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South Indian Inscriptions


 

Pallva Inscriptions

Nos.1 to 25

No. 1.

(C. P. No. 3 of 1915 – 1916).

Omgodu grant of Vijaya-Skandavarman (II): 33rd year.

This Sanskrit charter issued by the king Maharaja Vijaya-Skandavarman, on the 13th day of the third fortnight of winter in the 33rd year, from the royal camp Tambrapa, registers the grant of the village Omgodu-grama in the Karmma-rashtra as sattvika-gift (i.e. without any motive) to Golasarman of the Kasyapa-gotra, a student of two Vedas and well versed in the six Angas.  The king’s genealogy is traced from his great-grandfather Kumaravishnu whose son and grandson were Skandavarman and Viravarman respectively.

Published in Epigraphia Indica, Vol. XV, pp. 251 ff.

No. 2.

(C. P. No. 1 of 1905 – 1906).

Chendalur grant of Kumaravishnu (III): 2nd year.

This is a Sanskrit copperplate record issued from Kanchipura in the 2nd year of the reign of the Pallava king, Maharaja Kumaravishnu (III) who was the son of Maharaja Buddhavarman, the grandson of Maharaja Kumaravishnu (II) and the great-grandson of Maharaja Skandavarman.  The genealogy[1] adopted by Rao Bahadur Krishnamacharlu is here followed.  The two previous kings of the name Kumaravishnu were the father and son of Skandavarman.  The object of the present grant is to record the royal gift of a field in the village Chendalura in Kavachakarabhoga, a subdivision of Kammanka-rashtra, to a  Brahmana named Bhavaskandatrata of the Kaundinya-gotra and the Chhandoga-sutra.

Published in Epigraphia Indica, Vol. VIII, pp. 234 ff.

No. 3.

(C. P. No. 4 of 1915 – 1916).

Omgodu grant of Simhavarman : 4th  year.

This is a Sanskrit charter issued by Dharmamaharaja Simhavarman[2] of the Bharadvaja-gotra, in his 4th year, in the month of Vaisakha, sukla-paksha, panchami, registering a gift of the village Omgodu in Karmma-rashtra to the scholar Devasarman, a resident of Kundur, who belonged to the Kasyapa-gotra and Chhandoga-sutra.  As the same village was the object of grant in the previous charter of Vijaya-Skandavarman[3], it is possible that that donee, Golasarman had probably died without issue and thus necessitated its its reconferment on Devasarman of the Kasyapa-gotra, who was probably a member of the collateral branch of the original donee’s family.

The king is stated to have been the son of Yuva-Maharaja Vishnugopa, grandson of Maharaja Skandavarman and great-grandson of Maharaja Viravarman.

As the characters in which the record is incised are latter, i.e., of about the 7th century A.D., it has been surmised that it is a later copy of an earlier document.

Published in Epigraphia Indica, Vol. XV, pp. 254 ff.

No. 4.

(C. P. No. 1 of 1905).

Pikira grant of Simhavarman: 5th year

This Sanskrit grant was issued from the royal camp at Menmatura, in the 5th year of the reign of the Pallava king Maharaja Simhavarman, son of Yuva-Maharaja Vishnugopa, grandson of Maharaja Skandavarman and great-grandson of Maharaja Viravarman.  It registers the grant of the village Pikira in Munda-rashtra, to Vilasasarman of the Kasyapa-(gotra) and of the Taittiriya-(sakha).

Published in Epigraphia Indica, Vol. VIII, pp. 161 ff.

No. 5.

(C. P. No. 1 of 1933 – 1934).

Vilavatti grant of Simhavarman: 10th year

This is a copper plate grant of the Pallava king Simhavarman, engraved in archaic characters on five plates strung together by a ring bearing a circular seal with the Pallava emblem of a couchant bull facing the proper left and another figure resembling an anchor above it.  The inscription opens with an invocation to Bhagavat (Vishnu), like the Mangalur and Pikira grants of the same king.  The genealogy of Simhavarman, son of Yuva-Maharaja Vishnugopa, is traced from Viravarman, the great-grandfahter.  The record is dated in the 10th year of the king in the month of Sravana, su., panchami and registers a royal grant of the village  Vilavatti in Munda-rashtra with all the taxes due on it, to Vishnusarman of the Gautama-gotra and the Chhandoga-(sutra), for securing long life, strength of arms and victory to the king.

From this record it is learnt that the king collected taxes from metal and leather workers, cloth-dealers, rope-jugglers or dancers, Ajivikas, water-diviners, weavers, gamblers, barbers, etc.,

The grant was issued from Paddukkara, which has been identified with Padugupadu in the Kovur taluk of the Nellore district.  The oral order of the king regarding this gift was committed to writing by Rahasyadhikrita   (Private Secretary) Achyuta.

The village Vilavatti in Munda-rashtra has been identified with either Vavveru where the plates were discovered, or with greater probability, with Vidavaluru, both situated in the Kovur taluk of the Nellore district.

Published[4] in Epigraphia Indica, Vol. XXIV, pp. 141 ff.

MAHENDRAVARMAN I

No. 7.

(A. R. No. 354 of 1904).

Kudimiyamalai, Pudukkottai State.

On a rock to the south of the Melakkoyil temple.

This Sanskrit, which is engraved in the Pallava-Grantha characters of the 7th century A.D., consists of a musical treatise composed by a royal disciple of Rudracharya.  Though the name of the king is not mentioned, the characters of the record as well as the title ‘Sankiranajati’ assumed by the Pallava king Mahendravarman whose inscriptions are also found in the region round Trichinopoly, have led to the attribution of this record to the same Pallava monarch, who, we knw, achieved distinction in the realm of architecture, literature and drama.  A little to the north of this inscription, over the Valampuri-Ganesa image is engraved the word ‘parivadini-e,’ meaning a lute with seven strings ‘only’, which indicates that the musical instrument intended for the notations used in this record was the Vina.

Published in Epigraphia Indica, Vol. XII, pp. 231 ff.

No. 7-A.

(A. R. No. 386 of 1906).

Tirumayyam, Padukkottai State.

On the north and south walls of the rock-cut Siva temple.

This is a fragmentary record engraved in Pallava-Grantha characters of the 7th century A.D. A major portion of the inscription is erased, but from the preserved portion, the names of musical notes such as gandharam, panchamam, dhaivatam, nishadam etc., can be read.  A certain order is noticeable in the arrangement of the notes in seven sections with subsections.  Unfortunately the subsections have been so erased as to make it impossible to follow the method adopted here.  As the palaeography of the inscription resembles that of the Kudimiyamalai epigraph, this record also may be attributed to the time of Mahendravarman 1.

No. 8.

(A. R. No. 411 of 1904).

Trichinopoly, Trichinopoly Taluk, Trichinopoly District.

On the beam and pillars in the upper cave on ‘the rock.’

Of the two monolithic  caves, one at the foot and the other half-way up, of ‘the rock’ t Trichinopoly, the latter alone contains inscriptions, two of which, published in South Indian Inscriptions, Vol. I, pages 29 and 30, state that the cave (upper) was constructed by Gunabhara (i.e.) Mahendravarman I.  A verse inscription (No. 9 below) engraved on the beam over the inner row of pillars here, calls the cave Lalitankura-Pallavesvara-griham’ after the title ‘Lalitankura’ of this king, which also occurs in his record at Pallavaram.  His birudas are engraved in bold Pallava-Grantha and Tamil characters on all the pillars in the upper cave at Trichnipoly.  The outer wall of the sanctuary in this cave seems to have contained an inscription, but only a few letters of its first line are now visible, the rest being completely damaged.  The name ‘Mahendravikrama’ is found mentioned in the inscription on the extreme left outer pillar and most of the birudas occurring here are also found in the records of this king at Pallavaram and other rock-cut excavations of his time.  Some of these titles are unintelligible and appear to be Telugu in origin.  The bottom of each of the four pillars contains a biruda in the Pallava-Tamil characters, of which only two are now clear, viz.  Pinapinakku and Chitti[rakara]ppuli.

It is of interest to note that the birudas are alphabetically arranged and so engraved on the front face of the pillars.  The same arrangement, though followed in the Pallavaram inscription, is not so conspicuous there as in the present record (plates I and II).

The characters employd in the present inscriptions are of an ornate nature and provide an interesting contrast with the simpler variety of letters found in the Pallavaram record of the same king, where almost all these birudas are repeated.

A description of the cave is found in the Memoir of the Archaeological Survey of India, No. 17, pages 13 – 15.

No. 9.

(A. R. No. 411-A of  1904).

On the beam above the inner row of pillars in the upper cave.

This is a Sanskrit verse engraved in Pallava-Grantha characters[5]  stating that the (upper) cave called ‘Lalitankura-Pallavesvaragriham’ was constructed by the Pallava king Lalitankura (i.e., Mahendravarman I).

No. 10.

(A. R. No. 51 of  1905).

Dalavanur, Gingee Tanluk, South Arcot District.

On a pillar in the rock-cut cave.

This epigraph consisting of a Sanskrit verse, states that the (cave) temple on the  hill was executed by the order of the king Narendra alias Satrumalla and named ‘Satrumallesvaralaya.’ Mahendravarman I had the title ‘Satrumall’ and according to the present inscription he had also the biruda ‘Narendra’.  It may be pointed out here that the Vayalur inscription gives the epithet ‘Narendrasimha’ to Rajasimha ; but the simpler and earlier style of the Dalavanur temple, however, precludes its assignment to the time of this king.

This cave temple is described in the Memoir of the Archaeological Survey of India, No. 17, pages 12 – 13.

Published in Epigraphia Indica, Vol. XII, page 225.

No. 11.

(A. R. No. 50 of  1905).

On the same pillar.

This inscription in Tamil verse states that Narendrapottaraiyan constructed, to the south of Venbedu, a Siva temple called Satrumallesvaralya[6].  The composer of the verse was Brammamangalavan Sellan Sivadasan, a native of the village.

It may be noted that the Tamil characters in which this inscription is engraved are not so archaic as to be attributed to the period of Mahendravarman I, but could be assigned to the 9th century A.D.  It is, therefore, probable that this Tamil translation in verse of the previous record was composed by a local poet of the 9th century and was not engraved on the same pillar of the cave.

Published in Epigraphia Indica, Vol. XII, pp. 225 ff.

No. 12.

(A. R. No. 56 of  1905).

Mandagappattu, Villupuram Taluk, South Arcot District.

On a pillar in the Mandapa of the rock-cut cave.

This is an important inscription in Sanskrit verse which states that the rock-cut shrine was caused to be made by king Vichitrachitta for the enshrinement of the three gods Brahma, Isvara and Vishnu, without the use of bricks, timber, metal and mortar.  Since from Pallava inscriptions we know that Mahendravarman I had the biruda ‘Vichitra-chitta’ (i.e.) curious or fancy-minded, this cave must have been excavated by him.

Published in Epigraphia Indica, Vol. XVII, page 17.

No. 13.

(A. R. No. 369 of 1908).

Pallavaram, Saidapet Taluk, Chingleput District.

On the beams in the rock-cut cave now used as a ‘Darga’.

This inscription is engraved in Pallava-Grantha characters in a single line on the beams of the upper and lower verandahs of the rock-cut cave (plates II and IV.) It gives a long list of birudas, some of them obscure in their import, of the Pallava king Mahendravikrama (I) with whose name the inscription commences.  These titles are in Sanskrit, Tamil and Telugu and indicate the character, erudition and personal tastes of the king.  Some of these birudas are also found in the upper cave at Trichinopoly (No. 8 above).

The rock-cut temple is described in the Memoir of the Archaeological Survey of India, No. 17, page 16.

No. 14.

(A. R. No. 82 of 1921).

Big Conjeeveram, Conjeeveram Taluk, Chingleput District.

On a pillar in a ruined mandapa near the 1000-pillared Mandapa

In the third prakara of the Ekamresvara temple.

Like the previous record this inscription also enumerates a few birudas  of Mahendravarman I  (plate IV.)  As this inscription is found on a detached pillar, it is evident that it must have formed part of a structural temple of the time of Mahendravarman I., which has now disappeared.

NARASIMHAVARMAN I

No. 15.

(A. R. No. 512-528 of 1907).

Mahabalipuram, Chingleput Taluk, Chingleput District.

In the Dharmaraja-ratha.

Like the Mahendravadi and Siyamangalam labels of the Pallava king Mahendravarman I, the birudas of Narasimhavarman I are engraved in Pallava-Grantha characters on the Dharmaraja-ratha.  As usual, the list of surnames commences with the actual name of the king Sri-Narasimha.  The birudas give an indication of the king’s power, wealth, valour, personal charm, ambition, liberality etc.  As the temple is called ‘Atyantakama-Pallavesvaragriham’ in a label engraved in florid characters resembling those found in the Ganesa rock-cut temple in the same village attributable to Paramesvaravarman I, it may be presumed that the work on this ‘ratha’ was continued in the reign of Paramesvaravarman and also in that of his son Rajasimha, considering the architectural evolution noticeable here from the simple rock-cut cave temple of Mahendravarman I’s time.  This ratha is described in the Memoir of the Archaeological Survey of India, No. 33, p. 25 ff.

Published in south Indian Inscriptions, Vol. Nos. 1-17 and Epigraphia Indica, Vol. X, pages 5-8.

No. 16.

(A. R. No. 65 of 1909).

Tirukkalukkunram, Chingleput Taluk, Chingleput District.

On the second pillar in the upper verandah of the Orukal-mandapa on the hil.

This is a damaged record engraved in Tamil characters, belonging to Narasingappottarasar ‘who took Vatapi (Badami)’ and it mentions the god of ‘Mulasthana on the hill.’  The Mulasthana temple, according to a record[7] of Rajakesarivarman Aditya I, existed from the time of Skandasishya whose endowment to it was confirmed by Vatapikonda Narasimhavarman.   Skandasishya may be identified with Skandasena the excavator of the cave at Vallam in the Chingleput district.  The rock-cut mandapa where the present inscription is found is described in detail in the Epigraphical Report for 1909, page 72 and in the Memoir of the Archaeological Survey of India, No. 17, pages 19-21.

It may be pointed out here that this is the third early Pallava inscription engraved in Tamil characters, so far known the other two being those found in the caves at Vallam in the Chingleput district,[8] and at Tirumayyam n the Pudukkottai State.[9]

Published in the Epigraphical Report for 1932-1933, page 55[10]

No. 17.

(A. R. No. 661 of 1922).

Mahabalipuram, Chingleput Taluk, Chingleput District.

On the top of a niche in the north wing of the verandah of the rock-cut temple of Adivaraha-perumal.

This label in Pallava-Grantha characters reads ‘Sri-Simhavinna-pottrathirajan’.   It is engraved above a group of sculptures representing a king seated on a cushioned stool and flanked by two standing images of his queens.  On a consideration of the palaeography of this label, the late Mr. Krishna Sastri concluded that the king represented here was Narasimhavishnu, ‘the conqueror of Vatapi’.  Subsequent writers have, however, identified him with Simhavishnu, the father of Mahendravarman 1.  But the name Paramesvra-Mahavaraha-Vishnugriha applied to this cave in a record of the Chola king Rajendradeva, proves clearly that it is connected with Paramesvaravarman I.  Since a statue of Mahendravarman in a standing posture pointing to his two queen the deity inside the newly excavated cave is also lfound here, it may be inferred that the work on this cave was started by him.  If so Paramesvaravarman after whom the cave was called, must have completed the work started by his predecessor.  The statues found in this cave may, therefore, be taken to represent Narasimha-vishnu, ‘the Conqueror of Vatapi’ and his son Mahendravarman II.

Published in the Memoir of the Archaeological Survey of India : No. 26.

MAHENDRAVARMAN II

No. 18.

(A. R. No. 662 of  1922).

On the top of a niche in the south wing of the same verandah.

This label, also in Pallava-Granta  characters, gives the name ‘Sri-Mahendra-Pottrathirajan’.  The niche contains the standing image of a king accompanied by his two queens.  It has been stated above that the king may be identified with Mahendravarman II.

Published Ibid.

PARAMESVARAVARMAN I

No. 19.

(A. R. No. 529 of  1907).

Mahabalipuram, Chingleput Taluk, Chingleput District.

In the third storey of  the Dharmaraja-ratha, west side.

This is a label inscription in Pallava-Grantha characters giving the name of the temple as Atyantakama-Pallavesvara-griham’.  Since the script of this label approximates closely to that of No. 20 below, but differs from that of the other labels in the same ‘ratha’, Atyatakama referred to here may be taken as a biruda of Paramesvaravarman I.    The Dharmaraja-ratha is described in the Memoir of the Archaeological Survey of India,  No. 33, pp. 25 ff.

Published in Epigraphia India, Vol. X, No. 18, page 8.

No. 20.

(A. R. No. 531 of  1907).

In the ‘Ganesa’ temple in the same village.

This inscription is also engraved in the same script as the above and consists of 11 verses in Sanskrit praising the king Atyantakama who built this temple for Siva and called it ‘Atyantakama-Pallavesvara-griham’, after his surname.  Atyantakama is here given the birudas, Srinidhi, Sribhara, Ranajaya, Tarunankura, Kamaraga, etc.,  From the slesha  used in the epithets Chitramaya, Gunabhajana, Svastha, Niruttara  and Paramesvara  which are applicable both to Siva and the king, the late Dr. Hultzsch concluded that the actual name of the king was Paramesvara and that he was identical with Paramesvaravarman I.

Published in South Indian Inscriptions, Vol. I, No. 18 and Epigraphia Indica Vol. X, No. 20, pp. 8-9.

No. 21.

(A. R. No. 532 of  1907).

In the ‘Dhamaraja-mandapa’ in the same village.

This inscription is identical in contents with the previous record and proves that the cave temple now called ‘Dharmaraja-mandapa’ was originally a shrine dedicated to Siva.  It was called ‘Atyantakama-Pallavesvara-griham’, after one of the surnames of Paramesvaravarman.  As from the style[11] of its architecture, this mandapa may be assigned to Mahendravarman I’s time; it is probable, as also suggested by Mr. A. H. Longhurst (Memoir of the Archl. Sur.  No. 33, page 10), that the present inscription was incised later by Paramesvaravarman I who probably completed it.

Published in South Indian Inscriptions, Vol. I, No. 19, p. 6 and Epigraphia Indica, Vol. X, No. 21, pages 10 and 11.

No. 22.

(A. R. No. 533 of  1907).

In the ‘Ramanuja-Mandapa’ in the same village.

This inscription consists of he imprecatory verse found at the end of the two previous inscriptions (Nos. 20 and 21 above) and engraved in florid characters, similar to those used in the ‘Ganesa’ temple.  It is, therefore, possible that the rock-cut cell, which may have been excavated during the time of the Pallava king Paramesvaravarman I or a little earlier, was originally intended to be a temple for Siva.

Published in South Indian Inscriptions, Vol. I, No. 20, page 6 and Epigraphia Indica, Vol. X, page 11.

No. 23.

(A. R. No. 530 of 1907).

On a pillar of the rock-cut mandapa south-west of the ‘Gopis Churn’ in the same village.

This inscription in Pallava-Grantha characters reads ‘Sri-Vamankusa’.  It is not known to whom this title is to be attributed.

Published in Epigraphia Indica, Vol. X, No. 19, p. 8.

No. 23-A.

(A. R. No. 105-107 of 1932-33).

Punjeri, Chingleput Taluk, Chingleput District.

The following seven labels are engraved in archaic Tamil and Grantha characters on a group of rocks, one of which, on account of a natural cavity in it, is locally known as ‘Nondi Virappan Kudiraitotti’.  The names Kevadaperundachchan and Kollan Semagan found in this place indicate that the persons bearing these names belonged to the artisan class.  One of the labels also gives the name Gunamallah.  On account of their paleographical interest, these labels, as also the one given in the previous inscription, are included here and some of them are reproduced on plate II.

NARASIMHAVARMAN II RAJASIMHA

No. 24.

(A. R. No. 534 of 1907).

Idaiyanpandal near saluvankuppam, Chingleput Taluk, Chingleput District,

On the left wall of the rock-cut mandapa.

This inscription which consists of seven Sanskrit verse engraved in pallava-Grantha characters, records that the cave temple was constructed by king Atiranachanda and that it was called ‘Atiranachandesvara’ after his surname.  Three of the verses in the present record are also found in Nos. 20 and 21 above and contain the birudas : Atyantakama, Srinidhi, Kamaraga and Sribhara.  Other surnames of the king were Ranajaya, Anugrasila, Kalakala, Samara-Dhanamjaya and Samgramadhira.  Since most of these epithets including Atiranachanda are also applied to rAjasimha in his inscription at Conjeeveram[12], the present record may be assigned to him.  Dr. Hultzsch took Atiranachanda as a title of Nandivarman Pallavamalla[13], but considering the palaeography and the architectural style of the mandapa, it seems better to take it as referring to Rajasimha.[14]

Published in South Indian Inscriptions, Vol. I, No. 21, and Epigraphia Indica, Vol. X, No. 23.

No. 25.

(A. R. No. 535 of  1907).

On the right wall of the same rock-cut mandapa.

This is a Nagari copy of the first six verses of the previous inscription.

Published in South Indian Inscriptions, Vol. I, NO. 22 and Epigraphia Indica, Vol X, No. 24.


[1]  Ep.  Ind.  Vol. XXIV p. 300.

[2]  [I think there was only one Simhavarman – Ed.]

[3]  No. 1 above.

[4]  See also Journal of the Madras University,  Vol. XII, No. 1.

[5]  See plate II.

[6]  South Indian Inscriptions , Vol. I, page 29.

[7]  Epigraphia Indica  Vol. III, pp. 277 ff.

[8]  This inscription is published with plates in South Indian Inscriptions, Vol. II, pp. 340 ff.

[9]  No. 7a above, fn. 1.

[10]  The blank in 1. 3 of this page may be filled with the letters tan-kurru.

[11]  Two other rock-cut temples at Mahabalipuram viz, Kotikal-mandapa and the five-celled Siva temple close to it, are also of the same style.

[12]  South Indian  Inscriptions  Vol. I, p. 15.

[13]  Epigraphia Indica,  Vol. X, p. 4.

[14]  See also Memoir of the Archaeological Survey, No. 33, pages 46 and 47.

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