MAÑCIKKALLU INSCRIPTION OF SIṂHAVARMA – EARLIEST STONE INSCRIPTION OF PALLAVAS

          This inscription was found at Mañcikkallu, Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh. The inscription contains five lines. Some portion of the inscription is damaged. The characters are of Southern Brāmī type, the predecessor of Telugu-Kaṇṇaḍa scipt and are written in Prākṛta language. The inscription belongs to Simḥavarmā I of Pallava dynasty and is dated as 320 CE. The inscription was published by Sri. D.C. Sircar in the Epigraphia Indica Volume XXXII.

          The object of the inscription is to provide cloth, food and other necessities to the custodians of the temple of the lord Jīvaśivasvāmi.

manchikkallu

Line 1: सिद्धम्। भारदायसगोत्तेन ……….. (ध)रेण पल्लवाणं सिह
Line 2: वर्म्मण अप्पणो वैजयिके … (लव)र्द्धन्तिके संतिसथि
Line 3: यायणं कातूण भगव(तो)……. (जीवशि)वसामिस तेथिक
Line 4: न कुर्त्तकोपाहारकादि कातम्। किहदेवकुलस भट्टा……….
Line 5: ……………….. (स) पाद(मूले)……………….

          सिद्धम्। भारदायसगोत्तेन ……….. (ध)रेण पल्लवाणं सिहवर्म्मण अप्पणो वैजयिके … (लव)र्द्धन्तिके संतिसथियायणं कातूण भगव(तो)……. (जीवशि)वसामिस तेथिकन कुर्त्तकोपाहारकादि कातम्। किहदेवकुलस भट्टा………………………… (स) पाद(मूले)……………….

Sanskritised text

          सिद्धम्। भारद्वाजसगोत्रेण … धरेण पल्लवानां सिंहवर्म्मणा आत्मनः वैजयिकं धर्मबलवार्धनिकं शान्तिस्वस्त्ययं कृत्वा भगवतः. … जीवशिवस्वामिनः तैर्थिकेभ्यः कुर्तकोपहारकादि कृतम्।

      किहत्थिदेवकुलस्य भट्टारक…. स्य पादमूले।

          Hail. Presents of woolen carpets and other (presents) have been made by Siṃhavarman who belongs to the Pallavas is…. The bearer of …. And belongs to the Bhāradvājasa gotra in favour of the Tairthikas (priests or custodian of the temple) of the lord, the illustrious Jīvaśiva svāmi after having performed śānti and Svastyayana for his own victory and the increase of his merits and prowess. At the feet of the Bhaṭṭāraka ……………. In the temple of Kihatthi…………

          This is considered as the earliest epigraph of Pallavas. The important points that can be guessed from this inscriptions are the starting region of the Pallavas and the existence of śiva temple during that period. The name Jīvaśivasvāmi fits with the Lord śiva and hence it can be claimed that temple dedicated for him was existing even during the early stage of Pallavas and they are strange followers of śaivism which can be confirmed by their adjective “Paramamāheśvarāṇām”.

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