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Friday, 25 July 2014

rAjA bhoja and 'gangu-telI'

Author's note: There is a lATa (a pillar/tower) found near the lATa mosque in dhAra district of Madhya Pradesh. Based on historical records, primarily Epigraphica Indica, one can conclude that it was a maTha build by the order of rAjA bhoja. This lATa has an interesting story which throws some light on the origin of the hindi proverb - 'कहाँ राजा भोज, कहाँ गंगु तेली' |

Below quote makes for an interesting read.

"This lATa possibly was the vijayastambha of rAjA bhoja of dhAra and he must have erected it in the memory of his victory over the solanki-s of South (chalukya-s) and haihaya-s of tripurI-s (tenver). It is said about this lATa--

A telena (oilwoman) by the name gAnglI (or gAngI) use to live in the city of dhArA, once upon a time. Her physique was like that of a rAkshasI, and this lATa was the beam of her tulA (beam balance). The large stones found near this lATa were weighs. Her home was in nAlChA. The kimvadantI also says that the hill at nAlChA situated in between dhArA and manDu is formed by the sand deposit falling from her skirt (lehengA). Due to this reason, the hill is known as 'telana-TekrI' (oilwoman hill). Based on this dantakathA, people made the proverb 'कहाँ राजा भोज और कहाँ गांगली तेलन' (literally, 'whither rAjA bhoja and whither gAnglI telana'), involving the said oilwoman and rAjA bhoja. According to them, the meaning of this proverb was that despite the colossal physique of the oilwoman, she was no match for rAjA bhoja.

(...)

However, in reality it will not be a surprise if this lATa is actually related to the victory of rAjA bhoja over the gAngeyadeva of chedi and chalukya jaisimha II of tilangAna. If this inference is correct, then we have to accept that this lATa was previously known as the 'gAngeya-tilangAnA lATa'. Likewise, during the campaign of jaisimha II on dhArA, his encampments must have been near the hill in nAlChA. This might have led to naming of the said hill as 'tilangAnA-TekrI'. Later on, when the people forgot the relation between the lATa and TekrI, they seem to have added the name of gAngI telana instead of the kings gAngeya and telanga."

-translated from 'rAjA bhoja' (1932) written by sri vidhveshwarnAtha reu

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