WESTERN GANGA DYNASTY
The Ganga Muttarasa regime seems set started with Shivamara and attained political importance with Sripurusha, the grandson of Shivamara and then declined with Shivamara, the son of Sripurusha. Rachamalla was another Ganga Muttarasa who ruled ganga country after Shivamara.
Advantage had been taken of the confusion into which South India was plunged on the fall of he Badami Empire by a prince of Ganga race by name Sivamara (Muttarasa). He was the hereditary ruler of what was known as the "Kongal Nad Eight Thousand". There are records in Mysore which may be assigned to him, one of which mentions him solely by name, without any regal title of any kind. But uses a technical expression which stamps him as holding a rank and authority considerably greater that those of any more local Governor, and others which speak of him as the "Konguni King", a term applied to all his successors. His date has been tentatively fixed as 755-765 A.D.
He was succeded by his son(or grandson) Sripurusha Muttarasa.No His title at first was the same as his father's but there is evidence on his inscriptions that he gradually felt his way to independence. He is known later by the title "Maharajadhiraja" and "Paramesvara". The territory he ruled over coincided more or less with the south eastern portion of what is now Mysore State; it was technically known as the "Gangavdi 96,000" i.e., a province of 96,000 villages; his capital was Talakad, a sand buried city on the banks of the Kaveri near Kollegal. His reign was a long one of at least 42years, adn his date may be tentatively fixed as 764-805 A.D.
Sripurusha was succeeded by his son Shivamara Muttarasa.
Western Ganga Kings ruled parts of Ryalaseema regions :
The Western Ganga kings were the ancestors to the people of Mudiraj warrior community. The Ganga kings Sripuriusha and his son Shivamara were known as Muttarasas through some of their inscriptions. The Ganga kings established their kingdom in Deccan India that spread across Tamilnadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. They were also matrimonially related to Pallavas who ruled Tamil country. These kings used olden South Indian script in their insciptions which seems to be the common ancestor language for both Telugu and Kannada scripts of today.
Ganga copper plate from Penugonda, Andhrapradesh :
Three copper-plates purchased from M.R.Ry. Adembhatta, a purohit of Penukonda, Anantapur district. They are strung on a ring, the ends of which are secured by a seal bearing in relief on the countersunk surface a standing elephant facing proper left. The inscription is in Sanskrit, the script employed being old Telugu- Kannada. The Western Ganga King Madhava Mahadhiraja II, alias Simhavarman, gave sixty-five paddy fields, sowable with twenty five khandukas of paddy, below the big tank of Paruvi in Paruvi Vishaya, to a Brahman named Kumarasarma of the vatsa gotra. Paruvi is identified with the village of Parigi in Anantapur district. The grant was made on the full-moon day in the month of Chaitra (lunar). This Madhava Mahadhiraja is stated to have been installed on the throne, by the Pallava King Skandavarma Maharaja and Aryavarman, father of Madhava, was installed on the throne, by Simhavarma Maharaja, lord of the Pallava family. These plates are very important as there is mention of two contemporaneous Pallava Kings. Skandavarman appears to have been the son of Simhavarman and is supposed to have ruled during latter part of the 5th Century AD. The plates must therefore have been issued at the beginning of the 6th Century AD.
The areas ruled by Western ganga kings in Karnataka and Tamilnadu also can be seen to be spread with Telugu speaking people. This could be due to the fact that Western Ganga Kings started establishing their ruling political power from the then Telugu speaking Areas of present Bellary districts of Karnataka.
A 10th century Pallava inscription calls Gangas as descendents of two princess from Ayodhya who founded a kingdom in Cuddapah with Perur as their capital before the 4th century later moving their capital to Kolar and finally in 466 to Talakad in present day Karnataka. The area they controlled was called Gangavadi and primarily included the present day districts of Mysore, Chamrajanagar, Tumkur, Kolar, Mandya and Bangalore. At times they also controlled small areas in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. In their early years they were feudatory to Pallavas and directly ruled Kolar and the Kongu Nadu on their behalf and at other times independently. Hence the region was also known as Nollambavadi. They continued to rule until the 10th century as feudatories of Rashtrakuta and Chalukyas. The Western Gangas ruled in Mysore state from c. AD 250 to 1004. They encouraged scholarly work, built some remarkable temples, and encouraged cross-peninsular trade. The Eastern Gangas ruled Kalinga from 1028 to 1434 – 35. They were great patrons of religion and the arts; the temples of the Ganga period rank among the masterpieces of Hindu architecture. Both dynasties interacted with the Calukya and Cola dynasties.
The Western Gangas ruled as a sovereign power from the middle of fourth century to middle of sixth century, initially from Kolar, later moving their capital to Talakad on the banks of the Kaveri River in modern Mysore district. Though territorially a small kingdom, the Western Ganga contribution to polity, culture and literature of the modern south Karnataka region is considered noteworthy. The Western Ganga Dynasty (350 – 1000 CE) was an important ruling dynasty of ancient Karnataka in India. The Western Ganga Dynasty of Talkad ruled a large part of ancient Karnataka alongside the Kadambas in India, during 350-550 CE. They continued to rule until the 10th century as feudatories of the Rashtrakutas and Chalukyas. They are known as Western Gangas to distinguish them from the Eastern Gangas who in later centuries ruled over modern Orissa.
After the rise of the imperial Chalukyas of Badami, the Gangas accepted Chalukya overlordship and fought for the cause of their overlords against the Pallavas of Kanchi. The Chalukyas were replaced by the Rashtrakutas of Manyakheta in 753 CE as the dominant power in the Deccan. After a century of struggle for autonomy, the Western Gangas finally accepted Rashtrakuta overlordship and successfully fought along side them against their foes, the Chola Dynasty of Tanjavur. The defeat of the Western Gangas by Cholas around 1000 resulted in the end of the Ganga influence over the region.
Though territorially a small kingdom, the Western Ganga contribution to polity, culture and literature of the modern south Karnataka region is considered important. The Western Ganga kings showed benevolent tolerance to all faiths but are most famous for their patronage towards Jainism resulting in the construction of monuments in places such as Shravanabelagola and Kambadahalli. The kings of this dynasty encouraged the fine arts due to which literature in Kannada and Sanskrit flourished. 9th century Kannada literature refer to the Ganga King Durvinita of 6th century as an early writer in Kannada language prose. Many classics were written on various subjects ranging from religion to elephant management.
Talakkad was the capital city of Western Ganga Kings :
The name Talakad conjures up images of sand dunes and medieval temples buried under the sand. There is an enduring legend about Talakad, near Mysore, known to historians as the headquarters of the Western Ganga dynasty. The earliest reference to Talakad occurs in an inscription of the Western Ganga monarch, Durvinita Kongini, who ruled in the 6th Century A.D. Later, the records of the Chola king Aditya I talk about Talakad being under Chola suzerainty. Emperor Rajaraja continued to rule over this area. In 1116 A.D., the Hoysala King, Vishnuvardhana defeated the Cholas and wrested control of the area. The sway of the later-day Gangas extended over parts of the present-day Tamil Nadu. The inscriptions in the Jain cave at Vallimalai near Vellore speak of the Ganga kings.
The legend which surrounds this place is of much later origin. In 1610, Tirumala II of Srirangapattana, a vassal of Vijayanagara empire, was overpowered by Raja Wodeyar of Mysore. Tirumala and his wife Alamelamma retreated to Malingi, a village near Talakad, on the banks of the Cauvery. She took with her the jewels she used to lend to the temple priest twice a week, to adorn the goddess in that temple. Wodeyar thought that the jewels belonged to the temple and ordered its confiscation. Alamelamma would rather die than part with the jewels. She collected the precious ornaments and drowned herself in Cauvery, but not before uttering three curses: "Let Talakad become sand. Let Malingi become a whirlpool. Let the Mysore king fail to beget heirs."
Around Talakad, there are sand dunes covering an area of nearly ten square kilometres. The river at Malingi is deep and treacherous and the Mysore kings have not had male heirs for the past many generations.
Konganivarman was the first Western Ganga Ruler :
The first ruler of the Western Ganga, Konganivarman, carved out a kingdom by conquest, but his successors, Madhava I and Harivarman, expanded their influence by marital and military alliances with the Pallavas, Calukyas, and Kadambas. By the end of the 8th century a dynastic dispute weakened the Gangas, but Butuga II (c. 937–960) obtained extensive territories between the Tungabhadra and the Krishna rivers, ruling from Talakad (the capital) to Vatapi. Repeated Cola invasions cut the contact between Gangavadi and the imperial capital, and Talakad fell into the hands of the Cola ruler Visnuvardhana in about 1004. Most of the Western Gangas were Jainas, but some patronized Brahmanical Hinduism. They encouraged scholarly work in Kannada (Kanarese), built some remarkable temples, and encouraged deforestation, irrigation, and cross-peninsular trade.
Western Ganga Kings (350-999)
- Konganivarman Madhava (350 - 370)
- Madhava (370-390)
- Harivarman (390-410)
- Vishnugopa (410-430)
- Madhava III Tandangala (430-469)
- Avinita (469 - 529)
- Durvinita (529 - 579)
- Mushkara (579 - 604)
- Polavira (604 - 629)
- Srivikrama (629 - 654)
- Bhuvikarma (654 - 679)
- Shivamara I (679 - 726)
- Sripurusha (726 - 788)
- Shivamara II (788 - 816)
- Rachamalla I (816 - 843)
- Ereganga Neetimarga (843 - 870)
- Rachamalla II (870 - 907)
- Ereganga Neetimarga II (907 - 921)
- Narasimha (921 - 933)
- Rachamalla III (933 - 938)
- Butuga II (938 - 961)
- Marulaganga Neetimarga (961 - 963)
- Marasimha II Satyavakya (963 - 975)
- Rachamalla IV Satyavakya (975 - 986)
- Rachamalla V (Rakkasaganga) (986 - 999)
- Neetimarga Permanadi (999)
Three copper-plates belonging to Western Ganga kings of 6th century AD are identified Penukonda, Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh. They are strung on a ring, the ends of which are secured by a seal bearing in relief on the countersunk surface a standing elephant facing proper left. The inscription is in Sanskrit, the script employed being old Telugu- Kannada.
The Western Ganga King Madhava Mahadhiraja II, alias Simhavarman, gave sixty-five paddy fields, sowable with twenty five khandukas of paddy, below the big tank of Paruvi in Paruvi Vishaya, to a Brahman named Kumarasarma of the vatsa gotra. Paruvi is identified with the village of Parigi in Anantapur district.
The grant was made on the full-moon day in the month of Chaitra (lunar). No further deailts regarding the date are given. This Madhava Mahadhiraja is stated to have been installed on the throne, by the Pallava King Skandavarma Maharaja and Aryavarman, father of Madhava, was installed on the throne, by Simhavarma Maharaja, lord of the Pallava family. These plates are very important as there is mention of two contemporaneous Pallava Kings. Skandavarman appears to have been the son of Simhavarman and is supposed to have ruled during latter part of the 5th Century AD. The plates must therefore have been issued at the beginning of the 6th Century AD.
Western Ganga kings patronised Jainism as their state religion. Kundakundacharya, the earliest Jain exponent lived on a hill near Konakondla in modern day Anantapur. Kundakundacharya was responsible for popularising Jainism all over the sub-continent. Simhanandin, another Jain exponent who lived in modern day Cuddapah secured the patronage of the Western Ganga kings in 350 A.D. The first Telugu poets Ponna, Pampa and Rana were Jains. The Jain principle of social equality was borrowed by the veera shaivas.
Western Ganga kings ruled Bangalore and surrounding districts
Historically, the earliest dynasty which established its sway over Bangalore Rural district is that of the Gangas. In about the fourth century A.D., the Gangas established themselves at Kolar and the territory comprised in Bangalore Rural district formed part of Gangavadi 96,000 and Honganur of Channapatna Taluk was the chief town of a sub-division, called Chikka Gangavadi, which occupied the Shimsha valley. During the Seventh century, Mankund was a place of great importance and was the second royal residence of Ganga Bhuvikrama(654-79) and also of Shivamara(679-726). In the eight century Shri Purusha made Manyapura ( Manne of Nelamangala Taluk) his royal residence and later it was a major center under the Rashtrakutas.
Western Ganga kings ruled Talakkad and Mysore region :
The Western Gangas ruled in Mysore state (Gangavadi) from about AD 250 to about 1004. Bangalore was also under the rules of Ganga kings as per the stone inscription of Gangas of 9th Centiry AD.
Talakad is 45 km from Mysore and 130 km from Bangalore. Talakkad was patronized by the Western Gangas in the first millennium CE. Talakad has seen the devout expressions in stone of the Gangas, the Cholas, the Hoysalas, the Vijayanagar kings and the Wodeyars of Mysore.
Western Ganga kings ruled Dharmapuri and parts of Salem district :
The Ganga Pallavas had their sway over Tagadur (present Dharmapuri) and the Western parts of the Salem District. The Western Gangas are also mentioned as having ruled Baramahal during the end of the 8th century.
Dharmapuri district constitutes the northern portion of the former composite district of Salem and was known as North Salem. The district is situated in the interior of the southern Peninsula bounded on the east by the North Arcot and South Arcot districts, on the west by Bangalore and Mysore districts of Karnataka State, on the north by Karnataka State and the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh and on the south by Salem district. The district headquarters is located at Dharmapuri.
The people hailing from this district speak different languages. The Palacode area consisting of Hosur and North Western portion of Krishnagiri taluk is a multilingual area where Kanarese, Telugu, Tamil and Hindustani speaking people are found. The predominant communities living in these areas are the Kapus, Lingayats, Okkaligas, Balija Chetties, Oddars, and Scheduled Castes of Holeyas and Madigas. The weavers in this area mostly belong to Sali Chetties. The Baramahal area comparing the eastern parts of Krishnagiri taluk, Hosur and Dharmapuri taluks has Telugu speaking communities and Tamil speaking communities who constitute the majority. The predominant communities living here are the Vanniars, Kongu Vellalas, Gollas, Telugu Chettiars, Okkaligas and Senaikudyars. The 'Malayali' tribal people are found in the Chitheri hill areas. The Adi-Dravidas and Arunthathiars form, the bulk of the Scheduled Castes and they are scattered throughout the district. Main languages spoken in the district are Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Urdu.
Western gangas were matrimonially aligned with other Sounth Indian ruling kingdoms :
The first ruler of the Western Ganga, Konganivarman, carved out a kingdom by conquest, but his successors, Madhava I and Harivarman, expanded their influence by marital and military alliances with the Pallavas, Pandyas, Calukyas, and Kadambas.
Western Ganga kingdom existed by the side of Kadamba kingdom in Karnataka. The Kadambas were contemporaries of the Western Ganga Dynasty of Talakad and together they formed the earliest native kingdoms to rule the land with absolute autonomy. The second daughter of Kadamba king Kakustha was married to Ganga king Madhava.
The Chalukya dynasty was established by Pulakesi I in 550. The Chalukyas maintained close family and marital relationship with the Alupas of South Canara and the Gangas of Talakad. Politically, the Gangas were feudatories and close allies who also shared matrimonial relations with the Chalukyas.
A contest with the Pandyas of Madurai over control of Kongu region ended in a Ganga defeat, but a matrimony between a Ganga princess and Rajasimha Pandya's son brought peace helping the Gangas retain control over the contested region.
A chance find of a bronze group of Vrshavahana, Devi and a bull, with a prabha, by playful School Children at the Village Velanjeri near Thiruttani, on 6-10-1977 led to the discovery of two important Copper Plate grants, one issued by the Pallava ruler Aparajita and another by Parantaka Chola I. That Kampavarman and Nrpatunga were brothers was recognised by scholars earlier. After giving the mythical genealogy of the Pallavas, the grant begins with Kampavarman. He seized the throne from Pallava Nrpatunga with glory. A certain Vijaya of matchless virtues and born of the Ganga family, was his queen. Aparajita was their son. Aparajita destroyed the elepants of the Bana ruler, captured Karanai,the Pandya city, and won a great battle against the Chola at Chirrarrur. The present Velanjeri copper plate mentions that Aparajita was the son of Pallava ruler Kampavarman through a Ganga Princess whose name is given as Vijaya. It specifically mentions Aparajita as the son of Kampavarman, through Vijaya, a Ganga princess. It further shows that Kampa and Aparajita had the able support of the Ganga chieftains. Further, this plate states that Kampavarman captured the Pallava throne forcibly from Nrpatunga. This shows that Varaguna, Aditya, Bana and Muttarasa were on the side of Nrpatunga while Aparajita and Kampa, were aided by the Ganga ruler Prithivipati on the other. It was mentioned earlier that Aparajita's mother was a Ganga princess. That Aparajita was aided in the Sripurambiyam battle by Ganga Prithivipati is well known Prithvipati obtained victory for his over lord Aparajita, but lost his life in that battle. The Ganga ruler Prithvipati was the sole supporter of Aparajita. Obviously the battle fought at sripurambiyam should have been a terrible one. Apparajita had a joint rule with his father Kampavarman throughout his life. Aparajita fought bravely against formidable combination of enemies. The Sripurambiyam battle though gave a great victory to Aparajita, removed his powerful friend Prithvipathi from the scene and this ultimately led to his defeat and death around 890 A.D.
Amoghavarsha's daughter married a Ganga prince in about 860. Due to the resilience of the Gangas, Rastrakuta king Amoghavarsha I was forced to follow a conciliatory policy. He married his daughter, Chandrabbalabbe, to the Ganga king Buthuga -I and another daughter, Revakanimmadi, to the Ganga prince Ereganga. Amoghavarsha I who succeeded Govinda-III made Manyakheta his capital and ruled a large empire and made peace with the Gangas by giving them his two daughters in marriage, and then defeated the invading Eastern Chalukyas at Vingavalli and assumed the title Viranarayana. His rule was not as militant as that of Govinda III as he preferred to maintain friendly relations with his neighbours, the Gangas, the Eastern Chalukyas and the Pallavas with whom he also cultivated marital ties. The Gangas thereafter became staunch allies of the Rashtrakutas, a position they maintained till the end of the Rashtrakuta dynasty of Manyakheta. Butuga II, of the Western Gangas of Talakad had married sister of Rastrakuta king Krishna-III.
Amoghavarsha-III (934 - 939 ) CE, (the younger brother of Indra-III) also identified as Baddiga and who married a Kalchuri princess Kundakadevi, gave his daughter to a Western Ganga king Bhutuga-II in marriage along with large territory as dowry. Rastrakuta king Krishna-III, who married a Chedi princess, gave his daughter Bijjabbe to a Western Ganga prince in marriage.
Such marital ties established strong diplomatic ties and confirmed independent status for long.
Temples built by Ganga Kings :
The Western Ganga style of architecture was influenced by the Pallava and Badami Chalukya architectural features, in addition to with indigenous Jain features. The Gangas build many Hindu temples with impressive Dravidian gopuras containing stucco figures from the Hindu pantheon, decorated pierced screen windows which are featured in the mantapa (hall) along with saptamatrika carvings (seven heavenly mothers). Some well known examples are the Kapileswara temple at Manne, Kolaramma temple at Kolar and the Kallesvara temple at Aralaguppe. At Talakad they built the Maralesvara temple, the Arakesvara temple and the Patalesvara temple. Unlike the Jain temples where floral frieze decoration is common, Hindu temples were distinguished by friezes (slab of stone with decorative sculptures) illustrating episodes from the epics and puranas.
Shravanabelagola was an important part of Western Ganga Kingdom :
The monolith of Gomateshwara commissioned by Chavundaraya is considered the high point of the Ganga sculptural contribution in ancient Karnataka. Carved from fine-grained white granite, the image stands on a lotus. It is the largest monolithic statue in the world.
Shravanabelagola is located 51 km south east of Hassan in Karnataka at an Altitude of about 3350 feet above sea level. It is well connected to Mysore and Bangalore. It is a little township tucked away between Indragiri and Chandragiri hills. It was an important Jain piligrim center patronised by Western Ganga kings.
The Akandabagilu or the massive door, carved out of a single rock with an elaborately carved Gajalakshmi in her typical posture flanked by two elephants, is meritorious work of Jain craftsmanship. This also said to have been under the guidance and inspiration of Chaundaraya, the illustrious minister who served under the successive rulers of the Gangas namely Marasimha II, Rachamalla IV and Rachamalla V.
One of the largest temples in the area is the Chaundarya Basadi dedicated to Neminatha, the 22nd Tirthankara depicted under a seven hooded canopy and flanked by male chauri bearers. This temple is unique in its style. It belongs to the era of the western Gangas and is evolved out of the Chalukyan styles at Badami and Aihole. One the same hill can be seen the Chandraprabha Basadi dedicated to the 8th tirthankara by the same name. It is one of the oldest basadis on the hill and can be assigned to the early 9th century under the reign of Sivamara, a Ganga king.
The Ganga cronicle states that the great Ranganatha temple was built in the days of later Ganga rulers. There are records, however, of the existence of Shive and Vishnu temples, endowed by individual sovereigns of ganga dynasty. In the days of Vishnu Vardhana a temple manager of Shiva temple at Maddur ( Alias Shivapura ) claimed a plot of land on the strength of a copper plate grant of Shivamara -II. There are similar references to Vishnu temples. This Shivamara's father. Sri Purusha Muttarasa, is referred to as a worshipper at the feet of Narayana.
Talakkad - A Ganga town of Temples :
Talakkad was patronized by the Western Gangas in the first millennium CE. Talakkad is a town known for its sand dunes, located near Mysore in Karnataka. A historic site, Talakkad once had over 30 temples. It stands at a sharp bend of the Kaveri river eastwards from a southerly course. Sand dunes are formed here persistently, extending over a mile, burying a large number of monuments. Talakkad houses the imposing temple to Vaidyeshwara - Shiva.
Religion of Ganga Kings :
The Western Gangas gave patronage to all the major religious faiths of the time; Jainism and the Hindu sects Shaivism, Vedic Brahminism and Vaishnavism. However scholars have argued that not all Gangas kings may have given equal priority to all the faiths. Some historians believe the Gangas were ardent Jains, though inscriptional evidence is not conclusive since they mention kalamukhas (staunch Shaiva ascetics), pasupatas and lokayatas (followers of Pasupatha doctrine) who flourished in Gangavadi, indicating Shaivism was also popular. King Madhava and Harivarman were devoted of cows and brahmins and King Vishnugopa was a devout Vaishnava.
Madhava III's and Avinita's inscriptions describe lavish endowments to Jain orders and temples. There is also inscriptional evidence King Durvinita performed Vedic sacrifices prompting historians to claim he was a Hindu and was either a Vaishnavite or a Shaivite. However, Western Ganga records from the 8th century reveal a strong Jain influence evidenced by the many basadis they built and due to popularity of saints such as Pushpdanta, Pujyapada, Vajranandi, Srivaradhadeva, Ajitasena.
Inscriptions having references to Western Gangas :
Brahmadesam in the North Arcot District is mentioned in two inscriptions (Chola inscription Nos. 292 and 322) under the name Rajamalla-chaturvedimangalam, evidently after one of the Western Ganga kings named Rachamalla who must have been ruling in these parts, as evidenced by his inscription No. 6 of 1896 at Vallimalai. A Western Ganga subordinate of Aditya (Chola) in the same district was Gangamarttanda alias Sembiyan Prithivi -Gangaraiyar, son of Mahadeva thechief of Pangala-nadu who figures as the donor of an ornament to the god at Tiruppalanam in the Tanjore District (Chola inscription No. 319). He has been surmised to be a brother of Alivin Kallarasi alias Sembiyan Bhuvani (or Prithivi) -Gangaraiyar also a son of Mahadeva figuring in the reign of Parantaka I (M.E.R. 1931, II, 8). Another chief who is already well-known to us as the recipient of certain honours at the hands of Aditya and his Chera ally Sthanu-Ravi was Vikki-Annan whose wife Kadambamadevi is stated to have made a gift of a hundred sheep for burning a lamp in the temple at Tillaisthanam ( Chola Inscription No. 337).
INSCRIPTIONS OF RAJAKESARIVARMAN No. 292 - (A.R. No. 237 of 1915.) - Brahmadesam, Cheyyar Taluk, North Arcot District -On the south wall of the central shrine, Chandramaulisvara temple - This records an endowment of a piece of land under the tank Tigaittiral-eri by Tiruppondai-Somasiyar (somayaji), son of Kumaradi-Bhatta-Vajabhejiyar (Vajapeyayaji) of Manarpakkam, a member of the alunganam of Rajamalla-chaturvedimangalam of Tiruvegambapuram in Damar-kottam, for the daily feeding of a Brahman at mid-day in the temple of Sripondai-Perumanadigal. The gift was entrusted to the ganavariya-perumakkal of the temple. This is possibly an inscription of Aditya I. In the M.E.R. 1916, II, 8, the village has been surmised to owe its origin to one of the Western Ganga kings named Rajamalla. No inscriptions of that dynasty have however been found at this place ; but there is one actually of a Rajamalla at Vallimalai in the same district (No. 6 of 1895).
INSCRIPTIONS OF RAJAKESARIVARMAN No. 297 -(A.R. No. 277 of 1916.) - Tirakkol, Wandiwash Taluk, North Arcot District - ON the west face of the boulder with Jaina images - This inscription is much damaged. It seems to record an endowment, the nature of which is not clear, to a Jaina shrine called Gangasurapperumballi at Raja[kesari]puram by Sri Gangaraiyan. It also mentions another shrine called Maisuttapperumballi in the same place and a pallichchandam land situated in Tiruvidaikkali.
Westrern Gangas were well literate kings of South India who promoted literature :
the 4th and 11th centuries. The period of their rule was an important time in the history of South Indian literature, though many of the writings are deemed extinct. Some of the most famous poets of Kannada language graced the courts of the Ganga kings. Kings, court poets and royalty created eminent works in Kannada language and Sanskrit language that spanned such literary forms as prose, poetry, Hindu epics, Jain Tirthankaras (saints) and elephant
Coins of Western Ganga kings :
The Gangas of Talakad ruled for over seven centuries from 4th to 11th century AD. Their coinage is rare. A group of gold coins called Gajapati pagodas with caparisoned elephant on the obverse and a floral design on the reverse are attributed to these kings. The attribution is based on the similarity of the caparisoned elephant seen on the coins and the animal depicted on their copper plates and seals.
The Western Gangas Elephant ( Gajapati ) Pagoda circulated in Lanka is evidenced by a hoard of 179 discovered in 1922 at Allaippiddi in the Jaffna district. The Gajapati pagodas and similar fanam coin were probably introduced about 1080 when Gangavadi emerged from Chola domination. The Gajapati was rare at the time of Thunberg's visit to Lanka in 1777. The Elephant was the crest of the dynasty called Gangas. Western Gangas with capital Talkad in 450 AD is modern Karnataka (Mysore). Friedberg is in error to list these Pagodas as from Orissa since that is eastern Ganga not those who minted these pagodas.
The Western Gangas Elephant ( Gajapati ) Fanam may have circulated in Lanka alongside the similar pagoda coin. Govind Prabhu of India who has researched these coins, comments that these coins are scarce and that this is a nice genuine specimen which looking at this particular elephant style could be dated back to 12th century AD. Pankaj Tandon felt the reverse looked more like a Rooster. It is of the same weight as the Hoysalas gold Fanam coin which is however thinner and larger (8mm) and was marketed in US with this title.
Origin of Gangas and Ganga kings
The historians of Orissa have shown how (the origin of India's illustrious Ganga dynasty) is shrouded in mystery. Infact, no documentary historical evidence has yet been available to establish their origin. These historians have accepted the inscriptions engraved at different times by the Ganga dynasties, chiefly of Kalinganagar and Mysore, as the basis of their research. Besides these royal dynasties, a community called Gangavamsa has spread all over India and the historians are completely silent about it. For all these reasons, we have to trace out the common men of the Ganga dynasty or Ganga community spread all over India and try to know their ancestry in order to unravel the mystery surrounding the origin of the Ganga dynasty. It can be asserted that the historical Ganga dynasty has evolved from among the common men of the Ganga dynasty or Ganga community.
It is known from the inscription of Jainaguru Simhanandi, compiled by B. Lewis Rice that the forefathers of Ganga dynasty coming from Ayodhyapur under the leadership of Vishnugupta had initially settled at Ahichhatra located in the basin of the rivers Ganga and Yamuna. Later on they proceeded to Southern India in quest of new territory. On the way some of them had settled at Kalinga. Being advised by Jainaguru Simhanandi, Vishnugupta along with others came to Karnataka and established a new kingdom.
According to this inscription the Ganga dynasties of Karnataka and Kalinga had come from Northern India. In the opinion of Dr. N. K. Sahu, both the western and eastern Ganga dynasty belong to one and the same dynasty and they came from North India in 5th century A.D. and established new kingdoms in Kalinga and Karnataka respectively.
The origin of the Gangas is derived from Iksvaku and trace back to Ayodhyapura. Under Visnugupta the seat of government was moved to Ahichhatra, which, it is hinted, as Vijayapura. With the arrival of Dadiga and Madhava in the South, at Ganga-perur and the establishment of the Gangavadi kingdom in Mysore aided by Simhanandi, we seem to come to historical events.
Two princes of the Ikshaku family, Dadiga and Madhav, migrated from the north to south India. They came to the town of Perur (in the Cuddapah district in the Andhra State). There they met a Jain teacher whose name was Sinhanandi. He trained them in the art of ruling. At the behest of the teacher Madhav cut asunder a stone pillar which barred the road to the entry of the Goddess of sovereignty." Thereupon Sinhanandi invested the princes with royal authority, and made them rulers of a kingdom.
The above opinion Dr. H. K. Mahatab has shown that this Ganga community has been divided into several divisions and families with the passage of time. In the Andhavaram copperplate inscription of Indravarman III of Ganga dynasty, the Gangas are described as the descendants of the Tumbura dynasty. Probably, while the Ganga dynasty or Vamsa was proceeding towards South from North India, a smaller branch from among them settled at the foot hills of Vindhyas and was known as the Tumbura race. Mr. Dubey has identified the Tumbura-race with Mashyas. That this word Masya written in English, may be an 'Apabhramsa' (distortion) of the word Mahishya can't be ruled out. In an attempt to identify this Mahisya-race with Kaivarttas (fishermen), the historian Jagabandhu Singh has defined the Mahisya-race. Quoting evidences from the Padma Purana and Brahmavaibarta Purana, he has established that the Mahisyas and the Kaivarttas are virtually the same. In his opinion, the child born of a Kshatriya father and Vaisya mother is called a Kaivartta or Mahisya.
According to the Bengali historian Sevananda Bharati, the primary abode of the Mahisya-race was located in the northern bank of river Narmada, which originated from the foot hills of the Vindhyas. The present day Ratnavati on the bank of river Narmada is perhaps another name of the ancient city Mahishimati. It was the old capital of the Mahishyas. Therefore, it had the name Mahishimati Nagari (the city of Mahishimati). The Mahishyas had migrated from Ayodhya on the bank of river Saraju and entered the province Midnapur through the eastern part of the Vindhyas.
From this it appears that these Kaivarttas or Mahisyas had come from the bank of the Saraju and settled at the foot of the Vindhyas in the age of Mahabharata or prior to that. It is probable that the Kaivarttas or Mahisyas, who had settled at the foot hills of the Vindhyas had later on identified themselves as the Tumbura- race described in the Vayu Purana.
In a book, written in Bengali and edited by Biharilal Kalye, it is mentioned: "The Gangas of Orissa are remarkable among the powerful independent kings ruling over different places of India. The first king of this Ganga dynasty Anantavarma belonged to the Mahisya race."
Pandit Lalmohan Vidyanidhi in his book Sambandha Nirnaya and Mahima Ch. Mazumdar in Gaude Brahmana have mentioned that the Mahisya-race became very powerful and later on were divided into four parts, namely, Aswapati, Gajapati, Narapati and Chhatrapati. The Gajapatis had established their empire in Orissa.
It is known from the Vizagpattanam & Korni copperplate inscriptions 16 of Chodaganga Dev that by 5th century A.D., eighty kings of the Ganga dynasty had ruled over Gangabadi of Kolahalpur. Gangabadi, the name mentioned in Vizagpattnam and Komi copperplate inscriptions of Chodaganga Dev is a derivative of Gangaradhi. N.N. Basu, who has translated the inscriptions of the imperial Gangas has mentioned that the first Ganga king Ananta-varman and his descendants, who ruled over Gangabada or Gangabadi were also called Rudhi Ganga. may be mentioned here that the word radhi or rudhi was applied to the Kaivarttas who inhabited the entire east coast region stretching from the mouth of river Ganges to the river Godavari in the South.
E.Thurston has said, the Jallaries are Telugu Fishermen, Palanquin bearers and cultivators. 'Jallaries' is derived from Jala, a net. Some are fresh water fishermen, while other fish with a cast-net (Visuru Valalu) from the sea shore or on the open sea. They bear the name Ganga Vamsamu, or people of Ganga, in the same way that a division of the Kabbera fishing caste is called Gangimakkalu.
Thurston has said elsewhere: Gangimakkalu or Gangaputra meaning children or sons of the Ganga, the Goddess of water is the name a subdivision of Kabbera. The allied Gangavamsamu or people of Ganga is a name for Jalaris. 21 The Kabberas are a caste of Canarees fishermen and cultivators. 22 The Keutas worship especially Dasaraja and Gangadevi. Mother Ganga, the water Goddess, is their chief deity and they claim that they are the descendants of Ganga. They think that the famous Ganga kings of Kalinga belonged to the different branches of their race. Kaivarttas belonging to Ganga dynasty and living in the coastal areas call themselves Jajari. They are seen in the entire east coast region starting from Midnapur to Rameswar in the south.
The Jalaris of Ganga dynasty claim that they had built the famous ports of Peddapatna, Visakhapatna, evalpatna and Vimilipatna. The Golas claim the present day Madaguia or Odabadi as their Original abode. They think that Nrushinghanath or Simhadriraju worshipped on Simhanhchal is their Father (God). Like the Keutas or Kaivarttas they claim that they belong to Ganga dynasty and that mother Ganga or Gangamma is their mother (Goddess).
The ganga worship and their claim of belonging to ganga dynasty by both golla and jalari fishing communities show the common ancestry and the secret behind common surnames between Mudiraj and Yadavas.