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Art. XXI.—Tagara; Tēr.

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 March 2011


For more than a century, Indian archæologists have been greatly puzzled about the identity of an ancient city named Tagara. The city is referred to in some of the Indian epigraphic records. Thus, a record of a.d. 997 describes the Śilāhāra prince Aparājita, of the Northern Koṅkaṇ, as Tagara-pura-paramēśvara, or “ supreme lord of the town of Tagara,” giving to him a hereditary title commemorative of the place which his family claimed as its original home. Another Śilāhāra record, of a.d. 1058, similarly applies to Mārasiṁha, of the Karhāḍ branch of the family, the title of Tagara-puravar-ādhīśvara, or “ supreme lord Tagara, a best of towns, an excellent town, a chief town;” and it further describes his grandfather Jatiga II. more specifically, but less accurately, as Tagara-nagara-bhūpālaka, or “ king of the city of Tagara.” And a Western Chalukya record of a.d. 612 specifies Tagara as the residence of the person to whom the grant of a village, registered in that charter, was made. The city is further mentioned, as Tagara, by the Greek geographer Ptolemy, who, writing about the middle of the second century a.d., assigned to it a certain latitude and longitude which have the effect of placing it about eighty-seven miles towards the north-east from another place, mentioned by him as Baithana, which his details would locate about 270 miles on the east-north-east of Barygaza.

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Copyright © The Royal Asiatic Society 1901

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page 537 note 1 Ep. Ind., vol. iii, p. 269, and p. 273, text line 43–44.

page 537 note 2 Cave-Temple Inscriptions (No. 10 of the brochures of the Archæological Survey of Western India), p. 102, text line 5–6, and p. 103, line 26–27.

page 537 note 3 Ind. Ant., vol. vi, p. 73, text line 14.

page 537 note 4 See Ind. Ant., vol. xiii, p. 366.

page 538 note 1 The text of this passage is given in Archæol. Surv. West. Ind., vol. iii, p. 54, note. For translations, see ibid., and Ind. Ant., vol. viii, pp. 143 f., and vol. xiii, p. 366.

page 538 note 2 Ind. Ant., vol. xii, p. 185, pl. iib, text line 18.

page 538 note 3 Ind. Ant., vol. v, p. 114, text line 11.

page 539 note 1 I take the distances and bearings, here and throughout, as closely as I can take them, from Thacker's Reduced Survey Map of India by Bartholomew (1891).

page 539 note 2 See As. Res., vol. i (1788), pp. 368 ff.Google Scholar

page 539 note 3 It would appear, however, that this ‘ Dhārur’ is nothing but a railway station, and that the name of it is of quite recent invention. The station is about two miles south-west from a small town which is shewn in the Indian Atlas sheet No. 57 (1854) as ‘ Doraveed,’ and is mentioned as “ Doraveed, a town,” etc., in Thornton's Gazetteer of India, vol. ii (1854), and as “ Doravid, a town.” etc., in the abridgment of that work published in 1886. Neither does the Indian Atlas sheet, nor does the Hyderabad Survey sheet put together in 1886 from the older sheets Nos. 102, 103, 126, and 127, give any indication of the existence here of a village named ‘ Dhārur,’ or of any placename at all like ‘ Dhārur.’ This ‘ Dhārur’ is not mentioned in Thornton's Gazetteer, either in the original edition or in the abridgment. I trace the appearance of it first in the reissue of the Atlas sheet No. 57, “with additions to 1875,” which shews the railway, gives ‘ Doraveed’ as before, and presents the name of the station as ‘ Dharoor.’ From that time, ‘Dharur’ appears in nearly all the maps that I have looked at, and ‘ Doraveed’ is absent irom them. But it is first (as far as I can find) put forward as a town, as well as a railway station, in Philip's Gazetteer of India by Ravenstein (1900), which, also, omits ‘ Doraveed,’ but which does not assign any population to ‘ Dharur.’ I have not succeeded in obtaining any explanation of the matter, or any hint in the direction of ‘ Doraveed’ being a mistake for ‘ Dharur’ (which, in fact, does not seem to be the case), or of there being any change of name in recent times. And I can only conclude that the railway authorities, in making a station which was evidently intended to serve the town of ‘ Doraveed,’ for some reason or other invented a new name for it, which they perhaps evolved out of ‘ Doraveed,’ instead of styling it “ Doraveed Road,” in accordance with their practice in other parts of the country.

page 540 note 1 See the Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency, vol. xiii, Thana, part ii, p. 423, note 4.

page 540 note 2 See Ind. Ant., vol. xiii, p. 366.

page 540 note 3 From the Rev. F. Kittel's Kannaḍa-English Dictionary it appears that, in addition to the word tagar, tagaru, ṭagara, ṭagaru, ‘ a ram,’ we have, in Kanarese, tagara as a tadbhuva-corruption of the Sanskṛit tamara, trapu, ‘ tin.’

page 541 note 1 See my Dynasties of the Kanarese Districts (in the Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency, vol. i, part ii), p. 538, note 8.—It is only since beginning to put together this article that I have become aware that the identification of Tagara with Kōlhāpur was proposed long ago, in 1845, by Bal Gangadhar Shastree, who said:—“ Kolapur, called in Sanskrit Karavirapura, or Tagarapura, holds an exalted station among the holy places of the Hindus ” (Journ. Bombay Branch Roy. As. Soc., vol. ii, p. 268). To this he added the footnote:—“The word Kolapur itself probably meant the same thing as Tagarapura. It owes its origin either to the Sanskrit word Kulhar or to the Canarese word Kolihu, both of which signify a lotus.” I do not recognise either the Sanskṛit word, or the Kanarese word, which the Shastree had in view. Nor do I find any authority for the word tagara having the meaning of ‘ a lotus.’ And the Shastree seems to have been guided only by finding the hereditary title “ supreme lord of Tagara, the best of towns,” in two of the Śilāhāra inscriptions at Kōlhāpur (for one of them, of a.d. 1143, see Ep. Ind., vol. iii, p. 207).

page 542 note 1 The discovery might have been made long ago, if a hint given to Sir Walter Elliot, and published by him, had been followed up by a proper examination of maps. On the subject of Tagara, he wrote:—“A native trader once told me he had passed through a town of this name on his way from Dharwar to Nagpur, four kos beyond Kalburga. He described it as a good-sized town, with a bazaar, and a nala near it. But it was most probable he was mistaken, for had it been in that position it must have been observed by some European traveller who must have frequently passed that way ” (Journ. Roy. As. Soc., f.s., vol. iv, 1837, p. 35Google Scholar, note 1). The maps do not indicate any direct route from Kalbarga to Nāgpur; and evidently there has not been any such route, because too many rivers intervene. They show two routes northward from Kalbarga. The routes diverge at Aland or Alande, a famous place in the history of Śaivism (see Ep. Ind., vol. v, p. 243, and Ind. Ant., vol. xxx, p. 2), about twenty-three miles north-west from Kalbarga; and they meet again at the town ‘ Darur,’ ‘ Dārur,’ ‘ Dharur,’ or ‘ Dhārur,’ which has already been mentioned, about thirty-three miles on the north of ‘Thair.’ One of them goes through ‘ Ausa,’ about twenty-two miles east-by-south from ‘Thair.’ And the other goes viâ Tuljāpur, ‘ Dharaseo,’ and ‘ Kallam,’ passing about six miles on the west of ‘ Thair.’ It is evident, now, that Sir Walter Elliot's informant was referring to ‘ Thair.’ And it is equally plain that the “ four kōs,” which was the misleading factor in the matter, must be a mistake for “ forty kōs;” ‘Thair’ being about eighty miles towards the north-west-by-west from Kalbarga.

page 542 note 2 See Ind. Ant., vol. xvii, p. 118, and notes 4, 6. With this passing of g into y, compare the interchange of g and v, of which I have given instances in showing the identity of the names Sivuṇūr and Jigaḷūr or Jigalūr; see Ind. Ant., vol. xxx, p. 258.

page 544 note 1 The name stands, no doubt, for Tērkhēḍēṁ. And it probably means “the small village Tēr;” khēḍēṁ being a word which signifies, according to Molesworth and Candy's Marāṭhī Dictionary, ‘ a hamlet or small village (chiefly of husband-men).’ But the same sheet shews a village named ‘ Towrajkhaid,’ near the sources of the ‘ Towraj’ river, eight miles east-north-east from ‘ Thair.’ And it is thus possible that the ‘ kedda,’ ‘ khaid,’ may here stand for some local word having a meaning connected with the source of a river.

page 545 note 1 Archæol. Surv. West. Ind., vol. iii, p. 4.

page 545 note 2 See Ind. Ant., vol. viii, p. 238 f. It is in accordance with the general opinion about such matters, that I have said that the Mahākūṭamāhātmya localises the story at Mahākūṭa because the ancient name of Bādāmi was Vātāpi. But I am much inclined to believe that the name of Ilvala represents the town of Aihoḷe, in former times a famous place, close to Bādāmi and Mahākūṭa, and that the story was evolved out of some historical occurrence in which these two towns were concerned.—For the story, reference may be made to Muir's Sanskṛit Texts, vol. ii, p. 414 f. The currency of it is carried back to the period a.d. 655 to 680 by the Kūram copper-plate record; see South-Ind. Inscrs., vol. i, p. 152.

page 545 note 3 It may be noted that the Atlas sheets show a ‘ Theirgaon’ sixteen miles towards the north - by - west from Karjat in the Ahmadnagar district; a ‘ Thairgaon,’ thirteen miles towards the east-north-east from Paiṭhaṇ; a ‘ Tagurgaon,’ sixteen miles west-half-north from ‘ Bheer’; and a ‘ Tairgaon,’ forty-one miles east-a-quarter-north from ‘ Thair.’ These, however, are merely ordinary villages. And it would be only as a last resource that one would think of identifying an ancient city with a small village. But the finding of the first three of these places first indicated to me that I might, after all, possibly find Tagara itself under something like its own name. It is questionable whether ‘ Tagurgaon ’ may have any connection with Tagara. It is probable, however, that the three other places have some such connection, and were founded by emigrants from Tagara after the time when its name had passed into Tēr.

page 546 note 1 See note 1 on page 542 above.

page 546 note 2 These maps, however, do not aim at shewing any very full details, except in the vicinity of the actual routes of the various railways. And it was only by accident that I looked at them, in this matter, at all.

page 546 note 3 See Ind. Ant., vol. xxix, p. 4.

page 547 note 1 I should think that everyone will agree that the Periplus is very correct in indicating twelve miles as the average day's journey for laden carts. I have found that, along a good and well-kept high-road, the Indian bullock-carts, on two wheels and drawn by two oxen, can cover even as much as twenty miles during the night, in ample time to get the tents pitched and the other camping arrangements completed before about nine o'clock in the morning. But my experience has been that, along cross-country tracks and even second-class made-roads, twelve miles is quite as much as can be done comfortably. And the ancient roads, even the best of them, can hardly have been superior to the second-class made-roads of the present day. The drivers of carts travelling according to their own convenience would, of course, do the day's journey either all during the night, or part in the evening and part in the early morning, according to the season of the year.

page 548 note 1 Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency, vol. xvi, Nasik, p. 181, note 2; see also Ind. Ant., vol. xiii, p. 366.

page 549 note 1 See Ind. Ant., vol. xxix, p. 274, note 5, and Ep. Ind., vol. vi, p. 100, note 3, and p. 254, note 1.

page 551 note 1 Archæol. Surv. West. Ind., vol. iii (1878), pp. v, vii, 1, 4, 12.Google Scholar

page 551 note 2 Cave-Temples of India (1880), pp. 169, 417, and index.

page 552 note 1 Ind. Ant., vol. xxix (1900), p. 4.Google Scholar