We have witnessed so many love stories in history. Still there are more in the queue.  Such an interesting story is gleaned from the Mahākūṭeśvara temple at Mahākūṭa an architectural wonder of Cālukyas of Bādāmi. The temple is assigned to Maṅgaleśa(596-609 CE) and further research revealed that the same is reconstructed during 625 CE with later reconstructions.  Vijyāditya, great grandson of Pulakeśi II who ruled from 696 CE – 733 CE was the king who is involved in the present story. Vināpoṭi, lover of the king is the heroine of this story. She made donations to the temple. The inscription mentions this donation and is found in the porch of the temple on the east side of the door. Let us see the inscription.

Line 1. ಸ್ವಸ್ತಿಶ್ರೀ ವಿಜಯಾದಿತ್ಯ ಸತ್ಯಾಶ್ರಯ ಶ್ರೀಪೃಥಿವೀ
Line 2. ವಲ್ಲಭ ಮಹಾರಾಜಾಧಿರಾಜ ಪರಮೇಶ್ವರ ಭಟಾ
Line 3. ರರಾ ಪ್ರಾಣವಲ್ಲಭೇ ವಿನಾಪೋಟಿಗಲೆನ್ವೋರ್ಸುಳೇ
Line 4. ಯರೆ|  ಇವರಾ ಮುದುತಾಯ್ವಿರೇವಮಂಚಲ್ಗಲಾವರಾ
Line 5. ಮಗಳ್ದಿರ್ ಕುಚಿಪೋಟಿಗಳವರಾ ಮಗಳು ವಿನಾಪೋ
Line 6. ಟಿಗಳಳ್ ಇಲ್ಲಿಯೇ ಹಿರಣ್ಯಗರ್ಭಮಿೞುದು ಎಲ್ಲಾ ದಾನ
Line 7. ಮುಂ ಗೊಟ್ಟು ದೇವನಾ ಪೀಠಮಾಂಕಿಸುವಿನೆ ಕಟ್ಟಿ ಬೆಳ್ಳಿಯಾ
Line 8. ಕೋದೇಯನೆಱಿಸೇಯೇ ಮಂಗಲುಳ್ಳೇ ಅಷ್ಟಶತಂ ಕ್ಷೇ
Line 9. ತ್ರಂ ಗೋಟ್ಟೋಳ್|  ಇದಾನಳಿದೋನ್ ಪಂಚಮಹಾಪಾತಕನಕ್ಕುಂ|
Line 1. स्वस्तिश्री विजयादित्य सत्याश्रय श्रीपृथिवी
Line 2. वल्लभ महाराजाधिराज परमेश्वर भटा
Line 3. ररा प्राणवल्लभे विनापोटिगलॆन्वोर्सुळे
Line 4. यरॆ। इवरा मुदुताय्विरेवमञ्चल्गलावरा
Line 5. मगळ्दिर् कुचिपोटिगळवरा मगळु विनापो
Line 6. टिगळळ् इल्लिये हिरण्यगर्भमिऴुदु ऎल्ला दान
Line 7. मुम् गॊट्टु देवना पीठमाङ्किसुविनॆ कट्टि बॆळ्ळिया
Line 8. कोदेयनॆऱिसेये मङ्गलुळ्ळे अष्टशतं क्षे
Line 9. त्रं गोट्टोळ्। इदानळिदोन् पञ्चमहापातकनक्कुम्।

Meaning of the inscription

Hail! The heart’s darling of Vijayāditya Satyāśraya, the favorite of the world, the great king, the supreme king, the supreme lord, was the harlot named Vināpoṭi. Her grandmother was Reva mañcal. Whose daughter was Kucipoṭi whose daughter Vināpoṭi having at this very place bestowed the entire gift of a Hiraṇya garbha and having made  pedestal for the god with rubies and having set up its silver umbrella, gave the field called Maṅgaluḷḷe. eight hundred. May he, who destroys this, be guilty of five great sins.


Thus Vināpoṭi, daughter of Kucipoṭi and granddaughter of Reva Mañchal addresses the self as Prāṇa Vallabhe (Dear like soul). This expression urged the scholar to date the inscription to an early one. Even a concubine in her old age would be ashamed to address herself as “Prāṇa vallabhe”. So it can be concluded that Vināpoṭi made her donation notice soon after her king came to the throne either in the year 696 CE or very soon later.

Thus the expression in the inscription is used to determine the date. The inscription introduced a love story between the Cālukya king Vijayāditya and the lady Vināpoṭi.

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  1. Excellent, fascinating to see three generations of women listed! Matrilineal naming like the Satavahanas? Or does it imply Vinapoti is from a line of devadasis?

    Why on earth would Prana vallabhe a term of great endearment, be translated as harlot an extremely derogatory word?

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