Showing posts with label Ganga. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ganga. Show all posts

Reign of VishnuKundin

The Vishnukundina Empire (Telugu: విష్ణుకుండిన సామ్రాజ్యము) was one of the Middle kingdoms of India, controlling the Deccan, Orissa and parts of South India during the 5th and 6th centuries, carving land out from the Vakataka Empire. It played an important role in the history of the Deccan during the 5th and 6th centuries CE.

With pulikesin II coming to power in South India and Harshavardhana  in North India, Indian chronology becomes very clear. The chronologies of  Earlier dynasties who ruled the country especially south India unclear. Indologists having introduced Satavahanas just before 3rd century AD, have found a number of dynasties ruling at the same place at almost same time. Unable to come to terms with this new realities, Indologists have called these dynasties phantom dynasties. One of the Phantom Dynasties is Vishnukundin. Is it a phantom dynasty, whose period cannot be fixed, whose origin cannot be fixed?
Let us see


Vishnukundina is a Sanskritized name for Vinukonda. Kielhorn suggested a connection of the name of the family with that of the hill-fort and town of Vinukonda in the Krishna district, about 60 miles east of Srmaila and 50 miles south of the Krishna river. Vinukonda, according to Kielhorn, was possibly the early home of the Visnukundins.

Tummalagudern plates describe the members of the Vishnukundi family as Srlparvatlyas. That is of Srisailam. In fact all the grants except Madhavavarman I call themselves as the devotees of sriparvata. So their origin is mainly Sriparvata or Srisailam.

Ayodya Origin
One theory states that they are of Koundinya gotra of Kshatriyas who migrated from Ayodhya (Oudh) during the early 5th century. But we have evidence to back up this theory. Theory deriving the name from 'Vishnukunda' fire-pit-the theories connecting it with the 'Vishnukundi' river.

Western (Karnataka) origin
Madhavavarman II has been described in this inscription as trikuta-malay-adhipati, " lord of Trikuta Malaya. Is this Trikuta refers to Trikutas. Experts say that they may assisted the overloards Vatakatas against Trikutas. But to say Lord of Trikutas puts it beyond their capabilities. Vatakata Narendrasena and Harisena who defeated Trikutas ruled the same time as Madhavavarman and the claim may be due to this relation.
On the basis of Indrapalanagara grants, B.N. Sastri assumes that the earlyrulers of the dynasty migrated to the west in search of employmentand under the Vakatakas they might have attainedfeudatory status with Indrapalanagara in the Nalgonda districtas their capital.

Central Indian Origin
Trikuta is identified as Tagara (Maharastra), Mahendragiri(Ganjam Dist) and Amaroati(MP) and said they are from Central regions. But the evidences are lacking.

Vatakata origin
Madhavavarman I married a Vatakata princess and they occupy the vakataka areas of srisailam after the demise of vatakatas. So this leads to the speculation that they are related to Vatakatas and they are protege of Vatakatas.

We come to the conclusion that the original home of Vishnukundin is Vinukonda in Andhra and they were a local dynasty. They were devotees of Srisailam. Malaya in the inscription can been taken to be the Srisailam hills.

Period of VishnuKundins
Vishnukudin cave temples are similar to Early Pallava , orissan and Kadamba Cave temples.  So VishnuKundins are of Early Pallava Period.

Chalukya Conquest of Vengi
Pulikesin II conquered vengi and went to kalinga , there he appointed Ganga officers for revenue collection and in 615AD his kid brother and Yuvaraja Kubja Vishnvardhan was appointed viceroy in Vengi. After this time there is no other Independent rulers in south India, other than Pallavas and Harshavardhana in North. Chalukya empire stretched West coast to East coast. So 615AD is the last date of ending of Any Independent king who ruled in vengi. So who was ruling vengi before them. Harsha empire did not include Vengi. Harsha empire did not even touch Kalinga coast, then we have Pallavas, but we know pallavas are not ruling in vengi , their empire ruled south of Guntur. That leaves as to the vishnukudins. So the king who was defeated by Pulikesin is Vishnukundins. But we have Kubja vishnuvardhana brother presence around vengi in 609AD. Eventhough Vishnukundins were deposed of their earlier stature by pulikesin, vishnukundins were found ruling as feudatories of Eastern Chalukyas even in 8th century AD. But let us this issue later.

Indrapalanagar grant of Vishnukundin king Vikramednra II , says that he broke the twig of pallavabhoga, that is defeated Pallava king Simha in Saka 488 (566 CE). The Pallava Simha has to be Simhavishnu (550-580). The Amaravati hold of Vishnukudins seems to be a brief one. Since Guntur was held by pallavas throughout vishnukudin era. Again we have to note that Pallava Bhoga is identified as Ananda Gotrikas or Anandas ,but we have no evidence to back up this theory.

We get geneology of kings from these Vishnukundin inscriptions
1. Tummalagudem Plates (Set I) of Govindavarman Year 37
2. Velpuru Pillar Inscription of Madhavavarman , Year 33
3. Ipur Plates (Set I) of Madhavavarman, Year 37
4. Khanapur Plates of the Time of Madhavavarman
5. Ipur Plates (Set II) of Madhavavarman Year 47
6. Ramatirtham Plates of Indravarman, Year 27
7. Chikkulla Plates of Vikramendravarman , Year 10
8. Tummalagudem Plates (Set II) of Vikramendravarman , Year 11, Saka 488
9. Kundulapalem Plates of Vikramendravarman , Year 14
10. Polamuru Plates (Sot I) of Madhavavarman

Here is the kings list based on Velpuru pillar, Ipur I, Ipur II, Ramatirtham, Chikkulla and Godavari Grants,Khanapur plates(Identification with Rastrakuta),Tumma-lagudem plates, set II,Kandulapalem plates
Madhavavarman (Sainyabhitta)(Extended kingdom to coast) (Husband of Vatakata)
Madhavavarman Janakaya (First Vishnukudin king of Vengi)(Destoryed Salankayana)
vikramahendravarman (Defeated by Prithvimula of Kalinga)
IndraBhattaraka (Defeated Simha of Pallava)(Crosses the Godavari )
Vikramahendravarman uttamaraya
Madhavavarman (Janasraya)(Becomes Indpendent)

Constructing Geneology
Now the reign of last known ruler of Vishnukudin is Vikramahendra Varma II has to start 11 years before the Tummalagudem Plates(Saka 488 - 566AD) that is 555AD.

So Indravarman reign father of Vikramahendravarman.
Ramathirtham plates are issued 27th year of his reign, his reign cannot start later than 528AD(555AD-27). Even assuming short reign of 10 years after this plate, puts his accession to 517-518AD.

Now to Vikramahendravarman I father of Indravarman
He did not give any Inscriptions, Assuming minimum 10 years to his reign we come to 508-518 for this rule.

Now coming to his father Madhavavarman I, his Polamaru plates(Eighth Year of Reign) cannot be dated before 478AD or his accession 470AD. Now Ipur plates are issued in 37th year of his regime. Ajaya Mitra Shastri says that Madhavavarman I reign is between 487-528AD. We can deduce that Madhavavarman regime to be between 470-507AD. We know Madhavavarman extended the kingdom to the coast(Vengi). But we don't have any evidence to back the theory he defeated Salankyana's. So cannot link him to dating of Salankyana's.

Not much achievement is given by inscriptions on Devavarman father of Madhavavarman, except he is respected as mularaja(founder) and his crown queen is held in high esteem. So giving him a minimum decade or two , we can say the Vishnukundins started their regime in 455AD.

Let us go to the pain (Problem) points
Trivara and Madhavavarma
Madhavavarman Janasraya gives in his inscription both in Ipur Plates and Polamuru Plates.

Meaning The Delighter of the hearts of the young ladies in the palace(Palaces) of Trivaranagara. Scholars point out that Madhavavarman did not undertake any military expedition to trivarnagara, but only resided there. one of the scholar identifies Tiruvuru to be in krishna Dist. Some scholars identify Trivara to be three cities and it refers to Madhavavarman capturing three cities or simply it refers to three affluent cities of his kingdom,where he had palaces full of girls. We will go Traivaranagara and Trivaradeva in another article. The term does not seem to hold any significance in the present context.

Fall of Vatakatas
One more question that Vishnukudins comes into play is fall of vatakatas. The theory is Madhavavarman I became too powerful and occupied the vatakata empire. This theory is based on the khanapur plates, where one madhavavarman is said to have made elevan asvamedha 's and thousand Agnistomas etc. As this is plate is given in Maharastra, And Madhavavarman of this plate is identified with Vishnukudin Madhavavarman and the conclusion drawn that Vishnukudins gave death blow to Vatakatas. However scholars dimiss this Madhavavarman to be different and they say that no other record of vishnukudin is found Maharastram, And Also Chikkulla plates of vishnukudin say Madhavavarman(535AD) is son in law of Vishnukudin. But one possibility may be Madhavavarman might have defeated Vatkatas and also got the daughter of vatakata in marriage as a peace proposal, Another possibility may be, He married vatakata princess and inherited the kingdom. But we have see that Vatatakata Prithvisena II's Mother is Kadamba origin, so any usurping of rule from Prthvisena or his successor would have got the kadamba wrath. So defeat of Vatakata by Vishnukundin is just a myth.

After the death of Prithvisena II (main branch of vatakatas), Harisena of Basim(Western) branch of vatakatas became king of all vatakatas, as prithvisena II did not leave any heir. Now we have to see madhavavarman in this context. The Vatakata princess may been married to him to keep peace on the eastern side. Prithvisena II is dated to 460-480AD,based on this Madhavavarman can be dated to 470-507AD.

Madhavavarman I regime
Now Prithvisena II date is confusion when he ruled, as Harisena of Basim branch ruled from 475 to 510AD and Prithivisena II died soon after Harisena ascended throne. And we have Harisena replacing the main line of vatakatas. We do not hear Harisena or his successors having marital relations with Visnukundins. So the Vatakata princess has to be daughter of Prithivisena II(Prithvisena II mother Kadamba). If there were any Son to Prithivisena II , kadambas may have come to their aid, if Madhavavarman I has defeated vatakatas. Based on this date and dates from the plates. let us take Madhavavarman I regime to be 470-507AD.

Confusion in Indrapur Plates.
Indrapura Plates I by vikramahendravarman give the geneology of vishnukundinas Govindavarman , his son Madhavavarman (Eleven Asvamedhas,several sacrifices such as Bahusuvarna, pundarika,vajpeya etc and husband of vatakata), his son vikramahendra (Devout follower of Buddha and great poet) , his son Indrabhattarkavarman(Lord of chakravartishetram by his victories over many four tusked elephants),his son vikramahendrabhattaarakavarman(Has Several Samantas) and he treated one Madhavaraja(forcibly ousted many kings , handsome and has several qualities like political wisdom and valour) as his own son, also we get paramabhattarikamahadevi (Crowned queen) of Govindaraja was born in the famous royal family of Prithvimula

Indrapura Plate II , was issued by Govindavarman. The Indrapura plates II gives the geneology as Maharaja Indaravarman, his son Maharaja Madhavavarman, his son maharaja govindavarman (Made several grants to temples and viharas), the last king of the grant is dvarvembadala also known as penka, to the paramamahadevivihara at the instance of the crowned queen

Now these plates gives the following problems in genology.
1. Who is this madhavaraja and what part he played in making this grant.
2. How do the kings mentioned in Second grant relate to kings mentioned in First plates chronologically.
3. Were both Govindaraja's identical or same.
4. How was prithvimula related to Vishnukundins

Let us try to solve this problem. Scholar Mirashi says that Madhavavarman of First plate is kid brother of Vikramahendravarman of Second plates. This madhavavarman succeeded his brother after his death as he was without children and he is the madhavaraja of first plate. Madhavavarman II also served as the Yuvaraja of Vikramahendravarman II and won many battles and deposed many kings.

In Jaunpur Inscription Isvaravarman describes himself who estinguished the spark of fire coming from dhara. Yasodharman is also of same period. So Spark of Malwa is Yasodharman and he was defeated by Isvaravarman. Yasodharman defeated Huns in 515AD, so the date of defeat of Yasodharman to Mukharis has to be post 515AD.
Now how Mukharis and Malwa Guptas(Not connected to Imperial Guptas) fight is legendary. Kumara gupta of Malwa(Son of Jivita Gupta) defeated Gaudas as per Damodurpur grant(543-544AD). Isnavarman won victory over Huns between (560-590AD).
Haraha Inscription(Vikrama 611 or 554AD) is as follows.

Jitv-Andhr- Adhipatim sahasra-ganita-tredha-ksharad-varanam
vyavalgan-niyut-ati-samkhya-turangan-bhanktva rane sulikan
kritvach-ayati-mau(mo)chita-sthalo-bhuvo Gaudan smudr-asraya
n-adhyasishta nata- kshitisa-charanah singha(mha) sanam yo jiti.

He also defeated Andhra king(Vishnu kudin) as per the Haraha inscription. One more king he defeated is Sulikas, who identity is under dispute. Fleet believes Sulikas are Mulikas of Northwest Frontier, H.N Shastri Says they belong to Kalinga and Vidharba, Raychaudhari correctly identifies sulikas as branch of Chalukyas. Mahakuta inscription says Kirtivarman I (566 - 597AD) obtained victories over Anga , Vanga and Magadha. So it has to be Chalukyas.

Now Isnaravarman defeated Andhra king before his accession that is during the rule of his father isvaravarman. Now the date of Accession of Isnavarman is 550AD, so the the victory over Andhra king should have been before 550AD. Now the Indrapalanagara or Tummalagadem plates (Saka 488 or 566AD) given at 11th year of Vikramahendra varman II, Since the Andhra rules at the time of clash was not Vikramahendravarman, the clash should have taken place before 555AD. Now his father Indravarman ruled for atleast 27years as per Ramathirtham plates(given at 27th year of accession). Even assuming just 27years as the reign , the date of accession cannot be earlier than 528AD. Indravarman's Father Vikramamahendravarman I often described as Maharaja left no inscriptions and if we assume the 10 years for his reign, he could have came to power 518AD that is before reign Isnavarman father Isvaravarman. So Madhavarman date preceding Vikramahendra I cannot have been defeated by Isnavarman.
This is a sticky point. Did Isnavarman defeated the Andhra king or is it just a raid. If it was a raid than Isnavarman would have been beaten back and the Vishnukundins would have blown the trumphet as victory. So we have to take that Isnavarman did defeat Andhra king and It could have occurred during the reign of Indravarman. Whom I have conveniently named as Madhavavarman II, though we have no evidence that the Isnavarman defeated Andhra king.

Not going to any other arguments we get the genology as follows.

Govindavarman I (Founder) (455-470AD)
Madhavavarman I (470-507AD)(Extended Kingdom to Vengi)(Marital Alliance with Vatakatas)(Title Lord of Dakshin Chakravartishethram)
his son vikramahendra I (508-518AD)(Title Maharaja)(Ornament of Vakataka and Vishnukundin Dynasties)
his son Madhavavarman Indrabhattarkavarman (Madhavavarman II)(518-554AD)(Contemproary of Mukhari Isvaravarman)
his son vikramahendra bhattaarakavarman (vikramahendra II) (555- 567AD)(Raided Pallavas of Guntur)

his brother Madhavavarman III (567-578AD)
his son Govindavarman II (578-615AD) deposed by Pulikesin II

Ganga Era
The dates of Early Eastern Ganga Dynasty has been always questioned. Nadagam plates of Vajrahasta state that Ganga rule was established by destorying Baladitya(467AD). But we have no evidence to support this date or theory. There are two inscriptions of Early Eastern Ganga Dynasty. Hastivarma dated 80th year of Ganga Era is first king (Adhiraja) and Indravarman dated 80th year of Ganga Era. Both are styled as the founders of Early Eastern Ganga Dynasty and devotees of Gokarna in comforts of kalinganagara. Both grants are given by VinayaChandra son of Bhanuchandra. who is enemy of IndraBhattaraka How do you date this era.
Mr.Ramadas dates to 350AD found on Salankyana Pedda Vegi. But the lettering and other things dont match.
Mr. Subba Rao of Rajamundary dates it to 450AD, based on the contention Indra varman of Achyuthapuram same as Indravarman Bhattaraka.But Visnukundins were ruling Kalinga at that time. We cannot date this to 540AD, because where will you place Prithvimula and Mukharis.
So the IndraBhattaraka has to be a Eastern Chalukya IndraBhattaraka. So Early Eastern Gangas came as Revenue Administrators to orissa under Chalukya Command is valid.

Vishnukundinas are Local Andhra origin. Their Geneology has been given. Vishnukundins ruled from 450 to 615AD and during that time they were a force to reckon with. The vishnukundins are successors of Ikshavakus. They allied with Vakatakas and successfully fought with Pallavas and Salankayanas to expand the territories.

Buddhist remains in Āndhra and the history of Āndhra between 224 & 610 A.D.By K. R. Subramanian
Inscriptions of the Śarabhapurīyas, Pāṇḍuvaṁśins, and Somavaṁśins: IntroductionBy Ajay Mitra Shastri
Some early dynasties of South India By S. Chattopadhyaya
Vakataka - Gupta Age Circa 200-550 A.D. By Ramesh Chandra Majumdar, Anant Sadashiv Altekar
Literary and historical studies in indology By Vasudev Vishnu Mirashi
Cultural contours of India: Dr. Satya Prakash felicitation volume By Satya Prakash, Vijai Shankar Śrivastava
The Vishnukundis and Their Times by S. Sankaranarayanan, T.V Mahalingam

Coin Network

Related Posts
Reign of Salankayana
Eastern Gangas
Telugu Name

Myth of Invasion Rig veda Aryans

The geography of the Rigveda has been the most misrepresented aspect of the text in the hands of the scholars: the geographical information in the Rigveda, to put it in a nutshell, more or less pertains to the area from Uttar Pradesh in the east to Afghanistan in the west, the easternmost river mentioned in the text being the GaNgA, and the westernmost being the western tributaries of the Indus.

However many western scholars have maintained that Rig veda people moved from west to India, Let us see the common most evidence rivers

Let us see the counter arguements.

There are three rivers named in the Rigveda to which this applies: the SarasvatI, GomatI and Sarayu. The SarasvatI in the Rigveda is the river to the east of the Punjab (flowing through Haryana) and the GomatI and Sarayu in the Rigveda are rivers to the west of the Punjab (western tributaries of the Indus). This is the general consensus, and it is confirmed by an examination of the references in the Rigveda.

But a SarasvatI (HaraxvaitI) and a Sarayu (Haroiiu) are also found in Afghanistan; and a GomatI and a Sarayu are found in northeastern Uttar Pradesh.

Some say GaNgA and YamunA of the Rigveda are rivers in Afghanistan. A political “scholar”, Rajesh Kochhar, say the events in the RAmAyaNa took place in Afghanistan, transfers the entire locale of the epic to Afghanistan: “Ravana’s Lanka can be a small island in the midst of river Indus… by Vindhyas is meant Baluch hills, and by sea the Lower Indus. SarasvatI is identified with Helmand and GaNgA and YamunA as its tributaries in the hilly areas of Afghanistan. He makes this revolutionary discovery on the basis of a verse in the VAlmIki RAmAyaNa where “YamunA is described as surrounded by mountains”

Rhipaean mountains
An extreme attempt is to suggest that a root word rip- in the Rigveda indicates a subdued memory of the Rhipaean mountains: the Urals.

Central Asia
Saptasindhu, it is suggested by some, refers to seven rivers in Central Asia, and the SarasvatI in the Rigveda is not the river of Haryana, but the river of Afghanistan

Let us see the rig veda terms and Meanings

1. The Northwestern Rivers (western tributaries of the Indus, flowing through Afghanistan and the north): TRSTAmA (Gilgit) , Susartu, AnitabhA, RasA, SvetI, KubhA (Kabul), Krumu (Kurrum) GomatI (Gomal), Sarayu (Siritoi), Mehatnu, SvetyAvarI, Prayiyu (Bara), Vayiyu, SuvAstu(Swat), GaurI (Panjkora), KuSavA (Kunar).

2. The Indus and eastern tributaries: Sindhu (Indus), SuSomA (Sohan), ArjIkIyA (Haro)

3. The Central Rivers( rivers of the Punjab): VitastA (Jhelum), AsiknI (Chenab), ParuSNI (Ravi), VipAS (Beas), SuturI (Satlaj), MarudvRdhA (Maruvardhvan).

4. The East-central Rivers ( rivers of Haryana):SarasvatI, DRSadvatI/HariyUpIyA/YavyAvatI ApayA

5. The Eastern Rivers: ASmanvatI (Assan, a tributary of the YamunA), YamunA/AMSumatI , GaNgA/JahnAvI.

Let us see the disputed rivers

1. HariyUpIyA/YavyAvatI: HariyUpIyA is another name of the DRSadvatI: the river is known as RaupyA in the MahAbhArata, and the name is clearly a derivative of HariyUpIyA.
The YavyAvatI is named in the same hymn and context as the HariyUpIyA, and almost all the scholars agree that both the names refers to the same river.

It is also possible that YavyAvatI may be another name of the YamunA. M.L. Bhargava, in his study of Rigvedic Geography, incidentally (i.e. without making such an identification) makes the following remarks: “The old beds of the ancient DRSadvatI and the YamunA… ran very close to each other… the two rivers appear to have come close at a place about three miles southwest of ChacharaulI town, but diverged again immediately after… the YamunA… then again ran southwestwards almost parallel to the DRSadvatI, the two again coming about two miles close to each other near old Srughna……”

The battle described on the HariyUpIyA -YavyAvatI may therefore have taken place in the area between these rivers

2.JahnAvI: JahnAvI, which is clearly another name of the GaNgA, is named in two hymns; and in both of them, it is translated by the scholars as something other than the name of a river: Griffith translates it as “Jahnu’s children” and “the house of Jahnu” .

The evidence, however, admits of only one interpretation: JahnAvI is clearly the earlier Rigvedic form of the later word GaNgA: the former word is not found after the Rigveda, and the latter word is not found in the Rigveda. And the word JAhnavI (and therefore also JahnAvI as well) has only one connotation in the entire length and breadth of Sanskrit literature: it is a name of the GaNgA. JahndvI is associated with the SiMSumAra or the Gangetic dolphin. The dolphin is not referred to anywhere else in the Rigveda.

Mandalas and Rivers
Let us see manadala wise distribution of rivers and so the location of rig veda composition in each place.

Early MaNDala I

Middle MaNDala I
SarasvatI, Sindhu

General and Late MaNDala I
GaurI, RasA , Sindhu, SarasvatI, JahnAvI

MaNDala II

VipAS, SutudrI, SarasvatI, DRSadvatI, ApayA, JahnAvI

MaNDala IV
Sarayu, KuSavA, Sindhu, ParuSNI, VipAS, RasA

MaNDala V
Sarayu, KubhA, Krumu, AnitabhA, RasA, Sindhu, ParuSNI, SarasvatI, YamunA

MaNDala VI
SarasvatI, HariyUpIyA, YavyAvatI, GaNgA

AsiknI, ParuSNI, SarasvatI, YamunA

GomatI, SvetyAvarI, SuvAstu, Prayiyu, Vayiyu, Sindhu, ArjIkIyA, SuSomA, , ParuSNI, SarasvatI, AMSumatI, RasA

MaNDala IX
Sindhu, ArjIkIyA, SarasvatI, RasA.

MaNDala X
Sarayu, GomatI, Mehatnu, KubhA, Krumu, Sveti, RasA, Susartu, TRSTAmA, , ArjIkIyA, SuSomA, VitastA, MarudvRdhA, AsiknI, ParuSNI, SutudrI, SarasvatI, ASmanvatI, YamunA, GaNgA

Mandalas and movement
1. In the pre-Rigvedic period and the early part of the Early Period (MaNDala VI), the Vedic Aryans were inhabitants of an area to the east of the SarasvatI.

2. In the course of the Early Period (MaNDalas III and VII), and the early part of the Middle Period (MaNDala IV and the middle upa-maNDalas), there was a steady expansion westwards.

3. Though there was an expansion westwards, the basic area of the Vedic Aryans was still restricted to the east in the Middle Period (MaNDala II), and even in the early parts of the Late Period: MaNDala V knows the western rivers from the KubhA (Kabul) in the north to the Sarayu (Siritoi) in the south, but its base is still in the east. SarasvatI is still the most important river in the MaNDala: it is referred to by the eponymous RSi Atri, who also refers to the RasA. All the other references to the western rivers (Sarayu, KubhA, Krumu, AnitabhA, RasA, Sindhu) occur in a single verse by a single RSi SyAvASva, obviously a very mobile RSi who also refers elsewhere to the ParuSNI and even the YamunA .

4. In the later part of the Late Period (MaNDalas VIII, IX, X, and the general and late upa-maNDalas) the Vedic Aryans were spread out over the entire geographical horizon of the Rigveda.

Thus, we have a clear picture of the westward movement of the Vedic Aryans from their homeland in the east of the SarasvatI to the area to the west of the Indus, towards the end of the Early Period of the Rigveda: what is clearly the westermnost point in this movement, a battle fought in southern Afghanistan “on yonder side of Sarayu”.

So the rig veda people are home to India not from outside


Origin of Cholas- Tamil Myth

Cholas are said to be the three dynasties who ruled Tamil nadu from ancient times, But all three dynasties origin remain a question. Let us see the cholas origin.

The etymology of the word Chola has been agreed upon by many historians and linguists to be derived from the Tamil word Sora or Chora. Moreover, numerous inscriptions confirm that the name of the Dynasty was Sora but pronounced today as Chola(sanskrit).

kalvar caste
Cholas belong to kalvar caste, Kalvar are said to be invaders in sangam literatures better known as kalabhras. The kalvar people still live around tanjor. So are the Cholas natives of Tamil nadu.

chalukya cholas
The Eastern Chalukyas ruled a kingdom in Vengi (eastern Andhra Pradesh) from about 625 until 1070, Then they took over the chola kingdom and dynasty. Earlier three generations of Eastern Chalukyan prince have married chola princess. So the question is how they did not face any resistance. In this background Rajendra Chalukya accended chola throne as Kulothunga chola I , thus annexing chola empire to Eastern chalukya empire and there again was no resistance eventhough Virarajendra died and his son and successor Adhirajendra was assassinated. That clearly caste doubts on cholas as any different from chalukya stock.

Chalukya author Bilhana gives a version of the background to Athirajendra’s troubles in his Vikramankadeva Charita.
'On hearing news of trouble and revolt in the Chola country following the emperor’s death, Vikramaditya, immediately marched to Kanchipuram to quell troubles there. Then he went to Gangaikonda Cholapuram, destroyed the forces of the enemy and installed the prince (Athirajendra) on the throne. After spending a month in the Chola capital, Vikramaditya apparently satisfied that peace was restored, returned to his country. '

Vikramaditya VI has come to chola country and he is called Kannadasandhivigrahi as said by his kannada inscription at the Ranganatha Swami Temple, Srirangam as peacemaker between fighting cousins.

Udayaditya, Choda wrote a treatise Udayadityalankaram in Kannada, 75 stanzas on the art of Poetry based on Dandin Kavyadarsa

And they never combined with pandyas and after accession Rajendra chalukya defeated pandyas and annexed the whole of tamil nadu. This raises the question whether chola are kannada stock.

Cholas and Prakrit.
All the Inscriptions are in prakrit, not in tamil. That has to be noted. If they are Tamil rulers then what was the hesitancy in promoting tamil.

Telugu choda
We do not know the origin of Cholas dynasty,but we know the origin of Telugu cholas pronounced Chodas from 5th century AD onwards. We have inscriptions on the following telugu dynasties who were feudataries of Chalukyas. The chodas trace their decent to Ikshavakus , who trace their origin to Manu, the cholas also trace their origin to Manu, Manu Needhi Cholan
  • Velanati Chodas ( Ruled the Velanadu Region Current E.G,W.G and Krishna Districts)
  • Renati Chodas (Ruled the Renadu Regions Current Cuddapah, Kurnool Regions)
  • Pottapi Chodas (Ruled the Renadu Regions Current Cuddapah, Chittor Districts)
  • Konidena Chodas (Ruled the Palanadu region Current Guntur, Prakasam Districts)
  • Nannuru Chodas (Ruled the Pakanadu region Current Anantapur District)
  • Nellore Chodas (Ruled the Nellore,Chittor, Chengalpeta and Cuddapah Regions)
    So the chola dyansty who started under 8th century can also have origin from above telugu cholas. Most apt description would be cholas are telugus , not tamil.

    But Rajendra chola came to help Eastern chalukya king Danarnava against Telugu choda king jata choda bhima(Amma II brother in law). Later after Kulothunga I acended throne as chola king, they shifted loyalty to Chola kings.

    Before Cholas the area round about Tanjavur was under the sway of a dynasty of chieftains known as the Muttaraiyar whose inscriptions are found at Sendalai and Niyamam, and who seem to have ruled either independently or as vassals of the Pallavas.   The Muttaraiyar believed to be ruled from 655AD to 860AD.  The city name " Thanjaur" seems to be derived from the name of a Mutharayar king "Thananjay" or "Dhananjaya".

         Perumbidugu Muttaraiyan alias Kuvavan Maran (c. CE 655-c.680)
        Ilangovadiyariyan alias Maran Paramesvaran (c A.D. 680-c.705)
        Perumbidugu Muttaraiyan II alias Suvaran Maran (c. CE 705-c.745)
        Videlvidugu Vilupperadi-Araisan alias Sattan Maran (c.A.C. 745-c.770)
        Marppidugu alias Peradiaraiyan (c. CE 770-791)
        Videlvidugu Muttaraiyan alias Kuvan Sattan (c. CE 791-c.826)
        Sattan Paliyili (c. CE 826-c.851)

    Tradition says that the muttaraiyar came from North. We find Renati cholas ruling the kadapa region around 600 AD(We have First full length Telugu Inscription). Renati cholas being feudatories of Pulakesi, could have got the kingdom in south during pulakesin raid in tamil nadu. We have Ayyavole 500 (Merchant Guild from Aihole ) using pudukottai  as one of their bases. So may be Muttaraiyar were installed in Tanjore by Pulakesi II. There is a kannada inscription in Kodumbalur.

    The rule of Muttaryaiyar was ended by Vijayalaya chola, who established the chola dynasty.  Vijayala Chola conquered Thanjavur from Elango Mutharayar who was the final ruler of Mutharaiyar dynasty. It is said that in the year A.D.852 Vijayalaya Chola waged war with the Muttaraiyar king Sattan Paliyilli (A.D.826-852) in the neighbouring east, and captured his territory of Thanjavur. While Vijayalaya Chola was supported by Pallava , the Muttaraiyan chief was supported by Pandya. Making use of the opportunity during a war between Pandyas and Pallavas, Vijayalaya having matrimonial relations with cheras captured Thanjavur. After being replaced by  cholas, muttaraiyar ruled as Chola vassals in the same region.

    Now where was vijayalaya from, how did vijayalaya got an army to defeat  a dynasty entrenched in the region.  The answer is,  he is from another branch from the same mutturaiyar family.  First temple work of Vijayalaya was rebuilding a mutturaiyar temple later known as vijaya cholewaram. Both Mutturaiyar and cholas worship Angamma (Ankalamma) devi. Family feud exploited by Pallavas and pandyas. The reason we don't see any swearing from each other. Thus the Chola line of Mutturaiyar comes into place.

    Chola decended from Muttaraiyar and Muttaraiyar decended from Telugu Chodas.  Dravidian scholars describe muttaraiyar as kalvar or kalabhra and dismiss them as uncivilized.

    Pallava origin
    Killivalavan was a chola king mentioned in Sangam Literature, and of a period close to that of Nedunkilli and Nalankilli , in the Purananuru and Agananuru.The etymology of Killi is kilai (Branch in Tamil)

    The word Pallava means branch in Sanskrit, denoting that they are a later offshoot (Kilai-> Branch(tamil)) of Chutus (satkarnis).Pallava is rendered as Tondaiyar in the Tamil language. The Pallava kings at several places are called Thondamans or Thondaiyarkon.The territory of the Pallavas was known as Tundaka Visaya or Tundaka Rashtra.(tundaka - Branch) The Sanskrit meaning of Pallava is Kilai The Tamil Thondai means the same, It shows that Pallavas are descendants (Kilay or Pirivu) of Chutus(satakarnis).

    Karnata dynasties Chalukyas and Rastrakutas call themselves Vallabhas and Pallava also from Karnata have called themselves vallabhas in some places, which translates to valavan in Tamil.

    If we take the killi -> Kilai and Pallava -> kilai and vallabha -> valavan

    We have killi valvan and it shows that killi valavan is generic term applied to pallava vallabha.

    After the pallavas revenge against pulikesin II, Ganga king who had marital relations with chalukyas defeated the pallavas and chased them out of kanchi. So the pallavas shifted themselves to a place called Kaduvetti, which is now in chola country. Many of their inscriptions are from kaduveti. Only after this time we see cholas rising. Cholas might have marital relations with pallavas and  putting killivalavan as one of their ancestors, shows their ancestors are  pllavas. Until Nirputunga pallava cornation ,they were feudatories of pallavas.
    This also solves myth Pallavas are not mentioned in Sangam literature ,so sangam literature has to be dated before pallavas.

    There is no tiger in chola country ,but their emblem is Tiger has to be noted, which show they are from outside Chola region.

    Chola kingdom fell despite efforts to propup their proxy administration by Hoysalas of Halebidu against Pandyas.

    Bengali 's
    The Following is a interesting take from Bengali community. Some Sangam works talks about five tribes who settled in Tamil Nadu. These are Naga tribes from north who moved down to south.the
    • VaeLir - the farmers,
    • Mazhavar - the hill people who gather hill products, and the traders
    • Naagar - people in charge of border security, who guarded the city wall and distant fortresses .
    • Kadambar - people who thrive on forests
    • Thiraiyar - the seafarers.
    Pallavas are said to be sect of Thiraiyar. Later sub sects arose and one of the important sects is MaRavar( warriors, conquerors and rulers; including the major Tamil dynasties of Cheras, Cholas and Pandyas. The Following Paragraph is bengali take on the above subject.

    Bengali's say many Naga-worshipping tribes proceeded from Bengal as well as from other parts of Northern India to establish their supremacy in Tamil Nadu. Of these tribes, the Marans, the Cheras and the Pangala Thiraiyar interest us most. The Cheras, it is stated, proceeded to Southern India from the north-west of Pangala or Bengal and established the "Chera" kingdom of much historical note. It is significant that the Cheras are mentioned in the old Brahmin literature as occupying the eastern tract of the Magadba country. As to the Marans, who are said to have been the neighbours of the Cheras in Northern India, it is equally important to note, that the Pandya kings claim to be of Maran descent. The Marans, who were also called Maravars, are reported to have been a very fierce and warlike people, and that they worshipped the goddess Kali on the top-knot of whose hair stood an infuriated cobra snake. The Pangala Thiraiyars are recorded as the latest immigrants, and it is narrated of them, that they proceeded from the sea coast of Bengal by boat and founded the Chola kingdom at Kanchi. As the phrase Pangala or Bangala Thiraiyar is equivalent to (Tlra-Vanga), we can assert un- hesitatingly, that these people had received Aryan influence in Bengal before they left for the Madras coast.

    So the question is who are cholas , From the above points they are not definitely tamils, they are either Telugu or kannada stock.

    Related Posts
    Date of Karikala
    Myth of Kallanai by Karikalan
    Myth of Tamil Sangam
    Kalabhra Interruption
    Pallava Origin
    Ikshvaku origin

    Where is KalingaNagara

    There is a considerable difference of opinion today among the scholars over the identification of Kalinganagara, the reputed capital of Kalingadesa. Almost all the copper-plate grants of the Ganga kings of Kalinga were issued from their capital, Kalinganagara. There is two sites Mukhalingam and Kalingapatna, let us see the arguments

    Kalinganagara is to be identified with the present site of Mukhalingam or the joint site of Mukhalingam and Nagarakatakam, situated on the bank of the Vamsadhara and at a distance of about 30 miles from the sea. This identification has been arrived from the evidence of some dedicatory inscriptions found in the temple of God Madhukesvara. The inscriptions differently refer to a 'Nagara' of Kalinga, not Kalinganagara. The passages occurring in the inscriptions are: Kalingavani Nagare, Kalinga-Desa- Nagare, Nagare Madhukesvarayam (the word 'Kalinga' omitted).

    The copper-plate inscription of Anantavarman,dated 1040 of an unspecified era, edited by Fleet records the fact that Kamanava II, the nephew of Kamarnava I, had a town named "Nagara," in which he built a lofty temple for an emblem of God Isa in the linga form to which he had given the name of "Madhukesa" because it was produced by a Madhuka tree. The temple still exists at Mukhalingam. The inscription further informs us that Kamarnava I, the alleged founder of the Ganga dynasty, had for his capital the town named Jantavuram. Jantavuram = Jayantapuram = Madhukesvaram = Mukhalingam.
    However this is a far fetched theory.

    An inscription found in the temple of Mukhalingesvara, which records a grant to the dancers and musicians of the God Madhukesvara issued from Kalinganagara itself by Anantavarman "From Kalinganagara" is to be interpreted as "in Kalinganagara." , "Svasti! Srimat Kalinganagarat! etc." meaning "Hail! From the Victorious Kalinganagara." Thus, when there is a record concerning the dancers and musicians of the temple of Madhukesvara in Kalinganagara, issued from and inscribed in a prominent place in the temple itself, in Kalinganagara, what stronger proof is required to identify Mukhalingam and Nagarakatakam with the ancient Kalinganagara?"
    But this is just a guess work.

    The famous Hathigumpha Inscription of Kharavela. King Kharavela clearly mentions in his inscription that just afterhis coronation, in the first year of his reign, he repaired his capital Kalinganagara, of which the gates, city-walls and buildings had been destroyed by storm (Vata-vihata- Gopura-pakara-nivesanampati-Samkharayati Kalinga-Nagaram). The storm which felled down the strong royal gate, city-walls (i.e., fort-walls) and buildings, must have been a violent one. This undoubtedly proves the metropolitan city being situated on the sea-side as such furious hurricanes are only commonly experienced in seaporttowns on the east-coast.

    Kalidasa in Raghu Vamsa says, Indumati's Svayamvara, Sunanda, her companion, took the royal princes to the king of Kalinga, named Hemangada and described him as the ruler of a kingdom of which the Mahendra Hill and the sea were the two natural boundaries. The place is described as being just on the sea-beach. "......The sea itself, the waves of which are seen from the windows of his palace, and the deep resounding roars of which surpass the sound of the watch-drum being close at hand, awakes him as it were, when slept in his palace-room. Sport, O Princess, with this king on the sea-shore, where the palm-trees grove make a rustling noise. This is a clear proof of the sea- side capital of the king kalinga as kalidasa knew it.

    The Dasakumara-Carita, (the Kalinga capital has been mentioned as Kalinganagara. Mention is made of the Kalinga-Raja named Karddana, as amusing himself with his friends and family in a sportive party on the sea-beach.

    The reference to Kalinga in the Mahabharata is equally illuminating. Arjuna entering the Kalinga-gate (Kalinga- Rastra-Dvara) came to the sea-side. Thence, returning, he went to the Mahendra Hill.

    Pliny Wrote "To the south, the territory of the Calinga extended as far as the promontory of Calingon and the town Dandagula which is said to be 625 Roman miles (or 524 British miles) from the mouth of the Ganges." This is exactly where kalinga nagara is.

    The copperplate inscriptions of the Gangeya Kings. We read in the Achyutapuram grant of Indravarman (Raja-Simha,) the Chicacole plates of Devendravarman, the Parlakemdi grant of Indravarman, the Parlakemidi plates of the time of Vajrahasta , the Alamanda plates of Ananta-arman, the Vizagapatam copper-plate grant of Devendra arman, the victorious Kalinga-nagara (the issuing place of the charter) is regularly described as Sarvartu-ramaniya or Sarvarthu-Sukha-ramaniya, i.e., pleasant in all seasons. This passage is of importance as emphatically calling our attention to the pleasant and temperate climate of the capital as held by the Gangeya Kings. What other place except Kalingapatam, by its name and moderate climate can satisfy this condition?

    In Sanskrit the words Nagara, Pattana, and Pura are synonymous. No Sanskrit dictionary nor a book of literature can say anything on this point to the contrary. According to some authorities, however, a nagara means a large town in the midst of 800 villages and a pattana is a place, where a king with his retinue resides.

    Further lot of artifact have been found at kalingapatana to prove that it has ancient history.


    Who are Sangam Cheras

    There are two cheras . Sangam cheras and Medieveal cheras.

    Sangam Cheras
    Early cheras were in Tamil Nadu in what is today Karur, Coimbatore,Erode and salem districts in Tamil Nadu. Had their capital in Vanchi, present day Karur. The only source available for us regarding the early Chera Kings is the anthologies of the Sangam literature. There is a lot of dispute on the age of sangam literature. The internal chronology of this literature is still far from settled. The Sangam literature is full of names of the kings and the princes, and of the poets who extolled them. Despite a rich literature that depicts the life and work of these people, these are not connected history to history so far. Their capital is stated to be modern Karur in Tamilnadu and were also called Kongars.

    Ganga rule
    If we see other rulers at that time. Gangas who also ruled some parts of kongu nadu(Karur, Coimbatore,Erode and salem districts in Tamil Nadu), do not show any signs of presence of Cheras in the neibhourhood. Even though they ruled same parts of Kongu nadu in tamil nadu at the same time as sangam cheras, they did not have any conflict or any relation with cheras that is puzziling and is one of the reasons of dismissing the sangam sources.

    Epigraphic sources
    1. Ashoka girinar inscription say keraputo
    2. Periplus of erythraeon sea mention Muziris cited as musiri in sangam literature
    3. Ptolemy refers to Muziris, Nelcynda and tyndis in kingdom of keraputra
    4. Pugalur (Aranattarmalai) inscription. This inscription refers to three generations of Chera rulers Adam Cel Irrumporai, his son Perumkadungo, and his son Ilamkadungo. But this inscription is highly disputed.
    5. Jambai inscription tells about atiyaman found in sangam literature. Also this inscription is highly disputed.
    6. GajaBahu synchronism, which we have discussed in silapathikaram article
    The sangam literature has a name for people of kerala - malayan, most literatures at that time mentions keralites as malayan and cheras are mentioned in their respective king names like ori, Ayi, poriyan,Cheral, Kuttuvan, Irumporai, Athan and Kothai.

    Aihole inscriptions mention kadamba rulers in kerala

    So there is no clarity on the sangam chera rule. By sangam anthologies the date should be around second century AD. The Ganga rulers seems no knowledge of them. Many of the sangam works have loopholes like Gajabahu synchronism. Eventhough the sangam literature talks of chera rulers, the rulers in inscriptions called themselves as ai's , ori's. The foreign sources mention about ports of west coast. We do not know if chera is kerala in ancient times. The only sources girinar inscription of ashoka talks about keraputo, again we do not know it means kerala or chera. so the arguement continues.

    Origin of Gangas

    First King of Ganga Dynasty started in Karnataka when Jain Acharya Simhanandi inspired his two disciples Daddigh and Madhav to establish their rule, which they did by constituting the territory of Gangawadi with Kolar as their capital. Madhav Kongunivarma I was the first crowned king of this dynasty, who ruled for a long period during 189-250 AD. So the question of Gangas originating in north and coming to south is irrelavant. They actually moved south(3rd to 10th century ) to North(11th to 15th century) to establish Eastern Ganga Dynasty. The Eastern Ganga dynasty established with decline of western ganga dynasty. They built temples in orissa on similar lines as in Karnataka. In the opinion of Dr. N. K. Sahu, both the western and eastern Ganga dynasty belong to one and the same dynasty.

    Mahisa(kannada) Race
    Mr. Dubey has identified the Tumbura-race with Mahisa, Thumbra being mentioned in Puranas as Ganga. Mahisa race as we know is from only one place , that is mysore from ashokan times . The first king of this Ganga dynasty Anantavarma belonged to the Mahisa race as per Puranas. Kudlur grant of Marasimha and the Santara inscription on the Huncha stone says Simhanandi gave them kingdom. The last mentioned record indeed refers to him as "the archariya who made the Ganga kingdom." :"Ganga-rajyaman madida Simhanandy acharyya." which shows they are of kannada decent or Mahisa race. The Western Ganga rule was a period of brisk literary activity in Kannada, which shows that they are kannada origin.

    Eastern Ganga
    Eastern Ganga capital is kalinganagara, which is often leading to misunderstanding it is in kalinga(orissa), but it is actually in Andhra pradesh. The Eastern Ganga dynasty came to prominence after 10th century. They maintained relations with cholas( part of chalukyas) shows that they are of same as western Gangas. The Karnata race having independent rulers in various places of India in the previous thousand years has established a kingdom in orissa and Andhra. With Chalukya's in West and South, senas in Bengal , srilanka, Nepal. The karnatas ruled whole of India. Showing eastern Gangas belong to fisherman decent of orissa is not correct. Gangas continued the tradition of building temples in orissa also with Sun temple of Konark , Lord Jagannath temple and various other temples. Many of the common Orissan surnames, such as ‘Dalai’ and ‘Senapati’, originated in Ganga times. Gangas also took the mahisasura mardini or Durga worship to orissa from karnataka.

    Origin of Gangas is mainly due to confusion from Puranas. Whose dating has always been in question. Puranas show 80kings ruling 1600years. Also the opposition of puranas to Jain territories mainly in karnataka means , karnataka decent does not get due respect. There is also mention of Ganga Vamsa apart from Ganga dynasty and also Mahisa race.

    Historical sources
    Historical sources are not very clear from sanskrit inscriptions and plates give no continous evidence of any known decent except they are Ganga rulers. Historical records are in sanskrit with mix of southern and northern script , which shows that the western and eastern ganga's are same.

    External sources
    External sources like arab show that the eastern ganga land was essentially agararian and army infantry. So the question of gangas moving from karnataka to orissa is not a issue. Also the southeast asian sources like indonesia tell about karnataka traders operating from eastern shores.

    So the eastern and western Ganga are all same. Ganga origin is in Mysore( Karnataka). when the primacy of Ganga rule came to end in karnataka came to end around 10th century, they moved north to andhra and Orissa to establish rule. They constructed many famous temples and also increased trade there.

    Related Posts