Mamallan means a great wrestler.The title of Mamallan was given to the Pallava king of South India. South India was ruled by Mamallan from 630–668 AD.
Mamallan was an avid art lover like his father Mahendravarman I. He is also accredited with the completion of the artwork started by his father in the city of Mamallapuram.
He killed Pulakeshin II, the then Chalukya king in the year 642 AD avenging his father's death.
Mamallan’s wrestling sagas were so widespread in the town of Mahabalipuram that the people of Mahabalipuram re-named the town as Mamallapuram after him. Mamallan comes in the league of those Indian kings who never lost a war in the battlefield..
The Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang visited Kanchipuram during his reign in the year AD.
Appar, Siruthondar, and Tirugnanasambandar were some of the renowned Nayanar saints who lived during his reign. The king of Mamallapuram was also a great devotee of Lord of Kailasa i.e Shiva. In the year 668 AD Mahendravarman II, son of Mamallan, took charge of the kingdom.
History with the Chalukyas
The dispute between the Chalukyas and the Pallavas was a long one.
The dispute started when Pulakeshin II, the Deccan king attacked various northern provinces and forts ruled by Pallava dynasty.
The Deccan king wasn’t able to capture Kanchipuram, the capital of the Pallava.
Pulakeshin II Several years later, made another expedition to capture the Pallavas capital Kanchipuram. The reign however at that time was controlled by Mamallan
Mamallan defeated Chalukyas in several battles. Mamallan along with his army general Paranjothi invaded Vatapi by defeating and killing the Chalukya king Pulakeshin II in 642 CE. After his victory over Vatapi, the Mamallan was conferred with the title of Vatapikondan.
Mamallan army general Paranjothi was also one of the 63 Nayanmar saints and was well known for his devotion for Lord Shiva. He was also known as a great medic who mastered various studies in medicine.
Influence on Sri Lankan politics
Mamallan was helped by Manavarma to kill the Deccan king Pulakeshin II. The Sinhalese prince lived in the court of Pulakeshin II.
To return back the favor Mamallan twice supplied Manavarma with his army to conquer Sri- Lanka.
Manavarma got successful in the second attack and ruled the nation of Sri Lanka from 691 A.D to 726 A.D
Influences in Literature
Many works of literature have been written on the legend of Mamallan. One such work is Sivagamiyin Sabatham written by the renowned writer Kalki Krishnamurthy.
The book is based on the Mamallan's rule of his kingdom in the early years and the disputed wars with Chalukyas.
Krishnamurthy later also wrote Parthiban kanavu which is based on the later years of king’s rule.