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Monday, November 13, 2006


 

South Indian Inscriptions


 

INTRODUCTION

The earliest epigraph in this volume, barring the Asokan inscriptions from Jaugada (Nos. 87-99) and Siddapura (Nos. 54-56), is from a cavern called Jnaniyarmadam on the hill at Kunnakkudi in Tiruppattur Taluk of Ramanathapuram District (No. 45).  This record in Brahmi characters of about the 2nd century B. C. is written strangely, the letters of which resemble the mirror images.  It mentions Cattan, the son of Atan of Upiur.

The same cave has an inscription on one of its pillars in Vatteluttu characters of the 7th-8th centuries referring to Masilichchura.  This is evidently the name of the deity called Masilisvara, after which the rock-cut temple came to be called Masilisvaram.

Pallavas. –No. 68 from Tirukkalukkunram in the Chingleput District, representing the Pallava dynasty is of the king Narasingappottarasar who took Vatapi. [1]  No. 79 is from Tirupporur of the same district, which has been assigned to Narasimha II[2] on the basis of the epithets occurring the in the record.  The next king represented in the volume is Dantivarman whose short name is indicated as Danti.[3] (No. 774). The mandapa dedicated to Siva and Siva (i.e., Gauri) in the Kailasa temple here built by Danti, was constructed by a certain woman named Valli, during his reign.  A temple of Tambiran was also his gift (No. 778).

The undated and the only inscription of Kampavarman is from Olakkur (No. 378) which refers to the destruction of the village.[4]

Cholas. –Of the innumerable Chola inscription included in the volume the earliest record (No.411) of this dynasty belongs to the Chola king Madirai-konda Parakesari.

But reference to an order issued in the time of Vijayalaya directing the grant of a tax-free devadana (No.726) is made in the reign of Tribh Konerinmaikondan. This mentions a Kalappalarayan as a signatory of the grant made in accordance with the order of the early Chola king. He was an officer under Kulottunga III[5] whose part in the administration is indicative enough from the records of the Chidambaram temple.

The donor Maladudaiyan Natan Siddavadavan mentioned in No. 411, which is from Siddhalingamadam, South Arcot District, is a chief of Miladu, who may be identified with Virasola Miladudaiyan. [6]   It may be recalled that Parantaka I had Virasola as one of

His titles and if this is the earliest record that mentions this title of the chief it is not impossible that he was a subordinate of the same Chola king. These Chedi chiefs of Miladu[7] or Maladu who figure in a number of records of Tirukkoyilur and other adjacent places in South Arcot District were related to the Chola kings by their matrimonial alliance and by owing their allegiance to them.

An inscription from Konerirajapuram dated in the 14th year of Parakesari (No. 672) records an agreement of five persons belonging to the temple of Tirunallam, a Brahmadeya in Vennadu to provide for food offerings and worship to god Ganapatibhatarar during the 3 sandhis in the temple from out of the grant of 7 ma of land endowed by paramesvara-Perilamaiyar of the village. Ilamai, also termed elame in the Kannada inscriptions, is a group or body which seem to have taken part in the land transactions of the temple, as is evident from the present record. They are like the urar, Nagarattar, the nattar and the sabhaiyar. The Parakesari[8] of this record has been identified with Uttamachola.[9]

About 4 records of this volume assigned to Uttamachola have been published in S. I. I., Volume III (Nos. 130, 147, 151 and 151-A).

About 22 inscriptions in this collection are assignable to Rajaraja I. No. 412 from Siddhalingamadam dated in the 4th year records a gift made by Maladudaiyan . . . . . .

Of 10 kalanju of gold for 12 sandhi lamps to be burnt during the evening sandhi to god Tiruppulippagavar of Sirringur, a brahmadeya in Kurukkaik-kurram in Maladu. This Maladudaiyan may be identified with Raman alias Arumolideva maladudaiyar, called after the surname Arumolideva borne by his overlord Rajarja I.

Two of his records dated in the 11th (No. 673) and 26th (No. 666) years from Konerirajapuram in Tanjore District refer to the perunguri sabhai of Triunallam, a Brohmadeya in Vennadu who met in the tirukkavanam in front of the srikoyil in the temple of Tirunallam-unaiyar and received the order (srimugam) from Udaiyapirattiyar, same as queen Udaiyapirattiyar Sembiyan-Madeviyar who built a stone temple in the name of Gandaradityar for god Mahadeva at Tirunallam before the 3rd year of the reign of Uttamachola, (No. 680).[10] 

No. 686 from the same place, dated in the 12th year of Rajaraja I, records a gift of lands made by a certain Arinjigai Ninran of Vadaga[rai]mangalam or Vadakanmangalam in Vennadu to provide for food offerings, worship, lamps for bathing the image on the occasions of Sankranti, eclipse, for the kalasa-puja, and for clothes to god Tirumalattanam-udaiya-mahadeva  of this village. The name Arinjigai suggests that the donor is named after king Arinjaya, also called Arinjigar-varman, the grandfather of Rajaraja I. The village, to which this donor belonged, is perhaps the same as is referred to in the record of Parakesarivarman Uttamachola, as Vadakannamangalam in the same nadu. 

Another inscription of the same yare of this king records a gift of a silver image (of a deity) weighing 24 kalanju and a copper image of Chandesvaradeva weighing 500 palam,

By a certain Nakkan Nallattadigal, belonging to the Rajarajatterinja-Kaikkola community, who was the son of Anukkan Mahamalli, a servant in the palace establishment (velattu-pendatti)[11] of  Rajakesariparmar, i.e., the king.

It may be inferred from the expression Velattu pendatti in relation to Anukkan that the latter term represents a group of people attending upon the person of the king or in attendance of the king always. It may also be inferred from this, that Rajaraja I had continued the practice of his great-grandfather in maintaining the servants in the palaceestablishment, who attended on the king like the Anukka-Bhimar-padai. (S. I. I., VoI. XIII, No. 79), we know that the group of anukkar came into being during the reign of the Chola king Parantaka I. (S. I. I., VoI. XVII, Introd., p.v). One of the records (No. 455) of Rajarajan I from Adnur dated in his 24th year (1008-09 A. D.) affords an instance of the use  of the titles Kavi (probably Kavidi) and Etti. It may be observed that these were conferred respectively on the persons of high rank who attended on the king or a revenue officer and on the merchants. The earliest use of the title Etti In Epigraphy, so far, is found in an inscription of Maranjadaiyan, were a vettlkkudi Etti-Jatadevan is referred to (S. I. I., VoI. XIV, No. 18). This expression in knows to us also from Tamil literature (Manimekalai, XXIV, 144) though the period is far removed from the date of the present record. Another record of this king from Edirkottai in Sattur Taluk, Ramanathapuram District gives a reference to the use of the title kavidi (No. 503).

The Adilirigesvara temple inscriptions from Adanur dated in the reign of Rajaraja I (Nos. 455 and 456) mention the temple Surangudi-Nattichchuvvaram and Nattisvarman of Adanur in Surangudi-nadu, thus indicating that the temple came to be constructed probably by the nattar of Surangudi-nadu. We do not know whether Adanur had another name Surangudi and if it was so, the identification of Nattichchuvaram with Adilirigesvara temple is justifiable. 

In the Siva temple at Pattukanampatti in Salem District is a record of the 25th year of the king (No. 268) which records an endowment of land as iraiyili to god Mahadeva at Nelvay by Nanni-gamundan, son of Erumaiyanal-gamundan alias Virasola-gamundan of Ariyur in Puramalai-nadu while Panchavan Brahmadarayar, a peruntaram of the king was ruling from Tagadur-nadu, which he held as jivita from the king. This division was included in the Gangavadi,[12] which territory the king conquered before the 14th year of his reign. The other-division, i.e., Puramalai-nadu, to which the native village of the donor belonged viz,. Ariyur along with Tagadur-nadu both representing the former Salem District, have formed part of the major division Gangapadi. Erumaiya-nadu is identified with the Mahisha-mandala, same as Mysore derived from the first portion of this title. The expression peruntaram connotes an office of high rank.[13] 

The next king is Rajendra I who is represented in this volume by 14 inscriptions ranging  in date between the 5th and 31st  years of his reign. No.684 from the Umamahesvara temple at Konerirajapuram, Tanjore Taluk and District dated in the 5th year of his reign refers to a grant of land as Atularbogam (for medical relief) by the queen AIvar  Parantakan Kundavaipirattiyar, while staying in her palace at Palaiyaru. The queen purchased the lands and the house-sites through the sabhai, who made them tax-free (iraiilichchi) from the residence of the Tirunallam, like Vaiyan Satan Kunran and his wife (brahmani), Vadugan Nakkarpiratti, etc. We have a record of this king dated in his 3rd year[14] making a reference to the establishment of a free medical dispensary or hospital by the same queen and the gift of 9 ma of land, made after purchase for 70 kasu, for its maintenance. She made another grant in the 7th year of the king, of a house-site of 11/4 ground, bought from a resident of Kalakarachcheri of the village Rajakesarichaturvedi marigalam to make up the shortage of the Vaidyabhaga (charity for medical relief) provided by her earlier, for the relief hospital called Sundarasola-uinnagar-Atulasalai at Tanjavur, which must have been named after the queen’s father Sundara-Chola. Two years later than the institution of the hospital and two years prior to the above-mentioned additional gift for its maintenance, she made the gift, recorded in the present epigraph for the people of Tirunallam, a brahmadeya in Vennadu in Uyyakkondar-valanadu and entrusted to a certain Vannakkannuvan Araiyan  Pasuran-ambalavan Mangalapper and his descendents who were natives of Pudannur in Marusal-nadu, a brahmadeya in Kshatriyasmani-vala-nadu who were to enjoy the endowment by rendering medical service to the people of the place. It is mentioned that the queen seemed to have ordered the sabhai from her palace, for the transactions to be engraved in this temple.

The queen AIvar parantakan  Kundavaip-pirattiyar was the daughter of Parantaka II i. e., Sundara-Chola and elder sister of Rajaraja I.

No. 674 from the same place refers to the setting up of an image to god Kshettirapaladever in the temple of Tirunallam-udaiya-mahadevan of Tirunallam a brahmadeya in Vennadu in Uyyakkondar-valanadu  by queen Arindavan Mahadeviyar. She may probably be a queen of Rajendra I. It records a gift of land which she had purchased in the 16th year of this king from a lady Vennai Nangai Muttalisani, wife of Kaviniyan Narayanan Nakkapiran Somayaji of the village.

Senapati Rajendrasola-Brahmarayar is mentioned in a record from Aiambakkam, Lalgudi Taluk, Tiruchchirappali district dated in the 23rd year of his reign in connection with a land being brought under cultivation by one of his agents (kanmi) named Kandayan and the land was named after the senapati, as Vipranarayana-masakkal[15].It is this land that was endowed previously as tax-free (iraiyile) to Kayilasam-undaiya_mahadeva by the sabhai of Madurantaka-chaturvedimarigalam in Rajendrasiriga-Valanadu, for food-offerings to the deity and the record referring to this gift was found engraved on the north wall of the ardha-mandapa of the same temple (No.770).

Peru-arasur-udaiyan Sirudaikkalalam of Arkkatturkurram in Pandikulasanivalanadu figures, in a record from Tiruvanmiyur, Saidapet Taluk, Chingleput District, dated in the 27th year of Rajadhiraja I as an officer under the king, administering (vagai-cheyginra) the Puliyurk-kottam in which the village Tiruvanmiyur and Kottur-nadu were included (No.81).

No. 667 from Konerirajapuram of the reign of Parakesari rajendra II states that an order under the rule panip-pani passed by the Perungurisabhai of Tirunallam, a brahmadeya in Uyyakkondavala-nadu which met in the Munnurruvan-madam of the place on Friday, the 1st of the bright fortnight of Mesha (Chittirai) in the 5th year of his reign and received 128 (?) kasu from the temple treasury of the god Tirunallamudaiya-mahadevar of the same place, for the land granted as iraiyili, to provide for the three sandhi lamps with 1 kalam and 3 nali of paddy and for feeding two ascetics (adiyar) with padakku-nali of paddy in the aforesaid temple.

Another notable family of chieftains who were intimately associated with the Cholas as chiefs for generations from the time of Kulottunga I, is the Malaiyamans of Killiyur on the bank of the Pennai river in Tirumunaipadi-nadu in Damar-nadu in Rajendravala-nadu, same as the region around modern Kilur in Tirukkoyilur Taluk of the South Arcot District.  They made a number of benefactions to the temple of this area viz.,  Tirukkoyilur, Siddhalingamadam, etc. These chieftains figures in a number of inscriptions from Siddhalingamadam.

Malaiyaman Sadiran Malaiyan alias Rajendrasola Malaiyaman of Kiliyur figures in a record from Siddhalingamadam dated in the 10th year of Rajakesarivarman Kulottunga I.  Similarly this chief is mentioned in a record of the same date from Tirukkoyilur.  Both the places are in the Tirukkoyilur Taluk of South Arcot District.  In the former record (No. 440) mention is made of a gift of 64 cows for 2 nanda lamps, made on behalf (chartti) of Malaiyaman Sadiran alias Rajendrasola Malaiyaman to the deity Tiruppulippagavadevar (Skt. Vyaghrapurisvara) of Sirringur, a brahmadeya in Kurukkaik-kurram in Maladu alias Jananada-valanadu.  It is not impossible that this Sadiran alias Rajendrasola Malaiyaman is identical with a chief of the same name on whose behalf Malaiyaman Suriyan [Ma]ravan Suriyan alias Malaiyakula-rajaan of Kiliyur included in the same division is stated to have made a gift of 192 cows for two perpetual lamps, to god Tiruvidaikalivalvar of Tirukkovalur in Kurukkaik-kurram in Jananatha-valanadu.  It appears as though these two chief were brothers, the former being elder of the two on whose behalf the gift was made, and it might not be wrong to suggest that this chief was a father of Suriyan [Ma]ravan Suriyan alias Malaiyakularajan (S.I.I., Vol. VII, No. 133).   But the exact relationship of these two chiefs is not clear.

Another Malaiyaman chief who is mentioned in a record (No. 409) of this king dated in his 31st or 36th (?) year in connection with a grant of 2500 kuli of land as tax-free madappuram, to provide for food offerings the Andargal, offering, worship in the temple of god Tiruppulippagava-madevar of Sirringur, a brahmadeya in Kurukkaik-kurram in Miladu alias Jananatha-valandu made by Suryyadevi alias Ninratavanjaidal, is Malaiyaman Nanurruvan Malaiyan alias Rajendrachola­-chedi [ya*]rayan.  The donor is referred to in the record as the wife of this chief.  She is also mentioned in a record of Kolottunga I’ s successor Vikramachola (No. 422).

The relationship of another Malaiyan, who is probably called [Ra]jendrasola-Vanakularajan (No. 407) and his wife who endowed some land to the same deity, with above mentioned chief who belonged to the Chedi clan is not known.  Yet another Maliyaman named Puvan Marudan alias Alvanangara Malaiyaman of Kiliyur in Damar-nadu, a sub-division of Tirumunaippadi, is stated to have made a grant of 1650 kuli of land as tax-free, after purchase from the sabhai of Sirringur, for tiruppali-elichchi of the god Tiruppulippagavadevar of the same place.  Since their place in the genealogy of Malaiyaman chiefs belonging to known, they have to be treated independently as chiefs belonging to that family.  Two Sanskrit verse inscriptions in Tamil  and Grantha characters of 11th century (Nos. 388 and 390) refer to the minister of Rajendrachola named Sabhanarttaka or Nartta also called Manavatara and Kalingaraja, the ruler of Manavil, who built the temple of Sambhu or Pasupati in stone at siddhalinga, an agrahara of great beauty and wealth.  The latter record states that besides the vimana, he also raised a prakara with areca-grove and a mandapa in stone in the same temple.

The minister surnamed as Kalingaraya has been identified with Ponnambalakuttan of Manavi figuring in a later record of this king (A. R. Ep., 1920-20 part II, para 21, p.79).  The name Sabhanarttaka is a Sanskrit expression of the Tamil word Ambalakuttun mentioned above.  Also he is identified with Naralokavira, who assumed the title Manavatara in a record from Chidambaram (S.I.I., Vol. IV, No. 225). These two records have been assigned to the Chola king Kulottunga I do on the basis of the titles Rajendra and Jayadhara borne by him.  The king was called Rajendra mostly in the records prior to his 5th year.

That these Malaiyaman chiefs continued to serve under Kulottunga-chola’s successor Vikramachola is known from the provenance of the records of latter king, viz., Siddhalingamadam.  No. 429 dated in his 2nd year states Nilasingi, the wife of Malaiyaman, Tirukkalaimarudu alias  Alvanangakkara Malaiyaman of Kiliyur in Dama-nadu of Tirumunaippadi, made after purchase from the mahasabhai of Sirringur, by paying the land value of 3 anradu-narkasu, of 500 kuli of land and granted as devadana to god Tiruppulippagavadevar of Sirringur, in Kurukkaik-kurram in Maladu alias Jananatha-valanadu, for worship, offerings and for conducting the procession on the days of Amavasi (i.e., Amavasya).  This chief is not identifiable and it may only be said that he belonged to the family of Malaiyamans of Kiliyur.

Yet another Malaiyaman chief in a record of the same place (No. 399) dated in his 3rd year is Malaiyan Rajendrasolach-chedirayan, whose daughter Sadiri married to Tillainayagan Devargandan of the northern bank of Peringur in Peringur-nadu, a sub-division of Tirumunaippadi in Gangaikondasola-valanadu, gave 32 cows, of which sixteen were given by her and for the rest after purchase, for an amount of 9 and 4 ma of anradu-narkasu at the rate of ˝ and one and-a-half ma kasu a cow, for maintaining a perpetual lamp to god Tiruppulippa-gavardevar of Sirringur.  Though the identification of this Malaiyan chief, who assumed a title similar to the Malaiyaman chiefs of Kiliyur viz., Nanurruvan Malaiyan and Nanurruvan Attimallan, is not known, it may be suggested that he might have had some connection with the latter chief.  Further, it is not known whether Malaiyan Rajendrasola-chediyarayan, father of Sadiri is identical with Malaiyaman Nanurruvan Malaiyan alias Rajendrasola-chediyaryan.  If this identification is possible, then she must be a sister to Alavandal, anther daughter of Nanurruvan Malaiyan.  Perhaps, she comes from the family of this chief.

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[1] S.I.I, Vol.XII, No. 16, Introduction, p. iii.

[2] Ibid., No. 27, p. iv.

[3] Ibid., Introduction, p. v.

[4] Ibid., Vol. XII, No. 112

[5] Ibid., Vo1. III, pp. 213 and 217.

[6] A. R. Ep., 1943-44, No. 241.

[7] Ibid., 1936-37, No. 252.

[8] S. I. I., Vol. XIX, Introd. P. XVIII.

[9] Ibid., Vo1. III, No 151, p. 303 text 11.51 and 58.

[10] Ibid., Vol. III, No 151, p. 303 text 11.51 and 58.

[11] An inscription of madiraikonda Parakesari i.e., Parantaka I dated in his 37th year records a gift of sheep for a perpetual lamp for god Mahadeva in Tirumaraikadu, in Umbajanadu by Irumudich-chola Anukkitich-Chamanachehan I ganachchan, a younger brither of Ilattanangai, a servant in the big palace-establishment at Tanjavur. (S. I. I. Vol., XVII No. 480). Another record of this king registers a similar gift to the same deity by the children (makkala) of Kari-satti, a servant in the palace-establishment of Kilanadigal i.e., the queen of (S.I.I.,Vol. XVII, No. 530) apparently of the reigning king, in whose 43rd the record is dated.

[12] Ep. Ind., Vol. VI, p. 331.

[13] S.I.I., VoI. II, p. 141, foot-note 1

[14] A.R. Ep., part II para 14 p. 102.

[15] The tern masakkal meaning cultivated field is referred to as early as the reign of parakesari Arinjaya or Uttamachola in his record from Tillaisthanam S. I. I., VoI. III, p. 264.

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