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Kerala PSC Indian History Book Study Materials Page 791Book's First Page
India, along with mandala, vithi, petha, patta, sthali and bhoga which are found in the inscriptions of the specific regions. The lowest territorial unit, grama, is mentioned most probably in all the land charters known from all parts of northern India. Normally grama stood for village, which was evidently the smallest territorial unit for administrative purposes. In eastern India vithi seems to have been the next larger unit after the grama. The next larger territorial unit indicated by the inscriptions of eastern India is visaya. Bhukti is another term which is referred to in the eastern Indian epigraphs. Since we do not have reference to any bhukti lying within any other territorial unit as in the case of visayas. it may be assumed that probably the bhukti was the largest fiscal unit. The Pundravardhana bhukti, the Vardhamana bhukti, the Danda bhukti are some of the bhuktis recorded in the charters. The bhuktis seem to have been important territorial divisions as Danda bhukti is mentioned as having been governed by a feudatory, Maharaja Somadatta, and by Mahapratihara Subhakirti, in the two Midnapore copper plate inscriptions of the time of Sasanka. Bhukti continued to be the largest territorial and administrative unit during the Pala rule in Bengal. Mandala is another term, which occurs in the eastern Indian epigraphs. Some scholars hold the view that visaya and mandala have been used synonymously in the sense of a district. However, the Paharpur copper plate inscription and the Gunaighar grant of the Guptas imply that a mandala must have been a fairly larger territorial unit. It may be reasonably presumed that mandala was a larger territorial unit including visayas in it. In the Baghelkhand and Bundelkhand divisions of central India, the charters belonging to Uccakalpa and Parivarajaka rulers refer to patta or petha. It may be said that this was probably a subdivision of a visaya, which consisted of more than one village. Thus, in central India the next larger unit after village, was patta or petha. Ahara was another territorial unit, which was in vogue in the southern central India, in the Vakataka kingdom. But, it may be said that ahara does not seem to have been a very popular subdivision of a visaya, as out of twenty-seven charters belonging to AD 400–700 dated in the Kalachuri-Chedi era, only five refer to this subdivision.