Wednesday, 14 January 2015

The Cambodian Who Ruled Tamil Nadu

Bokator - The traditional martial art of Cambodia.'s-martial-arts-by-visions-of-indochina

The Pallava kingdom once ruled a large area in Tamil Nadu. They had their capital in Kanchipuram which is located in the Thondai region of Tamil Nadu. Thondai region is made of northern Tamil Nadu and southern Andhra Pradesh.

The identity of the Pallava dynasty is a mystery. It is generally accepted that they were Persians who migrated to India. In a few centuries, they moved from North India to South India. 

They served under existing dynasties such as Satavahanas and Cholas as vassals. They later become powerful enough to create a kingdom of their own in 275 AD.

Although not Tamil in origin, they eventually became Tamilized. This is because they intermarried with local Tamil royalties for many generations. The Pallavas also colonized areas in South East Asia and created dynasties in what is today Indochina. 

One of the Pallava kings, Simhavishnu reigned around 550 AD. He is credited for creating a strong Pallava empire by subduing many kings of southern India. He has also sent naval expedition to Sri Lanka and South East Asia. 

About 6 generations after Simhavishnu, Parameswaravarman became the king of Pallava during 720-730 AD. However, Parameswaravarman died battling the Chalukyas. He left no heir.

Someone had to replace him as the new king. The Pallava royal council came up with a solution. The solution was to get someone from the same lineage as the deceased king to become the new Pallava king.

Simhavishnu who lived 6 generations earlier created colonies in Southeast Asia. He had a brother named Bhimavarman. 

Bhimavarman became the king of Kambujadesa which is also known as Chen-La covering Cambodia, Laos and parts of Thailand. So the Pallava bloodline survived in Southeast Asia thanks to Bhimavarman.

When the royal council went to Kambujadesa, a descendant of Bhimavarman was ruling there. His name was Harivarman. By this time, the Pallava bloodline in Kambujadesa would have become Cambodianized. Either fully or partially. 

Harivarman had a few sons and the youngest son, Nandivarman, agreed to become the new Pallava king. He then travelled back with the royal council to Kanchipuram and gets himself crowned there.

Nandivarman is the Cambodian prince who ruled Tamil Nadu as the Pallava king. His rule ended in 796 AD.

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