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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (Retd.)

Madavarajya (Madava) was an ancient Kingdom in Kashmir. It may be identified with Madwan, town in Sonawari tahsil of Bandipora district in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India.



Māḍava kingdom in Kashmir

Rajatarangini of Kalhana:Kings of Kashmira/Book VII (p.262,270) mentions a place called Madava inhabited by Damaras during reign of Harsha of Kashmir. (VII, p.262,270)

Rajatarangini[1] tells that in the reign of Harsha of Kashmir (b.1059, ruled. 1089-1101 AD), The Damaras became riotous, and he ordered the lord of Mandala to massacre them. The Damaras inhabiting Madava and Lohara were first attacked and murdered like birds in the nests. Even the Brahmanas who dwelt at Madava were not spared by the destroyer of the Lavanyas (Damaras). Poles were fixed on the place where the Damaras were executed. One wife of a Lavanya was impaled, the rest were terrified, and fled on all sides. Some fled to the country of the Mlechchhas and lived on beef, others took to working wheels at wells. The lord of Mandala sent to the fierce king many garlands made of the heads of the Lavanyas. The gates of the palace was seen filled with Damara heads. Gold, cloth, and other valuable things were kept at the palace-gate, and whoever brought a Damara head obtained one of them from the door as his reward. And the birds lingered at the king's gate to feed on human heads. Wherever the king stopped, the gates were adorned with garlands of Damara heads. The bad smell which arose, and the cry of jackals, made the place appear like the spot assigned for the burning of the dead.

From the tank at Valeraka to Lokapunya, the lord of Mandala erected a row of the impaled Damaras.

After having quite depopulated — Madava of the Damaras, the lord of Mandala intended to do the same with Kramarajya, and marched towards it. In despair the Damaras of this place collected an army at Loulaha. They fought a fierce battle, and the lord of Mandala was for a time baffled. But the king, like a Rakshasa, was bent on destroying this beautiful kingdom. [VII (i), p.262]

Rajatarangini[2] tells....Thus order was slowly restored in the country which Uchchala had got by artifice and had cleared of oppressors. The king who thus obtained peace, felt a desire for conquest, and within a few days drove out the Damaras and their cavalry from Kramarajya. The king then went to Madva and having captured Kaliya and other Damaras who were against him, impaled them. The king with a strong army attacked within the city, the powerful Ilaraja who had gradually possessed himself of a part of the kingdom, and destroyed him. (VIII,p.4)

Rajatarangini[3] tells ... Many fights were then fought, and there never was heroism and valor tested as on this day. The enemies thought that the army of Lohara had come, and therefore could fight no more. On that day of trouble, the king and Bhikshu felt each others strength.

Prithvihara ordered the Madava soldiers to keep on fighting there, while he himself marched along the banks of the Kshiptika and attacked Yashoraja who had come from a foreign country, and whom the king had made lord of Mandala that he might overcome the enemies. (VIII,p.95)

Rajatarangini[4] tells us ...The Damaras, in the splendour of theft wealth, entered the capital, like the procession of a bridegroom, in an auspicious moment. When the people saw that each of them had a horse and an umbrella and was more than a king, they regarded the forbearance of the son of Sussala as cruelty. Koshteshvara in whom centered greatness, form, youth, dress and beauty was the special object of sight of the women. The country in which the civil war ceased, became now the scene of festivity and rang with the sound of music of the many Lavanyas (Damaras) who came in there. Lakshmaka too brought to the king Kshira and others with a large army from Maḍavarajya. The king loved the Pratihara, and the king's parasites therefore thought it a great favor if they could gain entrance within the Pratihara's door. The Lavanyas plundered the villages and a great famine ensued in consequence and which caused a great expenditure to the king. [VIII(i), p.132]

Rajatarangini[5] tells ... Either on account of destiny or on account of his haughtiness, Sujji became ungovernable and committed many censurable acts according to his pleasure. While he was in the Māḍava kingdom, a Brahmana, who had been plundered by his followers, spoke harsh words in anger. Sujji killed him by a dart. (p.182)

Rajatarangini[6] tells ... The Brahmanas of Māḍava said that they did not wish that Sujji should obtain possession of the kingdom of Kampana ; and they remained without food. (p.184)

Rajatarangini[7] tells ....Among the trees, karavira alone, owing to the loveliness of its floors, has the dignity of beauty, and the flowers become useful in the worship of the Shivalinga. So among the several ministers of the king, one alone named Bhuṭṭa, younger brother of Jahlu (?), attained, dignified excellence. The offering which he made to Mahadeva the Jyeshtarudra, otherwise called the Bālakeshvara, and set up by Vashishta, was accepted by the god who appeared in person. There he built a town without a defect, named Bhuṭṭapura with maṭhas, religious schools and high buildings. In the capital also he set up a Hara, named Bhuṭṭeshvara, and in the village of Maḍava he excavated a tank named Dharmmavibhramadarpana. (p.217)

Rajatarangini[8] tells....When, in course of time, the ministers established peace, the people thought that the whole land of Madava was lost. Unable to find any remedy when the enemy gained strength, the king, as advised, sent Dhanya [to quell the commotion.] [VIII (ii),p.224]

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