TAMIL NADU

Solid evidence of jallikatu in the past

The 400-year-old ‘hero stone’ with a Tamil inscription, kept in the Government Museum in Salem, stands a testimony to jallikattu in the past. —Photo: Special arrangement.

The 400-year-old ‘hero stone’ with a Tamil inscription, kept in the Government Museum in Salem, stands a testimony to jallikattu in the past. —Photo: Special arrangement.  

: A 400-year-old ‘hero stone’ inscribed with Tamil words depicting the existence of jallikattu in the past stands as a historical evidence for the sport.

The six-foot-long stone, found at Pethanaickenpalayam in Attur in 1976 and kept in the Salem Government Museum, is part of a sculpture which depicts a tamer trying to snatch the prize from the horn of a bull. The stone has Tamil words engraved on it, which could not have been decoded till now.

However, the Salem Historical Society on Tuesday succeeded in deciphering the words.

Epigraphist and manuscriptologist N. Kumaraswamy has read the inscription, Kovur Kangan Karuvanduraiyilae, Erudhu vilayadi pattan. Kangan Magan Periya Payal natta kallu’ and explained it “Kangan of Kovur village took part in the bull-taming sport (jallikattu) held in Karuvandurai (presently Karumandurai) and attained martyrdom. Hence in remembrance of Kangan, his son Periya Payal erected the hero stone.

The stone stands as substantiation that Jallikattu existed for centuries in the region that was played to display men’s valor.

Mr. Kumaraswamy also read the inscriptions on another stone belonging to the 13{+t}{+h}century, kept in the museum. The stone dates back to 1,227 A.D. during the rule of Raja Raja Cholan III. Its inscription says about two brothers, who created a lake between Konganapuram and Tharamangalam at Katchipalli. Pongilan Amandankali and his younger brother, whose name in the inscription was damaged, erected the stone with a request to the people to preserve and maintain the lake which serves agriculture and meets drinking water needs.

The inscription also says, “We will keep the foot of the people on our heads and praise and celebrate them who help to maintain the lake’’.

J. Barnabas, Secretary of Salem Historical Society, told The Hindu that historically significant stones should be preserved and steps taken to read all inscriptions in the stones in the museum.

“The readings from inscriptions should be recorded and displayed near the stones so that visitors would know the facts’’, he added.



“The readings from inscriptions should be recorded and displayed near the stones so that visitors would know the facts’’



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