of their government to Kalinjar, after their defeat by Prithwi Raja, the
Chauhan ruler of Delhi, about 11 92. In 1202, Kutab-ud-din, the
viceroy of Muhammad Ghori, took Kalinjar, and ' converted the
temples into mosques and abodes of goodness,' while ' the very name
of idolatry was annihilated.' But the Musalmans do not seem long to
have retained possession of their new conquest, for in 1234, and again >
in 1 25 1, we hear of fresh Muhammadan attacks on Kalinjar, which fell j
into the hands of Malik Nasirat-ud-din Mahmiid with great booty.

In 1 247, Sultan Nasir-ud-din Mahmiid brought the surrounding country
under his sway ; but even after this date, Chandel inscriptions erected
in the fort show that it remained in the hands of its ancient masters
almost up to the close of the 13th century. Kalinjar next reappears in
history in 1530, when the Mughal Prince Humayiin laid siege to the'
fort, which he continued intermittently to attack during twelve years.
In 1554, the Afghan Sher Shah marched against the stronghold;
during the siege a live shell rebounded from the walls into the battery I
where the Sultan stood, and set fire to a quantity of gunpowder. Sher i
Shah was brought out horribly burnt, and died the following day.
Before his death, however, he ordered an assault, which took place
immediately, with success, and his son Jalal was crowned in the
captured citadel Copper coins of Sher Shah exist, which are inscribed
as having been struck at Kalinjar. In 1570, Majniin Khan attacked
the fort, which was finally surrendered to him for Akbar, who consti- 1
tuted it the head-quarters of a Sarkdr. Under Akbar, Kdlinjar formed ;
a jdgir of the imperial favourite, Raja Birbal. Later it fell into the
hands of the Bundelas (j-^^ Banda District); and on the death of
their national hero, Chhatar Sal, it passed into the possession of Hardeo ,
Sah of Panna. His descendants continued to hold it for four genera-
tions, when they gave way to the family of Kaim Ji, one of their own 1

During the period of Maratha supremacy, Ali Bahadur laid ;


siege to the fort for two years, but without success. After the
British occupation, Daryau Singh, the representative of Kaim Ji, was
confirmed in possession of the fort and territory ; but on his proving
contumacious in 1812, a force under Colonel Martindell attacked
Kalinjar, and although the assault met with little success, Daryau Singh
surrendered eight days later, receiving an equal portion of territory in
the plains. During the Mutiny, a small British garrison retained
possession of the fort throughout the whole rebellion, though isolated
from all assistance. In 1866 the fortifications were dismantled.

Kalinjar is still a place of much interest to the antiquar)'. Seven
gateways, leading one to the other, many of them bearing inscrip-
tions, in some cases undecipherable, afford access to the fort from
the north. Tanks, caves, temples, tombs, and statues cover the plat-
form on every side. They belong to very different dates, and will be
more fully referred to below.

The town or village of Kalinjar, locally called Tarahti, is situated at
the foot of the hill. The population appears to be gradually decreas-
ing, being returned at 4057 in 1865, 4019 in 1872, and 3706 in 1881.
The inhabitants are principally Brahmans and Kachhis ; but on occa-
sions of religious fairs and festivals, Baniyas and dealers of every
description resort here, as also pilgrims from distant parts of India.
There are a few wealthy mahdjans or merchants in the town, and the
inhabitants generally are in comfortable circumstances, but their houses
and surroundings are mean. For police and conservancy purposes,
a small house-tax is levied. A travellers' bungalow for the use of
European visitors is situated near the east entrance to the town, which
also contains two markets, an Anglo-vernacular school, and a branch

In the town of Kalinjar, and at the base of the hill, are many
Muhammadan tombs and mosques bearing inscriptions, but these are
of little interest compared with the Hindu remains. At the base of the
hill on the north-east is a tank named Sursari Ganga, hewn out of the
solid rock. It is surrounded by steps composed of stones taken at
random from ruins, and probably to a great extent from a temple which
may have been here. Among them are capitals of pillars composed
of figures of Chhatarbhuj Vishnu similar to those in the temple of Nil-
kantha, and there are two large recumbent figures of Vishnu Narayana
at corners of the tank. These seem to point to a temple having been
at this place at one time. To the north-east of this tank, and about
half-way up the hill, is a shrine of Balkhandeshwar Mahadeo, exca-
vated in one huge boulder, which stands out on the slope.

The ascent to the fort is made from the north, by a winding path cut
out in the hill, and leading through seven gateways. The first is known
as the Alam Darwaza, called after Alamgir or Aurangzeb. A Persian


inscription on it gives 1084 a.h. as the year in which Aurangzeb
repaired the fort. The path from this to the Ganesh (second) gate is
termed the Kafir ghat. It is steep and rough. The third gate, Chandi
Darwaza, holds a stone set into it on the right, on which is an
inscription in florid nail-headed Sanskrit characters not yet published.
It records that Ratan constructed the building of \vhich it originally
formed part. Hence probably the name Ratnakuta. The fourth gate
is called Balbhadra (also Budbhadr and Birbhadra), but it is in no way

A break in the wall beyond this admits of an ascent to the Kam-
bhaur or Bhairan kund, a large tank about 45 yards long by 10
broad, hewn out of the rock. About 30 feet above it, on a pro-
jecting rock, is carved a gigantic figure of Bhairan. Below this is
a cave cut in the rock at water-level, with square pillars for a support
in front. The water, except in the hottest weather, covers the floor
of the cave, which seems to have been intended as a cool retreat
in the hot weather. There are inscriptions inside the cave, in which '
occur the names of Bari Varmma Deva, of a Sri Ram Deo, son of
Surhar Deo, of Mahila and of Jasdhaul, brother of Jahul, son of'
Lakhan. The last is dated 1193 Sam vat, and the names of Lakhaii
and Mahila recall the wars of the Chauhans and Chandels. On a
ledge of rock above these caves to the left is a figure of a Sramana and
an inscription not yet fully deciphered.

Returning to the path, the Hanuman gate is next passed. Near this
is the Hanuman kund. There are many sculptures and inscriptions in 1
this part of the fort, but most of the latter are illegible. One of these f
inscriptions would be of great value if wholly legible, as it seems to ,
contain the names of several Chandel kings, but only those of Kirtti i
Varmma and Madana Varmma are distinct. The sixth gate is termed »
Lai Darwaza, and the seventh Sadr Darwaza. Beyond the main gate j
there is a dip in the rampart, leading to the Sita Sej, also called Ram- 1
sijja, a stone couch in a small chamber hewn out of the rock. Tradi- 1
tion assigns this as a resting-place to Sita on her return from Lanka ; |
but an inscription over the door, cut in characters usually assigned to t
the 4th century, records that this cave was constructed by Hara, \
the Lord of the Hill, to perpetuate his name. Beyond this is the i
passage to Patalganga, a cave receding about 40 feet into the |
mountain, and about half as wide. The descent is steep and I
difficult. There are many inscriptions, but none have yet been found
of historical importance. Beyond Pdtalganga is the Pandu kund^ to
the north-east of which is the breach made by Colonel Martindell.
A path along the ramparts beyond the breach leads to the Buddhi
Taldo, a tradition connected with which would ascribe the fort to Kirtti
Varmma ; but the tradition is faulty, for the fort would thus date only


from the eleventh century. Beyond this are the Bhagwan Sej and Pani-
ki-Aman which call for no notice.

The Mrigdhara is a celebrated place on account of the seven deer
cut in the rock which give it its name. There are also two rock
chambers and a basin of water here. Pilgrims come and make offerings
to the manes of the rishis whom these figures commemorate. The
lec^end states that these w^ere seven disciples who offended their
religious instructor, and that they were cursed by him and born in their
next life as Bahelias (hunters) in the Dasharan forest ; in their next stage
as deer at Kalinjar ; then as Brahmini ducks in Ceylon, subsequently as
geese at Manasarowar lake, and finally as Brahmans in Kurukshetra.
In this last life they attained deliverance from transmigration.

It is supposed that the water at Mrigdhara comes by percolation
from Kot Tirath, but this seems unlikely on considering their relative
positions. Kot Tirath (properly Kror Tirath, or ' ten million pilgrimages
in one ') is a large tank in the heart of the rock in the middle of the
fort. Narrow^ flights of steps lead to the water, which is scanty except
after heavy rain. Round this tank stones are found set into walls and
steps, utterly misplaced, which contain inscriptions, sometimes incom-
plete and often too worn to be legible. On the bank are the Pathar
Mahal and other buildings, undoubtedly in great part antique, but
partly restorations of older remains. There are many inscriptions
inside these buildings, and a few outside set into the walls, but most
have suffered by lime and whitewash. The oldest form of Sanskrit
characters in the fort is to be found in inscriptions on two stones in
the walls of the tank, but both are unfortunately incomplete.

Going on from the Kot Tirath past Parimal's baithak and Aman
Singh's mahdl, the gate on the south-west leading to Nil Kantha is
reached. The view which meets the eye on passing through this gate is
magnificent. At foot is the breast of the hill, steep and rugged, hurrying
as it were to the plain below. The Banda-Nowgong road seems like a
thread at its base ; and beyond it as far as the eye can reach is a rich
plain, cropped and green, dotted with hills here and there, broken
sometimes by dried-up watercourses, and traversed by winding rivers
which glisten like silver lines.

Descending, another gate is passed, near which are inserted in the
walls well-executed figures of Tulsi Das, and of the Jain Tirthdnkaras.
To the left of this is a small building, which seems to be a later
addition of stone and plaster, made by Muhammadan hands ; but the
rock against which it is set is cut with figures, and on removing the
whitew^ash and plaster it is seen to have been covered with inscriptions.
Further on, immediately before reaching Nil Kantha are the Jata
Shankar, the Shirsagar, the Tung Bhairan, and some caves. Inscrip-
tions are numerous here. In one of the caves is an inscription which


records that, on Chait Sudi 9, Somwar, of 1192 Samvat, Narsingh, son
of Ralhan, erected an image of Bamdeo. A second inscription of
his is dated Jeth Sudi 9, 1192 Samvat, and gives his grandfather's
name as Dikshit Prithwidhara. A third inscription records that Sri
Kirtti Varmma Deva and Someswar (the father of Prithwi Raja) joined
in salutation to the local deities. Another at Tung Bhairan records
that Bachraj, son of Mahasranik, son of Solhan, a servant of T^Iadana
Varmma, set up an image of Lakhshmi on Katik Sudi 6, Sainchar, in
1 188 Samvat.

There are many well-executed figures, both Vaishnav and Saivik, all
round this quarter, but they are little noticed in the presence of the
more striking remains of the once beautiful temple of Nil Kantha
Mahadeo. The pillars are well cut and surmounted by capitals com-
posed of figures of Chhatarbhiij Vishnu, but only one set of these pillars
is now standing. Tradition states that there were originally seven sets
of pillars, one above the other, forming seven storeys. This is not
improbable, for similar capitals abound in irregular places throughout
the fort, and these would no doubt suffice for the construction of such
a temple. The site was well chosen. The building rising against the
face of the hill must have looked superbly grand as viewed from the
plain below. The pillars now left standing form with their basements
an octagonal inclosure outside the door of a cave, in which is a massive
liiiga with large silver eyes, called Nil Kantha Mahadeo. On the left-
hand side of this cave is a very low narrow passage, filled with lingas,
which is said to extend round the large cave, and communicate with a
similar opening on the right. At the door of the temple are two large
stones covered with inscriptions. The one which is complete adds
nothing to our knowledge of the Chandels. The broken record on the
other has yet to be completed and read in its entirety. The floor of
the space between the pillars is covered with inscriptions, but they are
all historically unimportant ; chiefly names of pilgrims who recorded
their visits, and salutations. In front are many sculptures lying dis-
placed. The subjects are both Vaishnav {e.g. the Kurma avatar, the
ten avatars of Vishnu shown on one stone) and Saivik {e.g. Mahadeo
with Parvati), and there is also a figure of Brahma.

Above the temple is a tank cut out of the solid rock. Four pillars
are left as supports, and the openmg is a long low horizontal cut, with
a narrow terrace in front. Beyond this is a rock-cut figure of gigantic

Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 7) → online text (page 40 of 57)