What Is India News Service
Saturday, February 24, 2007


South Indian Inscriptions


Part - I

Miscellaneous Inscriptions From the Tamil Country

V.- Inscriptions at Tiruvallam


No. 42 - On a boulder near Tiruvallam & No. 43 - Bilvanathesvara temple

No. 44 to 47 Bilvanathesvara shrine

No. 48 to 51 west, north, south wall of the shrine

No. 52 to 54 wall shrine, & maha mandapa & nakulesvara shrine

No. 55 to 57 Bilvanathesvara shrine, south wall of the maha mandapa

No. 58 to 60 verandah round the Bilvan, maha mandapa, north of the tank

No. 60 to 63 north wall of the maha mandapa & west wall of the kitchen


Tiruvallam,[1] which I visited in 1889-90, is a village on the western bank of the Niva river,[2]a tributary of the Palaru.  Of the subjoined inscriptions, the first (No. 42) is found on a boulder in the bed of the Niva river, and the remainder at the Siva temple of Bilvanathesvara.  Two of the inscriptions (Nos. 42 and 43) belong to the reign of the Ganga-Pallava king Vijaya-Nandivikramavarman.  His vassal was the Bana king Vikramaditya I.  (No. 43), whose queen Kundavvai[3] was the daughter of the Western Ganga king Prithivipati I. (Nos. 47 and 48).  An unnamed Bana king is mentioned in one of the two inscriptions of Vijaya-Nandivikramavaran (No. 42) and in two other inscriptions (Nos. 44 and 45), the first of which is dated in the Saka year  810.  The remaining inscriptions belong to the reigns of the Chola kings Rajaraja I.  (Nos. 49 to 52), Rajendra-Chola I. (Nos. 53 and 54), Rajendra (No. 55), Rajamahendra (No. 56), A[dhi]rajendra (No. 57), Kulottunga-Chola I. (Nos. 58 and 59), Kulottunga-Chola III. (Nos. 60 to 62), Vijaya-Gandagopala (No. 63), and Vira-Champa.[4] Vira-Chola, the son of Kulottunga I., is incidentally referred to in No. 59.  several Western Ganga chiefs are mentioned as vassals of Chola kings, viz., Samkaradeva, the son of Tiruvaiyan, in an inscription of Rajaraja I. (No. 51) ; his son Somanatha is one of Rajendra-Chola I. (No. 53) ; Nilaganga in one of Kulottunga I. (No. 59) ; and Amarabharana-Siyaganga in one of Kulottunga III. (No. 62).  One of these chiefs, Samkaradeva, seems to have been connected with the Vaidumba family (No. 53), a member of which was a vassal of Rajaraja I. (No. 52).  Three of the latest inscriptions (Nos. 60, 61 and 63) furnish the names of three chiefs of the Sengeni family.

Tiruvallam (Nos. 46, 51, 52, 55, 56, 58 to 60) appears to have been the capital of the Bana dynasty, as one of its names was Vanapuram (Nos. 42, 51, 53), and as it belonged to the district of Perumbanappadi, i.e., ‘the great Bana country.’ A hamlet in its neighbourhood was called Vanasamudram.[5]  Another survivial from the time of the Banas is the name of the village of Banavaram near the Sholinghur Railway Station.[6] In some of the inscriptions Tiruvallam bears the name Tikkali-Vallam (Nos. 43to 45, 47 to 49, 54 and 61).  It belonged to the province of Jayankonda-Chola-mandalam (Nos. 53 to 56, 58 and 59) and the district of Paduvur-kottam (Nos.43, 44, 49, 51 to 54) or, as  it is once called, Tyagabharana-valanadu (Nos. 55).  According to the earlier inscriptions it was situated in the subdivision Miyaru-nadu (Nos. 43 to 45, 49 and 54)[7] or Miyarainadu[8] (No. 52), and according to others in Karaivali,[9] a subdivision of Perumbanappadi[10] (Nos. 53, 55, 56, 58 and 59).[11]  Other subdivisions of Paduvur-kottam were Karainadu (Nos. 44 and 50), Pangala-nadu,[12] Perun-Timiri-nadu,[13] Mel-Adaiyarunadu[14] and Karaivali-Andi-nadu.[15]

The inscriptions call the Bilvanathesvara temple ‘the god of Tikkali (Nos. 45 to 47), Tiruttikkali (Nos. 44, 48 to 51), Tirutikkali (Nos. 51 and 52) or Tiruvallam[16] (Nos. 53 to 57, 60 to 62).’ Once it is designated ‘the dancing god’ (No. 50) and once ‘the southern temple’ (No. 46), perhaps to distinguish it from ‘the temple with the tower in the north,’ which is mentioned in No. 42, but has now ceased to exist.  It contained shrines of Kalyanasundara and Karumanikka, and of their goddesses (No. 57).

The only two inscriptions at Tiruvalam which were engraved before the time of Rajaraja I. are the rock inscription (No. 42) and an inscription on a stone which is built into the floor of the temple (No. 46), while the remaining pre-Chola ones (Nos. 43, 44, 45, 47 and 48) are copies, made when the central shrine and the mandapa were pulled down and rebuilt.[17] The rebuilding of the temple must have taken place before the 7th year of the reign of Rajaraja I.  For, in that year the temple was visited by Gandaraditya, the son of Madhurantaka, who “caused one thousand jars of water to be poured over the god” (No. 49).  This statement suggests that he performed the ceremony of Kumbhabhisheka, which has to be gone through when a temple is consecrated or re-consecrated.  In the same year of Rajaraja I. an image of the goddess was set up by a Brahmana (No. 50).  Before the 4th year of Rajendra-Chola I. an officer of his built the shrine of Rajarajesvara (No. 54), which is now called Nakulesvara.  Two other inscriptions (Nos. 51 and 53) refer to the temple of Tiruvaiya-Isvara, which had been built by a Western Ganga chief on the south of the Bilvanathesvara temple, but which cannot be traced at present.

[1]  No. 4 on the Madras Survey Map  of the Gudiyatam taluka of the North Arcot district.

[2]  See page 23 above.

[3]  No. 46 is an inscription of an unnamed queen of the same king.

[4]  Ep. Ind.  Vol. II. p. 70 f.

[5]  See p. 29 above.

[6]  Ep. Ind. Vol. IV. P. 221, note 3.

[7]  See also p. 30 above.

[8]  A different Miyarai-nadu or Mikarai-nadu is mentioned in two inscriptions at and near Virinchipuram ; above, Vol. I. pp. 134 and 136.

[9]  In a single inscription (No. 51) Karaivali is called a direct subdivision of Paduvur-kottam.

[10]  Another subdivision of Perumbanappadi was Tuy-nadu ; see No. 57 and p. 22 above.

[11]  See also Vol. I. p. 99, where “Malliyur in Karaivali, (a subdivision) of Perumbanappadi,” has to be read.

[12]  Ep. Ind.  Vol. IV. P. 82, and above, Vol. I.  pp. 78 and 79.  Another Pangala-nadu was a subdivision of Palakunra-kottam ; see ibid. p. 105.

[13]  Ep. Ind.  Vol. IV. Pp. 138 and 271.

[14]  Ibid. p. 180, and above, Vol. II. p. 382.

[15]  See above, Vol. I. p. 129.

[16]  Ibid. p. 180, and above, Vol. II. p. 382.

[17]  See pp. 92, 96 and 98 below.

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