NOTE ON PLACES AND AREAS IN ANCIENT INDIA
1. AIHOLE near Badami with rock cut and structural temples of Western Chalukya period, is favous for the temples of Vishnu, Ladkhan and Durga. It furnish examples of a well developed Deccan style of architecture. The other three styles of ancient India being Nagar Dravidian and Vesara. It is also famous for its inscription or Prasasti composed by Ravikirti, the court poet of Pulkesin II. This prasasti mentions the defeat of Harsha by the Chalukya king, Pulkesin II, a r rare event of a Northern emperor or ruler being defeated by a ruler south of Narmada.
2. ACHICHHATRA identified with modern Ramnagar in Bareily district of U.P. was the capital of North Panchala in the first half of first millennium B.C. Exacavation grove that it had moats and ramparts around it, it has revealed terracottas of the Kushan period, and also remarkable siries of coins of second century A.D. Its importance lies in the fact that it was on the important ancient Indian northern trade route linking Taxila and Inidraprastha with Kanyakubaj and Sravasti, Rajgriha and Pataliputra indicating that trae could be one of the reasons for its prominence.
3. AJANTA near Aurangabad (Maharashtra), is famous for wonderful Buddist caves, and also paintings probably executed only b the Buddhist monks. Paintings of exceptional skill belong to the period between 2nd century B.C. and 7th Century A.D. One of the cave well depicts the reception of a Persian mission in the Chalukya court of Pulkasin II indicating cultural and commercial contacts with the Persian empire.
4. ANUPA in Narmada valley mentioned in the Nasik inscription (dated 115 A.D.) of Gautami Balasri, mother of the Satvahana ruler Sri Satakarni (Circa 72-95 A.D.) was conqured bythe latter from the sakas, and was a bone of contention for long between the Sakas and the Satvahanas. The sakas were responsible for driving the Satavahanas. Into the south -eastern and western direction. In other words, Anupa signifies the earlier homeland of the Satvahanas.
5. APARNTAKA (Aparanta), identified withk Konkan, i.e. North western region of the Deccan, was a bone of contention between the sakas and the Satavahanas and is mentioned in Nasik Inscription (dated circle 155 A.D.) of Gautami Balasri. Gautamiputa stakarni conquered it from theSakas. According to the Mahavamsa, the third Buddhist council deputed Great elder Dharamarakshita to do missionary work in Aparantaka region. Literacy evience locates the Abhiras in this region, who probably were responsible for identifying Lord Krishna as the diety of cowherd and milk-maids.
In matters relating to trade and commerce it was famous for the production of cotton textiles in ancient times and ated, as the hinterland for the ancient ports of Bharukachechha and Sopara.
6. ARIKAMEDU near Pondicherry, known to the periplus as podoka, wa port of call in Sangam Times (200 B.C.) on the route of Malaya and china. Recent excavation during which a veryrich treasure of Roman beads, glass and coins, and of Roman and south Indian Pottery were found have proved that it was once a prosperous settlement of Western trading people, including the Romans.
The favourable balance of Payments position ejoyed by India in its trade with Rome is amply revealed by the rich haul of Roman gold coins.
7. AYODHYA also known as A-yu-te or Abhur of Saketa on the river Sarya (Modern Ghaghra) in Faizabad district of U.P. was the earliest capital of the Kosala Janapade and was the seat of the epic hero, Rama. It is also known for its short Sanskrit inscription of king Dhandeva of Kosal (belonging probably to the first century B.C.) which refers to the conducting of two Asvamedha sacrifices by king Pushyamitra. From the economic view-point it was located on the important trade of Tamralipti-Rajagriha-Sravasti which passed via Ayodhya.
8. AMRAVATI near modern Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh), is famous for its stupa and as an art center flourishing under the Satavahanas and the pallavas. Second century works of art khow mastery of stone sculpture. Amravati bas-reliefs have the representation of ancient Indian vehicles - the boat or the ship or the cart, and of a foreign mission (like the Ajanta cave paintings) of marchants being received by a king. In ancient times is was an important center of trade, and ships from here sailed to Burma and Indonesia.
It is maintained by some scholars that a human figure, for the first time, that a marble stone relief was executed.
9. ASIKA (Probably on the left bankof the river Krishna), is mentioned in the Nasik inscription (dated circe 115 A.D.) of Gautami Balasri, it was conquered by the Satavahana rular Gautamiputra Satakarini (………) The latter fact reveals that Gautamiputra Satakarni gained a stronger hold of southern India which proved beneficial because of the continuing Saka pressure even after his victory against the Sakas. King Kharavela of Kalinga also made a claim of its conquest.
10. AVANTI (western Malva) one of the 16 Janapadas of 6th century B.C. with its capital at Ujjain; struggle dhard against Magadhan imperialism but in vain. According to Buddhist traditions, Asoka, the Mauryan ruler, served as the Viceroy of Avanti, while he was a prince.
Since Malwa region is important politically, and economically it became a bone of contention between the Sakas. And the Satavahanas, Rashtrakutas and Pratiharas in ancient India. It is through this region that the importanttrade routes from eastern and western Indian passed Via Ujjain to the important Western ports Bharukachchha (Broach) and Soparaka (Sopara).
11. ANGA one of the 16th Janapadas of 16th century B.C. Lay to the east of Magadha with Champa, near Bhagalpur, as its capital. Some of the Anga monarchas, like Brahmadatta, appear to have defeated their Magadha contemporaries. Subsequently, however, Magadha emerged supreme leading to the establishment of the first empire of ancient India. In other words, the conquest of Anga by Magadha was one of the stepping stones for the Magadhan Empire.