inscriptions of the early Pandya kings mention the king’s name, along with the
cognomen Maranjadaiyan or Sadaiyamaran, as the case may be, the fewer still
give astronomical details that help us in fixing the exact reign periods of
these kings. The most important among
the records is the Anaimalai Sanskrit inscription
the Kali year 3871 (Karttika, Sunday)
equivalent to 770 A.D., and affording a date for Parantaka-Sadaiyan, in whose
reign the inscription is dated. The
Velvikkudi plates issued by the same king are dated in his 3rd
regnal year and the Madras Museum plates, also issued by him, bear a date in
the 17th year of his reign. There is, however, no means of fixing
the exact duration of the king’s reign.
important chronological landmark is the Saka year 792 coupled with the 8the
regnal year of Varaguna, provided by an inscription from Ayyampalaiyam (No.
22), thus yielding the initial year 862-63 A.D. for this king. This date can only be ascribed to Varaguna
inscription from Tiruvellarai (No. 12) dated in the 4th + 9th year of Maranjadaiyan gives
the following details. Vrischika,
Monday, Asvati, which have been calculated to yield the equivalent 824 A.D.,
November 7, and the king has been identified with Varaguna I. It has been pointed out that the details of
the date also afford another equivalent, viz., 874 A.D., November 22,
and therefore the king may as well be identified with Varaguna II who ascended
the throne in c. 862 A.D. An inscription from Lalgudi
(No. 12-B) and another from Javantinathapuram
also yield dates which can similarly be equated with dates falling in the reign
either of Varaguna I or of Varaguna II.
Another inscription (No. 12-A) from Lalgudi probably of Maranjadaiyan alias Varaguna-maharaja records the gift of money
made by the Pallava king Tellarrerindu venra Nandippottaraiyar to Mahadeva of Tiruttavatturai in Idaiyarru-nadu. This Pallava
king has been identified with Nandivarman III (c. 851-73 A.D.).
Considering the contemporaneity
of Maranjadaiyan alias Varaguna
II with Tellarrerinda Nandivarman III, all these records may be attributed
to Varaguna II.
the prominent generals and ministers of the early Pandyas hailed from the
Vaidya family of Karavandapuram.
Maran-Kari alias Muvendamangalapperaraiyan was the uttaramantrin
(minister) of the Pandya king Maranjadaiyan Parantaka. There is no doubt that this Maran-Kari was
the same as the vaidya-sikhamani Maran-kari, mentioned as the anatti
(ajnapti) of the Velvikkudi plates.
The Anaimalai Tamil inscription (No. 2) refers to the death of this Maran-Kari and to his younger brother Maran Eyinan
alias Pandimangalavisaiyaraiyan succeeding him as a minister.
stated in the Velvikkudi plates that Marangari participated in the battle at
Venbai with an army under his leadership when the Purvarajar attacked the
Vallabha after the marriage of the Ganga princess with the Kongar-kon. Vallabha has been identified with the
Chalukya king Kirtivarman II and the Kongar-kon with the Pandya king. Marangari is further described both in the
Anaimalai record (No. 1) and in the same copper-plate charter as a sweet (madhuratara)
orator and a poet and also as well-versed in the sciences.
Murti-Eyinan, another important member of the Vaidya family and a junior
contemporary of Maran-Kari, is mentioned as the anatti (ajnapti) in the
Madras Museum plates dated in the 17th year of Jatilavarman
Parantaka Nedunjadaiyan. He was also
known as Viramangalapperaraiyan and enjoyed the epithet Dhiratara.
Ganapati another Mahasamanta probably of the same king, was also a
member of the Vaidya family Karavandapuram.
This general, who was also known as Pandi Amritamangalavaraiyan,
excavated the temple (tirukkoyil) and the tank at Tirupparankunram and
his wife Nakkan Korri built two shrines for Durgadevi and Jyeshtha at the same
place (No. 3).
inscription from Tirupparankunram,
engraved on the lintel of the doorway of the Durga shrine, refers to the
excavation of a temple from the rock for Sambhu and to the consecration of an
image of ghe god by Ganapati alias Samanta Bhima who is stated to be a prominent member of the Vaidya family
(vai[j]ya-mukhya), in the Kali year 3874 (773 A.D.). If the Siva temple under reference and the irukkoyi
stated to have been excavated by Sattan Ganapati are identical as they appear
to be, the date of the latter event, viz., the 6th year of
Maranjadaiyan, must be equated with 773 A.D., the date of the former
event. Thus we get c. 768 A.D.
as the date of accession for the Maranjadaiyan of this record (No. 3)
who is no doubt identical with Parantaka Nedunjadaiyan.
the native place of the members of the Vaidya family, was also known as
Kalandai and Kalakkudi and was included in the division called Kalakkudi-nadu. This place has been identified with
Ukkirankottai in the Tirunelveli Taluk, Tirunelveli District.
Nedunjadaiyan, who issued the Madras Museum plates, was the founder of this kottai
or fort. The name Ukkirankottai is
nowhere mentioned in inscriptions so far copied in the region. But it is well known that Parantakan
Viranaraya-sadaiyan (c. 900 A.D.) fought a battle at Kharangiri and captured a
certain Ugra. Kharagiri and Ugra may perhaps be connected
with Karavandapuram and Ukkirankottai respectively, as suggested by the late
Mr. A.S. Ramanatha Iyer.
of a servant of Virapandya in an inscription dated in the 2nd + 18th
year of Sadaiya-maran (No. 68) who has been identified with Rajasimha enables
us to regard Virapandya, identified with Solan-ralaikonda Virapandya, as the
immediate successor of Rajasimha though
the exact relationship between the two is not clear. The suggestion is strengthened by two Vatteluttu inscriptions
which belong to the 2nd + 1st year of Sadaiya-maran of the former record has been identified
with Rajasimha on account of the method of dating,
e.g., year 2 + 14, year
2 + 17, etc., and also on paleographical
considerations. The paleographical
resemblance between the two records is remarkable.
some Pandya princes, who must have lived in the first half of the tenth century
but have not left any records have now come to light. Manabharana, Vikramapandya and Sundarapandya are the princes
whose existence is testified to by the Ambasamudram inscription of Virapandya. It is quite likely, as has been pointed out
elsewhere, that these
princes and Virapandya were referred to as kulavardhanar in the Larger
Sinnamanur plates, though their relationship to Rajasimha remains vague.
Adittan alias Solantaka Pallavaraiyan of Poliyur, one of the generals of
Virapandya, seems to have taken part in his campaign against the Cholas (No.
79). He assumed the title evidently
after Virapandya who is called Solan-ralaikonda in his inscriptions. Another officer of this king had the title
Solantaka-Brahmarayar. Certain measures
and gardens were also named after this title (see No. 79, line 5 ; No. 84,
line 2). Tennavan Tamilavel, an officer
of this king, is eulogized for his scholarship in Sanskrit and Tamil in a
fragmentary inscription in Tamil verse (No. 87). He is described as a minister well-versed in the Vedas, Vedangas,
the different works in Sanskrit, Law, Purana, muttamil (the three branches of Tamil learning, viz.,
iyal or literature, isai or
music and nataka) and Patanjalam (i.e., the original work of Patanjali). Kachchi, i.e., Kanchi is mentioned in connection with his
That the Mahamatins
were active in the region as far south as Aruppukottai during the rule of
Virapandya is testified to by an inscription from Pallimadam (No. 88). It may be remembered that they are also
mentioned in the Muvarkoyil record of
Bhuti Vikramakesari and that one of their teachers was a native of Madurai.
may be drawn to a specimen form of a document recording the sale of land during
the period of the early Pandya rulers (No. 91) and to an order of a sabha
in a form unusual for the period (No. 78).
country was conquered ad annexed to the Chola empire by Rajaraja I and his
son. During this period of Chola
occupation, a member of the Chola family was deputed as viceroy of the
erstwhile Pandya territory and the viceroys called themselves Chola-Pandyas and assumed after the fashion of the
Pandya kings, though in a slightly changed form, the titles Jatavarman and
Maravarman. Four such viceroys are
represented by the records published in the second section of the work. They are Jatavarman Sundarachola-Pandya,
Maravarman Vikramachola-Pandya, Jatavarman Chola-Pandya and Maravarman
Parakramachola-Pandya. Besides, another
prince Rajendra, a son of Virarjaendra, is stated to have received the title of
Jatavarman Chola-Pandya, though none of his records is available. In spite of the presence of these Chola
viceroys, the Pandyas do not seem to have disappeared altogether. The Chola king Rajadhiraja I (1018-1053
A.D.) claims to have conquered Virapandya and to have driven ‘to the ancient
Mullaiyar, Sundarapandya of endless fame’. The appointment of Chola-Pandya viceroys
seems to have continued up to the reign of Kulottunga I who ‘put the five
Pandyas to flight, and limited the boundary of the Pandya country, and placed
garrisons in the strategically important of the newly acquired territory.
Sundarachola-pandya, the first of the viceroys, was a son of Rajendra I as
stated in the latter’s record
from Mannarkoyil. This inscription
records that Pinjanur, a village under vellan-vagani in Kurumadai-nadu
in Mudigondasola-valanadu in Rajaraja-ppandinadu, was converted into a devandana
of the temple of Rajendrasola-vinnagar built by Cheramanar Rajasingar, from the
15th year of Sundara-chola-pandya, one of the sons of king
Rajendrachola who conquered the Purva-desa, Gangai and Kadram, by an order of
the king while he was staying in his palace at Kanchipuram. The inscription is dated in the 24th
year (1035 A.D.) of the reign of Rajendra I.
Equating the 15th year of Jatavarman Sundarachola-pandya
mentioned in the record with the 24th year of the Chola king’s
reign, it has been surmised
that the former's viceroyalty may be regarded as having commenced about 1020-21 A.D. The records of the viceroy
range from the 3rd (No. 131)
to the 27th year of
this rule. He may therefore he
considered to have rules upto 1047-48 A.D., till sometime in the last year of
the reign of his father. The
Chola-pandya seems to have had one of his
headquarters at Rajendrasolapuram (No. 145) while he is also known to have once
camped near Madurai (No. 161). The
former had a royal palace provided with a theatre for various entertainments of
the royal party.
feudatories of the Chola emperor are mentioned in the records of the said
viceroy. Rajasimha is referred to in a
record from Mannarkoyil as having built the shrine of Rajendrasola-vinnagar
Paramasvamigal (No. 144). The god was evidently named after the Chola
suzerain. The record is dated in the 13th
year (1033-34 A.D.) of the viceroy.
There is a reference to the bhandara (treasury) of Rajasimha in
another inscription (No. 177) of the same viceroy, the date of which is,
however, lost. An official of
Cheralan-Madeviyar, the queen of the Chera king Rajasimha, is mentioned in an
inscription (No. 150) from the same place dated in his 14th
year. No. 154, dated in the 16th
year (1036-37 A.D.) of the viceroy, records that the Chera king (Cheramanar)
Rajarajadevar was present at the western gopura of the temple of
Rajendrasola-vinnagar Paramasvamigl while issuing the order in connection with
a transaction pertaining to some land belonging to the temple in the village of
is again made of the bhandaram of Cheramanar Rajarajadeva in another
inscription (No. 193) from the same place, which belongs to Maravarman
Vikramachola-pandya, the successor of Jatavarman Sundarachola-pandya. Thus it will be seen that the Chera kings
Rajasimha and Rajarajadeva were the contemporaries of Rajendrachola and
probably also of his successor Rajadhiraja who was associated with his father
early in his reign. It is quite likely
that the Chera kings were feudatories of the Chola monarchs.
may be drawn to a feudatory belonging
to the eastern Chalukya dynasty, who figures in an inscription
of the said viceroy as a donor. He
calls himself Sarvalokasraya Vishnuvardhana-maharaja alias Chalukya
Vijayaditya Vikkiyanna. The record is
dated in the 11th regnal year (1031-32 A.D.) of the viceroy. The identity of the chief, however, remains
obscure. In this connection, it may be
pointed out that an inscription
from Tiruvaiyaru refers to the gift of gold by a certain pillaiyar Sri-Vishnuvaradhanadevar
in the 27th year (1039 A.D.) of Rajendra I.
viceroy was Maravarman Vikramachola-pandya.
His inscriptions range from the 20th to the 25th
year of his reign. We have seen already that the latest date
for Jatavarman Sundarachola-pandya, the predecessor of Maravarman Vikrama-chola-pandya,
is the year 23 of his reign. The
absence of any record of Vikrama-chola-pandya citing an earlier date than his
20th regnal year is unaccountable. Whether he ruled independently or conjointly
with Sundarachola-pandya is impossible to determine. But this much can be said that he was a junior contemporary of
the latter and succeeded him. For,
among the records of Jatavarman Sundarachola-pandya and Maravarman Vikramachola-pandya,
from Attur in the Tiruchchendur Taluk, Tirunelveli District, while those of the
former refer to Attur as a brahmadeya in Kudanadu, No. 186 of the latter
mentions Attur as a part of Rajadhiraja-chaturvedimangalam evidently named
after Rajadhiraja I, who was a co-regent with his father Rajendra I.
Sola-Pandyadeva, the third Chola viceroy in the Pandya country, was evidently
the same as Gangaikonda-solan, the son of Virarajendra. The title of Chola-pandya was conferred on
him by his father. The two records of
this viceroy published here are both dated in the 3rd year of his
reign. Two later records of the same
person dated respectively in the 24th and the 25th year
of his rule come from Suchindram. In view of the fact that the latter record
of the 25th year refers to the subdivision of rajadhiraja-valanadu
of Sola-mandalam, it may be assigned to this viceroy, though his exact reign
period cannot be determined. A dance
known as Rajendrachola and as another son of Virarajendra is also stated to
have received the title Chola-pandya from his father.
and the least known viceroy of the Pandya territory was Parakrama-chola-pandya
who styled himself Maravarman. The only
two records of this viceroy cite respectively the 3rd and the 4th
regnal years ; but his identity remains obscure. In the latter record, the natives of Kashmira-desa figure as
Srivallabha, whose records alone are published in the third section, was
probably one of the five Pandyas who raised their banner against Chola
supremacy. Though the Chola emperor
Kulottunga I claims to have put to flight the five Panyas and to have stationed
his military forces at the key centers of the dominions, the Pandyas continued
to rule over parts of their territory.
Inscriptions of Jatavarman Srivallabha range from the 2nd to
the 26th + 1st year of his reign. The extent of the area covered by his
inscriptions from Vijayanarayanam in the Nanguneri taluk of the Tirunelveli
district in the South, Kuruvitturai in the Nilakkottai taluk of the Madurai
district in the north and to the limits of the Tiruppattur and Tiruvadanai
taluks of the Ramnad district indicate roughly the territory ruled by
him. His records are characterized by
the prasasli : Tirumadandaiyum Jayamadandaiyum, etc., which
however does not yield any information of historical importance. His contemporaneity with Kulottunga I is
indicated by an inscription (No. 226) from Vijayanarayanam. It is dated in the 10th regnal
year of Srivallabha and refers to transactions of the 31st year of
Kulottunga I since there is a reference in Srivallabha’s record, dated in his 4th
regnal year, to a certain Mummudisolan Virasekharan alias
Adalaiyur-Nadalvan who is probably the same as Virasekharan figuring in a
of Kulottunga I dated in the 49th year (1119 A. D.) of his
reign. Thus it may be suggested that
Jatavarman Srivallabha was one of the five Pandya opponents of Kulottunga
I. It may be noted here that there are
two inscriptions (Nos. 221 and 251) of Jatavarman Srivallabha, which give some
details of date. No. 221 in which the prasasti
is absent, is dated in his 9th regnal year and the details of date
are mesha I, paurnami, Tuesday and Uttiram. No. 251 begins with prasasti Tirumadandaiyum, etc., and is
dated in the year opposite to the 20th year. In lines, 42 – 45 of the text of that record
the details of date are given as Makara 2, Friday and Uttirattadi, apparently
of the year in which the record is dated.
These details of date, however, do not yield equivalents which would fit
in with a particular initial year.
Leaving out of consideration the former inscription, the ascription of
which to Jatavarman Srivallabha of the other record is not clear, the details
of date in the later epigraph would yield, as probable equivalent. Friday, December 25, 1142 A.D., which was
however, the first day of Makara according to the Indian Ephemeris. Thus the date of accession of this king may
be supposed t have fallen sometime between 1120 and 1122 A.D.
Three other records (Nos. 225, 245 and 263) of this king may
also be noticed here No. 225 appears to be dated in the tenth regnal year and
states that the exemption of taxes on the lands granted should take effect from
the Kumbha-Viyalam perhaps of the same year. The same expression is used in the case of another transaction
recorded in No. 245 which is dated in the 20th regnal year. No. 263 bears no date but begins with the
expression Mina-Viyalam and thus indicates that it is later than No. 225
which cites Kumbha-Viyalam. The
first two dates when worked out on the basis of the method indicated in the Indian
Ephemeris, Vol. I, Part II, p. 380 do not yield the same results. The first supports the date arrived at
above, but the second is earlier than Jupiter’s entry into Kumbha by more than
one year. It is possible that in the
second instance No. 245), the reference was to a future date. This mode of dating evidently suggests the
influence of Kerala where inscriptions record dates by nothing Jupiter’s
movements in the zodiac.