Tamil Nadu

Aiyanar sculpture with Vattezhuthu inscriptions found near Koduvai

An ancient Aiyanar sculpture with inscriptions unearthedin Tirupur.

An ancient Aiyanar sculpture with inscriptions unearthedin Tirupur.

A group of archaeologists has found an Aiyanar sculpture with ‘Vattezhuthu’ inscriptions, said to be erected nearly 1,200 years ago, half-buried in earth from an open ground near Koduvai.

“This is the oldest Aiyanar sculpture having any type of inscriptions so far discovered from Kongu region. The Aiyanar sculptures from later stages did not have inscriptions at its lower portion unlike seen here. Moreover, the inscriptions seen here are in ‘Vattezhuthu’, which is the ‘alphabet system’ followed before the present Tamil script dating its existence back to more than 1,000 years,” R. Poongundran, archaeologist and retired Assistant Director of the State Archaeological Department, told The Hindu .

The Aiyanar sculptures were usually erected and worshipped as god by the local people to safeguard them from all evil/wrong sources.

“The Aiyanar now found looked to have been erected by the local traders as the locality falls in the ancient trade route that linked Muziris, an ancient seaport situated along Malabar Coast in Kerala, to western region of Tamil Nadu through Palakkad pass en route to eastern parts of the State. From the inferences seen in history books, such sculptures are erected to worship as they pass along the route regularly,” explained S. Ravikumar and K. Ponnusamy, two of the archaeologists from Virarajendran Historical Research Centre who were in the team.

According to Mr. Ravikumar, the posture of the sculpture unearthed now itself is unique. “The Aiyanar is seated on a stone throne in posture described as ‘Maharaja Leelasana’ with the right leg folded completely and left leg kept bending. The deity wears ‘kundalams’ in ears, necklaces, and ornaments in hands with dresses made up of ‘maravuri’, a traditional attire,” he added.

Vattezhuthu is the ‘alphabet system’ followed before the present Tamil script

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Printable version | Aug 14, 2022 10:39:14 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/aiyanar-sculpture-with-vattezhuthu-inscriptions-found-near-koduvai/article7935070.ece