Coimbatore

11th century inscription discovered in Kovilpalayam

An 11th century inscription with four incomplete lines in Tamil vatteluttu script that was recently discovered in Kovilpalayam

An 11th century inscription with four incomplete lines in Tamil vatteluttu script that was recently discovered in Kovilpalayam   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The inscription, in vattalettu script, bears the ‘Kavayanputhur’, the ancient name of Coimbatore

A group of volunteers recently discovered a stone block with an inscription in Tamil vatteluttu script, dating back to probably the early 11th century, in Kovilpalayam, near Coimbatore. The volunteers had been involved in cleaning the Kalingarayan Lake in Kovilpalayam on December 16, when they found the block.

Archaeological enthusiasts R. Kumaravel and N. Sudhakar along with Government Museum curator C. Sivakumar deciphered the script on the stone block. Mr. Kumaravel said that the inscription’s authenticity was confirmed by R. Poongundran, retired Assistant Director of the Tamil Nadu State Department of Archaeology as well as senior researcher Rajagopal Subbaiah.

There are four incomplete lines in vattalettu script inscribed on the block which measures 83 cm in length, 22 cm in width and 28 cm in height.

The second line bears the word ‘Kavayanputhur’, the ancient name of Coimbatore. The first line bears the name of Srivikrama Chola, a Kongu Chola who ruled the region for 43 years between 1004 CE to 1047 CE, according to an inscription found in Thingalur near Perundurai in Erode district. “As the newly discovered inscription is incomplete, the exact year of the inscription could not be deciphered,” Mr. Kumaravel said.

However, as the inscription mentions the name of Srivikrama Chola after mentioning the king’s father Kokkalimoorkan, it indicates that the inscription was made during his reign. Hence, the inscription must have been created between 1004 CE and 1047 CE, making it nearly one thousand years old, according to Mr. Kumaravel.

Srivikrama Chola was the grandson of Veera Chola, one of the Kongu Chola rulers who ruled the Kongu region after 10th century when the region came under the control of the Chola kingdom, he said.

In a statement issued, Mr. Poongundran said that this might be one of the oldest inscriptions bearing the Tamil vattalettu script discovered in the Kongu region. The inscription also confirmed the significance of Kovilpalayam during the Chola period, he said.

Mr. Sivakumar said that the District Administration has initiated the process to bring this inscription block for display at the Government Museum.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 11:36:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/11th-century-inscription-discovered-in-kovilpalayam/article30388749.ece

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