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Saturday, March 03, 2007


 

South Indian Inscriptions


 

SOUTH INDIAN INSCRIPTIONS

VOLUME XIII

CHOLA INSCRIPTION 

INTRODUCTION

11. The Chola expedition to Ceylon also finds mention in a record from Tirunagesvaram (No. 197). The two Sanskrit verses with which the inscription opens are unfortunately damaged, but with the help of these and the Tamil portion of the record we can make out that Princess Arinjigai-Piratti the daughter of Arikulakesari (and hence another sister of Sundara-Chola) who was married to a Bana chief, set up an image of (a deity called) Amarasundaradeva in the temple and made provision for offerings and worship to that image. This was very probably in memory of her husband who fell fighting along with the Kodumbalur general Parantakan Siriyavelar on the battle field in Ceylon, since the Sanskrit portion mentions Simhala and refers to some heroic fight which ‘the ornament of the Bali family’, viz., her husband, the Bana chief, put up against his enemies.

12. A dynasty of chiefs known as the Paluvettaraiyar figures largely in the inscriptions copied at Kila-Paaluvur and Mela-Paluvur in the Tiruchchirappalli District. They seem to have held positions of power and influence under the Cholas from the time of Parantaka I and to have been related to the royal family by marriage. We find it mentioned in A.R. No. 231 of 1926 dated in the 12th year of Parantaka, that Paluvettaraiyar Kandan Amudanar fought, on behalf of his Chola overlord, a victorious battle at Vellur against the forces of the Pandya king and his Ceylonese ally, in which the Pandya lost his life. To commemorate this success the Commander Nakkan Sattan of Paradur made a gift of a perpetual lamp to the temple of Tiruvalandurai-Mahadeva at Siru-Paluvur.

It is perhaps this Amudanar who is referred to in the Anbil Plates of Sundara Chola as a Kerala prince whose daughter was married to Parantaka I and bore him prince Arinjaya (Ep. Ind. Vol. XV, p. 50). By ‘Kerala prince’ should be meant a relation of the Chera king, since we know that the Chera contemporary of Parantaka I was Vijayaraghavadeva (A.R. No. 169 of 1912), the probable successor of Sthanu-Ravi the friend and ally of Aditya I (S.I.I., Vol. III, No. 89). He must have taken service under the Chola like the Kerala general Vellankumaran under prince Rajaditya (A.R. No. 739 of 1905), and his help of Parantaka might have been situably recognized by the king by the grant of chiefship over a large tract of land. Tappildarma Pallavaraiyan to whom we were introduced on P. IV as the perundaram of Arinjaya calls himself a Paluvettaraiyan.

A descendant of Kandan Amudanar – probably his son – was Paluvettaraiyar Maravan Kandanar who finds prominent mention in the records of Sundara-Chola and his successor Uttama-Chola. He is represented in this volume by five inscriptions dated between the 10th and 13th years of the reign of the former. Nos. 208, 215 and 344 state that with the permission of this chief, the Nagarattar, the Todapatti-Chettigal and the authorities of the two temples at Paluvur had it engraved on stone that he manrupadu takes payable by them were to be on the same lines as at Nandipuram. It is of interest to note here that the rules obtaining at Nandipuram were regarded as model for some other villages also. An instance of this is to be found in C.P. No. 10 of 1913-14 referred to in para. 10 above, wherein Malavaraiyan Sundarasolan, the same as Kolli-Malavan Orriyuran is stated to have ordered the adoption of the rate prevailing at Nandipuram in collecting the taxes on house-sites, etc., in his region. No. 236 registers an assignment of 24 veli of land at Pasungulam on permanent lease to a private individual with certain obligations to the temple, under the orders of the same Paluvettaraiyar Maravan Kandanar, thus reflecting the chief’s high estate.

13. No. 225 from Udaiyargudi which is dated in the 12th year of the king records an endowment of two plots of land, one by Adittan Kodaippirattiyar, the queen of Arinjigai-Panmar who died at Arrur’ and the other by Udaiyapirattiyar Viman Kundavaiyar another queen, for providing water for the sacred bath of the deity and for offerings. No. 224 from the same place records another gift by the latter queen who is called the mother of Arinjiya-Pirantakadevar by which is evidently meant Parantaka II Sundara-Chola. This is at variance with the statement in the Anbil Plates of Sundara-Chola that he (Parantaka II) was the son of Arinjaya by a Vaidumba princess named Kalyani, unless we identify this lady with Viman Kundavaiyar herself ; or, she might be a step-mother of Parantaka II. Viman Kundavaiyar again figures in the 14th year of the king (No. 249) as a donor to the temple at Tiruvisalur, and in No. 271 from the same place dated in the 17th year of the king she is referred to as the Queen Dowager (?) (Purvadeviyar).

14. An inscription from Koyil-Tevarayanpettai dated in the 14th year of the king (No. 250) provides an interesting example of the encouragement given to learning in ancient times. It registers an endowment of 20 karunkasu made by one Bradayan (Bharadvajan) Senda[n] Nakkapiran-Bhatta Sarvakratuyaji (the same as Senda Nakkan of No. 169 of the king’s 7th year) of Kurramangalam, who stipulated that the sum of 3 kasu accruing from the amount as interest every year should be given as a prize to the best of the competitors (excluding the successful candidates of the previous years) who recited prescribed portions of Jaiminiya-Samaveda before the deity on the night of Tiruvadirai in Margali month, evidently as part of the festival in the temple.

Similar examples of encouragement to learning are provided in Nos. 170 and 342 both of the time of Rajaraja I. The former registers several gifts to the temple including an endowment to two persons reciting the Tiruppadiyam and another to 25 Brahmins who were to recite Talavakara-Samaveda, Taittiriya-Veda and Chhandogya-Samaveda before god in the temple at Kuttalam (Tanjore) built bySembiyan-Mahadevi, the mother of Uttama-Chola. The latter record mentions an endowment made as Mahabharata-vritti for the (daily) reading of the Mahabharata in the temple.

The latest date known for Parantaka II is the 17th year of his reign. Nos. 277 and 278 from Koyil-Tevarayanpettai (Tanjore District) and No. 281-A from Chintamani (Chingleput) all dated in this year give the appellation Madiraikonda to the king. The first of these refers to gifts made previously to the temple in the 13th, 14th 15th and 17th years of the king, and (curiously) to one made in the 19th year also which is evidently a mistake for some other date. The last inscription is important as indicating the northernmost limit of the Chola kingdom at this period. Chintamani which is called by the name Tiruppagavanrurai in the record is said to be ‘as sacred a place on the east coast as Gokarnam is on the west’.

15. Rajaraja I : More than 50 inscriptions in this volume may be referred to Rajaraja I. They range up to the 22nd year of his reign, though it is rather peculiar that they do not begin with his famous historical introduction Tirumagalpola, etc., which we find generally in his records later than his eighth year. In about ten of them, all from the Tanjore District, we find prominent mention of Sembiyan (or Pirantakan) Madeviyar, the mother of Uttama-Chola, as the donor of rich endowments to the temples including those for the supply of water from the river for the sacred bath of the deities on Sankranti day. One such inscription is No. 144 from Tiruvenkadu which gives a consolidated list of all the gifts made to the temple at that place up to the 6th year of the king by this lady and by other members of the royal family at different times. Thus gifts made in the second year of Gandaraditya alias Mummudi-Chola by the queen ; in the 4th year of Parakesari (Uttama-Chola) by herself and by a certain Koyirpillaiyar ; in the 10th and 11th years of Parakesari Uttama-Chola by the king himself; in the third year of Rajakesari (Rajaraja) by Sembiyan-Mahadevi and by Sorabbaiyar Tribhuvana-Mahadeviyar, a queen of Uttama-Chola ; and lastly in the sixth year (of Rajaraja I) by Sembiyan-Mahadevi are all mixed up together and consolidated for record. It is of interest to find included at the end of the inscription a gift made by this queen for the merit of her servant (adiyal) Ilaichchiyan Malapadi.

A visit paid by queen Panchavanmadeviyar to the temple at Tiruvidaimarudur in the fifty year of the king finds mention in No. 133 which states that the occasion was marked by a gift of land made by her for the upkeep of a gardener looking after the champaka garden which had been presented by Sembiyan-Mhadevi.

16. The present village of Olagapuram in the South Arcot District evidently derives its name from Lokamahadevi a queen of Rajaraja I. Probably in the wake of its foundation was also built the Siva temple which is now in ruins. For we learn from No. 54 dated in the third year of Rajaraja that Ambalavan Gandaradittanar, a perundaram nobleman of the king, erected a stone temple to Srikayilayattu-Paramasivami at Ulogamadevipuram,, a taniyur in Oyma-nadu, and made a gift of sheep for burning a lamp in the temple. In another inscription from the same place dated in the 7th year of the king (No. 167) this chief figures again as the donor of a flower-garden to the temple. He is herein called Gangan Ambalavan Gandaraditta-Vlupparaiyan of Kuvalalam (Kolar) in the Ganga 6,000 province. His full name is given as Gangan Ambalavan Gandaradittan alias Mummudisola-Vilupparaiyan in No. 61 of the king’s 3rd year from Udaiyargudi, which states that 19 veli of land was endowed to the temple in his name for the daily feeding of 56 Brahmins in the temple.

Another officer or chief who is said to have belonged to the perundaram of Mummudi-Chola (Rajaraja I) and who hailed from Kuvalalam was Ambalavan Paluvurnakkan alias Vikramasola-Maharajan. He built of stone the Srivimana of the temple at Govindaputtur and endowed land for worship therein in the 3rd year of the king (No. 76). This chief figures largely in the reign of Uttama-Chola under this title. In a record from the same place dated 2 years later (No. 124) he is mentioned with the title Rajaraja-Pallavaraiyan.

17. The chiefs of the Paluvettaraiyar family who figured in the inscriptions of Sundara-Chola are mentioned in the records of this reign also, wherein they are referred to in terms of respect implying the high position they were still holding. Nos. 98 and 171, dated in the 4th and 7th years of the king and No. 298 of the 22nd year mention respectively Paluvettaraiyar Kandan Maravan and Paluvettaraiyar Kumaran Maravan. It is not clear whether the two names refer to one and the same person, or to father and son, which seems more probable. From No. 98 we learn that Kandan Maravan had founded the temple of Tiruttottam-Udaiyar at Mannupperumpaluvur in Kunrakkurram, and that he gave all the right of worship therein to a resident of Tiruchchiruvalandai on the representation of the supervisor of the temple, while he was staying at Senapuram in Maladu. No. 298 says that under orders of Kumaran Maravan a certain Vadugan Madhavan of Poygaikkuruvidam reclaimed a portion of devadana land at Uragankudi and gave it to the temple of Avanigandharva-Isvaragarattu-Mahadeva.

Still another member of the Paluvettaraiyar family besides Kumaran Maravan mentioned above – if not identical with him – was Palavettaraiyar Kumaran Kandan figuring in No. 235. By a slight mistinterpretation in the text of this record the chief has been taken to be son of Pagaividai-isvarattu-Devanar, whereas the latter’s son was correctly Nakkan Pudi, who under orders of Kumaran Kandan brought some fallow lands at Uragankudi under cultivation and presented them to the temple for the maintenance of two lamps. Two daughters of this Devanar of Paluvur are also known one of them being Nakkan Akkaranangai who was married to a Chera prince (No. 153) and the other, Nakkan Panchavanmadevi, a queen of Rajaraja I (A.R. No. 385 of 1924)

18. Another prominent feudatory of the king was the chief of Miladu in the present South Arcot District. No. 63 from Tiruvamattur dated in the king’s 3rd year records a gift of lamp to the temple by the chief Raman Siddhavadavan alias Vikramasola-Miladudaiyan of Bhargava-gotra. His wife Pulisayyan Sami Abbai also known as Milada-Madeviyar the donor of a lamp to the temple at Kilur (No. 104) is called the daughter of the Pandya king. An inscription from Tiruvisalur of the 3rd year of the king (No. 39) registers an endowment of land to provide for 108 pots of water being supplied on every Sankranti day for the sacred bath of the deity, made by Siddhavadavan Suttiyar a queen of Uttama-Chola and thedaughter of a Miladu chief whose name is not however given. She must have been either a sister or a daughter of this Vikramasola-Miladudaiyar.

Still another feudatory chief of Rajaraja was Madhurantakan Achchapidaran son of Virsola-Ilangovelar of Kodumbalur, who made a gift of 30 kalanju of gold for the daily feeding of a Brahmin in a matha at Govindapadi in Valla-nadu, a subdivision of Damar-kottam. No. 33 from Tirumalpuram in the North Arcot District with records this gift is dated in the 3rd year of rajakesarivarman who is distinctly called Rajaraja in the Sanskrit verse at the beginning of the inscription. This is an important feature of the record as showing that the name Rajaraja had been borne by the king from the very beginning of his reign, and not conferred on him in his 19th year by the temple authorities at Chidambaram as suggested in S.I.I., Vol II (int. p. 5). This fact is confirmed by another epigraph as will be seen presently.

19. No. 149 from Little Kanchipuram dated in the 6th year of Rajakesarivarman deserves notice as fixing an important land-mark in the early military campaigns of Rajaraja. It registers an order of the king to his minister Kon Vidividangan alias Villavan-Muvendavelan of Uttarangudi in Arvalak-kurram, a subdivision of Sola-nadu, to donate all the 900 sheep which had been captured by Kurukadi-kilan Paraman Malapadi alias Mummudichcholan Solakon after his attack on and conquest of Sitpuli-nadu and Pakkai-nadu, for burning ten lamps in his name as Rajaraja in the temple of Ainjandi Durga-Bhattaraki at Kachchippedu. From two inscriptions of the time of Parantaka I from Tiruvorriyur (Nos. 160 and 236 of 1912) it is known that a general of that king conquered Sitpuli and destroyed Nellur, and on return from there made a grant to that temple. It was surmised in M.E.R. 1913, II, 18, that Sitpuli referred to the Eastern Chalukya king (Bhima II) or one of his subordinates. The present inscription would indicate that the reference is rather to a locality or region and not to any individual. Pakkai-nadu is evidnelty the Paka-nadu (Nellor District) mentioned in inscriptions. These regions must have been lost to the Cholas in the disturbed period following the Rashtrakuta invasion and conquest of the Chola territory in the last days of Parantakai. Now when Rajaraja was preparing himself for a programme of conquests, the attack by his military chief of these divisions should have formed a preliminary to the scheme of campaign against the Vengi country after the enterprise at Kandalur. The date of the inscription shows that he directed his attention to the north as early as the 6th year of his reign.

No. 131 from Perangiyur in the South Arcot District which may be referred to the reign of Rajaraja I deserves mention. It registers an endowment of two pieces of land made by the assembly of Peringur in Tirumunaippadi, one for the maintenance of a lamp in the local temple and the other for feeding a tapasvin daily therein, for the merit of one Ganavadi Nambi Aruran who was doing the srikaryam (sacred service) to the Mulasthanattu-Perumanadigal of their village, as a memorial to the sacrifice he made of himself (atmatyagam) in the sacred service of the god. We have to understand by this expression a life of dedication to god. It may incidentally be mentioned here that Saint Sundaramurti was also known as Nambi Aruran.

20. There are very few inscriptions of Rajakesarivarman which may be assigned to kings subsequent to Rajaraja. No. 157 from Tirupporur in the Chingleput District and No. 211 from Nerur in Tiruchirappalli are both of the reign of Kulottunga I. No. 216 from Tiruppalaivanam (Chingleput) is to be ascribed to Kulottunga II. In this last inscription the king is called rajakesarivarman ‘who was pleased to cover with gold the temple of Tirupperambalam (Chidambaram)’. This act of devotion is definitely claimed for Kulottunga II in A.R. Nos. 350 of 1927 and 349 of 1929. It finds mention in Kulottungasolan-ula a poem by Ottakkuttan in praise of this king, and in Sekkilar’s Periyapuranam were it is stated that king Anapaya (Kulottunga II) gilded the Chidambaram temple.

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