Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Thursday viewed copper plates and other artefacts of the Chola period recovered recently in Thiruindalur near Mayiladuthurai, in Chennai.

The copper plates, which form one of the largest such finds in the country, will be exhibited at the World Classical Tamil conference in Coimbatore.

School Education Minister Thangam Thennarasu explained the details of the recovery to the Chief Minister here. Speaking to The Hindu, T.S.Sridhar, Commissioner of Archaeology, said the 86 plates record the donation of eight villages to brahmins by Rajadhiraja I, son of Rajendra I, to create the Rajendrachola chaturvedimangalam. The donation itself is recorded by Rajadhiraja's brother Rajendra II.

Forming a larger collection than the famous Karandai plates, which record a donation of Rajendra I, the plates are complete, as seen by the inscription on the ring saying that 86 plates had been attached, Mr. Sridhar said.

“There are many other interesting details. Along with the information on what families should get what grants, the plates record extensively what should be done for washer people, barbers and others serving the village,” Mr. Sridhar said.

The plates also record that the elder brother made the donation at his capital in Pazhaiyar while the younger brother recorded it at his capital in Gangaikondacholapuram, Mr. Sridhar added.

While the first seven plates are in Sanskrit containing the “prashasti” or the “meikeerthi,” the remaining plates are in Tamil. The Grantham script is used in the seal.

Mr. Sridhar said these details had been gleaned from a first reading of the plates, the Sanskrit part of which was looked at by R. Nagasamy, former Commissioner, while the Tamil part was looked at by N. Marxia Gandhi and R. Sivanandham.

A detailed report will be prepared soon after the conference, he added.

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