It is believed from the inscriptions of the Gangas that they descent from the Ikshavaku family. The founder of the line ruled from Kolar. His brother's son Madhava II succeeded him. It is said he was a scholar, learned in the Upanishads and that he wrote a commentary on the Kamasutra of one Dattaka a forerunner of Vatsyayana. Harivarma, the third king of the dynasty changed the capital to Talakkad near Sivasamudram. He was a subordinate of the Pallava Dynasty succeeded by Vishnugopa who renounced Jainism and embraced Vaishnavism. His grandson Madhava III succeeded him, married a princess of Kadamba dynasty and was a believer of Shaivism. Avinita who ruled in the first half of the 6th century succeeded him.
Avinita was a believer of Jain philosophy but respected other religions of India. He came to the throne even while he was a baby. Avinita's successor was Durvinita. He is famous for his scholarship. He is said to have learnt at the feet of Pujyapada, a Jain grammarian, who wrote the Sabdavatara. The later Ganga rulers from Harivarman to Madhava III accepted Pallava over lordship to some extent.
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