The ruins of an old and large temple and a small shrine were found when debris was cleared at Chimbachala, near Kootala, at Thenkurissi grama panchayat near here.

Preliminary studies indicate that the temple structure is dated to the middle phase architecture in Kerala history (1000-1300 AD).

The debris clearance work was undertaken by a team headed by Dr. Ajit Kumar, head of Department of Archaeology, University of Kerala, and K. Rajan, Assistant Professor in History, Government Victoria College.

The ruins, which were found in the compound of Kidar Mohammed, could shed light on the Kulasekhara period (9-12th centuries AD).

Mr. Rajan said the spot was located in 2005 and preliminary studies and detailed documentation of the ruins were done recently.

It is premature to give a specific date for the temple as no inscription has been found on the exposed portions. No idol has been found to decide the possible period of the temple structure.

However, stylistic features indicate that the structures go back to the early medieval period in Kerala history. A small shrine built entirely of stone blocks and the ruins of a large temple to its left have been found. Both of them face the east. The ruins of the main temple indicate the presence of detached ‘namaskara mandapa' and a ‘Valiyambalam'.

The ‘adhishtana' is decorated with floral motifs. The most interesting of the sculptural art is the carving of dancers and drummers on the balustrades, which flank the flight of steps called ‘Sopana'. The ground plans of the two temples are square, Mr. Rajan said.

The ‘Pranala' of the main temple is fluted and comes out of a ‘Vyala' face. The pillars and other structures of the temple are scattered all over the site.

The presence of bricks and tiles around the sanctum of the main temple indicate that they might have been used for temple construction, he said.

Keywords: archaeology

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