The general consensus as to where the Hindu mathematician and astronomner
Bhaskara II lived is in favour of the town of Chalisgaon, a medium-sized
town on NH 211 in Dist. Jalgaon in Maharashtra. The district-town of Beed,
also in Maharashtra, or of Bijapur and Bidar in Karnataka are also named in
Bhaskara II said the following about himself in the गोलाध्याय of his famous
work, the सिद्धान्तशिरोमणि :
नानासज्जनधाम्नि विज्जडविडे शाण्डिल्यगोत्रो द्विज:।
र्मुग्धोद्बोधकरं विदग्धगणकप्रीतिप्रदं प्रस्फुटम्।
एतद्व्यक्तसदुक्तियुक्तिबहुलं हेलावगम्यं विदां
सिद्धान्तग्रथनं कुबुद्धिमथनं चक्रे कविर्भास्कर:॥
In brief, Bhaskara II says that his father, महेश्वर, was a Brahmin of the
शाण्डिल्यगोत्र and that he lived in the place called विज्जडविड that was
close to the Sahya Mountain (सह्यकुलाचलाश्रित.) Because of the closeness
of pronunciation this leads to the immediate surmise that the place of his
birth is बीड, बिदर, or विजापूर. The difficulty in accepting any of these
surmises is that none of them can really be said to be सह्यकुलाचलाश्रित.
The case in support of Chalisgaon is somewhat stronger. As one nears
Chaligaon from Aurangabad on NH 211, a small road branches towards the
left. It leads to the small village called Patan पाटण, at the foot of the
Satmala सातमाळा Range, a part of the Sahyadri chain. Patan has a
dilapilated temple of Bhavani, called Patandevi पाटणदेवी. A long
inscription in Sanskrit, found in the ruins of the temple, records the
facts that Changadeva, a grandson of Bhaskara, ran a Math in that place
where works of Bhaskara like सिद्धान्तशिरोमणि and other works of members of
the same family were taught. The inscription also records the lineage of
Bhaskara and Changadeva and the grant of charities given to the Math by
Soideva and Hemadri of the Nikumbha family, two feudatories of the Yadavas
who ruled in Deogiri. The inscription was first noticed by Dr Bhau Daji,
who wrote about it in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, New Series,
Vol. I. Dr. Keilhorn further edited it in Epigraphia Indica, Vol. I, p.
338. (This book is available in DLI.) A portion of the inscription is as
शाण्डिल्यवंशे कविचक्रवर्ती त्रिविक्रमोऽभूत्तनयोऽस्य जात:।
यो भोजराजेन कृताभिधानो विद्यापतिर्भास्करभट्टनामा॥ १७.
तस्माद्गोविन्दसर्वज्ञो जातो गोविन्दसन्निभः।
प्रभाकरः सुतस्तस्मात्प्रभाकर इवापरः॥ १८.
तस्मात्मनोरथो जातः सतां पूर्णमनोरथः।
श्रीमान्महेश्वराचार्यस्ततोऽजनि कवीश्वरः॥ १९.
तत्सूनुः कविवृन्दवन्दितपदः सद्वेदविद्यालता-
कन्दः कंसरिपुप्रसादितपदः सर्वज्ञविद्यासदः।
यच्छिष्यैः सह कोऽपि नो विवदितुं दक्षो विवादी क्वचि-
च्छ्रीमान् भास्करकोविदः समभवत्सत्कीर्तिपुण्यान्वितः॥ २०.
क्रतुक्रियाकाण्डविचारसारविशारदो भास्करनन्दनोऽभूत्॥ २१.
सर्वशास्त्रार्थदक्षोऽयमिति मत्वा पुरादतः।
जैत्रपालेन यो नीतः कृतश्च विबुधाग्रणीः॥ २२.
तस्मात्सुतः सिङ्घणचक्रवर्तिर्दैवज्ञवर्योऽजनि चङ्गदेव:।
श्रीभास्कराचार्यनिबद्धशास्त्रविस्तारहेतोः कुरुते मठं यः॥ २३.
तद्वंश्यकृताश्चान्ये व्याख्येया मन्मठे नियमात्॥ २४.
The genealogy is thus: कविचक्रवर्ती त्रिविक्रम - विद्यापति भास्करभट्ट -
गोविन्द - प्रभाकर - मनोरथ - महेश्वराचार्य कवीश्वर - भास्कर - लक्ष्मीधर -
चङ्गदेव. The last two flourished in the courts of the Yadava kings of
Deogiri, जैत्रपाल and सिंघण.
(Towards the end of the inscription is a narration in the old Marathi then
prevalent of the grants received by the Math for its upkeep.)
The fact that a grandson of Bhaskara II ran a Math or a Pathashalaa so
close to Chalisgaon to teach Bhaskara's works has led to the stong belief
that Bhaskara II lived in or close to Chalisgaon.
I believe it is possible to narrow this further and say that the village of
Patan itself must be the place where Bhaskara II flourished. Its original
name could have been विज्जडविड or विज्जडविडपत्तन. Eventually विज्जडविड got
dropped out of this long name and only पत्तन or पाटण survived. My evidence
for saying so is both literary and physical.
The literary evidence is as under:
a) The Changadeva inscription was discovered in a temple in that village.
The village of Patan today appears to be situated in a remote corner but
the numerous ruins in it tell us that the place that has seen much better
days. I have visited the place and seen several ruins of old temples and
other buildings and sevaral ruined मूर्तिs lying in the open. The temple
of Bhavani itself (see photo below), though in partial ruins, is quite
large. Apparently the inscription of Changadeva was still in the temple
when I visited it, though, according to the Pujari of the temple, it was
hidden inside a large collection of other stone fragments by the workers of
the ASI to protect it from vandalism and theft. I append below two photos
of the temple.
b) Patan पाटण is obviously a corruption of पत्तन, a large town. The very
name suggests that in the past it was much bigger than a mere village that
it looks now and merited the diecription of a पत्तन. It is obvious that
the description of सह्यकुलाचलाश्रित fits it very well, as the cliffs of the
Sahyadri-Satamala Range are seen just behind it.
c) The Changadeva inscription refers to it as a पुर, which would be much
bigger than a mere village. लक्ष्मीधर, a son of Bhaskara II, lived there
and was invited by the King जैत्रपाल यादव from that place.
(सर्वशास्त्रार्थदक्षोऽयमिति मत्वा पुरादतः। जैत्रपालेन यो नीतः कृतश्च
विबुधाग्रणीः॥ २२.) His son, चंगदेव, lived there as the head of the Math.
The whole family of Bhaskara II thus appears to have close ties to this
d) Another branch of the family lived not far from this place. About 10
miles north of Chalisgaon is a village called Bahal बहाळ. It has a temple
dedicated to Goddess Saraja सारजा. The temple contains an inscription that
says that it was built by one Anantadeva, the Chief Astrologer in the court
of SighaNa Yadava. The genealogy of Anatadeva is given therein as
शाण्डिल्यगोत्री मनोहर - महेश्वर - श्रीपति - गणपति - अनंतदेव. मनोहर and
महेश्वर and the gotra शाण्डिल्य being common, it is obvious that श्रीपति
here is a brother of Bhaskara II. This inscription, edited by Dr Keilhorn,
may be seen at Epigraphia Indica Vol. III p. 110.
There is good physical evidence too that suggests that पाटण at one time
must have been a flourishing major town.
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Patnadevi Temple skyview.JPG