Chola inscription found in Woraiyur temple

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An early Chola period inscription found ate Thanthonrisvaram Temple at Woraiyur in Tiruchi.

Research scholars have found an early Chola period inscription at Thanthonrisvaram Temple at Woraiyur in the city.

The inscription, which records the gifts made to the temple by the wife of a chieftain of the famous Kodumbalur clan, was found by R. Akila, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Arignar Anna Government Arts College, Musiri, and M. Nalini, Head, Department of History, Seethalakshimi Ramasami College while examining the ancient inscriptions at Thanthonrisvaram, an early Chola temple situated on Salai Road near Woraiyur.

R. Kalaikkovan, Director, Dr.M. Rajamanikkanar Centre for Historical Research, who examined it later, said that the Tamil inscription was found on the south wall of the mandapam in front of the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.

“The stone block on which the inscription was engraved appears to be extremely fragile and hence no estampage was taken and the record was only eye copied by the scholars. The inscription, though damaged at places, provides useful information about the rich donation made by Ananthan Chandramathiyar, queen of Thennavan Ilangovelar alias Maravam Puthi, a feudatory of the famous Kodumbalur clan. This gift was made by the queen in the year 911 C. E. during the rule of Parantaka Chola I,” Dr.Kalaikkovan said.

The queen had given 38 ‘kalanju’ of gold to the temple as deposit and the interest accrued from it was to be used towards the endowments mentioned by her. In ancient days, one ‘kalanju’ of gold fetched one ‘kalam’ of paddy as interest per year. This arrangement provided 38 ‘kalams’ of paddy to the temple measured by a standard measure named as ‘nalayiravan.’

As per the instructions of the queen 10 ‘kalams’ of paddy from the interest was utilised to desilt the temple pond whose water was used for the ‘sacred bath’ of the God and also for other activities of the temple. The remaining 28 ‘kalams’ were utilised to meet the expenses incurred towards special worship, services and lighting of lamps during the two Sankaranthi days that marked the transit of the sun and the northward movement of the earth.

According to Dr. Kalaikkovan, inscriptions of Thennavan Ilangovelar are found in the Chandrasekara temple at Thiruchendurai near Jeeyapuram in Tiruchi. It was his daughter Puthi Adityapidari, queen of Arinjaya Chola son of Parantaka I, who built the Thiruchendurai temple as a stone edifice. Kodumbalur clan held supremacy in and around Tiruchi during the formative years of the Chola hegemony and inscriptions revealing the munificent gifts of several kings and queens of this family are noted at several places such as Vayalur, Allur, Andhanallur, Pazhuvur and Thirupparaithurai in the district.

Nangai Karrali Piratti and Nakkan Vikramakesari, the other two queens of Thennavan Ilangovelar are already known through inscriptions found at Thiruchendurai and Thirupparaithurai. But Ananthan Chandramathi comes to limelight only through this new discovery. The State Department of Archaeology and the Department of Epigraphy have been informed of the find, he added.

Chitra Karunakaran, trustee, and Mani of the temple, provided all the help during the field study, Dr.Nalini added.

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