or peasant regions through new institutional forms.
Traditional and Modern Views on Pallava polity The conventional view
of Pallava polity is one in which brahmanical kingdoms are believed to have
been founded on the model of the north Indian kingdoms of the post-Gupta
period, imbibing northern Sanskritic elements; the Pallavas, being aliens to
the Tamil region, are hailed as innovators, who introduced northern elements
in the Tamil region and the Pandyas are believed to have adopted them in the
southern region.
    The recent historiography, however, suggests the evolution of a type of
polity in which the northern elements, particularly its regal forms had to be
adapted to different conditions, that is, to the specificity of the agrarian
context with its entrenched peasant regions. The Pallavas succeeded in
establishing such a polity by the ninth century AD. As illustrated by their
bilingual copper plate records (in Sanskrit and Tamil) and by their Puranic
temples, the Pallavas undoubtedly initiated a process of restructuring
economy and society through the institution of land grant to brahmins
(brahmadeya) and temples. Of great significance, therefore, is the evolution
of the typical dravida style of architecture and the use of permanent materials
like stone in the Pallava rock-cut and structural temples, which established
the dominance of the Puranic religions of Vaishnavism and Saivism. This
was in keeping with their Puranic cosmological world view, the ideology
which legitimised their power.
Epigraphic Evidence Gupta epigraphs may broadly be divided into two
groups: firstly, those incised for private individuals, and secondly, those
engraved on behalf of the ruling king.
Private Records They usually recorded donations in favour of religious
establishments or installation of images for worship. Such documents
sometimes mentioned the ruling king and occasionally described his
achievements. It should, however,    be remembered that as these records were