What Is India News Service
Sunday, February 25, 2007


South Indian Inscriptions


Part - III

Miscellaneous Inscriptions From the Tamil Country

X.- Inscriptions of Rajakesarivarman Aditya I

No. 89 to 92 Ghritasthanesvara temple & Jnanaparamesvara temple

No. 93 to 94 natural cave at Vedal & Silaiyamman, Airavatesvara temple


The inscription registers a gift of 100 sheep for a lamp by Kadambamadevi, the wife of the chief Vikki-Annan, who was the recipient of several royal honours and of the hereditary title Sembiyan Tamilavel from the Chola king Rajakesarivarman who ‘overran Tondai-nadu’ and was the conqueror of ‘kings that possessed many elephants (pal-yanai-kokkandan[1]) and from the Chera king Sthanu Ravi.

The Tiruvalangadu plates state that the Chola king Aditya I. defeated the Pallava Aparajita and captured Tondai-mandalam from him.  We also know that Aditya’s son, Parantaka I., was called Parakesarivarman and there is not therefore much doubt that the Rajakesarivarman referred to in this inscription is Aditya I.  The fact that he and the Chera king Sthanu Ravi conferred honours on Vikki-Annan suggests that these Chera and the Chola kings might have been contemporaries.

Hail! Prosperity ! One hundred sheep were given for a perpetual lamp to the Mahadeva (i.e., Siva) of Tiruneyttanam by Kadambamadevi, the wife of Vikki – Annan who had received a (feudatory) throne (tavisu ?) fly-whisk, palanquin, drum (timilai), mansion, ponagam (sumptuary allowance), bugle, an army of male elephants and the hereditary title of Sembiyan-Tamilavel from Rajakesarivarman, the Chola (king) who overran[2] Tondai-nadu and from the Kokkandan of (i.e., the conqueror of kings that possessed) many elephants, the Chera king (Seraman) Sthanu Ravi.  (The assembly of) all Mahesvaras shall protect this (charity).


This inscription is dated in the 2nd year of Rajakesarivarman and records that the assembly of Nalur, a brahmadeya of Serrur-kurram, sold for 25 kasu, the angadikkuli, i.e., the market fees of the bazaar street, to the temple Tirumayanam.  On palaeographical grounds we may attribute the record to the time of Rajakesarivarman Aditya I.

(Line 1.) Hail ! Prosperity ! In the 2nd year of (the reign of) king Rajakesarivarman, we, the great men of the big assembly which included the great bhattas of Nalur, a brahmadeya of Serrur-kurram , sold the market-fees (angadikkuli)  of the bazaar-street in our village to the Mahadeva (i.e., Siva) of the glorious Mulasthana at our village of Tirumayanam, thus : -

(L. 4.) From those who bring from outside villages and sell such articles as paddy, rice, etc., (which are sold) by measuring, shall be received (one) nali for each kasu (realized) and for other articles placed on the ground and sold, (one) nali shall be received on each heap (kuval).  (For) articles (sold) by weight, one palam  shall be received on each weighment (nirai)[4].  From each basket of betel leaves, shall be received one parru ; and two areca-nuts from each basket (of them).  On each vatti of . . . . . . . . . . . . . shall be received.

(L. 9.) In this manner was this (market) fee (kuli) sold over to, and 25 kasu received from, this god.  For this 25 kasu (given), the temple shall receive (the market-fee defined above) till the moon and the sun (last).

(L. 10.) We, the great men of the big assembly including the great bhattas, sold and executed the sale-deed (vibai-sravanai) (stipulating that), if either the assembly or any single individual (of the assembly) obstruct this (i.e., the collection), all Mahsvaras (assembled) shall themselves levy (a fine of) gold as they choose, and even after collecting (it), shall retain possession of this fee as long as the moon and the sun (last).  (The assembly of) all Mahesvaras shall protect this (charity).


This is a record, in archaic characters, of Rajakesarivarman (perhaps Aditya I.) dated in his 2nd year.  It registers gifts made by the merchants (nagarattar) of Kumaramaratandapuram to meet the cost of repairs of the enclosure (called) Maunakumaramartandan and the gopura of Miladudaiyarpalli.  From No.199 of the Madras Epigraphical collection for 1907 it appears that Kumaramartandan was a surname of the Pallava king Nandipporaiyar.  In the word Miladudaiyarpalli we may have a possible reference to the Saiva saint Meypporunayanar also called Miladudaiyar.  As the usual imprecation  does not occur at the end of the inscription, it is much more probable that Miladudaiyarpalli was a Jaina temple than a Saiva shrine called after Miladudaiyar.

(Line 1.) Hail ! Prosperity ! In the 2nd year of (the reign of) king Rajakesarivarman, we, the great merchants (nagarattom) of Kumaramartandapuram in Tiraimur-nadu on the southern bank (of the Kaveri river), assigned and gave, with the consent of the guild, the income of every alternate year from the collection (varavaigal) which we, the merchants, are receiving on account of the flower gardens on the eastern and western sides of this palli (temple), for the benefit of the repairs (pudukkuppuram) to thesacred enclosure called Maunakumaramartandan and the gopura of ours (i.e., built by us) in (the temple) Miladudaiyarpalli in this village.[6]

(L. 22) Should we, as a guild or a single individual (of the guild), propose to appropriate these collections (presented to the temple), the person among us who is (then) in charge of this palli (temple) might levy any (fine of) gold himself and realize (it) from him openly at any place he likes ; besides, (the culprit) shall incur the sin of one who kills one thousand tawny cows on the banks of the Ganga.  We, the great merchants of Kumaramartandapuram, have thus assigned and given (the above-mentioned gift) to last as long as the moon and the sun (endure).


This inscription is dated in the 14th year of Rajakesarivarman and provides for feeding the female Jain ascetic Kanakavirakurattiyar, who was a disciple of Gunakirtti-Bhatara, and her pupils.  Veda, called Vidal [alias] Madevi-Arandimangalam in the inscription, is said to have been situated to the east[7] of Singapura-nadu.  The archaic characters in which the record is written would indicate that Rajakesarivarman must be identical with Aditya I.

The construction of the two sentences in the inscription is somewhat vague. The words “kollathamayil” in line 5 and “Madeviaaranthimangalamudaiya kanagavirakthiyar” in line 12 f. have been evidently misplaced.  For a proper and connected understanding of the sentences the first has to come after “pillaigallainootruvarkkum” in the same line and the second at the beginning of line 11.

(Line 1.) Hail ! Prosperity ! In the 14th year of (the reign of) king Rajakesarivarman, we, the lay disciples (of this school), have undertaken to protect and feed Kanakavirakurattiyar, a female disciple and follower of Gunakirti-Bhatara, of Vidal [alias] Madevi-Arandimangalam on the eastern side (kilvali) of Singapuranadu and the lady pupils of her following, since there has been a disagreement between the five hundred pupils (pillai) of the koyil  (monastery ?) and the four hundred female ascetics.  (This charity remains under) our own protection.  The sandals of those who maintain this (shall rest) on our heads.

(L. 7.) As Kanakavirakurattiyar of Madevi-Arandimangalam is the daughter of . . . . . . . . .  the chief men of . . . . . . . . shall protect this.  (This shall be under ) their own protection.  The sandals of those who protect this shall be on our heads.  As Kanakavirakurattiyar of Madevi-Arandimangalam is the daughter of you, viz., Kalan . . . . . . . and others, all this shall be (under) your watch.  Those who think of injuring this (charity), shall incur the sin committed (by the people living) in the 700 kadam between Ganga (the Ganges) and Kumari (Cape Comorin) and shall (also) be traitors to the king.

[1] Kokkandan which forms the second half of the adjunct pal-yanai-kokkandan appears independently used as a title in two early records at Vellalur  in the Coimbatore district of Kokkandan Ravi and Kokkandan Viranarayana of the Chandraditya family who were probably Chera kings.  It is not impossible that in the translation below we have to take powyannai kokkandan as an adjective qualifying the Chera king Sthanu Ravi.

[2]  Paravina literally means “one who had spread.”  The word seems to be used here in the sense of “extended (his conquests to)” or “overran.”

[3]  No.321 of 1910.  The pullis are marked throughout.

[4]  Winslow gives 100 palams as the equivalent of one nirai.

[5]  No.222 of 1911.

[6] In lines 18 to 20 the phrase iththirusutralaikkunk gopurathukkum pudukkupuramaga repeats the object of the grant unnecessarily.  Consequently the phrase is not translated.

[7]  Compare kilvali (i.e. the eastern path or side) with Uttarapatha and Dakshnapatha, north and south respectively, of other records.

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