From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Malavas/Malwas (in the north-west) and their contemporaries around 375 CE
Gangdhar inscription of Vishvavarman, king of the Malavas, a contemporary of Kumaragupta, 423 CE.[1]

The Malavas or Malwas were an ancient Indian tribe settled in the present-day North-western Madhya Pradesh state in India, which is known as Malwa after them.[2] They successfully maintained their tribal organisation till the time of Samudragupta.[3] The era, which later became known as the Vikrama Samvat is associated with the Malavas. Initially it was mentioned as the Krita era and then as the Malava era. Most probably this era was mentioned as the Vikrama era for the first time in the Dholpur stone inscription of Chahmana Chandamahasena in 898 CE.[2]


According to the Mahabharata, the hundred sons of the Madra king Ashvapati, the father of Savitri were known as the Malavas, after the name of their mother, Malavi.[2] Although Malavas are not actually mentioned by Panini, but his sutra V.3.117 mentions a number of tribes aa the ayudhajivi samghas (those who live by the profession of arms) and the Kashika includes the names of the Malavas and the Kshudrakas in this group of tribes. The Malavas are actually mentioned in the Mahabhashya (IV.1.68) of Patanjali.[4]

It appears that the Malavas were widely distributed in ancient India, and had separate settlements in present-day Punjab, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. According to D. R. Bhandarkar, they initially lived in the Punjab; later, they migrated to eastern Rajasthan, and finally to the Malwa region in Madhya Pradesh.[5]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum Vol 3 p.72
  2. ^ a b c Lahiri, Bela (1974). Indigenous States of Northern India (Circa 200 B.C. to 320 A.D.) , Calcutta: University of Calcutta, pp.262-78
  3. ^ Law, B.C. (1973), Tribes in Ancient India, Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, pp.60-65
  4. ^ Law, B.C. (1973), Tribes in Ancient India, Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, pp.60-65
  5. ^ Kailash Chand Jain (1972). Malwa Through the Ages, from the Earliest Times to 1305 A.D. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. pp. 3–4. ISBN 978-81-208-0824-9. 
  6. ^ a b Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum Vol 3 p.72