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Wednesday, December 27, 2006


The Indian Analyst


 

South Indian Inscriptions


 

BOMBAY - KARNATAKA INSCRIPTIONS

INTRODUCTION

The inscriptions included in this Volume represent all the important ruling dynasties of Karnataka and bring to light quite a few facts not known to students of history and epigraphy so far. An attempt is, made in this introduction to present some of these facts as gathered by a study of some important epigraphs. 

While almost all the inscriptions in the Volume are written in the Kannada script and language, a few of them are either in the Kannada script and Sanskrit language or in the Nagari script and Sanskrit or Kannada language.  Only one inscription is in the Brahmi script and Prakrit language.  There are two records in Nagari script and Marathi language and composite inscription is written in three scripts, viz. Kannada, Tamil, and Nagari, while the language are Sanskrit, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu.  

THE RULING DYNASTIES

 The Chutus

Among the inscriptions included in this Volume, the earliest is a Prakrit record (No. 1) from Banavasi which is written in Brahmi characters of the third century A.D.  It belongs to Vinhukada-Chutukulandanda Satakanni and records a gift of a Naga, a tank and Vihara by the king’s daughter.  While Pandit Bhagawanlal Indraji and Buhler took the name of this daughter as Sivaskandanagasri mentioned in the record, Rapson and Luders thought that this name referred the prince and that the daughter’s name is not mentioned.  But in view of the suggested readings given in the text edited below, Sivaskandanagasri could refer only to the name of the king’s daughter. 

                                     The Chalukyas of Badami                   

The first inscription to be noticed under this dynasty is NO. 2, which is written in characters of about eh 7th century A.D. and belongs to the reign of Satyasraya.  As the epithet Satyasraya is commonly associated with the Western Chalukya king Pulakesin II, this record may be assigned to his reign.

Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, all from Lakshmesvar and found in the Jaina temple called Sankha-basti, are in the nature of copper-plate grants.  They are in characters of about the 10th century A.D. and are written in the Sanskrit language.  They appear to be later copies of earlier grants. 

No. 3 belongs to the reign of Ereyamma Satyasraya, described as the son of Ranaparakrama-Maharaja.  Since we know that Ranaparakrama was an epithet of Kirtivarman I and that his son Pulakesin II was commonly associated with the epithet Satyasraya, the ruling king of the record may be identified with the latter.  The inscription mentions a certain Durgasakti, apparently a subordinate of the king, as the son of Kundasakti and grandson of Vijayasakti of the Sendraka family.  These princes re not known from any other source.[1] The Chiplun plates of Pulakesin II mention the Sendrakaprince Senandaraja as his maternal uncle But we do not know whether this Senanda was related to the princess mentioned in the present record and, if so, in what way.

No. 4 belongs to the reign of Vinayaditya.  It may be noted that in giving the genealogy from Pulakesin I downwards, the inscription omits the name Vikramaditya, I (A.D. 655-80), the son and successor of Pulakesin II, and associates some of his attributes to his son and successor Vinayaditya. 

No. 5 and 6 belong to the reign of Vijayaditya while No. 7 belongs to that of Vikaramaditya II.  These three grants along with that of Vinayaditya mentioned above (No. 4) were issued from Raktapura. I have shown elsewhere that Raktapura was the Sankritised name of Kisuvolal, i.e., modern Pattadal, and should be identified with that place and not with modern Lakshmesvar as Pathak and Fleet were inclined to do. 

No. 8 from Sidenur belongs to the reign of Vikramaditya.  The record may be assigned on palaeographical grounds, to the 8th century A.D. and hence the king mentioned therein may be identified with Vikramaditya II.

No. 9 from Adur belongs to the reign of Kirtivarman who may be identified with Kirtivarman II as the record has to be assigned to the 8th century A.D. on grounds of paleography.  The inscription mentions one Sidarasa as governing Gangi-Pandiyur.  This chief probably belonged to an early branch of the Sinda family and is not known from any other source.  The record also mentions a certain Madhavattiyarasa, probably a contraction of the name Madhavasatti-arasa.  If this is true, then the name suggests that he belonged to the Sendraka family. 

The Rashtrakutas

There are eight inscriptions belonging to this dynasty included in this Volume.  The earliest of them is 

No. 10 which comes from Sidenur and refers to the reign of Dorapparasa, i.e., Sidenur.  Marakka-arasa is known from a few other records as the governor of Banavasi under Dhruva.  And from a record from Kachavi, we learn that he had a son named Kattyara from his senior queen Appa-Vineti who is apparently the same as Binaeti-abbe of our inscription.  I have elsewhere shown that this Mrakka-arasa is the earliest known governor of Banavasi under the Imperial Rashtrakuta kings. 

No. 11 is undated and may be assigned to about the end of the 8th century A.D. on paleographical grounds.  It refers to the reign of Srivallabha, an epithet borne by both Duruva Dhravasha and his son Govinda III, though Fleet was inclined to refer the inscription to the reign of the former. 

An incomplete inscription (No. 12) from Gudigeri, which is not dated but assigned to about the 8th or 9th century A.D.  on palaeographical grounds, was published by Fleet.  It refers itself to the reign of a certain Marassalba-maharaja and mentions one Dadigarasa as governing the nadu, evidently as a feudatory of the king.  Fleet was inclined to identify Marassalba or Marasarva might have been a member of the Western Ganga family, possible the Ganga king Sripurusha-Muttarasa.  As suggested by Altekar, Marasarva of the Wani-Dindori and Radhanpur plates seems to have been a petty ruler of Sarbhon in Bharoch and hence cannot be identified with Marasalba of the Gudigeri record.  But his view that the latter was a small local feudatory ruling over a district is untenable.  For, the record, states in unequivocal terms that Marassalba was ‘ruling over the earth’ (prithvi-rajyam geye), thereby indicating his sovereign status.  It may be pointed out that Amoghavarsha I, the son and successor of a Govinda III, was called Sarva and, therefore, Marassalba or Marasarva may be identified with him.  In the alternative, it may be taken to be an epithet of Govinda III himself.  Dadigarasa who was governing the nadu, which probably stands for Banavasi-nadu, is not known from any other source. 

No. 14 from Hirebidri belongs to the reign of Subhatunga and seems to be dated in Saka 800 (A.D. 878).  Only the word entu-nuru is preserved and, though the Saka date is usually mentioned at the beginning, comes here after the mention of the King.  If the word entu-nuru refers to the date of the record, then it furnishes the earliest known date for the king Subhatungadeva, i.e., Krishna II.  So far, the earliest date for this king was furnished by the Sirumja and Soratur records dated Saka 805 or A.D. 883.  The latest date known for his father and predecessor Amoghavarsha I is A.D. 877-78.  So our record probably belongs to the very first year of the reign of Krishna II. 

No. 15 belongs to the reign of Akalavarsha who, from the date Saka. 826 (A.D. 904-05) given in the record, can be identified with Krishna II.  It mentions his subordinate Lokate, also called Lokayya, as governing Banavasi-12,000 and one Bijja as nalgavunda of Satyalge-70.  We know that Lokate belonged to the Chellaketana family, the members of which were governors of the Banavasi Province under the Rashtrakuttas for about two centuries.  So far, the Byadi inscription of Akalavarsha, i.e., Krishna II, dated Saka 823 (A.D. 901-02) supplied the latest date for Lokate.  Our record, therefore, shows that he held the office till A.D. 904-05 at least.[2]  The same Byadgi record informs us that a certain Bijja who belonged to the Chikkamba family was the nalgamunda of Sattiyalge-70.  Bijja of our inscriptions is apparently the same who is mentioned in the Byadgi record.

No. 17 from Rugi is a badly damaged record written in Sanskrit language and Nagari characters.  It belongs to the reign of Mahrajadhiraja Paramesvara Amo..who is no doubt Amoghavarsha.  It is dated Saka 863 (expired), expressed both in words and figures, the word indicating the number e being effaced although it is clear in the figure.  This date corresponded to A.D. 941-42.  The king Amoghavarsha may be identified with Baddega-Amoghavarsha, the father of Krishna III.  But there is some difficulty about this identification.   It has been shown that the accession of Krishna III fell between the 23rd February and the 23rd December, A.D. 939 while we learn from the Deoli plates dated Saka 862, i.e., A.D. 940-41 that Kirshna ascended the throne only after the death of his father.  Therefore, we may have to assume that either there is some error in the date cited as Saka 863 in the present record or the epithet Amoghavarsha was borne by Krishna III as well just as both Indra III and his son Govinda IV had the epithet Nityavarsha.  In the latter case, the present record has to be assigned to Krishna III himself.   

It may not be out of place to notice here a record from Agarkhed (No.152) belonging to the time of the Kalachuri king Sovideva and dated in the cyclic year Vikrita corresponding to A.D. 1170. This record refers to a previous  gift of land  made by a certain Mahamandalesvara Kailasarasa of Tardavadi  and a subordinate of Subhatungadeva . We known  that the epithet subhatungideva was characteristic of the Imperial Rashtrakutas and was borne by all the three kings who bore the name Krishna . since the present record is of the 12th century A.D., it is likely that sughatungadeva  mentioned herein was Krishna III (A.D. 939—967). A hitherto unknown feudatory  of the king in the person of Mahamandalesvara Kailasvara, who was probably governing the Tradavadi region, is brought to light by the inscription

The Chalukyas of Kalyana

There is only one inscription in the Volume (No. 18) which belongs to the reign of Taila II, the founder of the later family of the Chalukyas, known to students of history as the Chalukyas of Kalyana.  It is dated in A.D. 980 and mentions the Ratta feudatory Mahasamanta Santivarmarasa.  

No. 19 is the only inscription which can be assigned to the reign of Ayyana II and it is one of the few stone inscriptions which preserve a connected account of the pedigree of the kings of the Chalukyas of Badami and Kalyana.  It traces the genealogy from Jayasimha I down to Vasudhakamalla alias Ayyana II to whose reign the record apparently belongs.  The record is dated Saka 936, Ananda, Phalguna, Amavasya, Sunday, which regularly corresponds to February 20, A.D. 1015.  It discloses a hitherto unknown brother and feudatory of Ayyana in the person of Mahasamnta Devanarasa described as a ‘bee on the lotus-feet of Vasudhaikamalladeva’ thereby suggesting that Ayyana II did rule.  A record from Gonahalu dated Saka 936, Sravana (the cyclic years is lost) or A.D. 1014-15, furnishes the latest known date for Vikramaeditya V, the eldest brother and predecessor Ayyana II, while the Sidenur inscription (No. 20) dated in December, A,D, 1015, supplies the earliest date for his younger brother Jayasimha II as a ruling king.  Sravana in Saka 936 fell in the month of July, A.D. 1014.  Therefore, Ayyana II must have ruled between July, A.D. 1014 and December, A.D. 1015...

Including the Sidenur inscription noticed above, Jayasimhadeva II is represented by nine records in the Volume, the latest (No. 27) being dated in A.D. 1041.  They disclose the following feudatory officers of the king who are not noticed by Fleet and Venkatasubbiah. 

(1) Mahamandalesvara Kali-Katimayyarasa who was governing Banavasi 12,000 in A.D. 1015 (No. 20).  His subordinate Vavanaras who was administering Sattalige-70 may be identified with his namesake mentioned in two later records of Jayasimha Ii dated in A.D. 1028 as administering the Purigere-300 and Belvola-300 districts.  One of the records informs us that he was the son of Kesaavarsa and had an younger brother called Mahasamantadhipati Sripadarasa ruling Mulugunda-12.

(2) Mahasamtna Dhanasanghayyarasa of the Selara (Silahara) family mentioned in an inscriptions of A.D. 1019 (No. 21).  He will be noticed later on.

(3) Mahasamanta Dandanatha Rebbarasa mentioned in a record of A.D. 1027 (No. 22) 

(4) Mahasamanta Gopalarasa who was administering Kannavolli (modern Kannolli in the Bijapur District) in A.D. 1041 (No.27) 

Of the fifteen records belonging to the reign of Ahavamalla Somesvara I in this Volume, the earliest (No. 29) is dated Saka 965 or A.D 1044 while the latest (No. 41) bears the date Saka 990 or A. D. 1068.  No. 37 which is dated in A.D. 1057 mentions the king’s subordinate Bijjarasa with the titles Kalanjara-puravaresvara, Suvarna-urishabha-dhavaja, etc., and as governing from his headquarters (nelevidu) at Mangalibveda.  This Bijjarasa no doubt belongs to the Kalachurya dynasty which usurped the Chalukya kingdom about a century later.  The inscription under review provides the earliest contemporary reference to a member of this dynasty.  Two more new feudatories of the king are disclosed by his records.  One is Dandanayaka Echayyabhatta who was administering, in A.D. 1044-45, Pandiyur i.e., modern Adur in the Hangal Taluk of the Dharwar District (No. 31).  The other feudatory is Mallarasa who was the nalgavunda of Basavura-140 in A.D. 1055 (No. 35).  No. 34, dated in A.D. 1053, refers to the kings, feudatory Kirtivarmanadeva (II) of the Kadamba family of Hangal.  The earliest date given to him by Fleet was A.D. 1068-69 and so the present record pushes it back by 15 years.  Mahasamanta Indrakesiyarasa of the Manalera family, who was governing, as a feudatory, purigere-300 in A.D. 1058 (No. 38), is also known from other records.

There are seven records in the Volume belonging to the reign of Bhuvanaikamalla Somesvara II, the eldest son and successor of Somesvara I.  The earliest of them (No. 44) is dated Saka 991 or A.D. 1069 and the latest (no. 49) Saka 998 or A.D. 1076.  Two records (No. 44 and 45) introduce a hitherto unknown feudatory of the king in the person of Mahasamandalesvara Payyarasa or Payiyarasa as governing Taddavadi-1000.

No. 46, dated in A.D. 1072, states that while the chief queen Kanchaladevi was governing from the headquarters (nelvidu) at Mulugunda and the king’s subordinates Mahapradhana, Dandanayaka Rudrabhattopadhyaya was governing Gudigere and mahasamanta, Dandanayaka Isvarabhatta was in charge of all the departments, Dandanayaka Bhasakara-bhattopadhyaya returned from his victory over the northern kings of Lata, Malava, Saurashtra and Gadua, exacting levy from them.  The inscription refers to an earlier grant made by Kumkumadevi, younger sister of king Vijayaditya of Badami.  It is interesting to note that this Kumkumadevi, is mentioned in two contemporary grants of Vijayaditya himself.  Kanchaladevi is also mentioned in a record of Somesvara II, dated A.D. 1069, as his chief queen. 

No. 47, dated in A.D. 1074, mentions the king’s feudatory Jayakesiyarasa of the Sagara family as the eldest son of Indrkesiyarasa and the latter’s wife Chandikabbe. 

  No. 49 dated in A.D. 1076 introduces the king’s subordinate Bhuvanaikamalla-Vira-Nolamba with epithets Vira-Pallavanaya, Pallavakula-tilaka, Amoghavakya and Kanchipuravaresvara as governing Nolambavadi, Panungalnadu and Banavasi-desa.  We know that these epithets were borne by the king’s younger brother Jayasimha III who is called Trailokyamalla-Vira-Nolamba in the records of his father Trailokyamalla-Somesvara I.  Our inscription credits him with the governorship of Banavasi-desa and Panungal-nadu in addition to Nolambhavadi.  The inscription also reveals the name of his queen Maladevi.

As usual, a large number of records belongs to the reign of Tribhuvanamalladev Vikaramaditya VI, son of Somesvara I and younger brother of Bhuvanaikamalladeva Somesvara II.  The earliest inscription in the Volume (No. 51) belongs to his second regnal year, Pingala, while thelatest (No. 86) to his fiftieth regnal year Visvavasu.  Of the 30 records which the regnal years coupled with the cyclic years, 24 yield Nala as the first year of the reign, 3 as Pingala and 3 as Rakshasa.  This would support Fleet’s view that Nala was the first year of Vikramaditya VI.  These records disclose the following new feudatories of the king not noticed by Fleet and Venkatasubbiah: 

  1. Mahamandalesvara Kaliyammarasa mentioned in an inscription of A.D. 1085 (no. 58)

  2. Mandalika Nayimarasa who, in A.D. 1086, was probably governing Elamela (No. 59)

  3. Dandanayaka Asapayya who was administering the Vaddaravula and other taxes in A.D. 1088 (No. 60).

  4. Mahamandalesvara Priya Govarasa of the Silara (Silahara) family who was governing Tardavdi in A.D. 1124 (No. 85).

No. 60 also mentions Mahamatya, Perggade Changadevayya who is evidently the same as Perggade Changadevayya noticed by Fleet.  Our inscription refers to him as a ‘bee on the lotus-feet of Somesvara’ (i.e., Somesvara I or II) and a ‘lion of his brother-in-law’ (i.e, Vikramaditya VI).  This shows that Chagadevayya was not only a feudatory of the predecessors of Vikramaditya but was also related matrimonially to the latter.

Two inscription mention the names of the two sons of Tribhuvanamalladeva.  No 71 from Agarkhed refers to yuvaraja Mallikarjuna as the eldest son of the king and as governing Tardavadi-1000.  His preceptor was Lakshmidhara-bhattopadhyaya.  Another son, kumara Jayakarnadeva, is referred to as Mahamandalesvara in an Inscription (no. 80) from Bijapur.  An undated record (no. 94) from Khedgi mentions Kankoja and his wife Masanikavenayakiti as the parents of Lakshmadevi who was the wife of Tribhuvanamalladeva.  Thus the names of the parents of Lakshamadevi are known for the first time from this record.   

From a record (no. 64) at Malghan, dated in the Chalukya Vikrama year 25 or A.D. 1100, we learn that the king was then encamped on the Bhimarathi river in the course of his expedition against Bhoja in the west.  This bhoja was evidently a chief of the Silahara family of Karad, whom the Sinda chief Achugi II is known to have repulsed. 

There are eleven inscription of Bhulokamalla Somesvara III included in the Volume.  The earliest of them (No. 98) is dated in his second regnal year, Plavanga, while the latest (No. 107) in his thirteenth regnal year, Kalayukta.  All these records show that his first regnal year was Parabhava (A.D. 1126) as suggested by Fleet. 

Among his feudatories, not mentioned by Fleet and Venkatasubbiah, may be included Mahamandalesvara Jayakesidea of the Sagara family who, in A.D. 1128 and 1138, was governing Purigere (Nos. 99 and 107); Mahamandalesvara Tarikada Permadideva who, in A.D. 1129, was governing Tardavadi-1000 and his subordinate Danadanayaka Vaijanathayya (No. 100); and Mahamandalesvara Kumara Sovarasa of the Silara (Silahara) family mentioned in a record (No. 104) of A.D. 1133, as the son of Mahamandalesvara Singarasa who was the subordinate of the king’s father Tribhuvanamalladeva, i.e., Vikramaditya VI. 

Perma Jagadekamalla, the successor of Somesvara III, is represented by thirteen inscription in the Volume, which range in date from A.D. 1139 to 1148.  The Devaranavadgi inscription (no. 111) is dated in his second regnal year coupled with the Cyclic year Siddharthi, thereby showing that he counted his first year from Kalayukta or A.D. 1138.  The same record mentions his feudatory Mahamandalesvara Sovidevarasa of the Selara of Silahara family as holding the office of manneya of Elamela-nadu.  He is also mentioned in No. 115, dated in A.D. 1146 and will be noticed again in the sequel.  Mahamandalesvara Jayakesin of the Manala family is mentioned as manneya of Purigere in No. 117 of A. D. 1147.

There are only two inscriptions (Nos. 122 and 123) of Taila III in the Volume and one of them, viz., No. 122, dated in A.D. 1153, brings to light his feudatory Mahamandalesvara Vira-pandyadeva of the Pandya family, who is also called Yadavabharana, as holding the office of Hiriya-Manneya of Huligere-300.  The same record also mentions another feudatory, Mahamandalesvar Jayakesidevarasa as holding the office of manneya of the same place.  Though the family to which this Jayakesideva belonged is not mentioned, it may be surmised that he was of the Sagara or Manalera family which held this office hereditarily.

The inscriptions of the last king of this family, viz., Somesvara IV, are eight in number in this Volume and quote the Year Visvavasu as his third regnal year (Nos. 124 and 125), Parabhava as the fourth (No. 126) but Plavanga as his sixth year (No. 129).  This would suggest that both Subhakrit and Sobhakrit or A.D. 1182 and 1183 were counted as his first year. The confusion may be due to the similarity of the names Subhakrit and Sobhakrit.  Among his feudatories may be mentioned Mahamandalesvara Anemarasa of the Silara or Silahra family who was governing Elamela in A.D. 1186 (no. 127).  This inscription also informs us that the king was ruling from the capital (nelevidu) at Gokage, i.e.,  Gokak in Belagaum district.  It further refers to the king’s subordinates Mahapasayita, Kumarai Bommidevarasa and his uncle Mahapradhana Govindamayya-dandanayaka who are not mentioned by Fleet and Venakatasubbiah.

continued


[1] An undated record from Siruguppi (ARSIE, 19933-34, App. E.No. 32), assignable to about the 6th or 7th century A.D. on grounds of palaeography, mentions two chiefs named Kundasatti-arasa and Banasatti-arasa and these names resemble those of the Sendraka chiefs.  If Kundasatti (Sankrit Kundasakti) was a chief of this family, he may perhaps be identified with Durgasakti’s father Kundasakti of the present inscription.

[2] Fleet noticed this Lokate in an inscription from Adur in the Hangal Taluk of the Dharwar District, dated Saka 826, Raktakshi (A.D. 904 – 05).  See Bomb. Gaz., Vol. I, Part II.  But this record is not known from any other source.  Proably it is the same as the present record from Sidenur for which Adur may be a mistake.

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