Chennai

Exhibition on copper plate grants opens

An exhibition of copper plate grants issued during various south Indian dynasties was inaugurated at the Centenary Exhibition Hall of Government Museum, Egmore, on Wednesday.

A collection of 17 copper plate grants of Pallava, Pandya, Chola and Chera dynasties are on display. These are sheets of copper held together by a thick ring and a seal of the dynasty.

Curators in the museum said the copper plate inscriptions were documents that gave detailed information about grant of land to temples or scholars. While the details in the first portion is engraved in Sanskrit, the second is in the language of the area where it was issued, including Tamil and Telugu. Some of the plates had engravings cautioning others against taking away or tampering with the grant.

The collection, include Thiruvalangadu, Karandai and Esalam copper plates. The Thiruvalangadu copper plates issued during Chola period is one of the largest so far recovered and contains 31 copper sheets. They record a grant of village to a temple in Thiruvalangadu. Other plates such as Pallava Kuram, Pallava Pikira and Esalam plates of Rajendra Chola-I showcased at the exhibition also record grant of villages to temples or scholars.

Inaugurating the exhibition, School Education Minister, Thangam Thennarasu, said the copper plates are historical records that help to understand the history and culture of the past. Such exhibitions would create awareness among people particularly students about ancient dynasties and archaeology.

Tourism and Culture secretary V. Irai Anbu, Principal Secretary and Commissioner of Museums T.S. Sridhar, former Director of Archaeology R. Nagaswamy and the Museum’s curators R. Balasubramanian and J.R. Asokan participated in the function. The exhibition is open between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. till November 3.


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