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Part 8 - Kota II (A.D. 1182-1231)

Bhima II had two sons Chodaraja and Keta. Keta’s succession suggests that his elder brother died before his father and shows that no interval of twenty years lasted between A.D. 1160 and 1180 i.e. Ganda II and Bhima II that Kota was a brother’s son of Gandaparaja cannot be accepted for want of data. It may be noted that as Ganda did not rule independently and had a son Mummadi bhimadevaraja the idea that Beta succeeded Bhima as he had no issue does not stand. For the first time in the Kota history, the actual day of the enthronement of a king is given, Kota II ascended the throne at Dhanyavati in s 1104 in the month of Magha on sukla desami, Thursday and signalled the event by issuing a number of grants on that day. In one of his records of the initial year, Bhima is said to have inherited the kingdom by the usaul order of succession. The fact of his inheriting a well extended kingdom shows that the Kakatiya expedition did not materially alter its destinies. As has been suggested alreadyKetaraja, the ancestor of the Damtla, Dantuluri, and Jampani families among Rachavaru i.e. Andhra kshatriyas figuring" in the works dedicated to members of these families is probably Keta II.

Extent and extensions of the kingdom

Of all the Kota kings, Keta II issued the greatest number of inscriptions, which by their location and contents prove the extent of the kingdom. Of the records of his initial year—A.D. 1182, One is from Amaravati, in, another, besides the usual prasasti, he bore the title—sampraptarajyasakalagunanidhi. Keta granted some villages in the districts of Kondanatavadi, Doddikandravadi, Kondapadumati and Kandravadi districts. His inscriptions also dated A.D. 1282, from Velpur-record his grant of ten villages on the day of his crowning. Keta’s record from Madda dated A.D. 1189 mentions Narapa-nayaka and Brahraa nayaka of Velaraktlakula and Brihatkan-chipura. His Amaravati inscription of A.D. 1197 is important mentioning his five queens and indicating his political relations with the Omgerumarga chiefs, the Kondapadumatis, Kona Kandravadis and the Kakatiyas. His records from Amaravati and rukkamala dated A.D. 1200 and 1208 respectively mention Appanapeddi, governor of the country to the east of Rayunux, and Vipparla Kondapanayaka and Gundapanayaka. The Ippatam record at A.D. 1211 mentions Kota Mummadi devaraja, son of Gandabkupati making grants for the merit of his parents in the reign of Kakatiya Ganapati Deva Maharaja. This Mummadi’s relationship to Keta II is not known. Keta’s Panidem record dated A.D. 1231 mentions him as mahamanda-lesvara kota Doddagetaraja A record at Velpur, dated A.D. 1216 mentions Kota Bhimaraju and Rudraraju, the two sons of Keta are available after A.D. 1231, it must be taken to have been the last year of his reign. In an undated record, Keta is mentioned as Dannada Keta. Vankyaraju kamaraju and Minister prola figure in two records of Keta.


Col. Mackenzie mentions two Kota Ketarajas with dated A.D. 1182 and 1209 respectively. But inscriptional evidence shows that the two ketas are one i.e. Keta II whose reign extended from A.D. 1182 to 1231. In the light of this fact, the statement that Keta’s last inscription is dated 1213 A.D. (s 1135) and that he died before s 1138 the earliest date for his sons falls to ground. By A.D. 1211 Mummadi deva of the Kotas, was ruling as a subordinate of Ganapati of the Kakatiyas.Probably this prince was governing in a part of the Kota dominions, like his father Ganda in the reign of Bhima II. His acknowledgement of the Kakatiya suzerainty, must have been due to political exigencies of the time. In A.D. 1218 Bhima and Rudra, the sons of Keta II partitioned the Kotadesa and the record mentioning it also mentions Kakatiya Ganapati..

But Keta’s inscriptions after A.D. 1218 do not mention any suzerain. So the Kota desa of Bhima and Rudra, must have formed another part of the kingdom and they like Mummadi had to recognise Ganapati’s overlordship. Thus Keta II ruled the entire Kota kingdom consisting of Shatsahasra, Kondanatavadi, Kandravadi, Doddikandravadi and Kondapadumati districts from A.D. 1218 with three governors of the royal family under hitn-Mummadi, Rudra and Bhima for the rest of his reign. Keta II is wrongly mentioned as the son of Bhima III and brother of Chodaraja and thus mistaken as Keta III.

Keta’s Political Relations

Keta II and the Cholas: The contemporaries of Keta II on the chola throne were Kulottunga III (A.D. 1178-1216) and Rajaraja III (1216-1246). None of Keta’s records are dated in Chola regnal years. Nevertheless Keta had the title-Chodakata-kasamanta benkolva which might imply the continuation of the Kota loyalty to the chola throne in this period.

Keta II and the Chalakyas

In this period the Chalukyan sovereignty which was lost to the Kalachuris was restored under Somesvara IV. A record from Dachepalle, dated A.D. 1213 mentions mabapradhani who had a number of high sounding titles and his sons Vimalavikrama ditya and Kamanayaka. It mentions Ganapati who is probably Kakatiya Ganapati. Probably, the father Mahapradhani and his sons were some Chalukyan generals, as the name Vikra-maditya suggests, in the Kota kingdom and had to acknowledge Kakatiya authority in A.D. 1213 along with Kota Mumma-dideva.

Keta II and the Telugu Chodas

The Telugu chola kings contemporaneous with Keta II were Siddhi (A.D. 1175-1192), Nallasiddha (A.D. 1187-1214). Erasiddha alias Gandagopala (A.D. 1195-1217) Manmasiddha alias Nallasiddha II (A.D. 1198-1210), Tammusiddha (A.D. 1205-1209), Tikka I (A.D. 1204-1248) at Nellore Mallideva III, Mallideva IV and Opilisiddhi (A.D. 1224) at pottapi and Monnara choda (A.D. 1160-1187) and Dalli choda (1211-1222) at Konidena. The Telugu Cholas, generally loyal to the Cholas were growing strong in this period. Their attempts at independence were curbed by the Cholas. “Nallasiddha’s career as an independent ruler, was soon cut short by Kulottunga’s occupation of Kanchi about A.D. 1196......For the rest of his reign

Kulottunga had no trouble from the Telugu cholas. Kota Bhima inflicted severe defeats on the Telugu Cholas. But Keta II does not seem to have had any conflict with them. Mallideva III made a grant in the Guntur district in A.D. 1227. Perhaps the Ketas and the Telugu Cholas were on terms of alliance in this period.

Keta II and the Kondapadumatis

The Kondapadumati kingdom formed an integral part of the Kota kingdom from the beginning of Keta’s reign or even earlier. Among the queens of Keta II, Sabbama was the daughter of Kondapadumati Buddha by Surama. Buddha is obviously Buddha III and queen Komarama was the daughter of Kondapadumati Manda, identical with Manda III, the first ruler with Buddha, by Ganga. So King Bhima II, when ending the Kondapadumati dynasty married the princesses to his son. Sabbama daughter of Keta II by Komarama figures in a record at Amaravati dated A.D. 1197.

Keta II and the Konakandravadis

Probably the Kona Kandravadis were on terms of subordinate alliance with the Kotas. Parvati, queen of Keta II, was the daughter of King Pota of Konakandravadi by Vinjamamba. Evidently, Bhima II subdued the Konakandravadis and married princess Parvati to Keta II. Keta II’s daughter by Parvati was Lakshmi.

Keta II and Omgerumarga Chiefs

King Malla of Omgerumarga was an ally of Keta II. This may be gathered from the fact that Vinjama, queen of Keta II was the daughter of Malla by Chimmama. Probably Malla was subdued by Keta Bhima II, father of Keta II.

Keta II and the Kakatiyas

The Kakatiya contemporaries of Keta II were Rudra I (A.D. 1163-1196), Mahadeva (A.D. 1195-1199) and Ganapati (A.D. 1199-1260). Rudra and Mahadeva were the sons of Prola II, and Mahadeva’s son by Bayyambika was Ganapati. The extension of the Kakatiya kingdom into Telingana was one of the main objects of the Kakatiyas. In A.D. 1185 Rudra I granted a village near Kondapalle to Tripurantakesvara at Tripurantakam. Rudra’s invasions were repulsed by Choda II and Gonka III of the Velanandus. As a preliminary measure for his conquest of Vengi, Ganapati contracted alliances of marriage with the local rulers in Vengi. By A.D. 1201 Natavadi Rudra I was the brother-in-law of Ganapati. Between A.D. 1213 and 1231, Ganapati seems to have become supreme in Vengi for in A.D. 1213 he granted Chebrole to general Jaya who in his Ganapesvaram inscription of A.D. 1231 mentions Ganapati ruling over that tract of country. Kota. Keta II did not come into conflict with Rudra I. Probably he did not feel strong enough to avenge his father’s death in the Kakatiya hands. According to the Amaravati inscription of A.D. 1197,one of the queens of Keta II was Nagama, the daughter of king Kakati Keta and Kundama, This Keta is unidentified and was undoubtedly a prince of the Kakatiya dynasty.

Records in some parts of the Kota kingdom, dated A.D. 1211, 1213, 1216 and 1223 mention Ganapatideva of the Kakatiyas. The Kaikayat of Pedaganjam says that Keta Kota held the country as ruler for sixteen years till A.D. 1193 and then the Gajapati subdued the country. Keta’s rule of sixteen years gives the date of A.D. 1198 and Gajapati refers to Kakatiya Ganapati, for the Kakatiyas are frequently mentioned as the Gajapatis in recorded tradition. But in Keta’s inscrip-tions-even in those of his last years-Uyyamdona record of A.D. 1226 and the Panidam record of A.D.1231, no mention is made of Ganapati of the Kakatiyas. But it has to be conceded that though Keta II owed no allegiance to the Kakatiyas in records the Kakatiya influence was spreading into the Kota kingdom. The Kaifiyat of Velluru says that under the Kakatiya kings, Kota Keta was the governor over the prince with capital at Dharanikota. But much value cannot be attached to this statement for want of inscriptional evidence. Here it may be noted that the various remarks of the epigraphist with regard to the Kakatiya subjugations of the Kotas, that it happened before S 1133 or in Rudra’s reign and that “Keta appears to have named his son after this Kakatiya overlord as a token of loyalty to his master” do not bear out.

Keta II and the Velanandu Chodas

The Velanandu choda rulers, Gonka III, Prithvisvara, and his successor Manma Gonka were the contemporaries of Keta II. There is no reason to suppose the prevalence of any hostilities between Keta II and the Velanandu chodas. Keta was the nephew of Gonka III and not Gonka II. It is likely that Keta II assisted the Velanandu s in resisting and preventing the Kakatiya intrusions into Vengi though ultimately both were destined to submit to the inevitable—the Kakatiya suzerainty at a later date.