Pallava period (Social and Cultural History)

by S. Krishnamurthy | 2017 | 143,765 words

This study examines the Social and Cultural History of the Pallava period (as gleaned through the Sculptural Art). The Pallavas (6th-9th century A.D.) mainly ruled over the Tondaimandalam (Tondai Nadu) region in the Northern part of Tamil Nadu (South-India). The Pallava dynasty ensured a golden age of architecture, arts, and spirituality and while ...

Previous work done on the history of the Pallava period can be categorized under four groups, namely—

  1. Political and Administration,
  2. Socio-cultural, religious and economic,
  3. Epigraphical,
  4. Architectural and sculptural studies including painting.

Majority of the source material utilized for constructing the first three groups are based on inscriptions. In some cases architectural and sculptural vestiges were also used, especially while dealing with society and culture. The following is a general account of previous work done pertaining to the Pallava period. From a glance furnished infra it can be certainly construed that no work exclusively on the present topic of research has been attempted so far and one can find research work related to this topic only in the form of individual research articles.

Research on the history of the Pallava period, can be said to have began with the monuments at Mamallapuram. As a port it attracted the notice of several voyagers and they made passing reference in their travelogue. However it cannot be called as a serious historical research work as several of their observations do not meet the historical standards. The earliest such reference was made by an Italian traveler Gasparo Balbi[1], whose ship passed through Mamallapuram on 30th May 1582, and calls it by the name Seven Pagodas. This shows that even by the end of 16th century A. D. Mamallapuram was popularly identified by the name Seven Pagodas by the mariners. The earliest serious study on the monuments at Mamallapuram can be credited to William Chambers, who visited the place between 1772 A.D. and 1776 A.D. He in his paper[2] gives a graphic description of some of the monuments like two of the five rathas, the monolithic elephant and lion, Ganesa ratha, Mahishasuramardhini mandapa, panels of Bhagiratha’s penance and Govardhanadhari, the Shore temple and some structures atop the hill including the so called ‘Lion throne’ and ‘Draupadi’s bath’. He has identified the Bhagiratha’s penance panel as depicting some story from Mahabharata as per the local legend. He also noticed some inscriptions, identified by him as resembling the Siamese characters and gives in detail the local legend as told by the brahmanas regarding the origin of the place. Similar description of the monuments at Mamallapuram along with eye-copy of eighteen (however undeciphered) inscriptions was attempted by John Goldingham in his paper published in 1798[3]. Kavali Lakshmayya, the assistant of Colonel Colin Mackenzie, is probably the first Indian scholar, who made an attempt to describe the various monuments at Mamallapuram. He identified the large bas-relief panel as Arjuna’s penance and the panel on the rear wall of the garbhagriha in the Shore temple as representing Parvati, Paramesvara and the child Subrahmanyasvami[4]. Thus, for the first time, he succeeded to give almost a correct identification to some of the sculptural depictions at Mamallapuram. This is made possible due to his knowledge of Indian puranas and ethos. Description about the Yali mandapa at Saluvankuppam can be found for the first time in the two books titled Journal of a Residence in India and Letters on India, written by Mrs. Maria Graham published in 1813 and 1814 respectively. Horace Hayman Wilson in 1828 published in Calcutta two volumes of his catalogue on the Mackenzie manuscripts[5]. Of these, the appendix to the second volume contains a number of reports on Mamallapuram, made by the assistants of Colonel Colin Mackenzie. One such report mentions about the discovery of the Atiranachanda mandapa, made possible by the removal of the sand that has covered it for ages, in the year 1816 by Col. Murray and Col. Mackenzie. It also includes for the first time thirty-seven drawings of the architecture and sculpture of that place. In 1828 Benjamin Guy Babington read a paper titled “An account of the Sculptures and Inscriptions at Mahamalaipur”, in the Royal Asiatic Society in London and the same was published in 1830 in the Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society[6]. In this paper he succeeded in deciphering and studying the inscriptions at Mamallapuram by making systematic alphabetical charts. He also discussed about the various principal sculptures by means of eighteen excellent line drawings.

The credit for making a detailed study of the monuments of Mamallapuram for the first time goes to James Fergusson, who in his work “The Cave Temples of India”, published from London in 1880, identifies the monuments at Mamallapuram as belonging to a period from 650 A.D. to 700 A.D[7]. His first paper on the subject appeared in 1843 in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. In 1844 the first guide book on Mamallapuram was published by Lieut. John Braddock with the assistance of Rev. William Taylor, Sir Walter Elliot and Rev. G. W. Mahon[8]. In this for the first time Mukunda Nayanar temple was noticed. Whereas Taylor surmises a date to the creations at Mamallapuram between twelfth and sixteeth centuries[9], Elliot opines that these excavations could be of a date later to 6th century A.D[10]. For the first time Arnold Heeren in his book[11] suggests that Mamallapuram might be the port of Maliarpha mentioned by Ptolmey. Similar view was also made by Charles Gubbins in 1853[12]. In 1869 Captain M. W. Carr edited a book by compiling important papers on Mamallapuram[13]. He also included in the appendix, the sthalapurana of the place extracted from Brahmananda-puranam and extracts from Mahabharata and Markandeya-puranam as the basis of the sculptures of Arjuna’s penance and Mahishasuramardhini panel respectively. In the end he gives a bibliographical list of forty-one works related to the Seven Pagodas, which shows the great interest that Mamallapuram had received among the scholarly world even by 1869.

About the same time in the middle of the nineteenth century, Dr. Burnell[14] has given an authentic evidence for the identification of the authorship for the monuments at Mamallapuram as those of the Pallavas by deciphering successfully some of the inscriptions engraved on them. In the second half of the nineteenth century, many new copper-plate and stone inscriptions as well as many architectural and sculptural works of the Pallavas were published. Initial credit for editing and publishing those inscriptions goes to Sir John Faithful Fleet. For the first time he had attempted to give a comprehensive account of the history of the Pallavas in the “Dynasties of Kanarese District” which formed part of the Bombay District Gazetteers. It was based on all the available inscriptional data. In 1882 R. B. Branfill attempted to date some of the epigraphs at Mamallapuram and he is one of the few writers to describe in detail the Olakkanesvara temple[15]. Later many eminent scholars like Buhler, Hultzsch, Venkayya, Keilhorn, Lewis Rice, H. Krishna Sastri, T. A. Gopinatha Rao and C. R. Krishnamacharlu, have critically edited and published the inscriptions in the volumes of Indian Antiquary, South Indian Inscriptions and Epigraphia Indica between the last decades of nineteenth and the first half of twentieth century.

Rai Bahadur V. Venkayya, the Government Epigraphist, has systematically worked on the question of Origin and History of the Pallavas, which was published in the Archaeological Survey of India -Annual Report for the year 1906 –07. In this work, Venkayya tried to solve the question of origin of the Pallavas and tries to trace them with the Pahlavas, who were the rulers of the North-western part of India and gives them an Iranian nativity.

In 1909, Alexander Rea as the Superintendent of the Archaeological Survey Department, Souther Circle, published his report on the Pallava architecture of Kanchipuram, wherein he discussed in length about the history, art and architecture of the Kailasanatha, Vaikunthaperumal, Matangesvara, Muktesvara, Tripurantakesvara, Airavatesvara temples at Kanchipuram and a Perumal temple (Adikesavaperumal) at Kuram[16]. He gave much needed detailed information about these temples with ground plan and sketches.

J. W. Coombes published a book in 1914 titled The Seven Pagodas, in which he suggests that Mamallapuram was an important port, which involved in trade with the Roman empire on the basis of the discovery of coins of Rome, China and other distant lands. In the same year Victor Goloubew published a paper in French, in which, he for the first time argues that the large bas relief depicts the descent of the Gangas[17].

About the same time in 1914, J. Ph. Vogel published his paper titled Iconographical notes on the Seven Pagodas in the Archaeological Survey of India -Annual Report and subsequently he in 1931 published his research on the Head offerings to the Goddess in Pallava Sculptures in the Bulletin of the School of Oriental Studies. Thus through this article for the first time an attempt was made to understand the social significane and the contemporary religious belief behind the depiction of such a sculpture in Pallava period. His study has revealed the existence of the practise of decapitating the human head as a form of self-sacrifice to the goddess Durga, who symbolizes victory and valour.

Prof. G. Jouveau Dubreuil has made an encyclopaedic effort to discuss and solve many questions on the origin, chronology, genealogy, art and architecture of the Pallavas and published his research findings in four books in French, which were subsequently translated into English by V.S. Swaminadha Dikshitar entitled Pallava Antiquities, Vol. I (1916) and Vol. II (1918), The Pallavas (1917) and Ancient History of the Deccan (1920). He reported the discovery of many new inscriptions, monuments and gave new interpretations and ideas in these works. One example on this score is his theory regarding the Roman origin of the Pallava art[18]. However in the second volume of Pallava Antiquities, he suggests that the seated lion motif was invented at Mahabalipuram at about 640 A.D.

Mention should be made of Pandit T. Ganapati Sastri, Curator of the Department of Publication of Sanskrit Manuscripts, Trivandrum, who discovered a manuscript titled Mattavilasaprahasana in 1903 and published it in the year 1917[19]. The play was identified in the same year by T. A. Gopinatha Rao and Jouveau Dubreuil as the one composed by the king Mahendravarman I, refered to in his inscription at Mamandur[20]. In 1924, a German translation of the play entitling Die Streiche des Berauschten was published in Leipzig by J.Hertel. Six years later an English translation was published by L.D. Burnett in the Bulletin of the School of Oriental Studies[21]. In 1974 N. P. Unni, published the first edited and translated work of the play[22]. The study of this play provides clear insights into the social and religious life of the age. A similar play attributed to Mahendravarman I, was known as Bhagavaddajjukam. A printed edition of the play was first published in the year 1924 by Dr. A. P. Banerji Sastri[23]. Subsequently, in 1924 and 1925 respectively a Telugu translation of the play and its Prakrit text along with Sanskrit translation[24] were published by Veturi Prabhakara Sastri. About the same time a Sanskrit translation of the same, along with its commentary was published by P. Anujan Achan[25].

In 1923 Dr. S. Krishnaswamy Aiyangar has added further to the research on the Origin and Early History of the Pallavas, which was presented in the Indian History Congress held at Allahabad and published in the Journal of Indian History, wherein he argues for their indigenous origin. R. Saraswati has made a valuable research by collecting information about the various literary works of the Pallava period and published a paper titled The Literary History of the Pallava Age¸ in the Journal of the Mythic Society. Late in 1920’s P. T. Srinivasa Iyengar has published a book in Tamil dealing with the history of the Pallavas. Final credit for attempting a comprehensive study on the history of the Pallavas, using all the available inscriptional and monumental data in the first quarter of twentieth century goes to Dr. R. Gopalan, who worked on the History of the Pallavas of Kanchi, as a Research Scholar between 1920 -24, in the Department of Indian History and Archaeology, University of Madras under the stalwart guidance of Prof. S. Krishnasvami Aiyangar. In 1928, the University of Madras has published the work of Dr. R. Gopalan with a befitting introduction by his mentor. To this day this work stands as a unique and authentic account of the history of the Pallavas, even though later on in the succeeding years many new inscriptions throwing more light on the Pallava history was discovered.

A. H. Longhurst, Superintendent, Archaeological Survey, Southern circle has published his voluminous work on Pallava architecture in three volumes in 1924, 1928 and 1930, which were later reproduced by the Archaeological Survey of India as Memoirs[26]. It is of interest to know that in 1924, F. G. Peace on observing the many rock-cut cave temples and rathas in incomplete state, suggests in his article that a school of art might have functioned in Mamallapuram where the master sculptors would have given training to their students[27]. In 1926 H. Krishna Sastri, identified the two royal portrait panels in the Adivaraha cave temple as those of Mahendravarman I and his son Narasimhavarman I[28] and discusses about the inscriptions engraved in the cave temple, including the one listing out the ten incarnations of Vishnu. Regarding the identification of these portrait panels, there is no unambiguous opinion. A. G. Aravamudhan in his two books South Indian Portraits in Stone and Metal and in Portrait Sculpture in South India, published in 1930[29] and 1931[30], identifies the two portraits as that of Simhavishnu and his son Mahendravarman I. The same view was shared by Rev. H. Heras, who has worked out on Pallava genealogy and published his collection of research papers in Studies in Pallava History, published in 1933. He further observes in his work that the Adivaraha cave temple, the Dharmaraja-mandapa and the Kotikal-mandapa are the creations of Mahendravarman I[31].

Early in 1934 Dr. B. Ch. Chhabra was awarded the degree of Ph. D. by the State University of Leyden, Holland for his thesis Expansion of Indo-Aryan Culture During Pallava Rule as Evidenced by Inscriptions. Later in 1935 it appeared as a comprehensive article[32] and it was finally published as a book with the same title in the year 1965[33]. The author for the first time examines in this work the extent of influence the Pallavas had on the cultural spheres of the South-East Asian countries.

C. Hayavadana Rao in his book entitled The Dasara in Mysore (Bangalore, 1936), gave a vivid account of the Mahishasuramadhini panel in the cave temple at Mamallapuram and draws parallels with the story narrated in the Vamana Purana.

Dr. C. Minakshi was awarded doctorate degree in March 1936 by the University of Madras for her Ph.D. thesis entitled Administration and Social life under the Pallavas and the same was published by the university in 1938. Later in 1941, the Archaeological Survey of India has published a monograph of her, entitled The Historical Sculptures of the Vaikunthaperumal temple, Kanchi, which was part of her research work. These two works of her stand unparallel even now in the field of historical studies of Pallava period. The former work was based on the then available inscriptions, literature, architecture and sculptural data and the latter work is the finest attempt to identify and interpret the historical panels of the Vaikunthaperumal temple at Kanchipuram, with the help of the known history through inscriptional data. Also of interest are her work exclusively discussing about the religious policy of Nandivarman II Pallavamalla and the status of education in the Pallava period. She also published a number of research papers like The Khatvanga of the Pallavas[34], Buddhism in South India[35], etc. and also contributed for the better understanding of architecture and iconography of the Kailasanatha temple at Kanchipuram[36].

In 1951 T. N. Ramachandran through his monograph The Kiratarjuniyam or Arjuna’s Penance in Indian Art discusses about the depiction of the theme in the art across India and argues that the large bas-relief panel at Mamallapuram is to be identified with the Arjuna’s Penance and the theme is ought to have taken from Bharavi’s Kiratarjuniyam[37].

In 1957 O. C. Ganguly published his work The Art of the Pallavas, in which he traces the origin of the Pallava Art to the Undavalli group of rock-cut architecture in the Krishna river valley of Andhra Pradesh, patronized by the Vishnukundins. He also examines the possible familial relationship between the Vishnukundins and the Pallavas on the one hand and between the Salankayanas and the Pallavas on the other. In the same year, two more Pallava temples of the Rajasimha style (690 -800 A.D.) viz., the Piravatanesvara and the Iravatanesvara at Kanchipuram has been recognized by V. M. Narasimhan. The architectural and sculptural features of these two temples were described by him in the article entitled Two Pallava temples in Rajasimha style[38]. In the year 1960 his another article on Some Pallava icons60, introduces to the scholarly world some more bronze icons of the Pallava period from places like Perunthotam, Srirangam and Edayarpakkam as well as few sculptures of stone from Tirunagari, Srivilliputtur and Perangur.

The contributions of Dr. K. R. Srinivasan to the cultural history of the Pallava period is unmeasurable, who in the position of Superintending Archaeologist of the Temple Survey Project (Southern Zone) in the Archaeological Survey of India had made a systematic survey of the various rock-cut and structural temples of the Pallava period. The outcome of this survey can be seen in his paper The Pallava Architecture of South India, published in 1958[39] and in his book Cave Temples of the Pallavas published in 1964. In 1972 he published a comprehensive book entitled Temples of South India, in which, he discussed in detail the origin of temple and its development in the Pallava period[40]. Subsequently in 1975, he published a monograph The Dharmaraja Ratha and its Sculptures–Mahabalipuram, which deals exclusively with the architecture, sculpture, iconography and inscriptions of the Dharmaraja-ratha. Later, he also published his papers discussing about various features of the structural temples of the Pallavas[41].

In 1962, Dr. R. Nagaswamy has put forward in his paper the view that all the monuments at Mamallapuram are the creations executed during the reign of Narasimhavarman II Rajasimha on the basis of his interpretion of the inscriptions. He also opines that the portrait sculptures in the Adivaraha cave temple, are those of Rajasimha and his son Mahendravarman III. He even attributes the Vaikunthaperumal temple at Kanchipuram to Rajasimha[42].

Dr. K.V. Soundara Rajan in his paper, Rajasimha’s Temples in Tondaimandalam, published in the Transactions of the Archaeological Society of South India for the years 1962-65 observes the kind of influence the monuments at Badami and Mahakutesvar had on the architectural creations at Mamallapuram. Later he also wrote an extensive paper on the manifestation of various cults in the Pallava period as can be noticed in the form of sculptures and the degree of agamic influence it had[43].

In 1966 William Willets published a book[44] containing bibliographical list of 154 entries including drawings and magazine articles, on Mamallapuram starting from the year 1582 to 1962. Thus, the book reveals about the keen interest the site has received for nearly 370 years.

In 1967 T. N. Subrahmanyam in his book The Pallavas of Kanchi in South-East Asia refutes Mamallapuram as a port and identifies Sadras, which is situated ten miles from Mamallapuram as Sopatma of the Periplus of the Erythrean Sea.

In 1969 Dr. T. V. Mahalingam published a book Kancheepuram in Early South Indian History. In this book he gives a detailed history of Kanchipuram during Pallava period and opines that Mamallapuram could have been a port even before the time of Narasimhavarman I Mamalla. On the basis of Vaishnavite literature he comes to the conclusion that Mahabalipuram was earlier known with different names such as Mallai, Mallapurai and Kadalmalai. He says that even in the hymns of Bhutalvar of the 2nd -3rd century A.D., Mahabalipuram was known as Mallai and hence it could not have been founded by Mamalla[45]. Subsequently in 1988 he had prepared a corpus of Pallava inscription in his voluminous book and published it with the title Inscriptions of the Pallavas. It continues to be a latest reference book for further researches on various aspects of Pallava period. Especially the introduction part of his book dealing with the origin, genealogy and political history of the Pallavas; and topics like -value of Pallava inscriptions for the study of their administrative and cultural history and hero-stones of the Pallava period from Chengam taluk, were works par excellence.

In 1970 N. S. Ramaswami in his book Seven Pagodas discusses the art and history of Mamallapuram. Later in 1975 he published his second book entitled Mamallapuram, in which, he gives the history of the place from the earliest times and goes on to support the view that Rajasimha was the architect of the creations at Mamallapuram. In 1980 he published a book[46] containing an annotated bibliography of Mamallapuram starting from circa 1st century A.D. to 1980. In the end he gives a list of drawings and maps arranged year wise from 1375 to 1874.

The question of origin of Pallava art continues to be debatable. M. S. Mate in his paper Origin of Pallava Art: The Undavalli Caves[47] tries to argue his view that the Undavalli caves formed an inspiring source for the Pallava king Mahendravarman I to experiment with this new technique of scooping a cave temple from a live rock.

Mention must be made of the valuable contribution made by Gift Siromoney, Michael Lockwood and P. Dayanandan, who presented many research articles on the cultural aspects of the Pallava sculptures in Mamallapuram and Kanchipuram. Special mention is to be made of Gift Siromoney, who penned number of research articles related to cultural aspects of Pallava sculptural art between the years 1965 to 1992. Some of them are Some New Light on Stringed Instruments of the Ancient Tamil Country[48], Mahabalipuram: costumes and jewellery[49], Thondaimandalam: Costumes and Jewellery[50], Depiction of Animals in Mahabalipuram Sculptures[51] and Musical Instruments from Pallava Sculpture[52]. Apart from this, he also contributed articles on subjects related to iconometry and iconography, like An Iconometric study of Pallava sculptures[53] and Iconometric analysis of the sculptures of the Dharmaraja Ratha[54]. Simultaneously Saw. Ganesan has also contributed much in the study of art and culture of Pallava sculptures through his valuable research articles.

In 1979, Dr. C. R. Srinivasan, published his Ph.D. thesis entitled Kancheepuram through the ages, which is a major work dealing with the various historical stages through which the capital city of the Pallavas had passed, right from its origin to the Vijayanagara times. In December 1980, Stephen Markel submitted his research work titled An Iconographical Assesment of the Great Relief at Mamallapuram to the University of Michigan. Two year later in 1982, S. Govindaraju was awarded doctorate degree for his thesis Computer Analysis of Measurements of the Pallava Sculptures of South India by the University of Madras. In 1987 Michael D. Rabe was awarded doctoral degree for his work titled The Monolithic Temples of the Pallava Dynasty: A Chronology, by the University of Minnesota. His work arrives at a new chronology based on close examination of the different styles that appear in the execution of the sculptures. He also published his research findings in his papers like The Great Relief at Mahabalipuram: Arjuna’s Penance After All[55], The Mamallapuram Prasasti: A Panegyric in Figures[56], etc. Six year later D. R. Rajeswari published her research work entitled The Pallava Sculpture, in which she dealt with stylistic variation, aesthetic and thematic features of the sculptures created in this period.

Dr. D. Dayalan of the Archaeological Survey of India identified another cave temple, locally called as the Gugai Varadarajaperumal kovil at Avur (Tiruvannamalai District) as belonging to the Pallava period, datable to the 8th century A.D79.

Many research articles on the subject of Pallava art continue to be published by various scholars like Iravatham Mahadevan80, Susan L. Huntington81, Padma Kaimal82, Sharada Srinivasan83, Vidya Dehejia84, Valerie Gillet85, etc. Many new inscriptions of this period are still being discovered and edited by epigraphists in the Annual Report on Indian Epigraphy, published by the Archaeological Survey of India. The new discoveries on this core by scholars of Tamilnadu State Department of Archaeology, universities and other research institutions that may help in giving new insights and interpretations into the history and culture of this period are also published regularly. However, there is not even a single comprehensive study related to the topic of research.

By reviewing the earlier work as given supra, it is quite evident that there is not even a single work on the social and material history of the Pallavas, based on the data retrieved from the sculptures, which is a primary source. Most of these studies are based on literature and inscriptions, which are bound to have exaggerations. Hence, it is desideratum to undertake a study on the sculptures to stich the social and cultural history of the Pallavas. The findings of the above mentioned early studies could be used for corroborative study for arriving at a logical conclusion.


As the primary source materials used in the present study are, are the data derived from the sculptures of the Pallava monuments, the methodology involves, first reviewing of the literatures related to the topic of the research. This was followed by in situ and intensive study of selective sixty-five temples having potential sculptures related to the topic of research. During field visits to all the sixty-five temples listed above, an exhaustive were made for an exhaustive and pragmatic study of sculptures was attempted. All the sculptures were minutely studied and relevant data were collected. Besides, a detailed photographic documentation and drawings were undertaken. The data thus collected, were synthesized and compartmentalized according to the chapters. Then they were analytically studied on various aspects such as social, religious and material culture, towards arriving logical conclusions. Wherever necessary the inscriptional data and conclusions of the previous studies of the scholars mentioned above were used for corroborative study.

Footnotes and references:


N.S. Ramaswamin, in his book Mamallapuram –An Annotated Bibliography, Madras 1980, gives the date 1582 A.D. as the first year in which Mamallapuram was noticed and reported in the modern period.


William Chambers, “Some account of the Sculptures and Ruins at Mavalipuram, a place a few miles north of Sadras, and known to seamen by the name of the seven Pagodas”, in Asiatick Researches, Vol. I., 1788, Calcutta, Reprinted in M. W. Carr, ed. Descriptive and Historical Papers relating to The Seven Pagodas on the Coromandel Coast, Madras 1869, pp. 1-29.


John Goldinham, “Some Account of the Sculptures at Mahabalipuram, usually called the Seven Pagodas”, in Asiatic Researches, Vol. V, 1798, Reprinted in M. W. Carr, ed. op.cit, pp. 30 -43.


Description of the Pagodas, etc at Mavalivaram written in the Telugu Language by Kavali Lakshmayya in 1803 A.D., with a translation, Reprinted in M. W. Carr, ed. op.cit, pp. 186 -219.


The catalogue appeared under the title, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Oriental Manuscripts and other Articles illustrative of the Literature, Statistics and Antiquities of the South of India; collected by the late Lieut. Col. Col Mackenzie, Surveyor General of India.


Benjamin Guy Babington, “An account of the Sculptures and Inscriptions at Mahamalaipur; illustrated by Plates”, in Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. II, 1830, Reprinted in M. W. Carr, ed. op.cit, pp. 44 -62.


James Fergusson, The Cave Temples of India, London 1980, p. 110.


John Braddock, “A Guide to the Sculptures, Excavations and other remarkable objects at Mamallaipur, generally known to Europeans as the Seven Pagodas”, in The Madras Journal of Literature and Science, Vol. VIII, 1844, Reprinted in M. W. Carr, ed. op.cit, pp. 63-131.


M. W. Carr (ed.), op.cit., p. 114.


Ibid., p. 127.


Arnold Heeren, Historical Researches into the Politics, Intercourse and Trade of the Principal Nations of Antiquity (English translation), London, 1846.


Charles Gubbins, “Notes on the Ruins at Mahabalipuram on the Coromandel Coast”, in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. XXII, 1853, Reprinted in M. W. Carr, ed. op.cit, p. 163.


M. W. Carr (ed.), op.cit.


Arthur Burnell, Elements of South Indian Palaeography –From the fourth to the seventeenth century A.D., London, 1874, pp. 29–30.


R. B. Branfill, “Descriptive remarks on the Seven Pagodas”, in Madras Journal of Literature and Science, Vol. XXVI, 1882, pp. 82–232.


Alexander Rea, Pallava Architecture, Madras 1909, pp. 18–49.


La Falaise d’ Arjuna de Mavalipuram et la Descent de la Ganga selon le Ramayana et le Mahabharata, in Journal Asiatique, Paris, 1914. This paper was translated into English by Prof. K. A. Nilakantha Sastri, “Arjuna’s Penance of Bhagirathas”, in Journal of Oriental Research, Vol. VI, Madras,1932, pp. 8–10.


Jouveau Dubreuil, The Pallavas, Pondicherry, 1917, pp. 1–12.


T. Ganapati Sastri, The Mattavilasaprahasana of Sri Mahendravikramavarman, Trivandrum 1917.


Madras Chrisitian College Magazine, vol. XXXIV, no. 8, p. 408.


L. D. Burnett, 1930, “Matta-vilasa: a Farce”, in Bulletin of the School of Oriental Studies, Vol. V, part IV, pp. 697– 717.


N.P. Unni, The Mattavilasaprahasana of Mahendravikramavarman, Trivandrum, 1973.


A.P. Bannerjea Sastri, 1924, “Bhagavadajjukam”, in Journal of Bihar and Orissa Research Society, Vol. X, part I and II, pp. 88–90 and i–xxiii.


In January 1987, his son Prof. Veturi Anandamurty published a second edition of the same through Veturi Prabhakara Sastri Memorial Trust, Hyderabad which he established in 1982.


P. Anujan Achan, Bhagavaddajjukam, Trichur, 1925.


A. H. Longhurst, Pallava Architecture, Part. I (Early period), Part II (Intermediate or Mamalla period) and Part III (The Later or Rajasimha period), published as Memoirs of the A.S.I., nos. 17, 33 and 40.


F. G. Peace, “Silience”, in The Modern Review, Calcutta, January, 1924.


H. Krishna Sastri, Two Statues of Pallava Kings and Five Pallava Inscriptions in a Rock-temple at Mahabalipuram, Calcutta, 1926, p. 4.


A. G. Aravamudhan, South Indian Portraits in Stone and Metal, London, 1930, pp. 10 –14.


Ibid., Portrait Sculpture in South India, London, 1931, pp. 23–24.


Rev. H. Heras, Studies in Pallava History, Madras, 1933, pp. 71–78.


B. Ch. Chhabra, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, Letters, (New Series), vol. I, pp. 1–64.


Ibid., Expansion of Indo-Aryan Culture During Pallava Rule as Evidenced by Inscriptions, New Delhi, 1965


Indian Historical Quarterly, Vol. 13, pp. 717–719.


R. Nagasamy (ed.), South Indian Studies –II, Madras, 1979, pp.83–131.


C. Minakshi, “The Kailasanatha Temple, Kanchi”, in R. Nagaswamy (ed.), South Indian Studies –III, Madras, 1983, pp. 51–105.


Journal of Indian Society of Oriental Art, vol. XVIII, 1950–51, pp. 58–89.


Lalit Kala Vol. 3-4, pp. 63 -66.


Ancient India, No. 14, pp. 114 -138.


K. R. Srinivasan, Temples of South India, New Delhi, 4th edition 1998, Reprint 2010, pp. 1–21, 30–45, 73–93 and 100–08.


Ibid., Temples of the Later Pallavas, in Pramod Chandra (ed.), Studies in Indian Temple Architecture, New Delhi, 1975, pp. 197 -239. Also, Pallavas of Kanchi: Phase I and Phase II, in Michael W. Meister (ed.) Encyclopedia of Indian Temple Architecture, Vol. I, part I, New Delhi, 1983, pp. 23 -79 and 87 -106.


R. Nagaswamy, “New light on Mamallapuram”, in Transactions of the Archaeological Society of South India, 1960 -62, pp. 1–50.


K. V. Soundara Rajan, “Cult in the Pallava temples”, in Glimpses of Indian CultureArchitecture, Art and Religion, Delhi, 1981, pp. 146–160.


William Willets, An Illustrated Annotated Annual Bibliography of Mahabalipuram on the Coramandel Coast of India, 1582-1962, Kuala Lumpur, 1966.


T. V. Mahalingam, Kancheepuram in Early South Indian History, Madras, 1969, p. 90.


N. S. Ramaswami, Mamallapuram –An Annotated Bibliography, Madras 1980.


East and West, New Series, Vol. 20, Nos. 1–2 (March–June, 1970), pp. 108–116.


Madras Christian College Magazine Mys. Arch., Vol. 34, No. 2, (March 1965), pp.70 -75


Ibid., Vol. 39, (April 1970), pp. 76 -83.


Michael Lockwood, Gift Siromoney and P. Dayanandan (ed.), Mahabalipuram Studies, Madras, 1974, pp. 87–105.


Paper read in Fifth Annual Conference of The Ethological Society of India, Madras, Dec. 3, 1975.


Kalakshetra Quarterly, Vol. II, No.4, pp. 11 -20.


Ibid., Vol. III, No. 2, pp. 7 -15.


K. V. Raman (ed.), Srinidhih: Perspectives in Indian Archaeology, Art and Culture, Madras, 1983, pp. 137–150.


Paper read at the College Art Association Convention, Washington D.C., Feb. 1, 1979.


Artibus Asiae, Vol. 57, No. 3/4 (1997), pp. 189–241.

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