B. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) Rice.

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

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\'ikramarka seen or heard of -

Soma, called Bhiilokamalla, ^'ikrama's son, succeeded in 11 26 to a
kingdom powerful and prosperous on every hand. To him all kings
applied the name Sarvajna (all-wise), and he appears to have been of
literary tastes, as he was the author of ManasoUasa, on the policy and
recreations of kings, in Sanskrit. Jagadekamalla, whose real name
does not appear, is described as having taken possession of the Pallava
territories. He also repulsed an invasion by the Hoysalas.

Under Nurmadi Taila or Trailokyamalla, the Chalukya dynasty,

^ The names of five other wives of his occur in inscriptions.
- Bhandarkar's Early Hist, of the Dekhan.


which had reached its zenith with the last Vikramaditya, began rapidly
to decHne. A powerful noble named Bijjala, of the Kalachurya race,
had been appointed general of the Chalukya armies, and the influence
which he thereby obtained he turned against his sovereign and expelled
him from the throne. This event occurred in 1157. The Chalukya
king retired south and maintained himself in the Banavase country.
The religious feuds which raged at Kalyana in connection with the
establishment of the Lingayit creed kept the hands of the Kalachuryas
fully occupied. The Chalukya influence, therefore, was not extin-
guished, and Somes'vara, the last of his race, succeeded to the fallen
fortunes of his house in 1182. He seems to have had his residence
at Annigeri in Dharwad, and later at Kurgod, to the north of Bellary.
What ultimately became of him does not appear, but the Hoysalas of
Dorasamudra from the south, and the Yadavas of Devagiri from the
north, soon closed in upon the disputed dominions ; and the great and
powerful Chalukya name disappears from history as that of a dominant
power, though certain descendants of the line appear to have ruled in
some parts of the Konkan till the middle of the thirteenth century.

Kalachuris. — The Kalachuris, or Kalabhuris, were one of the
royal houses subjected by the Chalukyas on their first arrival in the
south. They were apparently connected with the Haihayas in descent.
The founder of the line was named Krishna, and is said to have been
born of a Brahmani girl by Siva. Professing to be a barber, " he slew
in Kalanjara an evil spirit of a king who was a cannibal, and taking
possession of his kingdom, reduced the Nine-lakh country of Dahala
(Chedi or Bandelkhand) to obedience and ruled in peace." A Chedi
or Kalachuri era, dating from 249 a.d.,^ is used in their inscriptions in
the north, and is evidence of the antiquity of the family. Among the
titles in their inscriptions in Mysore, of which there are many in the
north of the country, are the following : — Lord of the city of Kalanjara
(the well-known fortress in Bandelkhand), having the flag of a golden
bull, S'anivara-siddhi, (liridurgamalla.

Our history is concerned with the Kalachuris from the lime of Bijjala,
who supplanted the Chalukyas in 1151, to 1182, when the line became
extinct. The period, though short, is of considerable importance and
interest from having seen the birth of the Lingayit religion, which so
largely [)revails throughout the Kannada-spcaking countries.

The following is the list of these kings : —

]!ijjala, 15ijjana, Nissanka- Sankania, Nissankamalla 1 176 liSl

malla, Tribhiivanamalla 1156-1167 j A'havaiiialla, .\imuimalla iiSi 11S3

Kayamurari Sovi, Somes'vara, | Sintrhana 11S3

Hhuvanaikanialla I167-1176 |

• As ilelermined hy rrofessor Kielhoni (.VfV /;'/. /W. , 11, 299).


I'ijjala was a Jain. As has been related, he took advantage of his
position as general of the Chalukya armies to usurj) the throne, liut
for several years he did not assume the royal titles. It was not till the
sixth year of his usurpation, or 1162 that he marched to the south,
whither the Chalukya prince had retired, and then proclaimed himself
supreme. During his reign, Basava, the son of an A'radhya, came to
settle in Kaly;ina, where he became the son-in-law of the chief
minister. He had a very beautiful sister named J'admavati, whom
Eijjala having seen, became enamoured of and married. Basava thus
in course of time was api)ointed chief minister and general. The
Raja gave himself up to the charms of his beautiful bride and left all
power in the hands of Basava, who employed the opportunity thus
afforded him to strengthen his own influence, displacing the old
officers of state and putting in adherents of his own, while at the same
time he sedulously cultivated the favour of the prince. By these
means, and the promulgation of a new faith, as will be elsewhere
described, he increased rapidly in power. At length Bijjala's fears were
roused, and he made an attempt to seize Basava ; but the latter
escaped, and afterwards dispersed the party sent in pursuit. His
adherents flocked to him, and Bijjala, advancing in person to quell the
insurrection, was defeated and compelled to reinstate the minister in
all his dignities. Basava not only resumed his former power and
authority, but formed a plot against the life of the king, probably in
the hope of becoming supreme in the state as regent during the
minority of his nephew, the son of Bijjala and Padmavati. Accounts
differ as to the mode in which the king was killed. According to
the Jain account, in the Bijjalanka Kdvya, he was poisoned on the
banks of the Bhima when returning from a successful expedition
against the Silahara chief of Kolhapur : while the Basava Piirdiia
of the Lingayits states that he was assassinated by three of Basava's

Rayamurari Sovi, the son of Bijjala, resolved to revenge his father's
death, and Basava fled to Ulive or Vrishabhapura on the Malabar
coast. Thither the king pursued him and laid siege to the place. It
was reduced to extremity, and Basava in despair threw himself into a
well and was drowned. But according to the Lingayits he disappeared
into the linga at Sangames'vara, at the junction of the Malprabha
and Krishna. The other three kings were brothers of Sovi, and
during this period the last Chalukya regained a certain portion of his
kingdom, but the territories of both towards the south were absorbed
into the dominions of the Hoysalas, who had by this time risen to
power in Mysore.


Cholas. — The Cholas^ were one of the most ancient dynasties known
in the south, being mentioned along with the Pandyas in the edicts of
As'oka. They were of the Surya-vams'a or Solar line. In the second
century their capital was at Uraiyiir (^^'arriore near Trichinopoly), but
from the tenth century it was at Tanjore. They appear first to have
come into contact with Mysore at about that time, and, strange to say,
there arc hardly any earlier annals of the line. The following list
contains nearly all that is known of the kings who reigned at the time of
their greatest power. They have a great number of titles, but as these
apply to more than one king it is difficult to assign each to the right

l';u;iiUaka Rajciulra, Rajadhiraja 1016-1064

Rajaditya - 950 KuloUuiiga I (1064) 1071-III2

950- Vikrama III2-1127

Rajaraja 984-1016 Kulottunga II II27-

Parantaka, who was perhaps preceded by Vijayalaya and A'dityavarma,

had the titles Madiraikonda (capturer of Madura) and Koparakesari-

varma, and is said to have married the daughter of the king of Kerala.

He conquered the Bana, Vaidumba, Lanka and Pandya kings, the

latter being named Rajasimha. Rajaditya it appears was Parantaka's

son. As before related (p. 315) he was killed at Takkola by the Ganga

king Biltuga, the brother-in-law of the Rashtrakiita king Kannara, who

had marched into the Mysore country to repel this invasion by the

Cholas. Kannara thus victorious, assumes in some Tamil inscriptions

the titles Kachchiyun-Tanjaiyun-konda- (the capturer of Kanchi and

Tanjore), and seems to have established his power for a time over these

territories. The Chola succession for the period following Rajaditya's

death is not clear until Rajaraja, in whose time the Cholas successfully

invaded all the south, up to Kalinga on the east and the Tungabhadra

on the west. The Vengi territory was without a ruler, probably as the

consequence of their incursions, from 973 to 1003. In the end, the

Chola king's daughter Kundava was married to the Eastern Chalukya

king ^^imaladitya and the Vengi territory virtually annexed. Meanwhile,

the king's son Rajendra Chola captured Talakad in about 1004 and

overthrew the Canga dynasty, taking in consequence the name of

(iangaikonda-Chola. The whole of Mysore, south of the Kaveri from

Coorg, and east of a line from about Seringapatam to Nandidroog, was

overrun and annexed. The policy of the Cholas seems to have been

to impose their names upon all their conquests. The south of (langa-

vadi, or that part of the Mysore district, thus acquired the name of

' In Us Tamil forni the name is more properly S'oya ; in the Tehigu cuunti)-, Choda.
* See paper by Venkayya, C/n: Coll. Mag:, April 1S92.

334 IT/S7VA' V

MudikoiKjachola-maivjala ; ihc nfjrlh-wcst of the IJangalore district was
the Vikramachola-mandala ; the Kolar district was the Nikarilichola-
maivlala ; more to the north, and extending beyond Mysore, was the
Irattap-idikondachola-mandala. The subdivisions of these larger pro-
vinces were called valanad, that is, olanad, or included district. Thus
the southern portion of the first above named was the (langaikonda-
chola-valanad, while that of the third was the J^y'inkondachola-
valanad. Towns were treated in the same way, so that Talakad
became Rdjanijapura ; Manalur (Makirpatna near Channapatna)
became Nikarilicholapura, but Kolar seems to have retained its original
name of Kuvalala. The list of Rajaraja's conquests, that is, those made
in his reign, as given in his inscriptions, are Gangavadi, Rattavadi,
Malenad, Nolambavadi, Andhra, Kongu, Kalinga, and Pandya, as well
as Vengai, Tadikaipadi, Kollam (Quilon) and Ila (Ceylon). But of
course only portions of some of these were subdued. This king had
the title K6virajakesarivarma.

He was succeeded by his son Rajendra Chola, who had been his
father's principal general, aided by a brother, perhaps Rajadhiraja,
unless this was a name assumed by himself in the latter part of his
reign. The conquests he claims to have made are : Yedatore, Vanavasi,
Kollipaki, and Manne (Nelamangala taluq). He also seized the crown
of the king and queen of Ila, together with a celebrated crown and
necklace which the Pandya king had given up to theni; and also took
possession of a crown and necklace which were heirlooms worn by the
Kerala kings, and another crown of pure gold which Paras'urama had
placed in one of the islands of the western coast. He boasts of having
put to flight the Western Chalukya king Jayasimha at Mus'angi,
as previously related. His daughter Anmianga was married to the
Eastern Chalukya king Rajaraja,^ who was the son of his sister.
Later on, another daughter, Rajasundari, was married to the Kalinga
Ganga king Rajaraja,' but this was not accompanied with submission
to the Chola power, though their son was called Chola-Ganga.
Rajendra Chola had, among others, the title Koparakesarivarma and

The next king was Kulottunga Chola. He was the son of the
Eastern Chalukya king Rajaraja and Ammanga, and was called
Rajendra Chola' before coming to the throne. He ruled at Vengi at
first, and did not take possession of the Chola throne till 107 1. He
may possibly be the Rajiga whose name is prominent in connection
with the expeditions of the Western Chalukya prince ^'ikramaditya, as

1 Great confusion has arisen from the repetition of these same names in different



having attempted to estai) himself at Kanchi. If so, other claimants
to the Chola throne must have existed, who eventually were remo\ed
and the way opened for his peaceful coronation. He married
Madhurantaki, daughter of the ("hola king Rajendra. Most of his
inscriptions in Mysore begin thus : — "The goddess Fame shining upon
him, the goddess Victory desiring him, the goddess Earth abiding with
him, the goddess Fortune wedded to him ; the wearer of the diamond
crown, having destroyed the Villavas (the Cheras), swaying his sceptre,
having made a victorious coronation, seated on his throne together
with his queen consort," expressions betokening a firmly established
and peaceful sovereignty, which in this reign reached its zenith.

His eldest son Vikrama Chola next came to the throne, but the
younger sons had, in imitation of his own beginning, been appointed
viceroys of Vengi. The second son Rajaraja thus ruled there in
succession to Vijayaditya for only one year, 1077 to 1078, as he did
not like it and returned to the south. The third son \'\x\x Chola was
then appointed and remained there till at least iioo. It was during
the time of ^'ikrama Chola, or before i 1 1 7, that the Hoysalas recovered
Talakad, driving out the Cholas from the Mysore country. Kulottunga
Chola II, son of \'ikrama, came to the throne in 1127, but we are no
further concerned with this line, whose power, indeed, now greatly
declined and was never again what it had been.

Hoysalas. — This dynasty, like that of the Kadambas, was essentially
Mysorean, and ruled this country with great glory from the nth to the
14th century. Their native place was Soseviir, or Sasaka])ura, which
1 have identified with Angadi in the Western Chats, in the Manjarabad
country (now in the south of Mudgere taluq). The earlier kings were
fains. They claim to be Yadavas, and therefore of the Lunar line.
The founder of the family was Sala, and the exploit which raised him
to a throne is related in numerous inscriptions, doing one day to
worship Vasantika, his family goddes.s, whose temple was in the forest
near Sasakapura, his devotions were interrupted by a tiger, which
bounded out of the jungle glaring with rage. The yati or priest of the
temple, snatching up a saldki (a slender iron rod), gave it to the chief,
saying in the Karnataka language Iioy Sala (strike, Sala I), on which
the latter discharged the weapon with such force at the tiger as to kill
him on the spot. From this circumstance he adopted the name
Hoysala,^ formed from the words of the yati's exclamation, and the
dynasty so called, descended from him, had a tiger {.uinfula) as the
device on their flag. The following is the list of the kings, with their
dates, as determined by me from inscriptions :

' The older form is I'o\->ala. whicti is the s-inu' woid.

Narasimha II 1220 1235

Somes' vara 1 233-1 254

Narasimha III 1254-1291

Ballala III 1 291- 1342

Ballala I\', Vin'ipaksha

Ballala 1343


Sala, I'.iysala, Hoysala 1007 ! Ballala II I172-1219

Mnayadilya, Trihiiuvana-

nialla 1047 i lOO

Ballala I iioi 1104

liilti Dcva, Vishnuvardliana,

Vira (iaiiga, Trihhuvaiia-

malla 1 104 1 141

Narasimha I 1136-1171

Of the reign of Sala we have no very reh'able records, except that
Hoysala-mahadevi, probably a daughter of his, was in 1047 the queen
of the Chalukya king Trailokyamalla. We also know that the Hoysalas
were at first feudatories of the Chalukyas. Pmt a narrative in the
Mackenzie MSS. states that the tiger Sala killed had committed such
ravages in the neighbourhood that the people were afraid to assemble
for the annual festival of Vasantika. Being now freed from the scourge
by the valour of Sala, they gladly agreed, at the instance of the yati, to
pay a contribution to their deliverer of one fanam (4 as. 8 p.) a year
for each family. This seemed so trifling a reward for the important
service rendered, that the second year it was doubled, the third year
trebled, and so on for five years. Hoysala had faithfully placed what
he received each year at the yati's feet, and in the second year had been
ordered to use the money in raising a small force. This having been
increased by the end of the fifth year to a respectable number, Hoysala
was directed to rebuild the ruined city of Devarapuri (? Dvarapuri), and
was informed that he would discover a large treasure for the purpose
among the ruins, to be applied to fortifying it. This may have been the
I )varasamudra, Dorasamudra, or Dvaravati (now Halebid, Belur taluq),
which became the Hoysala capital.

^'inayaditya, Hoysala's son, succeeded to the throne, and having
conquered the Malapas, ruled over a territory bounded by Konkana,
A'lvakheda, Bayalnad, Talakad and Sdvimale.^ The title Malaparol-
ganda is assumed by all the Hoysalas and used alone on some of their
coins. These Malapas or hill-chiefs may have been the Danayaks of
tradition, who, after the overthrow of the Ganga power, sought to
establish a kingdom of their own in the south and west of ]\Iysore.
There were nine brothers, the Nava Danayak, and their stronghold was
Bettadakote on the Gopalswdmi hill. Bhima Danayak, one of four of
the brothers, the chief of whom was named Perumal Danayak, and who

' The original is Konkanadalvakhedadabayalmida^ &c. If, as is natural to suppose,
four boundaries are meant, two, those of the east and west, must be found in these
words. They may be- east, Konkana and the A'lva tableland, i.e., the tableland of
South Kanara ; west, the plain country, i.e., of Mysore. The hill Savimale, which
continued for a long time to be the Hoysala boundary on the north, has not been
identified. Possibly it had some connection with Savanur.


had quarrelled with the other five, gained possession of Nagarapura
(Nanjangud) and Ratnapuri (Hedatale) and set up a separate govern-
ment. After a time they returned to attack Bettadakote, which, after
a siege of three years, was taken by stratagem. Mancha Danayak, who
conducted the defence, seeing the citadel taken, leaped from the hill
on horseback and was killed.^ The four victorious Danayaks, placing
a junior member of the family in the government of 15ettadak6te, set
forth on expeditions of conquest, in the course of which it is said that
they penetrated as far as Goa on the north ; to Davasi-betta (the
southern limit of Coorg) on the south ; to the Bisale Cihat (in the north-
west of Coorg) on the west ; and to the pass of Satyamangala (north-east
of the Nilagiris) on the east. Vinayaditya is said to have taken
pleasure in constructing tanks and buildings, and in forming populous
towns. The temples he built were on so large a scale that the pits dug
for making bricks became tanks, mountains quarried for stone became
level with the ground, the paths by which the mortar carts went to and
fro became ravines. This calls to mind the splendidly carved temples
of Halebid, the principal one still remaining being the Hoysales'vara, a
memorial of the founder of the family. Vinayaditya's wife was
Keleyabbe or Keleyala Devi, and they had a son, Ereyanga.

The latter was appointed Yuvaraja in 1062, but seems to have held that
position for thirty-three years and never to have come to the throne, as
his father outlived him. Ereyanga is described as a right hand to the
Chalukya king, and must have been a principal commander in the
Chalukya army, for he is said to have burnt Dhara, the city of the
Malava king ; struck terror into Chola, who was eager for war ; laid
waste Chakragotta, and broken the king of Kalinga. Ereyanga's wife
was Echala Devi, by whom he had three sons, Ballala, Bitti Deva, and
Udayaditya. Ballala succeeded his grandfather Vinayaditya, but did
not live long, and Udayaditya died in 1123. Ereyanga's second son,
Bitti Deva, came to the throne in 1 104 on the death of his elder
brother, and proved to be one of the most powerful rulers of his time.

His capacity had been early discerned by the valiant Chalukya
prince Vikramaditya, who is said to have remarked to his attendants,
" Know the Hoysala alone to be invincible among all the princes."
He soon set out on an extensive range of conquests over all the
neighbouring countries. His general Ganga Raja, having captured
Talakad, the former capital of the Gangas, he drove out the Cholas
and took possession of the Ganga kingdom, assuming the title of Vira
Ganga. Southwards, he subdued Kongu (Salem), Koyatiir (Coimba-
tore), and Nilddri (the Nilagiris) ; westwards, the Male and Tulu

' The site of this leap is still pointed out.



countries (Malabar and South Kanara) ; eastwards, Kolalapura,
Nangali and Kanchipura ; northwards, Vengiri, Uchchangi, Virata,
Polalu, Bankapura, and Banavase. In short, he is described as burning
to emulate the Sauvi'ra kings, as having " trodden the earth to dust with
the squadrons of his Kamboja horse," and "overwhelmed his enemies
as if the great deep had been broken up, the coursers of the sun being
borne away in the deluge, and all the points of the compass filled with
the sounds of their neighing." The boundaries of his kingdom in
1 1 1 7 are thus stated, — the lower ghat of Nangali on the east ; Kongu,
Cheram, A'namale on the south ; the Barkaniir ghat road of Konkana
on the west ; and Savimale on the north. The provinces over which
he ruled, as named in numerous inscriptions, were Talakad, Kongu,
Nangali, Gangavadi, Nolambavadi, Masavadi (perhaps Morasavadi),
Huligere, Halasige, Banavase and Hanungal. This includes the whole
of Mysore, with most of Salem, Coimbatore, Bellary and Dharwar.
Coins of his have been found bearing on the reverse the legends
s ri-Talakddu-goiida and s' ri-Nonambavddi-gonda. He virtually made
himself independent, but in the north of their territory the Hoysalas
continued to acknowledge the Chalukya sovereignty in their inscrip-
tions until the time of Ballala II.

An important event in his career was his conversion from the Jain
faith to that of Vishnu by the apostle Ramanujacharya, who had taken
refuge in the Hoysala territory from the persecutions of the Chola
king, an uncompromising S'aiva. This step, accompanied by a
change of his name to Vishnuvardhana, by which he is principally
known, was probably taken in about in 7. Different reasons are
given for it. One is that he had a daughter who was possessed : the
Jains being unable to effect her cure, it was undertaken by Ramanuja,
who cast out the evil spirit, and further, in eighteen days of public
disputation, refuted the Jains and convicted them of heresy ; those
who after this would not submit being ground in oil-mills. Another
version is, that the king had a Vaishnava wife who, by instigation of
Ramanuja, hinted to him that the Jain priests were so haughty they
would not even accept food at his hands. He was indignant at the idea
and resolved to put it to the proof. Now the king had lost a finger,
a mutilation that would prevent the Jain priests from eating with him.
When, therefore, he found himself dishonoured by a refusal of his
invitation, he went over in resentment to the other side, and abandoned
the Jains to persecution. Ramanuja demolished nearly all tne Jain
temples at the capital, said to have been 720 in number, and used the
stones in embanking the large tank. The succeeding kings professed
both the Vaishnava and the S'aiva creeds ; but there was much religious


toleration and the Jains were often recipients of the royal favour.
They were probably too numerous and influential to be ignored.

The character of the times and the government is illustrated by the
following story : — Siva, it is said, appeared to a poor but holy Brahman,
named Vishnus'arma, who was performing penance in the Chandradrona
(Baba Budan) mountains, and presented him with a vessel containing
siddarasa (mercury), explaining to him how it would convert iron into gold.
The poor man, delighted, went to the capital with his treasure tied up in a
bundle, which he placed for safety in a blacksmith's shop while preparing
his meal. But the heat of the forge caused the substance to melt, and a
drop or two falling out on some iron converted it at once to gold. The
blacksmith and his family thereupon examined the bundle, and discovering
what it contained secretly removed it and set fire to the hut. When the
Brahman returned to claim his bundle he was informed that everything had
been burnt. But on his making the matter known to the king, the black-
smith was ordered to be produced. He was beaten and tortured, but
without effect, when the person in whose house the bundle had been con-
cealed brought and laid it before the king, who ordered it to be at once
restored to the owner. The Brahman, astonished at such generosity,
made a present of it to the king, who in return gave him a valuable estate.
Vishnuvardhana, deeming himself now provided with the means of obtain-

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