Inscriptions From the Tamil Country
Inscriptions of Virarajendra I
81 to 82 Inscription at Tirunamanallur & Kilur
83 to 84 Inscription at Tindivanam & Perumber
an earlier part of this volume, it was shown that Raja kesarivarman alias
Virarajendradeva I., the victory at Kudalsangamam, must have reigned
in the period intervening between the reigns of Rajendradeva and of
and that, apparently, his immediate predecessor was Rajakesarivarman
and his immediate successor Parakesarivarman alias Adhirajendradeva.
Since then, Professor Kielhorn’s calculations of the dates
of an inscription at Belaturu
and of another at Manimangalam (No. 29 above) have established the
fact that Rajendradeva ascended the throne (approximately) on
the 28th May A.D. 1052, while the reign of
Kulottunga I. commenced (approximately) on the 9th
June A.D. 1070.
Further, Professor Kielhorn has shown that the date of the
Manimangalam inscription of the 5th year of Virarajendra
I. (No. 30 above) probably corresponds to Monday, the 10th
September A.D. 1067, and that, consequently, this king ascended the
throne in A.D. 1062-63.
Rajamahendra reigned between Rajendradeva and Kulottunga I., may be
concluded from an Alangudi inscription of the 6th year of
Parakesarivarman alias Tribhuvanachakravartin
Rajarajadeva (II.), which quotes successively
the three following earlier dates : -
Line 22. – “the third year of the lord Vijaya-Rajendradeva, who
was pleased to conquer Kalyanapuram and Kollapuram and to fall
asleep (i.e., to
in battle) on an elephant.” This
statement must refer to Parakesarivarman alias Rajendradeva,
who is known to have set up a pillar of victory at Kollapuram.
L. 55.- “the third year of king Rajakesarivarman (alias)
the lord Sri-Rajamahendradeva, who, while the law of Manu
flourished (as) of old, rescued the great earth from being
the common property (of other kings), dispelled (with his)
sceptre the dark Kali (age), and was pleased to be seated on
the throne of heroes under the shade of a red parasol.”
L. 63.- “the thirty-fifth year of the glorious
Kulottunga-Choladeva, who was pleased to rule after having abolished
refers to Kulottunga I., who bore the surname Sungandavirtton,
i.e., ‘the abolisher of tolls.’
lately discovered inscription of the 3rd year of “king
Rajakesarivarman alias the lord Sri-Rajamahaendradeva” at
Tirupapuliyur (No. 119 of 1902) opens with a short historical
introduction, at the beginning of which it is stated that the king
“by a war-elephant caused Ahavamalla to turn his back on (the bank
of) the winding river." The mention of Ahavamalla as an
opponent of Rajamahendra corroborates the conclusion derived fro the
Alangudi inscription of Rajaraja II., that Rajamahendra must have
reigned in the period between Rajendradeva and Kulottunga I.
Among the kings who ruled in this interval according to the Vikkirama-Solan-Ula,
there are only two whose identification is not self-evident, viz.,
the predecessor and the successor of Virarajendra I.
Consequently, Rajamahendra, the enemy of Ahavamalla, must be
identical with the unnamed king who is alluded to in the Kalingattu-Parani
and the Vikkirama-Solan-Ula as the predecessor of
Virarajendra I. The
subjoined table shows the reigns of Rajendradeva and his successors
according to the present state of our knowledge.
May A.D. 1052
June A.D. 1070
the years given in the third column are added to the initial dates
preceding them in the second column, it becomes evident that the
reigns of these kings must have overlapped each other.
The same had been the case with their predecessor Rajaraja
I., Rajendra-Chola I. and Rajadhiraja I.
As regards Rajamahendra, his reign seems to be covered
altogether by those Rajendradeva and Virarajendra I.
Perhaps he was a son and temporary co-regent of Rajendradeva.
This was suggested already by an inscription of the 9th
year of Rajendradeva, which mentions among the boundaries of a
village ‘the road of Rajamahendra.’
A further confirmation is furnished by the fact that his
successor Virarajendra I. adopted the surname Rajakesarivarman.
If this king had recognized Rajamahendra Rajakesarivarman as
his right predecessor, he would, in accordance with all precedents,
have assumed the title Parakesarivarman.
subjoin a list of the inscriptions of Virarajendra I. which have
been copied up to date.
Inscriptions opening with the words thiru valara.
year : Tiruvengadu, No. 113a of 1896.
year : Karuvur, No. 20 above.
lost : Kadambarkoyil, No. 226 of 1901.
: takkolam, No. 19 of 1897.
year : Manimangalam, No. 30 above.
year : Gangaikondacholapuram, No. 82a of 1892.
Inscriptions opening with the words Viramey thunnaiyagavum.
year : Tiruvengadu, No. 113b of 1896.
year : Tirunamanallur, No. 81 below.
year : Tenneri, No. 198 of 1901.
year : Uyyakkondan-Tirumalai, No. 98 of 1892.
year : Tirupapuliyur, No. 132 of 1902.
year : Tirupapuliyur, No. 133 of 1902.
year : Kilur, No. 82 below.
year : Vinnamangalam, No. 22 of 1899.
year : Achcharapakkam, No. 253 of 1901.
year : Seyyur, No. 430 of 1902.
: Gangaikondacholapuram, No. 82b of 1892.
year : Tindivanam, No. 83 below.
year : Tiruvallam, No. 16 of 1890.
year : Perumber, No. 84 below.
year : Kilur, No. 259 of 1902.
year : Tirukkalukkunram, No. 175 of 1894.
earliest form of the longer historical introduction, which opens
with thiru valara, is found in an inscription of the 2nd
year at Tiruvengadu.
Three battles with the Chalukyas are referred to : - (1)
Vikramaditya VI. Was
driven from Gangapadi over the Tungabhadra ; (2) an army which he
had sent into Vengai-nadu was defeated ; and (3) Ahavamalla with his
two sons Vikramaditya VI. And Jayasimha III.
was put to flight at Kudalsangamam.
The Karuvur inscription of the 4th year (No. 20
above, 1. 9 f.) adds that Virarajendra I. killed the king of
Pottappi, the Kerala, the Pandya and others.
The Manimangalam inscription of the 5th year (No.
30 above)notices further victories over the Keralas, Chalukyas and
Pandyas ; a battle which had been appointed on the bank of an
unspecified river ; the burning of Rattapadi and the planting of a
pillar of victory on the Tungabhadra ; the appointment (of
Vikramaditya VI.) as heir-apparent of the Chalukya king (Ahavamalla)
; the conquest of Vengai-nadu, Kalingam and Chakra-kottam ; and the
bestowal of Vengai-nadu on Vijayaditya VII.
the shorter historical introduction, which opens with Viramey
thunnaiyagavum, I publish below four different redactions.
Several inscriptions of the 2nd to 5th
state that Virarajendra I. defeated Ahavamalla and (his two sons)
Vikramaditya VI. And Jayasimha III. at Kudalsangamam and seized
Ahavamalla’s queen, treasures and vehicles.
This brief statement corresponds to the long description of
the battle at Kudalsangamam, which appears first in the Tiruvengadu
inscription of the 2nd year,
and a translation of which was given from the Karuvur inscription on
page 37 above. In
perfect accordance with the longer redaction of the introduction, in
which the battle of Kudalsangamam is stated to have been the third
encounter with the Chalukyas, the Tirunamanallur inscription of the
4th year (No. 81 below, 1. 2) attributes to Virarajendra
I. the biruda ‘who saw the back of Ahavamalla three
82 below and four other inscriptions of the 5th year
add that Virarajendra I. “terrified Ahavamalla yet a second time
on the appointed battle-field, fulfilled the vow of his own elder
brother, and seized Vengai-nadu.”
The ‘battle which had been appointed near the river’ and
the conquest of Vengai-nadu are referred to also in the Manimangalam
inscription of the 5th year.
The elder brother, who is mentioned in No. 82 below, is
perhaps, identical with Alavandan, surnamed Rajaraja or Rajadhiraja.
The vow which he is said to have made seems to have had the
conquest of Vengi for its object. As Virarajendra I. undertook the fulfillment of this vow of
his elder brother, it may be concluded that the latter died between
the 4th and 5th years, the dates of No. 20
above and No. 82 below.
two inscriptions of the 6th year,
several fresh details are recorded.
‘On a third occasion,’ i.e., at the next
opportunity after the two encounters at Kudalsangamam and near the
river, Virarajendra I. “burnt
(the city of) Kampili
before Somesvara could untie the necklace which (he) had put on, and
set up a pillar of victory at Karadikal.”
In the Manimangalam inscription of the 5th year
(1. 25 f.), the same expedition is referred to by the statement that
Virarajendra I. conquered Rattapadi, “kindled crackling fires,”
and set up a pillar of victory on the bank of the Tungabhadra.
Kampili is the modern Kampli, a town on the southern bank of
the Tungabhadra in the Hospet taluka of the Bellary district.
Karadikal, the site of the pillar of victory, must be looked
for in the same neighbourhood perhaps on the opposite bank of the
Tungabhadra, which is included in the Nizam’s Dominions.
The Somesvara from whom Kampili was taken can be no other
than Somesvara II., the eldest son of Ahavamalla andelder brother of
Vikramaditya VI. And Jayasimha III.
The necklace which he is stated to have worn is the
well-known emblem of the dignity of Yuvaraja, and we know
from the Vikramankadevacharita (iii. 55 and 59) that
Ahavamalla actually appointed Somesvara II. his heir-apparent.
As No. 83 below implies that Somesvara II. was still
heir-apparent in the 6th year of Virarajendra I., it
follows that at this time Ahavamalla was still alive.
Finallly, Virarajendra I. is stated to have expelled
devanatha and other chiefs from Chakra-kottam and to have
‘recovered’ Kanyakubja, i.e., Kanauj.
Both Devanatha and the expedition into Chakra-kottam are
referred to in the Manimangalam inscription of the 5th
introduction of the inscriptions of the 7th year
differs considerably from that of the preceding years.
It first states that Virarajendra I. defeated the Pandya,
Chera and Simhala kins, but does not mention their names.
Ahavamalla is said to have been put to flight in battle five
times. As the earlier
inscriptions show, these five occasions were :- (1) the battle on
the Tungabhadra in Gangapadi; (2) the first expedition into
Vengai-nadu; (3) the battle at Kudalsangamam ; (4) the battle near
the river ; and (5) the burning of Kampili.
No. 84 below next mentions the reconquest of Vengai-nadu,
which, according to No. 83 below, fell between the fourth and fifth
encounters with Ahavamalla. According
to one of the three inscriptions of the 7th year,
Virarajendra I. bestowed the Vengaimandalam on the Chalukya
Vijayaditya. The same
fact is noticed in the Manimangalam inscription of the 5th
As I hae shown since this inscription was published, the
Eastern Chalukya Vijayaditya VII. Is meant here.
No. 84 below then asserts that Virarajendra I. conquered the
country of Kadaram. In
Vol. II. p. 106, Kadaram was wrongly identified with a place
I the Madura district. The
fact that Rajendra-Chola I. dispatched an expedition to it on shipa
by sea, suggests that it was situated out of the Indian peninsula.
Of the numerous places which are mentioned in connection with
this expedition, Mr. Venkayya has identified two, viz., Nakkavaram
The former is the Tamil name of the Nicobar Islands, and
according to the Mahavamsa (1xxvi. 63) Papphala was a port in
Ramanna, i.e., the Talaing
country of Burma.
Hence Kadram will have to be looked for in Farther India.
Finally, Virarajendra I. drove Somesvara II. out of the
Kannara country, invested (his younger brother) Vikramaditya VI.
With the necklace – the emblem of the dignity of
heir-apparent – and made Rattapadi over to him.
The same transaction is alluded to in the Manimangalam
inscription of the 5th year (II. 26 to 28) by the
statement that Virarajendra I. tied the necklace on ‘the
liar’s’ neck and appointed him to the dignity of Vallabha or
Chalukya. A comparison of the inscriptions of the 6th year
suggests that the necklace bestowed on Vikramaditya VI. Was taken
away from his elder brother Somesvara II., and that Virarajendra I.
appointed the former as heir-apparent of Ahavamalla in the place of
inscriptions of the 7th year
contain a short panegyrical passage, which does not form part of the
historical introduction, but occurs at the beginning of the grant
portion, and which glorifies Virarajendra I. for having put the
Chalukya or Ratta king to flight in a battle which had been
appointed ‘on (the bank of) the winding river.’
This statement refers to the fourth encounter with Ahavamalla,
which took place between the battle at Kudalsangamam and the burning
Tirunamanallur inscription of the 4th year (No. 81 below)
attributes to Virarajendra I. a long string of titles, the three
first of which – Sakalabhuvanasraya, Srimedinivallabha and Maharajadhiraja
– must have been taken over from his Western Chalukya enemies.
Another, Rajasraya, had been borne by his ancestor Rajaraja
The next two surnames, Vira-Chola and Karikala-Chola, suggest
that Virarajendra I. may have been one of the younger brothers of
Rajendradeva ; for, the latter is stated to have conferred the title
Karikala-Chola on his younger brother Vira-Chola.
If Virarajendra I. really was a younger brother of
Rajendradeva, he would also have been a younger brother of
Rajadhiraja I., who was the elder brother of Rajendradeva.
In a mutilated inscription of his 5th year at
Gangaikondacholapuram (No. 82b of 1892), Viraajendra I. quotes
“the twenty-third year of (my) father, who was pleased to conquer
the Eastern country, the Ganga and Kadram.”
This can refer to no other of his predecessors but
Rajendra-Chola I., whose conquests are summed up in the same words
in an inscription at Sutturur,
and who bore the surname Gangaikonda-Chola.
Consequently, Virarajendra I. and his two elder brothers
Rajendradeva and Rajadhiraja I. seem to have been the sons of
Rajendra-Chola I. I do not consider this result as absolutely final,
because the South-Indian languages employ the words of relationship
in a very loose manner. Thus
the word ‘younger brother’ (lambi) in No. 29 above (1. 2) might
also mean ‘a cousin,’ and the word ‘father’ (aiyar) in No.
82b of 1892 might designate ‘an elder brother.’
If it is granted that Virarajendra I. was the son of
Rajendra-Chola I., it would follow that the story of the adoption of
Kulottunga I. by the latter
is a pure invention, which was started for political reasons in
order to give an apparent locus standi to this usurper. With the help of the fresh materials which are now available,
I venture to publish a revised pedigree of the earlier Cholas, in
which I have included the pedigree given in Vol. I. p. 112, and the
details supplied by the Teki plates of Chodaganga.
The figures in brackets after the names of kings denote the
year of accession of the throne.
of the Chola Dynasty.
Tanjore inscription of Kulottunga I. supplies the name of
Arumoli-Nangai, the queen of Virarajendra I.
As I have shown elsewhere,
his daughter was given in marriage to the Western Chalukya king
Vikramaditya VI. ‘ his son and successor was Parakesarivarman alias
Adhirajendradeva ; and the latter was succeeded by RajendraChola II.
alias Kulottunga-Chola II. alias Kulottunga-Chola I.
Burnell was the first to draw attention to the Tamil grammar Virasoliyam
by Buddhamitra and
to its commentary, which was written by Perundevanar, a pupil of the
author, and which quotes a large number of Tamil works.
Both the grammar and its commentary have been edited by the
late C. W. Damodaram Pillai in 1895.
In the Annual Report for 1898-99 (p. 18), Mr. Venkayya
remarks on this work as follows : - “The text (p. 6) refers to a
Chola king Virarajendra as the author’s patron. In the commentary, which was admittedly written by a pupil of
the author himself, the first few words of the historical
introduction of the inscriptions of Rajendra-Chola I. are quoted as
an illustration of a particular kind of metre.
The battle of Koppam
is mentioned in a verse cited as an illustration of another kind of
metre (p. 141), and that of Kudalsangamam in another quoted as an
illustration of a figure of rhetoric (p. 196).
These references prove that the commentary at least could not
have been composed before the time of Virarajendra I., who fought
the battle of Kudalsangamam. As
Virarajendra is mentioned in the text of the work as the author’s
sovereign, and as the commentary, in which the battle of
Kudalsangamam and no later historical event is mentioned, was
written by the author’s own pupil, the most natural inference is
that the work itself was written during the time of Virarajendra I.,
who fought the battle of Kudalsangamam.”
To this maynow be added that Vira-Chola is mentioned as a
surname of Virarajendra I. in No. 81 below, and that the Virasoliyam
owes its title to this surname.
Mr. Venkayya continues : - “ Malaikkurram is mentioned in
the commentary to the Virasoliyam (p. 196) as the district in
which Ponparri, the native village of the author, was situated.
Dr. Burnell identified this district with the Malakuta
(Mo-lo-kiu-ch’a) of Hiuen-Tsiang, which he located in the delta of
But as Buddhamitra,
the author of the Virasoliyam, was, according to its
commentary, the lord of Tondi, a sea-port in the Madura district,
his native village of Ponparri has probably to be looked for in the
Pandya country and has perhaps to be identified with ‘Ponpetti,’
about 10 miles south-west of Manamelkudi (in the Pattukkottai taluka)
which, in ancient times, was also included was also included in the