POLITICAL HISTORY of PALLAVAS
The first important ruler was Siva Skandavarman who performed an Aswamedha and other Vedic sacrifices. His capital was kanchi. Samudragupta forced the pallava king, Vishnugopa, to acknowledge the Gupta suzerainty. And the story of the Pallavas in the 5th and 6th centuries is very sketchy.
By end of the sixth century the Pallavas re-emerged on the scene. Simhavishnu (575 to 600 A.D.) captured the territory of the Cholas and humbled the pride of his neighbours including Ceylon. He was ovavaishnava faith as borne out by the magnificent reliefs representing Simhavishnu and two of his consorts in the Varsha cave at Mamallpuram.
With Mahendravarman I, the son and successor of Simhavishnu, began thetitanic tripartite struggle with the Chalukyas of Vatapi and the Cholas. The Chalukya king, Pulakesin II, captured Kanchi. Pulakesin II won the pitched battle fought at Pullalur, fifteen miles north of Kanchi.
However, Narsimhavaram I, the son and successor of Mahendravarman I, defeated pulskesin II in many battles and probably killed pulakesin himself. He also defeated the Cholas, the Cheras and the pandyas. He even sent two naval expeditions to Ceylon and placed his protégé on the throne of Ceylon. Narasimhavarman I was a great builder too. Mamallapuram was embellished during his time. Hiuen-Tsand visited his kingdom. He states that the soil was fertile and produced abundance of grain; flowers and fruits were many precious gems and other luxury articles were known; and the people were courageous and greatly attached to learning, honestry and truth.
Narasimhavarman II. He too, fought with the chalukyas. He was succeeded by Paramesvaravarman I in whose reign Vikramadhitya I of the Chalukyas, in alliance with the Pandyas, renewed the hostilities. He probably captured the city of Kanchi. Later, Paramesvarvarman I defeated Vikramadhity II. The Pallava records claim that the Chalukya pattack was hurled back.
Yet, as we know, the Chalukyas once again swept through the Pallava dominions under the captainship of Vikramaditya II in the 8th century, A.D. Nandivarman was defeated and Kanchi was captured. By then, the Pallavas faced a serious challenge from the rising dynasties of the south. The Pandyas advanced along the banks of Kanchi. The last nail in the coffin was driven by Aditya Chola who defeated Aparajita Pallava and took possession of his kingdom towards the end of the 9th century A.D.
The Chalukya victory over the Pallavas in 740 A.D. was the beginning of the end of the Pallavas supremacy. The Cholas, in alliance with the Pandyas, defeated the Pallavas by the close of the 9th century. Very soon even the Chalukyas collapses but the Pallavas: chiefs continued to exist till the end of the 13th century. After the 17th century. All traces of the Pallavas as a distinct community of clan disappeared; but the Kallar, Palli and Vellala castes trace their origir origin from them.
NOTE ON CHALUKYA-PALLAVA CONFLICTThe Chalukya-Pallava war began with Pulkasin II and ended with the collapse of both the dynasties singnificantly, the power that rose thereafter, the Rushtrakutas and the cholas, continued the same sort of struggle. This was because the Chalukya-Pallava struggled was to a great extent determined by the geographical loation of the Chalukya and Pallava kingdoms.
After the first bout was over, the Pallavas agenged their defeat during the days of Narasimhavarman I. He captured the lost territories. In thie he was assisted by the king of Ceylon. He entered the capital of Bademi in 642 A.D. and assumed the title of Vatapikonda, that is, the conqueror or Vatapi.
After that, for the next tweleve years there was a respite; the Pallavas were involved in naval wars while supporting the Ceylonese kings, and the Chalukyas were troubledby their feudatories, Afther the Chalukyan house was set in order in 655, they re-occupied the terrirtories lost to the Pallavas. This was the third phase. Soon thej tables were reversed. There was a rift in the Chalukyan royal family. Taking advantage of this, the Pallavas once again entered Badami. Details of relating to this compaign are to be found in the Pallava grant found near Kanchi. This was th fourth phase.
The fifth phase started when the Chalukyas and the Gangas united in 731 to attack the Pallavas. The reigning Pallava king was killed and Kanchi was occupied. Later, the council of ministers chose Nandivarman II.
In the last phase the ball was in the the court of Pallavas. At this time, the neighbours of the Pallavas in the south, that is, the Pandays, Joined the conflict. The Pandyas of Madura were not well disposed towards the Pallavas. In the meantime the Chalukyas wre threatened by the Arabs, the latter already being in occupation of Sing. While the Chalukyas were engrossed in the threat from the north, one of their feudatories Dantidurga, broke away from the but they, too, within a century ment their end, the last of the Pallavas was assassinated by the son of a feudatory.