ancient indian history

Mayidavolu Copper-plate Inscription of Sivaskandavarman.

The Pallava dynasty came to power in Deccan region called Tondaimandalam from 275 CE to 897 CE, after the downfall of satavahanas.
Mahendra-varman and Narsimha Arman were the most powerful rulers who dominated the southern Andhrapradesh and the northern parts of the Tamil region, for about 600 years, until the end of the 9th century.
Pallavas always remained in conflict with chalukyas, pandyas & cholas. They were finally defeated by Chola ruler Aditya 1.
Pallava dynasty left behind magnificent sculptures and sanatna dharma temples, and are recognised to have established the foundations of medieval South Indian architecture.
This transition period witnessed development of  a few scripts and languages other then Sanskrit.
Although pallavas were followers of Sanatana Dharma but they were tolerant of other faiths and had made a few gifts of land and temples to Brahmanas. They performed Asvamedha and Vedic sacrifices.
Inscription number 21.
Mayidavolu Copper-plate Inscription of Siva-skanda-varman.
Regnal Year 10 (of his father)
Provenance: Mayidavolu, Narasaravupeta taluka, Kistna District,
Andhra Pradesh. (Now in Madras Museum)
Script: Cursive Middle Brahmi of the southern class of the 4th century A.D.

These copper plates were strung on a copper ring held together with an elliptical copper seal which had the figure of a bull and the name ‘Sivaskandavarmanah’ engraved on it. The bull was the famous emblem of the Pallavas and the name is of the Pallava king of the 4th Century C.E.
This set of copper-plates was discovered in 1899 by a man who was digging a field in an abandoned village north of Maidavolu in Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh,.
The inscription records an executive order by King Sivaskandavarman,  addressed to the king’s official at Dhannakada, conferring the gift of a village Viripura to two scholars. It mentions that the land thus donated, was exempted from ‘digging for salt, entrance of soldiers, supply of boiled rice, water pots, cots and dwellings. Transgressors of this edict were liable to bodily punishment.

Since this grant is issued by Sivaskandavarman only in the capacity of Yuva Maharaja, i.e. heir-apparent, the
Year must refer to the reign of his father. Some scholars identify him with the Sri-vijaya skandavarman, who issued the Gunapadeya copper-plate grant (Infra IV, 24, Ep.Ind, VIII, pp143ff.) treating Siva as well as Vijaya as honorifics.
But sircar rejects this assumption. see his Successors of the satavahanas,
pp.166 ff.
2. The script is cursive and resembles the Kondamudi Plates of Jayavarman, ( Ep.Ind, VI. pp. 315-19, see infra, IV, 31)
Language: Prakrit.
References: E. Hultzsch, Ep.Ind, VI, pp.457-61, D.C. Sircar, Sel.Inss,I,
pp. 457-61.
Footnote 2.
1. From the facsimile in Ep.Ind, VI, Hultzsch reports that the end of the ring holding the plates togethe are secured in an elliptical seal (11/2″ x 11/2″ ) which bears in relief within a circle a couchant humped bull
and below it the legend, शिवस्क (न्दवम्र्मण)
The facsimile of the seal in not reproduced with the plates in Ep.Ind. VI.
2. Restored by Sircar from faint traces.
3. Hultzsch and sircar महाराजो
Coined from महाराज  on the analogy of युवराज from राजन
4. In left margin to the left of the hold for the ring.
5. Dhanyalkata, the andhra capital, has been identified  with modern Amarawati. Uppugundur Marble Pillar Inscription (No, 529 of 1937-38) of virapurushadatta year 19, also refers to
Dhanyayata. (See Supra, I, 181,L3)
Footnote 3.
1. In the left margin, to the left of the ring hole.
2. आन्ध्रपथीय  = belonging to Andhrapatha,i.e. Andhra country on the analogy of दक्षिणापथीय and उत्तरापथीय
3. In the left margin slightly above the level of 1.12
4. Hultzsch: बलिव (दं)
5. To the left margin, to the left of the ring hole.
Footnote 4.
1. To the left of the ring hole.
2. These exemption pertained to the traditional obligations of the villagers to the touring officers of the state
and to the King’s personal establishment on ceremonial occassions, like coronation, marriage etc.
3. Hultzsch and Buhler: करेज्जा and  कारापेज्जा in L.23.
on the ground that the writer follows the practice of the cave-inscriptions, where a single consonant does
duty for the double letter.
Following them, sircar too accepts the same reading, though notices on the
footnotes (Sel.Inss, I, pp 460 n 2) that in either case the syllable looks exactly like जो वा and त of तस
and were inadvertently engraved and then were struck out.
Footnote 5.
1. To the left of the hole for the ring.
2. To the left of the hole of the ring.
3. Kanchipura identical with the modern city of Kanchipuram, about 88 km. west of Madras.
English Translation of the inscription.
From Kanchipura, the Yuva-Maharaja Sivaskanda-varman of the family of the Pallavas and of Bharadvaja gotra, orders his official at dhanyakata for conferring on ourselves victory and for increasing our merit, life and power; we have now given, with libations of water the village of viripara in Andhrapatha to the two Brahmanas, Arya Purvakotu of Agnivaisya gotra and Arya Gonandin
of Agnivaisya gotra. To this village of viripara we grant all the inmunities associated with donations to Brahmanas, namely freedom from digging for salt, freedom from state
penal code, freedom from obligatory suply of bullocks, out of bounds for soldiers, freedom from the supply of
boiled rice, water-pots, perishable commodities, cots and lodgings. With these and all the other immunities
according to the established rules regarding gifts to Brahmanas, it has been exempted. Accordingly you have to exempt and cause it to be exempted.
Those who transgressing our edict shall cause or shall make others cause
trouble (or) obstruction to the enjoyment of these exemptions
on him, we shall inflict bodily punishment.
The Year tenth, 10th, the sixth, 6th, fortnight of summer, the fifth 5th
(Luner) day. Executed by myself. Accordingly, the plate
(i.e the set of plates) has been given.
Footnote 6.
The formality of making a religious gift
consists of dropping a palmful of water into the hand of the donee with the words, “I give you such and such thing.
See अग्निपुराण 209 09, 49-50:
द्रव्यस्य नाम गृहणीयाद ददा नीति तथा वदेत तोयं दधात ततो
हस्ते दाने विधिरयं स्मृत:
Footnote 7.
संवासम appears to refer to the obligation of the Villagers to provide accommodation to touring officials. विनाशि has been translated
according to its literal sense. If it had any technical sense, it is not known.

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