Showing posts with label Vakataka. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vakataka. Show all posts

Sharabhapuriya, Panduvamshi Dynasties and their Overlords

When we were analysing, Who is trivaradeva?, We came across Sharabhapurias, In this post, We are looking at Sharabhapuriyas and Panduvamsis to analyse their dates and genealogy. We are looking whether they are feudatories of Guptas and Vakatakas. Let us first look who they are

Historians call the family Sharabhapuriyas, because the majority of the dynasty’s inscription were issued from the Sharabhapura. D. C. Sircar theorised that the dynasty was known as Amararyakula. 

Most of the dynasty's grants have been found in and around Malhar and Raipur, in Dakshin Kosala. These inscriptions were issued from Shrabhapura and Shripura. The identification of Sharabhapura is not certain, while Shripura  has been identified with modern Sirpur. Some scholars have identified Sharabhapura with places in present-day Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, but these places are located far away from the find spots of the inscriptions; it is more likely that Sharabhapura was located in or around the present-day Raipur district. KD Bajpai and SK Pandey identified Sharabhapura with Malhar, but A. M. Shastri points out that the excavations at Malhar reveal that the establishment of the town can be dated to c. 1000 BCE or earlier. Therefore, it cannot be identified as a city established by Sharabha who ruled nearly 1500 years later. Moreover, there is no evidence that Malhar was called Sharabhapura: its earliest known name is Mallala or Mallala-pattana. Hira Lal once theorised that the Sharabhapura was another name for Shripura, but this theory is now discredited. Sharabhapura appears to have been the original capital of the dynasty. A. M. Shastri theorises that Sudevaraja established Shripura and made the town his second capital. his successor Pravararaja moved the kingdom’s capital to Shripura.

Manamatra or Durgaraja

Sharabha is the earliest known king. He is known from two inscriptions of his son Narendra. The name suggests that he established the city of Sharabhapura (and probably the dynasty). 

Maharaja Narendra, the son of Sharabha, issued the earliest extant grant of the dynasty. Three grants made by him have been found.

Prasannamatra is the next, No inscriptions or grants by him are known. However we find a number  of coins with him name and also known from the seals of his son Jayaraja and grandson Sudevaraja.  His relationship with Narendra is not certain: he may have been Narendra's son or his descendant. Prasanna had two sons: Jayaraja and Manamatra (the successor of Jayaraja).

Jayaraja was a son of Prasnna.He was the first ruler of the dynasty to add the prefix Mahat to his name, a practice followed not only by his descendants but also by the kings of the later dynasties such as the Panduvanshis and the Somavanshis.

Manamatra alias Durgaraja
Manamatra was another son of Prasanna. He had two sons: Sudevaraja and Pravararaja 

Sudevaraja was a son of Manamatra. He seems to have established Shripura, where the earliest inscriptions were issued during his reign.

Pravararaja was another son of Manamatra.He appears to have moved the kingdom’s capital from Sharabhapura to Shripura.

No successors of Pravararaja are known with certainty. An inscription of one Vyaghraraja has been discovered at Malhar. This inscription was issued from a town called Prasanna-pura, and describes Vyaghraraja as the son of Pravara-bhattaraka. D. C. Sircar and some others theorised that Vyaghraraja was a Sharabhapuriya king. Prasannapura may have been named after his ancestor Prasanna. The inscription also mentions one Jaya-bhattaraka, who has been identified with Jayaraja. Ajaya Mitra Shastri has contested this theory on several grounds. Vyaghraraja's inscription features 'nail-headed' characters unlike the box-headed characters of the Sharabhapuriya inscriptions. Its seal, its textual style and its grant order are also different from those of the Sharabhapuriya inscriptions.

The Sharabhapuriyas were succeeded by the Panduvanshi (Pāṇduvaṃśī) dynasty.The Panduvanshi inscriptions follow the three-copper-plates style of the Sharabhapuriyas

Panduvamsis  of Mekala
Panduvamsis of Mekala preceded Sharabhapuriyas.


Panduvamsis of South Kosala
Panduvamsis of South Kosala succeeded Sharabhapuriyas.  

Indrabala (Sons Bhavadeva, Ishanadeva, Nanna I)
Nanna I(Sons Trivaradeva, Chandragupta)
Nanna II
Harshagupta (Sons Shivagupta, Ranakesarin)

Udayana was the first king of this dynasty. He was succeeded by Indrabala. Nanna I succeeded him and he in turn was succeeded by Mahasiva Tivaradeva. He was the most successful king of this dynasty. He extended his kingdom to Utkala, Kosala and other nearby states. He was succeeded by his son Mahanannaraja or Nanna II. His uncle, Chandragupta (of Later Guptas), succeeded him. His son, Harshagupta, was married to Vasata, the daughter of Maukhari king Suryavarman of Magadha. Harshagupta son from Vasata, Mahasivagupta alias Balarjuna, ascended the throne after Harshagupta. Mahasivagupta was a powerful king and enjoyed a very long rule and he was followed by Sivanandin.

points of Discussion

D. C. Sircar theorised that the dynasty was known as Amararyakula, based on inscription of Vyaghraraja. However, A. M. Shastri has opposed this theory, arguing that Vyaghraraja was not associated with the Sharabhapuriya dynasty.

Panduvanshi replace Sharabhapuriyas
In Dhamatari and Kauvatal grants, Sudevaraja mentions certain Indrabala raja as occupying the office of Sarvadhikaradhikrata or Chief Minister. Can Indrabalaraja be the same as Indrabala of Panduvamsis. This is looks very tempting as the Panduvamsis succeeded Sarbhapuriyas and they could have been employed by them and later they could have succeeded. However this theory falls flat as the Kharod inscription mentions Indrabala as reigning monarch. He also founded a city of Indrapura. However we can say that he was subordinate and later ruled as independent ruler.

Gupta and Mahendra
The Allahabad pillar inscription of the Gupta king Samudragupta states that he defeated one Mahendra, who was the ruler of Kosala. One theory identifies this Mahendra as a Sharabhapuriya ruler. However, there is no evidence in support of this theory.

Eran Inscription
A 510 CE Bhanugupta Eran inscription mentions one Sharabharaja as the maternal grandfather of one Goparaja, who died in a battle. Based on the identification of this Sharabharaja with the Sharabhapuriya king Sharabha, we can fix date of the king.

Gupta Overlords
The Kurud inscription of  Narendra records the renewal of a grant that was originally made by a Parama-bhattaraka ("Supreme Overlord") to a Brahmin. The original grant was recorded on palm leaves, which were destroyed in a house fire. A. M. Shastri identifies the Parama-bhattaraka with a Gupta emperor (the Gupta capital Pataliputra was located on the banks of the Ganga river). He theorises that Narendra's Sharabha began his career as a Gupta vassal.
But we have no evidence of Gupta monarchs in the inscription or elsewhere during that time. We do not know who this paramo-bhattaraka is. 

Vakataka overlords
In Bamhani grant, Surabala makes reference to Narendra, B.Ch.Chhabhra says that Narendra refers to Narendrasena of Vakataka dynasty. Narendrasena father refers to his extensive territories as Kosala, Mekala and Malava. So this is supposed to acknowledge the overlordship of Vakatakas. 

Suryagosha Dynasty
Small dynasty established by surya or Suryaghosha, ruled Chattishgarh in 350 AD to 375 AD form Capital Sripura. He was followed by five rulers, one of the rulers Bhimasena II acknowledged suzerainty of Guptas. Bhimasena II overthrown by Jayaraja of Sharbhapura dynasty


D. C. Sircar theorised that the dynasty was known as Amararyakula, based on the Malhar inscription of a ruler called Vyaghraraja. However, A. M. Shastri has opposed this theory, arguing that Vyaghraraja was not associated with the Sharabhapuriya dynasty.
There is a mention of Amrarayakula in Mallar and Bamhani Plates of Surabala of Panduvamsis from which princess Lokaprakasa was born. Lokaprakasa, queen of Bharatbala. is from south Kosala and we cannot put her in other dynasty during this period. So we can say Sharabhapuriyas are from Amararajakula or Amararayakula, both means same.

Bamhani and Mallar plates says Lokaprakasa was from Amaraja Kula. When we consider the Vyaghyaraja plates, it is clear that Sharabhapurias belong to Amararayakula.
Parama Bhattaraka and Gupta Overlords
In Sanskrit, there are two related words "Bhata" and "Bhatta" generally meaning a soldier and a scholar respectively. Occasionally they are used interchangeably. A "Bhattara" or a "Bhattaraka" is the chief of them. Thus a "Bhattaraka" is either a regional ruler (mandalika) or a regional chief of an order of monks (i.e. an Acharya). A “ parama- Bhattaraka" is then either a overlord sovereign, or the Chief of all Acharyas.  The Maitraka dynasty of Valabhi was founded by “Bhatarka, a General.

Dikshit  said that the Bhattarka mentioned here in Kurud inscription is Father of Narendra that is Sharabha. But Sircar point out that Father is missing in the inscription.  Later ruler from the same dynasty Jayaraja takes the title Jaya bhattaraka, so we do doubts supporting this.

Another scholar  has pointed out that Parama Bhattarka with Maharajadhiraja has been to refer to Guptas. And the references to Bathing in Ganga should mean it refers to Guptas of Pataliputra.  One has to see here that the Ruler omits name of the Parama Bhattarka- pada. Narendra does not include Gupta Era and does not take feudatory title like paramo bhattaraka padanudhayata Here.

Vyaghraraja inscription issued describes Vyaghraraja as the son of Pravara-bhattaraka. The inscription also mentions one Jaya-bhattaraka, who has been identified with Jayaraja. So can we say Bhattarka refers to some ancestor of Narendra.   

There is panduvamsis of Mekala also took titles Parama Maheswara, Parama Brahmanya and Parama guru devatadhidaivatavishesha. Panduvanshi of Kosala also refer themselves with parama Bhattaraka titles. We can say parama bhattaraka is title refers to one of Mekala Panduvamsis.

As far as Gupta Overlords are concerned there seems to be none, just the Indologists invention.

Surabala and vakataka Overlords
The Bamhani inscription says Narendra in the end of sentence. If Vakataka Narendrasena was the overlord, then there is no way they can addressed like that. On careful examination we see that the Narendra coming at the end of stanza refers to Surabala himself as king. As far as Vakataka overlords we see none. All the inscriptions are in nail-headed characters not Box Headed characters of Vakataka. So We can safely say there is no vakataka in Mekala at that time.

Suryagosha Dynasty
We cannot find any evidence around South Kosala for Surya or Bhimasena during Sharabhapuriya dynasty, We have no evidence of any overthrew of this dynasty. This dynasty has to be dated with Guptas and they belong to different time.

Constructing Genealogy
We have seen that there is not much dispute on the order of kings, but there is a confusion on period of kings. Let us see.

Present Chronology
A. M. Shastri estimates the reigns of the Sharabhapuriya rulers as follows: based on Sharabha's identification with the Sharabharaja mentioned in the 510 CE Eran inscription, he assigns Sharabha's reign to 475–500 CE (assuming a 25-year reign). Similarly, he assigns 25 years to the next two kings. Since Jayaraja's latest inscription is dated to 9th regnal year, Shastri assumes a 10-year reign for Jayaraja, and some subsequent kings.
* Sharabha (Śarabha), c. 475–500 CE (25 years)
* Narendra, c. 500–525 CE (25 years Atleast, 27 years)
* Prasanna (Prasanamatra), c. 525–550 CE (25 years) (Sons Jayaraja, Manamatra)
* Jayarāja, c. 550–560 CE (at least 10 years, may be 15 years)
* Manamatra alias Durgarāja, c. 570–580 CE (at least 10 Years)
* Sudevarāja, c. 570–580 CE (10 years atleast, May be 15 years)
* Pravarāja, c. 580–590 CE (3 years  to 10 Years)(Founder of Sripura)
Alternative dates have been proposed by other historians. For example, D. C. Sircar estimated Sharabha's reign as 465–480 CE, while V. V. Mirashi estimated it as 460–480 CE

  1. We have no reference to Guptas or Vakatakas in the Grant, so we have to use internal chronology to date Sharabhapuriyas and Panduvamsis
  2. Indrabala of Panduvamshi  ended Paravaraja rule. If we take the Trivaradeva rule, which is 550AD, we can arrive ending of  Sharabhrapuria rule in the capital Sharbhapura around 530 AD.
  3. Eran Inscription (510AD) of Bhanugupta contemporary Goparaja says his maternal grandfather was Sharbharaja, If we take the sharbharaja as founder of the dynasty. Which will put him at 460 AD. Bhanugupta is mentioned as Governor, and we do not have any info on Guptas here. The inscription talks about battle with Maitrakas in which Bhanugupta died and his wife followed him to the funeral pyre. We do not know sarbharaja mentioned here is Sharabha of Sharbhapuria, but it is assumed as such and dating is worked to 460 AD, considering that his son Narendra ruled for 25 years.
Points of View
  1. Sharabharaja mentioned in the inscription is meant to Sharabharaja and Contemporary king of Goparaja has to be taken as Prasannamatra, One of the reason can be taken as Eran has the best mint for gold coins in India. Eran mint gold coin influence can be seen in prasannamatra gold coins. 
  2. Lokaprakasa  is daughter of Sharabharaja. 
  3. Parama Bhattaraka Pada refers to Panduvamsis of Mekala. And Narendra when making this inscription is feudatory of Panduvamsis of Mekala.  After Surabala panduvamsis of Mekala power weakened and we have Sharabhapuriyas under Narendra  taking over as the overlords of  Panduvamsis of Mekala. 
  4. Jayaraja was succeeded by manamatra, who had very short tenure followed by his two sons sudevaraja and parvaraja.  
  5. After parvaraja death and resulting confusion, Indrabala the chiefminister from Panduvamsis clan has taken over Sharabhapura.  
  6. A last ditch effort seems to be from Vyagyaraja  son of Parvaraja In sripur.  This taking over took place around 530-535 AD, and panduvamsis of Kosala have  risen.  Inscription seems to use a borrowed south Indian scribe and who seems to have no much idea of official grants of Sharabhapuriyas.
  7. Geneology can be from Eran Inscription. Sharabharaja (440 - 460AD), Narendra (460-485AD), Prasannamatra (485 to 510Ad), Jayaraja (510 - 520AD),  Manamatra (Unknown), Sudevaraja (520 - 530AD), Parvaraja (530-534AD).
  8. Geneology years  of Mekala Panduvamshis cannot be constructed because of paucity of records.
We can give chronology of Sharabhapuriyas as
Sharabharaja (440-480AD)
Narendra (460-485AD)
Prasannamatra (485-510AD)
Jayaraja (510-520AD)

Guptas and Vakatakas are not overlords of Sharabhapuriyas or Panduvamsis, they belonged to different era. 

Inscriptions of the Śarabhapurīyas, Pāṇḍuvaṁśins, and Somavaṁśins: Introduction By Ajay Mitra Shastri
Historical Geography of Madhya Pradesh from Early Records by Pranab Kumar Bhattacharyya  
Orissan history, culture, and archaeology by Sadasiba Pradhan
Orissa-Andhra inscriptions 

Image Resources


Related Links
Ganga Dynasty (Kalinga) origin
Who is Trivara deva? : Reign of Panduvamsis 
Are Maukharis and Malwa Guptas Feudatories of Imperial Guptas?

Who is Trivara deva? : Panduvamsis reign

In the Article on Vishnukundin we have seen Madhavavarman Janasraya gives in his inscription both in Ipur Plates and Polamuru Plates.
MeaningThe Delighter of the hearts of the young ladies in the palace(Palaces) of Trivaranagara

Who is this Trivara deva? Where is Trivaranagara? what is the date of this Trivara ? that has been the problem. We seeking answers to these questions in the article.

In these circumstances Mirashi and Sircar identified the Trivaranagara to be the capital of Mahasiva Trivaradeva, the panduvamsi ruler of Kosala. Who should have been powerful ruler of to be mentioned again and again. This grant was made in fortyeight year of his reign, shortly before the end of the regime.
The problem is due to identifying Suryavarman maternal grandfather of Sivagupta Balarjuna with son of Mukhari Isavarvarman mentioned in Haraha Inscription of 554AD and that of Taravaranagara mentioned in Ipur and Polamur Plates by Vishnukudin Madhavavarman with Mahasiva Tivara. Add this to Panduvamsis who is now accepted to be successors of sarabhapuriyas. So we have to identify the identity of suryavarman to identify Trivara.

Sircar is of the view, Trivara is contemproary of Visnukundin king Madhavavarman I, Maukhari Prince Suryavarman , son of Isanavarman and flourished in the later part of 6th century AD.

D.Chopdar has tried to assign Trivaradeva to later date of 7th century AD. This is on the basis that Queen Vasata , wife of Harsha gupta as daughter of Suryavarman, who very likely belong to family of Yashovaraman, who conquered Magadha in 725AD.

Chopdar further argues that Trivaradeva cannot be placed in 6th century AD because. In the charters of Sailodbhava king Dharmaraja Srimanabhita, there is a description of civil war between brothers Dhramaraja and Madhava after the deate of their father Madhyamarajal. In this war Madhava was defeated by Phasika and sought help from King Trivara. Joint forces of Trivara and Madhava were routed by Dhramaraja after which Madhava spent his last days in the territory of Trivaradeva, which is in south of Vindhya.

R.D Banerjee says that Trivaradeva who Sailodbhava king Dhramaraja claims to have defeated is undoubtedly Mahasivagupta Trivara, the brother of Chandaragupta and uncle of Harshagupta of Malwa Guptas. The Ganjam plates of Madhavaraja I is dated to 619AD, the cuttack museum gives the regnal date of 50 years. Hist ond Madhayamaraja ruled for atleast 26 years as konw from Parikud grants. His son might have ended in the last decade of 7th century AD.

From the above discussions, it is clear that Trivaradeva belongs to Panduvamsis dynasty.

There are two lines of Panduvamsis. One who ruled Mekala (Amarkantak in Shahdol dist of Madhya Pradesh) and another ruled Kosala region.

Panduvamsis of Mekala

From the Copper plate inscriptions of the reign of Udirnavaira found at Malhar and Bamhni we get some geneology and chronology of Panduvamsi dynasty, ruling around 5th century AD. Burhikhar and Malga have yeilded other inscriptions of this dynasty.
Jayabala (founder

Panduvamsis of South Kosala

The power of Panduvamsis were consolidated by Triavaradeva.
Indrabala (Sons Bhavadeva, Ishanadeva, Nanna I)
Nanna I(Sons Trivaradeva, Chandragupta)
Nanna II
Harshagupta (Sons Shivagupta, Ranakesarin)

Both Panduvamsis are related?

V V Mirashi suggested a link where Udyana the first known king of Panduvamsis of Kosala was shown as the son of Bharatabala, last known king of Panduvamshis of Mekala. The Bharatbala was also known as Indra. Now Udhayana has son name Indrabala. As per Indian Tradition grandson gets his grandfather name. However A M Shastri says last known Panduvamshis of Mekala was Surabala. We have no idea to know whether udayana and Surabala are brothers or not related at all.

Dating Panduvamsis of Kosala
D R Bhandarkar while editing sanjan plates(871AD) of Rastrakuta Amoghavarsha mentions that Chandragupta defeated Rastrakuta Govinda III. Bhandarkar equated Chandragupta to panduvamshis. S R Nema this identification is erroneous. So his hyposthesis does not hold water.

J F Fleet while editing Rajim grant of Tivaradeva mentions that Tivaradeva cannot be assigned earlier than roughly 800AD.

Kielhorn while editing Kudopali plates assign Rajim plates to middle of 8th century.

Hira Lal while editing Lakshmana temple Inscription assigns the inscription to eigth or ninth century AD.

Alphabets in the records of Panduvamshis are written in box headed alphabets. Which are the western type variant of alphabets used by Vakataka , Kadamba and Guptas. V V Mirashi and D.C Sircar pointed this and the Tivaradeva cannot be dated in 8th century AD but earlier than that. Mirashi, while editing Thakurdiya plates of Pravararaja assigns him to 530-550 AD, later he changed it to 520-540AD.

According to Alexander Cunningham Tivaradeva was assigned to 425-450AD.

Mirashi points out in the Vishnukundin inscription by Madhavarman III mentions him as the delighter of the hearts of ladies of Trivaranagara. We have already seen the description of this in the article Reign of Vishnukundin. So let us move on. So Trivaradeva date here is pushed before 520AD. The capital city of Panduvamshis is Sripura.

Mirashi suggested Suryavarman father of Vasata, mother of Sivagupta, would have been Maukhari known from Haraha inscription. If this is accepted then Chandragupta of Panduvamshis would be contemproary of Suryavarman. S R Nema agrees with this identification. But this identification raises serious issues according to Shastri. As the panduvamsis came after Sarabhapuriyas. Who has been assigned to end of 6th century AD. This theory becomes untenable.

Chopdar argues that Trivaradeva cannot be placed in 6th century AD because. In the charters of Sailodbhava king Dharmaraja Srimanabhita, there is a description of civil war between brothers Dhramaraja and Madhava after the death of their father Madhyamarajal. In this war Madhava was defeated by Phasika and sought help from King Trivara. Joint forces of Trivara and Madhava were routed by Dhramaraja after which Madhava spent his last days in the territory of Trivaradeva, which is in south of Vindhya. R.D Banerjee says that Trivaradeva who Sailodbhava king Dhramaraja claims to have defeated is undoubtedly Mahasivagupta Trivara, the brother of Chandaragupta and uncle of Harshagupta of Malwa Guptas. The Ganjam plates of Madhavaraja I is dated to 619AD, the cuttack museum gives the regnal date of 50 years. He ond Madhayamaraja ruled for atleast 26 years as konw from Parikud grants. His son might have ended in the last decade of 7th century AD.
Rastrakuta Dantidurga in his Samangada plates mentions that he defeated Sri Harsha. J F Fleet identified Sri Harsha with Harshavardhana. This identification is false as Dantidurga is much later than Harshavardhana. So the Fleet identification is absolute blunder. So his hypotheisis does not hold ground.

Dhamatari and Kauvatal grants of Sarabhapuriya Sudevaraja(570-580AD) mentions certain Indrabala raja as occupying the office of Sarvadhikaradhikrata or Chief Minister. Can Indrabalaraja be the same as Indrabala of Panduvamsis. This is looks very tempting as the Panduvamsis succeeded Sarbhapuriyas and they could have been employed by them and later they could have succeeded. However this theory falls flat as the Kharod inscription mentions Indrabala as reigning monarch. He also founded a city of Indrapura. However we can say that he was subordinate and later ruled as independent ruler. However A M Shastri says we need to include few kings between Panduvamsis and Sarbhapuriyas of Amararya kula namely Jaya Bhattarka and Pravara bhattaraka from the malhar plates of Vyaghraraja and Arang Plate (601 Gupta Era). Giving 30 years for these Amararaya kula kings and giving 10 years for Pravararaja after Sudevaraja. We cannot keep Trivardeva in Kosala. So this identication, which is not not firm grounds falls flat.

Trivaradeva gave three copper grants located at Baloda, Bonda and Rajim indicating he extended his sway upto Kosala, Utkala and other Mandalas and assumed title Kosaladhipati. His Successor Nannaraja copper plate has been found at Adbhar. He was succeeded by Chandragupta and later by his son Harsagupta, who had married Vasata daughter of Suryavarman, ruler of Magadha.After the death of Harsa, his widow got constructed the famous Laksmana temple at Sirpur. The Successor of Harsagupta was his son mahasivagupta Balarjuna whose copper plated inscriptions have been found at Bardula, Bonda, Lodhia, Malhar, Sirpur, Burhikhar and Senkapat.

Eastern Chalukya Jayasimha (633-663 AD) Claimed to have occupied Trivaranagara. So the city name as Trivaranagara is well established by this time.

Madhavavarman II of Vishnukundin (518-554AD). Madhavavarman II claims he is delighter of ladies of places of Trivaranagara. Looking around there is only few places that can called Trivaranagara with royal palace. The one place on the radar is the Trivaradeva palce of Panduvamsis. Even though panduvamsis called their capital Sripura. For a outsider it is city of the king Trivaradeva. So Trivaradeva has to be during or before Madhavavarman II time. So the latest date for Trivaradeva is 554 AD. It is around this time he got defeated by Contemproary of Mukhari Isvaravarman. Now Andhra king was defeated by crown prince Isnvavarman during Isvaravarman reign. Isnavarman came to the throne in 550AD. So this has to be before 550 AD.
Sailodbhava dynasty started with Madhavaraja. Sasanka(601-625AD) of Gauda installed Madhavaraja I after he invaded orissa and occupied them. This we know from the Ganjam inscriptions(300GE) of Madhavaraja I , who is practically first king of Sailodbhava Dynasty. Later after the death of Sasanaga he declared independence and gave Stylish inscriptions from Kongoda with great Fanfare. The Dharmaraja and Madhava(Not Madhavaraja I) fight is before this period. In this fight that it is claimed in the Sumandala inscription (250GE) that Trivaradeva participated and got defeated. The dates of these inscriptions differ by fifty years. which means Trivaradeva was contemproary of these kings who were ruling before 570AD. If we can call them early Sailodbhava kings. They are three in number Dharmaraja, Sivaraja and Champa raja. Dharmaraja(Abhaya Family) is feudatories of Prithvivigraha. Shivaraja is feudatory of Sambhuyaysas. Champaraja is semi independent. All the the inscriptions are from the same place. So we can rule out simulataneous rule. All three does not claim to be Sailodbhavas. Both of them said have used Gupta Era. Since I have not found When Gupta Era starts, I will stick to the difference in their years. We know that Harsha Vardhana invaded Kongoda in 625 AD and Occupied them after death of Sasanaga. But Subsequent defeat of Harsha vadhana under the hand of Pulikesin liberated Kongoda again. But Pulikesin II overran Kosala as per Inscriptions. Subsequent inscriptions of Sailodbhava inscription resemble Chalukyan Charters. He also declared himself Kalingatipati. But Subsequently Ganga officers were brought in to adminster the territories. So we have Eastern Ganga Dynasty taking shape. So Trivara existed prior to 570 AD. The confusion is caused because Madhavaraja II had a grandson named Dharmaraja. Indologists by equating him to Dharmaraja who defeated Trivara have brought down Trivaradeva to later than 8th century AD.
In the Sirpur Inscription of Balarjuna, who was grandson (Brothers Grandson) of Trivara, refers to maternal grandfather Suryavarman belonging to dynasty of varmans over Magadha. This suryavarman is none other than Mukhari Suryavarman who is son of Isnavarman. So Trivaradeva is of the time of Isnavarman and Suryavarman that is prior to 570AD. In Haraha Inscription (554 AD) Isnavarman refers to Shivagupta Trivara. Balarjuna Sivagupta according to Sirpur inscription is son of Harsha gupta and Vasata (Daughter of Suryavarman) and grandson of Chandragupta (Brother of Trivara). So the dates have to earlier than 553AD.

The Alphabets of Trivaradeva resembles Kadamba and Vakataka inscriptions. So he is defintely during that time, Before 550 AD. Earlier the Box headed characters of Vakataka were assigned to 8th century AD bringing Vakatakas to 8th century AD. But now it has been corrected to 4th century AD or earlier. So the Trivara inscription dates have to revised to this.

Trivara or Trivaradeva belongs to Panduvamsis dynasty and ruled during Mukhari Isnavarman time around 550 AD. The Family of Mekala Pandvamsis preceded probably before Kosala Panduvamsis. Mekala panduvamsis ruled in 5th century AD and Kosala Panduvamsis ruled in 6th century AD. Now where does Sarabhapura dynasty(Original Rulers of Sripura) can be dated. That we will see in another article.

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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

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