What Is India News Service
Saturday, February 24, 2007


South Indian Inscriptions


Part - I

Miscellaneous Inscriptions From the Tamil Country

III.- Inscriptions in the Pasupatisvara temple at Karuvur

No. 20 south wall of the Pasupatisvara temple

No. 21 to 22 south wall of the shrine of the goddess

No. 23 to 26 outside of the second prakara, left & right of entrance

The town of Karuvur, which I visited in 1890, is the head-quarters of a taluka of the Coimbatore district and a station on the Railway line from Erode (Irodu) to Trichinopoly.  It contains a temple of Siva, which is now called Pasupatisvara.  This is a Sanskrit rendering of the ancient name of the temple, Tiruvanilai, i.e., ‘the holy cow-stable,’[1] which occurs already in the Devaram and is exclusively used in the subjoined inscriptions.[2]

The inscriptions of the Tiruvanilai or Pasupatisvara temple belong to the time of the Chola king Virarajendra I. (No. 20), Rajendra (Nos. 21 and 22), Kulottunga-Chola III. (Nos. 23 and 24), and Vira-Chola (No. 26).  The two inscriptions of Kulottunga-Chola III. attribute to Karuvur the surname of Mudivalangu-Solapuram.  Karuvur in the Coimbatore district has been erroneously identified by European scholars with another place of the same name, which is said to have been the capital of the Chera kingdom and is mentioned as such by Ptolemy.[3]  This other town of Karuvur was also called Vanji and is perhaps identical with Magodai or Tiruvanjiakkalam near Cranganore in the Cochin State.[4]

The ancient name of the tract of country, in which Karuvur is situated, was Kongu (No. 23).  In the inscriptions of Virarajendra I and Rajendra (nos. 20 to 22).  We find, instead of Kongu, the term Adhirajaraja-mandalam, and in those of Kulottunga-Chola III. (Nos. 23 and 24) Sola-Kerala-mandalam.  In an inscription of Vikrama-Chola at Kodumudi occurs the designation “Kongu, alias Vira-Sola-mandalam.”  In the time of Rajaraja I. and Rajendra-Chola I it was included in Keralantaka-valanadu.[5]  Among the districts of Kongu, the Karuvur inscriptions mention Vengala-nadu and Tattiyurnadu.  To the former belonged Karuvur (Nos. 20, 23 and 24), Pakkur (No. 20), Kanavadinallur (No. 21), Nelveyappalli or Nelluvayppalli (Nos. 22 and 26), Punnam (No. 24), Andanur (Nos. 22 and 26), Karaitturai and Adichchamangalam (No. 26).  In Tattaiyur-nadu were included Mannarai and Keralapalli (No. 23), Tevanappalli and Nombalur (No. 24).  Instead of Tattaiyur-nadu, the inscriptions at Tanjavur and Somur[6] use the form Tattaigala-nadu.  Another district of Kongu was Narkaviri-nadu, in which Kodumudi[7] was situated.  According to an inscription of the Hoysala king Vira-Vallaladeva at Perur near Coimbatore (No. 569  of 1893), Perur belonged to Perur-nadu, a district of Konga-mandalam.

[1]  The word pasu means ‘an animal’ in Sanskrit, but has acquired the meaning of  ‘a cow’ in Tamil.

[2]  The name is spelt Anilai in the Devaram, Tiruvanilai in No. 26, the Tiruvanilai in Nos. 20 to 24.  It is derived from an or a, ‘a cow,’ and nilai, ‘a place.’

[3]  See above, Vol. I. p. 106, note 2.

[4]  See Mr. Kanakasabhai, Ind. Ant.  Vol. XVIII p. 259 ; and Mr. Venkayya, Ep. Ind. Vol. IV. P. 294 f.

[5]  See Vol. II. No. 69, paragraph 128.  The same term occurs in an inscription of Parakesarivarman at Kodumudi and in inscriptions of Rajaraja I and Rajendra-Chola I at Somur near Karuvur.

[6]  See the preceding note.

[7]  This village is now a Railway station between Karuvur and Erode.  In the inscriptions of Makutesvara temple at Kodumudi and in the Devaram it bears the name Tiruppandikkodumudi or Pandikkodumudi.

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