XIX - INSCRIPTIONS
volume contains the texts of 471 inscriptions of the Chola kings who
simply called themselves by the tile Parakesarivarman.
Like the records of Rajakesarivarman published in Volume XIII of
this series, these also cover the same period of Chola history from the
middle of the 9th century A.D. onwards, and hence the
transactions mentioned in them are inter-related to each other.
As in the case of the previous publication, the inscriptions here
are also arranged in the same order of regnal years of the kings, their
assignment to specific kings being done after study of each individual
record with reference to its original facsimile for determining its paleography
and for ensuring its accuracy.
This study was made possible by the kindness of the Government
Epigraphist who helped me with all the necessary impressions by promptly
sending them in convenient batches for examination as an when they were
kings represented in the previous volume were Aditya I, Gandaraditya.
Parantaka II Sundara-Chola, Rajaraja I and the later kings kulottunga I and II, The inscriptions in the present collection are
assignable to the kings who intervened between them beginning with
Parakesarivarman Vijayalaya, the father of Aditya I and the founder of
the revived dynasty of Tanjore. A
majority of the inscriptions can be ascribed to Parnatka I and his
grandson Uttama-Chola, while a smaller number belong to Arinjaya and
Aditya II Karikala, and a few are of the time of Rajendra-Chola and
earliest Chola kings of whom we have any definite knowledge are those
mentioned in the so-called Sangam literature, who flourished in the fist
few centuries of the Christian era.
Their provenance was the region mostly watered by the Kaveri, now
covered by the Tiruchirappalli and Tanjavur districts, with their
capitals at Uraiyur near Tiruchirappalli and Kaveripattinam on the
sea-coast. Though there is
no connected history of these kings, the materials furnished by the
literature throw a good of a few famous rulers like Karikala,
Kochchengannan and others, and on their conflicts with kings and chiefs
of other dynasties.
the south of the country was overrun by the mysterious hordes called the
Kalabhra period and after Kalabhras, the Cholas along with their
neighbours in the north and south, the Pallavas and the Pandyas, lost
their territory to the conquerors and sank into insignificance.
These latter occupied the land for about three centuries, but
nothing much is known of their rule.
They are believed to have been Buddhists and probably helped the
spread of their religion in their newly acquired state.
In the writings of one Buddhadatta who lived sometime during this
period, mention is made of a certain Achyuta-Vikranta of Kalabhra-kula
who is referred to as “ruling the earth.”
This Buddhist divine describes at length in his works the
prosperous cities of Kaveripattanam and Bhutamangalama in Chola-ratha in
each of which there is said to have been a great monastery.
By about the end of the sixth century A.D. the Kalabhras seems to
have been driven out of the Tamil land, and the Pallava and Pandya
copper-plate grants speak of the re-establishment of their power under
Simhavishnu and Kadungon respectively.
The Cholas were probably too weak to assert their independence,
and the powerful Simhavishnu claims to have brought the Chola territory
under his rule. With their
country thus permanently lost to the Pallavas, the Cholas were confined
to a narrow region round Uraiyur and continued of conflicts between the
Pallavas and the Pandyas, and between these and other powers like the
Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas, and many of these battles were fought in
places situated in the former Chola territory now in the occupation of
the Pallavas, and later partly of the Pandyas also as testified by the
existence of their inscriptions. The
area round about Tanjavur was under the sway of a dynasty of chieftains
known as the Muttaraiyuar whose inscriptions are found at Sendalai and
Niyamam, and who seem to have ruled either independently or as vasslas
of the Pallavas. One such
chief was Kataka-Muttaraiyan mentioned in theVaikuntha-Perumal temple
inscriptions at Kanchipuram as a Pallava subordinate in the reign of
Nandivarman II. No. 18 of
the “Pudukkottai Inscriptions” refers to a Muttaraiyar chief called
Videlvidugu Muttaraiyan as a feudatory under Dantivarman.
Another chief of the same name was a vassal under-Nripatunga (M.E.R.
No. 365 of 1904). The
Cholas through all these three centuries should have been playing a very
minor role in the wars, through frequent mention is made of them in the
records of other dynasties, thus recognizing their separate
individuality as a power. The
Pallava-Pandya strife in the latter half of the 9th century
A.D. in which Nripatunga claims a victory over the Pandyas and the
counter-effort sometime later by pndya Varaguna, seem to have proved
propitious for the rise of the Cholas who were now feeling their
strenghth under Vijayalaya. This
prince who probably fought on the side of the Pallavas at the time is
said to have captured Tanjavur and made it his capital (Tiruvalangadu
Plates). The circumstances
favouring this adventure might have been the growing weakness of the
Pallavas and the defection of Muttaryaiyar chief to the more powerful
Pnadya, if not his incapacity to stand against the ambitious attach of
Vijayalaya. It is also
possible that Vijayala befriended the Pandya king to advance his own
A specific inscription of this Chola king under the name “Parakesarivarman
who took Tanjai” has been found engraved on a hero-stone
dated in his 3rd year, at Virasolapuram in the South Arcot
district (M.E.R. No. 51 of 1936) which is not however included in this
volume. Its text is
published in the Ep. Report for 1936 and it records the death of a
certain Karambai Kalitudan Kukkan of Attiyur while rescuning cattle from
a raid by one Aniyan. It
would thus appear that even as early as his 3rd year
Vijayalaya’s rule extended beyond Tanjavur.
Two epigraphs of a much later period, one from North Arcot (M.E.
R No. 160 of 1915) of the time of VikrmaChola and the other from the
Tiruchirappalli district (No. 675 of 1909) dated in the reign of
Kulottunga III, both refer to gifts made in accordance with stone
records of the time of Vijayalaya.
the M.E.R. for 1895 Dr. Hultzsch was inclined to assign to this king two
inscriptions from the Tanjavur district (602 and 689) which record gifts
made by one Mullur-Nangai, the mother-in-law of Parakesarivarman.
Included in the present volume are two epigraphs (Nos. 74 and 77)
of his 3rd year in which the same Mullur-Nangaiyar, the
mother of Solamadeviyar queen of Parakesarivarman figures as a donor.
Nos. 149 and 239 from Tiruchchatturai and Tiruppalanama both in
the Tanjore district dated respectively in the 5th and 9th
years of Parakesarivarman introduce a Pandya prince of the name
Parantakan Manabharananar and his consort Kilavan Desappugal, the latter
of whom is said to have made a gift of lamps to the temples in those two
places. This would go to
show the friendly relation that existed at the time between the Chola
and the Pandya. The early
writing of the records precludes the possibility of the prince being
identical with his namesake Manabharana of the 11th century,
an enemy of Rajadhiraja I. since
Parantaka I began his career with the conquest of Madura it is very
likely that the two presnt records are anterior to his reign and hence assignable
to Vijayalaya himself. This
conjecture seems to get support from the presnce of inscriptions at
these two places which are ascribable to his son Aditya I.
The place of Manabharana in the Pandya genealogy is not clear
unless we equate him with Parantaka Viranarayana the younger brother of
Varaguna II and father of Rajasimha.
Beyond these few records it is difficult to assign any more of
the inscriptions in the present volume definitely to Vijayalaya.
one of the pillars built inside the shrine of the goddess in the temple
at Two later records ascribed to him Tiruvilimilalai (Tanjavur Dt.) are
found 5 inscriptions engraved one below the other.
Three of them which are included in this volume refer themselves
to the reign of Parakesarivarman. No. 46 and 163 dated in the 21 year and the 6th
year respectively have been surmised to be those of Vijayalaya (M.E.R.
1909). This seems to be
unlikely, for No. 367 which is also a record of Parakesarivarman dated
in his 15th year, and which by its writing may be assigned to
Parantaka I occupies the topmost position of the pillar while further
down and immediately above No. 46 is an epigraph (No. 438 of 1908 not
included here) registering a gift by one Arikulakesari Vilupparaiyan
most probably and officer under Arinjaya, son of Parantaka.
Hence it is possible that No. 46 may also belong to Arinjaya’s
reign, while No. 163 which is below it and is the bottommost
inscription would be one of king Uttama-Chola.
This last makes mention of two chiefs by name Amarabhujangan
Muppuli alias Gandarulganda-pallavaraiyan and (his son?)
Amarabhujangan Vanapaeraiyan alias Van van Pallavarayan.
A deity called Amarabhujangadeva perhaps after this chief is
referred to in an inscription of Rajaraja’s 7th year.
The next king to bear the tile Parakesari was Vijyalaya’s grandson Parantaka
I who is represented in this volume by over 150 inscriptions ranging
in date between the 2nd and 38th years of his
reign. Being a powerful
ruler who extended his dominion up to Nellore in the north and
Tirunelveli in the south, his records are found spread over a wide
area, and introduce as donors to temples a large number of feudatory
chiefs or high ranking officers who acknowledged his over lordship.
inscriptions from the South Arcot district, dated in the 2nd
year of Parakesari (Nos. 80 and 81) which may be ascribed to Parantaka
I, mention a feudal lord by name Vinnakovaraiyan Vayiri Malaiyan as
administering a portion of Singapura-nadu.
He was probably a descendant of the chief of the same place (M.E.R.
No. 283 of 1916) Another chief of this period was one Videlviduge
Sempottiladanar alias Ganapperumanar whose son Sembiyan
Sempottiladanar made some gift to a Jaina matha under one
Kanakavira Sittadival at Tirakkol in the North Arcot district (No. 301).
This place is called Sridandapuram in another record from the
same place (No. 51) and is said to have been situated in Ponnur-nadu a
division of Venkunra-kottam.
division known as Pangala-nadu (in Paduvur-kottam) was under the
governance of members of a branch of the Western Ganga family of whom
two chief are mentioned as donors in Nos. 277 and 286 both from the
Tanjore district. These
were Alivin-Kallarasi alias Sembiyan Buvanigangaraiyan and
Alivin-Kallarasi alias Pirudigangaraiyar son of Mahadeva, a
probable brother of Gangamarttanda mentioned in a record of Aditya I.
of the officers of the king figuring in inscriptions of his earlier
years was Nakkan Arinjigai alias Parantaka Pallavaraiyan whose
records of gifts made to different temples in the Tanjavur,
Tiruchirappalli and South Arcot districts are dated between the 2nd
and the 7th years
of the king’s reign (No. 1, 70, 75, 88, 187 and 462). Another was
Siriyan Kuvavan alias Uttungatunga-Pallavaraiyan of Kottur in
Nenmalinadu a donor to the temple at Vedaranyam in the 4th
year of the king (No. 83) His surname seems to indicate that his
overlord bore the tile Uttunga-tunga.
member of a military regiment known as Adittapanma-tenrinda-Kaikkola evidently
after king Aditya I, was Sankayana Orri who is said to have
purchased and endowed 4 ma of land to the temple at Tiruvaduturai
in the king’s 2nd year (No. 25).
Another inscription of the same year from Tiruchchatturai (No.
35) records a gift of gold and cows for ghee to the temple by one Korran
Maran alias Terravan malanattuvelan who is probably the same as
Sembiyan Malanattu-velan of Kaikalur figuring in a record of Aditya
I. A 5th year inscription from tiruvengaivasal (Pudukkottai
State) mentions one Nadan Malanattu-vel (No. 136).
These seem to be the chiefs of Malanadu family of who mention
would be made again later.
central shrine of the temple at Tirupparkadal (North Arcot) is stated to
have been renovated by one Sennipperaiyan Kadaman Diranof Arasur in
Pambunikurram in the 3rd year of the king (No. 39-wrongly
assigned to Aditya II). This
is evidently the same person who is mentioned in S.I.I III. Np.
99 as having led a company of soldiers in a frontal attack against the
Pandya forces in the battle at Velur in the 12th year of
Parantaka I. the victory of
commandant chief Paluvettaraiyar Kandan, Amudanar in the same battle, we
also know, is commemorated in another inscription of the same regnal
year form Kilappaluvur (No. 231 of 1926)
inscription from Tirumalai (North Arcot) of the 4th year of
the king (No. 89) which has been published already (in S.I.I III.
No. 97) deserves a brief notice here agains.
It registers some gift to the Jaina temple of that plae by two
persons Virchevagan Pidaran Puttugan (Buttuga) and Virchamanayakan
Chandayana Ayiravan who were members of two different regiments of the
king called the Irumadisola-Karunataka-Kaduttala and
Madurantaka-karunataka-Kaduttalai after the king’s titles, and as
their names indicate, recruited from later as a perundaram (noble)
follower of king in a record of the 5th year of Parantaka II,
who accompanied (prince) Uttama-Chola to th temple at Tiruvorriyur (M.E.R.
1913, II, 19).
is made in three inscriptions of the gifts made by a certain Sankaran
Kunrappolan of Puttur in Malai-nadu. Two of them are from Kudumiyanmalai (Nos. 363 and 387) and
the third which is from lalgudi and is dated in the king’s 16th
year (No. 408) registers a sale of land by the Mahasabha to the
temple at tiruttavattura (Lalgudi) for 30 kalanju of gold endowed
for a lamp by this Sankaran on behalf of Kokkilanadigal, the daughter
of Chermanar”. The
reference is probably to the queen of Parantaka I of that
name, who is called in a later record (No. 226 of 1911) of the time of
Aditya II, the mother of “Anaimerrunjinar”, i.e. prince
Rajaditya also known as Kodandaraman in No. 347 of 1904.
A maid servant of his queen figures also as a donor in No. 150
from Tiruchchatturai. An
inscription of the king’s 22nd year from Kuttalam in the
Tirunelveli district (No. 419) registers a gift of and for a lamp in the
temple at that place made by one Kandan Iravi, on the occasion of
a solareclipse. This might
be a royal personage, the Chera king of the period, a successor of Sthanu-Ravi,
the frined and ally of Aditya I and probably father of queen
No. 448 from tiruvidaimarudur in which the date portion is lost, it is earn
that the temple authorities purchased two plots of land with the
money endowed for a lamp by Uttama ili, the son of Parantaka I.
This prince who predeceased his father is known to us from two
other inscriptions, one from Kadiyur (S.I.I V. No. 575) and the
other from Tirumalpuram (No. 301 of 1096)
The chiefs of Kodumbalur of whom there are a few inscriptions
included in this volume, belonged to an ancient dynasty of rulers called
the Vel or Velir who were holding a tract of land known as Konadu
(comprising portions of Pudukottai and Ramanathapuram) from very early
times. Along with the
Cholas they seem to have also been adversely affected by the Pallava
expansion in the south, and to have been subjected to their control.
We find ata least two members of this family
Marapidugu-Ilangovel (No. 88 of 1910) and Videlvidugu-Ilangovel (No. 174
of 1912) holding a subordinate position under Pallava Nandivarman III.
They must have had clashes frequently with the Muttaraiyar chiefs
who were supporters and allies of the Pallavas for centuries.
The Cholas under Vijayalaya probably enlisted
the help of these chieftains in the capture of Tanjavur from the
Muttariyars, and would appear to have also had matrimonial alliance with
the Muvarkoyil inscription of Kodumbalur (No. 129 of 1907) we learn that
Samarabhirama of this dynasty marrieda a Chola princess Anupama by name,
and had by her a son called Bhuti Vikramakesari.
Two great events are associated with this chief.
He is said to have fought a sanguinary battle against the
Pallavas on the banks of the Kaveri and to have also won a victory over a
Pndya king by name Vira Pandya. We
know of one Vira-Pandya whom Aditya II Karikala claims to have
killed sometime before 960 A.D. If
we suppose that it is the same engagement in which Bhuti Vikramakesari
also took part, he becomes an ally and contemporary of Aditya II.
The fight with the Pallavas could not have taken place after 890
A.D. by which time Pallava Aparajita was dead and his territory had been
annexed by Aditya I. Hence
it is impossible to connect these two enterprises which are separated by
more than 70 years, with one and the same person.
the article “The Kodumbalur chiefs and the Revival of the Cholas”
contributed to the Quarterly Journal of the Mythic Society (Volume XLIII,
Nos. 3 and 4), Messers. K.V. Subramanya Aiyar and K.S. Vaidyanathan have
shown the existence of another Vira-pandya who was much anterior
to his namesake the enemy of Aditya II and was a probable
contemporary of Pandya Rajasimha , son of Parantaka Viranara-yana
and member of collateral line. This
fact combined with the identification of Bhuti Vikramakesari whose
wives were Karrali and Varaguna of the Muvarkoyil inscription with Tennavan
Ilangovelar called also Maravan Bhutiyar, who figures with his
wives, Karrali and Varaguna in inscriptions definitely attributable to
Aditya I (Nos. 258, 264 and 273 of 1903) enables us to get over certain
chronological discrepancies which have been the result of
Vikrmakesari’s supposed contemporaries with Aditya II.
has been surmised the Samarabhirama should have actively helped his
kinsman Vijayalaya in his conquests and been firmly established in his
ancestral domain of Konadu as his friend and ally; while his son Bhuti
Vikramakesari alias Tennavan Ilangovel was probably given the
administration of the region previously under the possession of the
Muttaraiyars. It has also
been conjectured on the strength of patronymics and feudatory titles
borne by these chiefs, that Bhuti Vikramakesari’s two sons by Karrali,
viz., Parantaka and Aditya mentioned in the Muvarkoyil inscription
should be identical with Sembiyan Irukkuvel alias Bhuti Parantaka
and Sembiyan Ilangovel alias Bhuti Aditta-Pidaran occurring in
inscriptions of Parakesarivarman (Prantaka I) ranging up to the 20th
year of his reign (S.O/O VIII, Nos. 657, 668 and 601) The sister
of these two chiefs and daughter of Bhuti Vikramakesari ws Nangai Bhuti
Aditya-Bhatari who was married to the Chola prince Arikulakesari (Arinjaya)
son of Parantaka I (S.I.I. III, No. 96).
Sembiyan Ilangovel (bhuti Aditya) was according to the authors the father of Madhurantakan Irukkuvel alias Adityan bhuti or
Adityan Vikramakesari mentioned in Parakesari records of his 22nd
and 23rd years (S.I.I. VIII No. 616 and 627), while
(his brother) Sembiyan Irukkuvel alias Bhuti Parantaka is
supposed to have had three sons, viz., Virasola Ilangaovel alias Parantakan
Kunjaramallan, Mahimalya Irukkuvel alias Parantakan Virasolan,
and Vira-Irungolar alias Parantakan Siriyavelar the last of whom
had married ( a different) Varaguna-Perumanar, sister of Parantaka II
Sundara-Chola (Vol. XIII, No. 233 and 240)
the identifications thus made, the members of the family figuring in the
inscriptions of this volume and in those of Rajakesarivarman in the
previous volume can be assigned their proper places in the genealogy of
the dynasty. Nos. 155 and
241 which are from Kudumiyanmalai and dated in the 6th and 10th
years of Parakesarivaran (Parantaka I) refer to Varaguna Natti the
daughter of a Muttaraiyan and Nangai-Nala (Nanda) deviyar as
the wives Of Sembiyan Irukkuvelar (Bhuti Parantaka).
Besides these two, the chief is known to have had three more
wives (S.I.I. VIII, Nos. 646, 657 and 666_.
an inscription of the 5th year of Parakesari from
Tirupparkadal in the North Arcot district (No. 121) a gift of 50 kalanju
of gold made for a lamp in the Tiruvagattisvara temple at
Pakkam hamlet by Sembiyan Ilangovelar BhutiAdittar is
acknowledged by the mahasabha of Kavidippakkam.
The identity of this donor is evident as the brother of
Sembiyan Irukkuvel. Seven
years later, i.e., in the 12th year of the king (Parantaka),
the same donor is stated to have made an endowment of another 50 kalanju
of pure gold (of 9 mari in fineness) for the daily offerings
and lamp in the Tirukkarapurattu Perumanadigal temple at Kavidippakkam,
left in the charge of the same mahasabha (No. 297)
regard to this latter inscription we may digress a little to understand
the immediate purpose of the gift recorded.
As noted in a previous paragraph, the battle of Vellur is known
to have been fought in the 12th year of Parantaka I.
The present epigraph is also dated in the same year and more
specifically on the 120th day of that year, which is called a
meaning of this expression had not been understood so far.
Though it is not actually so stated in the record, we may hazard
a conjecture that the gift would have been in the nature of
thanks-giving to God by the Kodumbalur chief for his overlord’s
victory in that battle, in which possibly he might have had his own
share like the Paluvettaraiyar chief Kandan Amudanar. Kotta-nal would
then acquire a significance as connoting a day
here continue... to Introduction