Pallava Dynasty part II
  • We go ahead with part II of this series, parking all the
    questions/clarifications of the part I.
    Pallavas has tried to answered the question of their origin in various Sanskrit
    grants and inscription. Vayalur inscription (SII Vol 1, p 25) is very important
    in this regard. Dureuil says that he went to Vayalur to read that inscription
    himself. As per the inscription, the genealogy is as follows:
    1. Brahma
    2. Angiras
    3. Brihaspati
    4. Samyu
    5. Bharadvaja
    6. Drona
    7. Asvathaman
    8. Pallava
    9. Asoka
    10. Harigupta
    11. Aryavarman
    12. Kalinda
    13. Byamalla
    14. Ekamalla
    15. Vimala
    16. Konkanika
    17. Kalabharti
    18. Chutapallava
    19. Virakrucha
    20. Chandravarman
    21. Karala
    22. Vishnugopa
    23. Skandamula
    24. Kanagopa
    25. Virakrucha
    26. Skandavarman
    27. Kumarvishnu
    28. Buddhavarman
    29. Skandavarman
    30. Kumarvishnu
    31. Buddhavarman
    32. Skandavarman
    33. Vishnugopa
    34. Vishnudasa
    35. Skandavarman
    36. Simhavarman
    37. Viravarman
    38. Skandavarman
    39. Simhavarman
    40. Skandavarman
    41. Nandivarman I
    42. Simhavarman
    43. Simhavarman
    44. Vishnugopa
    45. Simhavarman
    46. Simhavishnu
    47. Mahendravarman I
    48. Narasimhavarman I
    49. Mahendravarman II
    50. Parameshvaravarman I

    There seems to be some names here which are of Ganga origin. Pengonda plates
    gives the genealogy of Western Gangas as follows:

    We have another record of Pallavas where similar legendary genealogy is seen.
    Kasakudi plates (SII Vol II, p 356) gives not a very long list but a significant
    one. The genealogy is as follows:
    1. Brahma
    2. Angiras
    3. Brihaspati
    4. Samyu
    5. Bharadvaja
    6. Drona
    7. Ashvathaman
    8. Pallava
    9. Asokavarman
    10. Skandavarman
    11. Kalindavarman
    12. Kanagopa
    13. Vishnugopa
    14. Virakrucha
    15. Virasimha
    16. Simhavarman
    17. Vishnusimha
    18. Simhavishnu (avanisimha)
    19. Mahendravarman (who defeated enemies at Pullalura)
    20. Narasimhavarman (conquest of Lanka, Vatapi)
    21. Mahendravarman
    22. Parameshvarapotavarman
    23. Narasimhavarman
    24. Parameshvarapotavarman
    25. Nandivarman (chosen by subjects)

    Between Vayalur and Kasakudi plates, we have similar genealogy till
    Asoka/Asokavarman. However they do not match afterwards. Where Vayalur gives a
    long list of kings between Asoka and Simhavishnu, Kasakudi list is small.
    Fortunately we have another grant, Velurpalaiyam grant (SII Vol II, Part V, p
    510), where genealogy is also given. Till Asoka, the genealogy is same. We also
    see names like Kalabhartri, Chutapallava. But both, Vayalur inscription and
    Velurpalaiyam grant, coincides from Virakrucha, no 25 in Vayalur, onwards. Both
    the epigraphs supports the genealogy as follows:

    Velurpalaiyam  Vayalur
    Virakrucha   25. Virakrucha
    Skandasishya   26. Skandavarman
    Kumarvishnu   27. Kumarvishnu
    Buddhavarman  28. Buddhavarman

    Velupalaiyam plates also says that Virakrucha was the first king who “grasped
    the complete insignia of royalty”, which suggests that he was the first Pallava
    king. All of his predecessors were not king, but some vassals under Andhra
    kings. This king, Virakrucha, is also known from Darsi plates (EI, Vol I, p
    397). Skandasishya is mentioned in Tirukkalukkunram inscription (EI, Vol III, p
    277). We have identified this Skandasishya with Skandavarman of Vayalur as both
    the inscriptions put him as the son of Virakrucha, and father of Kumarvishnu and
    grandfather of Buddhavarman.

    Now if we take Virakrucha as the first Pallava king, then we need to relook at
    the earliest Prakrit grants of Pallavas. We find Vijaya-Shivaskandavarman, once
    as Yuva-maharaja, then as maharaja in those grants. The genealogy of these
    grants is already defined above. We also have another grant, Chendalur (EI Vol
    VIII, no 23, p 233), where we find another genealogy as follows:

    Dubreuil again suggests here the Pahlava origin of Pallavas. He says that
    Pallavas were not kings and alien to South India. So it is most probable that a
    Pahlava married a daughter of Andhra king Skandavarman and became the first king
    of Pallavas. His son was named Shiva-skandavarman, on the name of his

    However now we know that Virakrucha was the first Pallava king and the genealogy
    after him, till Buddhavarman, is supported by various other grants as well. Now
    if we move down the list of Vayalur genealogy, we will find Vishnugopa who
    should be the king mentioned in Samudragupta’s pillar inscription at Allahabad
    of about 339 AD.

    Now if we try to combine the data of all the plates we have, we will get a
    structure like this:

    1. Father of Yuva-maharaja Sivaskandavarman (Bappa deva) -> King of Kanchi
    2. Sivaskandavarman/3. Vijaya-skandavarman
    4. Skandavarman
    5. Kumaravishnu I
    6. Buddhavarman
    7. Kumaravishnu II
    8. Vishnugopa I 338 AD
    9. Vishnudasa (Kumaravishnu) 366 AD
    10. Skandavarman I 394 AD
    11. Viravarman (422 AD)
    12. Skandavarman II (450 AD)
  • Saurab,

    A small suggestion, please break up this into small parts. Otherwise many
    people will ignore on seeing the large mail.

    Your work should be highly appreciated. will post my comments after reading.
  • Thanks for all that research, Saurabh!

    Here's the same list in a tree form...

    Some things I observed:

    1) What's the relation between the main (Simhavarman I) branch and the Yuva
    Maharaja Vishnugopa branch? If the tree is to be believed, until
    Simhavishnu's reign, they have to have been alternating between the two
    branches, if all the people mentioned were actually kings.

    2) How did the Khamboja branch come about? Adventuring all the way to
    Cambodia by Bhimavarman? Or was he called upon to rule there by the people
    of Khamboja?

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