|Reign||c. 670 – c. 695 CE|
|Pallava Kings (200s–800s)|
Parameswaravarman I was a Pallava emperor who ruled in South India in the latter half of the 7th century, 670-695 AD. He ascended to the throne after the death of his father Mahendravarman II in 670 CE. His grandfather Narasimhavarman I had already made the Pallava empire the most powerful force in the subcontinent and destroyed the Chalukya capital at Vatapi. Parameswaravarman was an efficient and capable ruler, known for his military exploits, his love for poetry and his devotion to Siva, to whom he erected many temples.
Parameswaravarman's reign was marked by revived conflicts with the Chalukya, led by Vikramaditya I who had fought against his grandfather and was now allied with many rulers . In 674 CE the two armies met at Peruvalanallur near Tiruchirappalli and Parameswaravarman was victorious stupendously despite facing a huge coalition. The Sanskrit epigraphs released on this occasion say that the emperor completely annihilated the army and made the Deccan ruler who "was a representative of wicked Kali", run naked to escape death as follows.
At the head of a battle in which disk of the sun was caused to assume the likeness of circle of moon, through the mist of dust that was produced by marching of countless troops of men horses and elephants which was terrible thunderlikesound of drums that teemed with unsheathed swords that resembled flashes of lightning, in which elephants were moving like clouds, that resembled unreasonable appearance of rainy seasons, in which tall horses looked like billows, in which elephants caused distress in their path, just as sea monsters produce whirlpools, in which conches were incessantly blown and which resembled gaping oceans.
Which was full of swords and shields, just as rhinoceros and creepers and varana, which was crowded with heroes, who possessed bows and mighty elephants, as if it were crowded with asana, naga, thilaga and pumnaga trees, in which confused noises were heard, which appeared to be a forest. Which was agitated by violent winds.In which path of winds was obstructed by arrows, which flew past each other’s bows. Whil these were bent by warriors. In which javelins, clubs,darts, pikes,lances,spears and discusses were flying, in which troops of elephants were firmly impaled each other's faces with piercing thunderbolts of their tusks. In which squadrons of horsemen were connected by their swords, that had struck each other’s heads, in which there were soldiers noted for fighting sword with sword, pulling against each other’s hair, club against club, in which ground was smeared with saffron, as blood was mixed with copious rutting juices of elephants that issued in consequences of each other, considering equals and despising each other. In which large armies had lost and dropped arms, necks, shanks, thighbones and teeth; which was attended by goddess of fortune sitting on swing of doubt of mutual victory or defeat in which brave warriors were marching on the back of likes of fallen elephants that formed a bridge over flood of blood.
In which soldiers stood motionless in their bows when the same did not hit weak parts, which was covered here and there with shatters and banners and torn away parasols, while fallen elephants with dead and half dead soldiers who had done their duty, whose strong arms raised the weapons, whose lips were bitten and eyes deep red with fury and in which multitude of chamaras, in which tiaras, armlets, necklaces, bracelets and earrings, were broken, crushed and pulverized, in which kushmandas, rakshasas, and pisachas were singing, intoxicated with drinking liquor of blood, in which hundreds of headless trunks, that were vehemently dancing together ina fearful manner according to beaten time, he unaided made vikramaditya whose army ran into several lakhs, run away for life covered only with a rag.
The enraged Pallava emperor swept into Deccan once again and withdrew forces only after complete subjugation of the enemy. The Rayakota Pallava grant of this king call him Parameswara-aswamedha-yajin or Parameswara varman who completed aswamedha yagnam. The military mission was so successful that for several years after this the Pallava forces remained dominant throughout Asia.
Inscriptions record Parameswaravaran's generosity to temples at Vennainallur, Vriddhachalam and Chidambaram. Some grants celebrate him to be adept in chanting vedas "like true devotees of lord of thillai". Parameswaravarman was the late contemporary of great saiva saint Appar. This Pallava king, out of his Saivite zeal, could have been the persecutor of Thirumazhisai Alwar. Parameswaravarman was succeeded by his son Rajasimha. An inscription in suchindram trimurti temple dated 667 CE, refers to great munificence in terms of land, gold and jewellery made by this Pallava emperor, who has referred to himself therewith as slave of Sthanu or Lord Siva.
He was succeeded by his son Narasimhavarman II also called Rajasimha in 695 CE.
- South Indian inscriptions volume 1, volume 13 published by ASI
- Periya puranam, a hagiography of Saiva saints, by Sekkizhaar of the 12th century CE
- Rayakota grant of Parameswara varman 1