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Sunday, February 25, 2007


South Indian Inscriptions


XVI.- Inscriptions of Parakesarivarman (Aditya II Karikala) who took the head of Vira-Pandya or the Pandya (King)

No. 205 Tiruvalangadu copper-plates of the sixth year of Rajendra-Chola I

No. 199 to 202 Ujjivanathasvamin, Nagesvarasvamin, Mahalingasvamin temple

No. 203 to 204 Nahesvarasvamin temple at Kumbakonam

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The subjoined set of copper-plates discovered so early as September 1905, has been fully described in the Director-General’s Archaeological Survey Report for 1903-04, pp. 233-5.  Its contents are discussed in the Madras Epigraphical Report for 1916, Part II, paragraphs 11 to 20.  The plates and the massive seal[1] on which they are hung weigh 8 maunds, 2 visses and 20 palams and are thus nearly three times as heavy as the Paithan record of A.D. 1272 pronounced by Dr. Fleet to be an epigraphic curiosity in respect of its weight.[2] The Tiruvalangadu plates consist of thirty-one copper-sheets; whereas the so-called larger Leyden plates of the same dynasty already published[3] contain only twenty-one.  The former supply also more information about the early Chola kings than the latter.  An earlier set of Chola copper-plates issued by king Uttama-Chola Madhurantaka, the grand-uncle of Rajendra-Chola I., has been published above.[4]  A set of still earlier copper-plates was recently discovered by Mr. T.A. Gopinatha Rao at Anbil.  They belong to the time of Sundara-Chola Parantaka II., the father of Rajaraja I., and are being edited by him in the Epigraphia Indica.

The Sanskrit and Tamil portions of the Tiruvalangadu grant were written at different periods, as has been already pointed out by Mr. Venkayya,— the latter at the time to which the inscription refers itself and the former about at least a decade later.  A detached inscription written in continuation of the Sanskrit portion on sheet Xa and continued on Xb, is stated by Mr. Venkayya to be a later addition.[5]  It registers a grant made to the shrine of the goddess at Tiruvalangadu, perhaps contemporaneously with the grant of Palaiyanur to the temple of Mahadeva (Siva) of that place, but put into writing long  after.  The characters of the detached record are paleographically at least one or even two centuries later than the characters of the Palaiynaur grant and it is difficult to explain why a gift made to the shrine of the goddess in the 6th year of Rajendra-Chola I. must have been kept without being reduced to writing for such a long period.  In this connexion it deserves to be noted that separate shrines of goddesses in Siva temples are, generally, of much later origin than the original Siva temples themselves and that in the stone inscriptions registered on the walls of the Tiruvalangadu temple the shrine of the goddess is referred to for the first time only in a record of the 10th year of Tribhuvana-chakravartin Rajadhiraja II., i.e., in A.D. 1173 – clearly 155 years after the date of the subjoined copper-plate grant.

The tradition of the place Tiruvalangadu intimately connects it with Ammai or Karaikkal-Ammai, a great devotee of Siva who, under the orders of that god, put on a dreary emaciated appearance and worshipped his dancing form at Tiruvalangadu.  The name Ammai-Nachchiyar which occurs in the detached inscription on plate XVI as a name of the goddess of the temple does not so appear in the stone records of Tiruvalangadu.  No. 469 of the Madras Epigraphical Collection for 1905 calls her Periya-Nachchiyar; in another record her name occurs as Vandarkulal Nachchiyar (No. 497 of 1905), which is still current in its Sanskrit form Bhramaralakamba.  The god himself is named Ammaiyappa in v. 129.  He was perhaps so named on account of his being kind as a father to his devotee Ammai or Karaikkal-Ammai.  Both the names Palaiyanur (or Palanai) and Tiruvalangadu occur in the Devaram  hymns.  In the hymn sung by Sundaramurti-Nayanar the goddess is referred to as Vandarkulali-Umainangai and the god himself as Palaiyanur-Amma.  It is not  impossible that in the names Ammaiyappan and Ammai-Nachchiyar, Amma is synonymous with the god Tiruvalangadu.  The story of Karaikkal-Ammai is not referred to in the Devaram so called.  But the eleventh Tirumurai of the sacred collection which describes the god, at Tiruvalangadu was the composition of Karaikkal-Ammai herself and the place of honour is given to it as muthathirupathigam.

The prasasti of the Chola family conveyed by the Sanskrit portion of the grant (vv. 1 to 137) consists of 271 lines and is mostly Puranic[6].  In verse 4 are introduced the sun and Manu, the latter of whom was produced from the Sun by concentration of mind.  His son was Ikshvaku (v. 5) ; his son Vikukshi (v. 6) ; his son Puranjaya (v. 7) surnamed Kakutstha (v. 8) ; his son Kakshivat (v. 9) and his son Aryaman (v. 10).  In this family was born Analapratapa (v. 11); in his family was born Vena; and his son born from the right arm was Prithu (vv. 12 and 13).  In his familywas born Dhundhumara, so called on account of his having killed the demon Dhundhu (v. 14).  In (his) family was born Yuvanasva (v. 15) ; his son was Mandhatri who ruled the earth as far as the Lokaloka mountain (v. 16) ; his son was muchukunda who, by killing the demon Kalayavana, pleased the god Mukunda, i.e., Vishnu (v. 17).  In (his) family was born king Valabha[7] who founded the city of Valabhi (v. 18) ; his son was Prithulaksha who set the mountain Mandara whirling in the ocean for securing nectar (v. 19) ; his son was Parthivachudamani (v. 20). In (his) family was born Dirghabahu (v. 21) and then came Chandrajit[8] (v. 22); his son was Sankriti who became the emperior at the close of the Krita age (v. 23).  In that family was born Panchapa (v. 24)[9] ; in his family was born Satyavrata who conquered Kasiraja, the king of Varanasi (i.e., Benares) (v. 25) and acquired the title Rudrajit (v. 26) by conquering Rudra in battle.  In that family was born Sibi; an ornament of his family was king Marutta[10] who was an immediate predecessor of the Pandavas (vv. 27 and 28).  In his family was born Dushyanta; his son was Bharata and his son was Chola after whose name the Solar race on this earth became known as Chola (v. 29) and who ruled the Chola country which was abundantly rich (v. 30).  Cholavarman’s son was Rajakesarivarman and Rajakesarin’s son was Parakesarin (vv. 30 and 31).  These two names were used as titles alternately by the Chola kings in the order of their coronation (v. 32).  Parakesarin’s son was Chitraratha; his son was Chitrasva and his son, Chitradhanvan (v. 33).  It is stated that this last king Chitradhanvan brought into his dominions the river Kaverakanyaka, i.e., Kaveri, just as Bhagiratha brought into the earth Ganga, the river of the gods (v. 35).  In that family was born Suraguru entitled Mrityujit (v. 36).  In his family was born Chitraratha who bore the title Vyaghraketu after his banner on which was the figure of a tiger.  He also bore as an ornament on his head the flowers of the dhataki (v. 37).[11] His son was Narendrapati who became king at the end of the Treta age.  His son was king Vasu entitled Uparichara on account of his having received a celestial car from Indra by which he moved about in all directions (v. 39).  In his family was born Visvajit at the close of the dvapara age (v. 40).  Thus verses 4 to 40 supply names of kings who ruled in the Krita, Treta and the Dvapara ages and as such can hardly be of any interest to the student of history, excepting perhaps the euponymous name Chola and the titles Rajakesarivarman and Parakesarin of the Treta age.

Coming to the rulers of the Kali age, the first king mentioned is Perunatkilli who was born in this same family and was highly learned (v. 41).  In his race[12] was born Kalikala who renovated the town Kanchi with gold and established his fame by constructing flood-embankments for the river Kaveri.  The poet explains the name Kalikala as ‘the god of Death (Kala)’ either to the Kali age or to the elephants (kari) of his enemies (v. 42).  Evidently here, the tradition recorded in Tamil literature that the name Karikala ‘the burnt-leg’ was derived from an accident which happened to the king while yet he was a boy, was either not known or was purposely ignored by the eulogist.   In that family was born Kochchengannan whose former birth as a spider and deep devotion to Siva are described in verse 43.  The story of Kochchengannan is found in the Periyapuranam under the name Kochchengatchola-Nayanar.  He is there stated to have been the son of Subhadeva and Kamalavati and to have constructed many Siva temples in the Chola country.  The classic Tamil poem Kalavali, which is devoted to the history of his life, describes his defeat of the Chera king at Kalumalam.  In the family of Kochchengannan was born Vijayalaya who took possession of Tanchapuri (i.e., Tanjore) and there consecrated the goddess Nisumbhasudani (vv. 44 – 46).  With Vijayalaya commences a regular genealogy of the Cholas whose capital was Tanjore.  The earlier Cholas of literature whose traditional capital was Uraiyur and who preceded Vijayalaya must have been in a decadent condition serving in some subordinate capacity under the powerful Pallavas.  A Telugu branch of them ruling perhaps independently over a small tract of country.  His son Adityavarman conquered the Pallava king Aparajita in battle and took possession of his country (vv. 47 – 49).  This was the Tondaimandalam which Aditya is known to have subdued.[13]  His son Parantaka was a devotee of Siva.  He drove the Pandya king into the sea and carried his conquests even into Simhala (Ceylon) (vv. 50-52).  This explains the titles Madirai-konda and Maduraiyum-Ilamum-konda often found added to the name of Parantaka in inscriptions.  This Parantaka is further stated to have built the golden hall called dabhrasabha (at Chidambaram) and thereby excelled Kubera, thefriend of Siva (v. 53).  The larger Leyden plates, on the other hand, state that he only covered it with gold.  His son Rajaditya defeated king Krishnaraja in battle and went to heaven (v. 54).  The reference here is evidently to the battle of Takkolam[14] in which the Rashtrakuta king Krishna III. and his Ganga feudatory Butuga jointly defeated and killed Rajaditya who was fighting from the back of an elephant as stated in the Leyden grant.  The summary way in which Rajaditya has been disposed of by the author of the Tiruvalangadu plates shows that probably he did not succeed to the throne, although the Leyden plates explicitly state that after the death of Parantaka, Rajaditya “ruled” the kingdom.[15]  Rajaditya’s brother, Gandaraditya next became king (v. 54).  The Leyden plates say of him that he produced a son called Madhurantaka and founded a town after his own name on the northern bank of the river Kaveri.[16]  The next king mentioned is Arindama (v. 55) whose exact relationship to Gandaraditya is not specified.  But it is known from the Leyden plates and from other inscriptions that Arindama (Arinjaya, Arinjiga or Arikulakesari) was the third son of Parantaka.  His rule was evidently neither famous nor long.  From the Melpadi inscription published at page 26f of this volume, we learn that Rajaraja I. erected the Siva temple called Arinjisvara (the modern Cholesvara) as a pallippadai (tomb-shrine) to his grandfather Arinjaya who was also known as Arrur-tunjinadeva.  Arrur where Arinjaya appears to have died must be distinct from Tondaiman-Arrur where Aditya I. is stated to have died (Madras Epigraphical Report  for 1907, page 71, paragraphs 29 and 30).  Then came Sundara-Chola or Sundara-Chola Parantaka (II.) who was very famous.  Five verses (56 to 60) are devoted to his praise.  Of Sundara-Chola the Leyden plates state that at a place called Chevura he fought a great battle and caused rivers of blood to flow.  This Sundara-Chola’s son was Arunmolivarma (vv. 61-63).  After the death of Sundara-Chola (v. 64) his wife Vanavan-Mahadevi is stated to have abandoned her people and followed her husband to heaven (vv. 65 and 66).  His son Aditya next ruled the earth, killed the Pandya king in battle and placed his head high up as a pillar of victory in his capital (vv. 67 and 68).  This Pandya king is stated in the Leyden plates to be Vira-Pandya.  We also learn from the same plates that Aditya II. had the other name Karikala.  Immediately after the death of Aditya, Arunmolivarman (called Rajaraja in the Leyden grant) was requested by his subjects to succeed to the throne but he desired it not while his paternal uncle still coveted his dominions (v. 69).  This statement which indicates a probable dispute about the succession to the throne immediately after Aditya-Karikala (II.) is not referred to in the Leyden plates.  These latter state that Madhurantaka, the son of Gandaraditya, succeeded straightway after the death of Aditya.  Perhaps we have to give credence to the information furnished in the Tiruvalangadu plates and accept that while by right the succession was Rajaraja’s, he voluntarily permitted his uncle Madhurantaka to rule the kingdom, on the understanding that he would himself he chosen for the office of the heir-apparent (v. 70).  Madhurantaka ruled the kingdom virtuously as a pious devotee of Siva (v. 71).  After Madurantaka, Arunmolivarman was installed in the administration of the kingdom amidst the rejoicings of his people (v. 72).  His digvijaya or the conquest of the quarters and the tulabhara i.e., ‘weighing oneself against gold’ are mentioned in verses 74 and 75.  The conquest of the quarters began with the south (v. 76).  Rajaraja conquered first the Pandya (king) Amarabhujangawhile his commandant (dandanatha) captured the impregnable fortress of Vilinda whose moat was the sea (vv. 78 and 79) The latter officer also crossed the ocean by ships and destroyed the lord of Lanka (Ceylon) (v. 80).  Arunmolivarman’s ocean-like army next defeated Satyasrya who fled away to avoid misery.  “Being produced to Tail (oil) this (slipping away) was but natural in him” (v. 81) saysthe poet , thereby indicating that Satyasraya who was defeated by Rajaraja was the son of Tail II.  He also killed the faultless Andhra king Bhima for the mere reasons that the latter had killed by a powerful club a certain Rajaraja, his namesakeke, who was an expert in war (v. 82).  This statement makes it clear that Rajaraja unnecessarily interfered in the politics of the Andhra country, by killing a king called Bhima.  This Bhima and the Rajaraja killed by him have not been identified.  Rajaraja next conquered the [Kerala] country which was the creation of Rama (i.e., Parasurama) and also subdued in battle successively the Ganga, Kalinga, Vanga, Magadha, Aratta, Odda, Saurashtraka, Chalukya, and other kings (v. 81).  This list of Rajaraja’s conquests, though by no means impossible, is yet exaggerated when it includes names like those of Magadha and Saurashtraka.  According to the Leyden plates Rajaraja I was known by the title Rajasraya.  Rajaraja’s son was Madhurantaka (v. 85) who backed up by a powerful army turned his attention to the conquest of the quarters (digvijaya) (v. 89).  This king called Uttama-Chola (II.) started to the south as usual[17] with a desire to conquer the Pandya king (v. 90).  The commander of his forces (dandanatha) so struck the Pandya that the latter ran away from the land of Agastya and sought refuge in the Malaya hill (v. 91).  After taking possession of many a pure lustrous pearl of the Pandya king (v. 92), Madhurantaka placed there his own son Chola-Pandya for the protection of the Pandya country and started westward (v. 93).  For the first time in its history, Kerala, which was impregnable and unconquered, was entirely annihilated (vv. 94 to 97).  The king after this returned to his capital and started afresh for the conquest of the north (v. 98), having again appointed his son Chola-Pandya[18] to protect the western country (v. 99).  Rajendra-Chola entered Kanchi (i.e., Conjeeveram) in his march against Jayasimha of the Tail family, the lord of the Chalukyas[19] (vv. 99-100).  He thoroughly routed  him and his forces, thereby causing the ladies of the Ratta kingdom to shed tears[20] (vv. 101-107).  Rajendra-Chola returned again to his capital (v. 108).  With the idea of bringing the river Ganga into his own country through the strength of his arm he ordered his commander[21] to subdue the kings occupying the banks of that river (vv. 109-110).  From v. 113 it is inferred that Rajendra-Chola also held the title Vikrama-Chola.  The first king conquered was Indraratha of the Lunar race (v. 114); next, Ranasura was robbed of his prosperity and then Dharmapala.  The commander of the Chola army reached the Ganga and got the most sacred water of that river carried to his master Madhurantaka (vv. 116-117).  Meantime Rajendra Chola himself reached the river Godavari to meet his able General who had just brought the water of the Ganges, after having defeated Mahipala on the way (vv. 118-119).  Here, Rajendra-Chola is stated to have killed the wicked king of Odda and to have accepted as tribute from the surviving claimant, many rutting elephants[22] (v. 120).  His next campaign was against Kataha (v. 123).  He then constructed in his capital the tank called Cholagangam which was composed of the waters of the Ganga river, and established it there as a memorial pillar of his victory (v. 124).  The conquests of Rajendra-Chola are mostly recorded in the historical introductions to his Tamil inscriptions dated from and after the 13th year of his reign.[23]  It may here be noted that the Tamil introduction given in lines 131 to 142 below is naturally the shorter one, since it belongs to the 6th year of the king’s reign ; and since it does not include a list of all conquests mentioned above, it has been suggested that the Sanskrit portion of the grant which includes the conquests of the later years must be a subsequent addition.

Being encamped at Mudigondasolapuram, king Madurantaka deputed his minister Janatha, the son of rama, in the 6th year of his reign, to grant the village of Palaiyura to the temple of Siva [at Tiruvalangadu] (v. 125).  This Jananatha is stated to have been a minister of Madhurantaka and a crest jewel of the Chalukyas (v. 127).  The village Puranagrama, (i.e., Palaiyura quoted above), which was granted to the god Siva named Ammaiyappa, was the ornament of the province of Jayangonda-Chola-mandalam and was situated in the district Paschatyagiri[24] (vv. 128-129).  It was also called Tiruvalangadu and was bounded on three sides by Simhalantaka-chaturvedimangalama and on the fourth by Nityavinoda-chaturvedimangalam (vv. 130-131).  The srimukha or the royal order conveying the grant was written by Uttamasola-Tamiladaraiyan.  Tirukkalatti Pichchan made the request (vijnapti) on behalf of the temple and Araneri, son of Mayana, a native of Mangalavayil and of the fourth caste, did the business of taking round the female elephant (karinibhramana), etc., under orders of Jananatha (vv. 132-135).  The learned poet Narayana, son of Sankara and a devotee of Vishnu, composed the grant (v. 136).  Tirukkalatti Pichchan and Araneri, sons of Mayana, do not appear in the Tamil portion of the grant described below.  Jananatha of the Sanskrit portion is identical with Narakkan Marayan Janathan alias Rajendrasola-Brahmadhirajan who together with three other officers of the king issued the order to execute the grant of Palaiyanur to the Siva temple of Tiruvalangadu.  Uttamasola-Tamiladaraiyan is identical with Narayanan-karrali alias Uttamasola-Tamiladaraiyan mentioned in 1. 276 of the Tamil portion.    

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[1]  See back of the accompanying plate XIX, bottom.

[2]  Imperial Gazetteer of India (The Indian Empire), Vol. II, p.33.

[3]  Archaeological Survey of Southern India, Vol. IV, pp. 204 ff.

[4]  Pp. 264 ff.

[5]  The accompanying facsimile Plates XIII to XVI (Part of Xa) completely illustrate the Sanskrit portion.  The detached Tamil inscription of the later period is illustrated on plate XVI (part of Xa and Xb).  The rest of the plates illustrate the Tamil record.  Copper sheet VIIb to XVIIb which contain only this description of the boundary line are not illustrated.

[6]  See footnotes on the translation.

[7]  This name is perhaps to be taken as the origin of the Tamil word Valavan which in Tamil literature generally in Synonymous with Chola.  It is not impossible that vice versa Valabha is a Sanskritised form of the Tamil Valavan.  If the latter is true, his founding the town of Valabhi in Saurashtra must have been  purely an invention of the poet’s imagination.  In v. 106 below, Rajendra-Chola is called the ornament  of the Valabha race.  But it must be remembered that Tamil literary tradition strongly supports the advent of the early Tamil kings in Northern India,— a Chera king named Imayavaramban being even supposed to have carried arms into that country.

[8]  The account given does not specify the exact relationship of Chandrajit to Dirghabahu.  The name Chandrajit perhaps suggests the racial enmity which the kings of the Solar race entertained towards those of the Lunar.

[9]  I.e., the protector of the five (kings).  The Pandyas are generally known as Panchavar and are traditionally connected with the five Pandava brothers of the Mahabharata.

[10]  The story of Marutta is related in the Mahabharata and agrees with what is stated of him in the inscription.

[11]  Tamil literature refers to the tiger-banner and the string of atti flowers (Tomentosa) which were emblematic of Chola royalty.

[12]  Epigraphia Indica Vol. XII, p. 136, and Mr. K. V. Subrahmanya Aiyar’s Historical Sketches, pp.  207 ff.

[13]  See No. 89 above, and Madras epigraphical Report for 1906, Part II, paragraph 10.

[14]  The battle of Takkolam is referred to in the Atakur inscription ; see Epigraphia Indica, Vol. VI, p. 50 f.

[15]  The question of Rajaditya’s succession will be discussed in detail in the general introduction to Vol. II.

[16]  This village has been identified with the modern Kandaradittam in the Udaiyarpalaiyam taluk of the Trichinopoly district ; see above, Vol. II, p. 374.

[17]  Rajaraja’s conquests as described above also commenced with his march to the south against the Pandya king.

[18]  Chola-Fandya being only a title, it is difficult to understand if Rajendra-Chola Madhurantaka appointed one and the same son for the protection of both the Pandya and the Kerala countries or appointed two different sons.

[19]  Jayasimha is also called the king of the Rattas since he was ruling the Rattapadi, 7 ½ -lakh province.

[20]  The Hottur inscription of A.D. 1007-08 refers to the big Chola army and its depredatory acts.

[21]  An inscription (No. 333 of 1917) recently copied at Ennayiram in the South Arcot district (vide Madras Epigraphical Report  for 1918, p. 145 f.) states that Rajendra-Chola assumed the title Gangaikonda-Chola after defeating the kings of the north and receiving (from them) the waters of the Ganges with all the pomp of a conqueror.  This is not by itself enough to suggest that Rajendra-Chola personally conducted the northern campaign as suggested in the report.

[22]  The Mahendragiri Tamil inscription, which bears the Chola insignia of the tiger and the two fish and records the defeat of the Kuluta chief Vimaladitya by a General of rajendra-Chola I., must be referred to this campaign of the king.  Kuluta was mentioned as a country in the North-Eastern division of India according to the topographical list of the Brihatsamhita (Indian Antiquary, Vol. XXII, p. 182.)

[23]  See e.g., Epigraphia Indica, Vol. XI, pp. 230 – 231.

[24]  I.e., the Tamil Menmalai or Melmalai.

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