The Indian Analyst

South Indian Inscriptions






Topographical Index

Dynastic Index

Text of the Inscriptions 





Marathas of Tanjore

Nayakas of Tanjore



Pandyas of Ucchangi



Sultans of Mysore

Telugu Chola





Other South-Indian Inscriptions 

Volume 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Vol. 4 - 8

Volume 9

Volume 10

Volume 11

Volume 12

Volume 13

Volume 14

Volume 15

Volume 16

Volume 17

Volume 18

Volume 19

Volume 20

Volume 22
Part 1

Volume 22
Part 2

Volume 23

Volume 24

Volume 26

Volume 27





Annual Reports 1935-1944

Annual Reports 1945- 1947

Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum Volume 2, Part 2

Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum Volume 7, Part 3

Kalachuri-Chedi Era Part 1

Kalachuri-Chedi Era Part 2

Epigraphica Indica

Epigraphia Indica Volume 3

Indica Volume 4

Epigraphia Indica Volume 6

Epigraphia Indica Volume 7

Epigraphia Indica Volume 8

Epigraphia Indica Volume 27

Epigraphia Indica Volume 29

Epigraphia Indica Volume 30

Epigraphia Indica Volume 31

Epigraphia Indica Volume 32

Paramaras Volume 7, Part 2

Śilāhāras Volume 6, Part 2

Vākāṭakas Volume 5

Early Gupta Inscriptions

Archaeological Links

Archaeological-Survey of India






The earliest epigraph in the present volume is No. 262 from Tirunatharkunru near Singavaram in the South Arcot District, Madras. It is engraved on a rock, which is stated to have been the nisidika of Chandranandi Asirigar who fasted for 57 days. The cave inscriptions from the Ramanathapuram, Madurai and Tirunelveli Districts, apart, this short inscription appears to be the earliest epigraph in Tamil. Its palaeography is interesting as a few letters (a, ai, ma, ta, na and ra) reveal distinctly the archaic forms of the Vatteluttu alphabet and a few others (ka, cha, ra) point to their evolution direct from the Brahmi alphabet. One can discern a connection of the present record, though separated by a long interval, with the records of Narasimhavarman and Isvaravarman and the Tirukkalukkunram inscription of Narasimhavarman I, which are written in a mixed variety of the Tamil alphabet. The provenance of the present record representing the earliest form of this mixed alphabet seems to indicate that Vatteluttu might have once been used all over the Tamil land.

Another short inscription No. 261 copied from the same place records the fasting of Ilaiya-Bhatarar for 30 days. This practice of fasting (anasana) is called Sallekhana in Jaina religious literature, which requires the monks to gradually reduce their food and finally to starve themselves to death in order to avoid the sufferings due to disease or old age.

The next important inscription is No. 49 from Kudatini in the Bellary District, Mysore State. It consists of three different pieces. Though all of them may be palaeographically assigned to about the tenth century, one is unconnected with another. The beginning of piece A containing the date of the record is badly damaged. However, it contains the details, viz., Vikrama, Magha su. Rathasaptami, Sunday. It then refers to the reign of a king called Nityavarshadeva Prithvivallabha who meditated on the feet of Akalavarshadeva. Nityavarsha who succeeded Akalavarsha is obviously identical with Indra III (917-18 A.D.). Hence the cyclic year Vikrama cited in the record would correspond to Saka 842 expired, equivalent to 920-21 A.D. According to the Indian Ephemeris the details given in this record will correspond to January 19, 921 A.D., which was, however, a Friday but not Sunday as stated in the record. On the basis of this and a few other records it has now been proved that the reign of Indra III extended beyond 918 A.D., the earliest available date for his successor Govinda IV.

Piece B engraved in similar characters records in verse the exploits of a chief called Aiyanaiya. He is stated to have defeated his enemies and to have captured a fort. It mentions a title Sri-Bharadankakara and a princess of Sindhu-kula. The piece being a fragmentary one, a connected account of the facts referred to cannot be made out. The copper-plate charters of the Western Chalukya dynasty refer to a chief called Ayyana as one of the ancestors of the Chalukyas of Kalyana who married the daughter of a certain Krishna. Whether Aiyanaiya whose exploits are described at length in the present record is identical with Chalukya Ayyana cannot be determined without further light on the subject.

Piece C records the exploits of Balavarman and his son Dasavarman, born in the Chalukya family. The former is stated to have crowned one Dhora king of a territory wrested by him from Prabhuta and to have defeated and lord of Kanchi and to have installed the teeth of a tusker in front of god Brahmesvara at Alampura. The inscription being incomplete, the details of the adventures of Dasavarman are lost to us.

By far the largest number of inscriptions incorporated in the volume belong to the Imperial Cholas. One (No. 501) of the earliest records of this dynasty belongs to the Chola king Parantaka I (907-953 A.D.) This inscription is dated in the 32nd year (in words) of Parantaka described as the destroyer of the fortified city of Madurai. It records the gift of a lamp by Gunavan, an illustrious native of Idaiyur and a vassal of the Chola king (valavan). The inscription then proceeds to describe what appears to be an encounter between the Chola monarch land the king of Ceylon. The epigraph is unfortunately very faintly engraved at this portion of the stone leaving us in doubt as to the exact meaning of this section. If it really refers to an encounter, we have reason to surmise that the actual invasion of Ceylon was preceded by several attempts to drive the Ceylonese intruders from the mainland. In this connection it may be noted that an inscription from Kudumiyamalai belonging to 33rd regnal year of Parantaka I, re-engraved under the orders of Maravarman Sundarapandya I, speaks of an invasion of Ceylon launched by Pirantakan Kunjiramallan alias Virasola Ilangovelan. The title Maduraiyum Ilamum konda was assumed by Parantaka I only from the 36th year of his reign, although there are two stray records attributing the conquest of Ceylon to Parantaka I. The Kudumiyamalai inscription seems to suggest that the conquest of Ceylon which came to be largely attributed to Parantaka I only from his 36th regnal year was actually preceded by several attempts to expel the invader who came to the rescue of Rajasimha, the Pandya contemporary of the Chola king. Among the queens of Parantaka I figuring as donors in some of the records published in the volume, Muttakilanadigal, the daughter of Kadupattigal, deserves mention. She gave a fly-whish gilt with gold and silver to the god at Vedaranyam, Tanjore District (No. 517). The title Muttakilanadigal seems to indicate that she was the senior queen of apparently the reigning king in whose 38th year the record is dated. I so, Parantaka I should have continued the policy of his father in contracting marriage alliances with the Pallava family.

The Chandramaulisvara temple at Tiruvakkarai in the South Arcot district, which has yielded 45 inscriptions (Nos. 186 – 230), enjoyed the patronage of the well-known royal personage Sembiyan-mahadeviyar, the queen of Gandaraditya and the mother of Uttamachola. Inscription No. 222 engraved on the south base of the ruined Siva shrine within the Chandramaulisvara temple records that the shrine called sivalokam in the inscription was raised in stone by her for god Paramasvamigal and that the village of Manali in Anmur-nadu in Oyma-nadu was granted to it. The inscription gives elaborate details regarding the apportionment of the produce to be measured out by the villagers of Manali to the temple for the various items of worship and offerings as also the minor incidental charges incurred in the transit of the produce and such other processes. All expenses are counted in terms of paddy. The scrupulous care with which every item is provided for, recalls to one’s mind the similar arrangements made in the Big Temple at Tanjore built and well-endowed by Rajaraja I in whose reign the present record is dated. It is no wonder that temples, wherever they were, were richly endowed during his reign.

Another inscription (No. 227) copied from the west all of the mandapa in front of the Varadarajaperumal shrine in the Chandramaulisvara temple at Tiruvakkarai dated in the reign of Adhirajendradeva (1067 – 70 A.D.) records the rebuilding of the vimana (Chakresa-Parameshthi-vimana) in stone. The vimana is stated to have been originally built of brick by Kota Chola whose identity is very obscure.

No. 627 from Kalla Perumbur, Tanjore district, is dated in the 49th year of the reign of a king whose name is not mentioned. It lays down the conditions for re-election of members to the sabha of Rajasundari-chaturvedimangalam. People elected for one year could stand for re-election only after two years of interval. If in the third year the assembly was summoned and if their names were proposed again, they might be elected. Those who transgressed this regulation by any means were punishable under the law as traitors to the village. At this portion the inscription is badly damaged and hence some of the details are lost. Several of inscriptions containing instances similar injunctions have been noticed in the Annual Reports on Epigraphy. A record of Kulottunga III from Talainayar, Tanjore district, lays down that those who did not stand for election for the previous ten years but satisfied the other conditions viz., that of age and scholarship, might be elected. A similar condition was laid down by the assembly of Rajendrasola-chaturvedimangalam in an inscription from Ayyampettai. Thus the condition of excluding members for two years after their first election and of calling for candidates who did not compete for election for ten years seems to have the same object of protecting people from the undue influence of members continuing to serve for a long time on the assembly or its committees. The present record may be assigned to Kulottunga I on account of palaeography, the high regnal year and the name Rajasundari-chaturvedimangalam of the village probably so called after Rajasundari, a daughter of the king.

Of Nos. 205, 217, 244, 540, 583, 585, 587 and 588 dated in the reign of Rajadhiraja II only three give full details of date. No.244 from Melsevur in the South Arcot District, is dated in the 13th regnal year of the king. The details given, viz., Karkataka 13, ba. 11, Rohini and Wednesday, do not admit of easy verification in spite of their completeness. If we take March 1163 A.D., as the date of the king’s accession, the details may correspond to 1175 A.D., July 15, Tuesday (not Wednesday), in which case it will be Karkataka 19 and not 13 as mentioned in words in the record. If 1166 A.D. is taken as the date of his accession, the date may correspond to 1178 A.D., July 2, Monday. No. 540 from Vedaranyam is dated in the year 14, Mithuna ba. 5, Wednesday, Sodi (Svati). The combination of ba. 5 and Svati is impossible in the month of Mithuna and even if it is taken as a mistake for Mina, the date appears to be irregular. Another date available with details for the 2nd year of the reign from No. 583 well corresponds to 1168 A.D., April 15, Monday, thus yielding some day in 1166 A.D., as the date of the king’s accession. This inscription records a grant of land by Palaiyanur-udaiyan Vedavanam-udaiyan Ammai-Appan alias Rajaraja-Vilupparaiyan of Menmalai-ppalaiyanur-nadu. The officer is evidently identical with one of the same name, but with the title Pallavarayan (Pallavarajan) who figures in the Pallavarayanpettai inscription and two other records of the same king from Tiruvarur (Nos. 585 and 587). The title Rajaraja-Vilupparaiyan in this record indicates clearly that this officer had served under Rajaraja II and continued to serve also Rajadhiraja II. It is possible that he assumed the title Pallavarayan after the death of Tiruchchirrambalamudaiyan Perumal Nambi alias Pallavarayan who held a very high office during the days of Rajaraja II and Rajadhiraja II. That Vedavanam-udaiyan Ammai-Appan Pallavarayan might have continued to serve also Kulottunga III seems to be indicated by No. 582 from the same place. This possibility is strengthened by the fact that this officer continued to carry out the commissions assigned to his predecessor in the office of Pallavarayar, especially in relation to the campaign against the Singhalese in the course of the Pandyan cilvil war.

Of the two records from Tiruvarur mentioned above, No. 585 is dated in the 10th year and the details given, viz.,, Mina su. 13, Tuesday, Magha, yield two equivalents one corresponding to 1173 A.D., February 27, Tuesday, and the other to 1176 A.D., February 24, Tuesday. This inscription which commences with the prasasti (Kadal sulnda parelum, etc.,) of Rajadhiraja II affords a variant from the 5th line up to which it resembles the prasasti of his predecessor Rajaraja II. Line 5 describes how the queens were given royal honours with the king and continues to describe one of the queens as ‘the jeweled lamp to the Chola race, that appeared from the Yadava stock’. The contemporary ruling family that belonged to the Yadava stock was evidently that of the Hoysalas, with whom the Cholas might have had some marital connections The inscription then proceeds to describe the queen consort in glowing terms. It says that she enjoyed the rights of kingship in full by being crowned with the king. It is further stated that she ruled from the following places in the order, viz., Uraiyur, Peruragai (?), Udakai, and Madhurapuri. She is also given the title Ulagudai Mukkokkilanadigal. The description of a queen consort as found in this record is not ordinarily met with in any prasasti of the Cholas or even of the Pandyas.

No. 593 from Tiruvarur in the Tanjore district records that, while the god Vidividangadevar of Tiruvarur was pleased to be seated in the pavilion of Devasriyan, he witnessed a dance performance by Pungoyil-nayaka-ttalaikkoil and afterwards orally ordered the grant of land in Vayarrur, a brahmadeya, as kani to Pungoyil Nambi who composed a poem called Viranukkavijayam in honour of Nammakkal Virasola anukkar. The order was passed through the kelvi (i.e., at the instance of ) Tyagavinodakkadigaimarayan (Ghatikamaharaja). The inscription does not mention the king’s name but is dated in the 13th year and 202nd day. It may be paleographically assigned to the 12th or 13th century.

The main interest of the record lies in the expression Virasola-anukkar. It is clear from the expression nammakkal with reference to Virasola-anukkar that the latter represents a group of persons attending on Virasola, thus necessitating their being always close to the king’s person. Thus they might have been a group of bodyguards in whose honour the poem Viranukka-vijayam was composed. An inscription from Lalgudi in the Tiruchirappalli district dated in the 31st year (937-38 A.D.) of Parantaka I registers a gift of land purchased from the sabha of Nityavinita-chaturvedimangalam by Koyil Tavatturai of Murramam, a member of the body called Nitta-Virasola-anukkar of Arinjigai-Isvaram in Idaiyarru-nadu for burning a perpetual lamp in the temple of Tiruttavatturai-Isvarabhattaraka. It may be recalled that Parantaka I had Virasola as one of his several titles and, if this record is the earliest that mentions this group of anukkar, as it kappears to be, it is possible that the group came into being during the reign of the same Chola king. Among the inscriptions of Parantaka I published in this volume No. 466 from Vedaranyam, Tanjore district, records the gift of money by a person who is referred to as a Virasola-anukkan No. 480, of the king mentions a person Chaman Achchan as Irumudi-chchola-anukkili. Irumudi-chchola was another title of Parantaka I. These instances clearly indicate that the body styled Virasola-anukkar originated in the days of the said Chola king. That this group of attendants or bodyguards, if we may call them so, had continued to function for a long time is evident from two inscriptions of Kulottunga III published in this volume. One of them (No. 446) from vedaranyam records the gift of money by a person who is referred to as a member of Virasola-anukkar. Another (No. 599) from Tiruvarur refers to an officer of the king as Tiruvaykkelvi Anukka-Nambi, which indicates that Anukka-Nambi was on the immediate attendance of the king.

Nos. 563 and 564 from Tirunellikkaval in the Tanjore District mention an institution called Tirunanasambandanguhai. Both of them belong to the Chola king Rajaraja III and record gifts of land for a lamp and a garden respectively. In the former the lamp, for which provision was made, was to be burnt at the Kulachchirai-matha and in detailing the boundaries of the gift-land, a plot of land once exchanged for a piece of land belonging to the Tirunanasambandan-guhai is mentioned. The latter record mentions two persons named Marainanasambandhan and Alitter-vittagar who were probably ascetics in charge of the guhai. During this period many Saiva centers were flourishing at Tiruchchattimurram and Sembaikkudi in the Tanjore District. While all of them were mathas named after some famous saint or god, it is interesting to note here a guhai named after the famous Adisaiva-bahmana saint Tirunansambandhar. The term guhai recalls to our mind an incident that took place in the 22nd regnal year of Kulottunga III (c. 1200 A.D.) as recorded in an inscription of the 22nd year of Rajaraja III from Tirutturaippundi in the Tanjore District, very near Tirunellikkaval the find spot of the records under review. It is stated that a certain ascetic was honoured by the residents of Tirutturaippundi and was provided with a guhai to reside and feed itinerant pilgrims (desantaris) and that due to the bad maintenance of the charity a crusade against the monastery (guhai idi kalaham) was launched in the course of which monastery was destroyed. The present record indicates that such institutions might have been flourishing in several places during this period.

Vira Narasimha Yadavaraya, a well-known feudatory of Kulottunga III and Rajaraja III, is represented by Nos. 705 and 711 both citing the 36th year of his own reign. These two records testify to his semi-independent position during this period of his rule, though he could not have continued to be so on account of the rising power of the Pandyas in the south and the Kakatiyas in the north. The latter of the two records refers to the Sivabrahmanas of the Narpattirandu-vattam. It will be seen from some of the inscriptions published here that endowments of money for burning lamps in the temple were ordinarily entrusted into the hands of Sivabrahmanas who had the right of worship in the temples. They arranged for their services by agreement for periods usually of thirty days (muppadu vattam). It is clear from an inscription from Karuntattangudi that they could sell the right of worship for a certain number of days to their collegues in the same temple or any other as circumstances demanded. The phrase narpattirandu vattam in the context of the similar phrase muppadu vattam obviously means ‘the cycle of 42 days’ (for which an agreement was made among the Sivabrahmanas).

No. 131 from Tiruchchopuram in the South Arcot district dated in the reign period of Jatavarman Tribhuvanachakravarttigal Sundarapandyadeva seems to record a gift of l and for worship and offerings to a deity in a temple (name lost) on the full moon and new moon days by Sariputtira-pandita. The land was left in the care of the Sangattar. The stones on which the text of this inscription is engraved have been built into the roof of the mandapa in front of the central shrine in the Mangalapurisvara temple. The position of the stone and the name of the donor and of the body called Sangattar (Sangha) clearly indicate that the inscribed slab must have originally belonged to a Buddhist temple nearby. The practice of giving offerings on the full moon and the new moon days seems to echo the uposatha ceremony observed by the Buddhists. It is interesting to note that even as late as the 13th century to which period the present record may be palaeographically assigned, Buddhist institutions lingered on in the Tamil country though not in their old glory. It is very rarely that we get vestiges of Buddhism in the Tamil country, while it must be admitted that Jainism enjoyed a better position. Tiruchchopuram has been eulogized by the Saiva saint Tirunanasambandhar who in the tenth verse of the hymn refers to the activities of the Buddhar and the Samanar :

It will be pertinent here to draw the reader’s attention to a report contained in the Culavamsa, stating that Pandita Parakramabahu (II, who ruled during the 13th century), the king of Ceylon ‘sent many gifts to the Cola country and caused to be brought over to Tambapanni many respected Cola Bhikkhus who had moral discipline and were versed in the three Pitakas and so established harmony between the two orders’. The chronicle further adds that the grand Thera Dammakitti (Dharmakirti) was brought over to Ceylon from Tamba-rattha which is conjecturally identified with a ‘province in Southern India’. The colophon of the Rupasiddhi, a Pali grammatical work of this period describes the author, a Bhikku called Coliya Dipankara alias Buddhappiya as a resident superior of two monasteries in the Tamil country, one of which according to the commentary is called Cudamanikya. While thus the Ceylonese chronicle and the Pali work speak eloquently of the position of Buddhism in the Tamil country, it is surprising to note that the present record appears to afford the only epigraphical reference to a Buddhist Sangam in the 13th century.

No. 397 from Ammasattram in the former Pudukkottai State is assignable to the 13th century. It registers a grant of land by a merchant as pallichchandam to the God Tirumanamalai Alvar. It mentions Kanakachandra-pandita and his disciple Dhanmadeva Acharya. In this connection it may be stated that the hillocks near Ammasattram served as abodes of the Jaina ascetics.

Some Pandya inscriptions copied from the South Arcot district afford a synchronism to establish the contemporaneity of Maravarman Kulasekhara, Maravarman Virapandya and Vikramapandya. Two inscriptions of Maravarman Virapandya, one (No. 141) from Tirthanagari in the Cuddalore taluk and the other (No. 248) from Singavaram in the Gingee taluk record endowments providing for the conduct of worship and festivals with a view to pray for the god health of the king’s person (perumal tirumenikku nanraga). The former which is incomplete gives a very interesting list of tolls, the proceeds from which were assigned for worship and offerings and the procession to be conducted during the festival in the month of Vaikasi terminating on the Vaisakha day as also other festivals by the inhabitants of Andagalur-parru. The other also records a similar endowmnt providing for worship and offerings for the good health of the king. The palaeography, provenance and purpose of the gifts strongly suggest the identity of the kings mentioned in both the records. An epigraph of Maravarman Kulasekhara from Singavaram (No. 253) dated in the 30th year of his reign is definitely assignable to the first king of that name, on account of its palaeography and provenance and the high regnal year. This inscription also records an endowment for a similar purpose of offerings, festivals, etc., for the sound health of the king (Perumal tirumeni kunrada). The record is signed by Irukaimadavarana Rajaraja Brahmarayan. Since the signatories in this record and in one of the two inscriptions (No. 248) of Maravarman Virapandya discussed above appear to be identical, it may be surmised that Maravarman Kulasekhara and Maravarman Virapandya of these records are not far removed from each other in point of time.

No. 142 of Maravarman Virapandya copied from Tirthanagari records the grant of land made for worship and offerings on the day of the annual festival in the month of Vaikasi. Part of the gift land called Iladattaraiyan kandam is stated to have been formerly granted as tirunamattukkani by Tennavarayan of Perunganur Tamandai. It is dated in the 9th year of the king. On account of this date and the mention of the Vaikasi festival in this and the other record (No. 248) discussed above, the kings of both the records may be considered to be identical.

The grant, which is stated to have been formerly made by Tennavarayan is probably the same recorded in No. 144 from Tiruthanagari dated in the 4th year of Vikramapandya’s reign. Hence Maravarman Virapandya and Vikramapandya of the latter record may be contemporaries.

Among the inscriptions of the kings of Vijayanagara, a record (No. 562) from Tevur in the Tanjore District dated in the reign of Devaraya II sets out in detail how of the officials of the king to whom the right of collecting the taxes was leased out, used coercive measures against the subjects, subjects, especially the members of the Valangai and Idangai classes. The inscription also describes the enquiries periodically conducted by different officers from the time of Devagalnayan Bukkana Udaiyar thereby indicating that the malpractices were going on for a pretty long time. Similar records of the period containing references to oppression are found in several places of the Tamil country.

Nos. 531 and 532 copied from Vedaranyam in the Tanjore district are dated in the reign of Praudhadevaraya and Pratapadeva-maharaya respectively. While the former is dated in Saka 1386 with the other details of date enabling us to equate it to 1465 A.D., January 5, the latter cites only the cyclic year Vyaya which, considered with the other details of the date, may suggest 1466 A.D., June 23. Praudhadevaraya mentioned in the former record may be identified with Mallikarjuna, but Pratapadeva-maharaya of the latter cannot be identified with the same king, for Mallikarjuna is known to have passed away sometime in 1465 A.D., and Virupaksha III was crowned in the succeeding year, i.e., Saka 1388 (1465-66 A.D.). Virupaksha had a son called Prataparaya – maharaya for whom the earliest known date is Saka 1408 (1487 A.D.). Hence Pratapadeva-maharaya of this record may be identified with Virupaksha himself.

No. 220 of Saluva Narasingadeva-maharaja from Tiruvakkarai begins with the typical Saluva titles Medini misuraganda Kattari-Saluva and the usual title Mahamandalesvara attributed to Narasingadeva (Narasimha) without mentioning any overlord. It registers an order by Saluva Narasimha’s agent Narasa-Nayaka in Sobhakrit corresponding to 1483 A.D., exempting the devadiyar of the temple of god Aludaiya-nayanar at Tiruvakkarai from the payment of a certain levy called kalattutti. It is stated that they were exempted from the levy since Karaikkattu-pparru and Sengattu-pparru were not included in Koliyanallur-simai. It seems that Tiruvakkarai was probably not included in one of the above two parrus. No. 221 engraved on the west base of the gopura of the same temple seems to record a final fixation of 1 panam per loom on the inhabitants of Narasapanditar-nadu. The residents are stated to have left the place during a period of trouble for kaikkolar (kaikkolar-sikalam). The record is dated in Sbhakrit, Avani 28. The mention of Narasa-panditar-nadu, the date and the cess on looms seem to suggest that this record also belonged to Saluva Narasimha and was re-engraved on a subsequent occasion. These records appear to confirm the independent position of the Saluva chief inasmuch as it omits to mention the overlord, for we know that very soon after the date of this record, if not on this date itself, Saluva Narasimha commenced to rule in his own right from Vijayanagara. It may be added that Narasa-Nayaka of the former record is evidently identical with the Tuluva general of the same name who succeeded the Saluvas.

Reference to certain interesting practices of sheep sacrifice on every Sunday before the Pillaiyar at Karikarai, now known as Ramagiri, and to the sale of slaves to the authorities of the temple at Vedaranyam, Tanjore district, throws some light on the social customs of the period.

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