ancient

Penukonda Inscription of Madhava

Inscription number 48.
Penukonda Copper plate Inscription of Madhava 2 (Rather 3) alias Simhavarman.
Vishnukundins hailed from Vishnukonda, a place at a distance of fifty miles to the south of the river Krishna in Andhra Pradesh.
This place retains several fragmentary remains and a fort, of historical importance. Govinda Varma son of Vikramamahendra, was the contemporary of Vakataka king Harisena . His son,  who after having conquered the Andhra country, had put Govindavarma on the throne. Govindavarma was the first among the Vishnukundins to assume the title of Maharaja.
Madhavavarma 1, son of Govindavarma,  had married a Vakataka princess. Two copper-plates of Madhavavarma and his descendants give good information about his empire.
Madhavavarma was a follower of sanatana Dharma and had carried out several Ashavamedha sacrifices, according to Vedic traditions.
His empire extended to Andhra, Kuntala,  southern Maharahshtra and modern Chhattisgad..As his sons had predeceased him, the kingdom was divided between his grandsons. One of these namely Madhavavarman 2,  the  trikuta-malayadhipatih’
After Madhavavarman 2, the Rashtrakutas became powerful in southern Maharashtra and at about 550 A.D.
Kalachuris of Mahishmati came to establish then power in northern Maharashtra as well as Vidarbha. This leads to the inference that the Vishnukundins lost their power; although they continued to rule in their province namely Andhra till the 7th century A. D. before being vanquished by the illustrious Chalukya ruler Pulkeshin 2.
Madhava Varma was a  strong king & succesful ruler. During his reign, his empire reached its greatest territorial extent.  His army comprised many elephants, horses, Chariots and thousands of foot soldiers.
The Western Gangas supported all major religious beliefs like Jainism, Shaivism, Vedic Brahmanism, Vaishnavism etc.
Many Hindu temples are built by the Ganges, with beautiful Dravidian gopuras including stucco sculptures from the Hindu pantheon, elaborate pierced screen windows in the mantapa (hall), and saptamatrika carvings (seven heavenly mothers).

Provenance: Penukonda or Penugonda. Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh.
Script: Late Brahmi of the southern class of the second half of the 5th century A.D.
Language: Sanskrit.
Metres: Vv.1-3
References: Fleet, J.R.A.S. 1915, pp.480, L. Rice, Ep.Ind.,
XIV, pp. 334 f,  Sircar: Select.Inss, I,
pp. 480-82.
Fleet places this record in 475 A.D.
Footnote 1.
1. From the facsimile in Ep.Ind, XIV. The seal bears the figure of an elephant to
2. In the left margin  is engraved opp. 1.1. while स्वस्ति
is engraved on level with 1.2.
3. Rice: विदारणोय
4. Also spelt as कोड़न्गणिवर्मन in some records. According to Nagar stone Inscription. (E.C. VIII, No.35) his other name was
Madhava. He was the younger brother of Dadiga, whose son and successor too assumed the title Mad hava 2,
Maharaja. Hence the Madhava of this plate is Madhava 3.
Footnote 2.
1. In most of the Ganga plates the third king is named Harivarman, while in Bendiganhalli plate, he is named
Krisnavarman, Krishna being a synonym of Hari. In the Tanjore plates his name is Spelt in the Tamil
form as Arivarman, which seems to have been improved in the present plates as Ayya i.e, Arya-varman
Simha-varman Pallava of 1.7, is identified with the Kanchisa simha-varman, whom the Jain work, Lokavibhaga places in 380 saka = 458 A.D. See Sircar, Successors
of the satavahanas, pp.176).

Footnote 3.
In all the other records the third king is named as Vishnugopa or vishnukopa as in Kadagattur plates or
Bishnugopa as in the Ganjam plates, and then follows his son Madhava 3, distinguished in some records as
Tadangala Madhava, perhaps owing to a limp in his gait.
One record (E.C., VII, sh, 4) makes him Vishnugopa’s grandson, which may be correct, Indicating that his
actual father did not rein. In the Allahabad pillar inscription (supra II, 5) of Samudragupta, Vishnugopa of Kanchi figures among the captured and
reinstated kings of southern India.
This Vishnugopa was a Pallava. In Pallava inscriptions (see Ind.Ant, V,
pp.50, 154) he is mentioned along with skandavarman and
simhavarman, who are connected with the Gangas in a special manner in this record. This fact as also the
omission of his name in the present record makes his position confusing. It seems the Gangas often copied the
names of their suzerains, the Pallavas as is the case of simhavarman in this grant. It appears the omission of
Vishnugopas name in this plate is unintentional. The
attribute, devoted to the gods, the twice-born and the guru
is distinctive of Vishnugopa’s in other records and is never used for Madhava.
The engraver seems to have through
carelessness, skipped Vishnugopa’s name in the written
charter supplied to him. This led to the piling up of is
distinctive attributes on his successor Madhuva along with the latter’s own.
Footnote 4.
1. Modern Parigi, 11 km. north of Hindupur in Anantapur district,
still note for its tank. Parivi is mentioned in early records as the capital of he Banas.
2. Expressed by the spiral symbol.
3. Khandula-vapa is the measure of land on which a quantity of one khanduka of grain, could be sown.
Footnote 5.
The date of Pallava Simhavarman can be fixed with certainty on the evidence of three manu script copies
of Sanskrit translation of the Digambara Jain work,
Lokavibhaga, ( from original Prakrit) by the Rishi simha-suri or simha-sura. It is stated on these that the work was copied by Muni Sarvanandin in the village Patalika in Banarashtra in the 22nd year of simhavarman,
the lord of Kanchi, and in the year 380 of saka era, 458 A.D. Thus Simhavarman’s date of accession would be 436 A.D.
English Translation of the inscription.
Om peace Victory to the lord Padmanabha, who possesses blue sheen of the cloudless sky.
Oo the full moon day in the month of chaitra, Sixty five fields twenty seven khanduka-vapas in extent situated
below the great Paruvi lake in the Karmatuva region, in the
Paruvi district were granted the libation of water in the tradition of Brahma Gifts to the Bramana Kumarasarman of the
Vatsa lineage gotra and Taittiriya charan a proficient in the
observance of the Yamas and the niyamas, penance, self-education,
sacrificing, conducting sacrifices, studying and teaching, possessing effective power of cursing and blessing and accepter and receiver of gifts, by the illustrious simhavarman,
the Madhava Mahadhiraja of the  Gangas, who was duly anointed by the illustrious Skanda-varman Maharaja of
the family of the Pallavas, who Simhavarman, was consecrated in the kingdom, which had descended in succession in his own family, who was
the banner of the Gangeya family, who had earned the glory of royalty by the prowess of his own arm, whose mind
was formed through the practice of piety, devoted to the worship of gods brahmanas and the elders (or the preceptors), who possessed the qualities of his father and grand father;
who was the son of the Ganga king Aryavarman, duly anointed by
Maharaja simha-varman, the lord of the illustrious Pallava family and whose body was adorned wounds received in
many battles, who knew the essence of various sastras, itihasas and Puranas, and who was the son of him, the illustrious Madhava Mahadhiraja, who obtained the kingship with the only
object of the good government of his subjects, who was skilled in the exposition and practice of the science of politics, who had developed a special intelligence by acquiring the true
sense of the meaning of diverse sastras, who inherited the
qualities of his Father, and who was the son of the illustrious Konkani-varman Dharma-Mahadhiraja of Kanvayana gotra, who was adorned with wounds received in battle, while cutting down the hosts of fierce enemies, who was possessed of a state, peopled
wi th good citizens and established as a result of swift victory of hs own arm, and who was the sun illumining the clear firmament of the Jahnaveya or Gangaya family.
He who confiscates this shall become guilty of five great sins. And also in this context are verses sung by Manu.
Here follow three of the traditional imprecatory and benedictory verses).
This copper-plate charter is written by Apapa, the son of the gold smith Arya. Om

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