Ramayanam before Kamban -33 - pallava Raman
  • Finally - On the first level - vaigunta Perumal temple -Rama standing inside ( very narrow place and struggled to take photo) Must be the oldest surviving Rama in Tamilnadu – 1200+ years old.

    If our members have any other Pallava/early chola Ramayana sculptures, bronzes – please share with us.
  • Kindly check this link. There are photos of all the panels of Vaikunda Perumal Kovil.

  • Thanks for the posting

    Ravana attcking Patala - any details on that

    Becasue the figure has four heads, kamandala , akshamala - symbols of brahma.
  • Thanks for the question.
    This is one of the figures which has been incorrectly restored during the last restoration around 2000. In 1983 the panel was identified as the Ravana lifting Kailasa and the large 4 headed figure was deemed Shiva.
    During the last restoration the figure was assumed to be Brahma and the Chakra was restored to look like the Akshamala and the Conch was not retouched to make it clear, hence one get the impression that this is a kamandala.
    The story behind the Panel is, Vishnu as Trivikrama having measured the worlds, is impressed with Bali for desire to keep his word. He confers on him Sutala region and asks him to leave for Sutala with his near and dear. He also offers eternal protection to him and his family.
    Ravana during the campaign arrives at Sutala, the alarmed Bali raises from his throne. While Vishnu who is guarding the region flings Ravana with his feet faraway and protects Bali as promised.

    The panel apart from the large 4 headed figure has another small 4 headed figure at the bottom, however one could see 10 pairs of hands in this figure, just above this figure is the figure of person with a large head dress and seen seated in a open hall - This is the figure of Sukracharya - Bali's guru who has guided him and is well tended to by Bali. The figure above this is that of Bali, who being alarmed by Ravana's appearance at the gates of Sutala raises from his throne.

    Nandivarma Pallavan draws a parallel between him and Bali. Bali though being an Asura is offered the protection of Vishnu and also the region of Sutala, which even the Devas envy. Nandivarama though being a Malla (a Shudra) who is turned into a Baghavata Emperor by his acharya by prayoga of rites prescribed. The depiction of his acharya in the panels is similar to the depiction of Sukracharya. (http://picasaweb.google.co.in/arvind.venkatraman/VaikundaPerumalKovilPanels#5387271887542618018)

    All this information is from "The Body of God" by Dennis Hudson.
  • Thanks Arvind

    Actually this image is not in the list suggested by Dr R.N

    It is theONLYby me and that lone also turned otherwise.

    Thanks for the correction. The image looks like Ravana and Brahma.and misleading.

    But Pallavas call themselves Brahma Khshatriyas? How the author calls them otherwise?

    Rajasimha was raised to the level of Nayanmar.

    Any view on this?
  • Nandivaraman is not from the branch as Rajashima, Mahendra or Narashima. He is brought by the governing council from distant land and the pallava king then is ousted.
    Nandivaraman also called as Pallava Malla are basically Mallas of Dravidas, who are considered Shudras. Now, he by undergoing the rituals he transforms himself as a Bhagavata Emperor.

    There are many bhagavatha stories where he compares himself with the heros of the story. Dharmaputra exile is compared to his exile from the kingdom and subsequent restoration. He compares himself to Bali on the lines of birth and subsequent achievement.
  • The Velanjeri Copper plates - which we saw earlier in the same series, shows them as the family of Simhavishnu's Cousins.

    I have read that in Vaigunta Perumal temple, there is an epigraph that the Mahasabha from Kanchi, going to his father requesting to give his son for Kanchi Throne

    deivathin Kural also mentions the same epigraph but on a different context - that is to the presence of the head of Kanchi kadigai for such an important mission.

    Any details on that.
  • Dear Member
    'The death of Parameswaravarman is said to have led to a crisis in the Pallava Kingdom. There was no one to succeed him in the direct line and the officials of the capital acting with the GHATIKA(College of learned Brahmins) and the people chose a prince from a collateral branch.. Nandivarman the son of Hiranyavarman. This is the account given in the labels beneath the sculptured panels in the Vaikunthaperumal Temple.The base of the choice of Nandivarman on the fact of his being of pure descent both on his father's and mother's side.
    The lineage is as follows: Simhavarman 550-60 AD
      !     !
    Simhavishnu 555-90   Bhimavarman
    Mahendra 590-630   Buddhavarman
    Narasimha I 630-68  Adityavarman
    Mahendra II 660-70   Govindavarman
    Parameswara I 670-700   Hiranyavarman
    Rajasimha 695-728   !
    Mahendra III - Parameswara II   Nandivarman
      I hope you are clear that Nandivaraman was not from Dravidas,who were considered shudras and was transformed.
    (Ref: A History of South India - K.N.Neelakanta Sastri)
  • Section 3.

    There were many people who didn't bother about the rules.

    ".Those (sons) whom the twice-born beget on wives of equal caste, but who, not fulfilling their sacred duties, are excluded from the Savitri, one must designate by the appellation Vratyas.

    .....These Vratyas are aryans, but who don't follow the elaborate rituals. A list of various vratyas follows ---

    Bhrigakantaka Avantya Vatadhana Pushpadha Saikha Ghalla
    Malla Licchivi Nata Karana Khasa Dravida
    Sudhanvan Akarya Karusha Viganman Maitra Satvata
    A glance shows Avanti is a region , as is Dravida. Note: according to manu dravidas are aryans who don't follow aryan rituals.They may have a connection with the druids.
    Ghalla may survive today as golla, gowla, gowda, goud -- some of them cattlemen, or may be the ancestors of the Gauls or Hun or even celts.. (there is some evidence for this connection).
    Bhrigakantaka may have connections with Phyrgia, or bharuch in south gujarat.
    Nata - Karana could possibly be karnataka ? Mallas are well known in legend as wrestlers.
    There is a mallah river ferryman (boatman) community, and a Mala one in south India. Licchivi is Licchavi, Buddha's mother's tribe.
    The Karushas were tough fighters in legend. Satvata is a name of a large tribe / region. Could be Satavahana or Jatav. Maitraka also is a large tribe since ancient times.
    As if this wasn't classification enough, manu goes on to enumerate people still further down the hierarchy and specifically non aryan.

    Not just Nandivarman almost all Pallava rulers either did a Rajasuya or Ashwamedha to move themselves up the ladder. More over the ritual gift (dana) where also done by almost all of them to gain acceptance.

    Post Vikramadiyta II invasion of Kanchi in 731 after the rein of Parameswara II, Skandasishya probably a son or a grandson of Rajashima by a secondary wife comes to power. His mother is considered a woman of double tongue (dvijiha amgini) , she has been interpreted as a Naga (line 8 and stanzas 2 and 4 in EI 5.8:51-52) which denotes both snake and a person of low social status. Skandashisya has the support of Vikramaditya. This leads to the search of pure decent from the Pallava clan.
    733-734 Vikramaditya II invades again and Nandivarman is exiled. In the meantime, Skandasishya aligns with Pandyas the traditional enemies Pandyan Maravarman Rajasimha. Vikramaditya, Skandasishya and Pandyas form the aliance. Muttariyars who had been instrumental in placing Nandivarman again lends him support.
    Nandivarman also gets the support of Rashtrakuta, Dantidurga (whose daugther he had married) he returns from exile in 745 or 746. Skandasishya flees. Nandivarman received baghavata consecration that gave him the tmail title Perumanatikal.
    Vikramaditya responds by sending his son Kritavarman. Kritavarman invades Kanchi, Nandivarman flees again, but returns once Kritavarman leaves. Then comes the crucial battle at Nandipuram. With the support of Muttaryars Nandivarman wages the battle. His general Udayachandra slays Skandasishya and the fight for the throne is settled.
    Nandivaraman rules till 795-796.

    The claim of being descendants of Ashwathama is common to all Mallas. Even the Mallas who ruled Nepal. They where relegated to lower strata, because they did not observe vedic rights. So every Pallava king was conscious of this fact and had been involved in vedic rituals to enable them be positioned as Kshyatriyas.

    Hope this clarifies.
  • As far as i know,

    1. the countrywas divided into 10 groups.

    5 - pancha dravida and 5 Pancha Gowda.

    Dravid is common name for the area - including Maharshtra

    Many people have Dravid name with them ( like Rhaul Dravid. They were Tanjore Marathi settled in gwalior)

    2. Adi Sankara mentioning Dravida sisu who drank the divine mother's milk,in Soundrya Lahari

    This dravida sisu is according to one group is sankara himself. Another set feels the dravida sisu is sambandar who calls himself Nanmarai, Kouniyan Tamizh gyana sambandan.

    Dravida is a common name used for people living in the arae. nothing to do with caste.

    I will nor dwell further on this subject . - there are refernces that can be searched.
  • Hi All,

    Remember reading a mail post from Dr.Jaybee on the travails of the ministers and governing council in getting Nandivarman the third on to the Pallava throne. Somehow not able to get the right post(it was in Tamil), maybe it is in treasure house of agathiyar, not able to pick it up from Visvacomplex though.

    Requesting Jaybee sir to post that email again.
  • Wonderful Thread. Thanks to everyone.

    By the way, I am in Pune for two weeks...any places of interest to see naer
  • Satish,
    Bhaja Caves - 2000 year old cave, Karla Caves and Bedsa Caves - are places worth seeing.
    In case you have a weekend free, you can plan a trip to Ajanta and Ellora.
  • Lonaval caves

    2nnd BC Bhudhist caves

    Contain hindu deities too

    2nd BC scluptures of soorya and Indra
  • Thanks arvind. I failed to mention - The indra and soorya are in bhaja caves - near lonavala
  • please visit Ashtavinayak Lenatri caves in a hill.
    Shinde Chatri, Shiva temple in Jangli Maharaj Road next to Jangli maharaj samati
  • Thanks a lot for the info. Let me see whether I can find time.
    Work is taxing.
  • -


    Some member have asked - Our temple also have pillars with Vali Sugreeva fight, Ravana sclupture. Then why the Kailasanatha and Vaikunda Perumal temples are so impartatnt.

    Because - earlier temples were made of brick or wood. Chola Kings  reconsctructedthem in stone . Later Vijayanagara, Tanjore and Madurai Nayaks made modifications, additions and some replacements in these temples. But the Kailasnathar temple is the one of the few temples, which dosenot have any addition by later kings and also the oldest surviving temple in the same form as built on the day one. Vaikunda Perumal temple is another temple - where the core area dosenot have any addition or modification by later kings.

    Any sclupture in Kailasanatha temple is 100% Rajasimha period sclupture and must be the oldest one surviving, followed by Vaikunda perumal temple.

    That is why these sclupture are very importatnt while studying Ramayanam before Kamban.

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