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The Vishnukundina Empire was an India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n imperial power controlling the Deccan, Orissa
Orissa
Orissa , officially Odisha since Nov 2011, is a state of India, located on the east coast of India, by the Bay of Bengal. It is the modern name of the ancient nation of Kalinga, which was invaded by the Maurya Emperor Ashoka in 261 BC. The modern state of Orissa was established on 1 April...

 and parts of South India
South India
South India is the area encompassing India's states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry, occupying 19.31% of India's area...

 during the 5th and 6th centuries, carving land out from the Vakataka Empire
Vakataka
The Vākāṭakas were a royal Indian dynasty that originated from the Deccan in the mid-third century CE. Their kingdom is believed to have extended from the southern edges of Malwa and Gujarat in the north to the Tungabhadra River in the south as well as from the Arabian Sea in the western to the...

. It played an important role in the history of the Deccan during the 5th and 6th centuries CE. They are believed to be one of the ancestors of Pusapati
Pusapati
Pusapati or Poosapati was the ruling clan of the Kalinga Vizianagaram . They were Kshatriyas of the Suryavanshi sect.-History:...

s of Vizianagaram
Vizianagaram
Vizianagaram is the main city of the Vizianagaram District of north-eastern Andhra Pradesh in southern India. Vizianagaram district was formed on 1 June 1979, with some parts carved from the neighbouring districts of Srikakulam and Visakhapatnam. It is, at present, the largest municipality of...

 and three other clans of Kshatriya Raju
Rajus
The Raju are a Telugu caste inhabiting Andhra Pradesh, India.-Etymology:Raju is a Telugu variation of the Sanskrit word Raj and Raja meaning king, prince or lord...

 community in Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh , is one of the 28 states of India, situated on the southeastern coast of India. It is India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Its capital and largest city by population is Hyderabad.The total GDP of Andhra Pradesh is $100 billion and is ranked third...

.

By 514 CE, the Vakatakas were reduced to the areas of present day Telangana
Telangana
Telangana is a region in the present state of Andhra Pradesh, India and formerly was part of Hyderabad state which was ruled by Nizam. It is bordered with the states of Maharashtra on the north and north-west, Karnataka on the west, Chattisgarh on the north-east and Orissa to the east...

 area. The area north of the Godavari
Godavari River
The Godavari is a river that runs from western to southern India and is considered to be one of the big river basins in India. With a length of 1465 km, it is the second longest river in India , that runs within the country and also the longest river in South India...

, Kalinga
Kalinga (India)
Kalinga was an early state in central-eastern India, which comprised most of the modern state of Orissa/Utkal , as well as the Andhra region of the bordering state of Andhra Pradesh. It was a rich and fertile land that extended from the river Damodar/Ganges to Godavari and from Bay of Bengal to...

, became independent. The area south of the Krishna River
Krishna River
The Krishna River , is one of the longest rivers in central-southern India, about . It is also referred to as Krishnaveni in its original nomenclature...

 fell to the Pallavas. The Vishnukundin reign came to an end with the conquest of the eastern Deccan by the Chalukya, Pulakesi II
Pulakesi II
Pulakesin II is the most famous ruler of the Chalukya dynasty. In his reign the Chalukyas of Badami saw their kingdom extend over most of the Deccan.-Early life and accession:...

. Pulakesi appointed his brother Kubja Vishnuvardhana
Kubja Vishnuvardhana
Kubja Vishnuvardhana was the brother of Chalukya Pulakesi II. Vishnuvardhana ruled the Vengi territories in the eastern Andhra Pradesh as the viceroy under Pulakesi II from around 615 CE. Eventually Vishnuvardhana declared his independence and started the Eastern Chalukya dynasty Kubja...

 as Viceroy to rule over the conquered lands. Eventually Vishnuvardhana declared his independence and started the Eastern Chalukya dynasty.

Origin of Vishnukundins


Vishnukundina is a Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

ized name for Vinukonda. Several attempts have been made by scholars to find out the origins of this dynasty, but no definite conclusions have been reached as of yet. One theory states that they are of Koundinya gotra of Kshatriya
Kshatriya
*For the Bollywood film of the same name see Kshatriya Kshatriya or Kashtriya, meaning warrior, is one of the four varnas in Hinduism...

s who migrated from Ayodhya (Oudh) during the early 5th century. The early rulers of the dynasty migrated to the west in search of employment and under the Vakataka
Vakataka
The Vākāṭakas were a royal Indian dynasty that originated from the Deccan in the mid-third century CE. Their kingdom is believed to have extended from the southern edges of Malwa and Gujarat in the north to the Tungabhadra River in the south as well as from the Arabian Sea in the western to the...

s they might have attained feudatory status. They had Indrapalanagara in the Nalgonda
Nalgonda
Nalgonda is a town and a municipality in Nalgonda district in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Its name is derived from two Telugu words Nalla and Konda . Nalgonda in the past is referred to as Nilagiri. During the period of Bahamani kingdom, it had been renamed as Nallagonda...

 district as their capital.

During the reign of Madhava Varma the Great, they became independent and conquered coastal Andhra from the Salankayana
Salankayana
The Salankayanas were an ancient dynasty that ruled the Vengi region of India's eastern coast from 300 to 440 AD. They were Brahmins and their name is derived from their symbol and gotra name, which stood for Nandi .The Salankayanas succeeded the Andhra Ikshvaku dynasty and were vassals of the...

s and might have shifted their capital to a place in the Coastal Andhra
Coastal Andhra
Coastal Andhra or Kosta, is a region of India's Andhra Pradesh State. This region was part of Madras State before 1953 and Andhra State from 1953 to 1956. According to the 2011 census, it has an area of and a population of 3,41,93,868...

.

Chronology


The Vishnukundin reign might be fixed between the end of the Salankayana
Salankayana
The Salankayanas were an ancient dynasty that ruled the Vengi region of India's eastern coast from 300 to 440 AD. They were Brahmins and their name is derived from their symbol and gotra name, which stood for Nandi .The Salankayanas succeeded the Andhra Ikshvaku dynasty and were vassals of the...

 and the rise of the Eastern Chalukyan power in 624 AD. Some historians mention Vishnukundins reign was from 420 CE to 624 CE, while some other historian say there reign was from early 5th Century CE to 7th Century CE.

Indra Varma



According to the Indra Pala Nagara plates, Indra Varma
Indra Varma
Indra Varma is considered to be the first ruler of the Vishnukundin dynasty. He might have carved out a small principality for himself probably as a subordinate of the Vakatakas sometime about the last quarter of the fourth century CE. Not much information is known about the next two kings, Madhav...

 is considered to be the first ruler of the Vishnukundin dynasty. He might have carved out a small principality for himself probably as a subordinate of the Vakataka
Vakataka
The Vākāṭakas were a royal Indian dynasty that originated from the Deccan in the mid-third century CE. Their kingdom is believed to have extended from the southern edges of Malwa and Gujarat in the north to the Tungabhadra River in the south as well as from the Arabian Sea in the western to the...

s sometime about the last quarter of the fourth century C.E. Not much information is known about the next two kings, Madhav Varma I and his son Govinda Varma. They might have kept intact the inheritance or extended their sway to some extent.

Madhav Varma II


By the middle of the 5th century A.D., the dynasty began its imperial expansion under its most efficient ruler Madhav Varma II who ruled for nearly half a century. The reign of Madhav Varma (461-508 C.E.) was a golden age in the history of the Vishnukundins. It was during this period, the small Vishnukundin dynasty rose to imperial heights. A princess of the then powerful ruling family of the Deccan the Vakataka
Vakataka
The Vākāṭakas were a royal Indian dynasty that originated from the Deccan in the mid-third century CE. Their kingdom is believed to have extended from the southern edges of Malwa and Gujarat in the north to the Tungabhadra River in the south as well as from the Arabian Sea in the western to the...

s was given in marriage to Madhav Varma's son, Vikramendra Varma.

This alliance gave them great power and made it easy for them to extend their influence to the east coast and vanquishing the petty chieftains lingering on in that area. Madhav Varma II led his arms against Ananda Gotrika
Ananda Gotrika
Ananda Gotrikas, also referred to as Anandas ruled coastal Andhra with Kapotapuram as the capital from 335-425 AD. The Telegu form of Kapotapuram is Pittalapuram. It is located in Chejerla mandal of Nellore District....

s who were ruling over Guntur
Guntur
Guntur , is a city and a municipal corporation in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, located to the north and west of the Bay of Bengal. It is approximately to the south of the national capital, New Delhi and south east of state capital, Hyderabad. Guntur is the fourth largest city in Andhra...

, Tenali
Tenali
Tenali , is a town and a mandal in Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh, South India. It has a population of 149,839 . It is located 16 miles east of Guntur City. Three canals of the Krishna River flow through Tenali making it a part of the rice bowl of Andhra Pradesh. One of the canals is...

 and Ongole, probably enjoying subordinate position under the Pallavas of Kanchipuram
Kanchipuram
Kanchipuram, or Kanchi, is a temple city and a municipality in Kanchipuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is a temple town and the headquarters of Kanchipuram district...

.

After occupying these areas from the Ananda Gotrika
Ananda Gotrika
Ananda Gotrikas, also referred to as Anandas ruled coastal Andhra with Kapotapuram as the capital from 335-425 AD. The Telegu form of Kapotapuram is Pittalapuram. It is located in Chejerla mandal of Nellore District....

s, Madhav Varma II made Amarapura (modern Amaravati
Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh
Amaravathi is a small town situated on the banks of the River Krishna in the Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is famous for its Amareswara temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is one of the famous Pancharamas. Amaravati, also known as Dhanyakataka/Dharanikota was the site of a...

) his capital. Keeping in view the constant threat from the Pallava
Pallava
The Pallava dynasty was a Tamil dynasty which ruled the northern Tamil Nadu region and the southern Andhra Pradesh region with their capital at Kanchipuram...

s, he created an out-post to check their activities and appointed his son, Deva Varma and after his death the grandson Madhav Varma III as its Viceroy
Viceroy
A viceroy is a royal official who runs a country, colony, or province in the name of and as representative of the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi, meaning king. A viceroy's province or larger territory is called a viceroyalty...

.

Madhav Varma II next turned his attention against the Vengi
Vengi
The Vengi kingdom extended from the Godavari River in the north to Mount Mahendragiri in the southeast and to just south of the banks of River Krishna in the south of India. This area was part of Kalinga until that kingdom was conquered by Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan Empire in the mid 3rd century...

 kingdom which was under the Salankayana
Salankayana
The Salankayanas were an ancient dynasty that ruled the Vengi region of India's eastern coast from 300 to 440 AD. They were Brahmins and their name is derived from their symbol and gotra name, which stood for Nandi .The Salankayanas succeeded the Andhra Ikshvaku dynasty and were vassals of the...

s. The Vengi region was annexed. The Godavari tract became part of the Vishnukundin territory. After these conquests the capital might have been shifted to Bezwada (Vijayawada
Vijayawada
Vijayawada is the third largest city in Andhra Pradesh, India, located on the banks of the Krishna River and bounded by the Indrakiladri Hills on the West and the Budameru River on the North. The city is located in the Krishna District, about from the state capital Hyderabad.Vijayawada literally...

), a more central location than Amarapura. These extensive conquests entitle him to the title of the lord of Dakshinapatha
Dakshinapatha
Ancient Buddhist and Hindu texts use the term Dakshinapatha as a name for both the southern high road of the Indian subcontinent, and for the region lying south of Majjhimdesa or middle India. It is derived from the two Sanskrit roots dakshina for south, and patha for road.The first reference to...

 (southern country). After these various conquests Madhav Varma performed many Asvamedha, Rajasuya
Rajasuya
Rajasuya was a sacrifice, described in detail in the Mahabharata, performed by the ancient kings of India who considered themselves powerful enough to be an emperor...

 and other Vedic sacrifices
Historical Vedic religion
The religion of the Vedic period is a historical predecessor of Hinduism. Its liturgy is reflected in the mantra portion of the four Vedas, which are compiled in Sanskrit. The religious practices centered on a clergy administering rites...

.

Successors of Madhav Varma II


The fortunes of the Vishnukundins were at a low point during the reign of next ruler Vikramendra Varma I (508
508
Year 508 was a leap year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Venantius and Celer...

528
528
Year 528 was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Sabbatius without colleague...

 C.E.). The next two and half decades also experienced the constant strife and dynastic struggles during the reign of Indra Bhattaraka Varma (528
528
Year 528 was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Sabbatius without colleague...

555
555
Year 555 was a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 555 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Asia :* The Nan Liang Dynasty begins; the first ruler...

 C.E.). Though Indra Bhattaraka could not withstand the hostile Kalinga subordinate, Indra Varma and lost his life in battle. The Vishnukundins lost their Kalinga possessions north of the Godavari.

Vikramendra Varma II


With the accession of Vikramendra Varma II (555
555
Year 555 was a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 555 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Asia :* The Nan Liang Dynasty begins; the first ruler...

569
569
Year 569 was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 569 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Byzantine Empire :* The King of the Garamantes signs...

 C.E), the fortunes of the Vishnukundin family were restored. To have an immediate access to the Kalinga region, he shifted his capital from Bezwada to Lenduluru (modem Denduluru
Denduluru
Denduluru is a village and a mandal in West Godavari district in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India.-Demographics:According to Indian census, 2001, the demographic details of Denduluru mandal is as follows:* Total Population: 65,768 in 17,118 Households...

 in the West Godavari district). He repulsed the attack of the Pallava
Pallava
The Pallava dynasty was a Tamil dynasty which ruled the northern Tamil Nadu region and the southern Andhra Pradesh region with their capital at Kanchipuram...

 ruler Simhavarman. He was successful enough to restore the fortunes of the Vishnukundins in the Kalinga region. His son Govinda Varma II enjoyed a comparatively short period of rule (569
569
Year 569 was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 569 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Byzantine Empire :* The King of the Garamantes signs...

573
573
Year 573 was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 573 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Europe :* The Battle of Arfderydd is fought between...

 C.E.).

Govinda Varma II


The Vishnukundin empire set about again to imperial expansion and cultural prosperity under its able ruler Janssraya Madhav Varma IV (573-621 A.D.). This prudent king spent his early years of rule in consolidating his position in Vengi. The later part of his reign is marked by wars and annexations. In his 37th regnal year, he suppressed the revolt of his subordinate chief the Durjaya Prithvi Maharaja in Guddadivishya (modern Ramachandrapuram
Ramachandrapuram
Rama-chandra-puram is a census town in Medak district, in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is a predominantly agricultural area in the hot and humid coastal region of the state.-Demographics:...

 in the East Godavari
East Godavari
East Godavari District is a district situated on the northeast of the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. Its district headquarters is Kakinada. It is the second richest district in the whole country...

 district).

Madhav Varma IV had to face the Chalukyan onslaught in his last years of rule. By about 616
616
Year 616 was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 616 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Europe :* Eadbald succeeds Ethelbert as king of Kent.*...

 CE, Pulakesin II and his brother Kubja Vishnuvardhana
Kubja Vishnuvardhana
Kubja Vishnuvardhana was the brother of Chalukya Pulakesi II. Vishnuvardhana ruled the Vengi territories in the eastern Andhra Pradesh as the viceroy under Pulakesi II from around 615 CE. Eventually Vishnuvardhana declared his independence and started the Eastern Chalukya dynasty Kubja...

 conquered Vengi from the Vishnukundins and the Pithapuram
Pithapuram
For famous Playback singer see Pithapuram Nageswara RaoPithapuram is a town and a municipality in East Godavari district in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh....

 area from their subordinate Durjayas. In 621
621
Year 621 was a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 621 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Asia :* May 28 – Battle of Hulao: Li Shimin...

 C.E. in his 48th regnal year, Madhava crossed the Godavari probably to oust the Chalukyas from his territories. However he lost his life on the battlefield. His son Manchana Bhattaraka also might have been expelled by the Chalukyas. Thus the Vishnukundin rule was brought to a close by 624 A.D.

Vishnukundin country


They had three important cities, near Eluru
Eluru
Eluru is a city and a municipal corporation in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is the headquarters of West Godavari district and has a population of 5,15,343 approximately. Eluru is situated on the national highway NH 5 connecting Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam and about east of state...

, Amaravathi
Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh
Amaravathi is a small town situated on the banks of the River Krishna in the Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is famous for its Amareswara temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is one of the famous Pancharamas. Amaravati, also known as Dhanyakataka/Dharanikota was the site of a...

 and Puranisangam. There is an inscription in an old Buddhist monastery in southeast Hyderabad suburbs near Dilsukhnagar
Dilsukhnagar
Dilsukhnagar has grown into a well-known commercial and residential suburb of Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. It has become one of the many major centers of Hyderabad with one of the highest density and development. Much of its growth has taken place in the last 5–10 years due to continuous...

 mentioning Govindavarma. Keesara, Northeast of Hyderabad could have Vishnukundin connections as well.

Administration


For administrative convenience, the empire was divided into a number of Rashtras and Vishayas. Inscriptions refer to
Palki Rashtra, Karma rashtra, Guddadi Vishaya, etc.

Madhav Varma III appointed members of the royal family as Viceroy
Viceroy
A viceroy is a royal official who runs a country, colony, or province in the name of and as representative of the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi, meaning king. A viceroy's province or larger territory is called a viceroyalty...

s for various areas of the kingdom.

The king was the highest court of appeal in the administrator of justice. The Vishnukundin rulers established various kinds of punishments for various crimes. They were known for their impartial judgment and high sense of justice.

Army


Their army consisted of traditional fourfold divisions:
  • Elephants
  • Chariots
  • Cavalry
  • Infantry


The Hastikosa was the officer-in charge of elephant forces and the Virakosa was the officer-in-charge of land forces.
These officers issued even grants on behalf of the kings.

Taxes


There may have been well-organised administrative machinery for collection of land revenue.
Agrahara villages enjoyed tax exemptions. Sixteen types of coins of the Vishnukundin rulers have been found by archealogists.

Religion


All the records of the Vishnukundins throw a flood of light on the religious conditions of the period. Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 was a considerable force to be reckoned with during the Vishnukundin period. The kings prior to the Madhav Varma II seem to be patrons of Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

. Govinda Varma I was hailed as the Buddhist and builder of Stupas and Viharas. His wife Parama Bhattari Kama Devi also patronised Buddhism and built a monastery. Vikramendra Varma II, although a Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

, made liberal grants to the same Mahadevi's Buddhist vihara.

However from the time of accession of Madhav Varma II, an aggressive self-assertion of the Vedic Brahmanism occurred. Elaborate Vedic ceremonies like Rajasuya
Rajasuya
Rajasuya was a sacrifice, described in detail in the Mahabharata, performed by the ancient kings of India who considered themselves powerful enough to be an emperor...

, Purushamedha
Purushamedha
Purushamedha is a Vedic yajna described in the Yajurveda . The verse describes people from all classes and of all descriptions tied to the stake and offered to Prajapati....

, Sarvamedha and Aswamedha were undertaken. The celebration of all these sacrifices represents the militant spirit of the brahmanical revival. Some of the rulers referred to themselves as 'Parama Mahesvaras'. The inscriptions refer to their family deity Sri Parvata Swami.

The names of rulers like Madhav Varma and Govinda Varma show their Vaishnavite leanings. Thus both the Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 sects of Saivism and Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism is a tradition of Hinduism, distinguished from other schools by its worship of Vishnu, or his associated Avatars such as Rama and Krishna, as the original and supreme God....

 might have received equal patronage from them.

Literature


The Vishnukundins were also great patrons of learning. They established colleges for vedic learning. Learned Brahmin
Brahmin
Brahmin Brahman, Brahma and Brahmin.Brahman, Brahmin and Brahma have different meanings. Brahman refers to the Supreme Self...

s were encouraged by gifts of lands and colleges were established for the propagation of Vedic
Historical Vedic religion
The religion of the Vedic period is a historical predecessor of Hinduism. Its liturgy is reflected in the mantra portion of the four Vedas, which are compiled in Sanskrit. The religious practices centered on a clergy administering rites...

 studies. Indra Bhattaraka established many schools for imparting education on Vedic literature. Performance of several elaborate Vedic ceremonies by Madhav Varma is evidence of the faith of the rulers in Brahmanism and popularity of Vedic learning with the people during this period.

Some of the Vishnukundin kings were credited with authorship of several books. Vikramendra Varma I was described as Mahakavi – great poet in a record. Further, an incomplete work on Sanskrit poetics called 'Janasraya Chando Vichiti', was attributed to Madhav Varma IV who bore the title of 'Janasraya'. Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 enjoyed royal patronage. Telugu
Telugu literature
The Telugu literature or Telugu Sahityam is one of the most precious possessions of the literary products of India. Telugu literature is rich reserve of poems, stories, dramas and puranas. It flowered in the early 16th century under the Vijayanagar empire, of which Telugu was one of the court...

 had not yet grown to the stature of receiving royal patronage.

Art and Architecture


Being great devotees of Siva
Shiva
Shiva is a major Hindu deity, and is the destroyer god or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. God Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. Yet one with great power lives a life of a...

, the Vishnukundins seem to have been responsible for construction of a number of cave temples dedicated to Siva. The cave structures at Bezwada (Vijayawada
Vijayawada
Vijayawada is the third largest city in Andhra Pradesh, India, located on the banks of the Krishna River and bounded by the Indrakiladri Hills on the West and the Budameru River on the North. The city is located in the Krishna District, about from the state capital Hyderabad.Vijayawada literally...

), Mogalrajapuram, Undavalli caves
Undavalli caves
The Undavalli Caves , an example of Indian rock-cut architecture and a finest testimonial of ancient vishwakarma sthapathis, are located in the village of Undavalli in Tadepalli Mandal in Guntur District, near the southern bank of Krishna river, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India.The caves are...

 and Bhairavakonda were dated to this period. Though some of these cave temples were attributed to the Pallava
Pallava
The Pallava dynasty was a Tamil dynasty which ruled the northern Tamil Nadu region and the southern Andhra Pradesh region with their capital at Kanchipuram...

 Mahendra Varman I, the emblems found on the caves and the areas being under the rule of the Vishnukundins during this period clearly show that these were contributions of the Vishnukundins. The big four-storeyed cave at Undavalli and the 8 cave temples in Bhairavakonda in Nellore district
Nellore district
Sri Amarajeevi Potti Sri Ramulu Nellore District is one of the 23 districts of Andhra Pradesh. Nellore is famous for high paddy field, and so it got its name from "Nelli". The population of the district was 2,966,082 of which 22.45% were urban as of 2011....

show however clear resemblances with the architecture of Pallava Mahendra Varman's period.