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25/365 – The Pallavas

The Pallava dynasty was a Tamil dynasty of South India which ruled the northern Tamil Nadu region and the southern Andhra Pradesh region with their capital at Kanchipuram, the largest capital of the sovereign nation Tondai Nadu of Tamilakkam.

They had established themselves as a notable rising power in the region between 275 CE – 350 CE.

Official languages: Sanskrit, Telugu, Tamil
Capital: Kanchipuram
Government: Monarchy
Preceding state: Satavahana, Kalabhras
Succeeding states: Cholas, Eastern Chalukyas

The word Pallava in Sanskrit means branch, alluding to their formation from an ancient Chola-Naga alliance. Sangam literature and epigraphical inscriptions describe the liaison of Princess Pilli Valai of Naga Nadu with King Killivalavan of Chola Nadu at Nainativu; out of this union was born Prince Tondai Ilanthiraiyan, who historians note as an early progenitor of the Pallava Dynasty.

Between 105–150 CE, the ancient capital of the Cholas, Kaveripoompuharpatinnam was submerged in a tsunami during Killivalavan’s reign; he moved the capital to Urayur as noted by Ptolemy.

The Chola king annexed a part of his territory as Tondaimandalam and presented it to his son who ruled the kingdom between 150–175 CE. He was a contemporary of Athiyaman Neduman Anci and Avvaiyar I. The Pallavas readily took the titles Thondaiyar and Tondaiman alluding to their heritage and historic region.

Pallavas gained prominence after the eclipse of their arch rivals, the Satavahanas of Andhra and the decline of Cholas in Tamil Nadu, taking their terriitory to the north of Andhra, to a region still called Pal Nadu. The Pallavas patronized Tamil, Telugu and Sanskrit.

Some of the most illustrious Tamil bhakti poets like the Nayanmars Sambandhar and Tirunavukkarasar, Sanskrit poets Bharavi and Dandin, as well as the seashore rock-cut temples of Mahabalipuram belong to the Pallavan era. Bodhidarma, the founder of Zen Buddhism was a Pallava prince born in Kanchipuram.

Pallavas rose in power during the reign of Mahendravarman I (571 – 630 CE) and Narasimhavarman I (630 – 668 CE) and dominated the Telugu and northern parts of the Tamil region for about six hundred years until the end of the 9th century.

Throughout their reign they were in constant conflict with both Chalukyas of Badami in the north and the Tamil kingdoms of Chola and Pandyas in the south and were finally defeated by the Chola kings in the 8th century CE.

Pallavas are most noted for their patronage of architecture, still seen today in Mahabalipuram. The Pallavas, who left behind magnificent sculptures and temples, established the foundations of medieval south Indian architecture. They developed the Pallava Grantha script , known as Grantha Tamil to write Sanskrit and Manipravalam, an alphabet that would give rise to several other southeast Asian scripts. Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang visited Kanchipuram during Pallava rule and extolled their benign rule.


Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pallava_dynasty

Categories: General Knowledge, History
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