Pallavas – Culture, Literature, Art and Architecture

Pallava Dynasty – Culture, Literature, Art and Architecture

The Pallavas should be specially remembered for their contribution to the cultural, literal, art and archeological history of South India. There was an all pervasive development during this period in literature, music, paintings, religion every walk of life. The Kings of Pallava Dynasty warmly patronised the Sanskrit language. Kanchi became the famous seat of Sanskrit learning In the South. Dandi, Bharavi, Dignaga, the great poet, master of Sanskrit prose and scholar respectively, all came and stayed in Kanchi court. The Tamil literature also received patronage from the Pallava kings. We also know that the Mattavilas Prahasana, the Tamil classic, Tamil Kural were composed in this age. Paintings received patronage of the Tamil kings. The composer of several treaties in music Mahendravarmana was a king of his age.

It should also be remembered that the great religious revival movement which overshadowed the eight century had its first origin in Tamil kingdom. It was the Pallavas who first completed the Aryanisation of South India for them the Sanskrit language and learning and the Brahmanical religion spreaded in the South. The University of Kanchi became the citadel of Aryan-­Brahmanical influence in the South. Kanchi was regarded as one of the seven sacred cities of the Hindus. Though the Pallava Kings were the worshippers of Vishnu and Siva they showed tolerance to other creeds as well. Many great Saiva and Vishnu Saints and the Vaishnava and Saiva literatures had flourished in this age. Though Buddhism could not dominate the Pallavas, Hiuen-Tsang found many Buddhist monasteries in the Pallava Empire.

Reference should also be made of the Pallava architecture and sculptures as these two constitute the most brilliant chapter in the history of South Indian art. The Pallava architecture was undoubtedly greatly inspired by the religious revival movement If the age. We have found several styles in Pallava architecture. There was the Mahendra style, the Mamalla style, the Rajsimha style, the Aparajita style, though the Aparajita style followed the Chola architectural style. There was economic prosperity in the country. The Mamallapuram (also Mahabalipuram) town became an important sea port during the days of the Pallavas. They had friendly relation with the Malaysia, Indonesia and Greater India as well.