There was a king Alokavigraha (?)

Yigal Bronner yigal at MD2.VSNL.NET.IN
Thu May 7 07:01:21 UTC 1998

In 1929, in his edition of Nitivarman's poem "Kicakavadha" (KV) S. K. De
suggested that Alokavigraha (KV 1.10) may be the name or epithet of the
poet's patron- king. This seems to be a very reasonable interpretation of
the verse, the first to describe the king, and it is in line with the view
of the two available commentators (the other takes it as an adjective to
the word 'king').

We know for sure that the poem was composed before the year 1050 (it is
mentioned by Bhoja), and that it comes from East India. Other than that
nothing seems to be known.

Another bit of information is that the patron-king's fame was said to be
spread from Kalinga (KV 1.21). Whether Kalinga was his seat or one of his
important conquests, the text does not tell us,

De writes (KV edition p. 64):
In the present state of our knowledge about the political history of
Kalinga anterior to the 11th century A.D. this name [Alokavigraha] appears
strange and untraceable. But if the king did not belong to Kalinga.. the
word vigraha naturally point to Vigraha-Pala of the Pala dynasty of
Bengal... [and perhaps] an allusion to Vigraha-Pala I, whose uncle Jayapala
is said to have made an expedition against Kalinga.

I am looking for recent studies of the history of the Palas, possible
candidates for Alokavigraha, and any new developments in "our present state
of knowledge about the political history of Kalinga anterior to the 11th
century" which might help to trace Nitivarmans patron.

Yigal Bronner.

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