Showing posts with label persia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label persia. Show all posts

Myths of Urdu

Pick up any Urdu textbook and the chances are that it will endorse the following myths: (

  • The term ‘Urdu’ means military camp. Language is called ‘Urdu’ because it was created in the army camps of the Mughals especially during the reign of Shah Jahan;
  • Urdu is a mixed language (khitchri zubaan);
  • Urdu is a Muslim language.

Now let us deal with these myths one by one.

All the histories in Persian about medieval India use the Turkish word ‘Urdu’ (which means ‘camp’ in original Turkish) for ‘city’. The word is not used in the original Turkish meaning in Indian sources in Persian for the most part. Sometimes the terms ‘Urdu-i-mualla’ and ‘Urdu-i-badshahi’ are also used. During Shah Jahan’s time, Urdu-i-mualla referred to the language spoken in the city of Shahjahanabad (Delhi).

The language we now call Urdu has an ancestor referred to as Hindvi and Hindi in most medieval Persian sources. In Gujrat, however, the language is called Gujri and sometimes Gujrati. In the Deccan it is called Dakani and around the Delhi area it is also called Dehlavi. During the 18th century the word ‘Rekhta’ was also used for it.

Meanwhile the British, and also some other outsiders, call it Indostan, Moors and then Hindustani. In fact, the name ‘Hindustani’ was used so much by the British that both Muslim and Hindu scholars often used it themselves for their common heritage during the 1930s and 1940s.

Syed Sulaiman Nadwi and some other thinkers who wanted Hindu-Muslim unity in British India even suggested that the term ‘Urdu’ be abandoned in favour of ‘Hindustani’ because the former conjured up the image of a military conquest and war whereas the latter had no such symbolic baggage.

The word ‘Urdu’ is a contraction of the phrase ‘zubaan-i-Urdu-i-mualla’ (i.e. the language of the exalted city) which came to be used during the late 18th century. It is, in fact, the most recent name for a language which certainly existed even in the 13th century. There are words and sentences which we can recognise even today in the malfuzat (sayings) and tazkiras (biographies) as well as other records of that period. They refer to the language used in the marketplace, songs, conversation and in homes. The military reference does not exist though the language must have been used among soldiers also.

It was certainly used in religious circles because even in far-off Kaniguram in Waziristan, a religious reformer called Bayazid Ansari wrote a book called Khairul Bayan in 1560 which has over 16 lines in this language which the author calls Hindi.

Now for the myth that Urdu is a mixture of other languages. If a language is really a mixture it is called pidgin which is nobody’s mother tongue and a reduced language. It may become a creole when it is developed and becomes somebody’s mother tongue.

Urdu’s ancestor — call it what you will — existed in India (probably in the vicinity of Delhi) as a full language. Words of Persian and Arabic origin crept into it. This was not because of military activities but ordinary everyday interaction.

This is a natural process and modern English came about in exactly this manner. That is why about half the vocabulary of English is from Latin and Greek via Norman French. But English is not called a ‘mixed language’ so why should Urdu be stigmatised as such?

If one starts calling languages mixed in the sense that there was no base for them and words from different languages combined then Urdu is not that kind of product. Urdu is mixed in the same way that English is: it has absorbed words from many languages. The third myth that Urdu is a Muslim language is more problematic. For about 500 years of its existence nobody called it Urdu. It was called Hindi and had many words of Sanskrit origin as do other texts — until the 18th century.

Then a language reform movement initiated by Muslim poets (Hatim, Mirza Mazhar, Nasikh’s students etc) threw out certain words from the corpus of the language. Among them were words like chinta (worry), prem (love), sundar (beautiful) etc. The movement was actually an attempt to create a linguistic marker for the cultural elite which was mostly Muslim. However, instead of being merely a class movement it became a religious one. Thus, Urdu was imbued with distinctive Perso-Arabic cultural content and served as an identity symbol for the Muslims of India.

In the same way, after 1802, modern Hindi was created by weeding out Persian and Arabic words and using only the Devanagari script for writing. These new languages — Sanskritised Hindi and Persianised Urdu — drifted apart from each other and still serve as identity markers for Hindu and Muslim nationalism in South Asia.

During the Pakistan Movement, Urdu became a symbol of the identity of South Asia’s Muslims. It was invested with emotional force and Maulvi Abdul Haq, who used to term it a composite language while in India, started calling it the mainstay of Muslim separatism.

Similarly, Sanskritised Hindi became the symbol of the attempt to eliminate the share of Muslims in Indian culture. This political gulf between the two sister languages remains to this day — although at the spoken level, Urdu and Hindi remain the same language as all Indians who watch Pakistani dramas and all Pakistanis who watch Hindi movies will testify.

However, while Pakistani Muslims insist that Urdu is a Muslim language, the Muslims of India refer to it as a composite language. This is because it is in the political interests of Pakistani Muslims to emphasise the differences between themselves and the Indians while the opposite is in the political interests of Indian Muslims.

In short, Urdu means different things to different people. It is only by separating the myth from reality that we can appreciate its true nature.

Dr Tariq Rahman

origin of Brahmi Script

Brahmi Script
In the last centuries BC the script was divided into 3 varieties: northern, eastern, and southern. Dialectal differences consisted of the shape of the symbols, though the system remained the same. First separate branches emerged in the 5th century AD. The Brahmi script is the ancestor of all modern Indian writing systems, there are about 40 varieties of them nowadays, including Tibetan, Sinhalese, Sharada, Newari, Bengali, Oriya, Gujarati,Gurmukhi, , Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Burmese, Khmer, Lao, Thai, Devanagari. In addition, many other Asian scripts, even Japanese to a very small extent (vowel order), were also derived from Indian script. Languages which used Brahmi as their script: Indo-Aryan (Vedic, Sanskrit, Prakrits, Pali), Dravidian, Iranian (Sacian), Tocharic.

Brahmi origin
Brahmi origin has been controversial. one of the reason is the sudden appearance of fully developed script in the inscriptions during Ashokan period and l absence of inscriptions between Indus valley and Ashokan period(gap of 1500 years). Opinions of Brahmi is divided to into two camps Foreign origin by Foreigners and Indigenous independent development by Indians. Let us see the opinions behind claims.

Foreign origin
Foreign origin or derived script theory is based on the following theories
  • Failure to find and identify actual specimens of between indus valley and pre-Ashokan writing.
  • The testimony of Greek author Megasthenes to the absence of writing in India in the early Mauryan period
  • The evident influence of Indian phonetic and grammatical theory on the structure of the early scripts
  • Uniform appearance of Ashokan Brâhmî all over India.
Aramic origin
It is thought that the brāhmī drift of a Semitic writing like the imperial Aramean alphabet, as it is the case for the alphabet gāndhārī(khartoshi) which appeared at the same time in Northwest India, under the control of the empire of the Achéménides. Rhys Davids thinks that this writing could be introduced in India of the the Middle East by the merchants.The similarities between the scripts are just what one would expect from such an adaptation. For example, Aramaic did not distinguish dental from retroflex stops; in Brāhmī the dental and retroflex series are graphically very similar, as if both had been derived from a single prototype. Aramaic did not have Brāhmī’s aspirated consonants (k, t), whereas Brāhmī did not have Aramaic's emphatic consonants (q, ṭ, ṣ); and it appears that these emphatic letters were used for Brāhmī's aspirates: Aramaic q for Brāhmī kh, Aramaic (Θ) for Brāhmī th (ʘ). And just where Aramaic did not have a corresponding emphatic stop, p, Brāhmī seems to have doubled up for its aspirate: Brāhmī p and ph are graphically very similar, as if taken from the same source in Aramaic p. The first letters of the alphabets also match: Brāhmī a, which resembled a reversed κ, looks a lot like Aramaic alef, which resembled Hebrew .
Southern Semitic origin.
Brahmi is a syllabary, it consists of syllables only, if we state that single vowels are also syllables. Each character carries a consonant followed by the vowel "a", much like Old Persian or Meroïtic. However, unlike these two systems, Brahmi indicates the same consonant with a different vowel with extra strokes attached to the character. Brahmi is written from the left to the right. However in few coins right to left Brahmi is also found.

Phoenician Origin
Phoenician origin is based on the following points.
  • Writing from left to right unlike aramic which is right to left.
  • Striking similarity between theta and Brâhmî tha
Emphasising this two points to Brahmi phoenicaian origin is theory far fetched. Maybe there is influence but no such a thing as origin from Greek alphabet.

Greek and Brahmi
That the basic system of indication of post-consonantal vowels by diacritic marking was originally developed in and adapted from Khartoshi seems well established. But Falk's suggestion that the introduction into Brâhmî of distinct diacritics for short and long vowels was influenced by the model of Greek script is doubtful, since the notation of vowel quantity in Greek operates on entirely different principles. Whereas Greek uses distinct alphabetic characters, mostly derived from Semitic consonants, to represent, incompletely and inconsistently, short and long vowel pairs, Brâhmî has a complete and regular set of matched short/long pairs of post-consonantal diacritic signs.

Brahmi Numerals
Numerical notation system of Brâhmî. Because the use of distinct signs in Brâhmî for each of the digits (1 to 9) and the decades (10 to 90) a similar system used in early Chinese numerals. Also not only in system but also in the actual form of several of the numerical signs, between Brâhmî and heiratic and demotic Egyptian. we dont know which side influenced the other or Independent.

Indigenous origin

Independent origin
script appeared in India most certainly by the 6th century BC, but the fact it had many local variants, which suggests that its origin lies further back in time. The earliest inscription written in Brahmi date back to the 6th century BC in srilanka, and by 2nd century BC already there existed several varieties of it. Brahmi quickly became the official script of religious texts and cults, and therefore spread over all India.
Writting in Pre Ashokan Era
  • J.D.M. Derrett argues Megasthanese talks only about written Legal document not generally writting in India.
  • Nearchos, quoted by Strabo, to the Indians' practice of writing letters on cloth
  • Panini mentions Lipi (Writting)
  • Pali cannon makes reference to likhitako coro,lekha.m chindati (writting) in Vinaya-pi.taka
Ashoka Invention
Harry Falks believes as for him that the brāhmī was created under the Empire maurya. One often admits that it was an invention planned under the reign of Ashoka, necessary to the drafting of his edicts, case similar to that of the Hangul(Korean).

Indus origin
Brahmi script came from the Indus Valley Script. However, the lack of any inscription evidence between the end of the Harappan period at around 1900 BC and the first Brahmi and Kharosthi inscriptions at roughtly 500 BC makes the Indus origin of Brahmi highly questionable. However recent claims of deciphering the Indus script has strengthened this theory. Indus script have been found around 1500BC in Vaishai, bihar. And the theory derives the evidence from similarities as other theories. You can see in the picture .

Now the theory by western scholars is Khartoshi predated Brahmi and it was loose adoptation of Aramic. Khartoshi from Aramic is also not a good argument simply because several cases Khartoshi characters have different phonetic values from the Aramaic letters that they most closely resemble in shape. wide usage of Aramaicin the Ashokan Aramaic inscriptions, in the eastern regions of the Achaemenian empire.another theory is Brahmi is derived from Khartoshi. But this can be disproved on following points. Brâhmî ¤ ha , which can reasonably be derived from an Aramaic * he , but hardly from Khartoshi * ha , and * ta from Aramaic * taw ,
but not Khartoshi ¤ ta

We have to see that each theory putsforward the similarities and keeps silence on the other points. Brahmi is superior script all the others compared. And there is no easier explanation for the development of same.

Related Posts
Was Ancient India Literate
Indus Script Myths
Tamil Brahmi
Pallava Granta Script

Who is Diodotus - Greek Myth

Diodotus, Seleucid satrap of Bactria, rebelled against Antiochus II (about 255 BC) and became the founder of the Graeco-Bactrian kingdom (Trogus, Prol. 41; Justin xli. 4, 5, where he is called Theodotus; Strabo xi. 515). His power seems to have extended over the neighbouring provinces. Diodotus was a contemporary, a neighbour, and probably an ally of Andragoras, the satrap of Parthia, who at about the same time also proclaimed independence from the Seleucid Empire.

Now let us find out who is Diodotus, Is he a Greek King or Mauryan Emperor Ashoka.

Diodotus according to Greeks
Diodotus wrestled independence for his territory from the Seleucid ruler Antiochus II, who was embroiled in a war against Ptolemaic Egypt:
Diodotus, the governor of the thousand cities of Bactria (Latin: "Theodotus, mille urbium Bactrianarum praefectus"), defected and proclaimed himself king; all the other people of the Orient followed his example and seceded from the Macedonians. (Justin, XLI,4 )
Arsaces, the chieftain of the nomadic (Dahan) tribe of the Parni(east Parthia), fled before him into Parthia and there eliminated Andragoras, the former satrap and self-proclaimed king of Parthia, and became the founder of the Parthian Empire (Strabo l.c.).

"Soon after, relieved by the death of Diodotus I, Arsaces made peace and concluded an alliance with his son, also by the name of Diodotus; some time later he fought against Seleucos who came to punish the rebels, but he prevailed: the Parthians celebrated this day as the one that marked the beginning of their freedom" (Justin, XLI,4).

Diodotus I Issued Gold and bronze coins, some of which are struck in the name of Antiochos. Diodotus Soter appears also on coins struck in his memory by the later Graeco-Bactrian kings Agathocles and Antimachus.

Ashoka is Diodotus
  • We can see both are same by the following points
  • Same Era -Both lived in the same era. Both died at the same date.
  • While we have no inscriptions for Diodotus , we have no coins from Ashoka.
  • Being Neibhours both don't acknowledge each other.
  • Both called themselves the Emperor's of the orient.
  • Ashoka started as the governer of some provinces of his father Bindusara(Amitrochates or Allitrochades), Who was friendly with Antiochus I and entertained by ambassadors from Syria and Egypt.
  • During Bindusara period, there was revolt in Taxila(same place of Arsaces), was put down by Bindusara and subsequently another revolt was putdown by Asoka after he ascended the Mauryan throne.
  • In The Nittur Edict Ashoka Calls Himself The Ruler Of Parthavi(Parthia)Lion is as much Royal symbol of Macedonians as Mauryans
  • Stupa's are similar to West Asian Stupas
  • The Kandahar Edict clearly shows Ashoka as the master of Arachosia, whereas the numerous coins of Diodotus-I found from this area indicate that Diodotus was the sovereign of this region.
  • Ashoka has many names, Priyadarsin(Piodasses),Devanapriya, Devadutta, the last term should be seen as Diodotus to greco-Romans, like Sandracuttas (chandragupta Maruya)
  • Ashoka mentions his nearby kingdoms in Girinar inscription as coda, pida, satyaputo(Mysore Jains), ketaleputo, Tambapanni(ceylon), Antiyoka(seleucid-syria), , ptolemy(Egypt), Gongakenos(Gonatus-Macedone), Magas(cyrene-libya),Alexander II(Epirus-Alabania,Greece). So his Empire extended into West Asia. In short he acknowledges kingdoms all west Asia ,but not Diodotus
So Ashoka is Diodotus and Diodotus is Ashoka , the emphasis on the name priyadarsin after the conquests has made him different ruler to the contemproary historians. Maybe the western historians dont want to acknowledge that an Indian Empire stretched to Greece.

Origin of Cholas- Tamil Myth

Cholas are said to be the three dynasties who ruled Tamil nadu from ancient times, But all three dynasties origin remain a question. Let us see the cholas origin.

The etymology of the word Chola has been agreed upon by many historians and linguists to be derived from the Tamil word Sora or Chora. Moreover, numerous inscriptions confirm that the name of the Dynasty was Sora but pronounced today as Chola(sanskrit).

kalvar caste
Cholas belong to kalvar caste, Kalvar are said to be invaders in sangam literatures better known as kalabhras. The kalvar people still live around tanjor. So are the Cholas natives of Tamil nadu.

chalukya cholas
The Eastern Chalukyas ruled a kingdom in Vengi (eastern Andhra Pradesh) from about 625 until 1070, Then they took over the chola kingdom and dynasty. Earlier three generations of Eastern Chalukyan prince have married chola princess. So the question is how they did not face any resistance. In this background Rajendra Chalukya accended chola throne as Kulothunga chola I , thus annexing chola empire to Eastern chalukya empire and there again was no resistance eventhough Virarajendra died and his son and successor Adhirajendra was assassinated. That clearly caste doubts on cholas as any different from chalukya stock.

Chalukya author Bilhana gives a version of the background to Athirajendra’s troubles in his Vikramankadeva Charita.
'On hearing news of trouble and revolt in the Chola country following the emperor’s death, Vikramaditya, immediately marched to Kanchipuram to quell troubles there. Then he went to Gangaikonda Cholapuram, destroyed the forces of the enemy and installed the prince (Athirajendra) on the throne. After spending a month in the Chola capital, Vikramaditya apparently satisfied that peace was restored, returned to his country. '

Vikramaditya VI has come to chola country and he is called Kannadasandhivigrahi as said by his kannada inscription at the Ranganatha Swami Temple, Srirangam as peacemaker between fighting cousins.

Udayaditya, Choda wrote a treatise Udayadityalankaram in Kannada, 75 stanzas on the art of Poetry based on Dandin Kavyadarsa

And they never combined with pandyas and after accession Rajendra chalukya defeated pandyas and annexed the whole of tamil nadu. This raises the question whether chola are kannada stock.

Cholas and Prakrit.
All the Inscriptions are in prakrit, not in tamil. That has to be noted. If they are Tamil rulers then what was the hesitancy in promoting tamil.

Telugu choda
We do not know the origin of Cholas dynasty,but we know the origin of Telugu cholas pronounced Chodas from 5th century AD onwards. We have inscriptions on the following telugu dynasties who were feudataries of Chalukyas. The chodas trace their decent to Ikshavakus , who trace their origin to Manu, the cholas also trace their origin to Manu, Manu Needhi Cholan
  • Velanati Chodas ( Ruled the Velanadu Region Current E.G,W.G and Krishna Districts)
  • Renati Chodas (Ruled the Renadu Regions Current Cuddapah, Kurnool Regions)
  • Pottapi Chodas (Ruled the Renadu Regions Current Cuddapah, Chittor Districts)
  • Konidena Chodas (Ruled the Palanadu region Current Guntur, Prakasam Districts)
  • Nannuru Chodas (Ruled the Pakanadu region Current Anantapur District)
  • Nellore Chodas (Ruled the Nellore,Chittor, Chengalpeta and Cuddapah Regions)
    So the chola dyansty who started under 8th century can also have origin from above telugu cholas. Most apt description would be cholas are telugus , not tamil.

    But Rajendra chola came to help Eastern chalukya king Danarnava against Telugu choda king jata choda bhima(Amma II brother in law). Later after Kulothunga I acended throne as chola king, they shifted loyalty to Chola kings.

    Before Cholas the area round about Tanjavur was under the sway of a dynasty of chieftains known as the Muttaraiyar whose inscriptions are found at Sendalai and Niyamam, and who seem to have ruled either independently or as vassals of the Pallavas.   The Muttaraiyar believed to be ruled from 655AD to 860AD.  The city name " Thanjaur" seems to be derived from the name of a Mutharayar king "Thananjay" or "Dhananjaya".

         Perumbidugu Muttaraiyan alias Kuvavan Maran (c. CE 655-c.680)
        Ilangovadiyariyan alias Maran Paramesvaran (c A.D. 680-c.705)
        Perumbidugu Muttaraiyan II alias Suvaran Maran (c. CE 705-c.745)
        Videlvidugu Vilupperadi-Araisan alias Sattan Maran (c.A.C. 745-c.770)
        Marppidugu alias Peradiaraiyan (c. CE 770-791)
        Videlvidugu Muttaraiyan alias Kuvan Sattan (c. CE 791-c.826)
        Sattan Paliyili (c. CE 826-c.851)

    Tradition says that the muttaraiyar came from North. We find Renati cholas ruling the kadapa region around 600 AD(We have First full length Telugu Inscription). Renati cholas being feudatories of Pulakesi, could have got the kingdom in south during pulakesin raid in tamil nadu. We have Ayyavole 500 (Merchant Guild from Aihole ) using pudukottai  as one of their bases. So may be Muttaraiyar were installed in Tanjore by Pulakesi II. There is a kannada inscription in Kodumbalur.

    The rule of Muttaryaiyar was ended by Vijayalaya chola, who established the chola dynasty.  Vijayala Chola conquered Thanjavur from Elango Mutharayar who was the final ruler of Mutharaiyar dynasty. It is said that in the year A.D.852 Vijayalaya Chola waged war with the Muttaraiyar king Sattan Paliyilli (A.D.826-852) in the neighbouring east, and captured his territory of Thanjavur. While Vijayalaya Chola was supported by Pallava , the Muttaraiyan chief was supported by Pandya. Making use of the opportunity during a war between Pandyas and Pallavas, Vijayalaya having matrimonial relations with cheras captured Thanjavur. After being replaced by  cholas, muttaraiyar ruled as Chola vassals in the same region.

    Now where was vijayalaya from, how did vijayalaya got an army to defeat  a dynasty entrenched in the region.  The answer is,  he is from another branch from the same mutturaiyar family.  First temple work of Vijayalaya was rebuilding a mutturaiyar temple later known as vijaya cholewaram. Both Mutturaiyar and cholas worship Angamma (Ankalamma) devi. Family feud exploited by Pallavas and pandyas. The reason we don't see any swearing from each other. Thus the Chola line of Mutturaiyar comes into place.

    Chola decended from Muttaraiyar and Muttaraiyar decended from Telugu Chodas.  Dravidian scholars describe muttaraiyar as kalvar or kalabhra and dismiss them as uncivilized.

    Pallava origin
    Killivalavan was a chola king mentioned in Sangam Literature, and of a period close to that of Nedunkilli and Nalankilli , in the Purananuru and Agananuru.The etymology of Killi is kilai (Branch in Tamil)

    The word Pallava means branch in Sanskrit, denoting that they are a later offshoot (Kilai-> Branch(tamil)) of Chutus (satkarnis).Pallava is rendered as Tondaiyar in the Tamil language. The Pallava kings at several places are called Thondamans or Thondaiyarkon.The territory of the Pallavas was known as Tundaka Visaya or Tundaka Rashtra.(tundaka - Branch) The Sanskrit meaning of Pallava is Kilai The Tamil Thondai means the same, It shows that Pallavas are descendants (Kilay or Pirivu) of Chutus(satakarnis).

    Karnata dynasties Chalukyas and Rastrakutas call themselves Vallabhas and Pallava also from Karnata have called themselves vallabhas in some places, which translates to valavan in Tamil.

    If we take the killi -> Kilai and Pallava -> kilai and vallabha -> valavan

    We have killi valvan and it shows that killi valavan is generic term applied to pallava vallabha.

    After the pallavas revenge against pulikesin II, Ganga king who had marital relations with chalukyas defeated the pallavas and chased them out of kanchi. So the pallavas shifted themselves to a place called Kaduvetti, which is now in chola country. Many of their inscriptions are from kaduveti. Only after this time we see cholas rising. Cholas might have marital relations with pallavas and  putting killivalavan as one of their ancestors, shows their ancestors are  pllavas. Until Nirputunga pallava cornation ,they were feudatories of pallavas.
    This also solves myth Pallavas are not mentioned in Sangam literature ,so sangam literature has to be dated before pallavas.

    There is no tiger in chola country ,but their emblem is Tiger has to be noted, which show they are from outside Chola region.

    Chola kingdom fell despite efforts to propup their proxy administration by Hoysalas of Halebidu against Pandyas.

    Bengali 's
    The Following is a interesting take from Bengali community. Some Sangam works talks about five tribes who settled in Tamil Nadu. These are Naga tribes from north who moved down to south.the
    • VaeLir - the farmers,
    • Mazhavar - the hill people who gather hill products, and the traders
    • Naagar - people in charge of border security, who guarded the city wall and distant fortresses .
    • Kadambar - people who thrive on forests
    • Thiraiyar - the seafarers.
    Pallavas are said to be sect of Thiraiyar. Later sub sects arose and one of the important sects is MaRavar( warriors, conquerors and rulers; including the major Tamil dynasties of Cheras, Cholas and Pandyas. The Following Paragraph is bengali take on the above subject.

    Bengali's say many Naga-worshipping tribes proceeded from Bengal as well as from other parts of Northern India to establish their supremacy in Tamil Nadu. Of these tribes, the Marans, the Cheras and the Pangala Thiraiyar interest us most. The Cheras, it is stated, proceeded to Southern India from the north-west of Pangala or Bengal and established the "Chera" kingdom of much historical note. It is significant that the Cheras are mentioned in the old Brahmin literature as occupying the eastern tract of the Magadba country. As to the Marans, who are said to have been the neighbours of the Cheras in Northern India, it is equally important to note, that the Pandya kings claim to be of Maran descent. The Marans, who were also called Maravars, are reported to have been a very fierce and warlike people, and that they worshipped the goddess Kali on the top-knot of whose hair stood an infuriated cobra snake. The Pangala Thiraiyars are recorded as the latest immigrants, and it is narrated of them, that they proceeded from the sea coast of Bengal by boat and founded the Chola kingdom at Kanchi. As the phrase Pangala or Bangala Thiraiyar is equivalent to (Tlra-Vanga), we can assert un- hesitatingly, that these people had received Aryan influence in Bengal before they left for the Madras coast.

    So the question is who are cholas , From the above points they are not definitely tamils, they are either Telugu or kannada stock.

    Related Posts
    Date of Karikala
    Myth of Kallanai by Karikalan
    Myth of Tamil Sangam
    Kalabhra Interruption
    Pallava Origin
    Ikshvaku origin

    Origin of Pallavas

    Origin of Pallavas

    Tamil Origin
    Let us see the theory of Tamil origin. The word Pallava means branch or twig in Sanskrit. The word is rendered as Tondaiyar in Tamil language. The Pallava kings at several places are called Tondamans or Tondaiyarkon. The territory of the Pallavas was known as Tundaka Visaya or Tundaka Rashtra. The word Tondan in Tamil means slave, servant, follower or helper and can either be suggestive of the subordinate position the Pallavas bore to the Chutu Satakarnis. On collapse of the Satvahana power, the Pallavas asserted themselves and annexed a large part of South India but the epithet Tondon remained and their territory also came to be called Tondamandlam. The word Pallava (which in Sanskrit means twig or branch) is a translation of Tamil word Tondaiyar and Tondaman and this finds confirmation in some of the copper plate charters which do bring in 'tender twigs' (=pallavams) of some kind in connection with the eponymous name Pallava'.

    But the scholars reject this view since this is a later usage of the term and therefore can not be stated to have given rise to the family name Pallava.

    Srilankan origin
    Tamil literature relates the story of Chola king Killivalavan who moved his capital to Uraiyar after the destruction of the Chola capital of Puhar. Mudaliyar C. Rasanayagam of Colombo claims that Killi Valavan had a liaison with the daughter of Naga king Valaivanam of Manipallavanam (in Jaffna peninsula) in Ceylon. From this union was born a child who was named Tondaiman Ilantirayan whom his father, Killi Valavan, made the ruler of a territory which was named Tondamandlam with capital at Kanchi. It is pointed out that name Pallava derives from the last syllable of Manipallavanam , the land of prince’s mother.
    However this is only Fertile imagination , nothing can be verified as there is no evidence to prove cholas existed prior to Pallava rule.

    Telugu Origin
    Mahavamsa has a tradition that Buddhist monks from Pallava Bogga attended the consecration ceremony of Duttagamini of Sri Lanka. This Pallava Boga has been identified by some scholars with the dominion of Kala in Andhra Pradesh. It is pointed out that the Telugu country south of Krishna had formed the major part of Pallava kingdom till Fifth century(before Kadamba took over them), hence, it is argued that the Pallavas may have been from Andhra lineage. This region is called Palnadu (Pallava Nadu) even today, well-known for the great battle of Palnadu. Another name for this region since ancient times is Kammanadu / Kammarattam,

    Brahmanical - Kshatriya Origin
    According to Dr K. P. Jayswal, the Pallavas were a branch or twig (Sanskrit pallava) of the Brahmana royal dynasty of Vakatakas of the North. The branch was militaristic by profession and thus were able to carve out a kingdom in the South. But according to H. Krishna Sastri, the Pallavas were a mixture of Brahmana and Dravidian lineages. Rayakota copper plates of the Pallavas state that a Brahmin Ashvathama was the founder of the Pallava race. Ashvathama married a Naga girl and bore a son named Skandasisya. Other plates state Skandasisya to be the eponymous king Pallava after whom the family got its name. Earlier Pallava king Sivaskandavarman is probably identified with Skandasisya of the Rayakota copper plates. Some of their inscriptions state that Pallavas belonged to the Bharadvaja-gotra and had descended from Ashvathama of Bharadvaja Brahmana lineage. Ashvathama Bharadvaja was an epic hero and was son of Dronacharya, the Commander-in-chief of the Kuru army in the Mahabharata. In all probability, this appears to be a usual Brahmanical attempt at fabrication of genealogy to connect the illustrious Pallavas to the epic cycles. Or else, the Bharadavaja gotra of the Pallavas might have been due to the reason that the priests and Purohits of the Pallava rulers might have been Brahmins from Bharadavaja lineage. It is pointed out in the Aitareya Brahmana that the gotra of a Kshatriya would be the same as that of his Purohit or priest. Contrasted to the above stated Brahmanical origin of the Pallavas, the Talagunda inscription, on the other hand, clearly states that the Pallavas were of Kshatriya lineage.

    Pahlva (persian origin)
    The name Pallava resembles so much with the Pahlava that there is a school of scholars like Dr V. A. Smith, Dr Jouveau Dubreuil, Dr B. L. Rice, Dr V. Venkaya, G. Coedes, Dr. K. N. SITRA RAM, Dr H. H. Wilson, Dr P.P. Bulsara, Dr Dominique Boubouleix and numerous others who trace the origin of Pallavas in the Iranian Pahlavas.

    Dr Cadambi Minakshi writes:

    (i) The Pahladpur inscription (located in Pahladpur village in Uttar Pradesh State) which is datable to first few centuries of our era , is believed to be a record of the Pallavas in the north. This depends upon correct reading of the term “Parthivanikapalah” figuring in the said inscription. This expression has been translated as “the protector of the Parthavas army”. It has been pointed out that term Parthava here is equivalent to Sanskrit Pahlava. Though the term Pahlava indicates the name of a tribe and Pallava that of a ruling family, it has been pointed out that a tribal name Pahlava could easily turn itself into Dynasty name Pallava.

    (ii) Yet another link between the Pahlavas of the North and the Pallava rulers of Kanchi may be found in a legend which, according to Victor Goloubew , takes its origin from the Scythians and plays a paramount part in the lands penetrated by the Pallavas and their culture. The Nagi legend of the Scythians which is connected with legends in Tamil literature and Pallava copper-plates as well as the annals of Cambodia carries a special significance here.

    On similar reasoning, the same Scythian Nagi legend connects the  Kambojas of the north-west. It is stated here that the close connections of the Sakas (Scythians), the Kambojas and the Pahlavas have been highlighted in numerous ancient Sanskrit texts like Mahabharata, Valmiki Ramayana, and the Puranas. In the Puranic literature, the Sakas, Kambojas Yavanas, Pahlavas and Paradas have been noted as allied tribes and have been referred to as pañca.gana (five hordes) . These tribes were all located in the Scythian belt in Central Asia and were therefore followers of common culture and social customs.

    It appears that Pallava was a just local variant of Sanskrit Pahlava just as the Indo-Chinese Kambuja is a local variant of the standard Sanskrit Kamboja (or Persian Kambaujiya/Kambujiya).
    The ancient inscriptions and coins make it clear that the Pahlavas were ruling in north-west in the beginning of Christian era. There is classical evidence that the Pahlavas were in occupation of Anarta, Soparka and Kalyana region of India in post-Christian times.

    Other sources
    Periplus (80 Century AD) attests a Parthian kingdom comprising south-western parts of Kathiawad and region from Narbada to as far as Kalyana (Thana in Bombay) including the Apranta was ruled by Pahlavas. Their capital has been mentioned as Minagara which city was different from the Minnagra of the Indo-Scythians located on the Indus.

    "Arrian who resided in the second century at Barugaza (Bhroach) describes a Parthian sovereignty as extending from Indus to the Nerbuda. Their capital has been mentioned as Minagara.

    Strabo also attests the Pahlava rule in south-west India around Narbada to as far as Thana District in Konkan (Bombay) in Maharashtra. The Pahlavas governors were in-charge of Anarta and Saurashtra which is mentioned in the Junagad rock inscriptions of Scythian ruler Rudradaman I.

    According to Dr Jouveau Dubreuil, Savisakha, a Pahlava minister of Rudradaman-I, was the ancestor of the Pallavas of Kanchi. From Anarta and Konkan, the Pahlavas had penetrated southern India via Kuntala or Banvasi. It is probable that the Pahlavas had penetrated Deccan before the reign of Gautamiputra Satkarni. Gautamiputra Satkarni is stated to have put to sword the Sakas, Yavanas, Pahlavas and the Kshahratas. The defeat of Pahlavas, Kambojas etc by Gautamiputra Satakarani had probably forced them to move further into the Deccan. The Pahlavas and Kambojas appear to have made inroads into western and south-western India and the Pahlavas subsequently settled at North Tamil nadu and on east coast of India. When the Satavahana fortunes sagged, these Pahlavas seized the opportunity and established themselves as the lords of Kanchi.

    Some early sculptures in the temple of Kanchi and Mahabalipuram depict a crown shaped like an elephant’s scalp which the Pallava kings wore on their heads. This head-dress was definitely foreign in origin and was used by the Greek kings of north-west with whom the Pahlavas (as well as Kambojas) were in close cultural, linguistic and political intercourse. It is pointed out that the Pallavas had copied this head-dress from the Greeks.

    Fifth century Brahmanical text Markendeya Purana attests that the Pahlavas and Kambojas had their settlements not only in Udichya (north-west) but also in south-west India(Karnataka). The sixth century Brhatsamhita of Varahamihira also attests that the Pahlavas and Kambojas were in occupation of south-west (=nairRtyAM dizi) India. The Kambojas as close allies of the Pahlavas are also abundantly attested to have been in south-western as well as southern India by several ancient texts. And very interestingly, Agni Purana locates two Kamboja settlements within India itself, the Kambhoja in south-west India and the Kamboja in southern parts of India.The Garuda Purana also collocates a Kamboj settlement in the neighborhood of Ashmaka, Pulinda, Jimuta, Narashtra, Lata and Karnata countries and specifically informs us that this section of Kambojas were living in southern division of India (dakshina.path.vasinah).Udyogaparava of Mahabharata collates the Shakas, Pahlavas, Paradas and Kamboja-Rishikas apparently situated in/around the Anupa region i.e Anupa-Desa (Narbuda/Tapti region) in south-western India. King Yasovarman, the eighth century king of Kanauj is stated to have fought with the king of Magadha, killed the king of Vanga, reached the eastern shore, defeated the kings of Deccan, crossed the Malaya mountains (east coast of Malabar, southern Mysore), reached the southern sea and fought with the Parasika. He then received tribute from Western Ghats and turned to the north, reaching the banks of Narbada. This eighth century evidence again proves that the Parasikas (Pahlavas here) had indeed penetrated deep into the southern India.

    writers criticize the foreign origin of the Pallavas. They say that the kingdom of Pallavas in southern India was located thousands of miles away from the northwestern Pahlavas and there was also a time-frame discrepancy between the ancient Pahlavas and the early Mediaeval era Pallavas of Kanchi. Therefore, it is not appropriate to connect the Pallavas with the Iranian Pahlavas. Furthermore, the Pallavas of Kanchi are known to have been Brahmanical followers, the devotees of Hindu religion & culture and patrons of the Sanskrit learning. They are also known to have performed Asvamedha sacrifices which exclusively belong to Hindu culture. It is further pointed out that the earliest inscriptions of the Pallavas are similar to Nasik inscriptions of Gautamiputra Satkarni. Their accounts are also said to be similar to those of the Satavahanas. All this evidence, according the critics, point out to the indigenous origin of the Pallavas.

    Pallavas as Kuruba (kannada)
    Dr Rawilinson writes that the Pallavas had collected round themselves the Kurumbas, Marayas, Kallars and other predatory tribes and formed them into a strong and aggressive power which rose into prominence in about 325 CE on the east coast of India, between the mouths of Krishna river and Godavari. The word Pallava is synonymous with rascal, robber or predator in Tamil language, says Dr Rawilinson. About 350 CE, the Pallavas established themselves on the east coast and occupied famous city Kanchi or Conjeeavram

    R Sthainathaier seems to connect the Pallavas with ancient Pulindas, who according him, were identical to the Kurumbas.

    Also the some of the temple structures are similar to Chalukyas architecture. The cave temples seem to the continuos legacy of satvahanas and chalukyas.

    Paintings of Mahisasura mandini in Mahabalipuram suggest kuruba of kannada origin.

    Main rivalry between chalukya and pallava dynasties suggest link between the two.

    Main Evidence is Inscriptions that show that pallavas  origin with Chutu satakarni (kannada dynasty)

    Coins containing the image of a "Ship with two masts" are found almost exclusively on the coast between Madras and Cuddalore in of Tondai Mandalam of which Kanchi is the capital. According to Prof. Rapson, these coins bear the legend "Siri pulamavi". 'the  Ujjain symbol indicates Satakarnis. So this dynasty reigned over the territory of Kânchîpuram. Further, an inscription of Pulumâvi, the last king of that dynasty, prince Skandanaga was his  great general. Chutus emblem is Cobra hood (naga). Banavasi was once called NagaKhanda.

    In VelurPalaiyam Inscription, the Pallva dynasty founder sivaskandanaga did not get to rule Kanchi by conquest. He got it by marriage to Chutu satakarni princess Nagasri. The Kanheri inscription mentions her as  NagaMulanika. The pallava ruler should have been a general under Chutus before he inherited southern portion of the Empire.

    The inscription Banvasi  says that king satakarni had  a daughter who joined her son in making gift of a  naga. The son was called Sata Sivaskanda. Rapson writing on this subject says there can be no doubt  that Kanheri Nagamulanika  is to be identified with the donor mentioned in the following inscription from Banavasi and that she was, therefore, the daughter of  king Haritiputra Vishnukada Chutu Satakarni whose name must have stood original Inscription , Kanheri  being situated in Aparanta, there can be no doubt that the Chutu  succeeded the satavahanas  not only inherited south India but also Aparanta,(konkan).

    The prince Sivaskanda naga was  not a Chutu because he has married  a Chutu princess. To which dvnasty did he belong?  He was  descendant of the kings that reigned over  the territory of Chitradurg,  about fifty miles east of Banavasi, where we find the inscription of Sivaskanda Nàga Sada, and to the west of Chitaldurg, on the site of an ancient city whose name is said to have been Chandravali where found in some leaden coins which bear the name of Sadakana Kalalaya Maharathi The emblems are, on the obverse, a humped bull standing, and on the reverse, tree and chaitya.  This Sadakai (Satakarni) who bears the title of Maharathi  is probably an ancestor of Maharathi Satakana or Sata who made the grant of a naga at Banavasi. In fact, both of them are Maharathis; they have the same title of Sata, and they have both reigned in the same country, in the vicinity of Malavalli and Chitaldurg. The kings of this country were Nagas; Mr. Rice says The early inhabitants of the country were  probably to a great extent, Nagas, or serpent worshipper, that is, of the cobra, which is the emblem of Chutus.

    Ptolemy Map(140AD) shows SoraNagas and BasaroNagas  in Kanchi and southern tamil nadu. So effectively Chutus are ruling Tamil Nadu and Pallavas inherited the land.

    Bana refers to satakarni as Tri-samudra-toya-pita-vahana meant 'the ruler whose subjects drank the water of the three seas of the east,west and south'. The Bay of Bengal,The Arabian Sea and The Indian Ocean.
    Curiously pallavas also claim their origin to Trilochana same as Kadambas. Pallavas had marital relationships with Gangas.

    The pallavas ruled the region for about 2nd century to almost 8th century , a tribe which is foreign cannot rule the land for so long. so it points to kuruba origin and the way Gangas ruled in the area and Ganga-pallava legend  show they are very similar and of kuruba or kannada origin.

    Related Posts:
    Origin of Satavahans
    Origin of Cholas
    Origin of Kamboja

    Myth of Alexander Victory in India

    Scholars say alexander never won instead he lost to porus

    by Kamesh Aiyer

    Many years ago I came across a comment in a Usenet posting (to those who don’t remember Usenet, it was the blog of the pre-web world), that said that there was no proof that Alexander won any victories in India and that it might be more appropriate to call him “Alexander the Merely Mediocre”.The comment amused and intrigued me and much later I had an opportunity to read Alexander’s biography by Plutarch. I was surprised to find out that Plutarch wrote his biography over two hundred years after Alexander’s death using oral legends as his source. It is possible that he may also have had access to a personal diary kept by Alexander’s physician, but that is about it. Plutarch wrote the biography of Alexander as part of a series of biographies that contrasted the different styles of great Greek leaders, and in his view, Alexander was possibly the greatest of the greats, flawed only by youthful indiscretions. But otherwise, the tale came from legends spread by Alexander’s friends after he came back from India and died.So the story of how Alexander met and defeated the Puru king (“Porus” to the Greeks) and released him because Puru asked to be “treated like a king” in defeat did not come from any documented source. It was a legend.
    The story, then, of Alexander’s triumphant march into India, finally only giving up at the urging of his soldiers who were tired after years of fighting and who wanted to return to their loved ones (in Persia?); the odyssey down the Indus, defeating various kingdoms but sustaining a deadly wound; and, finally splitting his army in two so that they would have a better chance of returning with the news in case of further conflicts; returning with a fraction of his army to the seat of his empire in Persepolis and his death from his wounds; all based on legend. No documents, no sources, just myth.So did Alexander really venture successfully into India and turn back at the urging of his men? Or was it all spin?
    I’ve searched what I can access of Usenet now and looked elsewhere for any follow-up to the original comment. I did not find any, so I thought I should follow up, if only with a comment on Boloji!
    Alexander’s defeat of the Persian empire and his victory over Egypt are well documented by non-Greek sources. So, I am not saying anything about these. After Alexander’s death the empire was divided into three, corresponding roughly to Greater Greece, Egypt, and Greater Persia, with tributaries to the east commanded by generals, such as Seleucus. No lands east of the Indus were part of this division; and subsequently, under the Mauryas, an Indian empire extended all the way into modern Afghanistan (ancient Gandhara) and modern Baluchistan (ancient Gedrosia). So Alexander did not even leave behind successors who would acknowledge his rule.

    So what exactly happened to Alexander in India?Supposedly, Alexander first met some resistance from minor kingdoms in the Northwest, possibly from around Swat. He defeated these rulers. Then he met Ambi of Taxila who welcomed him as a fellow ruler, agreed to be his vassal, and offered him safe transit to the east. Then Alexander laid siege to a city and commited a crime against Athena by promising a safe conduct to mercenaries defending the city and massacring them after they left the city – Plutarch believes that the withdrawal of Athena’s blessing was the reason why he could not complete his victories in India. Then Alexander crosses the Indus into the Punjab and somewhere near modern-day Delhi, perhaps even in the historic battlefields of Panipat or Kurukshetra, he fought Porus and Porus lost. There is a story about how the Indian elephant brigade was winning the day when by cleverly attacking Porus’ elephant, the Greeks managed to un-elephant Porus, and the elephants in disarry retreated rough-shod over their own troops.Porus is captured and brought to Alexander in chains. Alexander looks at the tall (supposedly 6 cubits) Porus and asks him how he wanted to be treated. Porus replied, “Like a king” – his arrogance and pride aroused Alexander’s admiration.Promptly, Alexander released Porus, agreed to be his friend, restored his lost kingdom to him, and added to it lands that were part of Ambi’s Taxila.Huh?
    Let’s have that again.Ambi, who fought on Alexander’s side, lost lands to Porus as a result of Porus’s defeat. Some defeat.Then, having established himself as a magnanimous victor, Alexander asked Porus what it would take to win the rest of India. He made the mistake, I guess, of asking this in public with all his generals listening in, and Porus described the entire rest of the Gangetic valley with its multiple kingdoms, and the Magadhan empire downstream. Porus described these in terms of how much bigger they were than his own little kingdom.As a result, there was no more stomach among Alexander’s generals for continuing. They had almost lost to Porus. How could they successfully confront even larger forces?And so Plutarch’s story goes that the army revolted against continuing. And Alexander decides to retreat, but he asks Porus what the best way to return would be. He is told that he should go down the Indus in boats and then go along the Makran coast in boats and ships to Arabia and thence to Persia. And Alexander does something like that – at the Indus delta he splits his force into two and sends one by sea and the other by land and they both return safely after three years.
    But, uh-ho?Why couldn’t he just retreat? He had just defeated Porus and obtained his eternal friendship. He had defeated the kingdoms along the way and set up his own warlords to rule them. Ambi was his friend (well, maybe). He knew the way back.There is a simpler explanation that does not require one to strain one’s intelligence. Alexander lost to Puru. Puru imposed a separate peace on Ambi that included the surrender of some Taxilan land to Puru and a withdrawal of support for the Greeks. Alexander negotiated a safe-conduct for his own troops, provided they went down the Indus, and did not trouble Taxila or Puru again.So there’s Alexander, having suffered his first major defeat, set adrift down the Indus with a much reduced army. To get food and supplies, they have to negotiate or fight with the cities they pass. They even pick up some “philosophers” from a city populated and defended by “philosophers”, i.e., Brahmins. Plutarch has some stories about these Brahmins, some of which remind one of prescriptions in Kautilya’s Arthashastra.Along the way, Alexander suffers a wound to the side.They reach the delta of the Indus and make a decision to split – I’d like to imagine that the idea of splitting his force came from his Indian philosopher friends. It was wise advice. Alexander’s most urgent concern would have been for his family and his empire if any Persian enemies or even some fair-weather friends received the news of his defeat. The two halves of his army would be tied by bonds of friendship (and hostages in all but name retained by Alexander in his force). Whichever half returned first, it would serve to spread a different story, a story of the victory and the magnanimity of Alexander the Great.

    What was left back in the Gangetic plain? Two “small” kingdoms, Taxila and Puru, that were to be swallowed up by the expanding Magadhan empire. Twenty years later, Chandragupta Maurya would take over the Magadhan empire and the true details of the encounter between these Indian kingdoms and Alexander would be lost to history for ever.Instead, Alexander’s physician and friend who had taken care of him on his deathbed had a journal to write. And his other friends had a story to tell, that would ensure that the myth of Alexander Megalos (the Great) would keep his enemies from attacking him as he lay dying.
    Centuries later, Plutarch makes Alexander immortal.Why do I call the legend of Alexander “spin”. Because that is what it is. Alexander could not afford to look like a loser. His successors could not afford to look like losers. Years later, Plutarch could not afford to deflate the Alexandrian bubble.If we took the inhabited portions of all of Alexander’s verified conquests, and excluded the “Indian” provinces of Gandhara and Gedrosia, the resulting empire, “Alexander’s empire”, would be a little bit smaller than the inhabited portions of the Gangetic plain. Yes, Alexander may have been a great warrior and he was surely a lucky one when he defeated the weakened Persian empire, but it would be silly of us to accept without question the thesis that Alexander was all set to conquer the kingdoms of North India. But such is the influence of the “West” on us Indians – and by the “West” I mean the Persians, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Arabs, the Europeans, the English, the Americans, and so on, that we accept without question that some tin-pot megalomaniac was about to do just that.