The historicity of an ancient village Kunthi Devi Saturvedi Mangalam, now known as Konthagai, was brought to the fore at Madurai Heritage Walk organised by DHAN foundation on Sunday.
Led by V. Vedachalam, former Senior Epigraphist, Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department and R. Venkataraman, renowned historian, a team of 52 people from Madurai and 25 local villagers visited sites of historical and religious importance in the village, believed to be over 2,000 years old. The team visited Dheivanayaga Perumal temple, Adhi Siva temple and Ayyanar temple, constructed in the 13 century.
According to experts, the village flourished in the 13 century during the reign of the later Pandya rulers. The irrigation tank in Konthagai has a stone sluice around 1,000 yeasr old and urns containing dead bodies must have been buried here, the historians said.
The team also visited sites containing 13 century stone inscriptions that had details about how a dispute was resolved between two villages. The Ayyanar temple also has stone inscriptions that dates to 1904 mentioning the renovations carried out in the temple.
A bronze pot donated by an Englishman called Feesar Durai, with his name inscribed, has also been kept at the temple.
The team consisted of history students from Lady Doak College, members of Travel Club and local villagers. K. P. Bharathi, tourism development officer of DHAN Foundation, who organised the heritage walk said, “The visit to the village created awareness about the heritage value of Konthagai. The villagers have decided to form a committee to protect the prominent sites.”
He further said that the villagers have expressed their willingness to renovate an ancient Siva temple believed to be over 600 years old.