immunities. The king could, according to his wish or as the time and
positions may permit, withhold or grant any tax to the donee.
In the Gangetic plains we do not find many inscriptions. It is mainly
because land or villages were not granted in the heart of the Gupta empire.
The two copper plates of Samudragupta refer to udranga, uparikara and
bhoga-bhaga. In the seventh century, only two inscriptions of Harsha, the
Madhuban and Banskheda copper plate inscriptions, have been found, though
Bana in Harshacharita refers to a number of land grants having been made
by Harsha. The Madhuban Inscription mentions udranga,
sarvarajakulabhavya pratyaya sameta, samucit tulya maya bhaga-bhoga
kara, hiranya adi pratyaya.
The most common revenue term in the inscriptions is bhaga-bhoga.
Sometimes this expression is recorded in a reverse order as bhoga-bhaga.
The bhaga may be taken to mean the customary share of the produce. The
bhoga of the inscriptions may be taken as the periodical supplies of fruits,
firewood, flowers and the like, which the villagers had to supply to the king,
as is specifically stated in the Vakataka grants. Besides, it is also supported
by Manu and his commentators Medhatithi and Kulluka.
Kara is another revenue term which we get in the inscriptions. It seem to
have been of the nature of a periodical tax levied more or less universally
from villagers, and it may have been realised over and above the king’s
normal grain share. The Junagarh inscription of Rudradaman indicates that
kara was an oppressive tax.
Another fiscal term which we come across in the inscriptions is hiranya.
This term is found in all the inscriptions of northern India except in those of
the Vakatakas. Hiranya literally means gold, but in its technical sense, it
means king’s share of certain crops paid in cash as distinguished from tax in
kind (bhoga) levied on ordinary crops. Here it may be inferred that most
probably along with sugar and ginger, cotton was another commercial crop
on which hiranya was levied.
Besides these fiscal terms, we also come across uparikara and udranga.
These two terms occur in the inscriptions belonging to AD 400–700, with the
exception of only a few. One view is that uparikara is something like the
Tamil melvaram, that is, crown’s share of the produce. However, this view is
not tenable as in the Karitalai plate (AD 493–94) and the Khoh plate (AD 512–