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South Indian Inscriptions






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The Rashtrakutas

No. 09 - 38

Among the inscriptions of this dynasty, No. 10, which refers itself to the reign of Jagattunga, mentions a feudatory named Dantiga, who was ruling the nadu.  In the Deoli plates of Krishna III one Dantiga is stated to have been killed along with the Vappuka by Krishna III.  But the present inscription is not dated and has to be placed on grounds of palaeography in the 9th century A.D.  So it is not likely that he was a contemporary of Krishna III. As the record is of the 9th century A.D., the Jagattunga to whose reign it belongs may be Govinda III.

An inscription (No. 14) from Devageri, which belongs to the reign of Amoghavarsha but which is not dated is assignable, on palaeographic grounds, to the 9th century A.D.  The only Amoghavarsha who ruled in this century is Amoghavarsha I.  In this record, India, i.e., Indra, who is described as the priya-tanay-atmaja of the king, is stated to be governing Banavasi Twelve-thousand.  If the expression priya-tanay-atmaja is taken in its ordinary sense of ‘sib’s son’, Indra would be the grandson of Amoghavarsha.  But from no other source do we know of any Indra who was the grandson of Amoghavarsha.  We know however that Krishna II had a grandson called Indra (Indra III).  But Krishna II is usually given in his inscriptions, the distinguishing epithet of Akalvarsha and not Amoghavarsha.  The only exception however is theVenkatapur inscription which applies to him the epithet of Amoghavarsha.  As has been suggested by the editor of the Venkatapur inscription, the epithet amghavarsha used in it – if it is not a scribal error – should be taken to have been borne by Krishna II as well as by his father.  If that be so, and if we consider that the tile Amoghavarsha applied to the ruling king in the record under review to be a title of Krishna II then the Indra mentioned here as the governor of Banavasi Twelve-thousand would be the grandson of Krishna II and the therefore Indra III.  Otherwise the epithet Amoghavarsha will have to be taken as a mistake for Aklavarsha.  Another interesting fact disclosed by this inscription is that this Indra had a wife named Govindabbe who was administering the village (i.e., Devageri).  If, as surmised above, Indra of the record is identical with Indra III Govindabbe would be a hitherto unknown wife of his.  It may be noted however that Jagattunga III, the grandson of Amoghavarsha I, had a queen called Govindamba of the Kalachuri family.

In two records of Krishna II, Lokate is mentioned as the governor of Banavasi.  One of them (No. 17) bearing no date, states that Kalivitta was the son of Lokate and was administering the group of villages called Punnavanti Twelve.  These person are apparently identical with homonymous chiefs of the Chellaketana family.  This relationship between Lokate and Kalivitta is disclosed for the first time by the record under review.


Another governor of Banavasi, named Rajati (Rajaditya) figures also in a record (No. 16) of Krishna II and it is dated Saka 829 (A.D. 907-08).  Lokate or Lokaditya of the Chellaketana family is known to have been governing Banavasi under Krishna II until at least A.D. 904-05.  The only date known hitherto for Rajaditya is A.D. 907-08.  In A.D. 913-14 Kalivitta was the governor of this province and in A.D. 915, we find a certain Dhora governing he same region.  So Rajaditya must have been placed in charge of this region sometime after A.D. 904-05 and continued to hold it till some date before A.D. 913, probably even after the reign of Krishna II.  Now the question is whether this Rajaditya was also a Chellaketana.  In his account of the Chellaketana family Dr. Fleet expressed a doubt whether he (Rajaditya) belonged to this family.  But Rajaditya of a collaterl line of the Chalukyas who might be placed in this period has been brought to light be a copper-plate grant published in the Mysore Archaeological Report, 1935, No. 40.  This Rajaditya is, according to that record, the great grandfather of the donor of the grant, who was also called Rajaditya and for whom the record furnishes the date A.D. 951.  In other words, two generations intervened between this Rajaditya (Rajaditya II) and his great grandfather of the same name (Rajaditya I).  Allowing an average of twenty-five years to each generation, the period of Rajdtiya I would be approximately between A.D. 875 and 900.  He would then he a contemporary of Krishna II.  This surmise is strengthened by the fact that Rajaditya I had married a daughter of Akalavarsha, who in all probability is Krishna II.  Consequently it is not improbable that he is identical with Rajati of the record under review (i.e., No. 16)

This leads us to the problem whether Rajaditya mentioned as the governor of Banavasi in another Rashtrakuta inscription (No 36) is identical with Rajati (Rajaditya), the subordinate of Krishna II (mentioned in the previous paragraph).  This inscription refers itself to the reign of a king, of whose name only the first letter Ja is preserved.  The characters of this record are assignable to the 9th century A.D.  The only name or title beginning with Ja among the rulers of this region in this period (the Rashtrakutas) is Jagattunga.  Hence the full name of this king is in all likelihood Jagattunga.  This conclusion is borne out by another inscription of the same period, which clearly refers itself to the reign of Jagattunga, under whom Banavasi province was being governed by a chief whose name is partially preserved as ditya which may most probably stand for Rajaditya (No. 34).  Now in the Rashtrakuta family there were four Jagattungas, viz., Govinda II, Govinda III, Jagattunga, the son of Krishna II, who may be called Jagattunga III, and Jagattunga (IV), the younger brother of Krishna III.  Since we do not know of any Rajaditya as being the governor of Banavasi under Govinda II, this record may have to be referred to the time of either Govinda II or Jagattunga, the son of Krishna II (i.e., Jagattunga III).  Jagattunga is stated in both the records noticed above, in unequivocal terms to be ‘ruling’ (rajyam-geyye).  If we consider the Jagattunga of these inscriptions to be Jagattunga III the statement that he was reigning comes into conflict with the accounts of the reigning kings found in records of this dynasty which say that he did not rule at all.  Therefore there are two possible ways of explaining this discrepancy.  One is that Jagattunga, son of Krishna II, is to be taken as having reigned, though for a short period.  The last date known for Krishna II is A.D. 912 and the earliest date known for Indra II is A.D. 915.  In this short interval between A.D. 912 and 915, Jagattunga might have ruled.  The other explanation would be that Rajaditya of these records is different from his name sake who was the subordinate of Krishna II and that he was a subordinate of either Govinda II or Govinda III.  But Palaeographically these inscriptions are too late for the period of Govinda III, the last year of whose reign is A.D. 813, though we known of Rajaditya who was also his subordinate.

One of the inscriptions (No. 19) of Indra III, dated Saka 837, Yuva (A.D. 915-16) tells us that a certain Dhora was governing Banvasi-nadu though it does not say to which family he belonged.  The governorship of this province seems to have passed soon after this date into the hands of bankeya; for in No. 20, dated Saka 837 (A.D. 916), he is stated to be governing Banavasinadu.  Another inscription of A.D. 928 (No. 23) of this sovereign states that Bankeya of the Chellaketana family was the governor of the sme province,  This would show that Bankeya who was governing this very province in A.D. 916 (No. 20) is not different from the Chellaketana Bankeya (No. 23).  The date of this record (A.D. 928, December 24)[1] is the latest datefound hitherto for Indra III, thus reducing the duration of the reign of his successor.  Amoghavarsha II to barely seventeen months, i.e., from December 928, to May 930. when Govinda IV came to the throne.  Another subordinate of Indra (III) figuring in this collection is Mahasrimanta who was administering Belvola Three Hundred (No. 22).  We know that he was administering this division in A.D. 901 and 907 also under Krishna II.  In this connection it may be pointed out that this officer is also mentioned in the Mulgund inscription of Krishna II of A.D. 902-03 from which it would appear that his proper name was Vinayambudhi and Mahasrimanta was only his title.

An inscription (No. 27) of Krishna III dated Saka 879 (A.D. 957) gives the important information that while Krishnaraja was reigning from his camp at Melpati his subordinate Tailapayya was carrying on the administration of the country (nadu).  This Tailapayya is evidently the Chalukya chief who later snatched his ancestral dominions from the Rashtrakutas and restored the Chalukya sovereignty in a.D. 973.  We know from other sources also that Krishna was camping at Melpati for a considerable time in connection with his southern campaign.  Evidently Taila took advantage of this absence of his mater to strengthen his own position.  In fact, we find him some years later (i.e, in A.D. 965) assuming such birudas as Chalukyarama and Ahavamalla which were usually borne by the paramount sovereigns of his family.  Another inscription (No. 29) of this king (Krishna III) is worth noticing here.  From the context it would appear that he had the tile Vikramaditya  This either however is not found applied to him in any other record.

One of the subordinates of Krishna who was known only from two records so far, figures in a third one (No. 32). He is Garvindara who in this record, as in the other two, is spoken of as governing Banavasi-desa.  This inscription is not dated but the other two are of A.D. 961 and A.D. 968.


Now we may try to trace the genealogy and the order of succession of the chiefs of Chellaketana family, who were the governors of the province of Banavasi for about two centuries.  Erakori the first known member of this family is mentioned in the Konnur inscription of Amoghavarsha I.  His son was Dhora,[2] ‘lord of Kolanura.  To him was born (from Vijayanka) Bankeya (also called Bankesa or Bankeyarasa) who was the governor of the province of Banavasi under Amoghavarsha I, in A.D. 860, which is the date of the Konnur inscription.  He had two sons, Kundattle and Lokaditya (also known as Lokate and Lokade).  The former is known from a single undated record, as administering Nidugundage Twelve.  For the latter we have dates ranging from A.D. 896 to A.D. 904-05 (No. 15 of S.I.I., vol. XX)

One of Lokaditya’s sons, named Kalivitta is known to have been (NO. 17) administering Punnavanti Twelve under his father.  A second Bankeya is known to be the governor of Banavasi from inscriptions of A.D. 916 (No. 20), 919 and 928 (No. 23). In the lastmentioned record, he is stated to belong to the Chellaketana family.  As his date is later by about eleven years than that of Lokaditya he must have lived later than Lokaditya. Since Lokaditya’s father was also called Bankeya it is likely that this Bankeya (bankeya II) is the son of Lokaditya, and was named after is grandfather according to the Hindu custom.  We have already seen that Kalivitta, the son of Lokaditya was governing the division of Punnavanti Twelve under his father.  A Kalivitta of the Chellaketana family was governing the province of banavasi in A.D, 913-14[3].  It is not at all improbable that Kalivitta who was administering the smaller unit of Punnavanti Twelve earlier is the same as Kalivitta who was governing Banavasi in A.D. 913-14.

Lokaditya, as observed before, was in charge of Banavasi 9n A./d. 904-05 and his son Kalivitta (I) was governing the same province in A.D. 913-14.  Between these two dates we find a person named Raaditya as the governor of the same province in A.D. 907-08 which is the only date so far known for him.  As we have taken this Rajaditya to be a scion of the Chalukya family (p. iii above) he need to be included among the Chellaketanas, though we cannot say as to why he was appointed governor of this province after Lokaditya to the exclusion of the members of the latter’s family who, except for a short=break after A.D. 904-05, held the governorship of this region for successive generations.

In A.D. 915-16, i.e.,  immediately after Kalivitta (I) this province was under the administrative control of a certain Dhora (No. 19).  We may not be wrong if we suppose that he was also a Chellaketana for the following reasons.  In the first place the name Dhora was, as we have already seen, borne by an earlier member of the family i.e., the grandfather of Lokaditya.  So it is quite likely that he was named after his ancestor.  Secondly this Dhora comes immediately after Kalivitta(I) and just before Bankeya (II), who was governing the Banavasi province in A.D. 915.  He may therefore be considered to be younger brother of Kalivitta(I) and the elder brother of Bankeya (II) or in other words, one of the sons of Lokaditya.  The last date we have for Bankeya (II) as the governor of Banavasi is A.D. 928.

A Kalivitta of this vry family figures as the governor of th same province in A.D. 945-46, under Krishna III.  But we find a Kalivitta (whose family is not specified) administering the division of Belvola Three-hundred in A.D. 928-29 (No. 24).  The point of interest here is that Kalivitta happens to come immediately after Bankeya II whose last known date is A.D. 928.  Further this Kalivitta is found to be administering the division of Belvola before the other Kalivitta who was Kalivittas were identical.  It would therefore follow that Kalivitta was in charge of Banavasi.  As he comes after Bankeya (II) he may be tentatively taken to be his son and called kalivitta II.


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[1] The details of the date cited in this record are Saka 850, Sarvadhari, Pushya su. 10 Thursday… Samkramana.  Taking Sarvadhari to be the year of the southern cycle, as usual, the given tithi would correspond to A.D. 928, December 24, the week-day being Wednesday not Thursday; and the Samkramana occurred on the previous day.  The equivalent of this date as calculate in Ep. Ind.,  Vol. XXVI, p. 162, is A.D. 927 December.  This calculation is perhaps according to the Sarvadhari of the northern cycle which was sake 850 current.  In this year the given date corresponds to A.D. 927 December 6, Thursday.  There was however, no samkramana anywhere near this day.

[2] Ibid. His name has been taken by Kielhorn to be Adhora or Adhora.  But it is more probable that the name is Dhora, which was a very common personal name in Karnataka of the early times.  One of the ost prominent persons who had this name was the Rashtrakuta kind Fhruva.  This would indicate that Dhruva is the Sanskritised form of Dhora or that Dhora is the Prakirt form of Dhruva.  The text would also show that the name is Dhora as it is not necessary to split th phrase as namn-Adhorah.  It would be more natural to divide it as namna Dhorak.

[3] Epo Carn., Vol. VIII, Sb. 88.  There is some mistake about the date of this record, which is given as Saka 835 (in words), Prajapati.  This cyclic year corresponds to Saka 833 (A.D. 911-12).  But since the Saka year is given in words we have taken that as correct and the cyclic year as wrong. The date is not verifiable as no further details are given.


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