Madurai

Tamil-Brahmi and Vattezhuttu inscriptions found near Madurai

A group of art historians and enthusiasts found the inscription

A group of art historians and enthusiasts found the inscription   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A Tamil-Brahmi inscription was found on a broken pillar of Ekanathan Mutt at the village of Kinnimangalam, located around 20 km from Madurai, on June 29 by a group of art historians and enthusiasts.

K. T. Gandhirajan, an art historian who undertakes research and documentation of historical monuments across Tamil Nadu, said that he chanced upon the inscription while conducting research at a mutt in Kinnimangalam. The stone reads ‘Ekan Athan Kottam’ which refers to the name of the mutt, he said. He added that the stone on which the inscription was written was around 2.5 feet in length and 1 foot in width.

Mr. Gandhirajan said that the inscription could be over 2,000 years old and that they had found artefacts transcending different eras including the Sangam period, the Nayak and the Pandya period and the British period.

“The mutt seems to have been a place where education took place and martial arts was taught. It also seems like it was along a trade route to the capital -- Madurai, making it a transit point for several travellers. According to oral traditions from the head of the mutt that exist till date, the area seems like a sanctum for scholars with the cloak of religion,” he said.

At the same site, another Vattezhuttu inscription that dates to a medieval period, was also found. This inscription was on a stone slab. It reads “Iraiyiliyaga EkanAtan Pallippatai Mandali IntAr.” It perhaps refers to some donation to the burial temple of Ekanathan in the later period, Mr. Gandhirajan said.

Mr. Gandhirajan’s team, including two history enthusiasts C. Raja Vel and Ananthan Sannasi, also found brassware, designer pots, wooden boxes and colonial era artefacts in the area. Further research is necessary to understand the importance of these inscriptions and the history of the village, he said.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 4:57:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/tamil-brahmi-and-vattezhuttu-inscriptions-found-near-madurai/article31986904.ece

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