The Indian Analyst
 

South Indian Inscriptions

 

 

Contents

Preface

Introduction

Table of Contents

Text of the Inscriptions 

Part - I

Part - II

Part - III

Part - IV

Part - V

Other Inscription 

Chola Inscription

Telugu Inscriptions from Andra Pradesh

Pallava Inscriptions

Pandya Inscriptions

Telugu Inscriptions of the Vijayanagara Dynasty

Inscriptions Collected 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

Tiruvarur

Darasuram

Konerirajapuram

Tanjavur

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

Epigraphia
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

Pudukkottai

South Indian Inscriptions, Volume 2

Tamil Inscriptions

part - v

PALLAVA COPPER-PLATE GRANTS

No. 98. VELURPALAIYAM PLATES OF VIJAYA-NANDIVARMAN (IIi)

These plates were discovered in 1911 by the late Rai Bahadur V. Venkayya, M.A., in the village Velurpalaiyam, about 7 miles north-west of Arkonam in the North Arcot district. They have since been purchased by the Government for deposit in the Madras Museum. A detailed description of the plates and their contents has appeared in the Epigraphical Report for 1911, Part II, paragraphs 5 to 12. Mr. Venkayya also, has published a valuable note on them in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society for 1911, pp. 521 ff.

The plates are five in number and consist of eight written sides, the outer faces of the first and last being completely blank. They vary in length from 9 5/8” to 9 ¾”, and are slightly convex on their right and left sides. The breadth of each plate is about 3½ .The ring which holds the plates together is oval-shaped, and measures 7” x 6¼ while the circular seal in whose massive bottom the edges of the ring are firmly fixed, is 3 ¼” in diameter. The seal bears on a depressed surface an elongated figure of a Pallava bull in a recumbent posture facing the proper right with an ornamental lamp-stand on either side of it. The bull and the lamp-stand are placed on a straight line, which is perhaps to be taken for the surface of a pedestal. Below this latter, there appear the faint traces of an expanded lotus flower. Above the bull are engraved in one row, eight symbols of which a goddess (perhaps Lakshmi), flanked by two lamp-stands occupies the center. Another symbol which is recognizable in the svastika. The remaining four are indistinct. Above these again are the insignia of royalty, viz., two chauris mounted on handles and a parasol between them. Right round the margin of the seal is a defaced legend in Pallava-Grantha characters of which the syllables . . . . . . . . va-nathasya Nan[tipa] nmas[ya] bhu[pa*]teh [I*] visva-[vi]sva[m]bharapala srih, are visible. The plates including ring and seal weigh 394 tolas.


The inscription on the plates is engraved partly in Grantha and partly in Tamil characters. The writing discloses two different scripts, the first of which (II. 1 to 28) is somewhat less deeply cut and slanting. The virama or the pulli in the Tamil portion of the inscription is marked almost regularly throughout, by a zigzag line resembling the final m of Grantha or by the usual dot. The grant consists of 31 Sanskrit verses intercepted in the middle by a prose passage in Tamil from lines 47 to 63, and including at the end a short Tamil sentence in lines 68 and 69. Verses 1 and 2 are invocations addressed to the Supreme Being and to Srikantha (Siva). The two next supply the legendary origin of the Pallavas from Vishnu, down to the eponymous king Pallava, through Brahma, Angiras, Brihaspati, Samyu, Bharadvaja, Drona, and Asvatthaman, and eulogise the family as being very powerful. From verse 5 to 8, we learn the names of some probably historical kings. One of them was Asokavarman in whose family was born Kalabhartri. His son was Chutapallava; his son, Virakurcha; from him came Skandasishya; from him, Kumaravishnu and after him, Buddhavarman. It is evident, as Professor Hultzsch has remarked, (above, p. 342), that Asokavarman “can scarcely be considered a historical person, but appears to be a modification of the ancient Maurya king Asoka.” Kalabhartri is a possible synonym of Kanagopa, who is mentioned in the Kasakudi plates, in the group of kings that ruled after Asokavarman. Virakurcha, the grandson of Kalabhartri (Kanagopa), must be the Virakorchavarman whose name occurs as that of the great grandfather (of the donor) in an odd Pallava plate published by Professor Hultzsch in the Epigraphia Indica (Vol. I, p. 397 f.) and the same as Viravarman of the Pikira, Mangalur, lUruvupalli and the Chendalur grants, all of which belong practically to the same period. Virakurcha is stated to have married the daughter of a Naga chief[1] and through her, to acquire the insignia of royalty. Their son Skandasishya seized from king Satyasena the ghatika of the Brahmanas. The reference to a ghatika at this early period is very interesting. It occurs also in the Talagunda inscription of Kakusthavarman which is ascribed by Professor Kielhorn to about the first half of the 6th century A.D.[2] Skandasishya is perhaps identical with the Pallava king of the same name, who is referred to in one of the Tirukkarukkunram inscriptions, as having made a gift to the holy temple of Mulasthana at that village. If Skandasishya is synonymous with Skandavarman as suggested by Mr. Venkayya in his article on the Tirukkarukkunram inscription, we shall have to identify him with Skandavarman II, particularly because the two generations after him supplied by the Velurpalaiyam plates, would, in this case, be the same as those found in the Chendalur plates of Kumaravishnu II. Satyasena, the king from whom Skandasishya seized the ghatika, remains unidentified. Kumaravishnu, the son of Skandasishya, is next stated to have captured Kanchi, and his son Buddhavarman to have been the conqueror of Cholas.

Mr. Venkayya mentions two distinct periods in early Pallava hviz. (1) the period in which their grants are recorded in the Prakrit language and (2) that in which the grants are in Sanskrit. The first has been tentatively assigned to the beginning of the 4th century A.D. Evidently, the break suggested at the beginning of verse 5 in the Velurpalaiyam plates with the words “Asokavarman and others,” included this earlier period of the Prakrit kcharters, and counted within it such names as Sivaskandavarman, Vijayaskandavarman, Vijayabuddhavarman, Buddhyankura and Vishnugopa. The Sanskrit charters, which are to be referred probably to the 5th and the 6th centuries of the Christian era, supply the names of a number of Pallava kings who may now be arranged in order of succession, with the help of the information given in the Velurpalaiyam plates. The capture or rather the re-capture of Kanchi attributed to Kumaravishnu in these plates confirms Mr. Venkayya’s suggestion that town was not the Pallava capital for some time during the interval between the Prakrit period and the later Sanskrit period. Kalabharatri (Kanagopa) may have been the first of the kings of the second period, which lasted down to Buddhavarman according to out plates,

or down to his son Kumaravishnu II according to the Chendalur plates. The question however arises whether Kumaravishnu (I) of the Chendalur and the Velur palaiyam plates has to be identified with Yuvamaharaja Vishnugopavarman or to be treated as still another son of Skandasishya (Skandavarman II). The former alternative was suggested by Mr. Venkayya together with the further supposition that Buddhavarman and Simhavarman II may have been brothers. But as the names Vishnugopa and Kumaravishnu are mentioned simultaneously together among Pallava ancestors, as for instance, in the Vayalur pillar inscription of the time of Rajasimha,[3] we may presume, perhaps tentatively, Kumaravishnu I to be a third son of Skandavarman II. The following revised pedigree of the Pallava kings based on the Velurpalaiyam plates and the Sanskrit charters of Pikira, Mangalur, Uruvupalli and Chendalur, is given provisionally, subject to the identifications and suggestions made above: -

Click here and see the pedigree of Pallava Kings

After v. 8 we are again introduced to another gap in the succession in which were included a host of kings such as Vishugopa[5] and others. Then appeared a king named Nandivarman I who brought under his control a powerful snake apparently called Drishtivisha.[6] In verse 10, Simhavarman, the father of Simhavishnu, is introduced,— no connection being specified between himself and the Nandivarman just mentioned. Simhavishnu was the conqueror of the Chola country, which was fertilized by the river Cauvery.

What follows of the Pallava genealogy is not new. It is a repetition of the account already supplied by the Kasakudi, Kuram and the Udayendiram plates. Stone inscriptions written in the Pallava-Grantha characters commence from this period,— a fact which suggests that, with the conquest of Simhavishnu, the Pallavas must have extended their dominion further south of Kanchi into the Chola country and adopted the Dravidian language generally found mixed up with Sanskrit in the later stone inscriptions. From Simhavishnu’s son Mahendravarman I was born Narasimhavarman I. This king whose conquest of Vatapi (Badami) and the Western Cahlukya Pulakesin II has frequently been described, is stated in verse 11 to have defeated his enemies and to have taken from them the pillar of victory standing at Vatapi.[7] Then came Paramesvaravarman I, an enemy of the Western Chalukya king Vikramaditya I, whom, according to the Kuram and the Udayendiram plats, he defeated at Peruvalanallur. Paramesvara’s “son’s son” was Narasimhavarman II, who re-organised the ghatika of the Brahmanas, and built a temple for Siva “comparable with the mountain Kailasa”. This is a clear reference to the building of the Kailasanatha temple at Conjeeveram by Narasimhavrman II.[8] The latter’s son was Paramesvara II. The usurpation of the Pallava throne by Nandivarman II, subsequent to the death of Paramesvara II, is clearly stated in verse 15. The distant relation that existed between the usurper Nandivarman II and Paramesvara II is described in the Kasakudi plates.

Two points in the account given above are worthy of note: (1) the omission of the name Mahendravarman II after Narasimhavarman I and (2) the statement that Narasimhavarman II was the “son’s son”[9] of Paramesvara I. The later is probably an error, since all the three published Pallava accounts agree in saying that Narasimhavarman II was the son, not the grandson, of Paramesvara I. The former, however, may be different. For although the Kuram plates call Paramesvaravarman I, the grandson of Narasimhavarman I, still the doubtful way in which this relationship is expressed in the Kasakudi and the Udayendiram plates, taken together with the statement of the Velurpalaiyam plates, makes it appear as if Mahendravarman II and Paramesvaravarman I were both sons of Narasimhavarman I, thus reducing the seven generations between Simhavishnu and Paramesvaravarman II, to six. The usurper Nandivarman II who, according to the Kasakudi plates, was sixth in descent from a brother of Simhavishnu could not at the time of his usurpation be a generation older than Paramesvaravarman II whose kingdom he usurped. Indeed, as hinted in the Udayendiram plates, he must have been much younger to justify his being called there the son of Paramesvaravarman. Consequently it appears probably that Mahendravarman II and Paramesvaravarman I were actually brothers and that the succession after Narasimhavarman I passed on directly to the latter, the former having, perhaps, died before him. Two successions after the usurper Nandivarman (Pallavamalla) are further supplied for the first time by the Velurpalaiyam plates. Nandivarman II’s son by Reva was the Pallava-Maharaja Dantivarman (verse 18). His queen was the Kadamba princess Aggalanimmati; from these, was born king Nandivarman III, or according to the Tamil portion of the inscription, Vijaya-Nandivarman, in the sixth year of whose reign the subjoined grant was made. No specific historical facts are mentioned in connection with these kings. Nandivarman III is stated to have “acquired the prosperity of the Pallava kingdom by the prowess of his (own) arms” (verse 20). From this we may infer that the sovereignty over the Pallava kingdom had now been keenly contested either by outsiders or by some descendents of the Simhavishnu line.

In the Chingleput, North Arcot, South Arcot and Trichinopoly districts, there have been discovered a number of stone records (more or less of the same age as the Velurpalaiyam plates) which refer themselves to the reigns of Dantivarman, Dantivarma-Maharaja, Dantippottarasar or Vijaya-Dantivikramavarman, and also of Nandivarman with similar variations in the name. Again, the Bahur plates supply the names Dantivarman, (his son) Nandivarman and (his son) Nripatungadeva or Vijaya-Nripatungavarman, as members of the Pallava family, among whose ancestors were Vimala, Konkanika and others. From this latter statement Professor Hultzsch concluded that the kings mentioned in the Bahur plates were different from the Pallavas of Kanchi and were only “Pallava by name but Western Ganga by descent.” It is now, therefore, difficult to say if the Dantivarmans and the Nandivarmans of these stone records mentioned above, are to be identified with those mentioned in the Bahur plates, or with those of the Velur-palaiyam plates or with both. Mr. Venkayya is inclined to connect the names in the Bahur plates with those of the Velurpalaiyam plates, and suggests that Vijya-Nripatungavarman of the former was apparently the son of Nandivarman III of the latter. Against this the only objection is the ancestry, which, in the one case includes the clear Western Ganga name (or surname) Konkanika, while in the other it does not. If, however, Mr. Venkayya’s suggestion is accepted, we must presume two facts to arrive at a concurrent genealogy, and to connect the kings of stone records with those mentioned in the Velurpalaiyam and Bahur plates. The prefix ko-vijaya and the suffix vikramavarman which are invariably found appended to the names of the kings in this series must have been introduced for the first time by the usurper Nandivarman Pallavamalla, who, we know, literally won the kingdom by victory (vijaya) and the prowess (vikrama)[10], and that Nripatungavarman who was decidedly the most powerful of this last branch of the Pallavas, and a son of the Rashtrakuta princess Sankha, must have contracted new relations with the Western Gangas to justify the insertion of one or more of the names of that dynasty among his Pallava ancestors. Even with these suppositions granted, the identification of kings mentioned in stone records with the Nandivarmans and Dandivarmans of the copperplate grants presents peculiar difficulties. The script of the copper plates, though of the same age with that of the stone inscriptions often differs from it, and the information supplied by the latter is so meager that hardly any points of contemporaneous nature that could help us in such identification, are forthcoming. In the present state of our knowledge therefore, it may be hypothetically presumed that kings of names Nandivarman and Dantivarman with or without the prefix ko-vijaya and the suffix vikramavarman, may be taken to be one or the other of the immediate ancestors of Nripatunga-Vikramavarman; while kings described as Dantivarma-Maharaja of the Bharadvaja-gotra, Dantivarman and Nandivarman of the Pallava-tilaka-kula, and Nandivarman “who conquered [his enemies] at Tellaru,” have to be kept distinct.

In conclusion it may be stated, by way of a resume, that the Pallava history covers four separate periods extending from about the 4th to the 9th century A.D. with three gaps which remain yet to be filled up satisfactorily by later researches. These are (1) the period of the Prakrit charters; (2) after a gap of a little more than a century, the period of the Sanskrit charters; (3) after another gap (or rather two gaps) of about the same length the period of stone inscriptions when, the Simhavishnu line was predominant; and (4) the last period when the Nandivarman line (developing later, into what has been called the Ganga-Pallava line) was powerful until it was completely crushed by the Cholas. As table of the kings of the Simhavishnu line and of the collateral branch of Nandivarman Pallavamalla down to Nripatungavarman of the Bahur plates is appended below: -

Click here and see the relationship of Pallava Kings 

 The object of the Velurpalaiyam plate was the gift of the village Srikattupalli or Tirukkattuppalli to a temple of Siva built at that village by a certain Yajnabhatta or Sannakkuri Yajnabhatta, surnamed Bappa-Bhattaraka,[11] in the sixth year of the reign of king Nandivarman III. The request (vijnapti) was made by the Chola-Maharaja[12] Kumarankusa, while the executor (anjapti or anatti) was the minister Namba (in Tamil, Iraiyur-udaiyan-Namban) of the Agradatta family. The donee was the Mahadeva (Siva) temple of Yajesvara at Trukkattuppalli. Verse 28 informs us that the composer of the prasasti[13] was the Mahesvara Manodhira. Verse 31 and the Tamil sentence following it, supply the name of Peraya, a clever carpenter of Manaichcheri in Kachchippedu (Conjeeveram), who engraved the writing on these plates.

One point of great interest in the Tamil portion of the grant is the long list of exemptions (parihara) and the written declaration (vyavastha) with which Tirukkattuppalli was made over to the temple assembly (paradai, Skt. parishad). The former included items of collection whose significance is not quite clear, but which, as the inscription says, the king “could receive and enjoy.” It appears as though most of the items here mentioned were not necessarily sources of revenue to the State, as now understood, but only obligatory services which the king could enforce on the people for the benefit of the community. By the written declaration the donee was permitted to build (with any special license) mansions of burnt brick; to grow Artimissia Andropogan Muricatum, red lilies and ulli in gardens; to plant cocoanut trees in groves; to sink reservoirs and wells; to use large oil-presses; and to prohibit toddy-drawers from tapping for toddy, the cocoanut and the Palmyra trees planted within the four boundaries of the village.

The village Tirukkattuppalli is identical with Kattupalli in the Ponneri taluk of the Chingleput district; Nayaru-nadu of Purar-kottam, in which the village is stated to have been situated, takes its name from the village Nayar of the same taluk, about 8½ miles south-west of Kattuppalli. In the British Museum plates of the Vijayanagara king Sadasivaraya of the 16th century A.D., Nayattu-nadu (i.e., Nayaru-nadu) is described as being sub-division of Pulali-kotaka (i.e., Purar-kottam).

TRANSLATION

Hail! Prosperity! Adoration to Siva!

(Verse 1.) May that effulgence which is the existence absolute, which is sung by the wise to be eternal, universal, infallible, accessible (only) to highest devotion, benevolent, beyond the reach of words and thoughts, and endless and which, the best of sages ever strive to attain by putting a restraint upon the currents of (their) sense-perceptions,— grant you permanent bliss!

(V. 2.) May (they) always protect you, the arms of Srikantha (i.e., Siva), which are lovely by bearing on them the marks of saffron from the breasts of Sarvani (i.e., Parvati), which delight themselves in the work of removing the ornaments (from the body) of the wives of the highly conceited hoards of the enemies of gods,[14] which (hold) a number of weapons that shine with the brilliance of the fire at the end of the world and wear armlets of serpents radiant with gems in (their) crests!

(V. 3) From the lotus-(like) navel of the lotus-navelled (Vishnu) was (produced) Brahma; from him (was born) Angiras; from him, the preceptor of the gods (Brhaspati); from him, the good-natured Samyu; from him Samyava (i.e., Bharadvaja); from him the pitcher-born (Drona); from him Drauni (i.e., Asvatthaman), who is of the essence of (Siva), the enemy of Cupid; and from him in (the same) order (came) Pallava, the lord of the whole earth, whose fame was bewildering.

(V. 4.) Thence, came into existence the race of the Pallavas, who by the law of protection (which they adopted) removed (even) the slightest distress (of their subjects); and whose bar-like arms were skilled in rendering assistance to the lord of serpents who was fatigued by the labour of (carrying on his head) the burden of the earth.

(V. 5.) After kings, such as Asokavarman (and others), born in that family, had attained god-hood (i.e., died), was born Kalabhartri, the head-jewel of (his) family, like (Vishnu) the husband of Indira (i.e., Lakshmi).

(V. 6.) From his son Chutapallava, was produced Virakurcha, of celebrated name who simultaneously with (the hand of) the daughter of the chief of serpents grasped also the complete insignia of royalty and became famous.

(V. 7.) From him came Skandasishya, the moon in the sky of (his) family, who seized from king Satyasena the ghatika of the twice-born (i.e., Brahmanas).

(V. 8.) From him came Kumaravishnu who captured the city of Kanchi and was victorious in battles. Then became king, Buddhavarman, the submarine fire to the ocean-like army of the Cholas.

(V. 9.) And after a host of kings including Vishnugopa had passed away, was born Nandivarman, who with the favor of (the god) Pinakapani (Siva) caused to dance a powerful snake whose poison was in (its) eyes (Drishtivisha).

(V. 10.) Then from the king named Simhavarman, who wiped off the pride of (his) enemies, was born the victorious Simhavishnu whose prowess was widely known on earth. He quickly seized the country of the Cholas, embellished by the daughter of Kavira (i.e., the river Kaveri), whose ornaments are the forests of paddy (fields) and where (are found) brilliant groves of areca (palms).

(V. 11.) From his son Mahendra was born Narasimhavarman (I), famous (like) Upendra (i.e. Vishnu), who, defeating the host of (his) enemies, took (from them) the pillar of victory standing in the center of (the town of) Vatapi.

(V. 12.) From his came Paramesvara (I) who crushed the conceit of (his) enemies, (and was) a sun in destroying the darkness, which was the army of the Chalukya king.

(V. 13.) His son’s son (was) Narasimhavarman (II) who, equal to Mahendra, once again organized the ghatika of the twice-born (i.e., Brahmanas) and built of stone a house for the moon-crested (Siva) which was comparable with the (mountain) Kailasa.

(V. 14.) His son who was respected by kings was Paramesvara (II). This chastiser of the dark age (Kali) governed the earth according to the rules laid down by Manu.

(V. 15.) After him, Nandivarman, the repository of the aggregate (good) qualities of all ancient kings, got possession of the prosperity of the family together with the earth whose garments are the four oceans.

(V. 16.) Of this heroic lord of battalions (or, of rivers), and the home of many virtues (or, of gems), as of the ocean, the chief queen was Reva who, like (the river) Reva, had (her) birth from a great king (or, from a high mountain).

(V. 17.) To her was born on this (earth) the glorious king Dantivarman, a manifestation of the lotus-eyed (Vishnu) himself, who laws the delight o the earth, whose (sole) object (of life) was the protection of the three worlds and in whom the group of pure qualities such as prowess, charity and gratitude attained eminence, as it were, after a long time (enjoying) the pleasure of each other’s company.

(V. 18.) Just as Gauri (was the wife) of the conqueror of the (three) cities (i.e., Siva), the suitable chief queen of that lord of the earth, the foremost of heroes, the powerful Pallava-Maharaja, was (she) of the spotless race, who bore the name Aggalanimmati (and was) the daughter of the celebrated king – a crest jewel of the Kadamba family.

(V. 19.) As the (morning) twilight (gives birth to) the resplendent one (i.e., the sun); as Ambika (i.e. Parvati), (to the god) Kumara (Skanda) possessed of the marvelous (weapon) Sakli (or of strength); as Sachi, to the victorious Jayanta; so did this (Aggalanimmati) give birth to (the glorious) Nandivarman.

(V. 20.) This (Nandivarman) puffed up with the prowess of his arms, acquired the prosperity of the (Pallava) kingdom, not easy for others to obtain, by killing (his) enemies on the battle-field which was laughing (as it were) with pearls dropping from the frontal globes of elephants slain by (his) unsheathed sword.

(V. 21.) Never shone so (thoroughly) a garden with (the advent of) spring, nor men of high birth with (good) qualities, nor women with morality, nor a millionaire with charity, nor humility with knowledge, nor a lotus-tank with the sun, nor the expanse of the sky with the moon at the end of the rainy season, as (the people of) this earth (shone), with that king.

(V. 22.) (A subject) of that king who was learned, modest and of established virtues, who was named Yajnabhatta and surnamed Bappa-Bhattaraka, was widely famous (for his knowledge) in the Sastra, the Veda and the Sankhya and was celebrated for (his) persistent devotion to (Siva), built in the village named Srikattuppalli a temple for Siva similar t the high Kailasa (mountain).

(V. 23.) His (viz. Yajnabhatta’s) father was named Sivadasa, who like the lord (of the goddess) of speech (i.e., Brahma) was possessed of pure intelligence. His mother was [Dre]-namani who like the (goddess) earth was great for the exuberance of her (good) qualities.[15]

(V. 24.) His grandfather was named Yajna who, like the repository of the kalas (i.e., the moon), is the abode of sciences (kala),[16] has spotless character[17] (as the moon, a white disc), is the best of the twice-born (dvija), the expeller of ignorance (as the moon of darkness) and shines with wide-spread fame.

(V. 25.) To that god Sarva (Siva), the king granted the village called Tirukkattuppalli for (maintaining) the services (connected with) worship, feeding etc.,

(V. 26.) The heroic head-jewel of the Chola race named Kumarankusa, the glory of whose prowess was well-known, whose liberality was equal to that of Radheya (i.e., Karna) and whose conduct was upright, made the (necessary) request (vijnapti) for (securing) this (grant).

(V. 27.) The executor (ajnapti) here, was the king’s minister named Namba, the autumnal moon in the firmament of the Agradatta family.

(V. 28.) The Mahesvara Manodhira, the act of whose words, thoughts and body were (all) for the benefit of others, composed this prasasti.

(Lines 47 to 63.) Whereas in the sixth year of Kovijaya-Nandivarman, at the request (made by) Chola-Maharaja and the anatti of Iraiyur-udaiyan Namban, this (village) Tirukkattuppalli of panchavaram ayirakkadi[18] in Nayaru-nadu, (a subdivision) of Purar-kottam, (is) excluded from the district (nattu-ningal) (and) has been assigned as an utpuravu devadana in favour of (the god) Mahadeva of (the temple of) Yajnesvara built by Sannakkuri Yajnabhatta at Tirukkattuppalli, the immunities (parihara) secured (therefore) viz., nadatchi, uratchi, puravu-pon, tirumukkanam,[19] vatti-nari, pudari, tattukayam, iram-putchi, idai-pputchi, manrupadu, brokerage, tax on looms, kulam, good cow, good bull, good sheep, watch-fee of the district, udupokku taxes on marriages, potters and quarries, patina-seri and all other (income) of any kind which the king could receive and enjoy within the boundary of this village, shall not (henceforth) be collected by the king but by this Mahadeva of (the temple of) Yajnesvara only. The (following) written declaration (vyavastha) is (also) granted (for the guidance of the donee); Mansions of burnt titles (bricks?) may be built (without special permission); artimissia (damanagam), andropogan muricatum (iruveli), red-lilies (sengarunir) and ulli may be grown (in gardents?); cocoanut (trees) may be planted in groves; reservoirs and wells may be sunk; large oil-presses may be used and the toddy-drawers (iravars) may not climb, without the consent of this (i.e. the Mahadeva of Yajnesvara), the cocoanut and the palmyra (trees) planted within the boundaries of (this village). With the written declaration thus defined (the village) was placed in the (hands of the) assembly (paradatti,) as a devadana, with all immunities, to the (god) Mahadeva of the Yajensvara (temple).

(V. 29.) O! Future rulers of earth! He, Nandivarman, the banner among all kings, with (his) lotus-like hands folded, bows down to you with (his) head which is marked by the head jewel (viz.) the lotus-feet of Hara (Siva) (and requests you) to protect this good deed always!

(V. 30.) Thus does Rama request again and again, all the present and future lords of the earth: “This bridge of (religious) charity is common to (all) kings; you must (therefore) protect (it) at all times.”

(V. 31.) This set of (copper-) sheets was engraved by the moon in the sky of the family of carpenters, named Peraya, the son of Sirraya, who has won (his) reputation for skill in workman-ship.

(L. 68 to 69.) The writing of Peryan son of the carpenter (kashthakarin) of Manaichcheriin Kachchippedu

POSTSCRIPT

On pages 180 and 181 of the Epigraphia Indica, Vol. IV., Professfor Hultzsch gives an extract of a set of five copper-plates of Vijaya-Nripatungavarman which were discovered at Bahur near Pondicherry by M. J. de la Fon. The originals are not available but appear to be in the possession of some person at Paris. A transcript of the inscription prepared by a Tamil Pandit was supplied by the discoverer to Professor Hultzsch some years ago. It is in many places defective. Still as the information conveyed appears to be important for the study of the collateral branch of the Pallava family, known as Ganga-Pallavas, I append below the Sanskrit and Tamil texts as transcribed by the Pandit.

It my be added by way of supplementing Professor Hultzsch’s remarks that in V. 16 reference is made to a victory gained by a Pandya king with the help of Nripatunga. It is not stated who this Pandya was or where he fought the battle in which Nripatunga could have helped him. The Ambasamudram inscription of Varaguna-Maharaja (Ep. Ind., Vol. IX, pp. 84 to 94) states that king advanced as far north as Araisur on the Pennar in Tondai-mandalam. Mr. Venkayya distinguishes this Varaguna-Maharaja from his grandson Varagunavarman who fought the battle of Sripurambiyam with Prithivipati I and his ally Aparajitavarman, the last of the Ganga-Palava kings (Madras Epigraphical Report for 1906-7, Part II, paragraph 21). It is not definitely known what relation existed between this Aparajita and Nripatungavarman of the Bahur plates. Anyhow Varaguna-Maharaja who flourished two generations before Varagunavarman, about the beginning of the 9th century A.D., and who pushed his campaign in the north up to the bank of the river Pennar cannot be far distant in time from Nripatungavarman. Consequently, the Pandya referred to in V. 16 of the Bahur plates may probably be Varaguna-Mahahraja. The enemy against whom Nripatunga fought to help his friend Varaguna-Maharaja was very likely a king of the Simhavishnu line who was ruling simultaneously with Nripatunga in some portion of the Tondai-mandalam.[20]

The object of the grant was the donation of the three villages Chettuppakkam Vilangattankaduvanur and Iraippunaichcheri to the vidyasthana (V. 23) at Bahugrama (i.e., Bahaur) (V. 25), by a member of the Basali family and a descendant of the Kuru race (V. 18). This chief was the minister of Tungavarman (i.e. Nripatunga) (V. 28) who issued the necessary order for the grant of the villages (V. 21). The college (vidyasthana) at Bahur consisted of 14 ganas[21] and was controlled by the learned men of that village, being organized and maintained by them “as the Ganges (Mandakini) descending from the sky with all the fury of its rushing waves is borne by the god Siva on one of his matted locks” (Vv. 24 and 25). The composer of the prasasti was Dasaya (V. 30). The Tamil portion of the grant refers to the 8th year of Vijaya-Nripatungavarman and states that at the request of Basali-Perarayan and the anatti (ajnapti) of Vidolaividugu (i.e., Videlvidugu) Kadupatti-Tamirapperaraiyan, the grant of the three villages already mentioned was announced to the residents of Bahur-nadu, a sub-division of Aruva-nadu, on its eastern side. As usual, the villages were granted after excluding previous donations and expropriating former owners, for the sole benefit of the vidyasthana at Bahur. The order was communicated to the assembly of Bahur-nadu (nattar) who on receiving it, obeyed it placing the order on their heads, circumambulated the village, planted stones and milk bush and drew up the necessary document (araiy-olai).

Among the boundaries described occur the names Tenmalippakkam, Nelvayappakkam, Urattur, Mambakkam, Nerinjikkurumbu and Sirimanpatti. The land comprised within the described boundaries of the three villages was given away to the members of the idyasthana for the advancement of learning, after including these in Bahur and giving them the same exemptions (parihara) and written declarations (vyavastha) as in the case of Bahur. The goldsmith (suvarnakrit) Nripatunga, a jewel of the Uditodita family and faithful servant of the Pallavas, wrote the grant (V. 32). The Tamil passage at the end of the inscription states that this goldsmith’s father was Madevipperudattan son of Uditodaya-Perudattan, a native of Kachchippedu (Conjeeveram).

Of the villages mentioned, Bahur is the only place that can be identified. It is the head quarters of a commune in the French territory and, was the site of a battle between the French and the English troops in A.D. 1752.


[1] The account of the Pallava connection with a Naga princess, here attributed to Virakurcha, is already mentioned of the progenitor Asvatthaman himself, in the Rayakota plates of Skandasishya-Vikramavarman (Ep. Ind., Vol. V, p. 52). A similar story of the early Chola king Killi having taken to wife a Naga princess, is related in the Perumbanarruppadai. The mythical account given in the Mahabharata, of the epic hero Arjuna marrying a Naga queen, combined with what is stated of the Naga connections in inscriptions and literature, confirms the accepted belief, that the Nagas were the original indigenous rulers of Southern India and that they were subdued in course of time by foreign invaders from the North, eventually losing their individuality by intermarriages with them.

[2] Ep. Ind., Vol. VIII, p. 26. According to the Kanchi inscription of Vikramaditya II, Conjeeveram continued to be the seat of a ghatika in the beginning of the 8th century A.D. (ibid., Vol. III, p. 360, note 4). The hill at Sholinghur in the North Arcot district is known as Ghatikachala, perhaps on account of its having also been the seat of a ghatika.

[3] Madras Epigraphical Report for 1909, Part II, paragraph 17.

[4] The names Nandivarman, Skandavarman III, and Simhavarman I are taken from a grant published by Professor Kielhorn (Ep. Ind., Vol. III, pp. 142 ff.) and suspected by him t be a spurious document.

[5] A Pallava copperplate grant from the Guntur district recently examined belongs to the time of a certain Vishnugopavarman II whose father was Simhavarman, a son of Vishugopavarman I and grandson of Kandavarman. I have assigned this to the period subsequent to Kumaravishnu II of the Chendalur plates (Madras Epigraphical Report fro 1914, p. 82.)

[6] The influence of the Nagas who, as already suggested, must have been the original rulers of Southern India apparently continued down to the time of Nandivarman of about the 6tha century A.D. In later times the Sindas of Yelburga (Dr. Fleet’s Dynasties of the Kanarese districts p. 572) and the Chchindas of Bastar traced their origin to the serpents (naga).

[7] It is not unlikely that this pillar of victory had been set up there by one of the ancestors of Narasimhavarman himself. The fragmentary rock inscription at Badami published by Dr. Flet (Ind. Ant. Vol. IX, p. 99 f.) refers to Vatapi, [Narasim]havishnu and to a pillar of victory (jayastambha). Dr. Fleet is of opinion that Badami (Vatapi) “was originally in Western India stronghold of the Pallavas and that it was from them that the Chalukyas wrested it. It is probable that Vatapi was temporarily recovered by the Pallavas from the Western Chalukyas after the reign of Pulakesin II”.

[8] Recorded in an inscription round the central shrine of the temple; above, Vol. I, No. 24.

[9] The actual word putra-sunu though used, very peculiarly, in place of the more common pautra, leaves no doubt that the composer could not have intended any other term of relationship.

[10] Vijaya and Vikrama as prefixes and suffixes of Pallava names occur in much earlier records e.g. in names like Vijaya-Isvaravarman and Mahendravikramavarman; but here they do not signify and distinct branch of kings.

[11] This surname occurs in early Sanskrit charters of the Pallavas and has been tanslated “lord-father”. Perhaps the term was one of the high respect applied to spiritual preceptors, and it is not unlikely that Yajnabhatta stood in this relation to king Nandivarman III. The spiritual preceptor of Nandivarman. Pallavamalla is also called Bappa-Bhattaraka in the Kasakudi plates (text, I. 78).

[12] The cholas at this period must have been occupying a subordinate position. Neither literature nor inscriptions afford any clue of the identification of this Chola-Maharaja Kumarankusa, who was evidently a feudatory of king Nandivarman III. The name Kumarankusa-Gavunda occurs among the signatories in a record of Parantaka I (No. 457 of the Madras Epigraphical collection for 1911).

[13] Strangely enough this series of the latest Pallava grants have all been registered as prasasti; see above, p. 345

[14] This is an elegant expression for saying that the enemies of gods (i.e., the demons) were destroyed by Siva. It is usual with Hindu women to remove their ornaments and to give up their toilet after the death of their husbands.

[15] A pun on the words guna and gariyasi is intended. The earth has all the gunas such as form, taste, etc. and is also heavy.

[16] For a correct understanding of the sense, the phrase nidhih kalanam has to be repeated twice.

[17] Visuddha-vrittah would have been more apt.

[18] I.e., whose yield under the head Panchavaram, was one thousand kadi of paddy. Panchavaram may be a mistake for panchavaram ‘the five varams or income in grain’; cp. The terms mel-varam, kudi-varam, etc. which are still in use.

[19] This term corresponds to tirumugakkanam of Tandantottam plates; see below, page 531, note 2. The following other terms, viz., vatti-nari pudari, tattukayam, iram-putchi and idai-pputchi also occur in the Tandantottam plates.

[20] Dantivarma-Maharaja of the Bharadvaja-gotra mentioned in the Triplicane inscription is supposed to have been the first of a line of kings who “spoke of themselves as belonging to the family of Pallava-tilaka in order to distinguish themselves from the Ganga-Pallavas” (Ep. Ind., Vol. VIII., pp. 290-6). Nandippottaraiyan was another king of the same family whose queen Marambavai figures as the donor in two inscriptions at Tiruchchennampundi, Tanjore district, which are dated in the 18th and 22nd years of the reign of Nripatunga (Nos. 303 and 300 of the Madras Epigraphical collection for 1901). This subordinate position of Marambavai suggests evidently either the defeat or the death of her husband at the hands of Nripatunga. Consequently, Nandippottaraiyan of the Pallava-tilaka family must have been the enemy against whom Varaguna-Maharaja and Nripatunga jointly fought.

[21] The Pandit who supplied the transcript of the grant remarks that the 14 gunas were the fourteen divisions of learning and consisted of – the Vedas (4), the angas (6), Mimamsa (1), Nyaya (1), Purana (1) and the Dharmasastra (1).