inscriptions was smaller in area than that of eastern India, and the next larger
unit after village.
In the inscriptions of Gujarat and northern Maharashtra pathaka and
bhaga seem to be next larger units after grama. They formed the next larger
units after village in the early Gmjara and Kalachuri kingdoms also.
In Saurashtra region, the Maitraka inscriptions indicate that petha was a
larger unit than a village. However, the omission of this territorial division
from the grants of Dharasena II indicates that it was not a common territorial
division in the Maitraka kingdom.
Sthali was the next larger division as it is evident from many Maitraka
records. However, it seems to have been an indigenous division developed by
the Maitrakas, as we do not get reference to it in the pre-Gupta, Gupta, and
the post-Gupta records in northern India.
Pathaka seems to have been the next larger unit after sthali. The next
larger division in the Maitraka plan of provincial territorial division seems to
have been an ahara. With the exception of sthali of the Maitraka grants, the
terms applied for various divisions were the same throughout northern India
though with slight variations.
From the pre-Gupta period, and especially from the Gupta and post-Gupta
periods, certain political and administrative developments tended to feudalise
the state apparatus. One of the most striking developments was the practice of
making land grants to Brahmins, a custom which was sanctified by the
injections laid down in the Dharmasastras, the Puranas and the
Mahabharata. Two significant features of such grants, which became more
frequent from the fifth century AD, were the transfer of all sources of revenue
and the surrender of administrative and police functions.
The transfer of all sources of revenue by the ruler to the Brahmins is
evident from the land grants made by the Vakataka rulers from the time of
Pravarasena II (5th century AD) onwards. In these the ruler gave up his control
over almost all sources of revenue, including pasturage, hides and charcoal,
mines for the production of salt, forced labour, and hidden treasures and