16th Century inscription found near Erwadi

V. Rajaguru, of Ramanathapuram Archaeological Research Foundation, studying a 16th century inscription found on a sandstone at Eranthurai village near Erwadi Dargah in Ramanathapuram district.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A Tamil-Arabic inscription belonging to the 16th century was found on a sandstone pillar at Eranthurai village near Erwadi Dargah in Ramanathapuram district by V. Rajaguru, president of Ramanathapuram Archaeological Research Foundation - an association of amateur archeologists.

Mr. Rajaguru said that the sandstone pillar measuring 6.5 feet in height and 1.5 feet in width was found at a grove in Eranthurai. The stone had inscriptions on both the sides. On one side, Tamil inscriptions were found. The other side, which was highly damaged, had some Arabic letters.

He said that there were 20 lines in the Tamil inscription and many words were damaged. “But, a word ‘Nayakathu’ was found in the inscription. It indicates that a land has been donated to Erwadi Dargah, which has the grave of Hazrat Sultan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed Badhusha Oliyullah. The dargah is present around one kilometre from the grove where the stone inscription was found,” he said. The inscription has measurement units of the donated land in a written format.

He said that the inscription also had names of two members who owned ‘kotthu thengu’ (coconut groves). ‘Thengu’ refers to coconut and the word is currently in usage in Kerala and Srilanka to indicate coconut. So, ‘kotthu thengu’ means coconut groves. This shows that coconut groves were present in this region for many centuries,” he added.

A 600-year-old Baobab tree was found 300 metres from the place where the inscription was found. The local residents consider the tree as a deity, he said. “This tree species is native to countries like Madagascar, Australia and Africa. It is believed that these trees were introduced in Ramanathapuram district through Arab traders,” he added.

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2021 3:09:32 PM |

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