The Indian Analyst

South Indian Inscriptions



Volume - III




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Inscription at Ukkal





Part - II

Kulottunga-Chola I

Vikrama Chola

Virarajendra I

Kulottunga-Chola III

Part - III

Aditya I

Parantaka I


Parantaka II



Aditya II Karikala

Part - IV

copper-plate Tirukkalar


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The Tiruvalangadu copper-plates of the sixth year of Rajendra-Chola I

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Translation of the Sanskrit text

...(V. 51.) Encircled by the fire of whose prowess the Pandya king at once entered the sea, as if intent upon quenching that affliction in haste, abandoning (his) royal glory and (his) hereditary dominion.

(V. 52.) The fire of whose anger after burning (his) enemies quenched not in the waters of the sea (but) subsided (only) by the tears of the wives of the Simhala (king) who was cut to pieces and killed by (his) weapons.

(V. 53.) He built for Purari (Siva), who was before (this) on the silver mountain (Kailasa), a golden house called Dabhra-Sabha and (thus) put to shame his (i.e., Siva’a) friend, the lord of wealth (Kubera) by (his) immense riches.

(V. 54.) His son Rajaditya defeated Krishnaraja in battle and went to heaven.  His brother named Gandaraditya, whose feet were worshipped by the rows of diadems (worn on the heads) of the rulers of the earth, became king.

(V. 55.)  [1]Arindama (i.e., the destroyer of enemies) bearing indeed a name which was full of meaning, became the best of kings; the dense forests became a abode of kings, who fled from his anger.

(V. 56.) From him was born the king known as Parantaka who received glowing prowess from the sun, profoundness from the ocean, great heroism from Hari (Vishnu) the abode of strength, an incomparable body from Kama (cupid), prosperity from Vishnu and from the moon a splendor pleasant to the eye.

(V. 57.) The mass of people believe this king to be Manu, who, out of love for the (good) conduct which was set forth by himself, has come to the earth once again to establish his law which had become lax under the influence of the Kali (age).

(v. 58.) While that emperor Sundara was ruling the circle of the earth, the syllable  ha (indicative of sorrow) was heard by people only in words like hara.[2]

(V.  59.) This (king), who was almost (the god of) Death of the Kali (age), considered the circle of the earth to be a more becoming jewel to (his) two serpent-(like) shoulders than golden armlets brilliant with flawless stones (gems).

(V. 60.) The courtyard about the portals (of his palace) was covered with the dust of gold-pieces which (having) dropped down during the great confusion (ensuing on the occasion) of (the giving away of) unlimited charities, were crushed to powder by the hoofs of horses.

(V. 61.) His son Arunmolivarma[3] was born (like another) Murari (Vishnu) supporting on his two arms, long like the prasa (weapon), the glorious (goddess) Sri (Lakshmi) who closely embraced the whole  of (his) body, and bearing on the palms (of his hands), the sankha and chakra in the form of auspicious marks.

(V. 62.) The eyes of people fully delighted in the extraordinary moon (viz., his body) (which maintained) great pure luster in both the fortnights (paksha) [or was of pure descent on both sides (maternally and paternally)] and presented a very big (i.e., complete), orb (always) [or had an extensive kingdom to rule].

(V. 63.) The Naga-women danced on the occasion of the birth of this emperor saying “this (king) in all  probability shall relieve our husband (i.e., Adisesha) of the weight of the earth on his head.”

(V. 64.) King Sundara-Chola of great prowess went to heaven, requested (as it were) by the assemblage of gods to protect (it) immediately from the attack of the armies of demons and demi-gods.

(V. 65.) “I am determined to follow my lord Sundara (i.e., the beautiful) before (he) is coveted by the celestial damsels,” so saying zealously, his devoted queen the glorious Vanavanmahadevi, a very Arundhati in (her) manifold good qualities, abandoned her own people[4] and followed him as [night] the day to heaven, afraid as it were of the allurement (of her husband) by celestial nymphs and (desirous consequently of) being near (him) even there.

(V. 67.) After him, his son named Aditya ruled the earth.  He, who excelled the mind-born (Cupid in his (superior) beauty, killed the Pandya king in battle.

(V. 68.) Having deposited in his (capital) town the lofty pillar of victory (viz.,) the head of the Pandya king, Aditya disappeared (from this world) with a desire to see heaven.

(V. 69.) (Though) requested by the subjects (to occupy the Chola throne), in order to destroy the persistently blinding darkness of the powerful Kali (age), Arunmolivarman who understood the essence of royal conduct, desired not the kingdom for himself even in (his) mind, while his paternal uncle coveted his (i.e., Arunmolivarman’s) dominions.

(V. 70.) Having ascertained by the marks (on his body) that Arunmoli was the lotus-eyed (Vishnu) himself, the able protector of the three worlds that had incarnated (on earth), Madhurantaka installed him in the office of heir-apparent, and (himself) bore the burden of (ruling) the earth.

(V. 71.) Applying (his) mind to (the devotion of) Sarva (Siva), utilizing (his) wealth in the act of performing His worship, (employing) all (his) retinue in the construction of houses (i.e., temples) for Him, and directing (his) subjects to (regularly) perform His festive processions, (showing his) wrath (only) in the killing of enemies and (distributing his) riches among virtuous Brahmanas, that king (Madhurantaka) bore on (his) board shoulder, the (weight of the) earth.

(V. 72.) Arunmolivarman was himself then[5] installed in the administration of the kingdom (as if) to wash away the stain of the earth caused by the Kali (-age) of his body (bathed by the water during the ceremony of installation) ; and the ends of the quarters heavily roared with the tumultuous sounds of the war-drums, rows of bells and bugles, kettle drums, tambourines and conches.

(V. 73.) (Surely) the milky ocean formed itself into a circle in the shape of (his) white parasol in the sky and came to see his (own) daughter Sri (Lakshmi) resting on the chest of this (king).

(V. 74.) Indeed ! the ladies of (the lords of) the quarters, who were taken captives during the digvijaya (i.e., the conquest of the quarters), rendered (their) service to this victorious monarch with chowries (made) of (his) fame, lustrous as the shining moon-beams.

(V. 75.) Although, in the tulabhara (ceremony), the king was weighed against gold pieces in the scales (tula), he was still (found) a-tula (i.e., unequalled).  (Hence), it is difficult to comprehend the greatness of the great.

(V. 76.) This king —  a pile of matchless prosperity, majesty, learning, strength of arm, prowess, heroism and courage —  invaded and conquered in order, (all) the quarters commencing with the direction of Trisanku (i.e., the south).

(V. 77.) The moon as if to afford protection to the Pandya king born in his own family, and thinking (unto himself) “I am also a raja (king),” became the white parasol of this (king) who was intent upon conquering that (southern) quarter.

(V. 78.) (King) Amarabhujanga being seized, (other) dissolute kings, whose rule was secretly mischievous being much afraid of him at heart, wished to hide (themselves) somewhere (just like serpents with sliding crooked bodies).

(V. 79.) The commandant of (this) ornament of the Solar race, the hereditary home of (the goddess of) victory, captured (the town of) Vilinda whose moat was the sea, whose extensive ramparts were glorious and high (and) which was impregnable to the enemy warriors.

(V. 80.) The lord of the Raghavas (i.e., Rama) constructing a bridge across the water of the ocean with (the assistance of) able monkeys, killed with great difficulty the king of Lanka (i.e., Ravana) with sharp-edged arrows ; (but) this terrible General of that (king Arunmolivarman) crossed the ocean by ships and burnt the Lord of Lanka (Ceylon).  Hence Rama is (surely) surpassed by this (Chola General).

(V. 81.) This is strange that though Satyasraya fled to avoid misery from the attack of his (i.e., Arunmolivarman’s) ocean-like army (still) misery found a (permanent) abode in him.  But this is not strange, that his flight is due to (i.e., is the result of his) birth from Taila.[6]

(V. 82.) “Since Rajaraja, an expert in war, of the (same) name as myself, has been killed by a powerful club, I shall, therefore, kill that Andhra (king) called Bhima though (he may be) faultless.”  So saying he (Arunmolivarman) killed him (i.e., Bhima) with a mace.

(V. 83.) Having conquered the country,— the creation of Rama (i.e., Parasurama) whose beloved vow was to annihilate the whole of the Kshatra (race),— (the country) which was adorned with pious people, was matchless and inaccessible on account of the mountains and the ocean, he caused abundant joy to all kings that held a bow (in their hands), and made) his commands shine on the rows of the diadems of all rulers of the earth.

(V. 84.) Having subdued in battle the Ganga, Kalinga, Vanga, Magadha, Aratta,[7] Odda, Saurashtra, Chalukya and other kings, and having received homage from them, the glorious Rajaraja —  a rising sun in opening the groups of lotuses viz., thefaces of crowds of learned men, ruled the earth whose girdle is the water of all oceans.

(V. 85.) To this ruler of men was born a son, Madhurantaka whose limbs bore all the (distingusishing) marks of earth-rulers, who resembled a different Manmatha (mind-born) who had defied the angry roar of Hara (Siva).[8]

(V. 86.) Wonder ! While he of great prowess, was protecting this earth ever following the ways of the good, the eyes of his wives openly transgressed the path (laid down by) the sruti (i.e., the Vedas).[9]

(V. 87.) The fierce Sun, viz., the prowess of Madhurantaka, stood pervading the whole space (comprised) within the circuit of the quarters.  It is strange that (this Sun) reduced to ashes all the kings who stood aloof (from him) (i.e., those who were his enemies) but relieved the affliction of all kings who were near (i.e., those who sought refuge in him).

(V. 88.) Strange it is that the disc of the moon (raja-mandala,  the circle of kings) setting in the waters of the ocean of his sword, does not rise (again).  This is still more strange that (subsequently) it (i.e., the disc of the moon) continues to remain in the sky with (its) brilliant lustre.[10]

(V. 89.) (This) famous (and) heroic lord of men intent upon doing meritorious deeds with large quantities of money acquired by (the strength of) his own arm, turned his attention to the conquest of the quarters (digvijaya) backed up by a powerful army.

(V. 90.) Accordingly, he the unequalled king Uttama-Chola first started to the (southern) quarter marked by the (the asterism) Trisanku, with a desire to conquer the Pandya king, after having arranged for the protection of his own capital.

(V. 91.) The commander of forces (dandanatha) of this crest-jewel of the Solar race (i.e., Madhurantaka), struck the Pandya king who had a powerful army.  (And the Pandya leaving his own country which was the residence of (the sage) Agastya, from fear (of Madhurantaka), sought refuge in the Malaya hill.

(V. 92.) (Then) the politic son of Rajaraja took possession of the lustrous pure pearls which looked like the seeds (out of which grew) the spotless fame of the Pandya king.

(V. 93.) Having placed there his own son, the glorious Chola-Pandya, for the protection of his (i.e., the Pandya’s) country, the light of the Solar race started for the conquest of the western region.

(V. 94.) Having heard of the humiliation which the rulers of the earth were subjected to by (the sage) Bhargava (i.e., Parasurama) on the battlefield, (and) not being able to meet him (i.e., Bhargava) (in battle) on earth, that proud king (Madhurantaka) set his mind upon conquering the country called after him.

(V. 95.) Excepting, Paramesvara[11] (Siva) who else in this (world) could even contemplate in his mind to humiliate that country which is protected by the glory of (Bhargava) the crest-jewel of the Bhrigu-race and which since then (i.e., the time of Bhargava) has not been injured by enemies ?

(V. 96.) Madhurantaka fearlessly crossed the Sahya (mountain) (and) immediately attacked the lord of the Kerala (country) together with his forces.  Then a fierce battle took place which wrought ruin upon (several) kings.

(V. 97.) Having conquered the Kerala king and having annihilated the country protected by the austerities of the chief of the Bhrigus, that prince, the abode of prosperity, turned towards his own capital (which looked) as it (it were) dancing (in joy) with (its upraised) hands, viz., brilliant fluttering flag-cloths and whispering welcome by (its) sweetly (jingling) waist-belts of (damsels) with unsteady eyes.

(V. 98.) Then the great king, a light in the lineage of Sibi, started for the conquest of the region of Vaisravana (Kubera) (i.e., the North), of which the triple (ash) mark (on the forehead) is the silver mountain (and) where Siva is residing on the Kailasa (mountain).

(V. 99.) Having appointed his own son the glorious Chola-Pandya to protect the western country, he the very god of Death (Kala) to the Tail-family (i.e., the Western Chalukyas) entered (the town of) Kanchi, which was like the waist-band (kanchi) of the goddess-earth.

(V. 100.) Observing that the lord of the Chalukyas, king Jayasimha was the seat of the (sinful) Kali (-age), Rajendra-Chola —  himself the destroyer of the Kali (age) —  started first to conquer him (i.e., Jayasimha) alone.

[1]  Arindama’s relation to Gandaraditya is not mentioned in the verse.  But the Leyden grant clearly states that Rajaditya, Gandaraditya and Arinjaya (or Arindama) were the three sons of Parantaka.

[2]  I.e., the people had no occasion to experience sorrow.

[3]  The form Arunmolivarma though correctly used, has to be read as Arunmolivarma in order to suit the metre.  The literal meaning of Arunmoli (Arulmoli) is the ‘benevolent-torgued.’

[4]  Here is a clear reference to Sati performed by a Chola queen.  The special mention of the phrase ‘abandoning her own people’ in this verse agrees with one of the well-known rules of this ceremony in which the Sati is requested by her people not to enter the fire which, however, she refuses ; see Epigraphia Indica, Vol. VI., p. 218, v. 16 f.

[5]  Perhaps we have to understand that Arunmolivarman was installed after the death of Madhurantaka though this is not specifically stated in the verse.

[6]  Taila  also means oil and it is natural for a liquid to flow or run.  Here the word which suits the metre, appears to be used in the sense of

[7]  The name Aratta is not found in the Topographical list of the Brihatsamhita.  In the later Vijayanagara inscriptions this name is mentioned side by side with Magadha among the countries that paid homage to the kings of that dynasty, and has been invariably translated as Ratta ; see e.g., Epigraph

[8]  The Paurantc Manmatha became the victim of the angry roar of Hara, being reduced to ashes by the fire of his third eye.

[9]  I.e., their big eyes extended beyond their ears (sruti).  Broad eyes are considered by the Indian poets as a mark of beauty.

[10]  The purport of the stanza is that his enemy kings coming into contact with his sword do not rise again, i.e., they die.  After death they remain in the sky with brilliant bodies of gods.  The strangeness in the first instance consists in the fact that contrary to expectations the disc of the moon that sets does not rise again ; it is still more strange that what does not rise shines brilliantly in the (middle of the) sky.

[11]  The word also means the great lord.  Perhaps Rajendra-Chola held the special title Paramesvara.

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