Showing posts with label vishnukundin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vishnukundin. Show all posts

Reign of Salankayana

Salankayana ruled from 3rd century AD to 5th century AD. They were known as Salankayana after the Gotra name. They were the feudatories of Ikshvakus. They Ruled near vengi area, with Vengi (Eluru) as the capital. Salankayana is another of the Phantom kingdoms of Andhra for Indologists. Their date is fixed based on Samudra Gupta inscription mention of Hastivarman of Vengi. What we are looking here is to know more about them and also fix their dates.

Let us see Salankayana rulers first.
Deva Varma (Founder)
Ruled in last quarter of 3rd Century AD.
Performed Asvamedha Yagna (320AD)
Might have killed Jayavarma of Brihatpalayanas(Speculation), Annexed territories north of krishna river from Jayavarma

Hastivarma I
Succeeded Deva Varma
Might have Established friendly relations with Pallavas.(Speculation)
Built number of Temples
Established Chaturvidyasala (centre of Vedic learning)

Nandi varma I
Known for Valour
Known for giving gifts.

Hastivarma II
Defeated by Samudragupta
Mentioned in Allahabad Pillar Inscription
To check amibitious brother Achandavarma, he appointed his son skandavarman as yuvaraja, but however his son died.


chandavarman succeeded Hastivarma II and ruled for some years.
Komarti plates Ganjam Dist given in sixth year of Chandavarman, talks about his son Vijaya Nandi varman and earlier ruler Devavarman

Nandivarma II
son of Achandavarma Ruled for some years, but was put to end by Vishnukundinas.
Issued Kolleru Plates

Ellore Prakrit grant

Kollair grant
Nandivarman, Eldest son of Candavarman

Peddavegi grant
Nandivarman I, Son of Hastivarman
Candavarman, son of Nandivarman I
Nandivarman II, eldest son of Candavarman.

Kanteru grant - II

Various scholars have debated and arrived at this Genealogy.
Nandivarma I
Nandivarma II

Salankayana was a vedic Rishi and his gotra was adopted by this dynasty of Vengi. However they are simply called Salankayana not as Salankayana gotra. The Word Salankayana indicates Nandi, the bull of Shiva. So the crest of Salankayana was connected with name of their family not of Gotra.

Similarity in names of Pallava, Brihatphalayana, Salankayana and the epithey Pitrabhakta, which bore the emblem of bull, raise the assumpton they are of same stock. But they can all be feudatories of Chutus.

Salankayana's patronised vedic culture
Worshipped Sun. Also worshipped Shiva and Vishnu
During their time Hinduism spread to Neighborhood Burma and Combodia
Tolerant of Buddhism
scholars like Dignaga, Buddhapalita, Bhavaviveka propagated Buddhism without any Hurdles.

Historical Records
Panini and Patanjali
Panini and Patanjali indicates Salankayana in North West India. Panini gives Salankayana twice. Once as Gotra and another time as ruler of place called Salankayanaka.

Ptolemy locates a tribe , the salakenoi somewhere about the oroudian mountains bordering the region of Maisoloi (Machulipatnam), showing presence of Salankayana in Vengi around Ist Century AD.

A Salankayana minister named Bhutila was either stationed or had relatives in Kousambi as per the prakrit grant found in Kausambi. Let us see the Prakrit grant.

Terracota Figure in Nagpur
A terracota seal of Salankayana has been found in Adam near Nagpur by I K Sharma who conducted excavations at Peddavegi. A Carnelian Intaglio(Pendent) near a stupa of 4th century AD.

Aparashaila Sect

Aparashaila a Buddhist sect got established in First century BC. Now the Vijaya Nandivarma or Nandivarma II establised the a vihara for the sect in his regime. So his regime has to be post this period.

Allahabad Pillar Inscription

Allahabad pillar inscription says that Salankayana king ruled from Vaingeyaka (Lord of Vengi).
Now going to Allahabad inscription, we have hastivarma of Vengi, Burnell identifies Hastivarma of Allahabad inscription with Hastivarma of Salankayana.

Ellore Plates
Devavarman Ellore plates given in 13th year talks about Asvameda. Eventhough grant talks about Asvameda sacrifice. The Inscription is in Sanskrit.

Hastivarma , Nandivarma I and Candavarma
Now Hastivarma and Nandivarma I does not give any grants. Candavarman name is found in Kollair and Peddagavi plates. So we know very little about these kings. Hastivarma is defined in peddagavi plates as winner of many battles.

Let us see who are the neighbors of Salankayana

Andhra Ikshvaku Reign
Vashistaputra sri Santamula was the first important king of Andhra Ikshvakus and he seems to have asserted independence may be from Chutus. His son Virapurushadata gave his daughter to Banavasi Prince. He took his wife from Saka ruler of Ujjain. We know around 278AD, Andhra Ikshvaku regime ended. Ikshvakus ruled for 100 years. Ikshvaku followed vedic faith, but were staunch supporters of Buddhism. The Same seems to be case with Salankayana. Salankayana takes the same titles as Ikshvakus. This may indicate they are roughly of same period. May be Buddhist influence. Or they may have replaced Ikshvakus. Salankayana may be feudatory of Andhra Ikshavakus. Pallava Branch led by Bappa succeeded Ikshavakus in south of Krishna.

Brihat (Vastness) + Palayana (Moving).
The Brihatpalayanas ruled the Krishna district with their capital as Pithunda near Machilipatnam. The Hathigumpha inscription describes that this city has been destroyed by Kharavela [180 BCE] of Kalinga. The city of Pithunda is referred to as metropolis in one of Ptolemy's work.

Jayavarma, the only king known of the dynasty ruled Krishna district with Pithunda as his capital between A.D. 270-285. A princess of his family was married to the Andhra Ikshvaku king. A copper plate grant issued by Jayavarma was discovered at Kondamudi, near Tenali at around A.D.280. The grant is in the form of an order issued by Jayavarma from his victorious camp at Kudura(Guduru near Machilipatnam) to the governor of Kuduru ahara(district). It pertains to the grant of land in favour of a number of Brahmins. The charter issued in Prakrit describes Jayavarma as the devotee of Maheswara and calls him Raja. Nothing is known about the relations of the Brihatpalayanas with the neighbouring kingdom of the Ikshvakus or Pallavas or Salankayanas.


Names of Pallavas and Salankayanas were similar. The Emblem of seated bull is found in both grants. Six generations of Salankayana and pallavas do not acknowledge each other and they never come in conflict with each other. Earliest grants of both dynasties are in Prakrit and later in Sanskrit. Both belong to Bharadvaj gotra. While Salankayana worshipped shiva in the form of Chitra Radhaswami, Pallavas are agni worshippers. The Same way there is no Ikshvaku- pallava conflicts. Most of the the sound Indian Dynasties are from Naga Line, so Bull is one of their emblems. So we can't read much into this symbol.

We have Pallava record Mangadur grant of simhavarman assigned to middle of fifth century donating land in vengo rastra. So that might be time that Salankayana rule has ended. But we cannot say that Pallavas ended the rule, as there is not mention of Salankayana rule being ended by Pallavas. We also cannot give a long period of Pallava occupation of Vengi, as there is none to record.

Around Same time or little later, we have vishnukundin Madhavavarman I extending kingdom to vengi. Hereagain as we have seen in Vishnukundin Article does mention Salankayana or Vishnukundin ending the reign of Salankayana There is no mention of any salankayana or their rule in the inscriptions.

Ananda Gotrikas
Looking at Gorantla and Mattepad records, experts have come to following conclusions. Ananda Kings ruled from Guntur. Known Kings were Kandara(Krishna), Attivarman(Hastivarman), Domodavarman. They have been placed in 3rd century AD. The inscriptions are written in Sanskrit with Kings names in Prakrit. Their flag is similar to Kadambas. Where they liberated with Mayurasarma wars with pallavas. They Claim their lord is Lord of Vegavati. That may indicate Salankayana. The characters of the inscriptions are similar to Salanakayana. So we can say that Salankayana is the lord of Ananda Gotrikas. Now Ananda Gotrikas is said have defeated Ikshvaku in the battle of Dhanyakataka.

Matharas Dynasty
Matharas dynasty started in the early part of 4th century AD around Mahendra region. Vishakavarman was the first king of Matharas dynasty. Umavarman extended the kingdom to whole of Kalinga around in the middle of 4th century AD and shifted capital to Simhapuram in Srikakulam district . His son Saktivarman extended the kingdom from Mahanadi to Krishna. Saktivarman shifted captial to Pistapuram. The Dynasty came to end with fight between Pitrabhaktas, Vashistas and Matharas to the close of 5th century AD.

Indonesian Records

A new Dynasty of Tarumanagara was established in Salakanagara in Indonesia in 358AD. This dyansty has its origin in Salankayana Dynasty from Vengi. Maharshi Rajadirajaguru Jayasingawarman established the kingdom after marrying the local sundanese princess.

The Name Salakanagara  means silver in sanskrit. This kingdom was established by Indian merchants settlements in western Java around 130 AD. My opinion is that the name could have been due to trading with Salankayana. Now with collapse of Salankayana the rulers find refuge with the same people who got settled.

If we take this information into view. We can say that the the Salankayana dyansty ended rule around 358 AD.

Dating discussion
Aparashaila a Buddhist sect got established in First century BC. Vijaya nandivarman established a Vihara for this sect. So definitely the king is post first century BC.

From Ptolemy accounts, it is clear that Salankayana were ruling at Vengi around 2nd century AD. They should had extensive sea trade, so as to be known to Ptolemy and also colony of traders who took the name of devavarman to Indonesia.

Around 250 AD. Chutu empire disintegrated. Pallavas inherited much of South India due to marital alliance with Chutus.

Around 350AD. Pallavas empire fractured. Kadambas, Gangas in Karnataka and others also took piece of cake. Pallavas were put out of Andhras by Ananda Gotrikas.

If you take out the Samudra Gupta Alahabad inscription. Start of Historical Salankayana is around First Century AD. Devavarma is a prominent ruler. With coming of Hastivarman the geneology become clear.

They may be worshppers of Siva and later changed to Vishnu worshippers, as evidenced by the Bull emblem and names like Nandivarman.

Vishnukundin dyansty came into being around 5th century AD. They ruled from 450AD to 615 AD. Madhavavarman I who came around 470 AD extended his kingdom to Vengi. He does not seems have encountered Salankayana there either as friend or foe. He mentions himself as the son in law of Vakatakas and nothing else about vakatakas. Last branch of Vakataka dynasty ended around his time.

We have Simhavarman Pallava donating land in Vengo rastra and around same time Madhavavarman Extended his kingdom to Vengi. So Around 450AD , there is no Salankayana in Vengi. Both don't Acknowledge Salankayana presence in the area. Salankayana is a famous local dynasty and if they have ended their rule. Both would have mentioned salankayana was defeated by them. So we have to conclude that salankayana were not there around 450AD.

Salankayana Timeline
Let us try to reconstruct the turn of events.
Around 278 AD. Andhra Ikshvakus of Krishna Valley were put to end by combined Abhiras, Salankayana, Brihatpalayas. Brihatpalyas are ruling koduru or Masulipatnam. salankyana are ruling in Vengi. Pallavas in Guntur. Each of them got a piece part of territory and ruled independently.

Aound 350 AD. Ananda Gotrikas over threw Pallavas out of Guntur. Kadambas , Gangas, Banas threw pallavas out of Karnataka. Saktivarman of Matharas dynasty in Kalinga extended his kingdom to Krishna. And If we take references from indonesian history , then we can say that Salankayana rule has ended around 360 AD.

Around 450 AD in Andhra. Pallavas occupied south of Krishna and Vishnukundin occupied North of Krishna. Vishnukundin expands to Vengi and we find no mention of Salankayana there. So Salankaya were not there around 450 AD.

From the accounts of Panini and Patanjali, we can say that Salankayana is an ancient dyansty. They may be Naga with saivite devotion. The settled around Vengi in the first century AD, as the feudatories of Chutu Satakarnis as the keeper of Eastern sea board as evidenced by Ptolemy. As chutus are Vaisnavite we have change in religion of Salankayana to vaishnavite. They were also feudatories of Ikshvakus. The Chutus went down in 250 AD and Ikshvakus went down around 270AD. Soon we have Salankayana ruler Devavarman proclaiming himself to be Maharaja. The Salankayana Dynasty comes to end around 350 AD and branch of the dyansty migrates to Indonesia and sets up a kingdom there.

Buddhist Remains in Andhra and the History of Andhra Between 225 and 610 A.D. By K. R. Subramanian
Vakataka - Gupta Age Circa 200-550 A.D. edited by Ramesh Chandra Majumdar, Anant Sadashiv Altekar 

Related Posts

Who is Trivara deva? : Panduvamsis reign

In the Article on Vishnukundin we have seen Madhavavarman Janasraya gives in his inscription both in Ipur Plates and Polamuru Plates.
MeaningThe Delighter of the hearts of the young ladies in the palace(Palaces) of Trivaranagara

Who is this Trivara deva? Where is Trivaranagara? what is the date of this Trivara ? that has been the problem. We seeking answers to these questions in the article.

In these circumstances Mirashi and Sircar identified the Trivaranagara to be the capital of Mahasiva Trivaradeva, the panduvamsi ruler of Kosala. Who should have been powerful ruler of to be mentioned again and again. This grant was made in fortyeight year of his reign, shortly before the end of the regime.
The problem is due to identifying Suryavarman maternal grandfather of Sivagupta Balarjuna with son of Mukhari Isavarvarman mentioned in Haraha Inscription of 554AD and that of Taravaranagara mentioned in Ipur and Polamur Plates by Vishnukudin Madhavavarman with Mahasiva Tivara. Add this to Panduvamsis who is now accepted to be successors of sarabhapuriyas. So we have to identify the identity of suryavarman to identify Trivara.

Sircar is of the view, Trivara is contemproary of Visnukundin king Madhavavarman I, Maukhari Prince Suryavarman , son of Isanavarman and flourished in the later part of 6th century AD.

D.Chopdar has tried to assign Trivaradeva to later date of 7th century AD. This is on the basis that Queen Vasata , wife of Harsha gupta as daughter of Suryavarman, who very likely belong to family of Yashovaraman, who conquered Magadha in 725AD.

Chopdar further argues that Trivaradeva cannot be placed in 6th century AD because. In the charters of Sailodbhava king Dharmaraja Srimanabhita, there is a description of civil war between brothers Dhramaraja and Madhava after the deate of their father Madhyamarajal. In this war Madhava was defeated by Phasika and sought help from King Trivara. Joint forces of Trivara and Madhava were routed by Dhramaraja after which Madhava spent his last days in the territory of Trivaradeva, which is in south of Vindhya.

R.D Banerjee says that Trivaradeva who Sailodbhava king Dhramaraja claims to have defeated is undoubtedly Mahasivagupta Trivara, the brother of Chandaragupta and uncle of Harshagupta of Malwa Guptas. The Ganjam plates of Madhavaraja I is dated to 619AD, the cuttack museum gives the regnal date of 50 years. Hist ond Madhayamaraja ruled for atleast 26 years as konw from Parikud grants. His son might have ended in the last decade of 7th century AD.

From the above discussions, it is clear that Trivaradeva belongs to Panduvamsis dynasty.

There are two lines of Panduvamsis. One who ruled Mekala (Amarkantak in Shahdol dist of Madhya Pradesh) and another ruled Kosala region.

Panduvamsis of Mekala

From the Copper plate inscriptions of the reign of Udirnavaira found at Malhar and Bamhni we get some geneology and chronology of Panduvamsi dynasty, ruling around 5th century AD. Burhikhar and Malga have yeilded other inscriptions of this dynasty.
Jayabala (founder

Panduvamsis of South Kosala

The power of Panduvamsis were consolidated by Triavaradeva.
Indrabala (Sons Bhavadeva, Ishanadeva, Nanna I)
Nanna I(Sons Trivaradeva, Chandragupta)
Nanna II
Harshagupta (Sons Shivagupta, Ranakesarin)

Both Panduvamsis are related?

V V Mirashi suggested a link where Udyana the first known king of Panduvamsis of Kosala was shown as the son of Bharatabala, last known king of Panduvamshis of Mekala. The Bharatbala was also known as Indra. Now Udhayana has son name Indrabala. As per Indian Tradition grandson gets his grandfather name. However A M Shastri says last known Panduvamshis of Mekala was Surabala. We have no idea to know whether udayana and Surabala are brothers or not related at all.

Dating Panduvamsis of Kosala
D R Bhandarkar while editing sanjan plates(871AD) of Rastrakuta Amoghavarsha mentions that Chandragupta defeated Rastrakuta Govinda III. Bhandarkar equated Chandragupta to panduvamshis. S R Nema this identification is erroneous. So his hyposthesis does not hold water.

J F Fleet while editing Rajim grant of Tivaradeva mentions that Tivaradeva cannot be assigned earlier than roughly 800AD.

Kielhorn while editing Kudopali plates assign Rajim plates to middle of 8th century.

Hira Lal while editing Lakshmana temple Inscription assigns the inscription to eigth or ninth century AD.

Alphabets in the records of Panduvamshis are written in box headed alphabets. Which are the western type variant of alphabets used by Vakataka , Kadamba and Guptas. V V Mirashi and D.C Sircar pointed this and the Tivaradeva cannot be dated in 8th century AD but earlier than that. Mirashi, while editing Thakurdiya plates of Pravararaja assigns him to 530-550 AD, later he changed it to 520-540AD.

According to Alexander Cunningham Tivaradeva was assigned to 425-450AD.

Mirashi points out in the Vishnukundin inscription by Madhavarman III mentions him as the delighter of the hearts of ladies of Trivaranagara. We have already seen the description of this in the article Reign of Vishnukundin. So let us move on. So Trivaradeva date here is pushed before 520AD. The capital city of Panduvamshis is Sripura.

Mirashi suggested Suryavarman father of Vasata, mother of Sivagupta, would have been Maukhari known from Haraha inscription. If this is accepted then Chandragupta of Panduvamshis would be contemproary of Suryavarman. S R Nema agrees with this identification. But this identification raises serious issues according to Shastri. As the panduvamsis came after Sarabhapuriyas. Who has been assigned to end of 6th century AD. This theory becomes untenable.

Chopdar argues that Trivaradeva cannot be placed in 6th century AD because. In the charters of Sailodbhava king Dharmaraja Srimanabhita, there is a description of civil war between brothers Dhramaraja and Madhava after the death of their father Madhyamarajal. In this war Madhava was defeated by Phasika and sought help from King Trivara. Joint forces of Trivara and Madhava were routed by Dhramaraja after which Madhava spent his last days in the territory of Trivaradeva, which is in south of Vindhya. R.D Banerjee says that Trivaradeva who Sailodbhava king Dhramaraja claims to have defeated is undoubtedly Mahasivagupta Trivara, the brother of Chandaragupta and uncle of Harshagupta of Malwa Guptas. The Ganjam plates of Madhavaraja I is dated to 619AD, the cuttack museum gives the regnal date of 50 years. He ond Madhayamaraja ruled for atleast 26 years as konw from Parikud grants. His son might have ended in the last decade of 7th century AD.
Rastrakuta Dantidurga in his Samangada plates mentions that he defeated Sri Harsha. J F Fleet identified Sri Harsha with Harshavardhana. This identification is false as Dantidurga is much later than Harshavardhana. So the Fleet identification is absolute blunder. So his hypotheisis does not hold ground.

Dhamatari and Kauvatal grants of Sarabhapuriya Sudevaraja(570-580AD) mentions certain Indrabala raja as occupying the office of Sarvadhikaradhikrata or Chief Minister. Can Indrabalaraja be the same as Indrabala of Panduvamsis. This is looks very tempting as the Panduvamsis succeeded Sarbhapuriyas and they could have been employed by them and later they could have succeeded. However this theory falls flat as the Kharod inscription mentions Indrabala as reigning monarch. He also founded a city of Indrapura. However we can say that he was subordinate and later ruled as independent ruler. However A M Shastri says we need to include few kings between Panduvamsis and Sarbhapuriyas of Amararya kula namely Jaya Bhattarka and Pravara bhattaraka from the malhar plates of Vyaghraraja and Arang Plate (601 Gupta Era). Giving 30 years for these Amararaya kula kings and giving 10 years for Pravararaja after Sudevaraja. We cannot keep Trivardeva in Kosala. So this identication, which is not not firm grounds falls flat.

Trivaradeva gave three copper grants located at Baloda, Bonda and Rajim indicating he extended his sway upto Kosala, Utkala and other Mandalas and assumed title Kosaladhipati. His Successor Nannaraja copper plate has been found at Adbhar. He was succeeded by Chandragupta and later by his son Harsagupta, who had married Vasata daughter of Suryavarman, ruler of Magadha.After the death of Harsa, his widow got constructed the famous Laksmana temple at Sirpur. The Successor of Harsagupta was his son mahasivagupta Balarjuna whose copper plated inscriptions have been found at Bardula, Bonda, Lodhia, Malhar, Sirpur, Burhikhar and Senkapat.

Eastern Chalukya Jayasimha (633-663 AD) Claimed to have occupied Trivaranagara. So the city name as Trivaranagara is well established by this time.

Madhavavarman II of Vishnukundin (518-554AD). Madhavavarman II claims he is delighter of ladies of places of Trivaranagara. Looking around there is only few places that can called Trivaranagara with royal palace. The one place on the radar is the Trivaradeva palce of Panduvamsis. Even though panduvamsis called their capital Sripura. For a outsider it is city of the king Trivaradeva. So Trivaradeva has to be during or before Madhavavarman II time. So the latest date for Trivaradeva is 554 AD. It is around this time he got defeated by Contemproary of Mukhari Isvaravarman. Now Andhra king was defeated by crown prince Isnvavarman during Isvaravarman reign. Isnavarman came to the throne in 550AD. So this has to be before 550 AD.
Sailodbhava dynasty started with Madhavaraja. Sasanka(601-625AD) of Gauda installed Madhavaraja I after he invaded orissa and occupied them. This we know from the Ganjam inscriptions(300GE) of Madhavaraja I , who is practically first king of Sailodbhava Dynasty. Later after the death of Sasanaga he declared independence and gave Stylish inscriptions from Kongoda with great Fanfare. The Dharmaraja and Madhava(Not Madhavaraja I) fight is before this period. In this fight that it is claimed in the Sumandala inscription (250GE) that Trivaradeva participated and got defeated. The dates of these inscriptions differ by fifty years. which means Trivaradeva was contemproary of these kings who were ruling before 570AD. If we can call them early Sailodbhava kings. They are three in number Dharmaraja, Sivaraja and Champa raja. Dharmaraja(Abhaya Family) is feudatories of Prithvivigraha. Shivaraja is feudatory of Sambhuyaysas. Champaraja is semi independent. All the the inscriptions are from the same place. So we can rule out simulataneous rule. All three does not claim to be Sailodbhavas. Both of them said have used Gupta Era. Since I have not found When Gupta Era starts, I will stick to the difference in their years. We know that Harsha Vardhana invaded Kongoda in 625 AD and Occupied them after death of Sasanaga. But Subsequent defeat of Harsha vadhana under the hand of Pulikesin liberated Kongoda again. But Pulikesin II overran Kosala as per Inscriptions. Subsequent inscriptions of Sailodbhava inscription resemble Chalukyan Charters. He also declared himself Kalingatipati. But Subsequently Ganga officers were brought in to adminster the territories. So we have Eastern Ganga Dynasty taking shape. So Trivara existed prior to 570 AD. The confusion is caused because Madhavaraja II had a grandson named Dharmaraja. Indologists by equating him to Dharmaraja who defeated Trivara have brought down Trivaradeva to later than 8th century AD.
In the Sirpur Inscription of Balarjuna, who was grandson (Brothers Grandson) of Trivara, refers to maternal grandfather Suryavarman belonging to dynasty of varmans over Magadha. This suryavarman is none other than Mukhari Suryavarman who is son of Isnavarman. So Trivaradeva is of the time of Isnavarman and Suryavarman that is prior to 570AD. In Haraha Inscription (554 AD) Isnavarman refers to Shivagupta Trivara. Balarjuna Sivagupta according to Sirpur inscription is son of Harsha gupta and Vasata (Daughter of Suryavarman) and grandson of Chandragupta (Brother of Trivara). So the dates have to earlier than 553AD.

The Alphabets of Trivaradeva resembles Kadamba and Vakataka inscriptions. So he is defintely during that time, Before 550 AD. Earlier the Box headed characters of Vakataka were assigned to 8th century AD bringing Vakatakas to 8th century AD. But now it has been corrected to 4th century AD or earlier. So the Trivara inscription dates have to revised to this.

Trivara or Trivaradeva belongs to Panduvamsis dynasty and ruled during Mukhari Isnavarman time around 550 AD. The Family of Mekala Pandvamsis preceded probably before Kosala Panduvamsis. Mekala panduvamsis ruled in 5th century AD and Kosala Panduvamsis ruled in 6th century AD. Now where does Sarabhapura dynasty(Original Rulers of Sripura) can be dated. That we will see in another article.

Cultural Profile of South Kōśala: From Early Period Till the Rise of the  By Jitāmitra Prasāda Sim̄hadeba
Inscriptions of Orissa: Circa 5th-8th centuries A.D, Volume 1 By Snigdha Tripathy
Vakataka - Gupta Age Circa 200-550 A.D. By R. C. Majumdar, A. S. Altekar
Dynastic History of Magadha Cir 450-1200 ADBy Bindeshwari Prasad Sinha.
Indian History and Architecture

Raipur Live 

Related Posts
Origin of Eastern Gangas 
Are Maukharis and Malwa Guptas Feudatories of Imperial Guptas
Reign of Vishnukundin
Reign of Salankayana
Date of Kalidasa
Where is Kalinganagara

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

Coin Network

Related Posts
Reign of Salankayana
Eastern Gangas
Telugu Name