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Saturday, September 23, 2006


 

South Indian Inscriptions


 

INSCRIPTIONS COLLECTED DURING THE YEAR 1906-07

INTRODUCTION 

The collection of inscriptions of 1907 contained in this volume has been very kindly assigned to me by the Department for study and publication, and I gratefully acknowledge the help and encouragement given to me in this connection by the Government Epigraphist for India. 

Of the 623 inscriptions copied during this year, 175 have been included in the previous publications. These comprise 34 Brahmi inscriptions from Amaravati in the Guntur district published in the Epigraphia Indica, Vol.XV; 25 Pallava inscriptions from Mahabalipuram published already in S.I.I. Vol. I; 20 Early Pandya and Chola-Pandya records included in the volume of Pandya Inscriptions (S.I.I. Vol. XIV); a dozen Telugu and Kannada epigraphs of the Kakatiya and Vijayanagara kings; and lastly 84 Chola inscriptions of kinds bearing the surnames Rajakesarivarman and Parakesarivarman (S. I. I. Vols. XII and XIX). The originals of 3 inscriptions viz., Nos. 211, 270 and 503 are lost, but they are not of much importance. The present volume contains the texts of 445 inscriptions belonging mostly to the Chola and Medieval Pandya kings.  Of the rest some refer themselves to the reigns of the Vijayanagara rulers and their feudatories, and some to the minor dynasties of chiefs like the Pottapi-Chods, the Kodumbalur chiefs etc., while a good number are miscellaneous records not assignable to any particular dynasties or kings. The whole collection has been reviewed in the Annual Reports on S.I. Epigraphy for 1907 and 1908. A brief notice of some of the inscriptions may be useful here as preliminary to a detailed study of the records. 

CHOLAS 

2. Of the Chola kings there are more than 300 epigraphs ranging from the time of Parantaka I down to Rajendra-Chola III the last ruling king of the line. In most of his inscription which number about 40, Parantaka is given the attribute Madiraikondd, While No.328 dated in his 41 year adds I1am to this achievement. A certain Kundavaidevi, probably a relation of his queen Kokkil1anadigal figures as a donor in a record of his 19th year (No.261) while another inscription of his 23rd year (No.315) mentions Purvadevi-Adigal in that capacity. This princess is already known to us as the queen-mother of Sundara-Chola Parantaka II and hence the consort of prince Arinjaya (S. I. I., Vol. XIII, No.271). Inscription from Triuvidaimarudur dated in the 37th and 38th years of the king give the names of two local officers Irumadisola-Pallavaraiyar (No. 195) and Kurumbil Vasudevanar (Nos.222, 224 and 227), under whose supervision the Sabha of Tiraimur and the Nagarattar of Tiruvidaimarudil as will as the temple establishment, are said to have met in the Natakasalai of the temple for the purpose of receiving certain gifts made to the temple. One of these was an endowment of land for a dipamala in the temple by a merchant of Kumaramarttandapuram. This town so named after a title of Pallava Nandivarman III (S. I. I., Vol. III, No. 91), seems to have been a commercial centre situated, like Tiruvidaimarudur in Tiraimur-nadu. A gift of money for a lamp by another merchant of the same place is recorded in No.262 of the king’s 17th year as having been left in charge of the Sankarappadiyar of the place. We may take this to have been the name of a corporate body of men closely associated with the Nagarattar community having their own residential quarters (kudi) in big townships (Ep. Ind., Vol. XXII, No.24). 

3. Sundara-Chola the grandson of parantaka has two epigraphs of which No.40 from Tiruvisalur has been published in S. I. I., Vol. III. The other which is a Fragment (No.139), is from Kodumbalur and makes mention of a certain Pudi Pattalakan Nakkan the brother of a lady attached to the royal household. He was possibly a relation of Parantakan Siriyavelar the brother-in-law and military officer of Sundara-Chola. 

4. Five inscription in the collection belong to Aditya II Karikala, the son and successor of Sundara-Chola. His Period of rule has been definitely fixed between A. D. 964 and 969 with the help of an inscription of his opponent Vira-Pandya from Ambasamudram (Ep. Ind., Vol. XXV, No. 6). Aditya is known in his epigraphs by the appellation “Parakesarivaraman who took the head of the Pandya (or Virapandya)” In No 256 Dated in his 3+1st year he is said to have Vanquished Virapandya and taken his head.’ This is an unfinished record stopping With the mention of a local officer by name Parantaka Muvendavelar, Who also figures in Nos. 249 and 255 of the same king in connection with some gifts to the temple.

5. Inscriptions of Rajaraja I range Between his 5th and 29th tears of reign. Those of his earlier years begin merely with his name Rajarajakesarivaraman or with the addition of the short attribute Salai kalam drutta. This feat is found mentioned in inscriptions as early as the 4th year of his reign (No.395 of 1922), and we first find the introduction Tirumagal-pola  ect. In his 9th tear inscription (No. 97 of 1921). No.19 of the present collection, from Tiruvisalur, gives details of date in the 5th year of the king, which correspond to A.D. 989, December, 1. In this year, Battan Danatongiyar, a queen of his, is said to have made an endowment of 100 Ilakkasu to the temple to feed 5 persons versed in the Vedas, Vedartha and Mantra. Another queen, Panchavan-Madeviyar, consecrated an image of the goddess in the temple for Karmmarchanai in the 10th year of the king (No.279). The royal palace at Tanjavur Known as Kodandarman-velam or Kodanda –velam finds mention in two records one from Tiruvisalur (No.279) and the other from Aduturai (No.356). Sembiyanmadev, mother of Uttama-chola, as donor in another inscription from Aduturai (No.362). 

Rajaraja, it is well know, is famous for his great ability in Administration. The revenue survey and settlement carried out in his reign, which finds prominent mention in his Tanjavur inscriptions of his later years, is incidentally referred to in Nos.44 and 347 both dated in his 26th year. A linear standard measure called the Ulagalandan-kol and reminiscent of this survey is mentioned in a 5th year record of his son Rajendrachola from Kuttalam (No. 487 ). In No.44 just quoted above, which records a gift of land by queen Vanavan_Madevi, the village Vembarrur of which Tirivisalur formed a part, is called by its other name Avanianrayana –Chaturvedimangalam, while in a record dated three years later (No.42) and in all subsequent inscriptions it is known as Solamarttanda –chaturvedimangalam, the change in name thus made being evidently to commemorate a biruda of Rajaraja. In the historical introduction of the latter epigraph we find, added to the usual list of his conquest, the mention of “Twelve thousand islands of the sea” by which name the Maldives are said to have been known in ancient times. This naval victory seems to be  the last of Rajaraja’s achievements which proved to be the fore-runner of still greater conquests, of his son in latter times. The inscription is interesting as registering a gift of 458 kasu to provide for some offerings to the deity at Tiruvisalur, by Rajaraja’s queen Dantisaktivitankiyar on the occasion of the Hiranya-garbha and the Tulabhara ceremonies performed in the temple by the royal couple. 

6. Rajendra_chola is represented in the collection by about 30 inscriptions dated between his 2nd and  30th years of reign . Of  these the earliest to being with the historical introduction Tirummanni-varala ect. Are two epigraphs of his 5th year, one from Tiruvisalur in the Tanjavur district (No.349) and the other (No.439) from Sinnamanur in Madurai. It is learnt from these two records that the king had conquered or rather won back Ceylon by that year (A.D. 1015). No.349 registers an endowment of land made to the Tiruvisalur Temple by Uruttiran Arumoli Alias Pirutu_Mahadeviyar, a queen of rajaraja of rajarajadeva , who is also mentioned in another inscription form the same place (No.340 ) dated in the king’s 3rd year. Still another record from Tiruvisalur dated in the 3rd year (No.46) registers the gift of an ornament to the temple by Atiyaraman  Kundapavaiyar the daughter of a chief of Pangala-nadu and queen of Pandya Srivallabha, thus indicating the friendly and Probably also the subordinate Position of the pandya king to the Chola ruler, following the overthrow of Amarabhujanga by Rajaraja  as mentioned in the Tiruvalangadu Plates. 

The gopura and the prakara with its several shrines in the Tiruvasalur temple are said to have been constructed by some members of the King’s  body-guard know as the valangai-Velaikkarar in the 3rd year of the king (No.341). In another record of the same year, a queen of Rajendra-chola by name Nakkan sembiyan-Madeviyar is stated to have presented a tirupallikkattil (couth) for the goddess and made a gift of money for the periodical renewal of the couch-spread and for burning a lamp in the shrine (No.348). Princess A 1 var Parantaka  Kundavaiyar, the elder sister of Rajaraja and aunt of the reigning king figures  as a donor in Nos.350 and 351, Which register an endowment of lands and a house site by her to an Ambatta resident of Tiruvisalur by name Araiyan Uttamasolan alias Rajendrachola- Prayogavaraiyan  as  salyakriya-bhoga (surgery grant ), for the practice of his vocation in his own village and in two other places one situated in Nittavinoda-valanadu and the other in Pandikulasani-valanadu. The King’s different surnames are reflected in the titles of his officer or feudatory chiefs. His senapati Solaimanikkam  whose gift of a forehead plate to the god at Tiruvisalur is recorded in No.1, was also know as Uttamachola-Muvendavelar. Another officer of his , a certain Kuravan Rajajaran had the title Vikramachola-soliyavaraiyan (No.200). He is stated to have made a gift of a lamp to be burnt every night at the entrance into the Tiruvidaimarudur temple known as Ekanayakan-Tiruvasal. No.48 from Tiruvisalur records a gift of 25 veli of land to the temple by the Kodumbalur chief Araiyan Rajarajan Alias Madhurantaka-Ilangovelar. The taxes on the this were remitted by the king by an order issued from his Palace at Kanchipuram.

7. There are four inscription of Rajadhiraja I in the year’s collection, beginning with the introduction Tingaler-taru  ect., or Tingaler-peravalar. Three of them viz., 143, 264 and 345 are dated respectively in his 27th, 32nd and 33rd years of reign which are to be counted form A.D. 1018, as he is known to have been nominated as co-ruler with Rajendra-chola I that year. As Rajendradeva (II) is said to have succeeded to the throne in A.D. 1052 after the death of reign of the latter must have  been his last. There are however  a few inscriptions of later regnal years like No. 14 of 1908 from Kumbhakonam (36th year ), No.135 of 1892 from Kolar (35th year) and No. 534 of 1906 from pedda Tippasamudram (saka 981, Hemalamba =A.D. 1057-58) all referring themselves to the reign of Vijaya Rajendradeva, who has been surmised to be identical with Rajadhiraja I because of his title and of the mention of Kalyanapuram Among his conquest  (An. Rept. For 1908, Part II, para 56). The first of these epigraphs actually begins with the same Tingaler-taru introduction of Rajadhiraja. As against  this, the latter  two give the surname  Parakesarivarman before the name of the king, while Rajadhiraja was a Rajakesari. It is possible that there is some confusion in the claims of the achievements and the regnal years of the two kings, and that the reference in the records mentioned above may be to Rajendradeva only, with the regnal year of Rajadhiraja Extended by a few years into his own reign. A stone images of advarapalaka near the inner gopura of the Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram(Thanjavur dist.) bares an inscription at its base (No. 24 of 1908) stating that it was brought by king Vijaya-Rajendra after his conquest of Kalyanapuram. 

From No 264 already mentioned above, which is dated in the 32nd year Rajadhiraja, we learn that he ordered  the tax-free gift of two veli of land and two houses to the court musician (Perundanattu-Gandharva) Araiyan Tiruvaimarududaiyan alias Mummudisola-Nrittapperaiyan, for reciting  the  Patavyam in the temple of Tiruvidaimarududairur. Following the documentary languages of the times the inscription states that the royal order was received by the temple authorities with folded hands when it was communicated to them. 

8. Of Rajendradeva  there are 5 inscriptions all beginning with the introduction Tirumagal-maruviya ect., and dated between his 4th and 7th years of reign. (Nos.185 and 188). No. 185 which is made up several disconnected  pieces of an inscription, records a gift of about 30 veli of land for the various requirements of the temple at Uraiyur (Tiruchirapalli district), by a lady named Anukkiyar Appi Madhurantakiyar probably royal princess. No. 486 from Kuttalam (Tanjavur dt.) dated in his 5th year registers a gift of money to the temple for the daily feeding of a Pilgrim, by a merchant of Gangakkondasolapuram ‘ for securing strength of arms to the king.’ 

9. Inscriptions of Kulottunga-chola I about  nine in number, range in date between the 26th and 49th years of his reign. No.304 from Tiruvidaimarurudur records a gift of lamp to the temple by his queen (Nambirattiyar) siraman Arumolinangaiyar Elulagumudauyar. Like No. 264 mentioned above, this also gives the information that the order of the king to get this record engraved on stone was received with folded hands by the temple authorities, the Sabha and the Urar of Tiraimur, the nagarattar of Tiruvidaimarudil and others. The epigraph mentions the standard liquid measure Ekanayakan. This was probably a title of Rajendra-chola as surmised above in para 6. No. 365 of the 49th year of Kulottunga mentions the river named sungan-tavirttan after a title of the king. In another inscription of Kulottunga (No.155) a certain nobleman (araiyan ) of Kottiyur in Kana-nadu, by name Kulottungasola-Kanakarajan, is stated to have repaired the bund of a tank at Malaikkoyil (Pudukkottai state) which had been built by his ancestor Mummudisola-singalantaka –Muttaraiyar. 

10. Of  Vikrama-chola there are about 30 inscriptions in the collection. Two epigraphs of his found at Nandalur in the cuddapah  district (Nos. 583 and 579) combine the 3rd and 8th years of his reign with the dates saka 1044, sarvarin and  saka 1047, Visva vasu, thus yielding A.D. 1118 for his accession. These resister grants of agraharas made for securing strength of arms to the king, by his feudatories the Telugu choda chief Bettarasa and Mahamandaleswara Madhuranataka Pottapi-chola Vimaladityadeva, son of  Siddarasar, both ‘ruling from Pottapi-nadu’. These chief will be noticed more in detail later. Nos.301 and 302 of the King’s earlier tears record a tax-free grant of 10 veli of land to a Siva temple at Mangalakkudi (near Tiruvidaimarudur) which had been founded by one Svamidevar srikantha-siva for the merit of Kulottunga I. This Personage was very probably religious preceptor to the kings. It is surmised  in An. Rept . for 1908 Part II, para 64 that he might be the same as Srikantha-sambhu the father of Somesvara who was the Guru of Kulottunga III, but the interval seems to be too long for such identification. The munificent gifts made by Vikrama-Chola to the temple at Tiruvidaimarudur seem to testify  the attachment and devotion he should have for the Presiding deity of that Place. No.272 dated in his 7th year records the grant of a  devadana village with an extent of about a hundred veli of land under the name Tyagasamudra-chaturvedhimangalam. The king is said to have been seated on his Pallippidam in the hall known as Ekanayaka in the temple at the time of making the grant. During a later visit of his to the same temple in his 9th year along with his queen Tribhuvanamulududaiyal recorded in No.274 and 276 another gift of 35 veli of land was made for the maintenance of a number of lamps (dipamalai) to be burnt in the hall Vikramasolan-tirumalgai and in the central shrine. The throne he was occupying is called the solakon, in the hall Tyagasamudram-Tiruveduttukkkatti (in the temple ). In another inscription dated in his 9th year (No.275) he is stated to have endowment 6 veli of land for the worship of god Vikramasolisvaram-Udaiyar evidently consecrated by him in the temple. The rent on this land was fixed at 345 kalam of paddy in accordance with the revenue settlement of the 38th year of king Kulottunga I. A similar fixture of rent (irai) at 60 kalam per veli is quoted in No.272 already mentioned above. 

11. Seven inscriptions of the year may be ascribed to the reign of Kulottunga-chola II. (Nos.49, 303, 343,366,370,572 and 573). Of these No.303 begins with the introduction Pumevi-valar ect., and No. 572 Pumevu-Tirumagal etc. The former refers to Kulottungasola-mangalam as separated from Keralantaka-chaturvedimangalam as a devadana-brahmadeya of the temple at Tiruvidaimarudur, and  records the sale of 12 veli and odd of land by the Mahasabha of the place to one Vamanan  Anbarkkaisan of Tandantottam in the 7+1st year of the king. The land is said to have been sorted into 3 grades by the sabha in the in the 4th year of Vikramachola. No. 572 which is from Nandalur in the Cuddapah district is dated in the 8th year of the king, and records the confirmation of a charter granted by his Telugu-choda feudatory Madhuranataka Pottapi-chola siddarasa to the temple and the assembly of the place, defining the temple lands and demarcating the boundaries of the village and also confirming 52 share-holders in their possession of the land holding as sarvanamasya. Two inscription from aduturai (Tanjavur district ) refer to a certain village Vikramasola-chaturvedimagalam as a Pallippadai (Nos.366 and 370). By this is evidently meant the final resting place of king  Vikrama-chola in whose memory this village should have been founded. 

12. Kulottunga-chola III who was also called virrajendra (No. 57) and Tribhuvanaviradeva  (No.382, 386 and  476 ), is represented by about 40 inscriptions ranging from  his 3rd year of reign (No.586). to the 39th (No. 386). A sanskrit record in duplicate (Nos. 190-2) found in the Kampaharesvara temple at Tribhuvana (Tanjavur district ) calls him by the title Pandyari. It is not dated but must have been engraved late in his reign as it gives in brief a list of his achievements which are already known from his numerous Tamil inscriptions. Heis stated to have conquered the ruler of Simhala and the lord of Kerala and to have killed Vira-Pandya, and after capturing Madurai to have performed the anointment of heroes at that place. The inscription describes in detail the construction of this temple by the king, and its consecration by his Preceptor Somesvara, son of Srikantha- sambhu alias Isvara-siva and a scholar of repute who was well-versed in saiva-darsanas and the Upanishads. The king is also credited with the elaborate renovations of other temple besides. These were (1) the Nataraja temple at Chidambaram, (2) the Ekamresvara temple at Kanchipuram, (3) the Halasya temple at Madurai, (4) the Madhyarjuna temple at Tiruvidaimarudur , (5) the Rajarajesvara temple at Darasuram and  (6) the Valmikesvara temple at Tiruvarur. From No. 288 from Tiruvidaimarudur we learn of the existence of a royal Palace at that Place situated to the east of the temple. A portion of the palace grounds is stated to have been alienated for the purpose of laying out a new road called the Rajakkal-Tambiran-tiruvidi beginning with the eastern gateway of the temple, so that the procession of the god might  start from this entrance on festival days instead of from the south as hitherto and pass through the new road in future. Another inscription from the same place (No.306) gives us an idea of the encouragement shown to culture by royal patronage. It refers to the appointment of an abhinaya-nattuvanar in addition to others in the temple for performing what was called the ahamarggam (expression ) style of dance as distinct from action (nritya). 

13. Other donors besides the kings mentioned in his inscriptions are several local chief or feudatories. No. 289 form Tiruvidaimarudur states that a certain Vanadhiraja set up an image of aludaiya-pillaiyar and made provision for its worship in the temple. Nos. 479, 480 and 482 from Kuttalam (Tanjavur district) registers the construction of the Omkaresvara temple at that palace. The temple of Panchanadesvara (tiruvaiyarudaiyar ) at Mayuram owes its construction to one Pillai Karanai Vilupparaiyar of Kulottungasolan-Kurralam in Tiruvalundur-nadu (No.384 ). A shrine for goddess Sarasvati is said to have been consecrated in the temple at Rishiyur a certain Tillaiyulvilli Periyalvar alias Kulottungasola-Vanakavaraiyar, the headman of Kalattur (No.476). 

An epigraph from Kanippaakkam in the Chittoor district (No.60) combines the saka year 1102 with the 12th regnal of the king. Since Kulottunga is known to have ascended the throne in A.D. 1177-78 (saka 1100) the saka year is evidently a mistake for 1112. It is an incomplete record, but gives the name of a feudatory of his as suranayakan siyagangan, “the lord of kuvalalapura born in the Ganga Family” He was probably the same Ilaraiyan Sagararajan Siyagangan figuring in No.57 from the same place, which is dated 4years earlier. It is Possible but not clear how these were related to Amarabharanan Siyagangan the patron of the author of the Tamil grammar Nannul mentioned in the An. Rept. for 1893 (para 8) and for 1900 (para 34) still another chief mentioned in a Kanippakkam inscription (No.59) which does not refer itself to the reign of any king was Siraimittaperumal alias Siyagangan. His name or title tempts a plausible conjecture that the chief might have been a feudatory of Kullotunga’s successor Rajaraja III, and when the latter was imprisoned at sendamangalam by his rebellious subordinate Ko-perunjinga, he might have helped his liege lord to regain his freedom, which fact gave him the occasion to assume the title siraimitta-Perumal. It is Possible that all these chiefs were descendents of Gangan Amgalavan Gandaradittan alias Mummudisola-Vilupparaiyan of Kuvalalam in Ganga-Six–Thousand country, who was a perudaram of king Rajaraja I (S.I.I Vol.XIII,No.61). 

Kulottung’s inscriptions from Nandalur (cuddapha district )gives the names of his Pottapi-chola subordinates (noticed under Telugu Chodas), besides one Ponnan Kulottungasola-Kaduvetti of Venkarcheri in Pular-kottam (No.576) who is said to have presented the karmmarchchanai images of the deities to the temple together with some articles of worship. 

14. About 10 inscriptions may be assigned to Rajaraja III  ranging between the 7th and 31st year of his rule. No.310 from Tirtuvidaimarudur records the confiscation of the lands of some persons who ware guilty of treachery (to the king?) and their disposal by way of sale, gift and  auction. The inscription being damaged the details are lost. Some bhatta-vritti lands at Tribhavanavira-chaturvedimangalam are referred to as sodakubha gift made for the merit of Periyadevar (Kolittunga III ) Three epigraphs from Maruttuvakkundi (Tanjavur district), all dated in the 21st year of the king and recording tax-free gifts to the temple, quota the 40th year of Alvar or Periyadevar Tribhuvanaviradevar. 

15. Rajendra-choal III the last king of the line has two inscriptions in the collection, of which No. 495 from Kuttalam is dated in his 15th year of rule and gives details yielding the English equivalent A.D.1260, October 14. It mentions a matha at Kil-Palaiyaru alias Rajarajapuram in Kulottungasola-valanadu as belonging to the spiritual lineage of Meyjana-siva. The other epigraph is No. 580 from Nandalur, dealt with under the Telugu-Chodas.

Continuation

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