Dharmachakra as object of worship.
were located, and which perhaps gave their name to the two congregations
designated as such (Ep. Ind. Vol. XX, pp. 10-11). The Dharmachakradhvaja referred to here, was probably a free-standing column surmounted
by the Dharmachakra of the type represented in the Amarāvati sculptures.
It was probably set up at the eastern entrance of the Mahāvihāra ; but it
is not stated whether it served as an ornamental adjunct to the entrance or
was set up as an object of worship. That the Dharmachakra was as object of
adoration is evident from the Buddhist sculptures, where it is represented is
mounted on top of an upright column,
placed on a throne and canopied by an
umbrella and with gods and human beings worshipping it (Buddhist Stupas of
Amaravati and Jaggayapeta, Plate XXXVIII, fig, 1). It symbolised Lord
Buddha’s teaching in the Deer Park and thus became later a venerated object of
worship for the Buddhist devotees.
Ancient name of Trichinopoly.
3. At Trichinopoly which was visited during the year, some interesting dis-
coveries were made. Its ancient name as found in the hymns of Jñānasambandha
in the Dēvāram is Chirāppaḷḷi and the same
-occurs also in the long verse inscription
of about the 11th century A. D. engraved in the Pallava cave on the hill.
This name was in vogue for several centuries in inscriptions as well as in literature,
until the time of the Vijayanagara rulers, in a few of whose records, however, the
incorrect from ‘Tiruchchināppaḷḷi’ was sometimes used, and this has given rise
to the modern anglicised name ‘Trichinopoly’. Though the word paḷḷi has
several meanings, it appears to have, in this case, special reference to its
associated with the Jaina or Buddhist religion, ancient vestiges of which have
now been discovered here.
Cavern with beds and epigrapha at Trichinopoly.
Behind the huge boulder which contains the shrine of god Uchchi-Piḷḷaiyār
on the top of the fort-rock at his place, an overhanging rock forms a recessed
cavern which contains early Bauddha or Jaina vestige. On the platform under
this rock there are planed put several stone beds provided, in some cases, with
pillows shapes cut of the stone. The beds which are about 4’ long and 1½’ wide
may be considered to be rather cramped for comfortable sleeping. A few of the
stone pillows show traces of obliterated writing of about the 5th century A. D.,
recording possibly the names of the
occupants of the beds. One of these bears
the name ‘Chirā’, the bearer of which was perhaps a monks of repute and possibly
the settlement was called Tiruchirāppaḷḷi after him. On the way leading to this
caver, on the northern slope of the hill, is engraved in Brāhmī characters of
the 2nd century B. C., one line of damaged writing which may perhaps be
read as ‘Kupagaghari’ (No. 139).
In three or four places on the ledge of the rock leading to the cavern is
deeply cut a label which reads ‘Kaṁṭṭuhu’* in characters of about the 7th
century A. D. (No. 134). In three cases, a different label in early script is also
engraved faintly below this word, giving the names ‘Amitanam[ta]’, ‘Gatadōsa’
and ‘Kaiyviḷakku’ (Nos. 137, 138 and 140─See Plate I_. In two places are found
the words Taṁchahara[ka] (No. 135) and ‘Śēnataṇḍan’ (No. 136). The script in
which the label ‘Kaṁṭṭuhu’ is engraved resembles that of a few labels on one of
the pillar in the Pallava rock-cut Śiva temple just below this cavern. The form of
the label, which may be interpreted as a Sanskritised Telugu word meaning ‘enemy’,
also been his biruda. Śaiva tradition as embodied in the Periyapurāṇam avers that a Pallava king named Guṇabhara who was originally a Jaina was
converted to Śaivisim by the efforts of Saint Appar, and that thereupon this
ardent royal convert built many Siva temples throughout his dominions for the
propagation of his new faith. This king has been identified with Mahēndravarman I
who bore the title ‘Guṇabhara’. As the word ‘Kaṁṭṭuhu’ is engraved at four
different places along the precipitous approach, it is possible that this
cavern was patronised by Mahēndravarman prior to his conversion to the Śaiva
faith. On his conversion to Śaivism the king may have excavated the rock-cut
temple of Śiva called the Lalitāṅkura-Pallavēśvara-gṛiham, wherein in a Sanskrit
* Evidently meant for Kaṁṭṭuḥ.