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Chavundraya or Chamundaraya ( Kannada
Kannada
Cāmuṇḍarāya, Cāvuṇḍarāya, 940–989) was an Indian military commander, architect, poet and minister. He served in the court of the Western Ganga dynasty of Talakad
Talakad
(in modern Karnataka, India). A person of many talents, in 982 he commissioned the construction of the monolithic statue of Bahubali, the Gomateshwara, at Shravanabelagola, an important place of pilgrimage for Jainism. He was a devotee of the Jain Acharya Nemichandra
Nemichandra
and Ajitasena Bhattaraka
Bhattaraka
and was an influential person during the reigns of Marasimha II Satyavakya, (963–975). Rachamalla IV Satyavakya, (975–986) and Rachamalla V (Rakkasaganga), (986–999). A courageous commander with the title Samara Paraśurāma (lit, "Battle- Rama
Rama
wielding an ax"), he found time to pursue his literary interests as well and became a renowned writer in Kannada
Kannada
and Sanskrit.[1][2] He wrote an important and existing prose piece called the Chavundaraya
Chavundaraya
Purana, also known as Trishasthi Lakshana Purana, in Kannada
Kannada
(978) and the Cāritrasāra in Sanskrit. He patronised the famous Kannada
Kannada
grammarians Gunavarma and Nagavarma I and the poet Ranna
Ranna
whose writing Parusharama Charite may have been a eulogy of his patron.[1] Because of his many lasting contributions, Chavundaraya
Chavundaraya
is an important figure in the history of medieval Karnataka.

Contents

1 Origin 2 Commander 3 Writings 4 Builder 5 Notes 6 References 7 External links

Origin[edit] In his writing, he claims he was from the Brahmakshatriya Vamsa ( Brahmin
Brahmin
converted to the Kshatriya
Kshatriya
caste).[3]The 10th century Algodu inscription of the Mysore district
Mysore district
and the Arani inscription from the Mandya district
Mandya district
provide more information on the family genealogy of Chavundaraya. It states that Chavundaraya
Chavundaraya
was the grandson of Govindamayya who is praised for his knowledge and Dharma
Dharma
and was the son of Mabalayya, a subordinate of King Marasimha II. Mabalayya and his brother Isarayya are praised for their prowess in the inscription.[4] It is believed that their political position under King Marasimha II may have led to a gradual adoption of Kshatriya status by this Brahmin
Brahmin
family.[5] An inscriptional eulogy of Chavundaraya
Chavundaraya
on the Tyagada Brahmadeva Pillar at Shravanabelagola
Shravanabelagola
(which has beautiful engravings and relief representing Chavundaraya
Chavundaraya
and his guru Nemichandra
Nemichandra
at the base) praises him thus,

“ A sun in the shape of a jewel adorning the crest of the eastern mountains, the brahmaksatra race; a moon in the shape of the splendour of his fame causing to swell the ocean, the brahmaksatra race; the central gem to the pearl necklace of Lakshmi, procured from the Rohana mountain, the brahmaksatra race.[6] ”

Commander[edit]

Gomateshwara
Gomateshwara
monolith at Shravanabelagola
Shravanabelagola
(982–983 CE)

As a commander for the Western Ganga feudatory of the Rashtrakutas, he fought many battles for their Rashtrakutas
Rashtrakutas
overlords, beginning in the days of the Rashtrakuta king, Khottiga Amoghavarsha. In fact, the Gangas supported the cause of the Rashtrakutas
Rashtrakutas
till the very end.[7] During the last years of Rashtrakuta rule, the Gangas were also under constant threat of civil war and from invasions of the increasingly powerful Chola Dynasty. When a civil war broke out in 975, Chavundaraya
Chavundaraya
supported the cause of Prince Rachamalla IV and installed him on the throne.[8] Chavundaraya
Chavundaraya
suppressed a rebellion made by Panchaldeva Mahasamanta in 975 AD and slew Mudurachayya (who held the titles Chaladanka Ganga and Gangarabanta) in the battle of Bageyur. He thus avenged the death of his brother Nagavarma by Mudurachayya. After these battles where Chavundaraya
Chavundaraya
showed his gallantry, Rachamalla IV ascended the Ganga throne. For his exploits, Chavundraya earned the titles Samara Parsurama, Vira Martanda, Ranarangasimha, Samara Dhurandhara, Vairikula Kaladanda, Bhuja Vikrama and Bhatamara.[9] Writings[edit]

Inscribed handwriting (in Kannada
Kannada
characters) of Chavundaraya
Chavundaraya
on Chandragiri hill in Shravanabelagola, Karnataka

Chavundaraya's writing, Chavundaraya
Chavundaraya
Purana, is the second oldest existing work in prose style in Kannada
Kannada
and is a summary of the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
works, Adipurana and Uttarapurana, written by Jinasena
Jinasena
and Gunabhadra during the rule of Rashtrakuta Amoghavarsha I. The prose work, composed in lucid Kannada, was meant mainly for the common man and avoided any reference to complicated elements of Jain doctrines and philosophy. In his writing, the influences of his predecessor Adikavi Pampa and contemporary Ranna
Ranna
are seen. Trishashtilakshana purana narrates the legends of twenty-four Jain Tirthankaras, twelve Chakravartis, nine Balabhadras, nine Narayanas and nine Pratinarayanas – narrations on sixty-three Jain proponents in all.[10][11][12] Builder[edit] The monolith Gomateshwara
Gomateshwara
statue dedicated to the Jain saint, Bahubali, was commissioned by Chavundaraya
Chavundaraya
and built on the Indragiri hill (also known as Vindhyagiri Hill) is a unique example of Western Ganga sculpture. Carved from fine-grained white granite, the image stands on a lotus. It has no support up to the thighs and is 60 feet tall with the face measuring 6.5 feet. With the serene expression on the face of the image, its curled hair with graceful locks, its proportional anatomy, the monolith size, and the combination of its artistry and craftsmanship have led it to be called the mightiest achievement in sculptural art in medieval Karnataka.[13] It is the largest monolithic statue in the world.[14] The " Chavundaraya
Chavundaraya
basadi" also in Shravanabelagola
Shravanabelagola
and built on the Chandragiri Hill
Chandragiri Hill
is credited to him by some scholars while others argue it was built by his son Jinadevana.[15] However, by the 12th century additions to the shrine were made by a later King Gangaraja by which time tradition held that the shrine was built by Chavundaraya. However another view holds that the original shrine itself was consecrated in the 11th century and built in memory of Chavundaraya.[16] Notes[edit]

^ a b Kamath (2001), p45 ^ Sastri (1955), pp356-357 ^ Kulkarni (1975) in Adiga (2006), p195 ^ Gopal et al. (1976) in Adiga (2006), p196 ^ Adiga (2006), p196 ^ Gopal et al. (1973) in Adiga (2006), p196 ^ Kamath (2001), p84 ^ Kamath (2001), p46 ^ Rao, Krishna M. V., The Gangas of Talakad: A Monograph on the History of Mysore from the Fourth to the Close of the Eleventh Century, (1936), pp109 – 113, Publishers:B.G. Paul and Company ^ Upinder Singh
Upinder Singh
2016, p. 29. ^ Sastri (1955), p357 ^ Kulkarni (1975) in Adiga (2006), p256 ^ M Seshadri in Kamath (2001), p51 ^ Keay, John (2000). India: A History. New York: Grove Press. p. 324 (across). ISBN 0-8021-3797-0.  ^ The characters on an inscription at the base of the image of Jain Tirthankara
Tirthankara
Parashwanatha in the basadi states a Jain temple
Jain temple
was built by Jinadevana, Gopal et al. (1973) in Adiga (2006), p256 ^ S. Settar in Adiga (2006), p256

References[edit]

Sangave, Vilas Adinath (1981), The Sacred Shravanabelagola
Shravanabelagola
(A Socio-Religious Study) (1st ed.), Bharatiya Jnanpith  Sastri, Nilakanta K.A. (2002) [1955]. A history of South India from prehistoric times to the fall of Vijayanagar. New Delhi: Indian Branch, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-560686-8.  Kamath, Suryanath U. (2001) [1980]. A concise history of Karnataka : from pre-historic times to the present. Bangalore: Jupiter books. LCCN 80905179. OCLC 7796041.  Adiga, Malini (2006) [2006]. The Making of Southern Karnataka: Society, Polity and Culture in the early medieval period, AD 400–1030. Chennai: Orient Longman. ISBN 81-250-2912-5.  Narasimhacharya, R (1988) [1988]. History of Kannada
Kannada
Literature. New Delhi, Madras: Asian Educational Services. ISBN 81-206-0303-6.  Keay, John (2000) [2000]. History of India. New York: Grove publications. ISBN 0-8021-3797-0.  Singh, Upinder (2016), A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century, Pearson Education, ISBN 978-93-325-6996-6 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chavundaraya.

Chamundaraya and Shrvanabelagola Jaina Minister Chavundaraya
Chavundaraya
by K. L. Kamat

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