Madurai

Stone idol of early Pandya era found near Rajapalayam

The stone idol of Kottaravai, Goddess of War, was unearthed from a farm near Rajapalayam

The stone idol of Kottaravai, Goddess of War, was unearthed from a farm near Rajapalayam   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The idol of Kottaravai, the Goddess of War, was found during the ploughing of a field in Perumalpatti

A six-foot-tall stone idol of ‘Kottaravai’, the Goddess of War, was unearthed from a farm near Murambu near here recently.

According to B. Kandasamy, assistant professor of history, Rajapalayam Raju’s College, who is also an archaeological researcher, the idol of Kottravai has been found in southern Tamil Nadu for the first time. A similar idol of Kottaravai, found in northern Tamil Nadu, is at the Government Museum in Chennai, he said.

Stating that the idol was found while ploughing a field in Perumalpatti few days back, he said that it belongs to the early Pandya era.

The idol, with a straight posture, however, has all four hands broken. One broken hand was subsequently found in the field. Local residents have tried to fix it on the idol with a rope. A three-foot by three-foot stone pedestal was also found there.

Stating that the stone carvings were of high quality, Mr. Kandasamy said that a lot of intricate work revealed the finesse of the sculpture. “Be it the ornamental work of the necklace, or the wrinkles on the outfit or the crown, the idol has minute details,” he said.

Kottravai was also later associated with Goddesses Kali and Durga. However, he said, the uniqueness of this idol was that instead of a lion as the vagana of those Goddesses, Kottravai had a deer. “Even the idol at the Government Museum has a deer as the vagana,” Mr. Kandasamy said.

The unearthing of a Nandi statue of the 12th century and some stone pillars in nearby Avudaiyapuram in recent times suggest that these could be part of an ancient temple located there in the past.

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 6:00:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/stone-idol-of-early-pandya-era-found-near-rajapalayam/article31737482.ece

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