Western Gangas

Written by Alok Mohan on January 17, 2023. Posted in Uncategorized

Western Gangas
Inscription number 47.
Sasanakota Plates of Ganga Madhavavarman 1.
-(Regnal) Year 1.
Western Ganga was an important ruling dynasty of ancient Karnataka in India which lasted from about 350 to 1000 CE. They are known as “Western Gangas” to distinguish them from the Eastern Gangas, who in later centuries ruled over Kalinga (modern Odisha and Northern Andhra Pradesh). The general belief is that the Western Gangas began their rule during a time, when multiple native clans asserted their freedom due to the weakening of the Pallava empire in South India, a geo-political event, sometimes attributed to the southern conquests of Samudra Gupta. The Western Ganga sovereignty lasted from about 350 to 550 CE, initially ruling from Kolar and later, moving their capital to Talakadu on the banks of the Kaveri River in modern Mysore district.
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 alongside them against their foes, the Chola Dynasty of Tanjavur. In the late 10th century, north of Tungabhadra river, the Rashtrakutas were replaced by the emerging Western Chalukya Empire and the Chola Dynasty saw renewed power south of the Kaveri river. 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 toward 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.
Western Ganga dynasty was founded by Konkanivarman. He was known as Dharmamahadhiraja.  However he had accepted Chalukya overlordship Chalukyas as they were dominating force, which fought for the cause of their overlords against the Pallavas of Kanchi.
Consequent to decline of pallava kingdom, many local clans asserted their independence, however western Gangas were able to exert their influence on small kingdoms & the major  reason was consistent Samudragupta’s southern invasions.
After a century of fight for independence, the Western Gangas had ultimately acknowledged Rashtrakuta as their master and successfully fought alongside them against their adversaries, the Chola Dynasty of Thanjavur. The vedic literature especially Arthashastra inspired administrative & governance process  of the Western Ganga dynasty. Women were given special importance in administration & governance jobs & for this system the Ganga rulers delegated necessary authorities to their queens.
Gangas avoided lethal punishment because they believed that killing a human being was a sin.
The kingdom was split into Rashtra (districts), and then into Visaya (perhaps 1000 villages) and Desa.
Provenance: Sasanakota, Hindupur taluk, Anantapur district, Karnataka.
Footnote 1.
1. Most of the western Ganga records are spurious. sufficient evidence is not forthcoming to enble us to settle early Western Ganga genealogy. The western Gangas may have been related to their neighbours, the Eastern Gangas. Both the states were on the eastern coast. The Eastern Ganga records do suggest some relationship, though there are some difficulties. The vizagapatam plates (Saka 1040) of Anantavarman
Chodaganga and the Kendupatna plates (Saka 1217 or 1 218) of
Narasiaha 2 (Bhandarkar’s List Numbers,1103 and 1116) refer
to Kolahala as an ancestor of the eastern Gangas, and former also refers to the foundaton of the city Kolahalapura, by Kolahala in Gangavadi, popular name of the western Ganga
country in mysore. But the Eastern Ganga dynasty is not
called Janhaveya-Kula, and their gotra is Atreya, not Kanvayana as of the western Gangas.
Footnote 2.
1. From the facsimile in Ep.Ind. XXV, between pp. 238 and 239.
2. Expressed by the spiral symbol engraved in left margin.
3. The dot over ta in jita is due to corrosion and is not
4. The half line upto jani is in palimpsest.
5. After this a letter like pa is engraved and then beaten out.
Footnote 3.
1. In determining the dates of the Penukonda plates of the
present king’s grandson, Madhava 2, (Infra IV, 48)
Fleet has given A.D. 475 as a very good date for it (Ep.ind, XIV, pp.331)
Giving 25 years to each of the two generations, We can roughly assign our plate to 425 A.D, which agrees with
its palaeography.
2. The Penukonda plates of Madhavavarman 2 (or 3 according
to Rice, Ep.Ind. IV, pp.331) read Paruvi-Vishaya. It appears that the subscribe has inadvertently dropped one of the two    . It is a case of haplography. Paruvi-vishaya
has been identified by Rice with Parigi (Ep,Ind, XIV, pp 331)
about 11 km north of Hindupur in Anantapur district.
3. Velputtoru is obviously identical with the modern village
Velpumadugu, in Gooty taluk, Anantapur district. It is
a very ancient settlement. The adjoining isolated round-topped granite hill, crowned with a fortification of post
neolithic date, yieided a good harvest of celts and other neolithic artifacts. (see Bruce Foote, Ind an Pre-historic
and Proto-historic antiquities pp.99). Toru (in velputtoru or doruou is synonymous with madugu (in Velpumadugu) in Telugu and means a pond.
English Translation of the inscription.
Om !  The Lord Padmanabha, (Vishnu)
who resembles the cloud-free sky is victorious. In the first year of his growing and exceedingly prosperous reign, on the tithi, in the bright fortnight of the month of Phalguna, the illustrious, Madhavavarman, who has properly classified the devotees and
servants,  whose only objective in attaining kingship is through
nursing of his subjects, who is an expert in correct enunciation
and application of the Niti-sastra (the science of politics or political ethics) complete even in it’s specialisations, who has become a touchstone for (testing the quality of the gold that
are the learned people and the poets, who have acquired specialised
wisdom by comprehending the meaning and the good sense of many
sciences sastras) who possesses the fame and majesty of
having exterminated or captured his enemies by the prowess
of his own arms, who inherited the qualities of his father,
who is the son of the Dharma-Mahadhiraja, the illustrious
Konganivarman who was of kanvayana gotra, who worn the ornaments of wounds (Ii.e.scars) received in battles in crushing the crowds of his dreadful enemies who had created
a nation of virtuous people by victories born of the swiftness of his own arms, who was like a sun, shining in the clear sky, of the illustrious family of the Jahnavayas (i.e. Gangas) has granted together with all the immunities, according to the customary law of gifts to Brahmanas, the village named veiputtoru, in the Paru or Paruvi district, with libation of water, for his
own emancipation to Dharasarman of Vatsa gotra and Taittiriya charana.
Whosoever is its confiscator, whether out of greed or of negligence, will be united with the eleven great sins.
Also there are verses sung by Manu:
(Here follow three of the customary verses)
BY the order of the Maharaja from his own mouth, this
Copper-plate plate was written by Somasarman.

Alok Mohan

The admin, Alok Mohan, is a graduate mechanical engineer & possess following post graduate specializations:- M Tech Mechanical Engineering Production Engineering Marine engineering Aeronautical Engineering Computer Sciences Software Engineering Specialization He has authored several articles/papers, which are published in various websites & books. Studium Press India Ltd has published one of his latest contributions “Standardization of Education” as a senior author in a book along with many other famous writers of international repute. Alok Mohan has held important positions in both Govt & Private organisations as a Senior professional & as an Engineer & possess close to four decades accomplished experience. As an aeronautical engineer, he ensured accident incident free flying. As leader of indian team during early 1990s, he had successfully ensured smooth induction of Chukar III PTA with Indian navy as well as conduct of operational training. As an aeronautical engineer, he was instrumental in establishing major aircraft maintenance & repair facilities. He is a QMS, EMS & HSE consultant. He provides consultancy to business organisations for implimentation of the requirements of ISO 45001 OH & S, ISO 14001 EMS & ISO 9001 QMS, AS 9100, AS9120 Aero Space Standards. He is a qualified ISO 9001 QMS, ISO 14001 EMS, ISO 45001 OH & S Lead Auditor (CQI/IRCA recognised certification courses) & HSE Consultant. He is a qualified Zed Master Trainer & Zed Assessor. He has thorough knowledge of six sigma quality concepts & has also been awarded industry 4, certificate from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation Knowledge Hub Training Platform  He is a Trainer, a Counselor, an Advisor and a Competent professional of cross functional exposures. He has successfully implimented requirements of various international management system standards in several organizations. He is a dedicated technocrat with expertise in Quality Assurance & Quality Control, Facility Management, General Administration, Marketing, Security, Training, Administration etc. He is a graduate mechanical engineer with specialization in aeronautical engineering. He is always eager to be involved in imparting training, implementing new ideas and improving existing processes by utilizing his vast experience.