Tiruchirapalli

Stone inscription, engravings found at Pappapatti

A sculpted rock found at Pappapatti village near Musiri in Tiruchi district.

A sculpted rock found at Pappapatti village near Musiri in Tiruchi district.   | Photo Credit: Handout

A Tamil inscription believed to be engraved in the 17th or 18th century and two rock engravings have been found at Pappappatti, a remote village situated near Serukudi, about 17 km from Musiri in Tiruchi district.

The engravings were initially sighted by R. Jeyaraj, a local resident, who alerted a lecturer in zoology of Arignar Anna Government Arts College, R. Anbalagan.

Mr. Anbalagan, in turn, sought the assistance of his colleague, R. Akila, Assistant Professor in History, to decipher the inscription.

Ms. Akila, along with M. Nalini, Head, Department of History, Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College, visited the village and explored the entire zone of outcrops. The survey led to identification of three engravings, two on slabs and one on a larger rock amid several rock boulders in thick vegetation on the bank of a stream, Panchamuganathi, on the outskirts of the village.

One of the slabs has a depiction of a crawling hooded cobra. The second slab has a well-sculpted pair of entwining snakes. The two circles formed by their coils have been used by the sculptor to exhibit a ‘linga’ and a flower medallion. The ‘linga’ with a square base adorned with a garland occupies the top circle. The medallion is sculpted as a fully blossomed flower filling the lower circle. The inscription engraved on the slab gives the name of an individual as Ayyannan, who is probably the donor, said R. Kalaikkovan, Director, Dr. M. Rajamanikkanar Centre for Historical Research, in a press release.

A larger rock, which has a pair of foot prints portrayed on one side, is chiselled to have a smooth surface on its lower side for the Tamil inscription. The 14-line inscription records the construction of a stone pavilion on the rocky path that lead to the temple of Venkatesvara Swami at Thalaimalai by Ayyannan, son of Venkatapathi, on the 14th of Tamil month Thai in the year Vilambi. It mentions the name of the place where the inscription is found as Pandavanam and adds that Ayyannan is always at the service of the Lord of Thalaimalai. It is also mentioned that those who protect the stone pavilion and the inscription will be blessed by the God of Thalaimalai with plenty of children.

Thalaimalai is at a distance of three km from the place of find and the temple there is known as Sanjiviraya Perumal Koyil. The presiding deity is Venkatachalapathy and the goddess is Alarmelmangai Thayar. A trek through the rocky path from the foothill leads to the temple.

“It is strange to find a record of construction at a distance of three km from the actual site, and this leads us to presume that Ayyannan probably was the native of Pappappatti,” Ms. Nalini said and added that the inscription could be dated to the 17th or 18th century on paleographical grounds.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 6:40:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/stone-inscription-engravings-found-at-pappapatti/article30323159.ece

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