Narasimha Varman Biography
Narasimha Varman I was one of the most famous Pallava kings and was
successful to maintain the supremacy which his father Mahendravarman had established.
He won over the Chalukya king, Pulakesin II to avenge his father’s defeat. He inherited his father’s love for art and sculpture.
Narasimha ruled between 645 and 670 AD. During his rule he was able to establish the dominance of the Pallava Empire in the South. He was an excellent war strategist. He defeated Pulakesin II and destroyed the Chalukyan capital, Vatapi. He sent naval expeditions to Ceylon to help Manavamna. Narasimha was a good wrestler and he was also called as Mamallan or the ‘Great Wrestler’.
The city of Mamallapuram was named after him. It was during his reign, the famous Chinese traveller Hieun-Tsang visited Kanchi. He wrote a vivid and excellent account of Narasimha’s Kingdom.
As he had a keen interest in art and sculptures, Narasimha built many temples, especially in the city of Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram), which is adorned with the seven rock-cut pagodas. He was also a patron of literature and several literary works were written during his rule. Narasimha I was succeeded by Mahendra Varman II who ruled successfully for about twenty-five years.