(Last Updated on : 06/03/2014)
Dasarnas are mentioned in the epics and Puranas, and also in Kalidasa's Meghaduta
. They appear to have had more than one settlement during the Epic period. The Mahabharata seems to refer to two Dasarnas, one in the west, which was conquered by Nakula
, and another in the east, which was subjugated by Bhimasena
. The Ramayana
and the Puranas point to a Dasarna country grouped with those of the Malavas, Karusas, Utkalas and Mekalas, who are all said to have lived in the Vindhyan tract. This Dasarna was probably the same as the one conquered by Bhimasena.
The Dasarna country in the west- seems to have been more important than the other localities in the east or south-east. According to the Meghaduta, the capital of this Dasarna country was Vidisa on the Vetravati. The Dasarnas thus occupied a site on the Dasarna River. In the Puranas it has been said that the Dasarna river rose from a mountain called Chitrakuta. It is very evident from this reference that Dasarna River is identical with the modern Dashan River. The Meghaduta further mentions a hill called Nicah as situated in the Dasarna country.
The Puranas have associated the Dasarnas with the Vindhyan tribes that are the Malavas, Karusas, Mekalas, Utkalas, and Nisadhas. In the Ramayana, also their country is connected with those of the Mekalas and Utkalas, where Sugriva had sent his monkey army in quest of Sita. The Dasarna country of the Ramayana and the Puranas was thus different from the Dasarna of the Meghaduta. Historians have referred to the fact that eastern or south-eastern Dasarna formed a part of the Chattisgarh District in the Central Provinces, including Patna
. The territory was probably situated on the river Dosaron which has been identified with the river Brahman that flows through modern Cuttack
and empties itself into the Bay of Bengal
. It has been mentioned in a number of accounts that Dasarnas belonged to the Madhyadesa.
The Dasarnas figure in the Mahabharata as one of the tribes who fought for the Pandavas in the great Kurukshetra war. The Dasarna king at that time was Kshatradeva, a mighty hero, who fought valiantly on elephant-back. He attacked the enemy-generals, and the king of Pragjyotisa or Kamarapa. The warriors of the Dasarna king were all mighty heroes and could fight best on elephants. It has been mentioned in the Arthasastra of Kautilya's that the elephants of Anga and Kalinga belonged to the best of their species, while those of Karusa, Dasarna and Aparanta ranked second, those of the Saurastras and allied tribes being the worst.
there is mention of another Dasarna king, named Hiranyavarman who appears also as Hemavarman and Kancanavarman. In many of the historical records it has also been said that during the battle of Kurukshetra Dasarna was a Yadava kingdom.
Krakaccha, a town in the Dasarna country has been referred to in Pali literature.