Early Chola Temples

by S. R. Balasubrahmanyam | 1960 | 105,501 words

This volume of Chola Temples covers Parantaka I to Rajaraja I in the timeframe A.D. 907-985. The Cholas of Southern India left a remarkable stamp in the history of Indian architecture and sculpture. Besides that, the Chola dynasty was a successful ruling dynasty even conquering overseas regions....

Kodumbalur, now in the Tiruchy district lies 220 miles (350 kms.) from Madras on the Trunk Road to Nagarkoyil, and about 23 miles (37 kms.) south-west of Tiruchy town. It is a city of ancient renown, lying on the high road connecting Uraiyur, the ancient Chola capital with Madurai, the Pandya capital. It was the home of a family of local chiefs called the Irukkuvels. It was once a city of temples like Kanchi and Kumba-konam. Tradition mentions the existence here at one time of 108 temples; but now only two important temples have survived - the Muchukundesvaram and the Muvarkoyil.

Muvarkoyil

The Muvarkoyil as the name implies is a temple with triple shrines. Of the three shrines, the northern shrine has gone completely out of existence except the plinth. The central and the southern shrines were in a state of collapse; but they were carefully and scientifically renovated and restored without violence to their own original features by the then curator of the Pudukkottai Museum the late K. Yenkataranga Raju.

There is a Kannada inscription engraved on three stones built into the bund of the holy tank in front of the Muchukundesvaram temple and in this inscription, there is a reference to a temple by name Vikrama Kesa-risvaram (p. 1039, A Manual of the Pudukkottai State, Vol.II,pt. II). It is surely a reference to the Muvarkoyil, at least to the central shrine which perhaps, was named after the founder, Bhuti Vikramakesari.

On the south wall of the central shrine, there is a Sanskrit inscription in Grantha script relating to the building of this temple (129 of 1907 and Pud. List no. 14.). It contains a genealogy covering nine generations of Irukkuvel chiefs ruling over this area together with a record of their achievements. It further says that Vikrama Kesari, the Kalpataru (the wish-giving tree) to the learned and the beloved of the Goddesses of the Earth, Victory, Prosperity, Fame and Speech, raised three vimanas in his name and in the name of his two queens (viz., Karrali and Varaguna) and enshrined Mahesvara in them: this Yadava chief also gave Mallikarjuna (the ascetic chief of the kalamukha sect, born of the Atreya gotra, a resident of Madurai, the master of the Veda and the pupil of Vidhya Sri), a big Matha with a gift of eleven villages for the maintenance of fifty ascetics and for various offerings to the deities of this temple.

Venkayya held that the script of this inscription should be ascribed to the 10th century a.d. Further because of the mention of Vira Pandya as Vikrama-kesari’s adversary, he suggested that the Pandyan ruler should be the same person who fought in his youth against Aditya II Karikala, the son of Sundara Chola; and he concluded that Vikramakesari should be assigned to the period of these Chola kings, Sundara Chola and Aditya II.

The following are the main considerations for assigning Bhuti Vikrama Kesari to the middle of the tenth century A.D.:—

1 The paleography of the Muvarkoyil inscription favours it. It cannot be assigned to the 7th or 8th or even the 9th century a.d. but only to the 10th. It is a foundation inscription.

2 The enemy of Vikramakesari was Vira Pandya who bore the title of “who took the head of the Chola”. There was no Pandya ruler bearing the name of Vira Pandya either during, or before the latter period of Parantaka I.

3 Another great Chola general of the period—also connected with Kodumbalur —Senapati Par ant aka golan alias Siriya Velan called “the foremost member in the family of the daughter of king Parantaka and the light of the Irungola race” won a great victory over the Pandyas but later lost his life in Ceylon in the 9th year (3 yr.?) of Sundara Chola when the war with the Pandyas was pursued against their allies (the Ceylonese) into Ceylon.

4 Next to Parantaka I, it is Sundara Chola who claims the titles of Parantaka and Madurantaka.

5 Aditya II and Parthivendravarman claim victory over Vira Pandya and these belong to the period subsequent to Parantaka I and before Rajaraja I.

6 The Leyden Grant mentions that theCholas under Parantaka (II) gained a great victory in the battle fought at Chevur and that his son Aditya (II), “while yet a boy played sportingly in battle with Vira Pandya, just as a lion’s cub does with a rutting mad elephant proud of its strength”. That this battle of Sevur (Chevu-ra) was fought against Vira Pandya is also confirmed by the Karandai Tamil Sangam Copper-plates.

7 Bhuti Vikrama Kesari named his sons Parantaka and Adityavarman, perhaps after the names of his Chola overlords, Sundara-Parantaka II and Aditya II.

Hence, Vikrama Kesari could be safely assigned to the days of Sundara Chola and Aditya II, i.e. the latter half of the 10th century.

The publication of the Kilur inscription of the 16th year of Nandivarman III in the Epigraphia Indica (Vol. XXXII, no. 10) necessitates the re-examination of the question of the date of Bhuti Vikramakesari.

The Kilur record is dated the 16th year of Ko-Vijaya Nandivikramapanmar and this inscription is engraved on a rock in the prakara of the Virattanesvara temple at Kilur, a suburb of the modern town of Tirukkoyilur in the South Arcot district. This inscription records a gift of 24 kalanju of gold for burning a perpetual lamp before the Mahadevar of Tiruvirattanam by one Tenna-van Ilan (govel) alias Maravan Pudi. Assuming that the accession of Nandivarman III could be placed about a.d. 835, the date of the record would be a.d. 851. Let us gather all the information about this chief which could be gleaned from inscriptions.

(a) At Tirupparaitturai in the Tiruchy district, there is an inscription of the 27th year of a Ko-Raja-kesarivarman[1] on the walls of the Darukavanesvara temple (see pp. 123 to 125, ECA Pt. I). One of the two donors of this inscription is Tennavan Ilangovelar alias Maravan Pudiyar, who makes a gift of land for offerings to a number of deities of the subshrines of this temple, Ganapati, Subrahmanya, Saptamatrikas, Jyeshtha, Durga and Surya. This inscription should be assigned to Aditya I (a.d. 898).

(b) Another inscription of a Rajakesarivarman from this place (Tirupparaitturai) whose regnal year is lost mentions Nangai Karrali Pirattiyar who is referred to as the Deviyar of Tennavan Ilangovelar alias Maravan Pudiyar.[2]

An attempt is made to equate this lady, Nangai Karrali Pirattiyar of the 9th century (a.d. 898) with Karrali, one of the two queens of Vikramakesari of Kodumbalur who belongs to the latter half of the 10th century. The name Karrali is the only common factor between the names in the two inscriptions. In my opinion this is a wrong identification as there is nothing in common between Karrali, the queen of Tennavan Ilangovelar alias Maravan Pudi and Karrali, the queen of Vikramakesari[3]. The two Karralis are different persons. There is no sufficient common ground or proper evidence for establishing their identity.

(c) At Kodumbalur, in addition to the Muvarkoyil built by Vikramakesari, there is another early Chola temple now called the Muchukundesvara temple, but its original name, according to the inscriptions on this temple, was Tirumudukunram Udaiyar temple. We know that this temple was built by Mahimalaya Irukkuvel in the last days of Parantaka I. Further, a newly discovered inscription on the central portion of the basement of the sanctum mentions that this chief appointed the priests of the Tiruppudisvaram temple to conduct worship in the new temple of Mudukunram Udaiyar.[4] This is clear evidence that the temple of Tiruppudisvaram was a temple earlier than, and different from, the Muchukundesvara temple.

(d) The temple of Tiruppudisvaram is referrred to in two other inscriptions of Kodumbalur. These are found not on the walls of the central shrine, but on pillars of a later mandapa in front of this temple of Muchukundesvara possibly built with the materials collected from the wreckage of another temple which had existed here in the past. One of these pillar inscriptions mentions Rishabha Perumanadigal of Tiruppu-disvaram.[5] It is an inscription of the 5th regnal year of a king whose name is lost. It may be Rajakesarivarman. The only important information this inscription conveys is that the name of the deity of the temple of Tiruppudisvaram is Rishabhadevar. There is another inscription on another pillar in the same mandapa belonging to the 21st year of a Rajakesarivarman who is to be identified with Aditya 1.[6] It mentions a gift of a lamp to the Mahadevar of Tiruppudisvaram.

An inscription[7] of the 17th year of Vira Pandya (a.d. 1270) mentions the sale of land to Tirumudu-kunram Udaiyar. While describing the boundaries of the land so gifted, there is mention of the land belonging to the temple of Tiruppudisvaram. Therefore, it is clear that the temple of Tiruppudisvaram is different from the temple of Tirumudukunram {alias Muchu-kundesvaram). Tiruppudisvaram is neither the Muvar Koyil nor the Muchukundesvara temple.[8]

Two other inscriptions refer to the temple of Tiruppudisvaram. An inscription from Darukavanesvara temple at Tirupparaitturai of the 8th year of a Parakerarivarman[9] who may be Parantakal mentions Tirup-pudisvarattup-Perumanadigal.

Another of the 16th year of Parakesari from Tiruchchendurai[10] refers to the son of Tiruppudisvarattu Devanar (one named after the deity of this temple) of Kodumbalur.

We have to consider another inscription of the second year of Parakesari (Parantaka I) from Tiru-chchendurai. It mentions a gift by Nakkan Vikrama Kesariyar, the deviyar (queen) of Tennavan Ilangovel alias Marvan Pudiyar.[11]

At this stage, we shall introduce an inscription from Tiruchchendurai of the third year of Parakesari who should be identified with Parantaka I. It mentions one Pudi Adichcha Pidariyar, who is described as the daughter of Tennavan Ilangovelar and the queen of Arikulakesari.[12]

Kodumbalur Chief

(1) Karrali

= Tennavan Ilangovelar
alias Maravan Pudi
     (two wives)

= (2) Nakkan Vikramakesari.

Chola King
Parantaka I
         |
         |

             |
             |
             |
             |
 

      (son)
Arikulakesari   =

(daughter)
Pudi Adichcha Pidariyar

(builder of the
Tiruchchendurai temple)

 


The following conclusions are warranted from the above discussion:—

(1) Tennavan Ilangovelar alias Maravan Pudi was a Kodumbalur chief who belonged to the period of Nandivarman III (16th year, Kilur inscription—296 of 1902) and Aditya I (21st year no. 33, of Ins. of Pudukko-ttai State and 27th year—258 of 1903).

(2) A temple called Tiruppudisvaram was built in his days at Kodumbalur either by himself or named after him. This temple, however, is no longer in existence.

(3) He had two wives, viz.,

  1. Karrali (273 of 1903) and
  2. Nakkan Vikramakesariyar (A.R. no. 306 of 1903).

(4) This Karrali was different from another Karrali, the queen of Vikramakesari of Kodumbalur (who belonged to the latter half of the 10th century).

(5) He (i.e. Tennavan Ilangovelar) had a daughter named Pudi Adichcha Pidariyar, the builder of the Tiruchchendurai temple. Nangai Pudi Adichcha Pidariyar bought some land from the Sabha of Isanaman-galam in the 23rd year of a Rajakesarivarman who is to be identified with Aditya I[13], evidently for the construction of the temple at Tiruchchendurai. She made gifts of land for certain services to the temple in the 2nd year of a Parakesarivarman (i.e. Parantaka I).[14] An inscription of the 3rd year of a Parakesarivarman[15] (i.e. Parantaka I) mentions that the temple was constructed by Pudi Adichcha Pidari, daughter of Tennavan Ilangovelar and queen of Arikulakesari who was the son of Solapperumanadigal (Parantaka I).

Weshall now consider two Rajakesari inscriptions, viz.,

(i) One of the 13th year of Rajakesarivarman at Lalgudy (250 of 1931 and SII, XIII, no. 240) and

(ii) One of the 13th year of Rajakesarivarman at Tillaisthanam (287 of 1911, SII, III, no. 113).

The first of these two gives us the information that Nangai Varaguna Perumanar was the sister of Solapperumanadigal (Chola king) and the second that she was the queen of Parantaka Ilangovelar.

The temple of Saptarishisvara at Lalgudy was an ancient temple rebuilt of stone sometime between the 13th and the 27th year of Rajakesarivarman[16] (i.e. Aditya I).

On the north wall of this temple there are four inscriptions, one of a Pandya king whose name is lost (1+4=5th year), one of Maranjadaiyar (9+4= 13th year), one of Pallava Nrpatunga (23rd year) and one of the 13th year of a Rajakesarivarman which are all engraved by the same hand and in the same script. These have to be treated as later copies of earlier records belonging to this temple, reengraved on the walls of the same temple after its reconstruction in stone which should have taken place sometime in or before the 27th year (a.d. 898) of Aditya I. This is evident from an inscription of the 27th year of a Rajakesarivarman, which from its high regnal year and its paleographical features should be considered a genuine original inscription of the days of Aditya I.[17]

This Lalgudy inscription (copy) of the 13th year of Rajakesari (a.d. 871 + 13=884)[18] mentions one Nangai Yaraguna Perumanar and describes her as the uterine sister (Tiru-vudappirandar) of Solapperumanadigal, the Chola king. And the inscription of the 13th year of Rajakesari from Tillaisthanam gives us the further information that she was the queen of Parantaka Ilangovelar. This inscription has pulli marks and can be safely assigned to Aditya I.

It has been suggested that Tennavan Ilangovelar (of A.R. nos. 258 and 273 of 1903—Tirupparaiturai) is only “another name for Parantaka Ilangovelar”[19] and that he is to be identified with the Kodumbalur chief Bhuti Vikramakesari, and that this Nangai Varaguna Perumanar mentioned in the Tillaisthanam record is identical with Varaguna, the queen of Bhuti Vikramakesari of Kodumbalur.

This identification is a mere guess and is not supported by any evidence, and the whole structure of this identification rests on insecure foundations.

After mentioning the above inscriptions of Tillaisthanam, Lalgudy and Tirupparaitturai (273 of 1903) K.A.N. Sastri states, “The presumption arises that Varaguna, the sister of the Chola king Rajakesari and wife of Parantaka Ilangovelar, and Karrali the wife of Tennavan Ilangovelar mentioned in these inscriptions may be identical with the two queens of Vikramakesari mentioned in the Kodumbalur inscription. The three Rajakesari inscriptions cited above doubtless belong to about the same period as that of Aditya II to which Venkayya assigned the Kodumbalur inscriptions of Vikramakesari. If what has been urged so far is correct, Vikramakesari must have had also the surnames Parantaka Ilangovelar, Tennavan Ilangovelar, and Maravan Pudiyar. Pudi recalls the name Bhuti which occurs in our Grantha inscription.”

It has been stated already that the Lalgudy inscription of the 13th year of Rajakesari (250 of 1931) is a later copy of an inscription of Aditya I and all the records of Lalgudy, Tillaisthanam and Tirupparaitturai should be assigned to Aditya I, not to Aditya II which identification has no proper evidence to sustain it. We have already shown that Karrali of Tiruppa-raitturai inscription (258 of 1903) is not to be identified with Karrali, the queen of Kodumbalur Vikramakesari.

A certain Yaragunatti Perumanar is mentioned in an inscription of the sixth year of a Parakesarivarman at Kudumiyamalai. She is said to be the daughter of a Muttaraiyar chief and the queen of Sembiyan Irukku-velar. This inscription should be assigned to the days of Vijayalaya. This Varaguna is not to be identified with either Varaguna queen of Parantaka Ilangovelar or Varaguna queen of Vikramakesari.

Varaguna of the Tillaisthanam record, the queen of Parantaka Ilangovelar, is to be ascribed to the period of Aditya I. There are pullis on consonants in this record to justify this early age. The Lalgudy inscription (copy of an earlier record) should also be assigned to the period of Aditya I and it cannot be a record of Aditya II’s age to justify the identification of the Tillaisthanam Varaguna with the Kodumbalur Varaguna. These two Varagunas are not identical. We have no further particulars about the latter than that she was the queen of Bhuti Vikramakesari whose inscription is to be assigned to the tenth century.

We are not in a position to accept the inference of K.A.N. Sastri that “Varaguna was the sister of Sundara Chola and daughter of Arinjaya” nor the genealogy published on page 5 of his article in the J.O.R. Madras, Vol. VII. The Tillaisthanam Varaguna (also of Lalgudy) should be assigned to the age of Aditya I.

Next we shall consider another so-called identification of Sembiyan Irukkuvel alias Pudi Parantakan with Parantakan, son of Bhuti Vikramakesari of Kodumbalur.

Sembiyan Irukkuvel alias Pudi Parantakan

The following are the inscriptions relating to Sembiyan Irukkuvel alias Pudi Parantakan:

1. Andanallur—348 of 1903—10th year Parakesari, a.d. 917. Gift of 30 kalanju of gold for a lamp by Puliyur Nattadigal, queen of Sembi-yan Irukkuvel alias Pudi Parantakan.

2. Nangavaram—337 of 1903—10th year of Parakesarivarman, a.d. 917. In the 10th year of Parakesarivarman, one Solapperundeviyar alias Peru Nangai, the consort of Sembiyan Irukkuvel alias Pudi Parantakan made a gift of 1080 kalanju of gold on her birthday which coincided with a solar eclipse. Here is an extract from the inscription:

“Sembiyan Irukkuvelana Pudi Parantakan deviyarana Solapperundeviyarana Perunan-gai tiruppirandanal Suryagrahanamaha Uba-yam panni Perumanadigal mel errina marrili sempon 1080 kalanju.”

3. Andanallur—359 of 1903, 11th year Parakesari varman, a.d. 918. Sembiyan Irukkuvel alias Pudi Parantakan is said to be the builder of the temple of Tiru Alandurai Mahadevar of stone (Karrali) at Anda-vanallur (old name of Andanallur). The relevant text of this inscription is as follows:

“Andavanallur Tiruvalanduraip Peruma-nadigalukku Sembiyan Irukkuvelayina Pudi Parantakan Karrali eduppittu devadanam seyvadarkku parakesari panmarkku vinnap-pam seydu Andavanallurkkanippal nilattil perra nir nilam muveli. Innilam kudinikkiya devadanam seydu kudutten Sembiyan Irukkuvelayina Pudi Parantakan.”

4. Andanallur—357 of 1903. 13th year of Parakesarivarman, a.d. 920. Gift of gold for a lamp by (another) queen of Pudi Parantaka, Tingal Nimmadigal.

All these Parakesari records have to be ascribed to Parantaka I and we find that this chief Sembiyan Irukkuvel alias Pudi Parantakan was a powerful chief of the days of Parantaka I, closely related to the Chola royal family and that he had three queens, one of them being a Chola princess called Solapperumanadigal alias Perunangai.

The temple of Tiru-Alandurai Mahadevar at Anda-nallur was built by Sembiyan Irukkuvel alias Pudi Parantakan sometime before the tenth year of Parantaka I. That he was the builder of this stone temple is stated in an inscription of the 11th year of Parakesari-varman (359 of 1903—karrali and also in another inscription of the 14th year of Parakesarivar-man (358 of 1903), though gifts for lamps are made even in the 10th year of Parakesarivarman (348 of 1903).

In the inscription of the 11th year of Parakesarivarman (359 of 1903) the chief who claims to be the builder of the stone temple of Tiru-Alandurai Peru-manadigal of Andavanallur (the old name of Anda-nallur) petitioned to the king and got his permission to assign to this temple three veli of land, which he had bought and had converted into a kudinikiya devadanam.

In the 18th year of Parakesarivarman, the sri-mukham (royal order) of the king approving of the gift was received by the donor and the said land was made over to the king’s local officer, Araiyan Vira Solan who in turn made the transfer of the land for necessary action to the Urar of Andavanallur in the 25 year of Parakesarivarman (360 of 1903). The only Parakesarivarman who had such a high regnal year (18 and 25) in the early Chola period is Parantaka I, and in spite of the absence of the usual historical introduction of ‘Madirai Konda’, all the Parakesarivarman inscriptions of Andanallur have to be assigned only to Parantaka I.

This identification is confirmed by an inscription of the 15th year of Parakesarivarman (No. 38 of 1895) which mentions Pudi Madevadigal the queen of Kanna-radeva, son of Aditya I and brother of Parantaka I

K.A.N. Sastri assigns inscription no. 358 of 1903 (SII, III, 139) of the 14th year of Parakesari[20] to Uttama Chola. This is wrong. This inscription should be ascribed to Parantaka I.

No evidence has been advanced to prove the identity of Nangai-Varaguna Perumanar of Lalgudy and Tillais-thanam inscriptions (of the days of Aditya I) with Varaguna, the queen of Bhuti Vikramakesari of Kodumbalur of the 10th century. Equally unsatisfactory is the effort to equate Sembiyan Irukkuvel alias Pudi Parantakan with Parantakan one of the two sons of Bhuti Vikramakesari. Further, more satisfying proof is required to establish that Bhuti Parantakan (Parantakan son of Bhuti) of Kodumbalur is the same as Sembiyan Irukkuvel alias Pudi Parantakan of the days of Parantaka I, who is mentioned in inscriptions found in Andanallur and Nangavaram.

After this preliminary discussion of the issues involved in the suggested identification of the Kilur chief Tennavan Ilangovelar alias Maravan Pudi with Bhuti Vikramakesari of Kodumbalur, let us consider the arguments advanced on this question by K.V. Subramanya Iyer and K.S. Vaidyanathan in the article they had contributed to the Quarterly Journal of the Mythic Society, Bangalore.[21]

The authors hold that:—

(a) The Velurpalayam plates speak of a subordinate chief of Nandivarman III, who bore the name of Kumarankusan and the title of “Chola Maharaja—the heroic head-jewel of the Chola race”—at whose request the village of Tirukkattupalli was given away as a devadana to a local temple; that this event could not be far removed from the date of the rise of Vijayalaya; that the Cholas had formed an alliance with the Yadava King of Konadu who had an ancient feud with the Muttaraiyars; that a Chola princess named Anupama of matchless beauty was married to the Yadava King Samarabhirama of Konadu who reigned from a.d. 883 to 897; that she bore him the son of Bhuti alias Vikramakesari, and that this Bhuti figures as a feudatory of the Chola King Aditya I.

(b) The Kodumbalur Muvarkoyil inscription states that Bhuti Vikramakesari fought a sanguinary battle with the Pallavas, that Aditya I killed Aparajita, the last of the Pallava kings in some year prior to a.d. 890; that Bhuti’s encounter with the Pallavas must have occurred only either in that year if he had fought as an ally of the Chola, or sometime before that date, if independently, and at any rate, it could not be later, for “there could be no Pallava then.”

(c) Another factor that contributed to a distortion of the true date of Bhuti, they hold, is the identification of Vira Pandya, whom he is said to have defeated according to the Muvarkoyil inscription, with Vira Pandya who was the opponent of Parantaka II Sun-dara Chola and his son Aditya II Karikala. And they add that this identification would not have been made, if Bhuti’s success had been given the consideration it deserved, and the date of the inscription of Rajakesarivarman in the twenty-seventh year of the reign in which he figures is taken note of (258 of 1903, SII, VII, 560).

We do not know if and how Kumarankusa Chola Maharaja, the donor of Tirukkattupalli in the Chin-gleput district was related to Vijayalaya of Uraiyur (near Tiruchy) though the authors are forced to admit that it is only future discoveries that must show what relationship existed between Vijayalaya and Kumarankusa; but they have no hesitation in adopting the said relationship in their genealogy as if firmly established. We are equally at a loss to find the grounds on which they have postulated that Samarabhirama, who married the Chola princess Anupama, should have ruled over Kodumbalur between a.d. 883 and 897. It seems to be an arbitrary fixation of dates.

Secondly, it may be stated that the authors have given exaggerated importance to the claim of Bhuti’s victory over the Pallavas on the banks of the Kaveri and the authors have grossly erred in holding that “there could be no Pallava after Rajakesarivarman’s victory over Aparajita.” Nrpatunga (a.d. 855-896),[22] Aparajita (a.d. 878-897) and Kampavarman (a.d. 878-910) continued with some semblance of power in different parts of the northern Pallava country round about Kanchi and Uttaramerur in the second half of the ninth century and even almost till the beginning of the reign of Parantaka I (till a.d. 910). The Karandai Copper Plate grant of Rajendra I mentions that “Parantaka I defeated a Pallava and gained possession of his country, wealth and paraphernalia “rashtrani,vasuni, vahanani” (Ep. Report 1949-50-A. 57 & 58 and J.O.R. Vol. XIX, Part 2).

Lastly, let us take the Vira Pandya struggle with the Cholas. A Pandya ruler called Vira Pandya—the first Vira Pandya known to South Indian epigraphy—makes his appearance about the end of the first quarter of the tenth century (about a.d. 923) after the flight of Rajasimha the last ruler of the first empire of the Pandyas. How he was related to Rajasimha, we do not know; but there is every possibility of his being his son, who tried to carry on a desperate struggle for Pandya independence against Chola aggression.

This Vira Pandya claims the title of “Solan-talai-konda” (who took the head of the Chola king). And a number of other rulers and chiefs—Sundara Chola, Aditya II alias Karikala, Parthivendravarman, and Bhuti Vikramakesari—all belonging to the latter half of the 10th century equally claim victory over Vira Pandya. We are concerned with this Vira Pandya who was contemporaneous with all these four rulers. K.V. Subramanya Iyer and K.S. Vaidyana-than claim that it is a distortion of facts to equate the Vira Pandya the opponent of Bhuti Vikramakesari with the Vira Pandya the adversary of Sundara Chola and Aditya II[23] and because of the absence of any evidence to prove their case, they merely hazard the opinion that there might have existed an imaginary Vira Pandya whose name might have been omitted by the Prasasti-writers and suggested that Vira Pandya might have been a contemporary or successor of Rajasimha. We agree that Vira Pandya was a successor of Rajasimha, in the first quarter of the 10th century; and if this is granted, the case for identifying Tennavan Ilangovelan alias Maravan Pudi of Aditya I’s period with Bhuti Vikramakesari of Kodumbalur totally fails.

In the 3rd year of his accession, Parantaka I assumes the title of “Madirai konda” and so his first war and conquest of Madurai must have taken place in or before his third year.[24]

Parantaka I’s war with the Pandyas and his great victory at the battle of Velur and the celebration of this victory over the Pandyas and the Ceylonese find mention in two of Parantaka I’s inscriptions of his twelfth regnal year.[25]

It was perhaps after this that Parantaka I assumed the title of “Madiraiyum Ilamum konda,” theconqueror of Madurai and Ilam.[26] And inscriptions of Parantaka I of his 24th, 33rd and 36th regnal years[27] are found in the Pandya country. An inscription from the Nagesvara temple at Kumbakonam mentions an impost of 3,000 kalanju for the maintenance of the Pandya army (army for waging war with the Pandyas) levied upon the assembly of Tirukkudamukku (Kumbakonam) as dandam (impost or levy) by Madiraikonda Udayar (Parantaka I) in his 38th year.[28] Parantaka I should have been engaged in preparations for a third war with the Pandyas and the Ceylonese for the recovery of the traditional insignia of the Pandyan rulers in order to invest himself with them on the occasion of the formal celebration of his coronation at Madurai. This is just the period of the mortal struggle of Yira Pandya for Pandyan independence.

The first epigraphical reference to Vira Pandya known so far is found in an inscription of the 20th year of Rajasimha[29] (c.a.d.923) where a servant of Vira Pandya figures as a donor. A.S. Ramanatha Iyer has discussed the date of Vira Pandya in the Ambasamudram inscription of “Solan-Talai-konda Vira Pandya” and fixed it with valid reasons supported by astronomical details[30] as a.d.947, and that his highest regnal year so far known in his inscriptions is twenty[31] (a.d. 947 to 966).

In his 6th year Vira Pandya[32] (A.D.953=46th year of Parantaka I) claims to have taken the head of the Chola and assumes the title of “Solan-talai-konda.” It was either a defeat of the Chola or the cutting off of the head of a Chola prince, who led the Chola army. Ramanatha Ayyar suggests that it might be Uttamasili, the son of Parantaka I.

After Parantaka I, the Pandyan War should have been continued under Sundara Chola (a.d.956-73) and in this, his heroic son Aditya (II) Karikala should have played a distinguished part. Sundara Chola claims victory against the Pandya in the battle of Sevur or Chewura (about a.d. 963). The Kanyakumari inscription states that the Pandyan foe fled from the field of battle and hid himself in a forest. An inscription of the 7th year of Sundara Chola[33] claims for him the title of “Pandyanaichuram irakkina Perumal Sri Sundara Chola deva.” And the Karandai Copper Plates confirm that Sundara Chola fought with Yira Pandya and forced him to seek shelter in the Sahya mountains (Sahyadri=Western Ghats). And the part played by the crown prince Aditya (II) is described vividly in the Leyden Grant thus: “While yet a boy, he (Aditya) played sportively in battle with Vira Pandya just as a lion’s cub (does) with a rutting mad elephant proud of its strength.”

It was in this and the subsequent wars that Bhuti Vikramakesari[34] Parthivendra[35] and the Chola Senapati Pirantakan Irungolar alias Siriyavelar[36] should have distinguished themselves.

Vira Pandya should have rallied his forces and renewed his war with the Cholas. It was in this battle with Vira Pandya that Aditya II in his second regnal year (a.d.965) should have defeated Vira Pandya and cut off his head in the field of battle and placed it on a pillar of victory set up at Madurai. Hence the claim of Aditya II’s title “Vira Pandyan talai konda.” It seems that it is this event that is described in the Tiru-valangadu plates of Rajendra I. They say that Aditya (II) “killed the Pandya king in battle, and having deposited in his (capital) town the lofty pillar of victory viz. the head of the Pandya king, Aditya disappeared (from this world) with a desire to see Heaven”. The last statement is a reference to the brutal murder of Aditya II (about a.d.969) by assassins mentioned in the Udaiyargudi inscription of Rajaraja I[37].

Thus, it will be clear that there is no Vira Pandya at all during the days (of the Kilur inscription) of Nandivarman III and of the reign of Aditya I and that the earliest reference to Vira Pandya is in a.d.923 in a gift made by a servant of Vira Pandya. Perhaps he made himself ruler of the Pandya country about a.d.947 and carried on a relentless struggle with the Cholas till his defeat and overthrow at the hands of Aditya II in the second year of the latter’s accession as crown prince and heir-apparent (a.d.966).

And Bhuti Vikramakesari of Kodumbalur should have played a great part along with other famous generals in the Chola struggle with Vira Pandya.

While discussing the Salaigramam inscription (inscription B) of ‘Solan-talai-konda Vira Pandya’, M. Venkataramayya holds that this Pandya ruler should be placed in the second quarter of the tenth century[38]. Therefore the victory claimed by Bhuti Vikramakesari of Kodumbalur against Vira Pandya must be placed in the period of the reigns of Parantaka I (later period), Sundara Chola alias Parantaka II and Aditya II; and this will take us to the middle of the tenth century. Therefore Tennavan Ilangovelar alias Maravan Pudi of the Kilur inscription of the period of Nandivarman III (about a.d.851) and Aditya I cannot be equated with Bhuti Vikramakesari of Kodumbalur, the contemporary of Sundara Chola and Aditya II of the middle of the tenth century. The two are separated by almost a century (from a.d.850 to 950).

At the same time, we have to admit that there are many points like the claim of Paradurgamardana’s conquest of Yatapi, Samarabhirama’s overthrow of the Chalukki at the battle of Adhirajamangalam, and the identity of Anupama, the Chola princess, which could not be satisfactorily explained in the context of the available epigraphical materials. Future epigraphi-cal discoveries alone can try to find, if at all, a more satisfactory solution. We have simply to admit that we know nothing more about Karrali and Varaguna and about the two sons Parantaka and Adityavarman of Bhuti Vikramakesari by Karrali than the particulars furnished by the Muvarkoyil inscription. All the elaborate identifications attempted by the two authors and the so-called achievements foisted on the two sons of Bhuti Vikramakesari remain unproved. In any scientific investigation, established facts and probable shrewd surmises should be kept distinct. From this point of view, the genealogy presented by the authors is misleading, unsatisfactory and untrustworthy.

A. Rangaswami identifies Bhuti Vikramakesari of Kodumbalur with Videlvidugu Muttaraiyan of the days of Dantivarman, the excavator of the cave temple of Malaiyadippatti and assigns Vikramakesari to a.d 800. This is equally untenable.[39]

F.H.Gravely and T.N. Ramachandran have discussed the date of the Muvarkoyil temple at Kodumbalur in a Bulletin of the Madras Government Museum [40] and they hold that “the date of the Kodumbalur temples is still a matter of controversy. As one of them bears an inscription referring to the conquest of Badami by the builder’s grand-father, and the slaying of the Chalukya king by his father, it is tempting to see in them not only the influence of Pallava architecture through the Yalaiyan-Kuttai Ratha, but also that of Chalukya temples, such as those just mentioned which also have square sikharas. This would be quite possible if the reign of Vikramakesari, the builder of the Kodumbalur temples was from about a.d.950 to 970 as suggested by Nilakanta Sastri, though a century earlier would seem to fit it better. And the much earlier date suggested by Heras is just possible, if these temples are a development of the Valaiyan-Kuttai Ratha, itself evidently a development of the rathas known to have been made by the very king with whom, according to this theory, Vikramakesari’s father should be contemporary though perhaps somewhat younger.”

The authors seem to favour all the three dates, 7th, 9th and 10th centuries! Here we miss the firm handling of this question.

Father Heras [41] was of opinion that the Muvarkoyil inscription should be assigned to about a.d.670 chiefly on the ground that the grandfather of Vikramakesari claimed the conquest of Vatapi. At the same time he was surprised and puzzled that the architectural features appeared Chola, rather than Pallava, that the shrines looked more of the tenth century than of the seventh, and concluded that they are “an architectural puzzle without precedent and without consequent, totally unique in South Indian Architecture.” The date a.d.670 suggested for the Muvarkovil temple by Father Heras is just a little earlier than that of the Kailasanathar temple at Kanchipuram which is one of the earliest and best planned of the stone structural temples of the days of Pallava Rajasimha alias Narasimhavarman II. In that case, no doubt, it will be an architectural anachronism. But it is not so. After the temple of Valaiyan-Kuttai temple, there are a number of early Chola temples, particularly of the reigns of Aditya I and Parantaka I viz, the Sundaresva-rar temple of Tirukkattalai, Avanikandarpa-Isvaragri-ham at Kilaiyur (Melappaluvur), the Chandrasekharar temple at Tiruchchendurai and the Muchukundesvara temple of Kodumbalur itself all of which may well be considered the precedents of the Muvarkoyil at Kodumbalur.

Thus we are led on to the following conclusions:

1 The identity attempted to be established between Tennavan Ilangovelar alias Maravan Pudi of the Kilur record and Bhuti Vikramakesari of Kodumbalur has not been proved and cannot be sustained[42] and that the two are separated by about a century.

2 The genealogy of the Irukkuvels which Krishnan claims to have been “thoroughly discussed by K.V. Subramanya Iyer and K.S.Vaidyanathan” is not trustworthy (See Appendix V).

3 Vikramakesari’s war with Vira Pandya could not have been earlier than the middle of the tenth century. It could not be assigned to the age of Aditya I to which the chief of the Kilur record belonged.

4 Karrali and Varaguna the two wives of Bhuti Vikramakesari should be considered different from other queens of the same name found in the earlier inscriptions of Aditya I.

5 Pudi AdichchaPidari(the builder of the Tiruchchendurai temple) was the daughter of Tennavan Ilangovelar and the queen of Arikulakesari, son of Parantaka I.

6 Sembiyan Irukkuvel alias Pudi Parantakan was the builder of the Andanallur temple. He is not to be identified with Parantakan son of Bhuti Vikramakesari of Kodumbalur.

7 It is not correct to hold that Tennavan Ilangovelar (Kilur) is another name for Parantaka Ilangavelar (Tillaisthanam, 287 of 1911) and that both are identical with Bhuti Vikramakesari of Kodumbalur.

Description

As already stated, only two (the central and the southern) out of the three shrines of Muvarkoyil exist today. The temple faces the west. Each of the two existing shrines is 21 feet (6.4 m.) square at the base. The ardha-mandapas are 18 ft. (5.49 m.) square. Now they are roofless. There is a common mukhamandapa in front, of which only the plinth remains; it measures 91 ft. (28 m.) by 41 ft. (12.5 m.) The basement of the nandimandapa, the balipitham and the dvajasthambam could be seen. There seem to have been many (fifteen or sixteen) subshrines all round the three shrines, and a compound wall enclosing all the shrines. The subshrines had each a garbhagriha and a mandapa in front. The madil (wall of enclosure) had perhaps two gateways, one of which might have had a gopuram. The basement of the central shrine had padmam and mouldings crowned with a yali frieze ending at the edges with gaping makaras with insets of human figures. The walls of the garbhagriha have three niches, flanked by two pilasters, and the whole koshta is surmounted by a makara tor ana resting on further two taller pilasters.

There is a bhutagana frieze full of animated figures playing on musical instruments below the cornice, and a yali frieze above. The cornice is adorned on each side with six kudus crowned with trifoliated finials and fine scroll work at the corners.

Each shrine is a dvi-tala structure. In the second tala there is a central panchara surmounted by a wagon roof (sala) and adorned with an ornamental kudu at the top. There are two cubical pancharas at the ends (kuta).

Above, there is another yali frieze. The griva has a central figure-niche adorned with a kudu with a simha head which projects into the sikhara.

The sikhara is four-sided and curvilinear as in the case of the Draupati Ratha at Mamallapuram. And on the padma pattika rests the four-sided stupi.

The sculptures of the devakoshtas and the other niche figures are among the finest specimens of early Chola Art. One is struck with admiration at the height of excellence attained by early Chola Art. Some of the sculptures of this temple have been removed and lodged in the Government Museums at Pudukkottai and Madras. A few more can still be seen in the premises of the temple (Pis. 93 - 102).

The existing figures in the niches of the two shrines are given below:

                         Central shrine               Southern shrine

East
garbhagriha;    Ardhanari;                    Gangadhara;
2nd tala;           Parvati on Siva’s lap;    Kalari-murti;
griva;                Indra;                           Andhakasura;

North
garbhagriha;    Siva (standing);           Siva (standing);
2nd tala;           Sitting Siva;                Sankaranarayana;
griva;               Sitting Siva;                 no figure now;

South
garbhagriha;    no figure now;             Vinadhara-Dakshinamurti
2nd tala;          Dakshinamurti;            Kalarimurti;
griva;               Alinganamurti;            Gajasamharamurti;

West
griva;               Alinganamurti;

Appendix I (Pandyan War)

Parantaka I (a.d. 907 to 955)

I War before the 3rd year a.d. 910—‘Maduraikonda’ title.

II War before the 12th year: Battle of Velur a.d. 919—‘Madurai-yum Ilamumkonda’ title.

III War, preparations for—after the 36th year of Parantaka I. 38th year—‘Dandam’ collected (a.d. 945) mentioned in an inscription of the 3rd year (255 of 1911) of Gandaraditya, in the Nagesvara temple, Kumbakonam: vide p 134 ECA I.

Appendix II (Vira Pandya)

Vira Pandya’s war with the Cholas (Sundara and Aditya II)
(Dates approximate)

a.d. 923: Vira Pandya’s servant makes a gift (122 of 1905).
a.d. 923-947: Vira Pandya’s struggle for power.
a.d. 947: Accession of Vira Pandya (rules 20 years).
a.d. 953: Vira Pandya’s claim of title of Solan-talai-konda.
a.d. 963: Sundara Chola’s victory over Vira Pandya, Battle of Sevur (291 of 1908—E.I., XII, pp. 121-6).
a.d. 965: Accession of Aditya II as heir-apparent and co-regent of Sundara Chola.
a.d. 966: 2nd year of Aditya II who assumes the title of  ‘Vira-Pandyan-talai-konda’.
a.d. 969: Murder of Aditya II and accession of Uttama Chola.

1. Vide inscription of the 2nd year of Parakesarivarman who took the head of Vira Pandya, on a pillar in the inner enclosure of the Uyyakkondan-Tirumalai. The editor remarks:—- “This must be the early Vira Pandya whose Vatteluttu inscriptions are found in the Tirunelvelly district and in which he claims in his turn to have taken the head of the Chola”; (SII, III, part III, no. 199) a.r. no. 472 of1908).

2. Vira Pandya of the Sixakasiplates (Ten Pandya Copper Plates—Tamil History Academy, Madras—pp. 177-206) belongs to the period of Rajendra Chola I (11th century a.d.) as his son Rajadhiraja I claims in his prasasti to have worsted all the three rulers Mana-bharana, Vira Pandya and Sundara Pandya mentioned in the Sivakasi Plates.

Appendix III

Table a

Nakkan Vikramakesari
    (wife)  

(i) Tiruchchendurai
inscription of 2nd year
of Parakesari, a.d. 909
(A.R. 306 of 1903)

= Tennavan Ilangovel
    (alias Maravan Pudi)

(i) Kilur inscription
of 16th year
of Nandivarman III,
a.d. 851 (296 of 1902)

= Pirattiyar (wife)

(i) Tirupparaithurai
inscription (year lost)
of Rajakesari
(A.R. 273 of 1903)

 

Chola king
Parantaka I

(ii) Tirupparaithurai
inscription of 27th
year of Rajakesari
Aditya I. a.d. 898
(258 of 1903)

Arinjaya
(alias Arikula Kesari)

= Pudi Adichcha Pidari
    (daughter)
(builder of Tiruchchendurai temple)

(i) Tiruchchendurai inscription of 27th year of Rajakesari (Aditya I), a.d. 898 (A.R. 320 of 1903)

(ii) Tiruchchendurai inscription of 3rd year of Parakesari (Parantaka I), a.d. 910 (A.R. 316 of 1903)

Bana Chief
(Killed in a war with
the Ceylonese)

 

Arinjigaipirattiyar
    (daughter)

(i) Tiruvidaimarudur inscription of 38th year of Parakesari (Parantaka I), a.d. 945 (A.R. 252 of 1907)

(ii) Tirunagesvaram inscription of 2nd year of Rajakesari (Gandaraditya?), a.d. 951 (A.R. 215 of 1911)

(iii) Tirunagesvaram inscriptions of 14th year of Rajaraja I, a.d. 999, (A.R. 218 of 1911 and 81 of 1897)

 

Table B

Vijayalaya  

Aditya I
(Solapperumanadigal)

Nangai
Varaguna

Perumanar

= Parantaka Ilangovelar

(tiru-udap-pirandar,
sister of Solapperumanadigal)

Lalgudy

13th year, Rajakesari
(= Aditya I) a.d. 884
(A.R. 250 of 1931;
SII, XIII, no. 240)

Tillaisthanam
13th year, Rajakesari
(= Aditya I) a.d. 884 (A.R. 287
of 1911; SII, XIII,
no. 233; Epi. Ind.
XX p. 53)

 

Table C

Sembiyan Irukkuvel alias Pudi Parantakan

a.d. 917-921
(i) 11th year of Parakesari
= a.d. 918, A.R. 359 of
1903. Andanallur builder
of the Alandurai Maha-
devar Temple at
Andanallur.

(ii) 14th year of Parakesari
= a.d. 921, A.R. 358 of
1903, SII III no. 139

Andanallur
This chief performs Jal-
asamprokshana
ceremony to
the temple at Andanallur
and makes on this occasion
a gift of land

= (i) Solapperum deviyar alias Perunangai,
10th year of Parakesari = a.d. 917,
A.R. 337 of 1903
Nangavaram: gift of 1080
kalanju on her birthday

= (ii) Puliyur Nattadigal, 10th year
of Parakesari = a.d. 917 A.R. 348
of 1903
Andanallur: gift of a lamp
 

= (iii) Tingal Nimmadigal 13th year
of Parakesari = a.d. 920 A.R. 357
1903.

Andanallur: gift of a lamp

 

Table D: Varaguna

1. Muttaraiyar chief.
Varaguna = Sembiyan Irukkuvelar
Kudumiyamalai cave temple inscription
no. 45—Pudukkottai inscription.
6th yr.—Parakesarivarman (Vijayalaya?)

2. Solapperumandigal Varaguna
Lalgudy
13th year Rajakesari
(Aditya I)
250 of 1930-31
(Varaguna, sister of
Solapperumanadigai)

= Parantaka
Ilangovelar
Tillaisthanam
13th year Rajakesari,
287 of 1911.
(Varaguna, deviyar of
Parantaka Ilangovelar)

3. Bhuti Vikramakesari
Kodumbalur No. 14,
Text of Pudukkottai
Inscriptions.

= (i) Varaguna
(ii) Karrali


1. These three Varagunas are not identical.

2. The view that this Parantaka Ilangovelar is identical with Vikramakesari of Kodumbalur is untenable (See The Colas Vol. I pp. 187 and 378; Epi. Ind. XX, p. 53; and A.R. no. 287 of 1911, SII. XIII, no. 233).

Table E: Karrali

1. Tennavan Ilango (alias
Maravan Pudi)
Kilur inscription
16 yr. Nandivarman III,
296 of 1902).

= Nangai Karrali Pirattiyar

Tirupparaitturai
inscription (year lost)
Rajakesarivarman 273 of 1903.

2. Bhuti Vikramakesari

= 1. Karrali.
2. Varaguna.
Kodumbalur inscription of Bhuti
Vikramakesari (A.R. 129 of 1907
and Text of Pudukkottai Inscriptions.
No. 14)


These two Karrali’s are not identical.

Appendix IV (Kodumbalur Inscription)

Genealogy of the Irukkuvels.

  1. A king (name lost)
               |
2. Paravirajit
               |
3. Viratunga
    (conquered the Malavas)
               |
4. Ativira Anupama
               |
5. Sangakrit
               |
6. Nripakesari
               |
7. Paradurgamaradana 
    (conquered Vatapi)
               |
8. Samarabhirama
    (destroyed the Chalukki at the battle of Adhirajamangalam;
    married Anupama, a Chola princess)
               |
9. Bhuti Vikramakesari.
    married
    (two wives)







(a) Karrali =

               |
               |
               |
               |
               |
               |
               |
               |

(i) claims victory over the Pallavas on the
     banks of the Kaveri.
(ii) defeated Vira Pandya
(iii) killed Vanchivel
(iv) built a palace at Kodumbalur

(b) = Varaguna

Parantakan

————————————

Adityavarman.

 

Appendix V

Genealogy adopted by K. V. Subramania Aiyer and K.S. Vaidyanathan.

 

Bhuti (Vikramakesari) alias
Tennavan Ilangovelar alias
Maran Piduvanar
          (Crown-prince in a.d. 883-897);
defeated the Pallavas and
Vira Pandya in circa a.d. 898,
a.d. 913).
               |

 
——————————— ———————————————————— ——
         |

Pudi Aditta
Pidariyar
m. Arinjiya

               |
Pudi Parantakan alias
Sembiyan Irukkuvel, m.
(1) Varaguna-natti,
daughter of Muttaraiyar;
(2) Puliyur nattadigal;
(3) Singala nimmadi;
(4) Nangai Nandi, and
(5) Solapperundeviyar
alias Peranangai
(a.d. 913-927)
               |
Parantakan Vira Solan
alias Mahimalaya Irukkuvel
(a.d. 958-965)

     |
Aditya
Pudi Aditta Pidaran
alias Sembiyan llangovel
a.d. 927
     |
     |
     |
     |
     |
     |
     |
Madurantakan
Irukkuvel alias
Adittan Pudi (also
called Adittan
Vikramakesari)
(a.d. 928/9 to circa
a.d. 958)

Footnotes and references:

1.

Tirupparaitturai, 258 of 1903, SII, VII 560.

2.

A.R.273 of 1903, SII, VIII, 581.

3.

J.O.R. VII pt I. pp. 1-16, Kodumbalur inscription, No. 14-(Text) of the Pudukkottai State and A.R.No, 129 of 1907. K.A.N. Sastri, ‘The Colas’ (2nd edition), University of Madras, 1955, p. 155, “A Rajakesari inscription, from which the date has been lost, mentions that.Karrali Piratti was the wife of Tennavan Ilangovelar alias Maravan Pudiyar, which may be other names of Vikramakesari”. This identification cannot be sustained.

4.

Manual of the Pudukkottai State, Vol. H, Part II, p. 1035.

5.

A.R. 138 of 1907.

6.

no. 33—Inscriptions (Text) of the Puddukkottai State.

7.

Ins. no. 379—Inscriptions (text) of the Pudukkottai State.

8.

Contra—Tiruppudisvaram might have been the ancient name of Muvar-koyil built by Pudi Vikramakesari (A.R.E. 1908 paras 90 and 91).K.R. Srinivasan—“Tiruppudisvaram may be the Muchukundesvara temple”—Inscriptions of the Pudukkottai State, translated into English, p. 30.

9.

A.R. no. 253 of 1903, SH, VIII, 555.

10.

A.R. no. 293 of 1903, SH, VIII, 602.

11.

A.R. no. 306 of 1903, SH, VHI, 615,

12.

A.R. no. 316 of 1903, SH, VHI, 208.

13.

A.R. no. 320 of 1903.

14.

A.R. nos. 310 and 319 of 1903.

15.

A.R. no. 316 of 1903 and SII, III, Part III, no. 96.

16.

13thyear—Rajakesari 250 of 1931. An earlier inscription of Aditya I re-engraved after the reconstruction of the temple sometime in or before the 27th year of Aditya I. In the section on Lalgudy in my book Early Chola Art Part I (p. 98) I have followed the official view of the Government Epigraphist (SII, HI, no. 240; A.R. no. 250 of 1931) that this inscription has to be attributed to Sundara Chola. After a fuller consideration of all available evidence, I have to revise my earlier view and assign this inscription to Aditya I. In that case, Nangai Varaguna Perumanar should be considered the sister of Aditya I, not of Sundara Chola. 2. See also the Editor’s introductory note (in SII, in, pt. in, no. 119, p.249) regarding the inscription of the 13th regnal year of Rajakesarivarman at Tillaisthanam.

“Varaguna Perumanar, under the name of Varaguna, has been mentioned in the Muvarkoyil inscription at Kodumbalur as the wife of Bhuti Vikramakesari whose other name was Madhurantaka Irukkuvel. Perhaps Parantaka Irukkuvelar of our inscription is the same as Madhurantaka Irukkuvel.

Mr. Venkayya considered that Madhurantaka Irukkuvel was a contemporary of Aditya Karikala H. The paleography suggests a much earlier period for the inscriptions.”

I am unable to accept these identifications.

17.

27th year Rajakesari—125 of 1929, SII, XIII, 325. “The early character of the inscription and the high regnal year of the King make the record assignable to Aditya I.”

18.

Epigraphia Indica, XX, no. 3, p. 47. In this article on “Three Inscriptions of Lalgudi " viz., (1) one of the (4+ 5) 9th year (of a Pandyan King whose name is lost) concerning a gift by Nandivarman of Tellaru (Pallava king) (2) another of (9+4) 13th year of Pandya Maranjadaiyan and (3) the third of the 13th year of Rajakesarivarman, K.V. Subrahmanya Aiyar remarks in the course of his discussion that

“the Lalgudi inscriptions under examination, written as they are in the same hand must be treated as later copies of older records made probably at the time when the temple where they are found, was renovated or repaired.” (Epi. Ind. XX, no. 3, p. 47, SII, VIII, no. 631; A.R. no. 322 ot 1903)

19.

Epigraphia Indica, XX, p. 47. Two other epigraphs found at Tiruppalatturai (Tirupparaitturai—258 and 273 of 1903) refer to Tennavan Ilangovelar which is another name for Parantaka Ilangovelar. They tell us that he was also called Maravan Pudiyar. One of them mentions his queen as Karralipirattiyar also. The name Pudiyar given to Ilangovelar and the mention of his queen would show that he is identical with the Kodumbalur Chief Bhuti Vikramakesari who is reported in the Muvar-Koyil inscription to have married Karrali and Varaguna (ARE, 1907-8, part II, para. 90).

20.

The Colas, 1st edition, p. 471—year 14—Andanallur, 358 of 1903.

21.

Q.J.M.S. XLIII, pp. 79 ff.

22.

(a) These dates of the Later Pallavas are only tentative, and may need revision in the light of further discoveries. K.V. Subrahmanya Aiyar states that “one of the records of Nrpatunga furnishes astronomical details which work out correctly to a.d. 867 yielding his accession to a.d. 845” (SII, VII, no. 528, A.R. No. 303-C of 1901).

But it will not alter the trend of our discussion.

23.

Another factor that contributed to the distortion of the true date of Bhuti is the identification of Vira Pandya with the opponent of Sundara Chola and Aditya II”—QMS, XLIII.

24.

A.R.no. 11 of 1931 and 157 of 1928.

25.

A.R nos. 231 of 1926 of Kilappaluvurand 693 of 1904 of Tirupparkkadal.

26.

16th year A.R. No. 331 of 1927-—Tiruppurambiyam.

27.

24th year—446 of 1917, 33rd year—63 of 1905 and 36th year—448 of 1917.

28.

A.R. no. 255 of 1911, a.d. 945.

29.

MA.R. no. 122 of 1902.

30.

Epi. Indica XXV, No. 6, p. 35 ff.

31.

Salaigramam inscription—15 -f- 5 year of Vira Pandya, Epi. Indica, XXVUI, no. 17.

32.

A.R. No. 163 of 1894—SU, V, 455.

33.

291 of 1908—Epi. Ind. Xn, pp. 121-6.

34.

Muvarkoyil inscription.

35.

‘Pandyan or Vira Pandyan Talai konda’ 2nd year Parthivendravarman—A.R. no. 195 of 1915 and 223 of 1915.

36.

2nd year Rajakesari—317 of 1907, 4th year—370 of 1907, 5th year—40 of 1907, 7th year—291 of 1908, 14th year—299 of 1908 (wife and daughter of Siriyavelar), 302 of 1908—(inscription A.R. no. 116 of 1896—Siriyavelar died in Ceylon in the 9th year of Ponmaligai Tunjina devar or Sundara Chola, 27th year Rajaraja I—SII, V, no. 980.

37.

2nd year Rajakesari, Udaiyargudi—577 of 1920.

38.

Epi, Indica, XXVII no. 17—Salaigramam inscription of Solan-taiai-konda Vira Pandya.

39.

Vizianagaram College Magazine, July 1923.

40.

Bulletin of the Madras Govt. Museum, Vol. in, Pt. 1, p. 10.

41.

JRAS, 1934 and 1935.

42.

Epi. Indica, XXXII, no. 10, paras 2-3.