Nidugal Cholas and their capitals -Govindavadi (Govinadawada) PART 1

Nidugal Cholas, These Cholas they claimed as descendants of the legendary Chola king of Karaikal and they bore titles such as “Lord of Uraiyur” (Early Chola’s capital) In many inscriptions, you can witness these titles and they ruled from the early 11th Century to the 13th Century A.D.

These chiefs ruled Pavagada, Sira, Madhugiri regions of Tumkur Dist, Challakere, Molakalmuru(Hanniya) regions of Chitradurga Dist and extended up to Andhra pradesh which shares borders with above taluks- Madakasira,Rayadurga,Uravakonda,Kanekal (Kaniyakallu), Gooty, Rodda(near Penugonda) and Kalyanadurga regions of Anantapur Dist.

Nidugal Chola’s capitals-

As these chief’s frequently change their capitals’ and list goes below:

Govindavadi (Present Govindawada) Bommanahal Mandal, Anantapur Dist AP

Penjeru/Henjeru(Present Hemavathi) Madakasira Taluk AP

Nidugal (Pavagada TQ) Tumkur Dist Karnataka

Of the above capitals, only Nidugal of Pavagada served as the chief fortress among them due to geographical conditions.

These chiefs were loyal subordinates to Western Chalukyas of kalayani and The Hoysala’s of Dwarasamudra offered a serious obstacle to this Nidugal chola’s for their political progress. These chiefs started with Rodda gove of present Roddam of Penugonda but the political activities commenced in Govindavadi(Govindawada) and made as their first capital.

Govinadavadi (Govindawada) 

Govindavadi which serves as their first capital due to its geographical conditions and on bank of River Hagari(Also Vedavathi) which serves as primary water source.

Kanekal(Ancient name: Kaniyakallu) a huge ancient tank that serves for irrigation near this place, much of the irrigation land with rich black fertile soil suited for agriculture.

It’s assumed the name “Govindavadi” is named after his father name by Irungoladeva.

Due to well irrigational land in ancient times they’re extensively growing Paddy, Cotton,Oil seeds, Tobacco, Sugarcane, Arecanut(Betel nut)and Wheat 

Due to the above extensive sugarcane, cotton, and oil seeds availability they were many good cottage industries of Sugar/Jaggery, textile, and oil extracting industries respectively.

From the Inscription of Neelakanteshwara temple of Govindavadi, there was an extensive areca nut farm was existing in this region.

So there is a well economic system of tax regimented from all agricultural products-Arecanut, tobacco and many others.

Even tax from Cottage industries, Marriage tax was existing in those days from the inscriptions we can understand the socio-economic status of Nidugal Cholas.

These chiefs were very pious to Shavite order and patronage to Jainism and Vaishnavite faiths too.Built many jain basadis in Nidugal,Kambadur ,Kottasivaram,Midigeshi and many

In Govindavadi capital region they built two Shaivite temples and still exist on the bank of River Hagari (Vedavathi)

Neelakanteshwara Temple,Govindawada

ಸ್ವಯಂಬು ಶ್ರೀ ನೀಲಕಂಠೇಶ್ವರ

This temple was built by King Irungola deva a famous chief of Nidugal Chola’s line.

The temple architecture with Chalukuya architecture style and inside a two shiva linga one of Swayambu (Self manifested) and other consecration may be by rulers time.

Adjacent to this temple is a small enclosure temple designated to Parvathi devi (Consort of Lord Shiva) 

There is an Inscription on a black stone slab inside a temple that pertains to Mallideva Chola, son of Iriungola deva Chola in the Old Kannada language. 

The inscription details corresponded to A.D. 1169 March 14 Monday, it refers to the reign of Chalukya King Tribuvanamalladeva (Vikramadity VI) and mentions his feudatory  

Mahamandaleshwara Tribuvana Mallideva Cholamaharaja son of Irungola Cholamaharaja who was ruling from Govindavadi is stated to made a gift of village Santarane which was west bank side of River Hagri for the service of lord Nilakanteshwara.

SII (Kannada language inscription) Vol IX part II

This temple administration was under Kalamukha Shaivite order and in inscription mentions, Kedareshwara panditha son of Sarveshwara panditha was the Sthanadipathi of Kalamaukha.

There is a Hero stone(ವೀರಗಲ್ಲು) outside of the temple which is in dilapidated condition which refers a person who was martyred in a war and for his remembrance, they install this Hero stone near temples in ancient times.


Sangameshwaradeva of Kudal (Sangameshwara Temple, Singenahalli) 

This temple lies on the west bank of river Hagari, here the lord Sangameshwara temple was built during Chalukya of the Kalyani period. There is an inscription in the Old Kannada language corresponded to A.D 1073 March on the full moon day.

It refers to the reign of Chalukya king Tribuvanamalldeva ruling from Govindavadi and records a grant of field and two gardens for the services of Sangameshwara of Kudal.

SII (Kannada inscriptions) Vol IX part II

  Present Situation:

Presently the Govindawada village settlement came ahead of ½ -0.8 miles away from the east bank of river hagari River due to the below reason.

Due to major floods across the Hagari river catchment area especially the 1851 severe flash flood that occurred in early May which caused many lives lost and enormous sand deposition across the right bank of Hagari river*.Following major floods occurred in  1804,1817,1851 and  1874  respectively.

Source: Madras District Gazetter of Bellary District “A great storm of 5th May 1851”

Still, you can witness sand dunes on river banks which remembers of Talkad town on the left bank of river Kaveri.

Govindawada,  it’s now a village located in Bommanahal mandal of Anantapur Dist.The village’s total population is about 4,721 people. Since this village is neighbor to bellay district and is only 35 Km away,so all major economic activities, health care, and for the education depend on Bellary.

As early said the village is fully depending on agriculture and now it’s irrigated by Tungabhadra water channels from August to November month.

Main agriculture crops: Paddy, Jowar, Millets, Sunflower, Black gram, Ground nut and vegetables/Fruits only. But no areca nut farm which existed before?

Rice and Jowar are the main staple food for locals ad peasant class families

Earlier they were growing Navane and other millets which gradually declined and only a few farmers in their lands.

The people here are dual language speakers of both Kannada and Telugu, but only for the education they will use Telugu and rest with Kannada as their language of communication.But due to migration from the rest of Andhra for agriculture or any of the Telugu speakers gradually increasing.

Neelakanteshwara temple:

This temple witnessed glory in Chalukya-Cholas   period but now the temple was ½ mile away from the village center.Only on Monday, new moon days, and festive times perform the pujas to lord Nilakanteshwara.

Presently the temple administration and priestly took over by a  Veerashaiva Jangama community of Govinadawada (Matada Gangadhariah family) they migrated from Bellary town for many centuries.

Even my mother was born in this Village and belonged to the above priestly and agricultural family. The temple has a gift land which was owned by them for service of the temple and recently the temple restoration work going on.

From a glorified capital city to a normal village this region has come of age and time its changed its profile...

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