Genealogical link between Cambodia and Kanchipuram


Genealogical link between Cambodia and Kanchipuram

There are lot of scholars who think that there is a genealogical link between the royal house of the Kambojas (???????-???) and the Pallavas (?????-???).

Dr. Suresh Sethuraman, Tamil Nadu State Convenor of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, has dome some research on Tamil Nadu’s influence in Cambodia (???????? Kamb??iy?) and presented summary of his report, “From Kanchipuram to Kampuchea: Two Thousand Years of Trade and Cultural Exchange between Tamil Nadu and Cambodia”. For the purpose of study, he has mapped the influences specifically of South-East India on Cambodia and some of its neighbouring countries such as Thailand.

“It was actually very difficult to point out what went from South India and particularly Tamil Nadu,” said Dr. Suresh. Despite this initial difficulty he returned after finding influences in trade, diplomatic relations, religion, legends, superstitions, iconography and personal names and languages. Apart from solid evidence such as the recent archaeological findings of Roman coins dating to the 2{+n}{+d}and 3{+r}{+d}Century A.D. which could have only reached Cambodia through the Tamil ports of Arikamedu and Kaveripoompattinam, there were also inscriptions of Khmer ruler Jayavarman-I which mentions a “Kanchipura” or a priest who was a disciple of Shankara. “Whether this is Adi Sankara is not known,” he warned.

His research has revealed three major iconographic influences: Ashtabhuja Vishnu, the story ofSamudra Manthan and the depictions of Bhishma on a bed of arrows. “In the topmost storey of Angkor Wat , the principle sanctum used to initially hold the idol of the Ashtabhuja Vishnu. The same could be found at the Ashtabuja Perumal temple during the Pallava period,” he explained. Similarly, the famous story of Samudra Manthan, which is hardly shown in South India, is given a prominent space on one of the side walls of the Angkor Wat . “The sculptures at the Vaikunta Perumal Temple in Kanchipuram shows a part of the story which is not seen anywhere else in Tamil Nadu or Kerala,” he added.

“The story of Bhishma lying on a bed of arrows is well-known but its representation is poor and not included in panels showing the Mahabharat,” said Dr. Suresh. Yet, a wall panel in Angkor Wat has a representation of the scene which hardly has any parallels in India except for a couple of places. “The Virupaksha Temple in Pattadakal is an example and painting can be seen in a temple in Kerala.”

Apart from these iconographic representations, the three-tier structures of temples of South India can be seen in Cambodia. “The influences are also in names. The Anaimalai hills and Cardamom hills in the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala can also be found in Cambodia with local Khmer names,” said Dr. Suresh. “Contacts between the two regions seem to date back long ago, far beyond what we would expect.”

Dr. Suresh’s research, which is supported by the TAG Foundation, will be published as a book in the coming months. “I have enough material to write the book which should be published very soon,” he said.

There is an another article from V. R. Devika which was published in The Hindu Newspaper. According to the article they found a young boy nineteen-year-old Sinat Nhok plays on the Ksie deiv, a stringed musical instrument in Cambodia. He learnt to play it under the only living master of the instrument in Cambodia. Sinat comes from a poor village near Angkor Wat, the great temple for Vishnu in Cambodia. On a recent visit to India he got excited when he saw a similar instrument depicted on a panel on the walls of the Vaikunta Perumal temple (?????? ?????? ?????) in Kanchipuram (????????? – ???????? ?? ???). Look at the two pictures of the musical instruments. One is on the wall of the eighth century Vaikunta Perumal temple in Kanchipuram and the other on the wall of the Bayon temple in Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Did you know that the Pallavas and the Kambojas have a long connection? There is an interesting story about Pallavamalla Nandivarman's (????????? ??????????)(730-800 A.D.) accession to the thrown in Kanchipuram. [caption id="attachment_1403" align="alignnone" width="351"]One panel in Vaikunta Perumal temple (Kanchipuram) showing Ksie deiv musical instrument One panel in Vaikunta Perumal temple (Kanchipuram) showing Ksie deiv musical instrument[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1404" align="alignnone" width="351"]Other panel in Angkor Wat temple (Cambodia) showing Ksie deiv musical instrument Other panel in Angkor Wat temple (Cambodia) showing Ksie deiv musical instrument[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1405" align="alignnone" width="270"]THE KSIE DEIV: A stringed musical instrument. THE KSIE DEIV: A stringed musical instrument.[/caption]

What legends say

The inscription on a panel in the Vaikunta Perumal temple tells us that when the Pallava King Paramesvara Varman II (???????? ?????)(705 - 710) died without a progeny (?????), a group of scholars of the Ghatika (an assembly of learned people) made a long journey through forests, rivers and dense impenetrable jungles using many means of transport like palanquins, horses, elephants and boats and reached the kingdom of King Harivarma (????????) and asked him to come and rule in Kanchipuram. But the King said he had his own kingdom to rule but they could ask one of his four sons instead. The first three refused but the fourth one was willing. He was brought back in a similar long journey and anointed as King Nandivarma Pallavamalla in Kanchipuram. He was 12 years old then. The mystery here is that the panel does not mention the place they went to bring the prince. Many scholars think it was a place in north Andhra as there is evidence that the Pallavas came from near the border of today's Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. (Some had argued that the Pallava is one of the five tribes mentioned in the Mahabharata as Pahlava along with Kamboja, yavana are of foreign origin.) But several scholars believe that the word Gahana in the inscription may indicate the depth of the ocean and that the Ghatika scholars may have crossed the sea, but did they go to Kamboja and bring Nandivarman? In a book Saving Angkor, C.M. Bhandari, India's former Ambassador to Cambodia (1991-94), writes of close genealogical links between a royal house of ancient Kamboja and that of Pallavas of Kanchi as a result of which following the death of the Pallava King Paramesvara Varman II, a prince from Cambodia also named as Paramesvara (alias Pallavamalla) was brought to south India and installed on the Pallava throne under the title of Nandivarman II. Wherein lies the truth? Where did Nandivarma Pallavamalla come from? Author: V.R. DEVIKA and SOWMIYA ASHOK Original Post: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-youngworld/from-cambodia-to-kanchipuram/article2268521.ece http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-newdelhi/tracing-footprints-from-kanchipuram-to-kampuchea/article4138944.ece

Deepak Kamboj

Deepak Kamboj started and conceptualized the powerful interactive platform - KambojSociety.com in September 2002, which today is the biggest and most popular online community portal for Kambojas in the world. He was inspired by the social and community work carried out by his father Shri Nanak Chand Kamboj. He has done research on the history, social aspects, political growth and economical situation of the Kamboj community. Deepak Kamboj is an author of various articles about the history of Kamboj community and people.