The Bhadanakas (भादानक) or Bhadanaka-desa was a territory that comprised old Bharatpur State, Dholpur, Karauli, parts of Mathura and Alwar Districts. In c V. 1239 (1182 A.D.) Prthviraja III of Shakambhari attacked the Bhadanaka kingdom and subjugated it. It may also be called Bhayanayas (भयाणय) if we use the apabhransha equivalent of the term known to us from various sources.
Bhadanaka in literature
1. Sanchi has got a large number of Inscriptions. From West to North Gate.— (Inside.) we have following inscription about gift of a Bhadanaka.
- No. 27. — Yasojpālasa-da(nam) Bhadanaka. Meaning - " Gift of Yasopāla, the fortunate?" 
3. That their territory adjoined that of the Chahamanas of Sakambhari can be inferred from the Bijolia inscription of Someshvara's reign, V. 1226 (1169 AD), according to which the lord of the Bhadanaka land was deprived of his bhā (lustre) by the Chahamana ruler. Vigraharaja IV (verse 10).
4. The same inference can be drawn also from the kharataragachchhapattavali of Jinapala, which states that Prithviraja III, the ruler of Sapadalaksha, defeated the Bhādānakas somewhere between V. 1234 (1177 A.D.) and V. 1239 (1182 A.D.).
As regards the political importance of the Bhadanakas, it is indicated not only by these references, according to the last one of which they fought against Prthviraja III with a mighty elephant force but also by the Bhādāna-desha being described in the Skandapurana as a kingdom with 1,25,000 villages. (Kumarikakhanda, Ch. XXXIX) The Chahamanas of Sapadalaksha, the rulers of which aspired to the position of chakravartins and claimed having subjected the whole of Aryavrata to their power, had traditionally no greater number of villages in their kingdom.
The Sakalatirtha-stotra of Siddhasena Suri puts the Bhadanaka-desha between Kanauj and Harshapura (Harsha of Sikar Rajasthan) and mentions Kammaga and Siroha as two of its Jaina sacred sites. From the Vividhatirthakalpa of Jinaprabha Suri we find that Siroha was situated on the road connecting Daulatabad or Devagiri with Delhi and was somewhere north of Alapura, which according to the Ain-i-Akbari was a stronghold in the Sarkar of Gwalior. Kammaga, the Sanskrit equivalent of which is Kamyaka, must be Kaman which is about 40 miles west of Mathura in the old Bharatpur State. In the middle of the town there is an old fort with fragments of Hindu sculptures and a mosque called Chaurasi Khamba built out of the materials of Hindu temples wrecked most probably by Muslim iconoclastic fury. From here we have also two inscriptions of the Surasena family descended from a ruler named Phakka, one assigned to the middle of the eighth and the other to the middle of the tenth century. (Bhandarkar’s List of North India Inscriptions, No. 71, 1849)
If we put together all this evidence, we have good reason to conclude that Bhadanaka was a janapada which included Kaman, Bharatpur and some territory, south of these on the well-known and well-frequented Delhi-Daulatabad highway of that period; and we are now happy to have this information supplemented by the evidence of an old Apabhramsha manuscript, the Sambhavanathacharita by Tejapala, which, according to its prasasti, was written at Shiripaha (Shripatha or Bayana) of the Bhayanaya-desa when it was being ruled by Dāud Shah. As Tejapala's time can be easily ascertained with the help of his two other works, the Varangacharita and the Parsvanathacharita, written respectively in V. 1507 (1450 A.D.) and V. 1515 (1458 A.D.), there is no difficulty in identifying Dāud Shah of Shripatha or Bayana in the Bhadanaka-desa with Daud Shah Auhadi, who was confirmed in 1454 A.D. in the government of Bayana by Mahamud Shah Khalji of Malwa. His father, Muhammad Khan Auhadi had been forced by Sultan Mubarak Shah of Delhi to evacuate Bayana, though only temporarily, for in 1446 A.D.
We find him ruling there once again. Obviously then, not only Kammaga and Siroha but also Shripatha was an important town of the Bhadanaka-desa, perhaps even its capital from a very early period. Included within the Bhadanaka kingdom was the strong fort of Tahangarh which is barely 14 miles south of Bayana. Adding the testimony of the works of Tejapala, therefore, to the evidence already adduced in the preceding paragraphs, we might say that Bhadanaka-desa comprised not only the old Bharatpur State but also Dholpur, Karauli and parts of Mathura and Alwar Districts; and that in c. V. 1239 (1182 A.D.) when Prthviraja III of Shakambhari attacked the Bhadanaka kingdom, it was probably bounded in the south-east by the Chambal river and the Gwalior principality of the Kacchapaghatas. In the north-east lay the Yamuna and the kingdom of the Gahadvalas of Varanasi and Kannauj. On the remaining sides was the Chahamana Empire of Sapadalaksha.
Up to V. 1012 (955 A.D.) Shripatha or Bayana appears to have remained under the Surasenas (See Bayana Inscription of the year) and as tradition appears to state correctly that the Yadavas of Tribuvanagiri or Tahangarh (Tahangarh, fifteen miles south of the later city of Bayana) and Karauli originally ruled at Bayana, either this very Surasena dynasty or one of its offshoots came to be designated as Yadava. Surasena was a Yadava. He was Vasudeva’s father and Krishna’s grandfather. One of his descendants could, therefore, call himself either a Yadava or a Surasena as he liked; and a new branch of the family might have preferred to call itself Yadava, just to distinguish itself from the older branch which had perhaps become either extinct or dispossessed of the Bhadanaka throne for reasons of which we have no knowledge.
Ruler of Bhadanaka-desa
The ruler of Bhadanaka-desa against whom Vigraharaja IV of Sakambhari had to fight probably was either Kumarapala I who was instructed by the Kharatara Acharya Jinadatta Suri (1112-1154 AD) or Kumarapala’s successor Maharajadhiraja Ajayapala who was ruling near Mathura in V. 1207 (1150 A.D.) (See Mahaban prasasti of V.1207, EI,I,pp.289ff and II, 276ff) He was succeeded by Haripala whose rule is vouched for by tradition as well as an inscription of V. 1227 (1170 AD) (See EI, II, p. 275) As to Prithviraja III’s Bhadanaka rival, he should probably be Haripala's successor, Sahanapala, for whom we have an image inscription from Aghatapura in the old Bharatpur State. In 1196 A.D., when Tribhuvanagiri was captured by Muhammad Ghori, the ruler on the throne of Bayana was Kumarapala, and he has to be called Kumarapala II, as we know of another Kumarapala of this line as Jinadatta Suri's contemporary. Further history of this line can be had from the Vrittavilasa of the poet Jadunatha who was patronised by Gopal Singh of Karauli, a direct descendant of Kumarapala II.
Mystery of the name Bayana
Incidentally, the location of the Bhadanaka kingdom helps us in solving some other problems. It clears up the mystery of the name Bayana. No phonetic rule can change Shripatha into Bayana. Nor is the place mentioned as Bayana by any early non-Muslim writer. Obviously it is Bhadanaka then, the Apabhraransha form of which is Bhayanaya, that has turned into Bayana or Bayana of the Muslim writers. In a language and a script which makes no fine distinction between ba and bha such a change would be the easiest and the most natural thing to occur. The other point on which the location of Bhadanaka -desa throws light is the nature of the Apabhraransha from which Vraja-bhasha has originated. As Bhadanaka was almost conterminous with Surasena janapada , we may designate the Apabhraransha of the area as Shauraseni Apabhraransha and regard it as the parent of the modern Vraja-bhasha and seek for the evolutionary history of the latter in the Apabhraransha literature which this area continued producing almost up to the period when poets of Vraja-bhasha may be said to have assumed charge of the literary field. With the positive evidence on the subject placed before the readers of this paper, any elaborate discussion of these identifications becomes unnecessary. We modify also our view on the subject expressed earlier.
Other alternative theories
Before we leave the subject of the location of the Bhadanakas, it might not be out of place to refer to some of the earlier attempts at the identification of the Bhadanaka-desa. N .L. Dey identified the janapada with Bhadria, 8 miles south of Bhagalpur. Disagreeing with him, C.D. Dalal equated Bhadanaka with Batadhana (a country mentioned in the Mahabharata) which he located between the Satadru and Vinasana. Dr. B.N. Puri gives no reasons for disagreeing with Dalal but "propose (s) its identification with Bhadrauna in the Patiala State" as "this would meet the requirement of its contiguity with Takka and Maru countries as suggested by Rajaseekhara" (JIH, 1962, p. 424).
- The content is mainly from "Early Chauhan Dynasties" by Dasharatha Sharma, pp.101-105