Chola period inscriptions copied from Nedunkalanathar Temple

The inscription copied from Sri Nedunkalanathar Temple at Thirunedunkalam near Tiruchi.

The inscription copied from Sri Nedunkalanathar Temple at Thirunedunkalam near Tiruchi.

Four hitherto uncopied inscriptions, three of them belonging to the Chola period, have been found at Sri Nedunakalanathar Temple at Thirunedunkalam near Tiruchi by research scholars.

The inscriptions were found by R. Akila, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Aringar Anna Government Arts College, Musiri, and M. Nalini, Head, Department of History, Seethalakshimi Ramasami College, while taking up a study in the temple.

R. Kalaikkovan, Director, Dr. M. Rajamanikkanar Centre for Historical Research, who studied the new finds, said three of the inscriptions belong to the Cholas and one to the Hoysala King Virasomesvara, who ruled the area from Kannanur, his newly established capital near Samayapuram in the middle of the 13th Century.

Two of the Chola inscriptions, paleaographically dating to the 10th Century C. E., provide interesting information though they were found in fragments. One of them refers to Cholamarayar, an official of the temple, when 10 kalanju of gold was gifted to the temple by an individual to make two forehead plates and three golden flowers for the presiding deity of the temple. The second inscription also refers to a gift of gold by an individual, whose natal star was Chittirai, to provide special service to the presiding deity on the day of his star every month. The service included sacred bath to the God, lighting of lamps during the ceremony and a special offering that included muster, gingili seeds, turmeric, puffed rice and garlands made out of fragrant flowers.

Another inscription engraved in the third regnal year of Rajendra Chola I (1015 C. E.) records the gift of two pieces of land at the village Mulukkudipalai by Barathan Kandan alias Uttamacholan towards the midnight service and offering to the god. It stipulates that the two individuals who cultivated the lands were bound to pay 100 kalam of paddy per harvest to the temple to carry out the endowment. The inscription while referring to the boundaries of the lands gifted, mentions several pieces of other lands owned by various individuals of the village, water sources of different types such as the southern main channel which provided water through the south sluice and a highway that proceeded to Manganal, a nearby place.

The other record is a royal order signed by King Virasomesvara which declares that half of the tax revenue received by the king from the lands of the temple, manavari lands and the lands owned by the king were to be enjoyed by the temple to maintain its regular services and to look after the timely repairs from the day of the order, Mr. Kalaikkovan said.

A land measure that was used in the Chola period to measure wet lands was also discovered during the study. K.Vetrivel, Executive Officer of the temple and S. Ramesh Sivachariyar, were of great help for the study, said Ms. Akila and Ms. .Nalini.

Dr.Kalaikkovan said that 28 inscriptions were copied from this temple in 1907 and 1908. A study of all the existing inscriptions was undertaken and the new records were found during this process, he added.

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Printable version | Jun 9, 2022 6:02:42 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/chola-period-inscriptions-copied-from-nedunkalanathar-temple/article65426579.ece