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Mysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) online

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,, Madiga 254

,, Nayinda 249

,, Rachevar 228

,, Reddi 229

,, Sanar 253

,, Satani 241

,, Wodda 255

Tengale 237, 240

Tenginahaje 253

j Tenugu Wokkaliga

I 228

Thakur 227

; Tigala (Holeya) 253

Tigala 223,226,228,


,, (Wodda) 255
Tirthankara 242
Tirukula 253-4

Tirumaleyar 240-1
Tirunama Dasari

Togasetti 246

Togata 229, 249-50
Toppala 252

Toreya 223, 252
Tola 231

Totada Tigaja 238
Totagara 229

Toti 253

Trikarma 246

Tude 253

Tuluva Vellala 228
,, Wokkaliga

Tuppada 246

Turukane Banajiga


Uddina Korava 256

Uggranada 253

Ulchakamme 237-8

Ulli 231

Uppaliga 252

Uppara 223, 246-7

Uppina 249

Uppinakolaga 239

Uppu Koracha 233

,, Korama 233

,, Korava 233

,, Wodda 255

Uriya 227

Uru Golla 251

,, Koracha 233

,, Madiga 254

,, Wodda 255

Utkala 234

Uttaradi 239

Uttaraji 239

Vadaga 253

,, Reddi 229

\'adagale 237, 240

Vadama (Brahman)

,, Kumbara 252
Vader 242, 244

Vadhyama 237

Widtya 232

\'aikhanasa 241

\'ainadii 254

Vaishaniga 238

Vaishnava ( Nagarta )

Vaishnava Satani














Veiagi ■












■,■ Wokkal




228 9,


■;, (Holeya


Velnad 237,


Van nan




Vanne (Moleya




Vanne (Tigala)






Vijayai:)ura Kamme
















Viras'aiva 241

Virasamlni 253

Vis'va 248

Visval)rahnia 248

\'isvaglini 248

Visvakarma 249 [

Vyasakuta 236

Wodda 226, 255

,, (Korama) 233

Wokkaliga 222,

226, 228-9, 249

Wontiyettu (janiga


^'adava Korama 233

\';idavakula 251

^'adayar 251

\'akula 223, 251
N'alanati 229

N'alavolu 229

Ydnadi 231

Vanamaloru 254,

^'antumule 233

'N'avanianta 246

^'eda ^'ellama 229
"S'ellamma 246

^'ellammakapu 229





A land covered with one mighty and all-embracing forest, — the great
Dandakaranya ; nestling here and there on the bank of a sacred stream,
the dsraiiia or hermitage of some ris/ii or holy sage, with his mind
intent upon penance or absorbed in austerities of overwhelming
potency ; hidden in forest clearings or perched on isolated rocky
eminences, the retreats and strongholds of lawless predatory chiefs or
still more formidable asuras and rdkshasas, whence they issued for raid
and foray or bent on deeds of violence :— such is the picture of the
south of India presented to our view in the earliest records of the Hindu
race. In the continual conflict between devas or gods and Brahmans
on the one side, and asuras or giants and rdkshasas or demons on the
other, is doubtless depicted a period when the Aryans in their south-
ward progress were brought into collision with aboriginal races or the
descendants of primeval immigrants.

The course of events seems to have been somewhat on this wise.
A few solitary vedic rishis made their way as hermits to the south, in
search of suitable retreats in the depths of the forest, where the acc^uisi-
tion of merit, by an uninterrupted round of austerities and rites, might
gratify the spiritual pretensions which were contested among the haunts
of xwKn as at variance w'ith the established system of society. But here
too they found not unpeopled solitudes ; and as intruders of a different
race, provoked the hostility of previous settlers, which took the form
of interference with the sacrifices and molestation of the rites — the
proclaimed sources of supernatural power, — whose efficacy depended
on exact and complete performance. The superior attainments, how-
ever, of the Aryan Brahmans enabled them in various ways to defeat
the opposition of the tribes with whom they were thus brought into
contact, and to introduce the elements of civilization among the ruder
races of the south.

Imi)cllcd by internal strife or by ideas of adventure and conquest,
warriors of the Kshatriya class gradually followed these Brahman
pioneers across the ^'indhyas, and came into collision with the rulers of
indigenous tribes. The Brahmans, having already gained a footing



among tlicsc, would be led to assert sacerdotal claims with increased
and uncompromising vehemence, whence violent struggles ensued, not
alone between hostile races, but between rival sects and factions, marked
by all the asperity and implacable rancour of such contests. The power
of the Kshatriyas is represented as having been virtually extinguished,
and only resuscitated with the aid of the Brahmans and the admission
of their ascendency. But the rival system of Buddhism, which was of
Kshatriya origin, became in course of time predominant ; and so con-
tinued for some centuries, until the gradual revival of Brahmanical
influence ended in the banishment of the former from the land of its
birth to the congenial soils where it still holds sway over the greater
proportion of the human race.

But the records which have come down to us of these revolutions
and mutations require to be used with discrimination. For the Brah-
mans, being last in the ascendant, have, apparently, by interpolations
in old works, by the argument of more recent compositions and by the
systematic destruction of Buddhist and Jain literature and remains of
the intermediate period, persistently striven, not only to ascribe almost
every public calamity to the neglect of their injunctions, but have even
assigned a Brahmanical origin to the royal lines. Notwithstanding,
therefore, evident anachronisms, and the prolongation of the lives of
sages for several centuries, implied in their appearance at widely distant
periods, the ancient literature, with steady uniformity, represents Brah-
mans and their blessings as the most potent source of honour and
power, their imprecation as ensuring the most inevitable doom ; while,
until the brilliant discoveries of Prinsep, the history of the Buddhist
period was almost a blank. Modern research has done, and is still
doing, an immense deal to dispel the obscurity which rests upon the
early history, and to throw light on the real progress of events and
development of principles which have resulted in the formation of the
India of to-day.

Agastya. — Of the rishis who in the earliest times penetrated to the
south, Agastya is one of the most conspicuous. The tradition that he
caused the Vindhya mountains to bow down and yield him a passage,
no less than the universal popular belief, seem to point him out as the
forerunner of the last Aryan migration into the peninsula.^ The
ascendency he gained over the enemies of the Brahmans had, accord-
ing to the Ramayana, rendered the southern regions safe and accessible
at the time when Rama crossed the Vindhya range. The scene of the

• To him the Tamil race attribute their first knowledge of letters. After civilizing
the Dravidians or Tamil people, he retired to a hill in the Western Ghats still named
after him, and was subsequently identified with the star Canopus.



following grotesque and monstrous story of the exercise of his power
is laid at Stambhodadhi (Kammasandra), on the banks of the Arkavati,
near Nelamangala. There Agastya is related to have had an asrama,
and thither came the rakshasa brothers Vitapi and Ilvala, who, having
obtained the boon that they should be invulnerable to gods and giants
and might assume any form at will, had applied themselves to the work
of destroying the rishis. Their modus operandi was as follows : — Ilvala,
the elder, assuming the form of a Brahman, would enter the asrama
and invite the rishi to some ceremony requiring the sacrifice of a sheep.
At this Vatapi, taking the form of the sheep, was sacrificed and eaten.
The repast over, Ilvala would exclaim " Vatapi, come forth," when the
latter, resuming his natural form, would burst out from the rishi, rend-
ing him asunder, and the two brothers eat him up. This plan they
tried on Agastya, but he was forewarned. When, therefore, after the
sacrificial meal, Ilvala as usual summoned Vatapi to come forth, Agastya
replied that he was digested and gone to the world of Yama. Ilvala,
rushing to fall upon him, was reduced to ashes by a glance.^

Of other rishis, tradition has it that Gautama performed penance on
the island of Seringapatam in the Kaveri, Kanva- on the stream at
Malur near Channapatna, Vibhandaka on the Tunga at Sringeri,
Markanda on the Bhadra at Kandeya, Dattatreya on the Baba Budans,
besides many others in different places.

Asuras arid Rdkshasas. — " The (asuras and) rakshasas who are repre-
sented as disturbing the sacrifices and devouring the priests, signify,"
says Lassen, " merely the savage tribes which placed themselves in
hostile opposition to the Brahmanical institutions. The only other
actors who appear, in addition to these, are the monkeys, which ally
themselves to Rama and render him assistance. This can only mean
that when the Aryan Kshatriyas first made hostile incursions to the
south, they were aided by another portion of the indigenous tribes."

Of the asuras, traditions are preserved that Guhasura had his capital
at Harihara on the Tungabhadra, Hidimbasura was established at
Chitaldroog, Bakasura near Rahman Ghar, Mahishasura, from whom
Mysore derives its name, at Chamundi, and so on. The asuras, it is
said, being defeated by the devas, Ijuilt three castles in the three worlds,
one of iron on the earth, one of silver in the air, and one of gold in the
sky. These the devas smote, and conquered the three worlds ; the

' For the original story see Muir, Sans. Texts, ii. 415. Weber considers it
indicates the existence of cannibals in the Dekhan. Of Ilvala, perhaps we have a
trace in the village of Ilavala, known to Europeans as \'chval, near Mysore. \'atapi-
pura is the same as Haclami, near Dharwar.

- Kanva is to the Telugu race nearly what Agastya is to the Tamil.



muster (jf tlic forces for the assault on the tri])lc city, cjr Tripura,' having
taken place, according to tradition, at the hill of Kurudu male, properly
Ktldu male, near Mulbagal.

The rdkshasas appear to have been a powerful race dominant in the
south, whose capital was at Lanka in the island of Ceylon. The king-
dom of the vdnara or monkey race was in the north and west of the
Mysore, their chief city being Kishkindha near the village of Hampe
on the Tungabhadra. The ancient Jain Ramayana, composed in Hala
Kannada, gives a genealogy of the kings of either race down to the
time of Rama's expedition, which will be made use of farther on, so far
as it relates to Mysore. In it we are also introduced to the vidyddharas,
whose empire was apparently more to the north, and w^hose principal
seat was at Rathanupura-Chakravalapura.-

Haihayas.— In order, however, to obtain something like a connected
narrative of events more or less historical of these remote times, we
may begin with an account of the Haihayas. \\'ilson imagines them to
be a foreign tribe, and inclines, with Tod, to the opinion that they may
have been of Scythian origin and perhaps connected with a race of
similar name who first gave monarchs to China.'' They overran the
Dekhan, driving out from Mahishmati, on the upper Narmada (Ner-
budda), a king named Bahu, seventeenth in descent from Purukutsa of
the solar line, the restorer of the dominion of the Nagas. He fied with
his wives to the forest, where one of them gave birth to Sagara, who
became a great conqueror and paramount ruler in India."* He nearly
exterminated the Haihayas and associated races — the Sakas, Yavanas,
Kambojas, Paradas, and Pahlavas — but, at the intercession of his
priest Vasishtha, forbore from further slaughter, and contented him-
self with imposing on them certain modes of shaving the head and
wearing the hair, to mark their degradation to the condition of out-

^ Reference to a city named Tripura will he fciund in connection with the Kadamba
kings, farther on. The legend perhaps means that the indigenous tribes in the west
retired above the Ghats before Aryan invaders, and were finally subdued by their
assailants penetrating to the table-land from the east, and taking the lofty hill forts.

- The Silaharas of Karahata (Karhad), near Kolapur, are called Vidyadharas. —
Dr. Buhler, Vik. Dez>. Char. Int. 40.

•■' Wilson, Vish. Fur. Bk. IV, ch. xi, last note. Tod, An. Faj. I, 36. Haihaya
was also the name of a great-grandson of Vadu, the progenitor of the Vadavas.

* Sagara is the king most commonly named at the end of inscriptions as an example
of liberality in granting endowments of land.

* For the bearing of these regulations on certain practices at the present day, see
Dr. Caldwell's article on the kiidunii (Kan. jiitfii), reprinted from the Madras Mail
mind. Ant. IV, 166.

Eventually the Haihayas established their cajntal at Ratanpur (in the Central


Parasu Bama. — At a later period, Arjuna, the son of Kritavirya,
and hence called Kartaviryarjuna (which distinguishes him from Arjuna,
one of the Pandu princes), was ruling over the Haihayas. On him the
muni 1 )attatreya had conferred a thousand arms and other powers, with
which he oppressed both men and gods. He is even said to have seized
and tied up Ravana. About the same time a sage named Jamadagni,
nephew of Visvamitra, the uncompromising opponent of Vasishtha,
having obtained in marriage Renuka, daughter of king Prasenajit, they
had five sons, the last of whom was Rama, called Parasu Rdma, or
Rama with the axe, to distinguish him from the hero of the Ramayana.
He is represented as the sixth avatar of Vishnu : his axe, however, was
given him by Siva.

Jamadagni was entrusted by Indra with the care of Surabhi, the
celestial cow of plenty ; and on one occasion being visited by
Kartavir\'a, who was on a hunting expedition, regaled the Raja and his
followers in so magnificent a manner as to excite his astonishment,
until he learned the secret of the inestimable animal possessed by his
host. Impelled by avarice, he demanded the cow •} and on refusal
attempted, but in vain, to seize it by force, casting down the tall
trees surrounding the hermitage.- On being informed of what had
happened, Parasu Rama was filled with indignation ; and attacking
Kartaviryarjuna, cut off his thousand arms and slew him. His sons
in return killed Jamadagni, in the absence of Parasu Rama. Where-
upon Renuka became a Sati, by burning herself on her husband's
funeral pyre. With her dying breath she imprecated curses on the
head of her husband's murderer, and Parasu Rama vowed, after
performing his father's funeral obsequie.s, to destroy the whole
Kshatriya race.

Having twenty-one times cleared the Earth of Kshatriyas, he gave
her at the conclusion of an asvamedha, a rite whose performance was a
sign of the consunnnation of victory, as a sacrificial fee to Kasyapa, the
ofificiating priest ; who, in order that the remaining Kshatriyas might be
spared, innnediately signalled him off with the sacrificial ladle, saying,
" Go, great muni, to the shore of the southern ocean. Thou must not

I'rovinces), and continued in ]wwer until deposed l)y the Mahrattas in 1741 a. I).
Inscriptions have been found proving the dominion of the Haihayas over the upper
Xarniada \'alley as far hack as the second century A. 1). — C P. Gaz. Int. 1.

^ There is little douht that the so-called cow was a fertile tract of country, such as
Sorab (literally Sural)hi), where the scene of this transaction is laid, is well known
to be.

- The story is dift'crently related in the Mahabharata, but \sitli too unnatural and
improliable circumstances, and too manifest a design to inculcate certain Urahmanical
notions. The sequel is the same.

T 2


dwell in ni\- territory." ^ Parasu Rama then applies to Sagara,*^ the
ocean, for sonic land, and compels it to retire,'' creating the seven
Konkanas,^ or the maritime regions of the western coast, whither he
withdraws to the Mahendra mountain. The Earth, who finds it very
inconvenient to do without the Kshatriyas as rulers and kings, appeals to
Kasyapa, who discovers some scions of royal houses that have escaped
the general mas.sacre of their race, and instals them.

This prodigious legend, in which the mythical type of Brahmanism
is clearly enough revealed as arrayed in opposition to the military caste,
is by tradition connected with many parts of Mysore. Sorab taluq is
the Surabhi which was Jamadagni's possession. The temple of Renuka,
existing to this day at Chandragutti, is said to mark the spot where she
burnt herself on the funeral pyre of her husband, and that of Kolaha-
lamma at Kolar is said to have been erected in her honour from
Kartaviryarjuna having there been slain. The colloquy with Sagara is
said to have been near Tirthahalli. At Hiremugalur (Kadur District)
is a singular memorial in the temple of Parasu, the axe of the hero, and
its ancient name of Bhargavapuri connects the town with him as being
a descendant of Bhrigu.

Rama.— Our history has next to do with Rama, — called, by way of
distinction, Ramachandra, — the hero of the Ramayana and the seventh
avatar of ^'ishnu. On his way home after winning Sita by breaking
the bow of Siva, he is, strangely enough, said to have been encountered
by Parasu Rama, who required him to break a bow of Vishnu which
he produced. This Rama did, and at the same time destroyed Parasu
Rama's celestial abode. The story of Rama, — a Kshatriya, but
obedient to the Brahmans ; of the solar line, the son of Dasaratha, king
of Ayodhya (Oudh) — and of the abduction, during their wanderings in
the Dandaka forest, of his wife the fair Sita, by Ravana, the rakshasa
king of Lanka in Ceylon, is too well known to need repetition here.
To this day not an incident therein has abated in interest to the
millions of India, and few parts of the land but claim to be the scene
of one or other of its adventures. Without stopping to dwell on the

^ The audacity of the conception is sublime. The explanation given is that Parasu
Rama being guilty of homicide could not be allowed to reside in Brahman territory.

- Sagara, the ocean, was so named from Sagara (previously mentioned) through
Bhagiratha. The tradition will be found in the Vishnu Purana, &c. The taluq
adjoining Sorab is also called Sagar.

3 According to some accounts he stood on the jiromontory of Dilli, and shot his
arrows to the south, over the site of Kerala. It seems likely that we have proof of the
local legend being at least as old as the Christian era, as the Mons Pyrrhus of Ptolemy
is, probably, the mountain of Parasu or Parasu Rama. — Wilson, fish. Pur. Bk. iv, ch. 7.

* These were Karata, Virata, Mahdrata, Konkana, Haiga, Tulava and Kerala.

J? A MA 277

romantic episode, wliich will be found in the history of the Kadur I )is-
trict. of Rishya Sringa, to whon) indirectly the birth of the hero is
ascribed, it is evident that Rama's route from Panchavati or Nasik, at
the source of the Godavari, to Ramesvara, on the south-eastern coast
opposite Ceylon, would naturally lead him across the table-land of

All accounts agree in stating that the first news Rama received that
Ravana had carried off his wife to Ceylon, was conveyed to him while
at the court of Sugriva, the king of Kishkindha ; and that with the
forces here obtained he accomplished his expedition and the recovery
of Sita. He first met with Sugriva, then dispossessed of his kingdom,
at the sources of the Pampa or Tungabhadra, and assisted him in
recovering his throne. The former region therefore would be in the
Western Ghats, in Kadur District ; and the situation of Kishkindha is
generally acknowledged to be on the Tungabhadra, north of the
Mysore," near the village of Hampe, where in modern times arose the
cities of Anegundi and Vijayanagar. The Brahmanical version of the
Ramayana, as contained in ^'almiki's famous poem, describes the races
of this region as vanaras and kapis, or monkeys. But the Jain
Ramayana, previously referred to, calls Kishkindha the vdnara dhvaja
kingdom, or kingdom of the monkey flag. This simple device on the
national standard, therefore, may have led to the forces being called the
monkey army,'' and thence easily sprung all the other embellishments
of the story as popularly received.'' We shall follow the Jain version
in giving the previous history of the kings of Kishkindha. '

Kishkindha. — By the conquests of Sagara, here made a descendant
of Puru,'' a [)rince named Toyada Vahana (the same as Megha \'ahana, or
Jimiita \'ahanaj, who had thought to marry a princess whom Sagara

^ The papers concerning Mysore (in the Mackenzie collection) seem to agree in
stating that Rama went by way of the Mysore country to Lanka. — Taylor, Cat. Rais.
Or. MSS. Ill, 693.

- Wilson, Utt. Ram. Char. Act I, Sc. 2 ; Monier Williams, Ind. Ep. Po. 76 ;
Talboys Wheeler, Hist. Ind. II, 318.

•' This is nothing but what we often do in speaking of the military array of the
British lion, the Russian bear,

Online LibraryB. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) RiceMysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) → online text (page 33 of 98)