A GRANT OF VIRA-CHODA
original of the subjoined grant belongs to the Sir W. Elliot
Collection in the British in the Museum and was lent to me for
publication by Dr.Burgess. It
had been previously in the possession of the Karanam of Chellur, a village in Cocanda Talluqa of the Godavari
District. The grant
consists of five copper-plates with raised rims.
Each plate measures 5 ¾ by 10 ¼ inches.
The first plate bears writing only on its inner side, while
the remaining ones are inscribed on both sides.
The preservation of the plates in fairly good ; the fifth
only is somewhat damaged. The
ring, which bears the seal, has been cut.
is 5/8 inch thick and 6 ¼ inches in diameter.
The well-preserved seal measures 2 5/8 inches diameter.
It rests on expanded lotus-flower and bears in relief on a
counter-sunk surface the legend .
Over the latter, it contains a boar, which faces the right
and is surrounded by two lamp stands, two Chamaras, the sun
and the moon, an elephant-goad a conch.
Below the legend, there is a drum (?), an expanded
lotus-flower (birds-eye view), an emblem resembling what
Mr.Fleet supposes to be a nakara-torana,
and a svastika.
of the present inscription have already been published by Sir
It is the latest known document of the Eastern Chalukya dynasty and
possesses considerable interests, as it contains valuable details
about the connection between the Eastern Chalukyas and the Cholas
and thus settles the dates of several kings of the last-mentioned
vamsavali of the inscription consists of four parts : -
(Lines 1-16.) A genealogy of the lunar race down to Udayana,
commencing with whom fifty-nine emperors are supposed to have
reigned at Ayodhya.
16-28.) An account of five Early Chalukya kings, viz, :-
I., killed in a battle with Trilochana-Pallava
married to a Pallava princess
28-46.) The usual succession of the Eastern Chalukyas of Vengi fom
Kubja-Vishnuvardhana to Vimaladitya.
46-78.) An account of the later Eastern Chalukyas during their
connection with the Cholas, viz.: -
here to Eastern Chalukyas during their connection with the Cholas
first and second parts of the vamsavali need
not be treated in detail, as the first is entirely mythical, and Mr.
Fleet considers the second to be a “more farrago of vague
tradition and Puranik myths, of no authority, based on the undoubted
facts that the Chalukyas did come originally from the north, and did
find the Pallavas in possession of some of the territories
afterwards acquired by themselves, and on a tradition of the later
Kadambas that the founder of their family was named Trilochana or
third part of vamsavali agrees with Mr.Fleet’s grants of
Rajaraja I. And of Kulotunga-Chola-deva II.
Just as in the grant of Rajaraja I. a reign of 3 years is allotted
to Danarnava, who is here also called Dana-nripa, and an interregnum
of 27 years is stated to have taken place after him.
There follow the reigns of his sons Saktivarman (12 years)
and Vimaladitya (7 years). No
mention is made of the Chola princess Kundava, whom the latter
married according to the grant of Rajaraja I.
now turn to the fourth part of the vamsavali. The son of
Vimaladitya, Rajara, who ruled for 41 years (line 47), married
Ammanga-devi, the daughter of a Rajendra-Choda of the solar race (verse
7). Their son Rajendra-Choda (verse 8), Kulottunga-deva (verse
11) or Rajanarayana (verse 12) at first ascended the
throne of Vengi (verse 9), conquered Kerala, Pandya, Kuntala
and other countries (verse 10), and was anointed to the Choda
kingdom (verse 11). He married Madhurantaki, the daughter of a Rajendra-deva of
the solar race (verse 12) and had by her seven sons (verse
13). When he rose to the Choda kingdom, he had given the kingdom
of Vengi to his paternal uncle Vijayaditya (verse 14), who
died after a reign of fifteen years (verse 15). Then he gave
Vengi to his son Rajara (Verses 13 and 16) and, when the
latter had returned after one year’s reign (verse 17), to
Rajaraja’s younger brother Vira-Choda (verse 18), who was
crowned at Jaganatha-nagari (verse 20) in Saka
1001 (verse 21). As the difference between this date and Sake
944, the date of the accession of Rajaraja I. according to
Mr.Fleet’s grant, is equal to the sum of the intervening reigns of
Rajaraja I., Vijayaditya VI. and Rajaraja II. (41+15+1=57), it
follows that Rajendra-Choda must have appointed Vijayaditya VI.
viceroy of Vengi in the very year of his accession.
The present grant of Vira-Choda is dated in the 21st
year of his reign i.e., Saka 1022, or 12 years before the
death of this father Rajendra-Choda and before the accession of his
elder brother Vikrama-Choda.
chief importance of the Chellur plates consists in the light, which
they throw on a portion of the history of the Chola dynasty.
The large Leyden grant and some of the Tamil inscriptions
contained in the present volume mention three Western Chalukya
kings, who were the antagonists of three Chola kings :-
to the large Leyden grant, Rajaraja-deva (see Nos. 40,41 and 66,
below) conquered Satyasraya. This was probably the Western Chalukya king Satyasraya II. (Saka
919 to about 930.) Consequently, Rajaraja-deva may be identified
with that Rajaraja of the Suryavamsa, whose daughter Kundava
was married to the Eastern Chalukya king Vimaladitya (Saka 937 (?)
to 944). With this
agrees the Kongu Chronicle, which places Rajaraja’s reign about Saka
to Nos 67 and 68, below, Rajendra-Chola-deva conquered Jayasimha.
This was the Western Chalukya king Jayassimha III.
(about Saka 940 to about 964), who, in one of his
inscriptions, calls himself “the lion to the elephant
Rajendra-Chola” (see the introduction to No.67). Consequently,
Rajendra-Chola-deva must be identified with that Rajendra-Choda of
the Suryavamsa, whose daughter Ammanga-devi was married to
the Eastern Chalukya king Rajaraja I. (Saka 944 to 985), and
who may be the same as that Rajendra-choda, whose younger sister
Kundava was married to Vimaladitya (Saka 937 (?) 944). If
the last identification is correct, Rajendra-Chola-deva would have
been the son of Rajaraja-deva.
to the fragmentary inscription No.127, below, and according to an
inscriptin at Mamalapuram, Rajendra-deva conquered Ahavamalla.
This was probably the Western Chalukya king Ahavamalla II. or
Somesvara I. (about Saka 964 to about 990), who, according to
inscriptions and according to the Vikramankacharita, fought
with the Cholas. Consequently, Rajendra-deva may be identified with
that Rajendra-deva of the Suryavamasa, whose daughter
Madhurantaki was married to the Eastern Chalukya king Rajendra-Choda
or Kulottunga-Choda-deva I. (Saka
985 to 1034.) The
inscriptions do not inform us, what manner Rajendra-deva was related
to his predecessor Rajendra-Chola-deva.
subjoined table will show at a glance all supposed synchronisms : -
II. fought with Rajendra-deva, who was the father-in-law of Vimaladitya
to about 930.)
(about Saka 926.)
(Saka 937 (?) to 944)
III.fought with Rajendra-Choda-deva,who was the father-in-law of
Saka 940 to about
(Saka 944 to 985)
II.fought with Rajendra-deva, who was the father-in-law of
Saka 964 to about 990.)
(Saka 985 to 1034)
order to prevent its re-occurrence, I conclude with alluding to the
in all previous pedigrees of the Cholas.
This was the confounding of the two Chola kings Rajaraja and
Rajendra-Chola with their Eastern Chalukya grandsons, who seems to
have received their names from these of their maternal grandfathers.
In reality the Eastern Chalukya king Rajaraja I. ruled only
over Vengi. His son
Rajendra-Choda or kulottunga-Choda-deva I., though at first king of
Vengi, seems to have inherited the Chola kingdom from his
father-in-law, the Chola king Rajendra-deva, in Saka 985.
the vamsavali, the subjoined inscription contains the grant
itself. It is an order,
which was addressed by the paramamahesvara Vira-Choda-deva (line
79), alias Vishnu vardhana (line 78) to the inhabitants
of the Guddavati-vishaya (line 80). In the
21st year of his reign (line 113) the king gave a
village of the above-mentioned district whose name indistinct, but
seems to have been Kolaru (line 103), to a
temple of Vishnu at the
This Vishnu temple had been founded (verse 36) by the
king’s Senapati (verse 30) Medamrya (Verse 27), alias
Gunaratnabhushana (verse 29), who had also constructed a
pond at the same village of Chelluru (verse 34) and founded
two sattras at Draksharama
and Pithapuri (Verse 33). He was
the son of Potana of the Mudgala-gotra (verse 24), who had
received from Rajaraja
the somewhat lengthy title target="_self" of Rajaraja-brahma-maharaja (verse
25), by Kannmamba (verse 26). The edict ends with the
statement, that its executors (ajnapati) were the five
ministers (pancha pradhandh), and with the names of the
composer and the writer.
1.) From the lotus-flower, (which rose) from the navel of the
abode of Sri, the supreme spirit, there great lord Narayana (Vishnu),
THERE WAS BORN Svayambhu (Brahman), the creator of the
world. From him there
sprang a spiritual son, called Atri.
From this saint Atri there arose
Soma, the founder of a race, the nectar-rayed, the
crest-jewel of Srikantha (Siva).
2.) From this producer of nectar there sprang Budha, who was praised
by the wise. From him
there was begot a valorus emperor called Pururavs.
4.) From him (came) Ayu ; from him Nahusha ; from him the
emperor Yayati, the founder of a race ; from him Puru ; from him
Janamejaya ; from him Prachisa ; from him Sainyayati ; from him
Hayapati ; from him Saravbhauma ; from him Jayasena ; from him
Mahabhauma ; from him Aisankaka ; from him Krodhana ; from him
Devaki ; from him Ribhuka ; from him Rishaka ; from him Mativara,
the performer of great sacrifices and lord of the Sarasvat river ;
from him Katyanana ; from him Nila ; from him Dushyanta.
His son was he who, having placed sacrificial posts in an
uninterrupted line on the banks of the Ganga and Yamuna, and having
successively performed (came) Bhumanu ; from his Hastin ;
from him Virochana ; from him Ajamilha ; from him Samvarana ; from
him Sudhanvan ; from him Parikshit ; from him Bhimasena ; from him
Pradipana ; from him Samtanu ; from him Vichitravirya ; from him
Panduraja ; from him the Pandavas.
(From) that victorious bearer of (the bow) gandiva,
who, having conquered (Indra) the bearer of the thunderbolt,
burnt the hermitage in the Khandva (forest), who acquired the
weapon of Pasupati (Siva) in battle from (Siva) the
enemy of Andhaka, who having killed kalikeya and many other Daityas,
partook of one half of Indra’s throne, and who wilfully destroyed
the forest-like race of the lord of the Kurus ; -
14) From that Arjuna (came) Abhimanyu ; from him
Parikshit ; from his Janamejaya ; from his Kshemuka ; from him
Naravahana ; from him Satanika ; from him Udayana. When, commencing with him, fifty-nine emperors, whose
succession was uninterrupted, and who sat on the throne of Ayodhya,
had passed away, a king of this race, Vijayaditya by name, went to
the Dekhan (Dakshinapatha), in order to conquer (it) and
attacked Trilochana-Pallava, (but) through ill-luck he went
to another world. During
this battle, his great queen, who was pregnant, reached together
with the family-priest and the old ministers an agrahara called
Mudivemu, and, being protected like a daughter by
Vishnubhatta-somayahjin, a great ascetic, who dwelt there, she gave
birth to a son, Vishnuvaradhana.
She brought him up, having caused to be performed for this
price the rites, which were suitable to (his) descent from
the double gotra of those, who belonged to the gotra of
the Manavyas and were the sons of Hariti.
And he, having been told the (above-mentioned) events
by his mother, went forth, worshipped Nanda, the blessed Gauri, on
the Chalukya mountain, appeased Kumara (Skanda), Narayana (Vishnu)
and the assemblge of (divine) mothers, assumed the insignia
of sovereignty which had descended (to him) by the succession
of his race, (but) which had been, as it were, laid aside, (Viz.,)
the white parasol, the single conch, the five mahasabdas, the
flats in rows,
the pratidhakka (drum), the sign of the boar, the peacock’s
tail, the spear, the throne, the arch (in the shape) of a
the golden sceptre, (the sings of) the Ganga and Yamuna, etc., conquered the Kadamba, the Ganga
and other princes, and ruled over the Dekhan (Dakshnipatha), (which
is situated) between the bridge (of Rama) and the (river)
Narmada (and the revenue from which amounts to) seven and a
4) The son of this
king Vishnuvardhana and of (his) great queen, who was born
from the Pallava race, was Vijayaditya.
27.) His son was Pulikesi-Vallabha.
His son was Kirtivarman.
His son,-Hail! Kubja-Vishnuvardhana, the borther of
Satyasraya-Vallabhendra, who adorned the race of the glorious
Chalukyas, etc., ruled for eighteen years
over t he country of Vengi ; his son Jaysimhap-Vallabha for
thirty-three (years) ; his younger brother Indra-raja for
seven days ; his son Vishnuvardhana for nine years ; his son
Mangi-yuvaraja for twenty-five (years) ; his son Jayasimha
for thirteen (years) ; his younger brother Kikkili for six
months l his elder brother Vishnuvardhana, having expelled him, for
thirty-seven (years) ; his son Vijyaditya-bhattaraka for
eighteen (years) ; his son Vishnuvardhana for thirty-six (years).
; his son Narendra-mrigaraja for forty-eight (years). ;
his son Kali-Vaishnuvaradhana for one and a half years ; his son
Gunaganka-Vijayaditya for forty-four (years). Chalukya-Bhima, the son of his brother Vikramaditya, for
thirty (years). His son Kollabhiganda-Vijayaditya for six
months ; his son Amma-raja for seven years ; having expelled his
infant son Vijayaditya, Tadapa (ruled) for one month ; having
conquered him, Vikramaditya, the son of Chalukya-Bhima, (ruled) for
eleven months ; then Yuddhamalla, the son of Tadapa-raja for seven
years ; having expelled him from the country, Raja-Bhima, the
younger brother of Amma-raja, (ruled) for twelve years ; his son
Amma-raja for twenty-five (years) ; Dana-nripa, his brother
from a different mother, for three years.
Then the country of Vengi was through ill-luck without a
ruler for twenty-seven years. Then king Saktivarman, the son Danarnava, ruled over the
earth for twelve years.
5.) Then his younger brother, king Vimaladitya, who was kind to
(al;) beings, ruled over the earth for seven years.
46.) His son, king Rajaraja, who possessed political wisdom, and who
was the abode of the goddess of victory, ruled over the whole earth
for forty-one years.
6.) He whose fame was brilliant, who was the only jewel which
adorned the glorious race of the moon, and who was the only jewel
which fulfilled the desires of the distressed, surpassed Cupid by
his beauty, the moon by his pure sploendour, Puramdara (Indra)
by his possessions, (Vishnu) the bearer of Lakshmi by his
great prosperity, and Bhima by his terrible power.
7.) He had a spotless queen , Ammanga by name, who was famed on
earth by her good deeds, who was the only abode of lucky marks, who
purified the world, and who sprang from Rajendra-Choda, the ornament
of the race of the sun, just as Ganga fro Jahnu, Gauri from Himavat
and Lakshmi from the milk-ocean.
8.) Just as (Siva) the bearer of Ganga and (Parvathi)
the daughter of the mountain had a son called Karttikeya, those two
had a son called Rajendra-Choda, who annihilated the multitude of
his enemies by his irresistible power, whose fame was worthy of
praise, and who was the light of the warrior-caste
9.) Having at first occupied the throne of Vengi, (which became)
the cause rising of (his)
splendour, just as the sun at morn occupies the eastern mountain, he
conquered (all) quarters with his power.
10.) Having burnt all foes with the rising and fierce fire of his
valour, and having successively conquered Kerala, Pandya, Kuntala
and all other countries, he placed his commands on the heads of
princes, the paid of fear in the hears of fools and his fame, which
was as white as the rays of the moon, in (all) quarters.
11.) Kulottunga-deva, the most eminent of the great warrior-case,
whose might resembles that of the king of the gods (Indra), was
anointed to the Choda kingdom, which was not inferior to the kingdom
of the gods, and put on the tiara, embellished with invaluable gems
of many kinds, which had been sent by various kings, who were
exceedingly afraid of the threatening of his threatening of his
arms, which were as formidable as the terrible coils of the
12.) He in whose hands the conch, the discus and the lotus were
shining, and whom (therefore) the world praised as
Rajanarayana (i.e., u Vishnu amount kings), married (as it
were) Lakshmi (the wife of Vishnu) herself, who was known
by her othr name, viz., Madhurantaki, and who (just as the
godless Lakshmi) from the ocean, arose from Rajendra-deva, the
ornament of the race of the sun, a queen who was praised in the
world and exalted by her deeds.
13.) To these two there were born (seven) sons, who ere as
pure as the (seven) streams of the Ganga, who, like the (seven)
Adityas, had destroyed the darkness (of sin), and who,
like the (seven) mountains, were able (to undergo) the
fatigue of supporting the earth. To (one) among
these, the illustrious Rajaraja, who was the joint abode of polity
and valour, (his) father, the lord of the whole earth,
affectionately addressed the following speech : -
14.) “Being desirous of the Choda kingodm, I formerly conferred
the kingdom of the country of Vengi on my paternal uncle, king
15.) “Having ruled over the country for fifteen years, this
god-like prince, who resembled the five –faced (Siva) in
power, has gone to heaven.”
16.) This obedient one (viz., Rajaraja) took up that burden, (viz.,
the kingdom of Vengi)
which the emperor, (his) father, gave him with these words,
though he did not like the separation from him.
17.) “The kingdom is not such a pleasure as the worship of the
illustrious feet of the elders” ; considering thus, he returned to
his parents, after having ruled over the country of Vengi for one
18.) Then emperor spoke to his (Viz.,Rajaraja’s) younger
brother, the brave prince Vira-Choda, who seemed to be an
incarnation of the quality (of) valour : “Having ascended
the throne of Vengi, place thy feet on the heads of (other)
kings, just as the sun, having ascended the eastern mountain, places
his rays on the peaks of (other) mountains.”
19.) Thus having successively obtained the powerful blessing of the
king, of the queen and of his two elder brothers, having bowed to by
his younger brothers,
the prince was with difficulty prevailed upon by them to start for
20.) Having driven away his enemies, having eclipsed with his
splendour the other crowds of kings, having stopped the wicked and
having made the earth rejoice,
the lord , the ornament of the country of Vengi, the king’s son
ascended (he) palace in the town called Jaganatha, resembling
the disk of the morning-sun, who, having driven away the darkness,
having eclipsed with his splendour of the other crowds of stars,
having stopped the wicked, and having made the lotus-group blossom,
ascends the eastern mountain.
21.) In the Saka year, which is reckoned by the moon, the
paid of ciphers and the moon, (i.e.,1001) while the sun stood
in the lion, while the moon was waxing, on the thirteenth lunar day,
on a Thursday, while the scorpion was the lagna and in (the
nakshatra) Sravana, having been anointed to the kingdom
of the whole earth, the sinless king, the illustrious Vira-Choda,
joyfully put on the tiara of the world.
78.) This asylum of the whole world, the illustrious Vishnuvardhana,
the king of great kings, the supreme master of kings, the devout
worshipper of Mahesvara, the supreme lord, the most pious one, the
illustrious Vira-Choda-deva, having called together all
householders, (viz.) heads of provinces, &c., who inhabit
the district of Guddavati, thus issues his commands in the presence
of the ministers, the family priest, the commander of the army, the
heir-apparent and the door-keeper :-
22.) Just as the moon in the milk-ocean, there was in the pure race
of Brahman a chief of ascetics, called Mudgala, whose appearance was
23.) When he, whose power was incomprehensible, had invited the sun,
his staff performed the action of the sun at his command.
24.) In his gotra there was a certain Potana, whose deeds were pure, who made
his gotra prosper and who illuminated the quarters with the
splendour of his fame.
25.) This virtuous one was joyfully praised by the lord Rajaraja,
who knew (how to appreciate) virtues, by the name of
Rajaraja-brahma-maharaja (i.e., the great king of the brahmanas
26.) Just as the wife of Atri was Anasuya, the wife of his
treasure-house of merit was Kannamamba, who was praised in the
world, and who was exalted by the virtue of freedom from envy (anasuya).
27.) Just as Devaki bore from Vasudeva a son called vasudeva
(Krishna), and just as the mountain-daughter (Parvati) bore from the
moon-crested (Siva) a
son called Guha, thus she bore from him a son called Medmarya, who
was a treasure-house of prosperity, and who was praised by all the
assemblies of wise men (or gods).
28.) After he was born, prosperity dwelt on all the crowds of his
relatives, just as on the groups of lotus-flowers at the rising of
the sun ; for (like the sun) he purified the quarters with
his unrestrained splendour, was daily in the state of rising and was
possessed of a blossoming lotus (-face).
29.) Having conquered the Kali-age which is skilled in
plundering heaps of virtues,- all virtues, (viz.) truthfulness,
liberality, prowess, &c., prosper, abiding jointly in him, who
is king to refugees, who is alone constant in a conduct (which is
worthy)of the kirta-age, and who is famed by the name of
Gunaratnabhushana (i.e.,he who is adorned with jewel-like virtues).
30.) Because he was firm, always attached, of strong and sharp mind,
a light of the race of Brahman, an abode of prosperity, possessed of
blazing splendour, a treasure-house of polity and modesty, skilled
in sciences and weapons, worthy of honour and as hard as the
substance of the king of mountains, he was respectfully and
graciously anointed by me to the dignity of a commander of the army (senapati)
and wears the tiara which was placed (on his head) to the
delight of the people.
31.) He delights his elders by obedience, the world by his conduct,
his relations by respect, the good by the riches which they desire,
myself by is patience in bearing my kingdom of the whole earth and
Sauri (Vishnu) by great devotion.
32.) Ah ! the auspicious streams of water, which drop from the feet
of innumerable crowds of earth-gods (i.e. brahmanas),who
daily perform their ablution in his court-yards, and which
continually fill thousands of paths, surpass the streams of the
which drop from the feet of one of the gods (viz.,
Vishnu), and which are tired of their three paths (viz.,
heaven, earth and the lower world).
33.) At holy Draksharma and at the sacred place of Pithapuri, this
charitable one joyfully funded two sattras
for brahmanas, in order that they might daily enjoy their
meals (there) till the end of the Kulpa.
34.) On the north side of a lovely agrahara of good people,
which is famed by the name of Chelluru, he whose mind is full of
compassion caused to be constructed a large pond which is filled
with sweet water.
35.) By its water, which glitters like the moon, and which is daily
enjoyed by numberless brahmanas who resemble Agastya. This (pond)
repeatedly laughs, as it were, at the ocean, which was completely
drunk up by the pitcher-born (Agastya).
36.) On the west side of that village, this powerful, mighty and
charitable chief of the Vaishnavas caused to be built a temple of
37.) In this lofty (temple), which is as white as the rays of
the moon, which is the abode of splendour (or Lakshmi) and which
pleases the eye, the god himself, who is the husband of Lakshmi,
made his appearance, his conch and discus being distinctly visible.
102.) “Be it known to you, that to this blessed lord Vishnu (I)
gave for the daily (performance of) charu, bali and
for the repairs of gaps and cracks [the village called Kolaru]
in your district [with exemption from all taxes, making it the
property of the temple, with a libation of water.]”
104.) [The boundaries of this village are : - on the east…]
109.) Nobody shall obstruction to this (grant).
He who does it, becomes possessed of t he five great sins.
And the holy Vyasa has said : [Here follow three of the
customary impreactory verses.]
113.) The executors (ajnapti) of this edict (sasana),
which was given in t he twenty-first year of the glorious and
victorious reign, (were) the five ministers (pancha
pradhanth). The author of the poetry (was) Viddaya-bhatta.
To writer (was) Pennachari.