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 Short Notes on the Origin of Kadambas

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PostSubject: Short Notes on the Origin of Kadambas   Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:50 pm

It is usual to treat the Kadambas merely as a sudden political upshot about the fourth or fifth century AD and to be misled by their claims of brahmanical origins. It would be proper to connect them with the Kadambus of Tamil Sangam literature; a piratical tribe infested the Arabian Sea and had to be more than once put down by the Cheras of the Sangam age.

The connexion between these two is clearly established by the fact that the Kadambus were totemic worshippers of the Kadambu tree which is sacred to Murugan identified with Subrahmanya.

The Kadambas of the Mayuravarman family were also connected with the Kadambu tree and their family deity was Subrahmanya. Hence it would be wrong to be misled by the false claims made by the Talagunda inscription. Anyhow this inscription of Kakusthavarman (AD 430-AD 450), the fifth Kadamba ruler, gives us a lot of suggestive information about the early history of the Kadambas.

The founder of the dynasty was one Mayuravarman, a Brahmin according to that inscription. This king's name occurs both as Mayurasarman and as Mayuravarman. It is evident that the "sarman"suffix exclusively used by Brahmins contradistinguished from "varman" used by kshatriyas, was an afterthought to confirm the alleged brahmanical origin. The early Kadamba dynasty consisted of 13 rulers who might be deemed to belong to the period 345 to 610.
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