9th century Tamil inscription discovered on sluice of irrigation tank in Theneripatti

The ASI had taken up a village-to-village survey in Srirangam, Tiruverumbur, and Lalgudi taluks

Published - April 26, 2024 07:18 pm IST - TIRUCHI

The 9th century A.D. inscription found at the sluice pillar of an irrigation tank at Theneripatti in Tiruchi.

The 9th century A.D. inscription found at the sluice pillar of an irrigation tank at Theneripatti in Tiruchi. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

A couple of Tamil inscriptions, including one belonging to the 9th century A.D., has been discovered by archaeologists of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) at a sluice of the Periyakulam at Theneripatti village in Tiruverumbur taluk in Tiruchi. The inscriptions record details about the construction of the sluice in the irrigation tank and its renovation.

The inscription was found during a survey conducted by V. Muthukumar and V.P. Yathees Kumar, assistant archaeologists, S.J. Ranimole, assistant superintending archaeologist, with the help of G. Karunakaran and R. Bhuvaneshvaran, research scholars. The village-to-village survey was taken up in Srirangam, Tiruverumbur, and Lalgudi taluks under the directions of A. Anilkumar, Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, Tiruchi Circle.

The 13-line Tamil inscription was found on the left pillar of the stone sluice of the Periyakulam, an irrigation tank at Theneripatti hamlet at Pazhanganakudi village.

“The inscription records the establishment of the sluice by Thurutti Varaginan, son of Varagunan-Thurutti of Panangudi in Michengali Nadu, which finds mention in the Visalur, Puliyur, Valambakudi, Rajeshapuram, and Kanthalur inscriptions,” the ASI officials said.

The inscription can be dated to 9th century A.D. and was engraved during the 6th regnal year of king Perunarkilli. It may be assumed that the reference is to Aditya Chola I. Perunarkilli was his great ancestor of Sangam era who performed the Rajasuya sacrifice, the ASI officials said. However, there is no evidence to support this, say some scholars. “It is a guess. Varagunan is a Pandya name and it could have been the Pandya-Chola transition period. This is the first time that the [reference to] Chola name of Perunarkilli has been found [in an inscription],” according to S. Rajagopal, former Senior Epigraphist, State Archaeology Department.

The other Tamil inscription of 16 lines, found on the right pillar of the same sluice, belongs to the 18th century A.D. This inscription begins with a reference to Thayumanaswamy Temple and says that the sluice was renovated by Subiramaniyapillai.

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