The Indian Analyst

South Indian Inscriptions





Text of the Inscriptions

Part I    -Sanskrit Inscription

Part II  -Tamil & Grantha Ins.

Part III -Notes & Fragments

Part IV  -Addenda

Other Inscriptions

Tamil Inscriptions

Misc. Ins. from Tamil Country

Chola Inscriptions

Kannada Inscriptions

Telugu Ins. from Andhra Pradesh

Pallava Inscriptions

Pandya Inscriptions

Ins. of Vijayanagara Dynasty

Ins. during 1903-1904

Other South-Indian Inscriptions 

Volume 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Vol. 4 - 8

Volume 9

Volume 10

Volume 11

Volume 12

Volume 13

Volume 14

Volume 15

Volume 16

Volume 17

Volume 18

Volume 19

Volume 20

Volume 22
Part 1

Volume 22
Part 2

Volume 23

Volume 24

Volume 26

Volume 27





Annual Reports 1935-1944

Annual Reports 1945- 1947

Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum Volume 2, Part 2

Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum Volume 7, Part 3

Kalachuri-Chedi Era Part 1

Kalachuri-Chedi Era Part 2

Epigraphica Indica

Epigraphia Indica Volume 3

Indica Volume 4

Epigraphia Indica Volume 6

Epigraphia Indica Volume 7

Epigraphia Indica Volume 8

Epigraphia Indica Volume 27

Epigraphia Indica Volume 29

Epigraphia Indica Volume 30

Epigraphia Indica Volume 31

Epigraphia Indica Volume 32

Paramaras Volume 7, Part 2

Śilāhāras Volume 6, Part 2

Vākāṭakas Volume 5

Early Gupta Inscriptions

Archaeological Links

Archaeological-Survey of India





On a visit to Kanchipuram in the year 1883, Dr. Burgess made the important discovery, that the comparatively insignificant temple of Kailasanathasvamin at Kanchipuram (Conjeeveram) was not only built in the Pallava style of sixth century architecture, but contained a number of inscriptions in the Pallava character and Sanskrit language besides others in the Tamil alphabet and language. In 1884-85, Mr. S. M. Natesa Sastri prepared face-smiles of most of the Pallava inscriptions, from which I made transcripts and translations. In September and October 1887, I went to the spot myself, in order to compare these transcripts with the originals and to take face-smiles of those inscriptions, which were not found amount these made by Mr. Natesa. Through the good offices of E. C. Johnson, Esq., the Collector of Chinglepet, I was enabled to secure reliable copies of all the Sanskrit and Tamil inscriptions of the temple.

Just as at Mamallapuram and Saluvankuppam, we find several different alphabets employed in the Pallava inscriptions of the Kailasanatha Temple. The most archaic alphabet, which resembles that of the inscriptions of Atyantakama at Mamallapuram, occurs in the subjoined inscriptions Nos. 24,27, 28, and 30. Of these, the inscription No.24 runs round the outside of the central shrine and is in excellent preservation, as it is engraved on granite slabs. It consists of twelve Sanskrit verses. The whole of the first verse and the beginning of the second are covered by the floor of the temple itself and by the wall of a modern mandapa, which has been erected between the central shrine and another mandapa in front of it. By the temporary removal of some slabs, my assistant succeeded in preparing face-smiles of the greater part of the first verse and of a few additional letters at the beginning of the second verse. The inscription opens with benediction addressed to Ganga and with the following mythical pedigree of Pallava, the of the Pallava dynasty: -

[ Brahman]














Pallava, the founder of the race of the Pallavas


Then the inscription continues: “In the race of these (the Pallavas) there was born the supreme lord Ugrdanda, the destroyer of the city of Ranarasika.” His son was Rajasimha, who bore the birudas Atyantakama, Sribhara and Ranajaya. He built the Siva temple, round which the inscription is engraved, and called it after his own name Rajasimha-Pallavesvara or Rajasimhesvar.[1]

The inscription No.27 runs round the smaller shrine, which stands in front of the Rajasimhesvara or Kailasantha shrine, and which is now days styled Naradesvara. It consists of four Sanskrit verses, the first and last of which are only incompletely preserved. The first three verses tell in different wording the same fact, viz., that Mahendra, the son of Rajasimha and grandson of Lokaditya, built a temple of Siva, which he called Mahendrasvara after his own name, near the temple of Rajasimhevsvara. Another form of the name of the temple, Mahendravarmesvara, which is engraved three times on the building, shows that Mahendra’s full name was Mahendravarman. Of Lokaditya, who is identical with the Ugrdanda of the inscription No.24, the present inscription says, that “his valor dried up the army of Ranarasik, just s the heat of the sun does the mud.”

Other inscriptions in archaic characters are found in some of the niches to the right of the front entrance into the temple compound, which are now connected by brick walls, but were originally intended for detached small shrines. According to the inscription No.28, the first niche was called “the Temple of Nityvinitesvara”.

Of No. 29, on the third niche, complete face-smiles were obtained by temporarily removing two modern brick walls. It consists of three Sanskrit verses and records, that this small shrine of Siva was founded by Rangapataka, the wife of king Narasimhvishnu or Kalakala.

No. 30, on the fifth niche, is an incomplete inscription in Sanskrit verse of some other female, whose name is unfortunately lost.

The rest of the Pallava inscriptions of the Kailasanatha Temple run round the inside of the enclosure of the Rajsimhesvara shrine and contain an enumeration of several hundred birudas of kind Rajasimha. They are arranged in four tiers are on sand-stone; hence the second is almost entirely spoiled by the dripping of water and by whitewashing with chunnam; of the third a little more is left; and the fourth is in tolerable preservation. From the existing fragments of the second and third tiers, it appears that they were word for word identical with the well-preserved first tier. Further we can prove in a few cases, that the first tier is later copy of third. In accordance with this result, the third tier is written in the same archaic alphabet, as the inscription round the Rajasimhesvara Temple, and evidently belongs to the time of Rajasimha, the founder of the temple, himself. Thus the first and second tiers must be considered as later copies of the original inscription in the third tier, which were executed by some descendants of Rajasimha. As the alphabets of the first and second tiers resemble those of the northern and southern walls, respectively, of the Saluvankuppan Cave, it further follows that Atiranachanda, who engraved the inscription n the northern wall of the Saluvankuppam Cave, must be later than Atyantakama, the alphabet of whose inscriptions at Mamallapuram resembles that of Rajasimha’s at Kanchipuram.
The inscription n the southern wall of the Saluvankuppan Cave is a later transcript of that on the northern wall, and in the same way the second tier is still more modern than the first tier. As only fragments of the second and third tiers are now forthcoming, I have transcribed only the first tier and noticed the various readings of the second and third tiers in the footnotes. While the inscriptions of the first, second and third tiers run round the whole of the inner enclosure of the temple, the inscriptions of the fourth tier extent only as far as the 20th niche. The fourth tier repeats some of the birudas contained in the first three tiers and adds a few of its own. It is written in a peculiar ornamental alphabet, which is based on an alphabet of the same type, as that of the first tier. As the biruda which occurs in the third tier (niche 19), but is left out in the first, is found in the fourth tier (niche 11), it follows that the engraver of the fourth tier copied from the third and not from the first tier; perhaps the first and fourth tiers were contemporaneous.

It remains to add a few words on the probable times of the founders of the Kailasanatha Temple. In an article, which appeared first in the Madras Mail (3rd September 1887) and was reprinted in the Indian Antiquary (Vol. XVII, p. 30), I identified: - 1. Ranarasika, the enemy of Ugrdanda or Lokaditya, with the Chalukya Ranaraga; 2. Rajasimha, who is called Narasimhapotavarman in a Chalukya inscription, with Narasimhavarman I. Of Mr. Foulkes’ grant; 3. Mahendravarman with Mehardravarman II. Of the same grant; 4. Nadipotavarman, who was defeated by the Chalukya Vikramaditya II., with Nadivarman himself; and 5. Pulakesin, who, according to the unpublished Kuram grant, was conquered by Narasimhavarman I., with the Nandivarman, Narasimhavarman I. Is said to have destroyed Vatapi, while Pulikesin I. “first made Vatapi the capital of the Chalukyas in Western India, wresting it from the Pallavas who then held it,” – I now consider it more probable, that Pulakesin, the enemy of Narasimhavarman I., has to be identified with the Chalukya Pulikesin II. On inspecting the original of the Kuram grant, of which formerly had nothing but an impression, but which has now become the property of Government, I discovered a further confirmation of t his view. The grant says, that Paramesvaravarman (I.) put to flight Vikramaditya, i.e., Vikramaditya I., the son of Pulikesin II. Secondly, it is not unlikely, that Narsaimhavishnu, whose wife built the third niche to the right in front of the Kailasanatha Temple, is another name of Rajasimha, the founder of the central shrine. Under this supposition, I would now identify Rajasimha (alias Narasihapotavarman and Narasimhvishnu) with Simhavishnu, and his son Mahendravarman with Mahervarman I. Of Mr. Foulkes’ grant. The subjoined table shows the synchronisms between the Chalukyas and Pallavas.

Pedigree of the Chalukyas

Pedigree of the Pallavas

Mr. Foulkes' grant of Nandivarman

Kuram grant

Kailasanatha inscriptions



Pulikesin I


Kirtivarman I

(until Saka 489)


Pulikesin II

(Saka 532 and 556)


Vikramaditya I

(Saka 592 (?) to 602 (?))



(Saka 603 (?) to 618)



(Saka 618 to 655)


Vikramaditya II

(Saka 655 to 669) defeated Nandipotavarman







Mahendravarman I


Narasimhavarman I destroyer of Vatapi


Mahenderavarman II

Paramesvaravarman I


Narasimhavarman II


Paramesvaravarman II














Narasimhavarman, conqueror of Pulakesin and destroyer of Vatapi




Paramesvaravarman defeated Vikramaditya

Ugradanda or Lokaditya, destroyer of the army and town of Ranarasiku


Rajasimha or Narasimhavishnu (alias Narasimhapotavarman), married to Rangapataka




If new discoveries should prove the above arrangement to be correct, the date of the foundation of the Rajasimhesvara and Mahendravarmesvara Temples would fall some time before 567 A.D., the date of the end of the first Kirtivarman’s reign, say about 550 A.D. This would also be the time of Atyantakama’s inscriptions at Mamallapuram. Atiranachanda’s inscriptions at Saluvankuppam belong to a later, and Narasimha’s on the Dharmaraja Ratha at Mamallapuram to an earlier period.

[1] These two names reappear in the Chola inscriptions (Nos 41 and 146, below). A third form of the name of the temple, which occurs in three later inscriptions (Nos. 86, 87 and 150, below), viz., Rajasimhavarmesvara, suggests that Rajasimha’s full name was Rajasimhavarman.

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