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Thread: A brief study on the Pallava (Pallavar) period of rule in Tamil Nadu

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    Author - Virarajendra

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    A brief study on the Pallava (Pallavar) period of rule in Tamil Nadu

    (1) The Andhra-Pallavas captures Kanchipuram of Tamil Nadu

    With the fall of the Sathavaahana empire of Maharashtra encompassing the present Maharashtra and whole of Andhra Pradesh in the year A.D.250, the Andhra-Pallava dynasty who ruled their own kingdom in the present Bellary region of Andhra Pradesh became independent. During the period of the king Sivaskandhavarman (A.D.340-355) of the Andhra-Pallava dynasty their territorial region extended up to Kanchipuram in north Tamil Nadu. He and his son Vishnugopa (A.D.345-355) during their rule have issued copper-plate grants on the gifts they have made to Vedic Priests during their visits to Kanchipuram from their capital city at Bellary region.

    The decline of Sathavaahana empire gradually paved way to the rise of the Gupta empire in North India. During this period the king Samudragupta (A.D.335-380) captured many regions of North India and also sent forces to capture the regions of the present Andhra Pradesh. These forces defeated the king Vishnu Gupta the last Andhra-Pallava of the present Bellary region, and the Kanchipuram of Tamil Nadu under their fold, in the year A.D.355.

    "...........the Mahārājādhirāja, the glorious Samudragupta..........Whose great good fortune was mixed with, so as to be increased by (his) glory produced by the favour shewn in capturing and then liberating Mahendra of Kosala, Vyāghraraja of Mahākantāra, Mantarāja of Kurūḷa, Mahendra of Pishtapura, Svāmidatta of Kottura on the hill, Damana of Erandapalla, Vishnugopa of Kānchi, Nīlarāja of Avamukta, Hastivarman of Vengā, Ugrasena of Palakka, Kubera of Devarāshtra, Dhananjaya of Kusthalapura, and all the other kings of the region of the south......"


    Allahabad Stone Pillar Inscription of Samudragupta
    Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum: Inscriptions of the Early Guptas. John F. Fleet Vol. III. Calcutta - 1888, 10-17


    This could be the possible reason as to why only the Pallava kings - Sivaskandavarman and Vishnugopa have specifically mentioned in their copper-plate grants as "issued from Kanchipuram", while all other successive Pallava kings ruling from the Bellary region of Andhra Pradesh have not mentioned in their copper-plate grants as issed from Kanchipuram.

    It appears with the defeat of Vishnu Gopa the region of Kanchipuram was given to it's traditional rulers the Tamil Thiraiyar kings (of Naga Vamsam) of Thondai Mandalam in north Tamil Nadu probably under a treaty.

    The chronology of the Andhra-Pallava kings of Bellary region of Andhra Pradesh is as follows:

    (1) Skandavarman
    (2) Vijaya Viravarman
    (3) Vijaya Skandavarman - {Sivaskandavarman} - (A.D.340-355) - king of the Pallava kingdom at Bellary region in Andhra, and viceroy of Samudragupta at Kanchipuram.
    (4) Vijaya Simhavarman
    (5) Vishnu Gopa - 1 {Yuvamaharaja Vishnu Gopa} - (A.D.345-355) - king of the Pallava kingdom at Bellary region in Andhra, and viceroy of Samudragupta at Kanchipuram.
    (6) Simhavarman
    (7) Asokavarman
    (8) Kaalaparththaa Pallava
    (9) Simhavarman {Suutha Pallava}

    Evidence for above:


    The names of the Pallava kings and their sequence are as per
    Ongodu Copper Plates, Vilavetti Copper Plates - No 19, Pallankoil Copper Plates & Velurppalayam Copper Plates - No 11, Thirty Pallava Copper Plates - Published by The Tamil Varalatru Kalakam, Chennai.

    (2) Tamil Nadu-Pallava kings who ruled from Kanchipuram

    With the weakening of the Gupta Empire over a period of time the Pallava kings of Bellary region extended their kingdom in the Andhra Pradesh and turned their attention also towards the south. A much later Pallava king of Bellary region named Vira Koorchchan waged war with the Tamil Thiraiyar kings (Naga Vamsam) of Thondai Mandalam captured part of his kingdom with all regalia, and also married the Naga Princess the daughter of Thiraiyan. They were blessed with the son Skanda Shishayan. He possibly with his mother having the Tamil blood was the first Pallava king who issued copper-plate grants both in Sanskrit and Tamil.

    Evidence for above:

    Velurppalayam Copper Plates - No 11, & Royakottai Copper Plates No 5 - Thirty Pallava Copper Plates - Published by The Tamil Varalatru Kalakam, Chennai.

    Note:

    From the earliest times the Tamil Thiraiyar kings ruled the Thondaimandalam region north of Chola country with the Kanchipuram as their captal long before the Tamil Nadu Pallava kings made it as the capital of their Pallava kingdom. The Sangam period Tamil Literary work the Perumpaanaattruppadai bears testimony to same, which was composed on the glory of the king Thondaimaan Ilan-Thiraiyan who ruled from Kanchipuram of Thondaimandalam.

    Skanda Shishayan was blesssed with the son named Buddhavarman who too tried to capture the remaining regions of the Thondaimandalam still under the rule of the Thiraiyar kings (including Kanchipuram). Buddhavarman was blessed with a son named Kumara Vishnu. He was the first Pallava king who waged war with the king of Thondaimandalam and captured the region of Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu. He made Kanchipuram as the "new capital city" of Pallavas, with their permanent shift from the Bellary region in Andhra Pradesh.

    Note:

    There are no referencess in any Inscriptions or Historical Records that Thondaimandalam and it's capital Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu of the Thiraiyar Dynasty came under the sway of Kalabhras when they invaded Tamil Nadu much earlier before the Pallavas, possibly these two dynasties had very good relationship among themselves, which prevented the Kalabhras bringing Thondaimandalam and Kanchipuram under their control and continued to be ruled by the traditional kings of this region the Thiraiyar dynasty. Earlier the Kalabhras (Kalappirar) also known as the 'Vadukak Karunaader' (Vaduka=Andhra) were a dynasty tracing their origin from Andhra country and ruling from the Kolar region of Karnataka around Nandhi hills also known as the Kalabhra hills,.

    The next Pallava king who succeeded at Kanchipuram was Buddhavarman, remained a threat to the ocean like forces of Kalabhras (Kalappirar) of the Chola country in the south of their reigion the Kanchipuram. They were followed by the Pallava kings Vishnugopa -2, Nanthivarman and Simhavarman at Kanchipuram.

    After Simhavarman his son Simha Vishnu accended the Pallava throne, and was the first Pallava king who waged war with Kalabhras some time after the year A.D.550, and brought the Chola country which was under the sway of the Kalabhras during this period into the Pallava fold. This war paved way to the growing strength of the Pallavas in the north and central Tamil Nadu of that period, and gradual weakening of the Kalabhras in this region.

    The Pallava king Simha Vishnu's authority being up to the northern borders of Pandiya Nadu, apparently heard about "Jain Achariya Vajira Nandi" who formed the Nandi Sangam at a centre called "Sri Varthamaanesvara Dharma Theerththam" in Paandiya Nadu. He granted a village named "Srana-achramam" possibly on the borderline of south Chola region to the Nandi Sangam.

    Evidence for above:

    Pallankoil Copper Plates - No 11, Thirty Pallava Copper Plates - Published by The Tamil Varalatru Kalakam, Chennai.

    (1) Vira Koorchchan - who captured the northern region of Thondai Mandalam complete with the royal regalia, and married the Tamil Naga Princess of the Thirayar dynasty of Thondaimandalam of Tamil Nadu.
    (2) Skandashishayan {Vijaya Skandavarman} (A.D.----506) - Son of (1)
    (3) Kumara Vishnu {Vijaya Simhavarman} - 2 (A.D.506-516) - Son of (2) who captured the southern region of Thondai Mandalam from the Thiraiyar king with the capital city the Kanchipuram. From the period of the king Kumara Vishnu the captured Kanchipuram became the 'permanent capital city of Pallavas' for many years.
    (4) Buddhavarman (A.D.516-520) - Son of (3) - who became a continuos threat from north to the Cholas.
    (5) Vishnugopa - 2 {Kumara Vishnu} (A.D.520-530)
    (6) Nanthivarman - 1 (A.D.530-537) - who stamped the revolts of the Thiraiyar king under captive.
    (7) Simhavarman - (A.D.537-550)
    (8) Simha Vishnu - {Avani Simhan} (A.D.550-580) - Son of (7) - who captured the Chola country and brought it under the control of the Pallava dynasty.

    Evidence for above:

    The names of the Pallava kings and their sequence are as per
    Velurppalayam Copper Plates - No 11 & Sendalur Copper Plates - No 20
    Thirty Pallava Copper Plates - Published by The Tamil Varalatru Kalakam, Chennai.


    (9) Mahendravarman - 1 (A.D.580-629) - Son of (8)
    (10) Narasimhavarman - I {Maamallan} (A.D.629–668) - Son of (9) - During his period the Pallava Seaport city was named as Maamallapuram (present Mahabalipuram).
    (11) Mahendravarman - 2 (A.D.668-670) - Son of (10)
    (12) Paramesvaravarman - I (A.D.670-690) - Son of (11)
    (13) Narasimhavarman II {Rajasimhan} - Kalarsigha Naayanaar(A.D.690-705) - Son of (11) - He Built the famous Kailasanathar temple at Kanchipuram.
    (14) Paramesvaravarman II (A.D.705-710) - Son of (12)

    Evidence for above:

    The names of the Pallava kings and their sequence are as per
    Kuram Copper Plates - No 2, Thirty Pallava Copper Plates - Published by The Tamil Varalatru Kalakam, Chennai.

    (8A) Name not known - Brother of Simha Vishnu (8)
    (9A) Name not known - Son of the Brother of Simha Vishnu (8) - Name not known and never ruled any part of Pallava kingdom.
    (10A) Bhimavarman - Grand Son of the Brother of Simha Vishnu (8) - Never ruled any part of Pallava kingdom.
    (11A) Buddhavarman
    (12A) Athithiyavarman
    (13A) Govindavarman
    (14A) Hiraniyavarman
    (15) Nanthivarman - II {Pallavamallan} (A.D.710-775) - Son of (14A)
    (16) Thantivarman - (A.D.775-800) - Son of (15)
    (17) Nanthivarman - III (A.D.800-816) - Son of (16) - who was referred to as "Thamil Nanthi", Thamilaakaran Nanthi", and "Painth Thamilai aaikintra Ko Nanthi"
    (18) Nirupathungavarman - (A.D.816-840) - Son of (17)
    (19) Kampavarman - (A.D.816-848) - Step brother of (18) Met his death in the war with Vijayalaya Chola, waged with the assistance of Muththaraiyar king Saathan Paliyili, in which Thanjavur fell into hands of the Cholas.(Thiruinthalur Chepedukal)
    (20) Aparajithavarman - (A.D.848-866) - Son of (19)

    Evidence for above:

    The names of the Pallava kings and their sequence are as per
    Kasaakkudi Copper Plates - No 7 and Bahur Copper Plates No: 12, Thirty Pallava Copper Plates - Published by The Tamil Varalatru Kalakam, Chennai.


    Note: The foregoing will be reviewed frequently corrected where necessary, and added with additional informations with eviidence as and when they surface.


    Last edited by virarajendra; 24th March 2013 at 08:32 AM.

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  3. #2
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    What is the language used by the Pallava Kings, Pali or Prakrit or Tamil?

    What is the relation between Naga in the south and Naga in the north?

    What is the relation between the name "Varman" used as kings family name? Similar names are found in the In-do-China kingdoms like Khmer from Cambodia, Champa from Vietnam etc?

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    Anbulla Samraj,

    The 'early' Pallava kings had Prakrit and Sanskrit as their official languages. To write Sanskrit Texts in Tamil, a new Script was introduced during this period known as "Granthaha (Kiranthaha) Script" with some Sanskrit alphabets included to the normal Tamil alphabets in modified forms. Gradullally over a period the Pallava kings became 'Tamilised' and the Nandivarman - 3 took it to be a pride to call himself as "Thamil Nanthi".

    There are no evidences to show any relations between the Nagas of North and the South. However we note the Chola king Killivalavan married a Naga Princess and gave birth to the Ilanthiraiyan king. This Naga princess was the daughter of the king of Naganadu (Manipallavam of the Tamil Epic "Manimekalai), which is the present Island "Nagadipa" (known as 'Naina Theevu' in Tamil) belonging to Sri Lanka.

    The Pallava kings had active trade relations with the South-East Asian countries. During the period of Rajasimhan (Narasimhavarman - 2) there had been Pallava dynasty connections with the present countries of Thailand and Cambodia (Kampuchia) which will be elaborated in my new Thread to appear in this Mayyam Hub titled, "A brief study on the relations of Pallava Dynasty of Tamil Nadu with South-East Asia.
    Last edited by virarajendra; 10th February 2013 at 08:03 AM.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Devoted Hubber Prabo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by virarajendra View Post

    (8) Simha Vishnu - {Avani Simhan} (A.D.550-570)

    Evidence:

    The names of the Pallava kings and their sequence are as per
    Velurppalayam Copper Plates - No 11 & Sendalur Copper Plates - No 20
    Thirty Pallava Copper Plates - Published by The Tamil Varalatru Kalakam, Chennai.


    (9) Mahendravarman - 1 (A.D.570-630)
    (10) Narasimhavarman I {Mamallan} (A.D.) 630668 - Son of (8)
    (11) Mahendravarman II (A.D.668672) - Son of (9)
    (12) Paramesvaravarman I (A.D.672700) - Son of (10)
    (13) Narasimhavarman II {Rajasimhan} Kalarsigha Naayanaar(A.D.700728) - Son of 11 : Built Kailasanathar temple at Kanchipuram.
    (14) Paramesvaravarman II (A.D.705710) - Son of 12

    [/size][/font]
    I think the successors are pointed wrongly, just the no's need to be edited...
    Hac in hora.....sine mora

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    Anbulla Prabo,

    Thanking you very much for pointing out my "Posting Error", and I have sequenced the names of the latter Pallava Kings in the correct order. The Thread is still under construction.

    Mikka Nantri
    Last edited by virarajendra; 30th January 2013 at 05:39 PM.

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    Senior Member Veteran Hubber MGR Roop's Avatar
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    Sir thanks for giving the informations regarding Pallava dynasty.

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    நன்றி..

    சிவகாமியின் சபதம் வாசித்த யாருக்கும் பல்லவர் பற்றி மேலும் அறிய ஆவல் பிறக்கும்.

    அதைத் தணிக்கும் தகவல்கள் இத்திரியில்..
    நடிகர்திலகத்தின் நிரந்தர ரசிகன்

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