206 Two Pandya copper-plate grants from Sinnamanur
207 Tirukkalar Plate of Rajendra Chola I
209 Tirukkalar Plate of Kulottungs-Chola I
211 Tirukkalar Plate of Kulottunga-Chola III & Rajakesarivarman
here to continue Copper-plates from Sinnamanur, Tirukkalar...
206.—TWO PANDYA COPPER PLATE GRANTS FROM SINNAMANUR
are two of the four sets of Pandya copper plate grants discovered so
far and are herein published for the first time.
The Velvikudi grant of Parantaka Nedunjadaiyan has been
edited by me in the Epigraphia Indica, Vol. XVII, pp. 291 to
309 and the Madras Museum Plates of Jatilavarman, by the late Rai
Bahadur V. Venkayya in the Indian Antiquary, Vol. XXII, pp.
57 to 75. These four,
studied together, furnish a genealogy of the Pandyas from the early
king Kadungon, who is said to have flourished at the close of the
first Sangam of Tamil poets, down to Rajasimha-Pandya,
the contemporary of the Chola king Parantaka I, who reigned at the
commencement of the 10th century A.D.
With the invasion of the latter into the Pandya country and
his capture of Madura, which earned for him the title ‘Madiraikonda’,
the early Pandya power seems to have come to an end, and made room,
for the next two centuries at least, for the unchallenged sway of
the Cholas over the whole of Southern India.
two grants under consideration have been thoroughly reported in the Annual
Report on Epigraphy for 1906 - 1907, pp.62 ff.
Speaking of their provenance, Mr. Venkayya states “the
plates are reported to have been found about 20 or 25 years ago (now
nearly forty years) while digging for the foundation of the
kitchen in the Vishnu temple at Sinnamanur
in the Periyakulam taluka of the Madura district, and have since
been purchased for deposit in the Madras Museum, from their owner
Mr. Rajam Ayyar.”
bigger of the two sets consists of seven copper plates, measuring
approximately 10” by 3 3/8”.
The thin rims which they once seem to have had, are now
completely worn out. The
plates are numbered on their obverse sides, with the Tamil numerals
2 to 8 close to the right side of the ring hole, thus showing that
the first plate, whose obverse must have borne the number 1, is now
lost. The last plate
ending with the word Karkulattil, also shows that one or more
plates which contained the last portion of the grant are lost.
The ring which held the plates together and which, judging by
the size of the ring holes in the middle of the left margin of each
plate, must have been a little less than 3/8” in thickness, is
missing. The existing
seven plates weigh 390 tolas.
smaller set consists of three thin plates without rims, viz.,
the first, second and the last, with one or more plates of two
written sides, missing between the second and the last.
The first and the last plates are not numbered as in the
larger set. The ring
with which the plates were held together is lost.
The ring-hole is not, as usual, bored in the middle of the
left margin, but at the left bottom or the left top corner,
according as the written side of the plate is odd or even —
the sheets being meant evidently to be read by turning over
the leaf, as in a palm-leaf manuscript without the necessity of
actually removing the plate from the ring.
The plates measure 8 1/1 ½ “ by 3” and the three plates,
together, weigh 51 tolas.
sets of plates use the Grantha alphabet wherever Sanskrit verses and
Sanskrit words occur and the Tamil Vatteluttu where the Tamil
language is employed. The
paleography of the smaller set of plates does not differ much from
that of the Madras Museum plates of Parantaka Nedunjadaiyan, who, as
I have stated already in my paper on the Velvikudi grant, has to be
identified with the donor of the latter and therefore also with
Maranjanjadiyan of the Anaimalai inscription.
remark made by Mr. Venkayya that the Madras Museum plates and the
smaller Sinnamanur plates are nearer in point of time to the larger
Sinnamanur plates than they are to the Velvikudi grant, has been
already examined by me in the light of the palaeography of the
plates under publication. I
have noticed that the difference in the formation of the Grantha
characters of the Velvikudi, the Madras Museum and the smaller
Sinnamanur plates all of which in my opinion belong to the same
period, should be due to their having been written at different
periods later than their Vatteluttu portions.
In the matter of their Vatteluttu writing, the smaller and
the bigger Sinnamanur plates are far separated by time and the
palaeographical differences are apparent.
The formation of the initial vowel a, the e-mark
in consonants, the letters na, ma and ya — of which the two latter, it is surprising to find, resemble
the ma and ya — of which the two latter, it is
surprising to find, resemble the ma and ya of the
Velvikudi and the Anaimalai inscriptions, —show marked
differences which the smaller Sinnamanur plates and the Madras
Museum plates present, except in the formation of the letter ya,
are very slight. They
are almost nil. Consequently,
Mr. Venkayy’s identification of the second king Arikesari
Asamasaman Maravarman mentioned in the smaller Sinnamanur plates
with Maravarman Pallavabhanjana of the Madras Museum plates and that
of his son — his
unnamed son who was victorious at Marudur —
Jatilavarman Nedunjadaiyan of the same plates, becomes
untenable even on the grounds of palaeography.
This point will become clearer in the sequel where the
identification of the kings mentioned in the smaller and the bigger
Sinnamanur plates is discussed.
Sanskrit portion of the bigger Sinnamanur plates begins with a
fragmentary verse in which the king (perhaps Pandya) boasts of
having subdued the ocean — an
attribute which the mythical Pandya kings generally assumed in
consequence, perhaps, of their sea-bordering kingdom, their naval
power, and their sea-borne trade, from the earliest historical
times. From him were
descended the kings known as Pandyas (v. 2) ‘who engraved their
edicts on the Himalaya mountain’ and whose family-priest was the
sage Agastya (v. 3). One
of the Pandya kings is said to have occupied the throne of Indra (v.
4) and another to have shared it with that god, and still another,
to have caused the Ten-Headed (i.e., Ravana of Lanka) to sue
for peace (v. 5). One
was a conqueror of the epic hero Arjuna (v. 7).
Verse 8 refers to a king who cut off his own head in order to
protect that of his master and also to a certain Sundara-Pandya who
had mastered all the sciences. Many kings of this family had performed Vedic sacrifices Rajasuya
and Asvamedha (v. 9).
this family was born king Arikesarin.
His son was Jatila ; his son Rajasimha (II) ; his son
Varaguna (I) ; and his son Sri-Mara entitled Srivallabha
Sri-Mara conquered Maya-Pandya, the kings of Kerala and
Simhala, the Pallava and the Vallabha (v. 11).
His son was Parantaka the younger brother of Varaguna II (v.
12), who fought a battle at Kharagiri and captured Ugra (v. 13).
His wife was Vanavanmahadevi (v. 15) and their son was
Rajasimha (III), the banner (both) of the solar and the lunar races
(vv. 16 and 17).
favourite of this king was the Brahman Parantaka, the son of
Sreshthisarman, the grandson of the Vedic scholar Bhaskara (v. 21)
and the great-grandson of Sreshthin, a Senguti-Kausika of Puttur
(vv. 20 and 21). The
ancestors of this Parantaka were the followers of Angnivesya-kalpa
— evidently the science of medicine —
and his maternal grandfather was the famous Urasarman of the
Maudgalya lineage, of Syandanagrama. To Sreshthisarman, king Parantaka Viranarayana had given the
village of Maniyachi, surnamed Tisaichchudarmangala in
ruling king Rajasimha (III) gave to the Brahman Parantaka in the 16th
year of his reign, while encamped at Chulal in Rajasimha-kulakkil,
the agrahara Narcheygai-Puttur surnamed
Mandaragauravamangalam in Ala-nadu.
Vijnapti of the grant was the councilor and poet Jatila (v.
33) of the Atri-gotra, while the ajnapti was Kurrangon, a
servant of king Maravarman (v. 34).
The kudikaval was Nakkankuman, son of the headman of
Kura in Kil-Vemba-nadu, who was a minister and the chief of the
elephant forces. Nakkan-Kada,
Kon-Velan and Pataran-Cholai were three officers who witnessed the
demarcation of the boundary line.
Verse 37 supplies for the king the surname Abhimanameru.
composer of the prasasti was Vasudeva, a friend of
Madhuraguna and the elder brother of Vishnu (v. 38).
Tamil portion which begins with line 76 also praises the Pandya
kings who belonged to the lunar race and bore the crest of the
double fish, had Agastya as their family preceptor and counted the
god (Siva) as one of the their family members.
Many other incidents, mostly mythical, are also registered of
some of the early kings : such as, (1) churning the ocean for nectar
; (2) bathing in the waters of the four oceans in a single day ; (3)
going round the earth ; (4) sending embassy to the gods on many
occasions; (5) taking away the necklace of Pakasasana (Indra) ; (6)
mastering the Tamil language of the south ; (7) driving away the sea
by throwing a javelin ; (8) giving a thousand golden hills (Meru) in
charity ; (9) founding the town of Madura and erecting a wall round
it ; (10) studying Tamil and Sanskrit (vada-moli) as even to excel
Pandits ; (11) leading elephants in the Bharata war against the
Maharathas ; (12) relieving Vijaya (Arjuna) from the curse of vasu ;
(13) engraving the victorious symbols of the fish, the tiger, and
the bow on the top of the Northern mountain, i.e., the
Himalayas ; (14) getting huge giants to work for them in building
many tanks ; (15) cutting off the heads of two kings in the battles
fought at Chitramayari and Talaiyalanganam ; (16) getting the
Mahabharata translated into Tamil ; and (17) establishing the Tamil
Sangam in the town of Madura. After
these kings had passed away, there came a king named parankusa who
saw the back of (i.e., defeated) the Chera king at Nelveli
and the Pallava king at Sankaramangai.
His grandson was Rajasimha, after whom came a king named
exact relationship of this Varaguna-Maharaja to his predecessor
Rajasimha has not been recorded.
Rajasimha’s son was Parachakrakolahala who was cuccesful in
battles fought at Kunnur, Singalam (Ceylon) and Vilinam and who at
Kudamukkil won a deadly battle against the combined armies of the
Ganga, Pallava, Chola, Kalinga, Magadha and other kings.
Next came Varagunavarman, whose relationship to
Parachakrakolahala is also not specified. His
younger brother was Parantakan Sadaiyan, who fought battles at
Sennilam, Kharagiri and Pennagadam in the Kongu country.
To him and his queen Vanavanmahadevi was born Rajasimha
surnamed Vikatavadava and Mandaragaurava.
This latter fought a battle at Ulappinimangalam, drove the
king of Tanjai (Tanjore) in a battle fought at Naippur, won a battle
at Kodumbai, burnt thetown of Vanji on the northern bank of the
Ponni (Kaveri) river and destroyed the lord of the southern Tanjai
country at Naval.
the 14th year opposite to thesecond year of his reign (i.e.,
the 16th year asstated in the Sanskrit portion), this
Rajasimha, while he was encamped at Chulal, a town founded by
himself in the district of Rajasingapperungulakkil or
Rajasimhakulakkil, granted to the Brahman Parantaka, the village
Narcheygai-Puttur in Ala-nadu, re-naming it Mandaragauravamangalam.
As in the Sanskrit kportion, lines 147 to 155 seem to record
that BhaskaranSetti (Sreshthisarman of the Sanskrit portion) the son
of Bhaskara and the foremost of the Ombalvas of the Agnivesya-kalpa
and the Komara-Kausika-gotra (Senguti-Kausika of the Sanskrit
portion) dwelling in Puttur, in the Miygundaru (district) of
Koluvur-kurram (division), had received from Parantaka Viranarayana,
the village of Tisaichchudarmangalam in the Vadakalavali-nadu
(province). From the Sanskrit passage, we learn that Maniyachi,
which may be identified with the well-known junction station on the
South Indian Railway, was surnamed Tisaichchudarmangalam.
The vinnappam (vijnapti in Sanskrit) i.e.,
the one who made the formal request to the king, was, according to
the Tamil portion, a certain Sadiayapiran-Bhattasomayajin of
Pullamangalam in Sola-nadu : and the ajnapti, as in the
Sanskrit portion, was Kurrangon, a native of Vembarrur in
Kalavalinadu. Kuman or
(as he is called in Sanskrit) of the village of Kura in
Kil-Vemba-nadu, was the kudikaval-nayakan or the chief
revenue officer. The
three officers, who, according to the Sanskrit portion, were to
witness the demarcation of the boundary line, are stated in the
Tamil portion, to have been the kanakkar or accountants, the
demarcation itself being done by the nattar, i.e., the
district people of Ala-nadu. Of
the boundaries, the eastern boundary was the Suruli-aru (river).
The southern boundary of the village granted, which commences
at the end of the eighth plate, must have been continued on the
next, which is however missing.
with the Velvikudi plates of Nedunjadaiyan, we find that the account
given in the bigger Sinnamanur plates includes, as it should, many
later Pandya kings. The
mild Puranic tradition of the Velvikudi plates connecting the
Pandyas with Agastya, the churning of the milk ocean, and the
sharing with Indra on half his throne and necklace, grows here into
a big list with seven or eight other extra items added to it.
Some of these are interesting.
For instance, the going round the earth, and the bathing in
the waters of the four oceans in a single day, are feats attributed
to Vali, king of the monkeys.
Again, calling the aid of huge giants to build tanks in the
Pandya land also seems to suggest the near connection which the
Pandya country had with Ceylon, the land of Ravana.
The driving away of the sea by throwing a javelin is perhaps
a reminiscence of a similar feat ascribed to the epic hero Rama.
The leading of elephants against the Maharasthas in the
Bharata war is a fact which is commemorated also in literature, of
the Chera king Senguttuvan, who is said to have fed the soldiers in
the Mahabharata war. Some
of the other attributes, however, are of much historical value.
The mastery over the Tamil language of the south, the
foundation of the town of Madura and the erection of a wall round
it, the studying of Tamil and Sanskrit as even to excel Pandits, the
initiating of the translation of the Mahabharata into Tamil and the
establishing of the Tamil Sangam (academy) in the town of Madura —
these, clearly indicate the close connection the Pandya kings
had with the development of the Tamil language and the foundation of
the town of Madura. The
battles of Chitramuyari and Talaiyalanganam mentioned of one of the
unnamed Pandya kings must be a reference to Nedunjeliyan who is
spoken of in literature as the hero who gained success in the battle
of Talaiyalanganam by defeating the Chola and the Chera kings.
Our plates add that the heads of these two kings were
actually cut off and this was not in one battle as literature
suggests, but in two, viz., Chitramuyari and Talaiyalanganam.
genealogies of the Pandya kings as given in the Sanskrit and Tamil
portions differ widely ; but still as both refer to the same grant,
which was made in the sixteenth year of the same king, there cannot
be any room for doubt. Consequently,
the statement of the Sanskrit and the Tamil portions have to be
supplemented one with the other, in order to obtain a complete
genealogy (see Table D in the attached sheet of genealogical
smaller Sinnamanur plates, after the usual invocation to god
Purushottama (Vishnu) (v. 1), confer a benediction on the family of
the Moon, in which were born the (Pandya) kings
who crushed the pride of the enemies of gods (v. 2).
that family of the Moon, after many kings of great deeds had
expired, came forth a son of Jayantavarman, the great king (paramesvara)
Arikesari Asamasaman Alanghyavikrama Akalakala Maravarman.
His son was one who fought battles at Marudur and
comes a break and one or two plates on which the genealogy should
have been continued, are lost.
What is left on the last plate treat only of the description
of the boundary line of thegranted land or village, and mentions the
Bhagavati temple of Korranputtur.
The anatti of the grant was Tayan Singan, the uttaramantri
of Kundur in Kundurkurram of Anda-nadu.
The purankaval of this village was eighty-five kalams
(of paddy). The king
himself, as in the Velvikudi plates (II. 151-152), made a
declaration andcaused the copper-plate grant to be executed.
It may be noted that Korranputtur mentioned above, also
figures among the boundaries of Velvikudi.
The record was written (or witnessed) by Arikesari, son of
Pandi-Perumbanaikkaran who also wrote the Madras Museum plates.
proceeding further, it is necessary to have clearly before us the
genealogical tables supplied by the four Pandya copper-plate grants,
viz., (A) the Velvikudi grant, (B) the Madras Museum plates,
(C) the smaller Sinnamanur plates and (D) the bigger Sinnamanur
plates, severally. For
convenience of reference, it will be noted that the numbers given to
the kings in the Velvikudi table are repeated in the other tables in
cases where, for reasons explained in the sequel, the kings are
description of the three kings given in the smaller Sinnamanur
plates enables us to identify at once the last who fought the battle
at Marudur with (5) Sadaiyan ranadhira of the Velvikudi plates and
his father with (4) Arikesari Asamasaman Maravarman of the same. From this it further follows that Jayantavarman the father of
Arikesari Asamasaman must be identified with (3) Seliyan Sendan.
Mr. K. V. Subrahmanya Ayyar suggess that Jayantavarman is
perhaps a Sanskritized form of Sendan.
Thus the three kings referred to in the smaller Sinnamanur
record, must be Nos. (3), (4) and (5) of Mr. Venkayya’s
genealogical table given at page 54 of part II of the Madras Epigraphical
Report for 1908. It
is, therefore, difficult to see how or why Rai Bahadur V. Venkayya
must have been inclined to attribute the smaller Sinnamanur plates
to Parantaka Viranarayana Sadaiyan of the bigger Sinnamanur plates
(D), who comes three generations after (7) of the Velvikudi grant,
especially after seeing that the three names mentioned in the
smaller set are evidently only the first three names of what might
have been a longer genealogy, similar to that of the Velvikudi grant
or the bigger Sinnamanur plates.
The Madras Museum plates of Jatilavarman and the smaller
Sinnamanur plates, Palaeographically, are almost of the same period,
and if, as proved in my paper of the Velvikudi grant, the donor of
the Madras Museum plates is identical with the donor of the
Velvikudi grant, it follows that the donor of the smaller Sinnamanur
plates too must be either Parantaka Nedunjadaiyan of the Velvikudi
grant or an immediate successor of his.
So, the missing plate or plates after the second in the
smaller Sinnamanur set should have contained the names of (5)
Sadaiyan Ranadhira, (6) Termaran, (7) Parantaka Nedunjadaiyan and
perhaps also his successor Rajasimha II.
It is very disappointing that these plates, are lost ; else,
we would have had enough material to compare the genealogies and to
identify the names.
comparing next, the historical Pandya genealogy derived from the
bigger Sinnamanur plates with that of the Velvikudi grant, one has
to be guided not only by the common names and titles of kings
belonging to about the same age, but also by the common battles
fought and the common enemies conquered by them —
though it is not impossible that these may be repeated in
history. Palaeographical similarities no doubt often help in the
identification of names but sometimes they also fail when the
particular inscription from which we draw the inference happens to
be a copy of some older document, written in a later hand.
Applying these methods we find that the first king Arikesari
of the bigger Sinnamanur plates, who is said to have fought the
battle of Nelveli against a Cheri king, will at first appear to be
the same as Arikesari Maravarman (No. 4) of the Velvikudi grant
whose enemy at Nelveli was a certain Vilveli
(perhaps a Chera). But
Arikesari of (A) did not, however, fight with the Pallava king as
did Arikesari mentioned in (D).
The battle of Sankaramangai where Parankusa Arikesari of (D)
defeated the Pallavas is not mentioned of No. 4 in (A) but Termaran
(No. 6) a grandson of Arikesari (No. 4) is clearly said to have
crushed the Pallava power. Again,
the title Parankusa, given to Arikesari in the Tamil portion of (D)
makes it difficult to connect him witht hefirst Arikesari Maravarman
(No. 4) of the Velvikudi plates.
So, it has to be assumed, at least hypothetically, that a
second battle was fought at Nelveli by Parankusa Arikesari, like the
first by his grandfather, Asamasaman Arikesari, against the very
same or a different Chera king. The fact that Parankusa Arikesari’s grandson is called
Rajasimha in (D) suggests the possibility of Arikesari himself being
also called Rajasimha, which title we actuallyfind for the first
time given to Termaran in the Velvikudi plates. Thus,
the battle of Sankaramangai and the defeat of Pallavamalla and a
possible second battle at Nelveli are the only common factors that
might enable us to connect the genealogy of the bigger Sinnamnur
plates with that of the Velvikudi grant.
Parankusa Arikesari must therefore be No. 6 Termaran, the
contemporary of Pallavamalla (Cir. A. D. 760) as we learn from the
Velvikudi grant. If
this admitted, Termaran (No. 6) of (A) must be presumed to have also
had the titles Arikesarin and Parankusa, to have defeated the
Pallavas at Sankaramangai before actually crushing Pallavamalla in
the battles at Kulumbur and Periyalur and to have fought a second
battle at Nelveli against as unnamed Chera.