Five new inscriptions belonging to the Chola and one of Vijayanagar dynasty have been copied from the Ujjivanathar Temple at Uyyakondan Thirumalai on the outskirts of the city by research scholars of the Dr. M. Rajamanickkanar Centre for Historical Research.
The inscriptions were found by R. Akila, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Arignar Anna Government Arts College, Musiri, and M. Nalini, Head and Associate Professor in History, Seethalakshmi Ramasami College, during a field study recently, according to a press release.
R. Kalaikkovan, Director, Dr. M. Rajamanikkanar Centre for Historical Research, who examined the inscriptions, said that so far 27 inscriptions, including the latest finds, have been copied from the temple. A linear measure, possibly used as a land measure in this area during the Chola rule, has been found.
One of the six new inscriptions found belong to the period of Rajendra I recording the gift of land by the king to provide food for students who studied Veda. It is understood that a royal order was passed to this effect at the instance of the king’s preceptor Sarvasiva Pandithar.
Another inscription reveals that one Anutthira Pallavaraiyan gifted a piece of land to meet the expenditure of the grand festival celebrated on the occasion of Vaikasi Visakam at the temple during the rule of Kulottunga Chola I. A record of Kulottunga Chola II copied from the east wall of the second gopura registers the gift of a piece of land by the sabha of a local brahmin settlement, Rajasraya Chaturvedimangalam, to organise worship and services during the theerthavari of the Vaikasi Visaka festival.
Two other inscriptions copied from the Nataraja mandapa of the hill temple belong to the period of Kulottunga III. One among them registers the gift of two veli of land by the members of the mahasabha of Rajasraya chaturvedimangalam to the temple towards repairs and renovations. It was suggested that the temple could utilise the land for raising sugarcane plantation . The inscription, while recording the boundaries of the land, points to several irrigational channels and their outlets. A large size pond is mentioned whose sluice was named as Uyyakkondan. Another inscription of the same king records the change of name of Rajasraya Chaturvedimangalam as Jagadegavira Chaturvedimangalam.
The Vijayanagar record of C.E. 1457 is in the form of a sonnet. The present Nataraja mandapa of the temple was built by a temple official named as Thayan Thirupparayan Adalvitanka Pidaran during the reign of Rajendra Chola I. Due to ravages of time it became dilapidated and was renovated by Prayathanathan of Pulisai during the rule of Mallikarjuna, the Vijayanagar king. The poet compares the philanthropic action with that of Siva who saved Ganges from falling to the ground by taking it on his head.
“The Ujjivanathar temple at Uyyakkondan Thirumalai is a treasure house of epigraphical records and it has the largest corpus of inscriptions of the great king Rajendra Chola I,” said Dr. Kalaikkovan, and added that a comprehensive history of the temple is under publication.