Perumbanappadi was the original home of the historic Bana Chieftains of the early Pallava period.[1] It extended from the South Pennar (Ponnaiyar River) to the Tirupati (Thirumala) hills. Perumbanappadi was made up of sub-divisions such as the Thiruvenkata-Kottam (or Vengada Kottam),[2] and many Nadus such as Tuy-nadu,[3] Puli-nadu, Vada Pulinadu, and Silai-nadu [4] within it. During the Chola period, Perumbanappadi was a major division of the Jayakonda Chola Mandalam.[5][6] and also represented the north-western portions of Thondai-Mandalam.[7]


Perumbanappadi is rendered in Tamil as Perum-pana-p-pati and Pana Rashtra (Bana Rashtra). The boundaries of Perumbanappadi were made up of Kolar, Punganur and Srisailam in the west, and Kalahasti and Sholingur in the east. The river Palar (aka South Pennar and Ponniyar) formed its Southern boundary.[8][9][10] The capital of Perumbanappadi was Thiruvallam, which lies 22 km from Vellore.[11]

Mavali Vanadarayan was the title of chiefs of the Bana country in the basin of the Palar river, the extent of whose territory changed according to the vicissitudes of history.[12] Territorial changes are deducible from epigraphies. However, the personal names of many Bana Chieftains are not known, especially with regard to the wars they waged against their opponents. One such example is the Thiruvallam record of Vijaya Nandivikrama Varman (792-793 AD) which states that a certain Mavali-Vanaraya was ruling Vadugavali-12000. However, the personal name of this Mahavali-Banaraja is not known.[13]

Most epigraphies / inscriptions mention just the title of the Bana Chieftain as "Mahabali Banaraja". The Banas were identified by their geographical location as Pulinadu Banas, Tuynadu Banas, etc. Their genealogy was puranic and was narrated on copper-plates or temple grants. One example is the Udayendiram grant of Bana Vikramaditya III which narrates the puranic connection of Mahabali with Vishnu.[14]

Bana ChieftainsEdit

The Bana chieftains claimed descent from the asura Mahabali. They were called or addressed as Perumbanadiyarasar (Brihad Bana Adhirajas) or Mahabali Banarajas.[15] Chiefs in the early period held names such as Perumbana-araicar and figured in the hero-stones (vira-kal).[16] The Bali Vamsa claimed traditional lordship over Kishkinda. They had over their banner the figure of an Ape and as their heraldic device the figure of a Turtle.[17]

Chieftains of PerumbanappadiEdit

Names of some Bana chieftains who ruled in different parts of Perumbanappadi are:

  • From the epigraphies of kings who made endowments to Sri Varadarajaswami Temple of Kanchipuram, we find the name of Mahabalivanarayar [18]
  • Vikramaditya I Bana had a daughter named Kundadevi who was given in marriage to the Ganga King, Prithvipati I Ganga in the 9th century. This however did not prevent the Gangas and Nolambas from combining to fight against the Banas [19]
  • The Chirrur plate of Nripatunga Varman mentions a Bana Chieftain, titled Paranjaya and called as Kadupatti Muttaraiyan.[20][21]


  1. ^ Early inscriptions, by Sadhu Subrahmanya Sastry, p.55
  2. ^ Early inscriptions, by Sadhu Subrahmanya Sastry, p.55
  3. ^ Ancient India: collected essays on the literary and political history of Southern India, by Sakkottai Krishnaswami Aiyangar, p.166
  4. ^ A study of Telugu place-names: based on inscriptions from the earliest to the 13th century, by S. S. Ramachandra Murthy, p.122
  5. ^ A study of Telugu place-names: based on inscriptions from the earliest to the 13th century, by S. S. Ramachandra Murthy, p.122
  6. ^ South Indian Inscriptions: Miscellaneous inscriptions in Tamil, by Eugen Hultzsch, Hosakote Krishna Sastri, Archaeological Survey of India, p. 89 and p.113
  7. ^ Trade, ideology, and urbanization: South India 300 BC to AD 1300, by Radha Champakalakshmi, p.374
  8. ^ Sailendra Nath Sen. (1988). "Ancient Indian History and Civilization". New Age International Publishers: 469–476. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ^ Feudatories of South India, 800-1070 A.D, p.35-36
  10. ^ The Tirumala Temple, by N Ramesan, p.17-18
  11. ^ The early Chōḷas history, art, and culture, by S. Swaminathan, p.46
  12. ^ History of the nayaks of Madura, by R. Sathianathaier and Sakkottai Krishnaswami Aiyangar, p.78
  13. ^ Chittoor through the ages, by MD Sampath, p.37
  14. ^ Chittoor through the ages, by MD Sampath, p.34
  15. ^ Art and culture of Tamil Nadu, by Irāmaccantiran̲ Nākacāmi and R. Nagaswamy, p.13
  16. ^ The political structure of early medieval South India, by Kesavan Veluthat, p.109
  17. ^ Epigraphia Indica, Volume 15, p.108
  18. ^ Sri Varadarajaswami Temple, Kanchi: A Study of Its History, Art and Architecture, by KV Raman, p.17
  19. ^ History of Tamilnad: to A.D. 1565, by N. Subrahmanian, p.272
  20. ^ History Of Ancient India (portraits Of A Nation), By Kapur, Kamlesh, p.613
  21. ^ Irāmaccantiran̲ Nākacāmi, Tamil Nadu (India). Dept. of Archaeology. Thiruttani and Velanjeri copper plates. State Dept. of Archaeology, Govt. of Tamil Nadu, 1979 - History - 34 pages. p. 10.