[The early Arab Geographers are unanimous in their spelling of the title “Balhará.” The merchant Sulaimán says it is a title similar to the Chosroes of the Persians, and not a proper name. Ibn Khurdádba says that it signifies “King of Kings.” According to Mas'údí it is a title borne by all the kings of the country, while Ibu Haukal states that it is a name derived from that of the country. Idrísí follows Ibn Khurdádba in giving to it the signification of “King of Kings,” but, he adds, that the title was hereditary. Thus it seems clear that it was the general title of a dynasty, and that it must have borne some such signification as that assigned to it by Ibn Khurdádba.]

[Taking the accounts of the Arab writers, and comparing them with the Indian annals, there can be no great hesitation in identify­ing the “Balhará” with the dynasty settled at Ballabhi-pura, the princes of which were the founders of the Ballabhi era, and were probably known as the Ballabhi or Ballabh Ráís. This identifica­tion, originally proposed by Colonel Tod, has met with tacit acqui­escence, except from M. Reinaud, who considered the term “Balhará” to represent Málwá Ráí or “King of Málwá.”]*

[Ballabhi-pura was, according to Tod, “destroyed in the fifth century, by an irruption of the Parthians, Getes, Huns or Catti, or a mixture of these tribes,”* In another place he gives the date of this event from Jain records as A.D. 524.* And in a further pas­sage he says, that after the destruction of Ballabhi-pura, its princes “fled eastward, eventually obtaining Chitor, when the Islands of Deo and Somnath-pattan, in the division termed Larika, became the seat of government. On its destruction, in the middle of the eighth century, Anhalwára became the metropolis, and this, as recorded, endured until the fourteenth century.”* Hwen Tsang visited Balabhi in the seventh century, and Thomas gives the date of its destruction as 802 Samvat (745 A.D.)* The ruins of the city are well known, being situate about twenty miles west of Bhownuggur, in Kattiwar; and the name survives in that of the modern town of Wallay, which stands near them.*]

[Hindu authorities thus record the removal of the seat of govern­ment to the country of Lárike or Láta, which country Mas'údí names as being subject to the Balhará, and which the other writers describe as forming part of his dominions.]

[The capital of the Balhará is stated by Mas'údí to be “Mánkír (or Manákír) the great centre of India,” and to be situated “eighty Sindí parasangs (640 miles) from the sea,” a palpable exaggeration. Istakhrí and Ibn Haukal say that “Mánkír is the city in which the Balhará dwells, but they do not name it in their lists of the cities of Hind. Bírúní and Idrísí make no mention of it. The unavoidable inference is that the place had fallen to decay, and was known only by tradition in the days of these Arab writers.]

[The name Mánkír or Manákír bears a suggestive resemblance to “Minagara,” a city which Ptolemy places on the Nerbadda, among the cities of Larike. Both are probably representatives of the Sanskrit mahá-nagara, “great city.” Mánkír is said to mean “great centre,” so that the word mahá (great) must be represented by the first syllable ; and the other syllables nakír or nákír are by no means a bad Arabic transcription of “Nagara,” for the alpha­bet would not allow of a closer version than nakar. In Minagara, the word nagara, “city” is unquestionable. Ptolemy mentions another Minagara on the East coast, somewhere near the Mahánadí river, and Arrian, in the Periplus, has another Minagara in the valley of the Indus. The syllable mi would therefore seem to be a common appellative, having no local or ethnological import, but correspond­ing with mahá or some similar word.]

[The bearings of Minagara and of some of the neighbouring places are thus stated by Ptolemy:—

Minagara 115° 15' × 19° 30'
Barygaza Emporium (Broach) 113 15 × 17 20
Siripalla 116 30 × 21 30
Xeragere 116 20 × 19 50
Ozene (Ujjain) 117 00 × 20 00
Tiatura 115 50 × 18 50
Nasica (Násik) 114 00 × 17 00
Namadi fluvii fontes à monte Vindio 127 00 × 26 30
Fluvii flexio juxta Siripalla 116 30 × 22 00

There is a palpable error in these statements of Ptolemy, for he places Ujjain to the south of Nerbadda, and two degrees south of the bend of the river near Siripalla. But Ujjain lies to the north of the Nerbadda, and the river has no noticeable bend in this quarter. The river Mahí, however, has a very great bend; Ujjain lies to the south of it, and the respective bearings are more in agreement, so that the two rivers would here seem to have been confounded.]

[Tiatura may be Talner, and Xeragere may be Dhar, as Lassen supposes, for these are situated on well-known roads, and as General Cunningham forcibly observes, Ptolemy's geography must have been compiled from routes of merchants. Comparing the bearings of the various places, Minagara would seem to have been situated some­where between Dhar and Broach. Lassens identifies Minagara with Balabhi-pura, but this city was situated too far west.]

[The neighbourhood of Dhar is exactly the locality in which Idrísí would at first sight seem to place Nahrwárá or Nahlwárá, which he leads us to infer was the capital of the Balhará in his time. This city, he tells us, was situated eight days' journey inland from Broach through a flat country. The towns of Hanáwal (or Janáwal) and Dulka lie between them, and Dulka is situated on the river (Nerbadda) which forms the estuary on which Broach stands, and at the foot of a chain of mountains called Undaran, lying to the north. Near Hanáwal there is another town called Asáwal. This description is inconsistent, for Asáwal is an old name of Ahmadábád, and that city lies to the north far away from the Nerbadda. Abú-l Fidá seems to rectify this, for he declares Cambay to be the port of Nahrwárá, which city he says is three days' journey from a port. He refers to Abú Ríhán as spelling the name Nahlwára, and on turning back to page 61, it will be seen that this is his orthography. The city described by Abú Ríhán and Abú-l Fidá is undoubtedly Anhalwára Pattan, and if Cambay be substituted for Broach in Idrísí's description, the account, so far as we understand it, will be consistent with itself and with the other writers. Cambay stands at the head of the bay which bears its name, between the mouths of the Sábarmatí on the west, and the Mahí on the east. Asáwal or Ahmadábád is on the left bank of the former, and the Arávallí chain of mountains lies to the north of Anhalwára. Idrísí specially mentions the bullock carriages of Nahrwára, and those of Guzerát are still famous. Lastly, no Nahrwára is known near the river Nerbadda. Thus Ptolemy and Idrísí would both seem to have con­founded the river of Broach (the Nerbadda) with those of Cambay (Sábarmatí and Mahí).]

[Hwen Tsang, who travelled in India between 629 and 645 A.D., visited the kingdom of “Fa-la-pi” (Vallabhi), but his account does not help to settle the locality of the capital, for he only says that it was a journey of 1000 li (166 1/2 miles) north from Málwá. The kings were of Kshatriya race, and were connected with the sovereigns of Kanya-kubja, the reigning monarch, Dhruva Bhatta, being son-in-law either of King Siláditya or of that king's son.]

[The “Balhará” would thus seem to represent, as Tod affirmed, the Ballabh Ráís of Ballabhi-pura who were succeeded by the Bala Ráís of Anhalwára Pattan. Their territories included the ports in the country of Láta (Lárike) on the gulf of Cambay. These ports were frequented by Arab trading vessels, and so the accounts given of the Balhará by their geographers, vague and meagre as they are, exceed all that is recorded by them of the other cotemporary king­doms. The extent of the Balhará's territory can only be surmised, and no doubt it underwent continual change. Mas'údí, by impli­cation, places Tanna within his dominions, but this is farther south than would seem to be warranted. The Táptí on the south, and the Arávallí mountains on the north may perhaps represent an approxi­mation to the real extent of the kingdom. This may appear a limited dominion for a monarch of such renown as the Arabs repre­sent the Balhará to have been; but it must be remembered that these writers were accustomed to a simple patriarchal form of government, free from the pomp and splendour of the further east.]

[There are copper records extant showing that in the first half of the fourth century grants of land in the neighbourhood of Jambúsír were made by the Gurjjara rájas and by the Chálukyas. The latter were of a Rajput tribe, and would then appear to have been making their way southwards to the scene of their subsequent power. In 812 A.D., just before the time of the merchant Sulaimán, a grant was made by the “Láteswara,” that is, “King of Láta,” but the names therein recorded have not been identified with those in any of the dynastic lists. Allowing for the omissions not unusual in such grants, there is a Dhruva who may correspond with the Dhruva Bhatta of Hwen Tsang.]