What Is India News Service
Sunday, February 25, 2007


South Indian Inscriptions


Part - II

Miscellaneous Inscriptions From the Tamil Country

IX.- Inscriptions of Kulottunga-Chola III

No. 85 to 86 Inscription at Tirumanikuli & Chidambaram

No. 87 to 88 Inscription at Chidambaram & Srirangam

As I have stated on page 43 above, the time of Kulottunga-Chola III., the immediate predecessor of Rajaraja III., is settled by an inscription at Nellore, which couples Saka-Samvat 1119 with the 19th year of his reign.  Professor Kielhorn’s calculations of the dates of  twenty inscriptions of this king have shown that his reign commenced between the 8th June and 8th July A.D. 1178.[1]

The records of the reign of Kulottunga III. are so numerous that a complete list of them would occupy too much space.  I subjoin a list of those opening with a historical introduction, the first word of which is puyal.


1. 3rd year : Tirumanikuli

2. 5th year : Chidambaram, No. 121 of 1887 – 88.

3. 5th year : Chidambaram, No. 122 of 1887 – 88.

4. 8th year : Tiruvengadu, No. 118 of 1896.[2]

5. 9th year : Chidambaram, No. 86 below.

6. Undated[3] : Tirukkollambudur, No. 1 of 1899.

7. 11th year : Chidambaram, No. 87 below.

8. 19th year : Tiruvorriyur, No. 404 of 1896.

9. 19th year : Srirangam, No. 88 below.

10. 21st year : Tirumanikuli, No. 170 of 1902.[4]

11. 34th year : Tirumalavadi, No. 74 of 1895.[5]


In the majority of these inscriptions (Nos. 1, 4, 5, 7 to 10) the king is called Parakesarivarman alias Tirubhuvanachakravartin Kulottunga-Choladeva.  Two inscriptions (Nos. 2 and 3) substitute Virarajendradeva (II.) for Kulottunga-Choladeva, and the two remaining inscriptions (Nos. 6 and 11) have instead of it Konerimenkondan[6] and Tribhuvanaviradeva, respectively.  In his inscriptions without historical introduction, the king is called either Kulottunga-Choladeva or Tribhuvanaviradeva.  The second name occurs in records of the 27th to 37th years.[7] In a single inscription the king bears the name Virarajendra-Choladeva.[8]

Two inscriptions of the 9th year[9] prefix to the name of the king the relative sentence ‘who was pleased to take Madurai.’  In records of the 10th to 31st years, this sentence is amplified into ‘who, having taken Madurai, was pleased to take the crowned head of the Pandya.’[10]  Other inscriptions, of the 12th to 29th years, read ‘who, having taken Madurai and Ilam, was pleased to take also the crowned head of the Pandya.’  An inscription of the 14th year[11] has ‘who was pleased to take Madurai and Ilam.’  In inscriptions of the 23rd to 31st years, we find  ‘who was pleased to take Ilam, Madurai, the crowned head of the Pandya, and Karuvur.’  Finally, certain inscriptions of the 31st to 37th years add to the king’s conquests, that he ‘was pleased to perform the anointment of heroes and the anointment of victors :’

The introductions of the inscriptions of the 3rd, 5th and 8th years[12] do not contain any statement of historical interest.  An inscription of the 9th year (No. 86 below) relates that Kulottunga III. assisted Vikrama-Pandya against the son of Vira-Pandya, defeated the Mara (i.e., Marava ?) army,[13] drove the Simhala army into the sea, took Madurai (i.e., Madhura) from Vira-Pandya and bestowed it on (Vikrama) Pandya.  An inscription of the 11th year (No. 87 below) also refers to the defeat of the son of Vira-Pandya and to the bestowal of Kudal (i.e., Madhura) on Vikrama-Pandya, and adds that Vira-Pandya revolted again, but that Kulottunga III. ‘took his crowned head,’ i.e., that, while seated on the throne, he placed his feet on the crown of the Pandya king.  An inscription of the 19th year (No. 88 below) first notices an expedition into the North, at the end of which the king entered Kachchi, i.e., Conjeeveram.  As in the inscription of the 11th year, it is then stated that he defeated the son of (Vira) Pandya, took Madurai and bestowed it on Vikrama-Pandya, and that he ‘took the crowned head’ of Vira-Pandya, who had revolted again and given him battle at Nettur.[14] The next-following passage relates that he pardoned the Pandya king, i.e., apparently Vira-Pandya, and the Chera king, who seems to be identical with the person who is subsequently called Vira-Kerala.[15]  Finally, an unnamed Pandya king who bore the surname ‘chief of the family of the Sun’ received valuable presents.  An inscription of the 21st year adds that Kulottunga III. placed his feet on the crown of the king of Ilam, i.e., Ceylon.[16]

In his Annual Report  for 1898-99, Mr. Venkayya has shown that the invasion of the Pandya country during the reign of the Ceylong king Parakramabahu, which is related in chapters 76 77 of the Mahavamsa, fell into the reign of the Chola king Rajadhiraja II.  During this war there were two claimants for the throne of Madhura.  One of them, Vira-Pandya, the son of Parakrama-Pandya, was supported by the Singhalese, and the other, Kulasekhara, by the Cholas.  The former is probably the same person as the Vira-Pandya who was defeated and humiliated by Kulottunga III., while, as Mr. Venkayya suggests, Vikrama-Pandya, the protégé of Kulottunga III., may have been the successor of Kulasekhara, the claimant of the Pandya throne whose part had been taken by Rajadhiraja II.

If the foregoing inferences are accepted, it would follow that Rajadhiraja II. was either the immediate predecessor or one of the predecessors of Kulottunga III. on the Chola throne.  That these two kings were intimately connected, may be concluded also from the fact that an inscription of the 17th year of Kulottunga III.[17] opens with the first sentence of a historical introduction which is given in full at the beginning of an inscription of the 5th year of Rajakesarivarman alias Tribhuvanachakravartin Rajadhirajadeva (No. 3 of 1899), which opens with the word kadal suzhntha parmatharum, prefixes to the king’s name the epithet Maduraium Ilamum kondarulina, which was later on borne by Kulottunga III.

In four of the six inscriptions of Rajadhiraja II. which open with kadal suzhntha parmatharum, the king is not called Rajakesarivarman, but Parakesarivarman.  One of these four inscriptions[18] shows that the 8th year of Rajadhiraja II. was about 15 years later than the 19th year of Rajaraja II., as will appear from the following extract.

“On the first solar day of the month Kattigai in the 8th year of king Paakesarivarman alias the emperor of the three worlds, the glorious Rajadhirajadeva, - in the fifteen years from the month Tai in the 19th year of the lord Rajarajadeva to the month Aippasi in the 8th year of the emperor of the three worlds, the glorious Rajadhirajadeva.”

Consequently Rajaraja II. must have been either the immediate predecessor or one of the predecessors of Rajadhiraja II.

In eight inscriptions of Rajaraja II. which open with  poo maruviya thirumaathum,[19] the king bears the epithet Parakesarivarman.  Besides, there are two inscriptions of his which have the same introduction as those of Rajadhiraja II. (kadal suzhntha par etc.).  In one of these (No. 219 of 1901) Rajaraja II. is called Parakesarivarman, and in the second (No. 375 of 1902) Rajakesarivarman.

To return to Kulottunga III., an inscription of his 19th year asserts that he undertook an expedition into the North and entered Conjeeveram.[20] This statement is borne out by the fact that three inscriptions of his reign are found at Conjeeveram[21] and five others as far north as Nellore.[22]

The following vassals of Kuottunga III. are mentioned in Epigraphical records : -

1.- Madhurantaka-Pottappi-Chola alias Tammusiddhi-araisan made a grant to the Vishnu temple at Nellore alias Vikramasimhapuram in the 26th year of Kulottunga III. (=A.d. 1203-4).  Another Nellore inscription of the [3]1st year (=A.D. 1208-9) refers to Madhurantaka-Pottappi-Chola alias Nallasiddh-arasar.  Other inscriptions of Tammusiddhi are dated in Saka-Samvat 1127 and 1129 (=A.D. 1205-6 and 1207-8),[23] and Nallasiddhi was the name of an uncle of his.[24]

2.- An inscription of the 5th May A.D. 1205 in the Ekamranatha temple at Conjeeveram[25] records the gift of a lamp by the Ganga chief Siyaganga Amarabharana alias Tiruvegambam-udaiyan, in whose time the Tamil grammar Nannul was composed, and his queen Ariyapillai gave two lamps to the temple at Tiruvallam in the [3]4th  year of Kulottunga (III).[26]

3.- Two inscriptions of the 27th and 33rd years of Kulottunga III. record grants of land by Chola-Pillai alias Alagiya-Chola alias Edirili-Chola-Sambuvarayan, the son of Sengeni Ammaiyappan.  This chief is already known from the Poygai inscriptions of Rajaraja III., the successor of Kulottunga III.[27]  Two inscriptions of Tribhuvanachakravartin Konerimelkonda-Kulottunga-Choladeva record grants by Sengeni Ammaiyappan Kannudalpeeruman alias Vikrama-Chola-Sambuvarayan.[28]  As this Sengeni Ammaiyappan must have been the father of the above-mentioned Alagiya-Chola, the two inscriptions may be safely allotted to Kulottunga III.  Another inscription of Kulottunga-Choladeva (III. ?) introduces a member of the same family, named Sengeni Mindan Attimallan Sambuvarayan.[29] 

4.- The chief noted under No. 2 and one of the last-mentioned chiefs seem to be referred to in two inscriptions of the 20th and 21st years at Sengama, which I have accordingly allotted to Kulottunga III.[30]  The same two inscriptions contain the names of two other feudatories of Kulottunga III., viz., Vidugalagiya-Perumal, a chief of Dharmapuri in the Salem district,[31] and Malaiyan Vinaiyai-venran alias Karikala-Chola-Adaiyurnad-Alvan.

5.- The Sengama inscription of the 21st year refers to a certain Yadavaraya.  This title was born by two chiefs, viz., Tirukkalattideva and his son Vira-Narasimhadeva.  The former is mentioned in inscriptions of the 16th and 17th years of Kulottunga III.,[32] and the other in inscriptions of the 36th and 37th years of the same king[33] and in an inscription of the 8th year of Rajarajadeva (III.), the successor of Kulottunga III.[34]  In an inscription of the 15th year of Kulottunga (III.), this chief calls himself ‘prince Simha alias Virarakshasa-Yadavaraja, the son of Yadavaraja alias Tirukkalattideva.’ Both Tirukkalattideva and his son claimed descent from the Eastern Chalukya family ; for, they bore the birudas Vengivallabha and Sasikula-Chalukki.  The Venkatesa-Perumal temple on the Tirupati hill contains an inscription of the 34th year of Tribhuvanachakravartin Vira[n]arasimhadeva Yadavaraya (No. 71 of 1888-89).  In the 40th year of Viranarasimhadeva-Yadavaraya the same temple was rebuilt.[35]  Another Tirupati inscription (No. 58 of 1888-89) is dated in the [8]th year of Tirubhuvanachakravartin Tiruvengadanatha-Yadavaraya, who may have belonged to the same family.

[1]  See Ep. Ind. Vol. VII. P. 8 and p. 169.

[2]  Ep. Ind. Vol. IV. P. 264, No. 23.

[3]  The fourth year is referred to in line 14 f.

[4]  Ep. Ind.  Vol. VII. P. 174, No. 74.

[5]  Ibid. Vol. IV. P. 220, No. 18.

[6]  The grant portion of No. 6 shows that this was a title target="_self" of Kulottunga-Chola III.  For, according to line 15, the village granted received the name Kulottunga-Solan-Kalattur.

[7]  No. 93 of 1900 is dated in the 39th year of Tribhuvanachakravartin Tribhuvanaviradeva.  As it omits the usual epithets of the king, it need not necessarily belong to Kulottunga III.

[8]  See Ep. Ind. Vol. VII. P. 172, No. 68.

[9]  No. 86 below, and No. 125 of 1896.

[10]  I.e., ‘who placed his feet on the crown of the Pandya king.’  See below, p. 215, note 4.

[11]  Ep. Ind. Vol. VII. P. 6, No. 60.

[12]  Nos. 1 to 4 of the list on p. 204 above.

[13]  The Maravas are a tribe in the Madura and Tinnevelly districts.  They are referred to in the Mahavamsa, chapter 76, verses 132, 250 and 263.

[14]  A village of this name is situated in the Sivaganga Zamindari, 5 mils west of Ilaiyangudi.  Nettur is also mentioned in the Mahavamsa, chapter 76, verses 192, 216, 222, 289, 298, 299, 307, 309 and 313.

[15]  This king must be different from, and earlier than, Jayasimha Vira-Keralavarman, on whom see Ep. Ind. Vol. IV. P. 146, note 2, and p. 293.

[16]  See below, p. 218, note 8.

[17]  Ep. Ind. Vol. VII. P. 172, No. 70.

[18]  No. 7 of 1893, in the Ekamranatha temple at Conjeeveram.

[19]  See p. 79 above.

[20]  See p. 206 above.

[21]  Nos. 36 and 38 of 1893, and Ep. Ind. Vol. VI. P. 281, No. 44.

[22]  For the date of one of them, see Ep. Ind. Vol. IV. P. 219, No. 16.

[23]  See Ep. Ind. Vol. VII. Nos. 17 and 21.

[24]  See ibid.  p. 122, and compare p. 129.

[25]  Ep. Ind. Vol. VI. P. 281, No. 44.

[26]  See p. 122 above.

[27]  Above, Vol. I. p. 87.

[28]   Above, Vol. I. No. 132, and Vol. III. No. 61.

[29]  See above, p. 120 f.

[30]  See Ep. Ind. Vol. VI. P. 333.

[31]  See ibid. p. 331.

[32]  No. 38 of 1893, in the Arulala-Perumal temple at Conjeeveram, and No. 16 of 1897, at Takkolam near Arkonam.

[33]  No. 406 of 1896, at Tiruppasur, and No. 182 of 1894, at Tirukkalukkunram.

[34]  No. 200 of 1892, at Kalahasti.

[35]  See Ep. Ind. Vol. VII. P. 25.

Home Page

Archives | Links | Search
About Us | Feedback | Guestbook

© 2007 Copyright What Is India Publishers (P) Ltd. All Rights Reserved.