About the Book
Kanchipuram is the lone star shining in the dark sky of Tondaimandalam. The kaleidoscopic splendor of Kanchi is unrivalled. It was a great seat of learning with a ghatika to which students from far and wide thronged; a city which defied the onslaught of the marauding hordes of Pulikesin II and from where Narasimhavarma Pallava, better known in history as Mamalla, marched, razed, burnt and devastated capital Vatapi, the Chalukyan revenge; a city of tolerance where Buddhism, Jainism, Saivism and Vaishnavism flourished. It is a city extolled and honoured by the famous Chinese traveller Hieun Tsang. Verily the old adage 'Vishnu among men, Jail among flowers, Rambha, the celestial nymph' among women, Kanchi among cities' is appropriate indeed.
Dr. Srinivasan in this well documented book meanders through the myriads of bylanes of history presenting before us a vast of the political vicissitudes, the artistic achievements and religious efflorescence of Kanchi, from the earliest times through the great Pallavas, Cholas and others to the end of Vijayanagara period necessitating revision of older views in the light of fresh evidences. Wading through the labyrinth of literature and epigraphs he has made even the petty feudatories like the Sambhuvarayars look like stalwarts ruling over the great city. One has only to glance through the pages of this book to the tiny foot prints of the once monarchs on the sands of Pa are no more and forgotten ever, bur the monumental temples th sprawling city are the echoes reverberating their achievements, a legacy to posterity.
About the Author
Born in the year 1934, the author took his M.A. Degree from the Madras University in 1959. He joined the office of the chief Epigraphist in 1959 and has since been working as an expert in Dravidian Epigraphy. In 1977 he was awarded the Ph.D. Degree by the Karnataka University, Dharwar, for his research dissertation entitled "Kanchipuram in Relation to South Indian History". Besides the present work, which substantially represents his doctoral thesis, he has published a number of articles relevant to epigraphy in many reputed Indian and foreign journals. He is at present compiling a volume of over 300 Dravidian Inscription for the South Indian Inscriptions Series of the Archaeological Survey of India.
In important work, which has earned him Doctorate Degree the Karnatak University, Dr. Srinivasan has made exhaustive study Kanchi puram through the ages respect political religious history. This ancient and sacred city Kanchi, Varanasi in India, continues attract thousands visitors and, therefore, the study of this place relation South Indian History with topic, author has not only discussed in details major ruling families like Cholas the Pandyas but also minor families like the Telugu-Chodas, the Pallavas and Samburvaraya Chiefs. He has also conflict, friendship relationship rulers of Kañcht the neighbouring states Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. He has made a thorough and painstaking study vast epigraphically materials which, of course, form basic for work and corroborated his findings, wherever possible, with literary other evidences. The merit Dr. Srinivasan's contribution in fast that has utilised latest epigraphically discoveries this field which throw welcome on some problems and have necessitated the revision some the views held by earlier lars. The chronological list of the inscriptions of Käñcht, the alphabetical list the temples at Käñcht inscriptions and list published inscrip tions given the end enhance the value the book. I congratulate Dr. Srinivasan for bringing this book which, I am sure, will useful scholars Indian History in general and by those working in South Indian History and Epigraphy particular.
Kanchipuram presently the headquarters of the Chingleput district, very near Madras is a well-known religious centre and a sacred place of pilgrimage for the people of all faiths. It is one of the cities in South India which has played a dominant role in the political and cultural history of our country from as early as the third century B.C. But, strangely enough, quite contrary to what befell other cities of historical importance, Käñcht even now retains its pristine glory and importance. Käñchi has a chequered history right from the Puranic times and all through the historical period. The comprehensive study of the major political events and the rise and fall of major as well as minor ruling dynastics of South India during the period when this place enjoyed a pre-eminent position as a city of political, military and cultural consequence, brings into clear focus the all round importance enjoyed by it in the long history of India.
Kanchi came into historical limelight for the first time during the period of Sangam literature. Subsequently it gained importance as the capital of the Pallavas, one of the early dynasties of South India. Even from very early times it was particularly renowned as the seat of learning attracting scholars from far off places and belonging to different faiths, such as Buddhism, Jainism, Saivism and Vaishnavism and several similar sectarian creeds and castes. In the succeeding centuries it continued to enjoy its pre-eminent position. Broadly divided into three sectors, viz. Vishnu Kanchi, Siva Käñchi and Jina Käñchi, it draws adherents of the respective faiths in large numbers even today.
**Contents and Sample Pages**