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Friday, January 27, 2006

The Indian Analyst


South Indian Inscriptions




The Later Chalukyas

Taila II, Irivabedanga Satyasraya, Jayasimha II | Somesvara I & II Vikramaditya VI | Somesvara III, Jagadekamalla II

 Taila III, Somesvara IV

Of Taila II, who restored the Chalukya sovereignty after overthrowing the Rashtrakutas, we have two records in this volume.  One of them (No. 40) dated aka 915 (A.D. 994) says that he was ruling from his capital Manyakheda.  This would show that Manyakheda (modern Malkhed), which was formerly the capital of the Rashtrakutas, continued to enjoy that position for some time after the Chalukyas made Kalyana their capital.  The second inscription (No. 41) which is dated Saka 918 (A.D. 996) indicates that the title Bhuvanaikamalla was applied to the prince Dasavarma who, me know, was a son of Taila.  This title was not known to have been given to him so far.

In the inscriptions of Jayasimha II three wives of Kundaraja, who is described as ‘the son’ of Irivabedanga, are mentioned.  They are Jogabbarasi, Kundaladevi and Pampadevi.  Jogabbarasi is stated to have been managing the village of Ajjadi in Saka 941 (A.D. 1019) (No. 44).  Kundaladevi was governing Banavasi Twelve-thousand and Payve-nadu conjointly with her husband in Saka 950 (A.D. 1028) (No. 47).  No. 52, the date of which is lost, states that Pampadevi was administering the village of Jidugur.  It is interesting to observe that while one of the ladies was sharing the governance of the province with her husband, the other two were independently administering two villages.

Another inscription of Jayasimha which gives some new information regarding the chiefs of the Matura family may be notice here.  This record (No. 43) of A.D. 1017, gives the names of the chiefs of this family for five generations. But their relation with one another is not definite in all cases on account of the damaged condition of the record.  They are: Dosi, Sinda, Santivarma, Payyara, his wife Charakabbe and their son Siriyagara.  We know that two members of this family namely, Machiyarasa and Santivarma, were holding responsible positions under the Rashtrakutas in the 10th century A.D.  Since Santivarma’s dates range from A.D. 972 to 992, it is not improbable that he is not different from the Santivazrma of the present record.  It may not be out of place to mention here another member of this family, namely, Vijayaditya, who was a subordinate of Vikramaditya VI in the A.D. 1088 (No. 93).  In addition to Vijayaditya this record speaks of Siriyagaradeva who by his name appears to be also of ht Mature family.  The earliest notice of this family seems to be found in a record of 9th century A.D. of a Rashtrakuta king, whose name and date are lost (No. 38).  The name of this family is spelt as Mattara in that record.

Among the exploits of Kundaraja recounted in one of the inscriptions (No. 44) the following are noteworthy.  He is stated to have undertaken to burn the (city of) Muggeri, to humble the pride of Mummuni and to force the lord of Kanyakubja to flee to the Himalayas.  It is difficult to identify the Mummuni mentioned here.  The  earliest date we have for the only Mummuni we know of , is A.D. 1049.  He is the Silahara prince of Northern Konkan.  Since the record under review is of A.D. 1019, it cannot be ascertained if the two Mummunis are identical.

Of the inscriptions of Somesvara I, No. 68, dated Saka 985 (A.D. 1062), mentions Indrakesiyarasa of the Manaleyara lineage as a manneya.  Evidently he is identical with Indrakesi, who is stated in the Prince of Wales Museum record to have made a grant of land in A.D. 1060.  Thus the present record would extend his period by two years.

Another feudatory of a well-known family is referred to in No. 66.  He is Mahamandalesvara Toyiladeva of the Kadamba dynasty (of Hangal), who was governing banavasi Twelve-thousand and Panungal Five-hundred in Saka 984 (A.D. 1062).  Though this name is not found among the already know members of this family, it is not improbable that he is the same as Toyimadeva, the son of king of Somesvara’s aunt Akkadevi, for he (Toyimadeva) was governing the same divisions in A.D. 1064.  It may be noted here that at the time of making the grant recorded in this inscription, Toyiladeva was residing in the camp (irke-vidu) of Payitthana.  This information is interesting as it would show that Payitthana (Pratishthana) which was the capital of the Satavahanas as early as the 1st century B.C. continued to be an important place even in the 11th century A.D.

Mahamandalesvara Mararasa who was governing Belvola Three-hundred from Annigere, as a subordinate of Somesvara I, bore the title Cholangonda (No. 70).  From another undated record of the same reign, it is seen that one of the deities at Annigere had the name of Cholangonda-Traipurushadeva, apparently because it was installed by Cholangonda-Mararasa.   This title Cholangonda no doubt refers to one of the victories gained against the Cholas by Somesvara during a series of encounters that took place in his reign between him and the Cholas.

The inscription of Somesvara II published in this volume do not add much to our knowledge of his reign .  However one of them (No. 74) contains one or two items of useful information.  It introduces an officer named Madhuvarasa who was the Kannada-sandhivigrahi and Dandanayaka of the king.  He bears a number of epithets among which Visalar-ankusa is noteworthy.  Evidently he acquired title after success in some conflict with his adversary, named Visala.  We know that a ruler named Visala of the imperial Chahamana dynasty flourished about this period, He may be placed in A.D. 1070 since he had married Rajadevi, a daughter of the Paramara king Bhoja (circa.  A.D. 1010-1055).  From one other epithet of Madhuvarasa., viz., Chalukya-rajy-abhyudaya-karana it may be gathered that he played an important part in firmly establishing the Chalukya suzerainty, apparently by quelling the disturbances which, occurred during this period.

Upadayaditya Ganga-Permadi, who is known to have been the governor of the province of Banavasi Twelve-thousand and the district of Santalige Thousand in 1112-13 under Vikramaditya VI is found to be in charge of these regions as early as A.D. 1074 as a subordinate of Somesvara II (No. 78).  Another feudatory of this king, viz., Marasimha of the Silahara family is stated to be governing Kumdi Three-thousand and MirimjeThree-thoudand districts in A.D. 1074 (No. 79).  Evidently he is to be identified with Marasimha of this family for whom A.D. 1058 is the only known date.  The present record would therefore extend his period by sixteen years.

The inscriptions of Vikramaditya VI are, as usual, the largest in number but only a few of them are of some value.  In one of these inscriptions (No. 88) dated Chalukya-Vikrama year 5 (A.D. 1080), Mahamandalesvara Channa, who is described as the subordinate of Yuvaraja Jayasimha is credited with the subjugation of Goggi of Paive and Malapa Nagavarma.  Though these two names occur among the Silaharas of Northern Konkan and the Kadambas of Hangal respectively, the period in which they flourished is too early for that of Channa.  Jayasimha is stated to be holding sway over the extensive territory which was bounded by Perdore (i.e., the river Krishna) on the north and the ocean in the other three directions.

Some chiefs of Jatachola lineage are described in an undated inscription (No. 112) of this reign, as the hriday-avalambi (who were favored by affection, i.e.,  favorite subordinates) of the Guttas.  The following genealogy of these chiefs is given in this record:-

Click here to Genealogy...

Owing to the fact that the Gutta chief Mallideva  is spoken of as the subordinate of Mahapradhana Govindarasa, a well-known officer of Vikramaditya VI, Fleet has assigned this inscription to circa. A.D. 1115.  This Jatachola, from whom the family mentioned above traces its descent, may in all probability be the same as Jatachoda who is mentioned as the eponymous ancestor of the Telugu Chodas in their inscriptions.  In some of these Karikala is mentioned as the son of Jatachoda.  This Karikala is considered by scholars to be identical with Karikala famous in Tamil literature of the Sanga age.  He is placed by Prof. Nilakanta Sastri in circa. A.D. 190 and by the late Raj Bahadur V. Venkayya in the end of the 5th century A.D.

That Mallideva of the Gutta family referred to above had younger brother named Joma is revealed from an inscription at Honnatti (No. 124) dated in the Chalukya Vikrama year 48 (A.D. 1124).  In the genealogical lists of this family which have so far come to light the name of this Joma has not been found.  The date A.D. 1124, now discovered for him, would show that A.D. 1115, the date which Fleet suggested for his elder brother Mallideva (cf. No. 112) is not wide of the mark.  The chieftain Joma is stated to be holding the manneya of Ponnavatti Twelve.  Beluhuge Seventy and Bennevur Twelve, when Mahamandalesvara Simhanadeva was governing Seguna-desa, Paliyanda Four thousand and the agrahara of Honnavatti.  Though the family of this Simhana is not specified in the record, it can be safely surmised that he was a Yadava chief, as he was governing Seuna-desa.  We know from the Vrata-khanda of Hemadri that a Simharaja of the Yadava family “brought an elephant of the name of Karpuratilaka from Lanjipura and thus did a piece of service to Paramardin”.  This Paramardin has been identified with the Chalukya king Vikramaditya VI.  It is therefore clear that Simhanadeva of the present record is the same as Simharaja mentioned by Hemadri.

Some scholars thought that Ayyana, the younger brother of Vikramaditya V, did not rule, but one of the inscriptions of the reign of Vikramaditya VI (No. 89), dated Chalukya-Vikrama year 5 (A.D. 1080) stated distinctly that he did rule.  According to that record the kings Taila, Sattimadeva, Vikramanska, Ayyana, Jayasimha, Ahavamalla and his son Somesvara ruled in regular succession (kramadimide).  This statement would support the view expressed by Dr. A. Venkatasubbiah that Ayyana ruled, though for a short time, and the present inscription is an addition to Ayyana ruled, though for a short time, and the present inscription is an addition to the list of records already noticed by him as mentioning Ayyana as a reigning king.

Click here: Among the more important officers under Vikramaditya VI...

There are only a few noticeable inscriptions of the time of Bhulokamall Somesvara III, Of particular interest is the one (No. 135) mentioning Mahaprachanda-Dandanayaka  Holakesideva.  It will be easily recognized that this name Holakesi is a variant of Polekesi (Pulakesi).  The meaning of this name, which was borne by two illustrious rulers of the Chalukya dynasty has baffled scholars.  Various explanations have been offered in deriving the etymology of this word.  Most of these explanations take th first half of th world to be puli, meaning “tiger” in Kannada and the second half to be Sankrit kesin meaning “haired”, the two halves making the meaning “tiger-haired” or “having a coat of short, thick and close hair like that of a tiger”.  A verse in the Kauthem grant of Vikamaditya V would suggest that the name signifies “one by hearing whose name the hair of the hearers stand on end as with joy”, by connecting the first part of the name with the Sanskrit word pulaka (horriplation).

One scholar derives the first half of the word from the Sanskrit root pul meaning “to grow” or “to be great” and takes kesi to mean a lion and explains the whole word as “the great lion”.

But the earliest form of the name is Polekesi and, as suggested by Fleet, is in all probability the original form.  And it is worth noting that it is this form which even kielhorn had adopted.  So an attempt is made here to interpret this original form Polekesi.  Pole in Kannada means impurity of child-birth, i.e., of the natal chamber, and in Kannda the word Kesi as a shortened form of Kesava is found not only in literature but also in inscriptions.  For example, the author of the famous Kannad grammar Sabdamanidarpana is Kesiraja and he also calls himself Kesava.  In one of the inscriptions an officer of the Klachurya monarch Bijjala is called by the alternative names of Kesava, Kesiraja and Kesimayya.  An inscription of the Chalukya king Somesvara I mentions a general named Kesava-gavunda, who is also referred to therein as Kesi-gavunda and Kesi-raja.  So the expression Polekesi can be taken to mean “he who was like Kesava, ie., Lord Krishna (in his prowess) even in the natal chamber”.  And we know that according to the Puranas Lord Krishna exhibited his superhuman qualities even in the natal chamber.  So evidently this ruler was given the name Polekesi because he showed extraordinary qualities like Lord Kesava or Krishna even from the time of his birth.  Accordingly we led to the conclusion that this name is Kannada word meaning “one who resembled Krishna in prowess from babyhood””.  And this name Polekesi, as explained here, is quite appropriate in the case of one who was the real founder of the Chalukyan kingdom and even more appropriate in the case of his famous grandson, the great Pulakesin II, who struck terror even into the heart of the might monarch of the north, Harshavardhana.

The other inscriptions of Somesvara III deserve to be reviewed here relate to the Kadamba chiefs of Hangal and they will be discussed in the section dealing with those chiefs.

An inscription (No. 145) of Perma Jagadekamalla, the successor of Somesvara III, supplies a date which would show that the initial year of Jagadekamalla’s reign commenced sometime before 10th March A.D. 1138.  This inscription cites the date as the 4th year of the reign of Jaadekamalla, Durmati, Chaitra su. Padiva, Monday, solar eclipse.  According to Swamikannu Pillai’s Indian Ephemeris, these details regularly correspond to A.D. 1141, March 10, Monday.  But the initial year fixed by this record would push back the date suggested by Fleet for the commencement of the reign of this king.  It is, however, difficult to reconcile this with the latest known date for his predecessor Somesvara III falling in November-December 1138.  But it may be pointed out that Dr. Venkatasubbaiah is of the opinion that Jagadekamalla began to reign on 23rd December 1137.  A scion of the Bali family, named Boppagavunda is stated in one of the inscriptions of this reign (No. 149) to have made, along with his brothers, gifts to god Boppesvara of Makanur.  Apparently this Bali family is the same as the one mentioned in some of the Sudi inscriptions, while editing which Dr. Barnett had discussed the origin of this family.

As there is nothing of special interest to be discussed in the inscriptions of Taila III, we may pass on to the reign of the next Chalukya King, i.e., Somesvara IV.  One of his inscriptions (No.161) dated Saka 1106 and the third year of his reign shows that be began to count his regnal years from sometime before 5th November 1182.  This would advance the beginning of his reign by a few months before the date suggested for this event by Fleet.

Dr.  Venkatasubbaiah, however, considers that this king ascended the throne in A.D. 1184.  This inscription is of further interest on account of the fact that in it figures a Yadava chief named Gomadeva as making  a gift to a god (name lost).  Among the early Yadavas of Sevundesa mentioned by Hemadri, a Govindaraja is included.  He is the great grandson of Simharaja who was a subordinate of Vikramaditya VI and for who we have the date A.D. 1124.  It is therefore not improbable that Gomadeva of the present record is the same as Govindaraja.  The god to whom Gomadeva made a gift is stated in the same inscription to have been installed by another Yadava chief called Hemmadideva in the 10th year, Prabhava, of a king whose name is not fully preserved; but he is in all likelihood Jagadekamalla(II), the tenth year of whose reign is usually coupled with the cyclic year Prabhava.  We do not seem to have come across this Hemmadideva before.  Though it was known that Barmadeva, the mahapradhana of Somesvara was instrumental in restoring the Chalukya sovereignty be defeating the Kalachuryas, the inscription under review says clearly that the Kalachurya king who suffered defeat was Simghana.

One inscription (No. 169) which belongs to the Chalukya period, but which does not refer itself to the reign of any particular king, is of some interest.  It is dated in the Chalukya-Vikrama year 60 (A.D. 1135) and it discloses the fact that Mahamandalesvara Brittiyarasa attacked Hahanur (modern Havanur on the bank of the river Tungabhadra).  The name Bittiyarasa would suggest that he may be the Hoysala prince Visnuvardana who was also called Bittideva and Bittiga, and whose dates range from A.D. 1111 to 11141.  This surmise against strength by the fact that he made himself bold enough to attack Hahanur leads to the conclusion that this prince was trying even as early as A.D. 1135, to declare himself independent of his suzerain, the Chalukya king.

A family of some local importance which held the office of nalgamunda,  practically throughout the Chalukya period and even earlier, finds mention in some of the records in thsis volume.  The members of this family which was called the Chikkamba-kula (or-anvaya) were the nalgamundas  of the subdivision of Sattalige Seventy from about the 9th century A.D. to the 12th.  This office was apparently herediatary and the following persons figure in this capacity in the record published below:- Kuluga-gamunda who flourished sometime during the 9th century A.D. is mentioned in an undated Rashtrkuta inscription (No. 38).  Bijja was the nalgamunda under Krishna II in A.D. 901-02 (No. 15).  Uttavayya was a subordinate of Chalukya Jayasimha II in A.D. 1033 (No. 48).  Mahasamanta Goyimmarasa was holding this office in A.D. 1066 (No. 71) in the reign of Somesvara I and in A.D. 1074, during the reign of Somesvara II (No. 78) No. 133 belonging to the reign of Somesvara III mentions Mahasamanta Bammarasa as enjoying this position in A.D. 1127.

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