This section is from the book "Some Contributions Of South India To Indian Culture", by S. Krishnaswami Aiyangar. Also available from Amazon: Some Contributions of South India to Indian Culture.
Mr. Venkayya we should believe that Karikala and Ilam-Tirayan lived in the 5th or 6th century, the period of the interregnum he finds warrant for in the Sanskrit charters of the Pallavas, we shall have to demonstrate that all the region that came into the literature of the Tamils of this period had, in the 5th or 6th century, the general political division and the distinct character that could be gleaned from this body of literature. I have elsewhere thrown into relief the political condition of South India in this period. It does not require very much of argument to show that this is not the political condition of South India in the 5th or 6th century as we know it from such information as is at our disposal. For one thing, the social organisation of the region as portrayed in this body of literature is too primitive for these data. Other specific facts which would fix the age of this body of literature to the 1st and 2nd century A.D. have all been indicated, and they relate to a period anterior to the rise of the Pallavas both of the Prakrit and the Sanskrit charters. It is the Satavahanas under Pulumayi that made the first conquest of the Tondamanda-lam as the coins of this Satavahana ruler find their provenance in the Tondamandalam region. The type of the lead coins with a two-masted ship found in this region is appropriate for the locality of the Tiraiyar; and it is probably this invasion of the Satavahanas that deprived the Cholas of the Viceroyalty of Kanchi which must have followed immediately the rule of the Chola Killi referred to in the Manimekhalai. This inference is supported by a number of references in the same body of Tamil literature which relate to invasions of the south by the Ariyas and Vadukar which were beaten back with great exertion by the Tamil chieftains. One of the Cholas is praised for having subjugated the Paradavar in the south and Vadukar in the north.1 Another Chola claims credit for having broken up the Ariya forces on the field of Vallam.2 The Malayaman chieftain Kari is said to have beaten back single-handed the Ariya forces besieging Tirukovilur, his capital.3 Similarly a Chola king, probably the same as the one already referred to, is said to have beaten down the heads of the Vadukar at Pali or Seru-Pali 4 a place very likely on the West Coast or at least in the western part of the Tamil country. The fact that Dandaranyam was a forest in the country of the Ariyas according to the Tamils would make the Ariyas under reference the people of the country named Ariake in the Periplus, or their rulers, and the region in their occupation the country included in the name, the Dakhan. It may be as the ultimate result of this struggle that Chola assistance was called in, and the Cholas constituted the Viceroyalty of Kanchi under Karikala. There is clear evidence from the Ahananuru that one chieftain by name Tiraiyan ruled over the Tondamandalam from Kanchi, and Vengadam included in it. It is doubtful whether he was the same as Ilam-Tiraiyan; but the fact that the latter takes the attribute "Ilam" (young) is a clear indication that there was another Tiraiyan before him. This would make it possible that the Satavahana conquest under Pulumayi came in after the disappearance of the Chola ascendency. In any case it is clear that the Satavahana hold on this region could not have lasted long.
1 Puram. 378. 2 Aham 336, 3 Naninai 170. 4 Aham 375.
This seems the condition of things reflected in the latest Pallava grant, the Velurpa]aiyamplates. This document together with a few others of quite recent discovery seem to make the interregnum hardly called for. It seems quite possible from the known facts relative to the genealogy of the Pallavas of the Sanskrit charters to arrange them in a continuous line, and even bring them into connection with the
Simhavishnu line. The late Mr. Venkayya himself and the epigraphists consider it impossible that the Prakrit charters could be brought down to a date after the middle of the fourth century, the date of the invasion of Samudragupta and his victory over Vishnugopa of Kanchi. The
Prakrit charters therefore and the dynasty or dynasties evolvable from them must be anterior to about A.D. 350. As we have nothing to lead to the identification of Samudragupta's Vishnugopa of Kanchl with either of the two known Vishnugopas of the later Sanskrit charters we shall have to regard him as a separate person distinct alike from the dvnasty of the Prakrit charters and of the dynasty of the Sanskrit charters. We shall have to find room therefore for the dynasty or dynasties of the Sanskrit charters after this particular period. This arrangement seems warranted by one circumstance which may fix the chronology. The Velurpalaiyam plates state it clearly that Skandas'ishya, Skandavarma I of the genealogical table, seized from King Satya Sena the "Ghatika" of the Brahmans. This Satya Sena seems to be the same as Swami Satya Simha, a Mahakshatrapa who is known to us from the coins of his son Mahakshatrapa Swami Rudra Simha III.1 The transcript of the legend may be read Satya Sena but it is rendered by the learned Professor, Satyasimha. It might as well be
1 Prof. Rapson, pp. 191-92 of Catalogue of the Indian Coins in the British Museum., Andhras, etc. In regard to the reading of the coin legend suggested above, Prof. Rapson is of opinion " The letters of the coin legends are so minute and so carelessly formed (at this period-the close of the Kshatrapa Dynasty) that I consider it quite possible that the true reading may be Satyasena and not Satyasimha, as given by me on page 192 of the B. M. Catalogue of the Andhra Dynasty." On a kind reference by the obliging Professor in my behalf, Mr. John Allan of the British Museum examined the coin in question and gives it as his opinion, "I certainly think you would be justified in reading the name as Satyasena and not Satyasimha."