Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri





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'The Kadambas' by Dr S. Srikanta Sastri (1968)



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Published in 'Karnataka through the ages' - From Prehistoric times to Independence (1968)


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Kadamba era coin


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'The Kadambas' by Dr S. Srikanta Sastri (1968)

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Sculpture at Banavasi Temple


                            THE KADAMBAS                                                              


                                           A Political History


                                         Dr S. Srikanta Sastri

                              (Published in 'Karnataka through the ages', 1968)


After the Sãtavahanas the Kadambas of Banavasi are of great importance in the early history of Karnataka and of South India. They played a prominent role from the fourth century A. D., to the middle of the sixth century. Some of the characteristic features of Karnataka culture in the realms of religion, art and future owe a good deal to their patronage.


Banavasi, on the western border of Mysore (Sorab Taluk), is of great antiquity. It is mentioned in the Mahabharata as Vanavasa. In the Buddhist books, it is said that Asoka sent Buddhist missionaries to Vanavasa, and Aparanta to the west coast. Similarly, Buddhist influence was felt in the east of South India also. In the Prakrit inscriptions of the third and fourth centuries A.D., at Nagarjunakonda, it is mentioned that pilgrims from Vanavasa visited the Buddhist monasteries erected by the Ikshvãku rulers. Ptolemy in his Geography (2nd century A. D.) mentions Byzantion, which was the Greek name for Vaijayanti, other name for Banaväsi. Jinasëna in his Mahapurãna describes it as Vaijayanti Mahadvara, conquered by Bharata. The Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsiang, in his account of the itinerary of South India, mentions it as Kon-ki-napulo or konkanapura, the city of Konkan. He refers to the royal palace and many Buddhist monasteries in the place, though the main line of the Kadamba dynasty ended a century earlier. There are many legends in some later inscriptions and literature about mythical origin of the Kadambas. For example, it is said that the epic hero Asvatthäman prayed to Siva and there was a shower of Kadamba flowers from which sprang a hero called Mukkanna Kadamba, or the three-eyed Kadamba, the ancestor of the Kadambas.

'The Kadambas' by Dr S. Srikanta Sastri (1968)

'The Kadambas'



Dr S. Srikanta Sastri


Kadamba era coin Sculpture at Banavasi Temple