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Tuesday, September 26, 2006


 

South Indian Inscriptions


 

INTRODUCTION

The Koyil, Periya-koyil or the Great temple of Ranganatha is situated in the island of  Srirangam between the river Kaveri and its main branch Kollidam in the Thiruchirapalli  District of the Tamil Nadu State.  Among the Vaishnava centers of pilgrimage it vies equally with the famous Tirupati of Venkatachala or Venkatesa, better known in the North as Balaji, and has been eulogized  by almost all the Vaishnava saints or Alvars among whom some lived at this place and made it the scene of their devotional activities.  Prominent among them were Kulasekhara the Chera king who renounced his kingdom only to devote his life to the service of this god and settled down at Srirangam with his daughter Cherakulavalli, and Tirumangaimannan or Alinadan, the chief who betook to banditry for the sole purpose of embellishing with the looted money.  The lord of Srirangam.  He is said to have looted the golden image of Buddha at the vihara at Nagapattinam and with that gold renovated certain parts of the temples.  The name of minor Alvars such as Tondaradippodi, Tirupanalvar who was born at Uraiyur near Srirangam, are also connected with this temple.  Ramanujacharya, the great apostle of the Visishtadvaita Srivaishnavism spent as many as 60 years of his long life as the administrative head of this temple and effected many reforms in its internal management.

Kuruttalvar, Parasara-Bhatta, Vedanta-Desika and a number of other scholars also lived here.  Manavala-Mahamuni or Alagiya-manavala, the Acharya of the Tenkalai –Vaishnava sect is said to have lived for a long time here giving religious discourses.  The saint is reputed to have stayed at the Pallavarayan-matham in the South Uttira Street, where an image of his is being worshipped even now.  The place is also associated with the famous Tamil poet Kambar whose Ramayana, according to tradition received its imprimatur here at the hands of the literary coteries of his time.

Architecturally the Ranganatha temple may be classed as the Uttamottama type as it has its full complement of seven prakaras running round the garbhagriha and has in addition, separate subsidiary shrines for all the minor parivaradevatas as prescribed in the agamas.  The disposition of these shrines in the plan however shows variations from the places prescribed for them in accordance with the Vaikhanasa authorities.  This is perhaps due to later renovations and alterations made knowingly or unknowingly in successive generations.  In fact the temple had undergone so many alterations at the hands of pious kings of several dynasties and donors of different generations that it is difficult to distinguish between its nucleus and its later accretions.  The introduction of images of the Vaishnava-Alvars in shrines which previously contained images of gods appears also to have been a later innovation made during the time of Ramanuja and Vedanta-Desika.  A shrine of Dhanvantiri , the god of medicine, which is located in the north side of the fourth prakara, is a unique feature not met with in any other temple in South India.  A stucco figure of God Narasimha called Eduttakai-alagiyar depicted as tearing asunder the entrails of the demon king Hiranyakasipu, figures on the north gopura of the fourth prakara and provided with a mandapa constructed in front of it, presents a rare instance of an ornamental image of a gopura acquiring sanctity in course of time. 

Sculpturally the temple does not present any outstanding features.  The image of the main deity in the garbhagriha is a huge reclining stucco figure with undefined features; and the gold-plated representation of god Para-Vasudeva portrayed on the front side of the Vimana over the circular garbhagribha, is considered very sacred.  The numerous mandapas, prakara walls and gopura that rose up at different periods do not exhibit any remarkable workmanship, except, in the case of the small temple of Krishna to the west of the main mandapa at the entrance leading into the fifth prakara with its outer walls embellished with ornamental niches containing beautiful sculptures which are typically fashioned after the Hoysala style, and the Sheshagiriyanmandapa on the east side of the fifth prakara which  contains a few  well-made composite pillars of the type commonly met with in constructions of the Vijayanagara period namely, the rearing yali and hoses ridden over by hunting cavaliers piercing tigers with spears.  The unfinished gopura at the south entrance in the outermost prakara which forms the portals as it were to this temple city has evoked the admiration of Fergusson by its massive proportions and if it had only been completed it would have risen up to a height of nearly 300 feet and would have been a remarkable feat of engineering unparalled in temple architecture.[1]   

Ichnographically the temple offers a wide scope for study as it possesses an almost complete gallery of all the images required for worship according to Vaishnavagamas, some of them attributable to the 12th and 13th centuries.  Unique among these which deserve special mention are a group of ten images called the Dasamurtis which are taken in procession round the temple on all important occasions, and Annamurti, the presiding deity of the temple kitchen.  The latter, now somewhat mutilated and kept near the ghee-troughs in the Ujnal-mandapam is represented by a two-armed image holding a bolu of  (curd-rice) in one hand a kalasa (containing Payasa) in the other.  In the Prabha-mandapa behind the head are carved the emblems of the sankha and chakra.  The Padma-samhita (ch. XXVIII) describes the Annamurti image thus:- 

Purnendu-bimba-madhyasthe sitapadme vivasvare!

asmam dhaval-akaram nilakunjitamurdhajam 

dukula-kshauma-vasanam balyayogi vibhushanam!

Kala-dhautamayam patram payasannena purittam  

bibhranam deakshine haste dadhyodanamathertare!

dhyayed-akshatriyam dhiman japet tadgata-manasah 

A long frieze running the basement of the Kilimandapa from its northern and right up to the side steps leading on to it contains a number of panels depicting figures in high relief in different dance poses.  The panels are intercepted at regular intervals by projecting niches containing stone figures in the round.  Most of these are now missing and the only sculpture now existing seems to depict Vishnu with four arms, in standing posture.  The dance-poses of these panels are worth detailed study.  

The temple is rich also in its paintings.  They are confined to the ceilings of the mandapas or prakaras.  Those on the ceiling of the innermost prakaras of the main temple are unfortunately blurred with soot while those on the high ceiling of the prakaras around the shrine of the goddess are peeling off in flakes although the extant panels are well preserved.  They contain scenes in panels with labels in Telugu describing various puranic themes.  They may be attributed to the Nayaka period.  

The most important feature of the temple with which this volume is concerned is its numerous inscriptions mostly engraved on its prakara walls, pillars and pilasters, some on copper-plates in the possession of the temple and yet some more on the temple jewels and utensils of gold.  They represent royal donors of almost all the dynasties of South India from early Cholas down to the Marathas of Tanjore and the Nayakas of Madurai,  and  later still, during the East India Company days, the prominent philanthropist Pachchaiyappa quin of the deity repaired in the year Saka 1735(A.D. 1813). 

The earliest of the lithic records takes us back, on grounds of their paleography, to the period of the early Chola Kings Rajakesarivarman (Aditya I) and Parakesarivarman (Parantaka  I).  It is noteworthy that we do not find here any records of the powerful Pallavas who preceded them although some of them like Simhavishnu are said to have been devout worhisppers of Vishnu, and Gunabhara, identified with Mahendravarman who has left to posterity in the rock-cut cave of the Fort-Rock at Tiruchy the masterly panel of Vishnu depicted in the form of Ananthasayin.  These records (Nos. 1-7) barring one (No.9) is on a loose slab kept near the temple Museum, are engraved on the jambs of a well dressed stone doorway of the temple granary (kottaram or nel-kalanjiyam) in the fourth prakara of the temple.  Their position, so far removed from the present central shrine, seems to suggest that the original position of the central shrine must have been somewhere near them or that they were removed and inserted in their present position during subsequent alternations.  Of the two records of Rajakesarivarman  (Aditya I), one (No.2) dated in the 26th year of his reign registers an endowment of some fold by puttadigal, son of Karanai Vilupperaraiyar Arivaladigal towards the feeding of four Brahmanas.  By their names the donor and his father appear to be of the Buddhist or Jain persuasion and it is noteworthy that they figure as donors in this temple.[2]  The

inscriptions of Parakesarivarman (Parantaka I), although few, range from his 2nd to the 41st year of reign.  No. 3 of his earliest date i.e. 2nd year of reign calls him by the application Parakesarivarman without the qualifying epithet Madirai-konda.  No.5 refers to the platform raised for the flag staff (tirukkodi) by Narayanan alias Tennavan Brahmadhirajan, the Srikaryam of the temple.  It may be recalled that the Anbil plates of Sundara Chola Parantaka II, in giving an account of the king’s minister Aniruddha-Brahmadhiraja, mention the ministers father as Narayana and his mother and grandfather Aniruddha as donors of lamps to the god of Srirangam.  It is not unlikely that this Tennavan Brahmadhirajan is identical with Narayanan, the father of Aniruddha Brahmadhirajan.  

The only inscription (No. 12) of Uttama-Chola on the pillar in the Chandana mandapa in the second prakara, and dated in the 15th year of his reign, records provision for burning a lamp with ghee and Bhimaseni-karpuram, a kind of camphor, by Sridhara Kumaran, a Malayalan of Iravimangalam.  The top of the pillar itself is scooped out and shaped into the form of a cup to hold the mixture of ghee camphor for the lamp.  This practice of burning lamps with ghee or oil mixed with camphor is still in vogue at Tiruvannamalai in the North Arcot District.  Even at Srirangam prior to the advent of electric lights all the lamps in the temple were said to be lit either with ghee or oil freely mixed with camphor ostensibly, it is said, to make the ghee or oil for feeding the lamps unfits for human consumption.   

The records of Rajaraja, and his son and successor Rajendra are few and fragmentary and almost all of them are confined to the tiers of the basement of what is now known as the Ottaikkal mandapam at the north-east corner of the Unjalmandapam.  Some of them have flaked off on account of the weathering of the stone and some are covered over by later constructions.  No. 13 mentions the king’s commander (Senapati) Kuravan who may be identical with the officer Senapati Kuravan Ulagalandan alias Rajaraja-maharajan mentioned in the Tanjore inscription of the king and who probably derived his surname Ulagalandan on account of the important part he must have played in carrying out the revenue survey during the king’s reign which furnished the basis for the revenue policy for many years thereafter.  A short but complete record of this king is furnished by an inscription (No. 19) on a detached pillar now lying in the countryard in front of the ancient paddy storage rooms.  It is dated in his 32nd regnal year and mentions Sundara Chola alias Rajaraja IIan govelar as his subordinate, a circumstance that enables us to assign the record to Rajadhiraja (I) (No.s 23 and 24) on eight pillars of the verandah at the entrance into the Chakrattalvar shrine, we have the only inscription (No. 25) of Adhirajendra unfortunately too fragmentary, the stones containing portions of the record now built into the wall of the passage at the Nali kettanvasal revealing just some portions of his prasasti, commencing with Tingaler-malarndu etc.,   and with its date lost.   

To Kulottunga I belong the bulk of inscriptions (Nos 26 to 108) and the majority of them are confirmed to the walls of the third prakara.  They range in date from the 10th to the 48th year of his reign.  An outstanding feature that most of these inscriptions reveal is the recourse taken to by intending donors reclaiming vast tracts of land which belonged to the temple and which had lain under sand for a long time on account of floods.  Some inscriptions specify this period as a hundred years.  The donors purchased plots of this land from the Temple authorized and in turn gave them away either tax-free or on the basis of deferred assessment over them for a specified period, stipulating periodic supplies of grain, flowers, etc., to the temple by the intending purchasers or donees (No. 27 and 55).  To mention only a few among such donors Kalingarayar alias Ponnambalakkuttar of Manaiyil (No. 31)  may be identified with the famous general Naralokavira who held a large fief in Manaiyil and whose services in the southern campaigns of the king are sung not only in the Vikramasolan-ula but also praised in a number of laudatory inscriptions from Chidambaram, Tiruvadi and other places, but who must be different from Kalingarayar alias Araiyan Garudavahanam who endowed some money to the temple for the recitation of Tettaruntiral, a set of hymns composed by Kulasekhara (No. 63), or from Kalingarayar alias Kiliyur-udaiyan Nadaripungalan who figures as donor of land (No.83); Senapatigal Taliyil Madurantakan alias Rajendrachola-Kidarattaraiyar and his wife Rajakesarivalli (No. 55) ; and Senapatigal IIangovelar alias Sendamangalam-udaiyan Jayangondasolan (No. 32), of whom the latter endowed for a garden to be named Kidarangondavilagam, the surname ‘Rajendrachola Kidarattaraiyar’ of the donor in the dormer and the name of the garden Kidarangondavilagam in the latter affording lithic proof of Kulottunga’s association with Kidaram or Kadaram ; Vanadhiraja, the minister of Jayadhara i.e. Kulottunga, who seems to have raised a prakara wall to the temple (No. 26) and whose name Arumoli Rajadhirajan occurs along with his dynastic title Vanadhiraja in another inscription recording his endowment for a flower  garden (No. 27) ; Neriyan Muvendavelar alias Adittan Vedavana-mudaiyan Chola-Kerala-Nallurudaiyan (No. 28) ; Rajendrachola Adiyaman alias Araiyan Sendan of Ponparri (No. 33) and Senapati Virarajendra Adigaiman (No. 54),  among the Adigaiman chiefs of Kongu ; Senapati  Rajanarayana Munaiyadaraiyar alias Kotturudaiyan Araiyan Rajendracholan and Senapati Vira-Chola Munaiyadaraiyar alias Ayarkolundu Chakrapani of Kottur who endowed for the recitation of Tiruppallieluchchi and Tiruvaymoli in the temple (No. 60) Cholasikhamani Muvendavelar, the Srikaryam of the temple (No. 67) Vira Vichachadira Muvendavelar, who also held the same office (No. 65) and his namesake who bore the alias name Siralan Tiruchchirrambalamudaiyan, and Bhuvaninarayana Muvendavelar of Nedunjeri (No. 88), all of whom bore the distinctive surname Muvendavelar ; Kannagan Karumanikkan alias Valava Vichchadira Pallavararayan (No.85) ; Adittan Tiruvarangadevan alias Virudarajabhayankara Vijayapalan (No. 77); Pallikondan Kuttanar alias Vilinattaraiyar of Sirramur (No. 86) who may be distinguished from Uyyavandan alias Vilinattaraiyan of Villinam alias Rejendrasolappattinam occurring in an inscription of the 25th year of the king from Tirunelveli (A.R. Ep., 1927 No. 46) and who might have belonged to the Munrukai-mahasenai which boasts among its other achievements, to have destroyed Vilinjam on the sea[3] , Nishadarajar who figures as the Srikaryam of the temple (No. 83) and whose identity with his namesake bearing the surname Tirukkoodungunramudaiyan Keralan in another record of the 25th year of the king’s reign from Sivapuri: is probable; and lastly Rajarajan Madurantakan alias Vatsarajan (No. 58) who endowed land for a matha named after him for feeding some Srivaishnavas at the instance of Nishadarajan. 

Notable among the ladies who figures as donors to the temple are Nambirattiyar Lokamahadeviyar  (No. 36) who endowed lands for a flower garden who, may be identified as the queen of Rajamahendra is said to have provide a serpent couch set with precious stones to god Ranganatha, and who, according to the Koyilolugu, effected many structural alterations in the temple.  Though lithic references  to the former are lacking, in inscription (No. 27) of the 25th regnal year of the  king inscribed on the north wall of the third prakara specifically states that the record was ordered to be engraved on the wall of the Rajamah ndran-triuchchurru, which to this day, retains the same name.  No. 61 dated in the 15th regnal year of the king, introduces the donor Neriyan, Mahadevi who is described as a daughter of Pandiyanar, and No. 62, dated in the same year mentions Tennavan Mahadevi (Pandya Prinices) as a queen of Rajendradeva (Kulottunga I).  If the two are identical, the epigraphs furnish us with a hitherto unknown fact that a Pandya figured among the queens of Kulottunga I.  Tennavan Mahadevi bears the alias Rajarajan  Aru.  Moliyar in No. 73, dated in the 25th regnal year of the kinf which records a further endowment of one veli of land adjacent to the plot already endowed by her a decade earlier. 

Another Chola queen, a Valavan Madevi whose identity is not otherwise indicated on a account of the fragmentary nature of the record also figures as a donor of some land in the 29th year of Kulottunga’s reign (No. 76).  Gunavalli alias Pendath Kadavurudaiyal obviously a lady of high rank and Siriyandal-sani, daughter of Atreyan Damodaran Narayanan and wife of Tayanambipiran figure as donors of land the former for a flower garden and the latter for the Srivaishnavas of the temple in No. 72 and 104 respectively. 

Before passing on to the reign of Vikramachola, the next king represented by the inscriptions in the temple, a few details for outstanding interest in the records of Kulottunga I may be mentioned here.  We may note the role of the temple treasury as a bank for advancing funds, taking deterrent steps for collecting arrears from its constituents or even affecting their arrest for default or non-payment (No. 46) No. 52 records the repayment with interest of a long-standing loan raised by the sabha of Chandralekhai-Chaturvedi-mangalam (the modern Sendalai from the treasury of god Ananthanarayana svamin at Srirangam.  Though the details of the transaction are unfortunately lost due to the damaged state of the record, this much can be gathered that the loan was raised in the 10th regnal year of Madiraikonda Parakesarivarman i.e. Parantaka I (c. 917 A.D.) and discharged in the 10th year of the reign of Kulothttunga I (c. 1080 A.D.) an interval that stretched over a period of more than a century and a half.  The succor extended by the temple treasury for rehabilitating a village that had suffered destruction in a conflict is recorded in No. 53 which refers to a clash between the Right and Left hand classes in the 2nd year of the king’s reign resulting in the burning down of the village Rajamahendra-chaturvedimangalam , destruction of its sacred places and looting of its temple  treasury and the images by robbers.  The treasury advanced funds to the Sabha which undertook the work of rehabilitating the village and renovating and re-consecrating its temple.  A marginal note engraved on the top left coroner of this record is considerable significance.  It states that this kalvettu (inscriptions) belonged to Rajamahendra-chaturvedimangalam which according to the main inscription, was situated in Nittavinodavalanadu.  This latter division comprised parts of the present Nannilam and Papanasam taluks of the Tanjavur district and as such the village under or fifty miles away from Srirangam.  The reason for engraving this record so far away from Rajamahendra-chaturvedimangalam is inexplicable, particularly because it was done in the 11th year of the king’s reign when, unlike in the second year of his reign when the political had come to sway over the entire Chola territory and as such could have chosen a place nearer to the village for recording the transaction.  The clash between the Right-hand and the Left-hand classes alluded to in the inscription was probably an off shoot of this feud.  An inscription of Adhirajendra at Chittamalli in the Mannargudi taluk (A.R. Ep., 1945-46, No. 5) which bears a date closely falling in the period of these clashes referred to in the Srirangam epigraph seems to confirm this surmise.   

Mention must be made here of a kannada inscription (No. 75) which quotes the 29th regnal year of Kulottunga but begins with the typical Western Chalukya prasasti Samastabhubvanasraya.  Prithvi-Vallabha etc.,  and records certain endowments made by a group of Kons apparently headed by a person whose name is lost but who is mentioned as the Kannada sandhivigrahi and the Dandanayaka of king Tribhuvanamalla i.e. Vikramaditya (VI).  The presence at Srirangam of Sandhivigrahi of the Chalukya king, whose rivalry with the Chola king is well known, is enigmatic.  Was it, after all, in the capacity of a pilgrim that the Chalukya dignitary and his followers visited this holy place.   

The alliances that were effected by the Chola monarchs Rajendradeva and his brother Virarajendra by giving their daughters in marriage to the Eastern Chalukya Rajendra II who subsequently ascended the Chola throne as Kulottunga-Chola I and the Western Chalukya Vikramaditya VI respectively apparently had the desired result of allaying at least for the time being, the enmity between the two rival houses.  For, it seems as though the visit of Vikramaditya’s Sandhivigrahi to Srirangam and the apparent deference he had shown to the ruling monarch of the reign i.e. Kulottunga, in quoting the latter’s regnal year rather than that of his own sovereign Vikramaditya shows the friendly relationship that prevailed between these two kings at the period.[4]       

No. 84, dated in the 39th regnal year of the king which refers to the sale of some temple land to Ariyan Vasudeva Bhattan alias Rajaraja Brahmarayan of Anishtanam in Kasmiradesam seems to give a clue to the origin of the name Aryabhattal-vasal by which one of the main entrances into the temple is now known.  Tradition ascribes this to certain Arya-Brahmana from the Gauda-desa in the north who came to Srirangam with treasure as offering to the god and that prior to its acceptance by the deity; it was left at the entrance and guarded by these Brahmanas in consequence of which it came to be known as the Aryabhattal-vasal.  The koyilo-lugu, referring to this legend, dates it in Kali 360, an impossibly early period.  The inscription under reference being the earliest to refer to the Arya-Brahmanas or Aryabhattal their connection with this temple may reasonably be dated from about this period, viz., 12th century A.D. This appears to have been the period when there was an influx of people from the remote north as pilgrims to important centers of worship in the South as may be gathered from some epigraphs of Lalgudi, Tiruvorriyur and Kalahasti which mention a resident of Kasmirapuram as a donor in these places (A.R. Ep., 1928-29, part II, Para 36) 

Vikrama-Chola’s records, numbering fourteen altogether, range in date from the 3rd to the 16th year of his reign.  The majority of them are confined to the walls of the 3rd prakara which is popularly known as Vikrama-cholan-tiruchchurru, even to this day.  The Koyilolugu ascribes the 5th prakara of the temple besides some other structures and a temple of Rama to this king.  This prakara no doubt forms the 5th counted from the outer-most of the seven prakaras of the temple but whether this was at all, a work attributable to Vikrama-Chola is not borne out by any epigraphical  evidence barring the fact that almost all the records of the king are, as pointed above confirmed to the walls of this (3rd) prakara.  In no. 120 of the inner wall, right of the Aryabhattalvasal, the Srivaishnavakkanmis of the temple together with the temple accountant made a gift of land for a flower garden to be named Avirodisilan.  Whether is was after an epithet of Vikrama-Chola himself that the garden was so named is however not known.  Among the donors figuring in this period may be mentioned Udaiyan Velan Karunakaran alias Tondaimanar, the famous general of the king who is praised in the Vikramacholan-ula as the conqueror of Kalingam and Puravangudaiyan Araiyan Adittadevan alias Enadi Araiyan of  Puliyangudi (No, 113) who endowed land for a flower garden at the instance of Valavanarayana Muvendavelar, the srikaryam of the temple.  The garden was to be named Nidiyabharanan-nanadavanam, probably after an epithet of the king.  No. 122 which is dated in the 16th year, the very last of Vikrama-Chola and which is engraved on the north wall of the fourth prakara, records provision for the feeding of Apurvi-Srivaishnava Brahmanas on the festival days in the Panguni month, for which purpose Sirilangon-Tirunadudaiyan had endowed lands.  It is noteworthy that the inscription invokes the protection of the Abhimanabhushanar of the three mandals instead of the Srivaishnavas of the 18 vihayas generally quoted.  Abhimanabhushana chaturvedimangalam as the name of a village and Abhimanabhushana-velan as the name of a residential quarter are mentioned in inscriptions of Rajaraja at Tanjore. [5]    

The only two records of Kulottunga II (Nos. 123 and 124) are dated in the 7th and 11th regnal years respectively of the king.  The earlier of them recording details of the leasing out of temple lands for rearing coconut and areca purports to be an order issued forth by the deity itself, ostensibly to bind the lessees from discharging their obligations to the temple regularly.  Similar instances of records in the form of memoranda issued in the name of the presiding deity of the place are often met with in this temple itself as also in others.[6] 

A record (No. 125) of Rajaraja II dated in the 11th year of his reign (A.D. 1156) registers a gift of a golden lamp stand set with a ruby and an endowment of money towards supply of camphor and oil for maintaining it by Kodai Ravivarman of Venadu in Malai-nadu.   

It is noteworthy that this record too like that (No. 75) of the western Chaluky Vikramaditya VI quotes the regnal year not of the donor but of the reigning king of the region viz., ‘Kulottunga II.  As in the other record cited, here too the gift was made to the deity by Kandan Iravi, ulliruppu officer of the Venadu king on behalf of his overlord.  Instances of kings making endowments and grants to temples situated outside their own dominions through their officers or feudatories, or getting some religious rites performed in such places by proxies in tirthas or places of pilgrimage are not wanting.  An inscription of the Eastern Ganga king and another of his queen at Kanchi or Kanchipuram[7], one of the Gahadavala king at Suryanarkoyil[8], and several of the Hoysala, Vijayanagara, and many other rulers at Varanasi[9], recording grants made to the local deities or referring to the religious rites performed there by their proxies are instances to the point.   

An interesting detail that may be gathered in the record under review is that it specifies the rate of exchange between the achchu, the coinage of the Travancore territory and the kasu, the Chola coinage as 1:9. 

Among the five inscriptions of Rajadhiraja II, (Nos 127-31) the first two are dated in the 9th regnal year of the king.  Of them the former (No. 127) who was a merchant of Kurattippattanam in Kaivara-nadu, a division of Poysla-nadu and who had presented a large fore-head jewel to the god.  The cash endowment of 70 kasu paid into temple treasury was invested at the rate of 1/16 kasu per kasu per month yielding an interest of 4-3/8 kasu every month and this amount was used to meet the cost of a daily supply of one ulakku of ghee for a lamp in the temple.  The yield on the endowment amount at the above rate works out to 75 per cent which by any standard is unusually high.   

No. 128 mentions the chief Virrirundan Seman alias Tirukkuraivalartta Akalanka-Nadalvar of Tiruttavatturai as donor of a thousand kasu for some special festival in the temple.  A record of this same king from Tiruppachchur (A.R. Ep., 1929-30, No. 124) couples his 9th regnal year with Saka 1095 yielding A.D. 1163 as the initial year for his reign.  In some inscriptions of this king from Salem district (A.R. Eo., 1929-30, Nos. 496, 499 and 500) this same chief, Virrirundan Seman, figures as leading an expedition against Kollimalai, probably on behalf of his overlord.  Nos 129-31, all engraved on the fourth prakara wall opposite the shrine of Udaiyavar, record oaths of fealty taken by certain men to serve upto death their master Virrirundan seman as servants (velaikkaras).  The expedition of this chief and the oaths of fealty that bound his servants to him appear to be intimately connected with Rajadhiraja’s leading part in the succession dispute that broke out among the Pandya of whom one rival party sought the help of the Chola monarch while the other appealed to the Singhalese ruler Parakramabahu for help. 

There are nineteen inscriptions (Nos. 132-150) assignable to the reign of Kulottunga III.  No. 133 among them, though not dated in his reign records that the various works of construction including Magadesam alias Adaiyavalaindan-tirumaligai and the worship in the temple described as the tutelary property (kuladhanam) of the king were under the protection of Tayilum Nallan alias Kulottungasola-Vanakovaraiyar.  Though the deity of the temple is not referred to there is nothing to prevent us from identifying the temple with that of Ranganathasvami temple.  On the basis of the negative evidences that both the king and the officer had a learning towards Saivism and that they are not known to have been such ardent Vaishnava devotees as to call the Srirangam temple as their kuladhanam it has been surmised that the slabs bearing this inscription probably belonged to some portion of the prakara wall of the neighboring Jambukesavara temple and that they were inscribed later their present position[10].   Now that we know that the temple enjoyed the patronage of Chola Parantaka I who is stated to have gilded the vimana of the Ranganathaswami temple[11]  as stated in his Velacheri copper plate record, it is quite proper to state that both the Saivite Periyakoyil at Chidambaram and the Vaishnavite periyakoyil at Srirangam were considered by the Cholas as a whole as their kuladhanam.  As for Adaiyavalaindan Tiirumaligai (ch-churru) it is quite a well-known name of a prakara in the temple.[12]  

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[1]  Fergusson, History of Indian and Eastern Architecture, Vol. I, pp. 368-71.  Efforts are now under way to complete this gopura

[2]  An instance of  a Siva temple figuring as a recipient of some donation from Puttadigal’ alias Alivina Kalakanda-Prithvigangaraiyan occurs in an inscription from Solapuram, (Ep. Ind., VIII, p. 195-D; and page 195 note 1).

[3]  A.R. Ep., 1929 No. 23

[4]  See however Ep. Ind., Vols. XXXI, p. 226; XXXII, pp. 191 ff.

[5]  S.I.I. VOL. II p. 483, line 7.

[6]  See Nos 123, 140, 142, 203, 257; also S.I.I. Vol. V, Nos 243, 295, 306 and 416

[7]  Ep. Ind., Vol. XXI, pp. 94-98

[8]  A.R. Ep., 1908, Part II, Para 58.

[9]  Ep. Ind., Vol. XXXIII, pp. 103-16.

[10]  A.R. Ep., 1936-37 p. 72.

[11]  Ibid., 1977-78, No. A. 21

[12]  Koyilolugu, p. 64.

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