Chola period inscriptions found at a temple in Thirumangalam

The paleography of the record helps to identify the king as Rajaraja III

August 26, 2022 07:53 pm | Updated August 27, 2022 09:25 pm IST - TIRUCHI

The inscription found at the Samavedisvarar Temple at Thirumangalam near Lalgudi in Tiruchi district.

The inscription found at the Samavedisvarar Temple at Thirumangalam near Lalgudi in Tiruchi district. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Two inscriptions belonging to the later Chola period have been found at the Samavedisvarar Temple at Thirumangalam, a village near Lalgudi in Tiruchi district by researcher scholars.

The inscriptions were found during an explorative study undertaken at the temple by M.Nalini, Head, Department of History, Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College, and R.Akila, Assistant Professor, Arignar Anna Government Arts and Science College, Musiri.

Thirumangalam is the birth place of Aanaya Nayanar, one of the 63 Nayanmars mentioned in Thiruthondathokai by Sundarar. The temple is a Chola period construction with several later additions, according to R. Kalaikkovan, Director, Dr.M.Rajamanikkanar Centre for Historical Research.

Mr. Kalaikkovan, after inspecting the finds, said one of the fragmentary inscription was found on the stone that forms the floor near the Amman shrine of the temple. It mentions the 33rd regnal (ruling) year of a king whose name could not be found. This and the paleography of the record help to identify the king as Rajaraja III, whose 22nd year record is also found here. The inscription mentions an endowment made by an individual, whose name is lost, to carry out services and offerings to the deity. A piece of land on the northern side of Thirumangalam was gifted for that purpose by the donor.

The other inscription was found in the uthiram of the thiruchutru maligai in the northern side. Though the name of the king and the ruling year is not found, the inscription may be attributed to the 14th century CE on paleographical grounds. It mentions that Aandapillaiyar, a merchant of Thazhaikudi had undertaken repair works and reconstructed the sub shrine of Lord Subramanya.

The name of the presiding deity of the temple mentioned in earlier inscriptions as Parasuramisvarar is referred to as Thirumazhuvudaiya Nayanar in this inscription. It is not known when the present name Samavedisvarar was given to the deity, Mr. Kalaikkovan said.

The Thirumangalam temple is one of the few Chola temples in Tamil Nadu that has depictions of some important scenes of Ramayana as narrative panels. Twelve Chola inscriptions and an inscription of a Nayaka chief were already copied from the temple by the government epigraphist in 1930. Five more records of later period were discovered by the epigraphists of Dr. M. Rajamanikkanar Centre for Historical Research during a field work conducted in 1993. Two inscriptions that were not noticed earlier have been found now, he said.

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