The history of Andhra country (1000 AD - 1500 AD)

by Yashoda Devi | 1933 | 138,355 words

This book recounts the History of the Andhra Pradesh Country from 1000 to 1500 A.D. including many dynasties (for example. the Reddis of Korukonda and the Eruva Chola of Rajahmundry)....

Part 19 - Viragandagopala (A.D. 1243-1253)

Viragandagopala of the Telugu Pallavas exercised independent sway for a decade from A.D. 1243. He was exercising sway in the southern most portions of Nellore district and part of Chingleput district while Abhideva Mallideva and Inumadideva ruled about this time in the northern and southern parts of Nellore district. Towards the close of his reign, Viragandagopala associated his younger brother, celebrated Vijayagandagopala in the governance of the kingdom. In the midst of powerful kingdoms—the Cholas, the Pandyas, Hoysalas, The Kadavarayas. the Yadavarayas, the Kakatiyas and the Telugu Chodas, Viragandagopala extended his kingdom from Nellore to Kanchi and handed it down to his successor Vijayagandagopala

How Viragandagopala came in possession of a kingdom and his relation to Abhideva Mallideva, Bhima and Inumadideva are not known. It has been said that “he probably declared his independence during the political turmoils of the Chola Civil war in 1243”. But this is of no value for Professor Sastri has disproved this Civil War between Raja Raja III and Rajendra III. Anyway, the political condition of Vengi in this period—when the Chola authority in it was not strong, the Velanandu power had decayed, the Kakatiya suzerainty was not well established and the Telugu Cholas were busy fighting elsewhere was convenient for Viragandagopala to carve out a kingdom for himself. Viragandagopala’s records definitely say that he was a Pallava and of Bharadvaja Gotra, so that all doubts regarding that question may be dismissed.

Extent of the Kingdom

The records of Viragandagopala determine the bounds of his kingdom. Most of them are from Gudur Taluk in Nellore District, Little Conjeevaram and Ramagiri in Chingleput district and are issued by King’s subordinates and are dated in his regnal years. The inscription at Ramagiri dated in the 3rd year of Viragandagopala mentions Viranarasimha Yadavaraya Wiragandagopala’s Conjeevaram inscription is dated in his 4th year. His record of the 9th year from Gudur Taluk mentions Maliideva Rasan, his subordinate. In his 10th year Viragandagopala’s career was cut short by Jatavarman Sundarapandya I, the monarch of the Pandyas.

His Political Relations

In extending his kingdom Viragandagopala met with powerful opponents in the Pandyas, the Yadavarayas, and the Kadavarayas, besides others. It may be pointed out that Viragandagopala has been confused and sometimes even identified with Vijayagandagopala, which is wrong.

Viragandagopala and the Yadavarayas

The Yadavarayas were a strong feudatory power in this period. They generally acknowledged Chola Suzerainty. The Yadava Ruler contemporaneous with Viragandagopala was Rajamalla Yadavaraya alias nujabalasiddarasar. Viragandagopala came into conflict with him and Subjugated him by A.D. 1246—his III year Probably he invaded the Yadavaraya kingdom, captured Ramagiri and subdued Rajamalla. Rajamalla’s subordination to Viragandagopala lasted till the end of the latter’s reign when in A.D. 1252-1253, he was forced to acknowledge the Pandyan yoke under Jatavarman Sundarapandya I in his 3rd year.

Viragandagopala and the Kadavarayas

The greatest of the Kadavarayas was Kopperunjinga alias Maharajasimha entitled Avanyavanodhbhava and Sakalabhuvanachakravarti. He was a menace to the security of the Chola, Telugu Chola, and Telugu Pallava Kingdoms even from A.D. 1233, and especially towards the close of the reign of Viragandagopala. Kopperunjinga-Sarvajnakhadgamalla claims to have conquered both Vira and Vijaya. But evidently Viragandagopala did not suffer any reverse in the hands of Kopperunjinga and the latter’s claim is based on the Pandyan Monarch’s victory over Viragandagopala, as has been suggested already by some writers. Thus Kopperunjinga assisted, the Pandyas in fighting Viragandagopala.

Viragandagopala and the Kakatiyas

Viragandagopala and Ganapathi of the Kakatiyas were political allies and acted together against the Pandyal Monarch towards the close of the reign of Viragandagopala though not with any success.

Viragandagopala and the Pandyas

Maravarman Sundarapandya II who succeded to the throne in A.D. 1238 and Jatavarman Sundarapandya I whose accession was between 20th and 28th April A.D. 1251—were the Pandyan contemporaries of Viragandagopala. Under the celebrated Sundarapandya I “one of the most famous warriors and conquerors of South India”, the second empire of the Pandyas reached its widest extent and attained the height of its splendour. Practically the whole of South India upto Nellore and Cuddapah was brought for a time under Pandya Supremacy and all the rival dynasties, old and new, were beaten in the field or laid under tribute.

Viragandagopala came into conflict with the Pandyan Emperor in defensive warfare when the latter invaded the Telugu Pallava dominions Sometime before A.D, 1260—the last for Ganapati, Jatavarman Sundarapandya I led a campaign against the Northern Kings and inflicted a severe defeat on the Tel ungas of Mudugur, slowering them and their allies, the Aryas, right up to the bank of the Peraru and driving the Bana Chief into the forest. The order of expressions in the Sanaskrit Prasasti seems to be significant suggesting the order of occurrence of the events in the campaign attested by his other inscriptions—viz. killing of Gandagopala, occupation of Conjeevaram, defeat of Kakatiya Ganapati and the ceremony of Virabishega at Nellore. Jatavarman Sundarapandya’s other records refer to Viragandagopala as merely Gandagopala and Ganapati as Andhreswara. Consequently the 'Statement that Andhreswara refers to Viragandagopala ruling over Nellore does not stand as Andhreswara and Andhranagara generally apply to the Kakatiyas and their capital in contemporary records and literature. The identification of Mudugur—the scena of battle with Muttukur in the Nellore district has been suggested and Professor Sastri has assumed that the Arayar “is a reference to Ganapathi and his forces which aided Gandagopala”. Thus the campaign was against Viragandagopala who opposed the enemy with the help of the Kakatiyas and the Banas and was defeated and killed. Vijayagandagopala, brother of Viragandagopala lost his independence to the Pandyas. Perhaps to perpetuate and celebrate his victory over Viragandagopala, Sundarapandya I performed virabhishega at Nellore and as the Pandyan records attest, installed Vijayagandagopala as the ruler of the kingdom which was annexed to the Pandyan Empire. This must have taken place in A.D. 1253—the last date for Viragandagopala.

Viragandagopala and other rulers

Rajaraja III and Rajendra III of the cholas, Tikka I, Allutikka and Manmasiddha III of the Telugu cholas Mallideva II and Bhima IV of the Konahaihayas. Dora III and Ganapati of the Chagis, Keta III and Ganapati. Beta and Ganapama of the Kotas, Bhima, of the Parichchedis Rudra I and Rudra II of the Natavadis, Ganapati of the Malay as, Mangayadeva of the Saranathas, Mallapa II of the Chalukyas and Madhava and Singala of the Yadavas were contemporaneous with Viragandagopala. There is no evidence of Vira—Gandagopala coming into contact with any of this rulers.

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