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Sunday, February 25, 2007


 

South Indian Inscriptions


 

Part - II

Miscellaneous Inscriptions From the Tamil Country

VIII.- Inscriptions of Virarajendra I


No. 81 to 82 Inscription at Tirunamanallur & Kilur

No. 83 to 84 Inscription at Tindivanam & Perumber

In an earlier part of this volume, it was shown that Raja kesarivarman alias Virarajendradeva I., the victory at Kudalsangamam, must have reigned in the period intervening between the reigns of Rajendradeva and of Kulottunga I.,[1] and that, apparently, his immediate predecessor was Rajakesarivarman alias Rajamahendradeva,[2]   and his immediate successor Parakesarivarman alias Adhirajendradeva.[3]  Since then, Professor Kielhorn’s calculations of the dates of an inscription at Belaturu[4] and of another at Manimangalam (No. 29 above) have established the fact that Rajendradeva ascended the throne (approximately) on the 28th May A.D. 1052,[5] while the reign of Kulottunga I. commenced (approximately) on the 9th June A.D. 1070.[6]  Further, Professor Kielhorn has shown that the date of the Manimangalam inscription of the 5th year of Virarajendra I. (No. 30 above) probably corresponds to Monday, the 10th September A.D. 1067, and that, consequently, this king ascended the throne in A.D. 1062-63.[7]

That Rajamahendra reigned between Rajendradeva and Kulottunga I., may be concluded from an Alangudi inscription of the 6th year of Parakesarivarman alias Tribhuvanachakravartin Rajarajadeva (II.),[8] which quotes successively the three following earlier dates : -

(a) Line 22. – “the third year of the lord Vijaya-Rajendradeva, who was pleased to conquer Kalyanapuram and Kollapuram and to fall asleep (i.e.,  to die[9] in battle) on an elephant.”  This statement must refer to Parakesarivarman alias Rajendradeva, who is known to have set up a pillar of victory at Kollapuram.[10]

(b) L. 55.- “the third year of king Rajakesarivarman (alias) the lord Sri-Rajamahendradeva, who, while the law of Manu[11] flourished (as) of old, rescued the great earth from being the common property (of other kings), dispelled (with his) sceptre the dark Kali (age), and was pleased to be seated on the throne of heroes under the shade of a red parasol.”

© L. 63.- “the thirty-fifth year of the glorious Kulottunga-Choladeva, who was pleased to rule after having abolished tolls.”   This refers to Kulottunga I., who bore the surname Sungandavirtton,[12] i.e., ‘the abolisher of tolls.’

A lately discovered inscription of the 3rd year of “king Rajakesarivarman alias the lord Sri-Rajamahaendradeva” at Tirupapuliyur (No. 119 of 1902) opens with a short historical introduction, at the beginning of which it is stated that the king “by a war-elephant caused Ahavamalla to turn his back on (the bank of) the winding river." The mention of Ahavamalla as an opponent of Rajamahendra corroborates the conclusion derived fro the Alangudi inscription of Rajaraja II., that Rajamahendra must have reigned in the period between Rajendradeva and Kulottunga I.  Among the kings who ruled in this interval according to the Vikkirama-Solan-Ula, there are only two whose identification is not self-evident, viz., the predecessor and the successor of Virarajendra I.[13]  Consequently, Rajamahendra, the enemy of Ahavamalla, must be identical with the unnamed king who is alluded to in the Kalingattu-Parani and the Vikkirama-Solan-Ula as the predecessor of Virarajendra I.  The subjoined table shows the reigns of Rajendradeva and his successors according to the present state of our knowledge.

 

Name of king

Date of accession

Latest known date

Rajendradeva[14] Parakesarivarman

28th May A.D. 1052

12th year.[15]

Rajamahendra Rajakesarivarman

….

3rd year.

Virarajendra I. Rajakesarivarman[16]

A.D. 1062-63

8th year.[17]

Adhirajendra Parakesarivarman

….

3rd year.

Kulottunga I. Rajakesarivarman[18]

9th June A.D. 1070

49th year.

 

If the years given in the third column are added to the initial dates preceding them in the second column, it becomes evident that the reigns of these kings must have overlapped each other.  The same had been the case with their predecessor Rajaraja I., Rajendra-Chola I. and Rajadhiraja I.  As regards Rajamahendra, his reign seems to be covered altogether by those Rajendradeva and Virarajendra I.  Perhaps he was a son and temporary co-regent of Rajendradeva.  This was suggested already by an inscription of the 9th year of Rajendradeva, which mentions among the boundaries of a village ‘the road of Rajamahendra.’[19]  A further confirmation is furnished by the fact that his successor Virarajendra I. adopted the surname Rajakesarivarman.  If this king had recognized Rajamahendra Rajakesarivarman as his right predecessor, he would, in accordance with all precedents, have assumed the title Parakesarivarman.

I subjoin a list of the inscriptions of Virarajendra I. which have been copied up to date.

I. Inscriptions opening with the words thiru valara.

  1. 2nd year : Tiruvengadu, No. 113a of 1896.

  2. 4th year : Karuvur, No. 20 above.

  3. Date lost : Kadambarkoyil, No. 226 of 1901.

  4. Undated : takkolam, No. 19 of 1897.

  5. 5th year : Manimangalam, No. 30 above.

  6. 5th year : Gangaikondacholapuram, No. 82a of 1892.

II. Inscriptions opening with the words Viramey thunnaiyagavum.

  1. 2nd year : Tiruvengadu, No. 113b of 1896.[20]

  2. 4th year : Tirunamanallur, No. 81 below.

  3. 4th year : Tenneri, No. 198 of 1901.

  4. 5th year : Uyyakkondan-Tirumalai, No. 98 of 1892.

  5. 5th year : Tirupapuliyur, No. 132 of 1902.

  6. 5th year : Tirupapuliyur, No. 133 of 1902.

  7. 5th year : Kilur, No. 82 below.

  8. 5th year : Vinnamangalam, No. 22 of 1899.

  9. 5th year : Achcharapakkam, No. 253 of 1901.

  10. 5th year : Seyyur, No. 430 of 1902.

  11. 5th : Gangaikondacholapuram, No. 82b of 1892.[21]

  12. 6th year : Tindivanam, No. 83 below.

  13. 6th year : Tiruvallam, No. 16 of 1890.

  14. 7th year : Perumber, No. 84 below.

  15. 7th year : Kilur, No. 259 of 1902.

  16. 7th year : Tirukkalukkunram, No. 175 of 1894.

The earliest form of the longer historical introduction, which opens with thiru valara, is found in an inscription of the 2nd year at Tiruvengadu.[22]  Three battles with the Chalukyas are referred to : - (1) Vikramaditya VI.  Was driven from Gangapadi over the Tungabhadra ; (2) an army which he had sent into Vengai-nadu was defeated ; and (3) Ahavamalla with his two sons Vikramaditya VI. And Jayasimha III.  was put to flight at Kudalsangamam.  The Karuvur inscription of the 4th year (No. 20 above, 1. 9 f.) adds that Virarajendra I. killed the king of Pottappi, the Kerala, the Pandya and others.  The Manimangalam inscription of the 5th year (No. 30 above)notices further victories over the Keralas, Chalukyas and Pandyas ; a battle which had been appointed on the bank of an unspecified river ; the burning of Rattapadi and the planting of a pillar of victory on the Tungabhadra ; the appointment (of Vikramaditya VI.) as heir-apparent of the Chalukya king (Ahavamalla) ; the conquest of Vengai-nadu, Kalingam and Chakra-kottam ; and the bestowal of Vengai-nadu on Vijayaditya VII.[23]

Of the shorter historical introduction, which opens with Viramey thunnaiyagavum, I publish below four different redactions.  Several inscriptions of the 2nd to 5th years[24] state that Virarajendra I. defeated Ahavamalla and (his two sons) Vikramaditya VI. And Jayasimha III. at Kudalsangamam and seized Ahavamalla’s queen, treasures and vehicles.  This brief statement corresponds to the long description of the battle at Kudalsangamam, which appears first in the Tiruvengadu inscription of the 2nd year,[25] and a translation of which was given from the Karuvur inscription on page 37 above.  In perfect accordance with the longer redaction of the introduction, in which the battle of Kudalsangamam is stated to have been the third encounter with the Chalukyas, the Tirunamanallur inscription of the 4th year (No. 81 below, 1. 2) attributes to Virarajendra I. the biruda ‘who saw the back of Ahavamalla three times.’

No. 82 below and four other inscriptions of the 5th year[26] add that Virarajendra I. “terrified Ahavamalla yet a second time on the appointed battle-field, fulfilled the vow of his own elder brother, and seized Vengai-nadu.”  The ‘battle which had been appointed near the river’ and the conquest of Vengai-nadu are referred to also in the Manimangalam inscription of the 5th year.[27]  The elder brother, who is mentioned in No. 82 below, is perhaps, identical with Alavandan, surnamed Rajaraja or Rajadhiraja.[28]  The vow which he is said to have made seems to have had the conquest of Vengi for its object.  As Virarajendra I. undertook the fulfillment of this vow of his elder brother, it may be concluded that the latter died between the 4th and 5th years, the dates of No. 20 above and No. 82 below.

In two inscriptions of the 6th year,[29] several fresh details are recorded.  ‘On a third occasion,’ i.e., at the next opportunity after the two encounters at Kudalsangamam and near the river, Virarajendra I.  “burnt (the city of) Kampili[30] before Somesvara could untie the necklace which (he) had put on, and set up a pillar of victory at Karadikal.”   In the Manimangalam inscription of the 5th year (1. 25 f.), the same expedition is referred to by the statement that Virarajendra I. conquered Rattapadi, “kindled crackling fires,” and set up a pillar of victory on the bank of the Tungabhadra.  Kampili is the modern Kampli, a town on the southern bank of the Tungabhadra in the Hospet taluka of the Bellary district.  Karadikal, the site of the pillar of victory, must be looked for in the same neighbourhood perhaps on the opposite bank of the Tungabhadra, which is included in the Nizam’s Dominions.[31]  The Somesvara from whom Kampili was taken can be no other than Somesvara II., the eldest son of Ahavamalla andelder brother of Vikramaditya VI. And Jayasimha III.  The necklace which he is stated to have worn is the well-known emblem of the dignity of Yuvaraja, and we know from the Vikramankadevacharita (iii. 55 and 59) that Ahavamalla actually appointed Somesvara II. his heir-apparent.  As No. 83 below implies that Somesvara II. was still heir-apparent in the 6th year of Virarajendra I., it follows that at this time Ahavamalla was still alive.  Finallly, Virarajendra I. is stated to have expelled devanatha and other chiefs from Chakra-kottam and to have ‘recovered’ Kanyakubja, i.e., Kanauj.  Both Devanatha and the expedition into Chakra-kottam are referred to in the Manimangalam inscription of the 5th year.[32]

The introduction of the inscriptions of the 7th year[33] differs considerably from that of the preceding years.  It first states that Virarajendra I. defeated the Pandya, Chera and Simhala kins, but does not mention their names.  Ahavamalla is said to have been put to flight in battle five times.  As the earlier inscriptions show, these five occasions were :- (1) the battle on the Tungabhadra in Gangapadi; (2) the first expedition into Vengai-nadu; (3) the battle at Kudalsangamam ; (4) the battle near the river ; and (5) the burning of Kampili.  No. 84 below next mentions the reconquest of Vengai-nadu, which, according to No. 83 below, fell between the fourth and fifth encounters with Ahavamalla.  According to one of the three inscriptions of the 7th year,[34] Virarajendra I. bestowed the Vengaimandalam on the Chalukya Vijayaditya.  The same fact is noticed in the Manimangalam inscription of the 5th year.[35]  As I hae shown since this inscription was published, the Eastern Chalukya Vijayaditya VII. Is meant here.[36]  No. 84 below then asserts that Virarajendra I. conquered the country of Kadaram.  In Vol. II. p. 106, Kadaram was wrongly identified with a place  I the Madura district.  The fact that Rajendra-Chola I. dispatched an expedition to it on shipa by sea, suggests that it was situated out of the Indian peninsula.  Of the numerous places which are mentioned in connection with this expedition, Mr. Venkayya has identified two, viz., Nakkavaram and Pappalam.[37]  The former is the Tamil name of the Nicobar Islands, and according to the Mahavamsa (1xxvi. 63) Papphala was a port in Ramanna,[38] i.e., the Talaing country of Burma.[39]  Hence Kadram will have to be looked for in Farther India.  Finally, Virarajendra I. drove Somesvara II. out of the Kannara country, invested (his younger brother) Vikramaditya VI.  With the necklace – the emblem of the dignity of heir-apparent – and made Rattapadi over to him.  The same transaction is alluded to in the Manimangalam inscription of the 5th year (II. 26 to 28) by the statement that Virarajendra I. tied the necklace on ‘the liar’s’ neck and appointed him to the dignity of Vallabha or Chalukya.  A comparison of the inscriptions of the 6th year[40] suggests that the necklace bestowed on Vikramaditya VI. Was taken away from his elder brother Somesvara II., and that Virarajendra I. appointed the former as heir-apparent of Ahavamalla in the place of the second.

Two inscriptions of the 7th year[41] contain a short panegyrical passage, which does not form part of the historical introduction, but occurs at the beginning of the grant portion, and which glorifies Virarajendra I. for having put the Chalukya or Ratta king to flight in a battle which had been appointed ‘on (the bank of) the winding river.’[42]  This statement refers to the fourth encounter with Ahavamalla, which took place between the battle at Kudalsangamam and the burning of Kampili.

The Tirunamanallur inscription of the 4th year (No. 81 below) attributes to Virarajendra I. a long string of titles, the three first of which – Sakalabhuvanasraya, Srimedinivallabha and Maharajadhiraja – must have been taken over from his Western Chalukya enemies.  Another, Rajasraya, had been borne by his ancestor Rajaraja I.[43]  The next two surnames, Vira-Chola and Karikala-Chola, suggest that Virarajendra I. may have been one of the younger brothers of Rajendradeva ; for, the latter is stated to have conferred the title Karikala-Chola on his younger brother Vira-Chola.[44]  If Virarajendra I. really was a younger brother of Rajendradeva, he would also have been a younger brother of Rajadhiraja I., who was the elder brother of Rajendradeva.[45]  In a mutilated inscription of his 5th year at Gangaikondacholapuram (No. 82b of 1892), Viraajendra I. quotes “the twenty-third year of (my) father, who was pleased to conquer the Eastern country, the Ganga and Kadram.”  This can refer to no other of his predecessors but Rajendra-Chola I., whose conquests are summed up in the same words in an inscription at Sutturur,[46]  and who bore the surname Gangaikonda-Chola.[47]  Consequently, Virarajendra I. and his two elder brothers Rajendradeva and Rajadhiraja I. seem to have been the sons of Rajendra-Chola I. I do not consider this result as absolutely final, because the South-Indian languages employ the words of relationship in a very loose manner.  Thus the word ‘younger brother’ (lambi) in No. 29 above (1. 2) might also mean ‘a cousin,’ and the word ‘father’ (aiyar) in No. 82b of 1892 might designate ‘an elder brother.’  If it is granted that Virarajendra I. was the son of Rajendra-Chola I., it would follow that the story of the adoption of Kulottunga I. by the latter[48] is a pure invention, which was started for political reasons in order to give an apparent locus standi to this usurper.  With the help of the fresh materials which are now available, I venture to publish a revised pedigree of the earlier Cholas, in which I have included the pedigree given in Vol. I. p. 112, and the details supplied by the Teki plates of Chodaganga.[49]  The figures in brackets after the names of kings denote the year of accession of the throne.

Pedigree of the Chola Dynasty. 

The Tanjore inscription of Kulottunga I. supplies the name of Arumoli-Nangai, the queen of Virarajendra I.[50]  As I have shown elsewhere,[51] his daughter was given in marriage to the Western Chalukya king Vikramaditya VI. ‘ his son and successor was Parakesarivarman alias Adhirajendradeva ; and the latter was succeeded by RajendraChola II. alias Kulottunga-Chola II. alias Kulottunga-Chola I.

Dr. Burnell was the first to draw attention to the Tamil grammar Virasoliyam  by Buddhamitra and to its commentary, which was written by Perundevanar, a pupil of the author, and which quotes a large number of Tamil works.[52]  Both the grammar and its commentary have been edited by the late C. W. Damodaram Pillai in 1895.  In the Annual Report for 1898-99 (p. 18), Mr. Venkayya remarks on this work as follows : - “The text (p. 6) refers to a Chola king Virarajendra as the author’s patron.  In the commentary, which was admittedly written by a pupil of the author himself, the first few words of the historical introduction of the inscriptions of Rajendra-Chola I. are quoted as an illustration of a particular kind of metre.  The battle of Koppam[53] is mentioned in a verse cited as an illustration of another kind of metre (p. 141), and that of Kudalsangamam in another quoted as an illustration of a figure of rhetoric (p. 196).  These references prove that the commentary at least could not have been composed before the time of Virarajendra I., who fought the battle of Kudalsangamam.  As Virarajendra is mentioned in the text of the work as the author’s sovereign, and as the commentary, in which the battle of Kudalsangamam and no later historical event is mentioned, was written by the author’s own pupil, the most natural inference is that the work itself was written during the time of Virarajendra I., who fought the battle of Kudalsangamam.”   To this maynow be added that Vira-Chola is mentioned as a surname of Virarajendra I. in No. 81 below, and that the Virasoliyam owes its title to this surname.  Mr. Venkayya continues : - “ Malaikkurram is mentioned in the commentary to the Virasoliyam (p. 196) as the district in which Ponparri, the native village of the author, was situated.  Dr. Burnell identified this district with the Malakuta (Mo-lo-kiu-ch’a) of Hiuen-Tsiang, which he located in the delta of the Kaveri.[54]  But as  Buddhamitra, the author of the Virasoliyam, was, according to its commentary, the lord of Tondi, a sea-port in the Madura district, his native village of Ponparri has probably to be looked for in the Pandya country and has perhaps to be identified with ‘Ponpetti,’ about 10 miles south-west of Manamelkudi (in the Pattukkottai taluka) which, in ancient times, was also included was also included in the Pandya kingdom.”


[1]  See p. 32 above.

[2]  See p. 113 above.

[3]  See above, p. 114 f.

[4]  This important record was first published by Mr. Rice, and again by Dr. Kittel in Ep. Ind. Vol. VI. P. 213 ff.

[5]  Ep. Ind. Vol. VI. P. 24.

[6]  Ep. Ind. Vol. VII. P. 7, note 5.

[7]  Ibid. p. 9.

[8]  No. 5 of 1899.  This inscription opens with the same historical introduction as No. 35 above.

[9]  Compare above, p. 24 and note 1.

[10]  See above, Vol. II. p. 303, and Vol. III. p. 111.

[11]  Compare the Kalingattu-Parani (viii. 28) and No. 56 above (p. 113).

[12]  See above, pp. 131 and 180.

[13]  See p. 32 above.

[14]  Rajendra-Choladeva in No. 22 above, and in No. 21 of 1899.

[15]  According to Professor Kielhorn, this is perhaps a mistake for the 11th year ; see Ep. Ind. Vol. VI. P. 24.

[16]  Parakesarivarman in No. 259 of 1902.

[17] See above, p. 191 and note 10.

[18]  Parakesarivarman in No. 268 of 1901 and No. 425 of 1902.

[19]  Above, p. 113 and note 6.

[20]  This inscription is engraved in continuation of No. 113a of 1896 (No. 1 of clause I.) and is dated, like the latter, on the 233rd day of the 2nd year.

[21]  This inscription is engraved in continuation of No. 82a of 1892 (No. 6 of clause I.) and contains three incomplete copies of the shorter introduction, the second of which is dated on the 270th day of the 5th year, when the king was staying in his palace at Kanchipuram.

[22]  No. 1 of clause I.

[23]  See now above, p. 128 and note 9.

[24]  Nos. 1 to 6 of clause II.

[25]  No. 1 of clause I. on p. 192 above.

[26]  Nos. 8 to 11 on this page.

[27]  See the translation on pp. 68 and 69 above.

[28]  See above, p. 36 and note 10.

[29]  No. 83 below, and No. 13 of the list on p. 193 above.

[30]  Rajadhiraja I. claims to have destroyed the palace of the Chalukya king in the city of Kampili ; see p. 57 above.

[31]  The Postal Directory of the Madras Circle (p. 544) mentions a village named ‘Karadikallu.’ Near Nittur in the Gubbi taluka of the Tumkur district.  This village cannot be meant here, because it is too far south from Kampli.

[32]  Above, No. 30, II. 25 and 29.

[33]  No. 84 below, and Nos. 15 and 16 on p. 193 above.

[34]  See below, p. 202, note 6.

[35]  Above, No. 30, line 30 f.

[36]  Above, pp. 128 and 132.

[37]  Above, Vol. II. p. 109, ‘the great Pappalam’ and ‘the great Nakkavaram’ must be read instead of Mappappalam’ and ‘Manakkavaram.’

[38]  See Mr. Venkayya’s Annual Report for 1898-99, p. 17.

[39]  See Ind. Ant. Vol. XXI. P. 377, and Vol. XXII. P. 327.

[40]  See below, p. 201 and note 10.

[41]  See below, p. 204 and note 4.

[42]  Rajamahendra also claims to have put Ahavamalla to flight ‘on (the bank of) the winding river;’ see above, p. 191 and note 8.

[43]  See above, Vol. II. p. 260 and note 5.

[44]  See page 62 above.

[45]  See page 39 above.

[46]  Ep. Ind. Vol. IV. P. 69.

[47]  See page 127 above.

[48]  See page 127 above.

[49]  Ep. Ind. Vol. VI. P. 335.  The name of Kundavai, the younger sister of Kulottunga I., is taken from an inscription at Chidambaram ; ibid. Vol. V. p. 105.  That Rajaraja II. was the son of Kulottunga II., appears from Mr. Venkayya’s MS. Copy of the Rajarajan-Ula.

[50]  Above, Vol. II. p. 232.  Most of the inscriptions of Virarajendra I. mention his queen by her title target="_self" Ulagamulududaiyal, i.e., ‘the mistress of the whole world,’ and state that she was seated with him on the throne.

[51]  See page 129 above.

[52]  South Indian Palaeography, second edition, p. 127, note 2.

[53]  See page 58 above.

[54]  Ind. Ant.  Vol. VII. P. 39 f.  I have shown that this location is based on nothing nut a misreading of certain inscriptions at Tanjore ; see ibid. Vol. XVIII. P. 239 f. and above, Vol. II pp. 74, 95, 229 and 327.

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