- Vallabhi (modern Vala) is an ancient city located in Saurashtra peninsula near Bhavnagar. It was the capital of the ancient Maitraka dynasty. The Maitrakas came under the rule of Harsha in the mid-seventh century, but retained local autonomy, and regained their independence after Harsha’s death.
- Vallabhi was a noted center of the Jains. It was here in 466 AD that the Vallabhi council of the Jains produced in writing the religious canon (Jain Agams) under the leadership of the all Jain Acharya Shraman Devardhigani along with other 500 Jain Acharyas. The idols of each of them is present in the basement of the Jain temple here.
- However when the Chinese traveler Xuanzang visited Vallabhi during the second quarter of 7th century, he found its ruler to be a Buddhist follower. When Itsing, another Chinese traveler visited Vallabhi in the last quarter of 7th century, he found the city as a great center of learning Jainism including Buddhism.
- Vallabhi was noted for its catholicity and the students from all over the country, including the Brahmana boys, visited it to have higher education in secular and religious subjects.
(2) Vaishali (or Basukunda)
Vaishali is in Bihar. It the capital city of the Licchavi, considered one of the first example of a republic, in the Vrijji Confederacy Mahajanapada, around the 6th century BCE.
It was here in 599 BCE the 24th Jain Tirthankara, Mahavira was born and brought up in Kundagrama in Vaisali republic.
During Bimbisara, Gautama Buddha preached his last sermon before his death in 483 BCE, then in 383 BCE the Second Buddhist council was convened here by King Kalasoka, making it an important place in both Jain and Buddhist religions.
An Ashokan Pillar is found here which is topped by a single lion.
Vaisali finds mention in the travel accounts of Chinese explorers, Faxian (4th century CE) and Xuanzang (7th century CE).
Vaishali is also renowned as the land of Amrapali, the great Indian courtesan, who appears in many folktales, as well as in Buddhist literature who was said to become a disciple of Buddha.
- In south India, the earliest iron objects appear in the overlap between neolithic and megalithic phases.
- Megaliths are widely distributed in South India. In Tamil Nadu, the sites include: Korkoi, Kayal, Kalugumalai, Perumalmalai, Pudukkotai, Tirukkampuliyar and Odugattur, Vasudevanallur, Achchnallur, Amritmangalam, Kunnattur, Sanur, Tenkasi
- Vasudevanallur Fort played role during Anglo-French-Mysire struggle.
- The recorded history of Vellore dates back to the ninth century, as seen from a Chola inscriptions in the Annamalaiyar Temple in Tiruvannamalai. After the rule of Cholas, it came under the Rashtrakutas, the later Cholas and Vijayanagar kings.
- The Vellore Fort was built during the time of Chinna Bomma Nayak, a subordinate of Vijayanagar kings during the third quarter of the 16th century.The Fort’s ownership passed from Vijayanagara Kings, to the Bijapur Sultans, to Marathas, to the Carnatic Nawabs and finally to the British.The fort was constructed in granite. The fort houses a Temple, a Mosque and a Church, the renowned Vellore Christian Hospital. The Jalagandeeswarar Temple, dedicated to Jalagandeeswar, Shiva.
- During the 17th century, Vellore came under the dominion of the Nawab of the Carnatic.
(5) Vatapi (or Badami)
Blue: Pattadakal, Green: Badami, Red: Aihole
Vatapi is in Bagalkot district of Karnataka. It was the capital of the Early Chalukyas, who ruled between the 6th and 8th centuries. It was founded in 540 AD by Pulakeshin I, an early ruler of the Chalukyas.
The Pallavas under the king Narasimhavarma I seized it in 642 AD & destroyed the Vatapi and called himself Vatapikonda. Vikramaditya I of Chalukyas drove back Pallavas in 654 AD.
Badami is famous for its sandstone cave temples and other structural temples. They provide evidence of the early styles and stages of the southern Indian architecture.
The rock-cut Badami Cave Temples of mainly Siva, Vishnu and Jains are from 6th to 8th centuries. Shiva is found with his consort Parvati and the 18 armed lords Nataraja in 81 dancing poses. The Bhutanatha group of temples and Mallikarjuna group of temples is found in Badami. There are also paintings on the ceiling.
Badami fort lies east of the Bhuthnatha temple, atop a cliff right opposite the Badami cave temples.
Badami has many inscriptions. The first Sanskrit inscription in old Kannada script dates back to 543 CE, from the period of Pulakeshin I.
One inscription near the Bhutanatha temple also has inscriptions dating back to the 12th century in Jain rock-cut temple dedicated to the Tirtankara Adinatha.
- King Pulakesin II of the Chalukya conquered Vengi from the Vishnukundinas in the early 7th century and installed his brother Kubja Vishnuvardhana as the viceroy. He eventually established the Eastern Chalukya dynasty. The Eastern Chalukyas were first conquered by the Cholas under Raja Raja Chola I (985-1014). During the reign of the Kulothunga Chola I the Vengi kingdom got absorbed into the Chola empire.It later became part of Vijayanagar Empire.
- Eastern Chalukyas patronised Telugu. Since the time of the Eastern Chalukya Gunaga Vijayaditya, inscriptions show Telugu prose and poetry, culminating in the production of literary works. Later on, in the 11th century under the patronage of the then Vengi king, Rajaraja Narendra, the great epic, Mahabharata was translated partly by his court poet, Nannaya.
- Vengurla, being a safe and natural port, commercial centre was initially established during 1665 by Dutch traders and subsequently by British rulers.
Vidisha is an ancient city, situated just east of Betwa River near Bhopal. The city, originally called Besnagar and later dubbed Bhilsa, was renamed Vidisha in 1956. Besnagar figures significantly in Buddhist, Jain and Brahmanical literature in various forms like Vaisyanagar, Vessanagar, etc.
Vidisha is rich in ancient monuments and historic places.
The Heliodorus pillar as a monolithic free standing stone column was erected around 113 BCE in central India in Besnagar, by Heliodorus, a Greek ambassador of the Indo-Greek king Antialcidas to the court of the Shunga king. The pillar was surmounted by a sculpture of Garuda and was apparently dedicated by Heliodorus to the god Vasudeva. It is also called Garuda pillar.
The Heliodorus pillar bears an inscription which states that it was raised in honour of Vasudeva by Heliodorous, a resident of Taxila, who had been sent to the court of Bhagabhadra as an envoy of Indo-Greek king. This inscription is a valuable historical record, revealing both the relations that existed between the region and the Greek kingdoms of the Punjab, and the fact that the Greek ambassador had become a follower of Hindu god Vishnu.
The Udayagiri Caves are also situated nearby. Just south of Vidisha is the ancient Buddhist complex of Sanchi. It was sometimes termed Vedisagiri, because of its closeness to Vidisha.
(9) Vijayanagara (or Hampi)
(10) Vikramashila (or Antichak)
The remains of Vikramshila Mahavihara University, founded by the King Dharmpal (770-810A.D.) of Pala dynasty has been found in the excavation of village Antichak in district Bhagalpur of Bihar.
Vikramasila was a large Buddhist university having more than hundred teachers and about one thousand students. It produced eminent scholars who were often invited by foreign countries to spread Buddhist learning, culture and religion. The most distinguished and eminent among all was Dipankara, who propogated Buddhism in Tibet.
Subjects like theology, philosophy, grammar, metaphysics, logic etc. were taught here but the most important branch of learning was Tantrism.
The main stupa built for the purpose of worship is a brick structure. A rectangular structure identified as library building.
A large number of antiquities of terracotta, stone, iron copper, gold, silver, bronze, ivory, bone and shell have yielded in course of excavations. A large number of stone and bronze sculptures of Buddha, Bodhisattva, Avalokiteshwara, Maitreya, Manjusri, etc. have been found.
(11) Vilinam / Vizhinjam
- Vizhinjam is a locality of Thiruvananthapuram city in Kerala. Between 850 AD – 1400 AD, the region was the scene of many battles between the Kulasekhara dynasty and the Later Cholas, and Vizhinjam, the then capital, was sacked by the Cholas. Vizhinjam had maritime trade with the Red Sea Coast during the early Christian Era (Roman period)
- Rajaraja Chola began his career by the conquest of the Chera country. He defeated Chera King Bhaskara Ravivarman, whose fleet he destroyed in the port of Kandalur. He also seized Pandya Amara Bhujanga and captured the port of Vilinam.