Lady Doak College students promise to protect the historic monument

It is a standing testimony to the peaceful coexistence of different beliefs. The presence of Brahmi inscription, probably 2000 years old makes the hillock a vestige of heritage.

Yanamalai, one of the main heritage structures of the Temple City got a booster shot last week when students of Lady Doak College adopted it and vowed to work towards its protection. This follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of History, Lady Doak College and DHAN Foundation, a non-government organisation. “Yanamalai is a symbol of unity of different beliefs. Structures representing Vaishnavism, Saivism and Jainism coexisted in the hill. And it is our responsibility and duty to protect such an age-old monument,” said Benazir Banu of History department.

Yanaimalai has a Vaishnavite temple of Yoga Narasimhar, a Saivite Temple Ladan Koil and Jain caves with theerthankara sculptures.

The 2000-year-old Brahmi inscription ‘ivakundrathu uraiyul paathandan eeri aarithan athuvayee arattakayiban …” is found on the top of the hillock.

“The word Ivam means elephant. Even now, the hillock is named after the mammoth mammal - elephant,” said V. Vedachalam, former Senior Epigraphist, Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department. Earlier, the student members of the Heritage Club toured around the hillock and listened to R. Venkataraman, retired art history professor and Vedachalam. Students have planned to work out a strategy to involve locals for sustainable maintenance. As part of the DHAN Foundation’s tourism development project, Heritage Clubs are formed in various city colleges. The other colleges that have these clubs are Fatima College, Mannar Thirumalai Naicker College and Thiagarajar College. Fatima College has adopted Samanamalai.