Showing posts with label Mukhari. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mukhari. Show all posts

Reign of VishnuKundin

The Vishnukundina Empire (Telugu: విష్ణుకుండిన సామ్రాజ్యము) was one of the Middle kingdoms of India, controlling the Deccan, Orissa and parts of South India during the 5th and 6th centuries, carving land out from the Vakataka Empire. It played an important role in the history of the Deccan during the 5th and 6th centuries CE.

With pulikesin II coming to power in South India and Harshavardhana  in North India, Indian chronology becomes very clear. The chronologies of  Earlier dynasties who ruled the country especially south India unclear. Indologists having introduced Satavahanas just before 3rd century AD, have found a number of dynasties ruling at the same place at almost same time. Unable to come to terms with this new realities, Indologists have called these dynasties phantom dynasties. One of the Phantom Dynasties is Vishnukundin. Is it a phantom dynasty, whose period cannot be fixed, whose origin cannot be fixed?
Let us see


Vishnukundina is a Sanskritized name for Vinukonda. Kielhorn suggested a connection of the name of the family with that of the hill-fort and town of Vinukonda in the Krishna district, about 60 miles east of Srmaila and 50 miles south of the Krishna river. Vinukonda, according to Kielhorn, was possibly the early home of the Visnukundins.

Tummalagudern plates describe the members of the Vishnukundi family as Srlparvatlyas. That is of Srisailam. In fact all the grants except Madhavavarman I call themselves as the devotees of sriparvata. So their origin is mainly Sriparvata or Srisailam.

Ayodya Origin
One theory states that they are of Koundinya gotra of Kshatriyas who migrated from Ayodhya (Oudh) during the early 5th century. But we have evidence to back up this theory. Theory deriving the name from 'Vishnukunda' fire-pit-the theories connecting it with the 'Vishnukundi' river.

Western (Karnataka) origin
Madhavavarman II has been described in this inscription as trikuta-malay-adhipati, " lord of Trikuta Malaya. Is this Trikuta refers to Trikutas. Experts say that they may assisted the overloards Vatakatas against Trikutas. But to say Lord of Trikutas puts it beyond their capabilities. Vatakata Narendrasena and Harisena who defeated Trikutas ruled the same time as Madhavavarman and the claim may be due to this relation.
On the basis of Indrapalanagara grants, B.N. Sastri assumes that the earlyrulers of the dynasty migrated to the west in search of employmentand under the Vakatakas they might have attainedfeudatory status with Indrapalanagara in the Nalgonda districtas their capital.

Central Indian Origin
Trikuta is identified as Tagara (Maharastra), Mahendragiri(Ganjam Dist) and Amaroati(MP) and said they are from Central regions. But the evidences are lacking.

Vatakata origin
Madhavavarman I married a Vatakata princess and they occupy the vakataka areas of srisailam after the demise of vatakatas. So this leads to the speculation that they are related to Vatakatas and they are protege of Vatakatas.

We come to the conclusion that the original home of Vishnukundin is Vinukonda in Andhra and they were a local dynasty. They were devotees of Srisailam. Malaya in the inscription can been taken to be the Srisailam hills.

Period of VishnuKundins
Vishnukudin cave temples are similar to Early Pallava , orissan and Kadamba Cave temples.  So VishnuKundins are of Early Pallava Period.

Chalukya Conquest of Vengi
Pulikesin II conquered vengi and went to kalinga , there he appointed Ganga officers for revenue collection and in 615AD his kid brother and Yuvaraja Kubja Vishnvardhan was appointed viceroy in Vengi. After this time there is no other Independent rulers in south India, other than Pallavas and Harshavardhana in North. Chalukya empire stretched West coast to East coast. So 615AD is the last date of ending of Any Independent king who ruled in vengi. So who was ruling vengi before them. Harsha empire did not include Vengi. Harsha empire did not even touch Kalinga coast, then we have Pallavas, but we know pallavas are not ruling in vengi , their empire ruled south of Guntur. That leaves as to the vishnukudins. So the king who was defeated by Pulikesin is Vishnukundins. But we have Kubja vishnuvardhana brother presence around vengi in 609AD. Eventhough Vishnukundins were deposed of their earlier stature by pulikesin, vishnukundins were found ruling as feudatories of Eastern Chalukyas even in 8th century AD. But let us this issue later.

Indrapalanagar grant of Vishnukundin king Vikramednra II , says that he broke the twig of pallavabhoga, that is defeated Pallava king Simha in Saka 488 (566 CE). The Pallava Simha has to be Simhavishnu (550-580). The Amaravati hold of Vishnukudins seems to be a brief one. Since Guntur was held by pallavas throughout vishnukudin era. Again we have to note that Pallava Bhoga is identified as Ananda Gotrikas or Anandas ,but we have no evidence to back up this theory.

We get geneology of kings from these Vishnukundin inscriptions
1. Tummalagudem Plates (Set I) of Govindavarman Year 37
2. Velpuru Pillar Inscription of Madhavavarman , Year 33
3. Ipur Plates (Set I) of Madhavavarman, Year 37
4. Khanapur Plates of the Time of Madhavavarman
5. Ipur Plates (Set II) of Madhavavarman Year 47
6. Ramatirtham Plates of Indravarman, Year 27
7. Chikkulla Plates of Vikramendravarman , Year 10
8. Tummalagudem Plates (Set II) of Vikramendravarman , Year 11, Saka 488
9. Kundulapalem Plates of Vikramendravarman , Year 14
10. Polamuru Plates (Sot I) of Madhavavarman

Here is the kings list based on Velpuru pillar, Ipur I, Ipur II, Ramatirtham, Chikkulla and Godavari Grants,Khanapur plates(Identification with Rastrakuta),Tumma-lagudem plates, set II,Kandulapalem plates
Madhavavarman (Sainyabhitta)(Extended kingdom to coast) (Husband of Vatakata)
Madhavavarman Janakaya (First Vishnukudin king of Vengi)(Destoryed Salankayana)
vikramahendravarman (Defeated by Prithvimula of Kalinga)
IndraBhattaraka (Defeated Simha of Pallava)(Crosses the Godavari )
Vikramahendravarman uttamaraya
Madhavavarman (Janasraya)(Becomes Indpendent)

Constructing Geneology
Now the reign of last known ruler of Vishnukudin is Vikramahendra Varma II has to start 11 years before the Tummalagudem Plates(Saka 488 - 566AD) that is 555AD.

So Indravarman reign father of Vikramahendravarman.
Ramathirtham plates are issued 27th year of his reign, his reign cannot start later than 528AD(555AD-27). Even assuming short reign of 10 years after this plate, puts his accession to 517-518AD.

Now to Vikramahendravarman I father of Indravarman
He did not give any Inscriptions, Assuming minimum 10 years to his reign we come to 508-518 for this rule.

Now coming to his father Madhavavarman I, his Polamaru plates(Eighth Year of Reign) cannot be dated before 478AD or his accession 470AD. Now Ipur plates are issued in 37th year of his regime. Ajaya Mitra Shastri says that Madhavavarman I reign is between 487-528AD. We can deduce that Madhavavarman regime to be between 470-507AD. We know Madhavavarman extended the kingdom to the coast(Vengi). But we don't have any evidence to back the theory he defeated Salankyana's. So cannot link him to dating of Salankyana's.

Not much achievement is given by inscriptions on Devavarman father of Madhavavarman, except he is respected as mularaja(founder) and his crown queen is held in high esteem. So giving him a minimum decade or two , we can say the Vishnukundins started their regime in 455AD.

Let us go to the pain (Problem) points
Trivara and Madhavavarma
Madhavavarman Janasraya gives in his inscription both in Ipur Plates and Polamuru Plates.

Meaning The Delighter of the hearts of the young ladies in the palace(Palaces) of Trivaranagara. Scholars point out that Madhavavarman did not undertake any military expedition to trivarnagara, but only resided there. one of the scholar identifies Tiruvuru to be in krishna Dist. Some scholars identify Trivara to be three cities and it refers to Madhavavarman capturing three cities or simply it refers to three affluent cities of his kingdom,where he had palaces full of girls. We will go Traivaranagara and Trivaradeva in another article. The term does not seem to hold any significance in the present context.

Fall of Vatakatas
One more question that Vishnukudins comes into play is fall of vatakatas. The theory is Madhavavarman I became too powerful and occupied the vatakata empire. This theory is based on the khanapur plates, where one madhavavarman is said to have made elevan asvamedha 's and thousand Agnistomas etc. As this is plate is given in Maharastra, And Madhavavarman of this plate is identified with Vishnukudin Madhavavarman and the conclusion drawn that Vishnukudins gave death blow to Vatakatas. However scholars dimiss this Madhavavarman to be different and they say that no other record of vishnukudin is found Maharastram, And Also Chikkulla plates of vishnukudin say Madhavavarman(535AD) is son in law of Vishnukudin. But one possibility may be Madhavavarman might have defeated Vatkatas and also got the daughter of vatakata in marriage as a peace proposal, Another possibility may be, He married vatakata princess and inherited the kingdom. But we have see that Vatatakata Prithvisena II's Mother is Kadamba origin, so any usurping of rule from Prthvisena or his successor would have got the kadamba wrath. So defeat of Vatakata by Vishnukundin is just a myth.

After the death of Prithvisena II (main branch of vatakatas), Harisena of Basim(Western) branch of vatakatas became king of all vatakatas, as prithvisena II did not leave any heir. Now we have to see madhavavarman in this context. The Vatakata princess may been married to him to keep peace on the eastern side. Prithvisena II is dated to 460-480AD,based on this Madhavavarman can be dated to 470-507AD.

Madhavavarman I regime
Now Prithvisena II date is confusion when he ruled, as Harisena of Basim branch ruled from 475 to 510AD and Prithivisena II died soon after Harisena ascended throne. And we have Harisena replacing the main line of vatakatas. We do not hear Harisena or his successors having marital relations with Visnukundins. So the Vatakata princess has to be daughter of Prithivisena II(Prithvisena II mother Kadamba). If there were any Son to Prithivisena II , kadambas may have come to their aid, if Madhavavarman I has defeated vatakatas. Based on this date and dates from the plates. let us take Madhavavarman I regime to be 470-507AD.

Confusion in Indrapur Plates.
Indrapura Plates I by vikramahendravarman give the geneology of vishnukundinas Govindavarman , his son Madhavavarman (Eleven Asvamedhas,several sacrifices such as Bahusuvarna, pundarika,vajpeya etc and husband of vatakata), his son vikramahendra (Devout follower of Buddha and great poet) , his son Indrabhattarkavarman(Lord of chakravartishetram by his victories over many four tusked elephants),his son vikramahendrabhattaarakavarman(Has Several Samantas) and he treated one Madhavaraja(forcibly ousted many kings , handsome and has several qualities like political wisdom and valour) as his own son, also we get paramabhattarikamahadevi (Crowned queen) of Govindaraja was born in the famous royal family of Prithvimula

Indrapura Plate II , was issued by Govindavarman. The Indrapura plates II gives the geneology as Maharaja Indaravarman, his son Maharaja Madhavavarman, his son maharaja govindavarman (Made several grants to temples and viharas), the last king of the grant is dvarvembadala also known as penka, to the paramamahadevivihara at the instance of the crowned queen

Now these plates gives the following problems in genology.
1. Who is this madhavaraja and what part he played in making this grant.
2. How do the kings mentioned in Second grant relate to kings mentioned in First plates chronologically.
3. Were both Govindaraja's identical or same.
4. How was prithvimula related to Vishnukundins

Let us try to solve this problem. Scholar Mirashi says that Madhavavarman of First plate is kid brother of Vikramahendravarman of Second plates. This madhavavarman succeeded his brother after his death as he was without children and he is the madhavaraja of first plate. Madhavavarman II also served as the Yuvaraja of Vikramahendravarman II and won many battles and deposed many kings.

In Jaunpur Inscription Isvaravarman describes himself who estinguished the spark of fire coming from dhara. Yasodharman is also of same period. So Spark of Malwa is Yasodharman and he was defeated by Isvaravarman. Yasodharman defeated Huns in 515AD, so the date of defeat of Yasodharman to Mukharis has to be post 515AD.
Now how Mukharis and Malwa Guptas(Not connected to Imperial Guptas) fight is legendary. Kumara gupta of Malwa(Son of Jivita Gupta) defeated Gaudas as per Damodurpur grant(543-544AD). Isnavarman won victory over Huns between (560-590AD).
Haraha Inscription(Vikrama 611 or 554AD) is as follows.

Jitv-Andhr- Adhipatim sahasra-ganita-tredha-ksharad-varanam
vyavalgan-niyut-ati-samkhya-turangan-bhanktva rane sulikan
kritvach-ayati-mau(mo)chita-sthalo-bhuvo Gaudan smudr-asraya
n-adhyasishta nata- kshitisa-charanah singha(mha) sanam yo jiti.

He also defeated Andhra king(Vishnu kudin) as per the Haraha inscription. One more king he defeated is Sulikas, who identity is under dispute. Fleet believes Sulikas are Mulikas of Northwest Frontier, H.N Shastri Says they belong to Kalinga and Vidharba, Raychaudhari correctly identifies sulikas as branch of Chalukyas. Mahakuta inscription says Kirtivarman I (566 - 597AD) obtained victories over Anga , Vanga and Magadha. So it has to be Chalukyas.

Now Isnaravarman defeated Andhra king before his accession that is during the rule of his father isvaravarman. Now the date of Accession of Isnavarman is 550AD, so the the victory over Andhra king should have been before 550AD. Now the Indrapalanagara or Tummalagadem plates (Saka 488 or 566AD) given at 11th year of Vikramahendra varman II, Since the Andhra rules at the time of clash was not Vikramahendravarman, the clash should have taken place before 555AD. Now his father Indravarman ruled for atleast 27years as per Ramathirtham plates(given at 27th year of accession). Even assuming just 27years as the reign , the date of accession cannot be earlier than 528AD. Indravarman's Father Vikramamahendravarman I often described as Maharaja left no inscriptions and if we assume the 10 years for his reign, he could have came to power 518AD that is before reign Isnavarman father Isvaravarman. So Madhavarman date preceding Vikramahendra I cannot have been defeated by Isnavarman.
This is a sticky point. Did Isnavarman defeated the Andhra king or is it just a raid. If it was a raid than Isnavarman would have been beaten back and the Vishnukundins would have blown the trumphet as victory. So we have to take that Isnavarman did defeat Andhra king and It could have occurred during the reign of Indravarman. Whom I have conveniently named as Madhavavarman II, though we have no evidence that the Isnavarman defeated Andhra king.

Not going to any other arguments we get the genology as follows.

Govindavarman I (Founder) (455-470AD)
Madhavavarman I (470-507AD)(Extended Kingdom to Vengi)(Marital Alliance with Vatakatas)(Title Lord of Dakshin Chakravartishethram)
his son vikramahendra I (508-518AD)(Title Maharaja)(Ornament of Vakataka and Vishnukundin Dynasties)
his son Madhavavarman Indrabhattarkavarman (Madhavavarman II)(518-554AD)(Contemproary of Mukhari Isvaravarman)
his son vikramahendra bhattaarakavarman (vikramahendra II) (555- 567AD)(Raided Pallavas of Guntur)

his brother Madhavavarman III (567-578AD)
his son Govindavarman II (578-615AD) deposed by Pulikesin II

Ganga Era
The dates of Early Eastern Ganga Dynasty has been always questioned. Nadagam plates of Vajrahasta state that Ganga rule was established by destorying Baladitya(467AD). But we have no evidence to support this date or theory. There are two inscriptions of Early Eastern Ganga Dynasty. Hastivarma dated 80th year of Ganga Era is first king (Adhiraja) and Indravarman dated 80th year of Ganga Era. Both are styled as the founders of Early Eastern Ganga Dynasty and devotees of Gokarna in comforts of kalinganagara. Both grants are given by VinayaChandra son of Bhanuchandra. who is enemy of IndraBhattaraka How do you date this era.
Mr.Ramadas dates to 350AD found on Salankyana Pedda Vegi. But the lettering and other things dont match.
Mr. Subba Rao of Rajamundary dates it to 450AD, based on the contention Indra varman of Achyuthapuram same as Indravarman Bhattaraka.But Visnukundins were ruling Kalinga at that time. We cannot date this to 540AD, because where will you place Prithvimula and Mukharis.
So the IndraBhattaraka has to be a Eastern Chalukya IndraBhattaraka. So Early Eastern Gangas came as Revenue Administrators to orissa under Chalukya Command is valid.

Vishnukundinas are Local Andhra origin. Their Geneology has been given. Vishnukundins ruled from 450 to 615AD and during that time they were a force to reckon with. The vishnukundins are successors of Ikshavakus. They allied with Vakatakas and successfully fought with Pallavas and Salankayanas to expand the territories.

Buddhist remains in Āndhra and the history of Āndhra between 224 & 610 A.D.By K. R. Subramanian
Inscriptions of the Śarabhapurīyas, Pāṇḍuvaṁśins, and Somavaṁśins: IntroductionBy Ajay Mitra Shastri
Some early dynasties of South India By S. Chattopadhyaya
Vakataka - Gupta Age Circa 200-550 A.D. By Ramesh Chandra Majumdar, Anant Sadashiv Altekar
Literary and historical studies in indology By Vasudev Vishnu Mirashi
Cultural contours of India: Dr. Satya Prakash felicitation volume By Satya Prakash, Vijai Shankar Śrivastava
The Vishnukundis and Their Times by S. Sankaranarayanan, T.V Mahalingam

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