Five rare inscriptions dating back to the 14th century were unearthed by a team of epigraphists at the Sri Kailasanathar temple in Nedunkudi village near Tirumayam recently.

The inscriptions throw light on important procedures being followed then for diversion of surplus funds from the ‘rich' to ‘poor' temples and also exemption of temple lands from the ambit of tax.

The epigraphists, from the Pudukottai Historical and Cultural Research Centre, took up the research at the temple and studied the inscriptions available there.

Four inscriptions have already been recorded at this temple and the current research helped unearth five more, said J. Raja Mohamad, who led the team.

These inscriptions refer to the names of the rulers of the 13th and 14th centuries as Pandya ruler Sadayavarman Sri Vallaba Sundara Pandian and the local chieftains of Sooraikudi.

The current study, Mr. Raja Mohamad said helps identify the names of the local chieftains. One of the inscriptions refers to the donation of lands by Sooraikudi Ponnaayan Vijayalaya Devan (1426 AD) to be utilised for temple pujas. Another inscription, dating to the period of Ponnaayan Vijayalaya Devan and Senbagarayan Vijayalayadevan, confirms the land donated to the temple by Sri Vallaban, a Pandya ruler, in 13{+t}{+h} century.

Mr. Raja Mohamad said that another inscription refers to a massive donation of land to the temple by the Sooraikudi chieftains during the 16th century. In these inscriptions, the chieftains had exempted these lands from certain taxes.

More interestingly, the inscription specified diversion of a part of the revenue from this temple to the Vaishnavite temple in Tirumayam and Tirumeni Azhagiyar temple in Koramangalam.

Mr. Raja Mohamad said that the temple had been constructed at an elevated site, with a view to protect it from the flash floods from the adjacent Pambar. The temple had been renovated by several rulers.

In the earlier inscription, the place had been referred to as Sengundram (indicating the elevation) or Sengundrur. Lord Siva was called as Thenpirai Nayanar or Thenpirai Nakkar.

After its complete renovation either during the end of the 17{+t}{+h} century or in the beginning of the 18th century, the presiding deity came to be known as Sri Kailasanathar.

Karu. Rajendran and C. Govindaraj were among those who conducted the study.

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