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 ...

Other occupational groups

[Full title: Socio-Religious Life of the Pallava Period: Other occupational groups]

It is observed that all the sculptures of men, women, children and animals depicted in the various temples of this period are adorned with dress and ornamentation. From this, it can be said that the Pallava society did had specialized persons adept in the manufacturing and selling of these items. Thus, it can be supposed that there existed the profession of goldsmith, who made the various ornaments like crown, necklace, armlets, bracelets, anklets, waist-bands, etc. As these ornaments are made of various raw materials like gold, silver, copper, bronze, semi-precious stones, it can be construed that there existed group of persons, who actually quarried the raw-materials from the quarry site and supplied the same to the manufacturers, with or without intermediaries. Apart from the ornaments made of metal and semi-precious stones, some of them were also made of pearls. So there could be specialized people adept in diving and collecting the pearls from the depth of seas. In between the manufacturers and customers, there could be intermediary traders, who sold these items. From the inscriptions, it is learnt that the goldsmiths are known as by the term suvarnnakara[1] and pattarakkulam[2].

Sculptural art also gives fine examples of various utensils used by the people. From this it can be inferred that there could be potters[3] for making earthen pots of various sizes and requirements. Similarly, for the purpose of soldering and molding the weapons from iron, there were blacksmiths (loha-kar=a)[4] as well. There were also carpenters (kashthakarin)[5], sculptors, architects (sthapathi)[6], masons[7], weavers (tantravaya)[8], etc., for which corroborative inscriptional references can be found.

Footnotes and references:


Bahur plates of Nrpatungavarman, South Indian Inscriptions, Vol. II, pp. 513–547.


Sattamangalam inscription of Nandivarman II, Damalica, 1970, pp. 121–127.


Kasakkudi plates of Nandivarman II, South Indian Inscriptions, Vol. II, no. 73


Vilavetti plates, Epigraphia Indica, Vol. XXVI, pp. 296–303


Velurpalayam plates of Nandivarman III, South Indian Inscriptions, vol. II no. 98.




Punceri inscription of Paramesvaravarman I, South Indian Inscriptions, vol. XII, no. 23 (a).


Rayakottai plates of Skandasishya, Epigraphia Indica, vol. V, no. 8.

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