Showing posts with label Cholas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cholas. Show all posts

Friday, January 13, 2017

Kaveripoompattinam (Poompuhar): History Through the Ages


Poompuhar Art Gallery - Wikipedia
Poompuhar Beach - Wikipedia
Kaveripoompattinam (காவிரிப்பூம்பட்டிணம்), also called various names from ancient times, Champathy (சம்பாதி) (as cited in Manimekalai (மணிமேகலை), Cholapattanam (சோழபட்டணம்), Kaveripattinam (காவேரிப்பட்டிணம்), Poompuhar (Pumpuhar) (பூம்புகார்), Puhar (புகார்),  is  the flourishing Sangam era international port town and estuary, located in Sirkali taluk (சீர்காழி வட்டம்), Nagapattinam district (நாகப்பட்டிணம் மாவட்டம்), Tamil Nadu, India PIN 609105. Puhar in Tamil means the ‘estuary’ i.e., place where Cauvery river (காவிரி ஆறு) enter into Bay of Bengal.  This ancient coastline town served as the capital of early Chola rulers including Karikala Chola (கரிகால சோழன்), Sembian (செம்பியன்), Manu needhi Cholan (மனுநீதி சோழன்). Around 2nd century BC the the ships from Tamralipati (West Bengal), Palur (Orissa) anchored in the celebrated Kaveripoompattinam port before they sailed to Rome, Arabia and other Asian ports. The coastline town is .located 56 km towards North from district head quarters Nagapattinam and the near by cities are Karaikal (36 km), Mayiladuthurai (24 km), Parangipettai (24 km), Sirkali (21 km) and Tarangambadi (24 km).and 249 km from State capital Chennai The place is located in the border of the Nagapattinam district and Cuddalore district.  Kaveripoompattinam, an archaeologist delight,  lies on the geographical coordinates of 11.144°N and 79.855°E and the elevation / altitude is 6 m above sea level.

The coastline town is also famous for its great beach with calm surf from where you can witness the river Cauvery with its fresh water meeting the Bay of Bengal and the estuary is adjacent to the beach..If you have a passion for anything Sangam Tamil literature, history, Social life, Buddhism, fine arts, music, dance, drama, shipping, foreign trade and commerce, archaeological excavation, underwater archeology — you will find it here. 

Poompuhar Beach is an ideal picnic spot. Silappadikaram Art Gallery is major tourist attraction and it is a classically built seven tiered architecture highlighting the history of the place, Underwater Archaeological Site Museum, an exclusive museum, was founded to showcase the antiquities recovered from under water exploration. It is the unique Museum in India. There are a number of temples located around Poompuhar. These include: Thiruppallavaneeswaram (near Poompuhar beach), Melapperumpallam and Keezhapperumpallam, Thirusaikkadu (Sayavanam)  Chola temple with inscriptions.  The coastline town is for those who like to wander amidst history and take a stroll through time. Indian tourism department provides shell shaped cottages for the tourists at a moderate tariff. 

Glory of Chola Kings in Ancient Tamil Literary Works

Ancient Tamil Sangam literature such as Ahananuru (அகநானுறு), Purananuru (புறநானுறு), and Pattinappalai (பட்டினப்பாலை), and epics like Silappadikaram and Manimekalai (மணிமேகலை) details about this celebrated town. Musukunda Chakravarthy (முசுகுந்த சக்ரவர்த்தி), a mythological Chola king believed to have ruled Chola kingdom from Karur city. According to the legend Lord Indra sent a ghost (bhootha) to serve Musukunda Chakravarthy. The ghost served the king in the market place of Poompuhar town. The ghost would punish the citizens, if they fail to celebrate the Indra vizha (festival of Indra). "Thoongeyil Erinda Toditol" Sembian was a mythological Chola king who destroyed the fortress. 
தூங்கெயில் எறிந்த தொடிதோள் செம்பியன் (புறநானுறு Puranauru 39)

தூங்கு எயில் எறிந்த தொடி விளங்கு தடக்கை
நாடா நல்லிசை நற்றேர்ச் செம்பியன் (சிறுபாணாற்றுப்படை Cirupanarruppadai  74 - 75)

 'பலர்புகழ் மூதார்ப் பண்புமேம் படீஇய
 ஓங்குயர் மலயத் தருந்தவ அரைப்பத் 
அாங்கெயி லெறிந்த தொடித்தோட் செம்பியன் ' (மணிமேகலை. Manimekalai 1) 

He is considered as one of the early Chola kings during Sangam period. He was instrumental in celebrating the Indra vizha in Kaveripoompattinam. There are numerous mentions about Karikala Chola (190 AD) in Tamil Sangam poetry. 
நளியிரு முன்னீர் நாவாய் ஒட்டி 
வளிதொழில் கண்ட உரவோன் மருக!
களிஇயல் யானை கரிகால் வளவ!
(புறநானுறு Puranauru 68)

பெருவளக் கரிகால் (அகநானூறு Ahananuru, 125: 18)

பெருவளக்  கரிகால்  முன்னிலைச் செல்லார்  (அகநானூறு Ahananuru 125)

கரிகால் வளவனொடு வெண்ணிப் பறந்தலைப் 
பொருது புண் நாணிய சேரலாதன் (அகநானூறு, Ahananuru 55: 10-11)

உருவப் பஃறேர் இளையோன் சிறுவன்
தாய்வயிற் றிருந்து தாயம் எய்தி (பொருநராற்றுப்படை Porunarruppadai: 130,132)

‘விண்பொரு பெரும்புகழ் கரிகால் வளவன் (சிலப்பதிகாரம். காதை Silappadikaram Kadhai 6, 160)


The port town might have been enlarged during reign of king Karikala Chola. The Mahavamsa states that Ellalan (205 - 161 BC), a member of the Chola dynasty, ruled 'with even justice toward friend and foe, on occasions of disputes at law and got the title Manu Needhi Cholan (The Chola who follow Manu law).  Thiruvalangadu copper plate traces the history of Chola race. Mentions about the Justice rendered by the king to the Cow.

Buddhist Connection

Buddhism spread to South India during Emperor Ashoka's reign. Arahat Mahinda (Mahendra) lead a group of Buddhist monks to Sri Lanks in 250 BC to spread Buddhism. Mahendra seems to have traveled by sea and on his way he stayed temporarily in Kaveripattinam. It is evident that seven Buddhist Viharas were erected at Kaveripattinam, by about 400 AD. Manimekalai refers Indra Viharam Ezhu which means seven viharas built by Indra. The Tamil Sangam works, Silappadikaram and Manimekalai attribute to Indra. Buddhist claim that the name Indra could be the contraction of Mahendra. 

Buddhadatta Thera, a 5th century AD Theravada Buddhist scholar who hailed from Uragpura (modern Uraiyur, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu), went to Sri Lanka to study Buddhism in Mahavihara temple. This temple is believed to be the main seat of the ancestral branch for present day Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka founded by King Devananpiya Tissa..The monk also studied and translated the commentaries on the Buddha's teachings from Sinhalese to Pali. Buddhadatta Thera is said to have written most of his works in Kaveripattinam at the instance of the Buddhist acaryas Sumati, Buddhasika and Sanghapala. Buddhadatta's patron was the Chola king, Kalaber Accutavikkanta,

Bhadantacariya Buddhaghosa was a 5th-century Indian Theravada Buddhist commentator and scholar. The monk also  translated a large body of Sinhala commentaries on the Pāli including Mahavamsa, a Sri Lankan chronicle, Buddhaghosuppatti, a later biographical work and Visuddhimagga. According to 'Chulavamsa', Buddhadatta and Buddhaghosa are certainly represented as contemporaries. Ghadhavansa, a Buddhist treatise mentions about  ten famous Buddhist teachers in south of India, including Buddhadatta. Buddhadatta regards the Chola kingdom with respect and associate his literary activity with the reign of Accutavikkanata or Accutavikkama of the Kalabbha or Kalamba [kadamba] dynasty.  

The Prakrit texts Abhidhammavatara and Buddhavamasattakatha written at Kveripattinam, by about 400 AD. attest to the flourishing nature of the port townMilaidapana and Buddha Jataka also provide evidence for the prospering Chola port. According to Buddhist Jataka, one Akitti is said to have lived in a garden near Kaveripattinam. 

Foreigners' Notes on Kaveripattinam

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (Periplus Maris Erythraei), a work by an anonymous Alexandrian merchant, composed during the time of Domitian (81 – 96 AD), has provided brief information on the Chola country and its towns, ports and commerce. About half a century later Ptolemy, the renowned geographer brought out more information about Chola kingdom, its capital, ports and commerce.

Inscription

The earliest reference to Kaveripoompattinam is noticed in a Prakrit inscription of 2nd century BC found at Bharhut in the Satna district of Madhya Pradesh, India. The Bharhut stupa is believed to have been first built by the Maurya emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC, However many works of art were apparently added during the Shunga period. The Bharhut inscriptions are viewed with the considerable significance because they trace the history of early Indian Buddhism and Buddhist art. 

The inscription refers to the gift of a stone slab for an enclosure of a stupa by a Buddhist nun called Soma, who hailed from the city Kakandi Kakandi according to Manimekalai was one of the names of Kaveripattinam. The gift of slab by the Buddhist nun Soma of Kakandi, as early as 2nd century BC, shows that Kaveripattinam was a flourishing town and that it served as an important Buddhist centre till at least 8th century AD. 

kakandiya somaya bichuniya danam (காகந்தியா சோமாய பிச்சுனியா தானம் ) (Corpus Inscriptorum Indicarum Vol. II Part II)

Ascendance of Pallava Dynasty

Pallavas slowly extended their power to the south and Kaveripattinam was included in the Pallava territory. The temple Pallavanisvaram should have been built sometime in the beginning of 6th century AD. by a Pallava monarch, whose name is not known. In the reign of Rakasimha a Buddha vihara is said to have been erected at Nagapattinam.

Excavations at Poompuhar


In Indic mythology, Manimekala is a goddess regarded as a guardian of the seas. The epic Manimekalai vividly describes the Kaveripoompattinam. Indra Vizha (Annual Indra Festival) was a very popular festival in ancient Tamil Nadu according to twin Tamil epics Silappadikaram and Manimekalai. If Indra Vizha is not celebrated, goddess Manimekala would cause the wrath and the Town of Kaveripattinam would be swallowed up by the sea.
“தீவகச் சாந்தி செய்யா நாள்உன்
காவல் மாநகர் கடல்வயிறு புகூஉம்” (மணிமேகலை: 24:62-63)

According to Manimekalai, the Chola king had lost his son. In a grip of grief the Chola king forgot to celebrate the Indra Vizha (Annual Indra Festival). Hence Kaveripattinam was swallowed up by the sea (destroyed by kadalkol - "swallowed by the sea.")

“மணிமேகலா தெய்வம் மற்றது பொறாஅல்
அணிநகர் தன்னை அலைகடல் கொள்கென
விட்டனள் சாபம் பட்டதிதுவால்
கடவுள் மாநகர் கடல்கொள” (மணிமேகலை 25:198-201)

Literary works and archaeological evidence suggest repeated Tsunami, sea incursions, erosion and floods in Kaveripattinam. The Sea submerged the original city and at present there is only a small village. Thirusaikadu or Sayavanam, Pallavanisvaram, Melapperumpallam, Keelaperumpallam, Keezaiyur and Vanagiri are the remains of ancient Poompuhar that exist today.
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Under water Excavation PC Tamizharsenai
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11000 Years Old U Shaped Structure Graham Hancock
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Under-water Excavations in Poompuhar.
Under-sea Exploration was conducted by the State Department of Archeology in collaboration with the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa, India during 1990 - 94 and 1997. The under sea archaeological explorations around Poompuhar throws light on the remains of terracotta ring wells, brick structures and lead ingots

The team also discovered storage jars in the inter tidal zone and brick structures, stone structures, pottery from offshore explorations. Few references also suggest the shift of shoreline at Poompuhar and Tranquebar and that could be one of the reasons of its submergence.  Under-sea Exploration resulted in a site museum.

Graham Hancock, a British marine archaeologist and author was involved in examining a submerged city on the East Coast of Tamil Nadu. According to Hancock, the civilization thriving in Poompuhar may predate the Sumerian civilization of Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) and could certainly  existed before the Harappan civilization in India and Pakistan. He also added that his underwater explorations conducted in 2001 provided strong evidence that corroborated Tamil mythological stories of ancient floods. He also ascertained that the tidal waves of 400 feet or more could have swallowed this flourishing port city any time between 17,000 and 7,000 years ago. His conclusion is that "the Poompuhar underwater site could well provide evidence that it was the cradle of modern civilization."  Theory of this British marine archaeologist strengthened the findings of India's National Institute of Oceanography (NIO). The U-shaped structure gleaned during the joint SES/NIO (Hancock ) expedition is shown below.

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Marine Archaeological Museum. State Department of Archeology Tamil Nadu
Off-shore explorations were carried out near Champapathi Amman and Pallavanisvaram temples, Poompuhar right from 1910.  During the excavations remains of the various buildings were found:

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Wharf Unearthed near Poompuhar. PC TN State Arch
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Excavated Site with Exposed Structure & Ring well @ Poompuhar PC Indianetzone
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Terracota Marine Archaeological Museum PC Dept TN State Arch 
The site of Buddha Vihara (brick structure) dated 4th - 5th century AD. at Pallavanisvaram, near Kaveripoompattinam, was excavated by the ASI and it is established that the ruins formed part of Kaveripoompattinam. The ancient Buddha vihara was built with burnt bricks (of different dimensions) and they have used mud mortar as the binding material. For the basement they used bricks with 36.25 x 18.75 x 7.5 cm size bricks and for superstructure they have used 23.75 x 12,5 x 5 cm size bricks. ASI also discovered a Buddha statue, and Buddhapada (dimension: 3 1/2' x 2 1/2' ) or the feet of Lord Buddha in limestone at this site.


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Buddha Monastery. Pallavanesvram PC Panoramio
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Buddha Monastery. Pallavanesvram PC Sharon St Joan
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Buddha Feet
Manigramam is a village in Nagapattinam district, Tamil Nadu. It is located 5 km from Poompuhar. Famous Thirumani Azhagar temple is located in this village. Tamil Nadu Department of Archeology team excavated in 95 two intact portions of a brick wall as well as the collapsed structure dating between 3rd century B.C. and 2nd century AD.

Two brick walls running Northeast-Southwest at a depth of 20 cm was discovered in Kilayur (Kizharveli). They have also used mud mortar as the binding material. The structure is considered to have served as a wharf in the 4th century AD. ASI has observed four wooden poles - two palmyra tree trunks and two Iluppai (Bassia Longifolia) tree trunks - were used for this wharf.

A wharf belonging to the 3rd century BC was excavated at Poompuhar in 1962-63 and a similar wharf was unearthed in the subsequent excavation during 1997. Several kinds of brick figures and copper coins were also found.

City Layout

The structure of Poompuhar town can be traced from the fifth chapter of the Silappadikaram, Pattinappalai. Manimekalai also describes the same. Pattinappalai is one of the poem in the Sangam anthology of longer poems, the Ten Idylls (Patthupattu). Poet Katiyalur Uruttiran Kannanar vividly captures the glories and splendour of Kaveripoompattinam and its king Tirumavalavan a.k.a Karikala Cholan. The poem is categorized into three segments. Segment one, comprising 218 lines, details the fertility, prosperity and affluence of the great town Poompuhar. The segment also provides an account of the perennial flow of water in the holy river Cauvery in Chola kingdom, bewildering wealth, the layout of the city, the harbor, the custom-house,  and the life of various people belonging different occupations. The second segment is about the life and achievements of the king Tirumavalavan. The third segment deals with poetic theme pertaining to 'Palai'

The five Manrams - Vellidai Manram, Elanchi Manram, Nedankal mandram, Bootha-chathukkam and Pavaimanram were located in Pattinappakkam. Gardens like Elavanthikaicholai, Uyyavanam, Champathivanam, and Kaveravanam added beauty to the town.

Symbolical Monuments Reproduced 

In 1973 Kalaingar Dr.M.Karunanithi the Honoruable Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu gave crystal form to the lost town,by reproducing it on the basis of literary evidences. Several Symbolical monuments were raised. Sillappadikaram-Art gallery, Elanchi Mandram, Pavai Mandram, Nedungal Mandram and Kotrappandal found their existence and remain today, to attract visitors, with their artistic splendor.

Temples

During excavations, temples for  Lord Shiva, and Chathukka Bootham, the last of the deities were found in the city. There are temples for Shiva, Indra, his elephant Iravatham, and his Vajrayutham, Balaraman, Suriyan, Machatham, Chandran, Arugan and Thirumal. Buddha stupas or pillars and seven Buddha viharas were also found. Apart from these, a temple for Champapathi Amman, brick idols, and Ulaga Aravi Manram existed in Poompuhar.

'Maya school of Town Planning and Architecture.'

Silappadikaram elaborates the town planning of Kaveripoompattinam including its avenues, streets, mansions, residences of foreign merchants groves, gardens, market places, petty traders and workshops, It was an excellent example of town planning during 100 BC with well laid streets occupied by Yavana sailors and overseas traders, weavers, silk traders, grain merchants, jewelers and precision gems makers and petty traders, According Pattinappalai, Silappadikaram and Manimekalai, the town planning followed the 'Maya school of Town Planning and Architecture.'

Two Broad Divisions

From the description of these ancient Tamil literature Kaveripoompattinam was laid out on the north banks of the river Cauvery and was divided into two broad divisions i.e.,  Maruvurpakkam near the sea-shore and Pattiinappakkam to its west. A market place was located, under shady trees, in between the two divisions. The day market was known as 'Nalangadi' and the night market was named as "Allangadi.'  Pakkam means a place adjacent to the sea-shore or hillock. Here pakkam signifies the place by the side of the sea-shore. Greeks (Yavanars) and other merchants from foreign countries resided in the outskirts of Maruvurpakkam and carried their business.
பயன றவறியா யவன ரிருக்கை 
(Silappadikaram Indra Vizhavu Ur Edutha Kadhai 10)


நீரின் வந்த நிமிர்பரிப் புரவியும்
காலின் வந்த கருங்கறி மூடையும்
வடமலைப் பிறந்த மணியும் பொன்னும்
குடமலைப் பிறந்த ஆரமும் அகிலும்
தென்கடல் முத்துங் குணகடல் துகிரும்
(Pattinappalai 1. 185 - 189)

At the limits of this prosperous town
The majestic horses arrive by land.
From the northern range comes gems and gold;
Akil and sandal from western ghats,
And pearls from the southern seas are heaped,
And corals from eastern waves;



Maruvurpakkam was populated by the fishermen. The settlements of foreign (Yavanar) merchants had terraced mansions, granaries and warehouses with windows shaped like the eyes of the deer and they have chosen to live closer to the sea-coast and to the ship-yard. Their presence nearer to the ship-yard enabled the Chola Customs Officials to collect duties from them and to affix the Customs Seal (Tiger Mark) on the imported goods. The Customs Officials will not permit the removal of the imported goods from the dockyard until they remit the appropriate Customs Duty. 


நீரினின்று நிலத்தேறவு
நிலத்தினின்று நீர்ப்பரப்பவு
மலந்தறியாப் பலபண்டம்
வரம்பறியாமை வந்தீண்டி
யருங்கடிப் பெருங்காப்பின்
வலியுடை வல்லணங்கினோன்
புலிபொறித்துப் புறம்போக்கி,

(Patiinappalai 1. 129 - 136)  

On mountain slopes, that flows down plains
And rushes to merge with surging waves,
The countless cargoes from the land
Are shifted to the ships in the sea;
And loads and loads of cargoes there,
Quite varied beyond conceptual mind
Are moved to the land from the anchored ships
And piled up there in heaps and heaps.
In the custom-house that's to enter hard,
The ensign, a terror to thieves around
Stamp the royal Chola's sign 
Of tiger on every piece before 
It crosses the line of custom-house.


The streets next to the quarters occupied by the Yavanars or the foreign merchants were occupied by wandering pedlar selling colored pastes, unguents, fragrant sandal, flowers, eaglewood and perfumes. Weavers who worked on silk, fur and cotton thread resided in adjacent streets.  Heaps of silks, corals, sandal, eaglewood, flawless pears, gems, gold and other precious articles were sold in broad streets. Grain markets ,adjacent to broad street, sold different kinds of grains and pulses exhibited in separate heaps. 

வளந்தலை மயங்கிய நனந்தலை மறுகும்
(Silappadikaram Indra Vizhavu Ur Edutha Kadhai 21)

Piffling traders, in an open street, sold baked sweet flour and fried flour-cakes; women sold toddy; various other traders include salt merchants, betel-leaf sellers, goat traders and oil merchants. There was also a meat market. Another adjacent street was full of bronze-smiths, copper-smiths, carpenters, strong armed black-smiths, gold-smiths who melt gold and those who make ornaments out of gold, Another part of the street occupied by tailors who stitch covers made of leather and different categories of skilled craftsmen produced handicrafts from cloth and pith. Another street inhabited by musicians with the ability to compose seven notes beginning with kural on wind instruments like flute and the stringed instruments like yazh. Also there were dwelling places of petty workers who earn their livelihood by serving others. Maruvurpakkam is the town populated by all these people. 

சிறுகுறுங் கைவினைப் பிறர்வினை யாளரொடு
மறுவின்றி விளங்கும் மருவூர்ப் பாக்கமும
(Silappadikaram Indra Vizhavu Ur Edutha Kadhai 38-39)

Pattinappakkam

The palace of the king is located in Pattinappakkam (பட்டினப்பாக்கம்) and the King's (Raja) street was the main highway here (கோவியன் வீதியும், கொடித்தேர் வீதியும்). A few stalls in a bazaar street near the palace sold the ordinary necessities. The leading merchants, the pious brahmins, thrifty farmers, the ayurvedic physicians and the astrologers (ஆயுள் வேதரும் காலக் கணிதரும்) dwell in independent streets in different types of houses appropriate to each class of people, the various designs presenting by contrast a picturesque sight.

People who made bangles and rings out of conch-shells, and pearl bead sellers lived in parallel streets on the western side of the palace. The king's retinue and courtiers lived in broad streets within reach of the palace. The Sootars (சூதர்) or those who stand and praise, the Makadars (மாகதர்) or those who sit and praise, the time reckoners (நாழிகைக் கணக்கர்), and the dancers (santhi-koothar) lived in various streets near the palace. 

சூதர் மாகதர் வேதா ளிகரொடு 
நாழிகைக் கணக்கர் நலம்பெறு கண்ணுளர் 
காவல் கணிகையர் ஆடல் கூத்தியர்

The cooks, musicians, the drummers in festivals and on the battle-field and buffoons (நகைவேழம்பர்) lived in houses of various types and dimensions suitable to their calling and circumstance.

நகைவே ழம்பரொடு வகைதெரி இருக்கையும்,
Beyond these streets where servants of royal household had their respective quarters, were the residences of those who trained horses and elephants. The open spaces where the horses were trained for military purposes are known as Cenduveli (செண்டுவெளி). This was the Pattina-p-pakkam or the urban portion of the city.

Between Maruvurpakkam and Pattinappakkam there was a large open area where the day-market (நாளங்காடி) was centrally situated in a site which presented the appearance of a vast plain between two opposing forces. In the market there were stalls for selling a variety of goods. Each stall floated a flag announcing the name of the article sold therein. The trees around provided cool shade and breeze.

இருபெரு வேந்தர் முனையிடம் போல 
இருபால் பகுதியின் இடைநிலம் ஆகிய
கடைகால் யாத்த மிடைமரச் சோலை (59 - 61)

In the centre of the area set apart for the market and where the main streets intersected, there was a temple dedicated to Chathukka Bootham (சதுக்கபூதம்), the Guardian Deity of the city.

Chathukka Bootham Wikipedia
Vellidai Mandram (வெள்ளிடை மன்றம்) is the square with the open space was used as warehouse stored with packages showing the names, symbols and the nature of the merchandise contained in them and the names of the owners. The place is neither guarded by the watch at the gates nor iron bolts on the door. Stealing a package would be very difficult.

Elanchi Mandram (இலஞ்சி மன்றம்) is the square with the pool. Hunchbacks, the dwarfs, the dumbs, the deafs and the lepers who bathe in this pool are cured of their deformities and acquire attractive complexion. They then gratefully circumambulate the square.
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Nedungal Mandram PC Flickriver
Nedungal Mandram (நெடுங்கல் மன்றம்) is the square with the tall and bright stone pillar. People drugged to madness by enemies; those who have consumed poisonous food and shiver due to pain; those who are suffering from snake bite; and those who suffer under the influence of devils would go around the stone pillar and worship it in order to get cured from the afflictions.     

Paavai Mandram (பாவை மன்றம்) is the place of justice and if injustice is done to 'Paavai' (idol) by people they would certainly shed tears.

Kotrappandal (கொற்றபந்தல்) was the ornamental shamiana presented by the king of the 'Vajra' country (வஜ்ர நாடு).

The town also had well laid out gardens like Elavanthikai Cholai (இலவந்திகை சோலை), Uyyavanam (உய்யவனம்), Champapathyvanam (சம்பாபதிவனம்) and Kaverivanam (காவேரி வானம்).  Temples for Shiva, Chadukka Boodham, Indra, Balarama, Surya (Sun), Machathan, Chandra (Moon), Tirumal (Vishnu) and Arugan (Jain) where there besides Buddha stupa and seven Buddha Viharas, Champapathy Amman temple, brick idols and Ulagu Arivai Mandram (உலகு அரிவை மன்றம்).

A Buddhist vihara and a chaitya were also located in the area. Pattinappalai refers to people from various countries residing amicably at Puhar. Manimekalai refers to artisans from the Magadha, Avanti and Maratta countries.and also Greek sculptors Yavanat taccars working at Kaveripattinam.

How to get there?

By Road

Kaveripoompattinam is well-connected to a number of neighboring towns by network of roads  Sirkali (21 km) and Mayiladuthurai (23.7 Km).

By Rail

Sirkali (21 km)  and Vaithisvaran kovil (17 km), Mayiladuturai (23.7 km) Railway Stations are the very nearby railway stations. However Thanjavur Railway Station is major railway station 92 km near to Kaveripoompattinam 

By Air

Near by Airports: Chennai Airport ( 226 km), Madurai Airport (265 km)

Reference

  1. ASI set up centre to showcase relics of ancient port city. Times of India. March 25, 2009.
  2. Buddhadatta Wikipedia
  3. Gaur A. S. and Sundaresh, Underwater Exploration off Poompuhar and possible causes of its Submergence, 1998, Puratattva, 28: 84-90.
  4. Glad Tidings: The Lost City Poompuhar. Peepal Prodigy School. (http://www.peepalprodigy.com/glad-tidings-the-lost-city-poompuhar/)
  5. History of Poompuhar. Archaeological Excavations. Blogspot. January 11, 2011 (http://archaeologyexcavations.blogspot.in/2011/01/history-of-poompuhar.html?m=1)
  6. Indian history: What is the history behind Poompuhar in Indian history? Quora. (https://www.quora.com/Indian-history-What-is-the-history-behind-Poompuhar-in-Indian-history)
  7. Inside Story: In search of a lost city. Lakshmi Sharath. The Hindu Metroplus. October 7, 2011 (http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/inside-story-in-search-of-a-lost-city/article2517975.ece)
  8. Kaveripoompattinam (http://210.212.62.26/pdf_files/books/Kaveripoompattinam.pdf)
  9. Pattinappalai ( A Note on Poem & Translation ) by Devendran B. International Institute of Tamil Studies. 068 - December 2005  (http://www.ulakaththamizh.org/JOTSArticle.aspx?id=558)
  10. Poompuhar-Ancient Chola city in Tamil Nadu, India,Kumari Kundam. Hinduism and Sanadan Dharma. April 5, 2015. (https://pparihar.com/2015/04/05/poompuhar-ancient-chola-city-in-tamil-naduindiakumari-kundam/)
  11. Poompuhar. Department of Archaeology. (http://www.tnarch.gov.in/excavation/poo.htm)
  12. Poompuhar. Tamil Nadu Tourism. (http://www.tamilnadutourism.org/places/citiestowns/Poompuhar.aspx)
  13. South India and Buddhagosa. Buddhagosa. August, 18, 2010 (http://ghosagvp.blogspot.in/2010_08_01_archive.html)
  14. Tourism in Poompuhar Tourism of India (http://www.tourism-of-india.com/poompuhar-tour/)
  15. பட்டினப்பாலை. கடியலூர் உருத்திரங் கண்ணனார் Project Madurai. (http://www.projectmadurai.org/pm_etexts/utf8/pmuni0077.html)
  16. சதுக்கபூதம் Wikipedia
YouTube





Saturday, November 19, 2016

Edayarpakkam Mahadevar Temple: Granite Structural Temple near Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu



Mahadevar Koil, Edaiyarpakkam
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Varalaru.com

Apsidal shape back view
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Idayarpakkam_ShivaTemple+%2816%29.JPG (851×1600)

Idayarpakkam_ShivaTemple+%2810%29.JPG (240×320)

Mahadevar Temple is located in Edayarpakkam village, Sriperumbudur taluk, Kanchipuram district, Tamil Nadu, India PIN 631553. The temple is located 22 km towards North from district head quarters Kanchipuram; 19 km from Sriperumbudur; 12.5 km from Sunguvarchatram; 9.1 km from Thakkolam; 6.1 km from Arakkonam;  0.2 km from Elmyankottur; and 58 km from the state capital Chennai. This place is in the border of the Kanchipuram district and Thiruvallur district.  The temple is protected by ASI.

The Chola period Mahadevar shrine is apsidal  (horseshoe-shaped) dvitala (two tiered) vimana and an ardha-mandapam (அர்த்த-மண்டபம்). Therefore the vimana is called gajaprishta (கஜபிருஷ்ட விமானம்) or hastiprishta (ஹஸ்திபிருஷட விமானம்), both terms in Sanskrit meaning ‘back of an elephant’ as it is curved at the rear. According to dictionary.com the word 'apse'  means a semicircular or polygonal termination or recess in a building.  

According to most historians the apsidal form of vimana is of Buddhist origin. However current studies have confirmed that the apsidal vimana architecture was attempted by pan-Indian-tradition and the style was in existence much before the Buddhist era. This form of vimana is found in few other Chola temples in and around Chennai.

StructuralTemple-Pallava-Idayarpakkam-03.jpg (700×850)

The entire temple structure is made out of granite and therefore it is a 'katrali' (கற்றளி). The vimana and ardhamandapam stands on a molded pada-bandha adishtana (பாதபந்த அதிஷ்டானா) with upa-peeta (உப பீடம்), jagadi (ஜகதி), tripatta kumuda (முப்பட்டைக் குமுதம்), khanta (கண்டம்) with pada and flanked by kampa (கம்பு) and pattika (பட்டிகை) mouldings. The east facing sanctum measures 3.05 m in width in the north-south direction and 4.65 m in length in the east-west direction. The sanctum entrance is 1.35 cm in width. The sanctum houses "Tiruppadakkadu udaiya Mahadevar" (திருப்படக்காடுடைய மகாதேவர்) in the form of Shivalingam.

The external walls of the vimana and ardhamandapam have five deeply cut niches (தேவகோட்டங்கள்) flanked by ornate square pilasters (அரைத்தூண்கள்). The niches on the south and north ardhamandapa walls houses the Chola style idols of Vinayaka and Durga respectively. The southern vimana wall houses the sanctum of the unique Dakshinamurthy appear seated on a pedestal under the Kallala tree (Banyan tree). The niche of the western vimana wall is empty. Brahma appear in the niche of the northern vimana wall.

Above the pilasters is the vettu potika holding the uttira. And the other roof parts are the vajana valabhi and kapota with rough kudu arches. Above the kapota is the bhumidesa denoting the end of the tala. Above the bhumidesa is seen the hara of the first tala. The hara components of second tala as well as griva, shikara and stupa (finial) might have got damaged and therefore not found at present.

Inscriptions

There are four inscriptions belonging to the later Chola period, especially that of Kulottunga Chola I (1070 - 1120 A.D.),  Kulottunga Chola II (1133 - 1150 A.D.) and Rajadhiraja Chola II (1163 - 1178) are found at Edayarpakkam Mahadevar temple near Kanchipuram. The inscription (ARE 251/1910), (த நா அ தொ து 524/2013) dated 13th in the reign (year 1083 A.D.) of king Kulottunga Chola I opening with his venerated Prasasti (also known as Meikeerthi மெய்க்கீர்த்தி) is considered as the earliest inscription in this temple.

Inscriptions mention the prime deity of the temple as "Tiruppadakkadu udaiya Mahadevar" (திருப்படக்காடுடைய மகாதேவர்) as well as "Aludaiyar Tiruppadakkadu udaiyar" (ஆளுடையார் திருப்படக்காடுடையார்).

Inscriptions cite the name of this village as "Edayarruppakkam" (இடையாற்றுப்பாக்கம்). Present name seems to have transitioned from Edayarruppakkam to Edayarpakkam. Edayarruppakkam village fell under the revenue division of Purisai Nadu (புரிசை நாடு), which was a sub-division of Manavir-kottam (மணவிற் கோட்டம்) under the larger division of Jayamkonda Cholamandalam (ஜெயங்கொண்ட சோழமண்டலம்). (ஜெயங்கொண்ட சோழமண்டலத்து மணவிற்கோட்டத்துப் புரிசை நாட்டு இடையாற்றுப்பாக்கம்). The village was also known as Purisai (புரிசை) village fell under the same revenue division, part of same sub-division and coming under the same larger division (ஜெயங்கொண்ட சோழமண்டலத்து மணவிற்கோட்டத்துப் புரிசைநாட்டுப் புரிசை).  The village was also popularly known as Rajavichadira Chaturvedi Mangalam (ராஜவிச்சாதிர சதுர்வேதிமங்கலம்).

The inscription (ARE 251/1910), (த நா அ தொ து 524/2013) is dated 13th in the reign (year 1083 A.D.) of king Kulottunga Chola I. It opens with his venerated Prasasti also known as Meikeerthi (மெய்க்கீர்த்தி). It records the gift of land as devadana (தேவதானம்) to Tiruppadakkadu udaiya Mahadevar by one Arurudaiyan Vaidyanatan Tiruchcirrambalamudaiyan in Kilar-kurram, a sub-division of Nittavinoda-valanadu of Chola Mandalam.
(3 .. ... ஜயங்கொண்ட  சோழ மண்டலத்து மணவிற்கோட்டத்து ... சோழமண்டலத்து நித்த விநோத வளநாட்டுக் கிழாற் கூற்றத்து
4 .த்தங்குடி  ஆரூர்ருடையாந் வைத்யநாதன் திருச்சீற்றம்பல முடையான் ...  .)

The inscription (த நா அ தொ து 523/2013) is dated 13th in the reign (year 1107 A.D.) of king Kulottunga Chola I. It commences with his venerated Prasasti also known as Meikeerthi (மெய்க்கீர்த்தி). It records the gift of 95 sheep (சாவா மூவா பேராடு தொண்ணூற்றைந்து) for a perpetual lamps for the Lord Tiruppadakkadu udaiya Mahadevar at Purisai in Purisai Nadu, a sub-division of Manavir-kottam by Velan Madurantakan, the head man of Arasur, in Koneri-nadu in the Eyirk-kottam. (3 ... இம்மண்டலத்து எயிற்கோட்டத்துக் கோநேரி நாட்டுக் கோநேரியில் அரசூர்
 கிழவந் வேளாந் மதுராந்தகநேன் ....  )  

The inscription (ARE 254/1910), (த நா அ தொ து 525/2013) is dated 12th in the reign (year 1145 A.D.) of king Kulottunga Chola II. It commences with his venerated Prasasti also known as Meikeerthi (மெய்க்கீர்த்தி). It records the gift of land purchased from the urar (ஊரார்) of Purisai, for a lamp to the temple of Aludaiyar Tiruppadakkadu udaiyar at Idaiyarruppakkam (இடையாற்றுப்பாக்கம்) alias Rajavichchadira Chaturvedimangalam (ராஜவிச்சாதிர சதுர்வேதிமங்கலம்) Purisai-nadu, a sub-division of Manavirkottam by a brahmana lady Andanaichchani, wife of Arulala pattan in the same village. (2 ... இவ்வூர் ஸவந்ந அருளாள பட்டந் மகள் ஆண்டமைச் சாநியேந் ...)

The inscription (ARE 253/1910), (த நா அ தொ து 526/2013) is dated 11th in the reign (year 1174 A.D.) of king Rajadhiraja Chola II. It records the gift of cows in exchange for a land in Purisai, granted by a brahmana lady of Idaiyarruppakkam (இடையாற்றுப்பாக்கம்) alias Rajavichchadira Chaturvedimangalam (ராஜவிச்சாதிர சதுர்வேதிமங்கலம்).

How to get there?

By road: Edayarruppakkam is the remote village and less traveled destination. The temple is also lesser known to the public. Public transport is not available. Rental cabs can be hired from Sunguvarchatram or Sri Perumbudur or Kanchipuram.
Nearest Railway-station: There is no railway station near to Edayarpakkam in less than 10 km. However Chennai Central Rail Way Station is major railway station.
Nearest Airport: Chennai.

Reference
  1. ARE 1910        251 - 254
  2. Edayarpakkam (http://www.onefivenine.com/india/villages/Kanchipuram/Sriperumbudur/Edayarpakkam)
  3. Edayarpakkam Mahadevar Temple. Indian Columbus (http://indiancolumbus.blogspot.com/2016/04/edayarpakkam.html)
  4. இடையார்பாக்கம் மகாதேவர் திருக்கோயில். கி.ஸ்ரீதரன்..வரலாறு.காம் இதழ் 103 ஜனவரி 9, 2013
  5. தமிழ்நாட்டுக் கல்வெட்டுக்கள் - தொகுதி 4 - சீ.வசந்தி, General Editor, இரா.சிவானந்தம், Editor - சென்னை, தமிழ்நாடு அரசு தொல்லியல் துறை. 2013 பக்கங்கள் ; 49 - 54 வரை (தமிழ்நாட்டுக் கல்வெட்டுக்கள் வரிசை எண் - 43)

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Thirunanthikarai Cave Temple







Thirunandhikarai, (Tamil: திருநந்திக்கரை, Malayalam: തിരുനന്തികര )  also known as Thirunandhikara, rock cut cave is located in Thirunandhikarai village, Kalkulam (கல்குளம்) taluk, Kanyakumari (கன்னியாகுமரி மாவட்டம்) district, Tamil Nadu state, India PIN 629161. This village is located in the Kulasekaram (குலசேகரம்) - Pechipparai (பேச்சிப்பாறை) road and forms part of Thirparappu special village panchayat and Kulasekharam post office limit. The Latitude and Longitude coordinates of Kulasekaram are N 8° 22' 5.1445" (8.368096°) and E 77° 18' 3.0622" (77.300851°) respectively. The elevation / altitude of Kulasekaram is 280 meters (920 feet) above sea level.  

Kanyakumari, mostly preferred by travelers since it has many tourist attractions. There are around 25 tourist places in Kanyakumari district for the travelers to explore and they include Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Muttom Beach, Keeriparai Reserve Forest, and Ullakaarvi, all vie for attention. Other charmers include Government Museum, Thanumalayan Temple, and Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary. Thirparappu Falls (திற்பரப்பு அருவி) is the famous falls in the Kothai River (கோதை  ஆறு). Kulasekaram has many rubber plantations. and has a respectable transport network Thirunandhikarai village and cave are located 3 km from Kulasekaram, 11 km from Pechiparai Dam (பேச்சிப்பாறை அணை), 5 km from Thriparappu Waterfalls, 38 km from Nagerkoil and 50 km from Kanyakumari. The nearest airport is at Thiruvananthapuram. The best season to visit places in Kanyakumari is between February - December. ISRO chairman Mr. Madhavan Nair was born and brought up in Thirunandhikarai.

There are two important Shiva temples in Thirunandhikarai:  Thirunanthikara Nanthishwaran Temple and Thirunandhikara Cave Temple. Nanthishwaran Temple is situated on the river banks of Nandhiaaru. Thirunandhikarai is the fourth shivalayam among the 12 saivite shrines in Kanyakumari district (1 Tirumalai, 2 Thikkurichi, 3 Thirparappu, 4 Thirunandhikkarai, 5 Ponmanai, 6 Pannippagam, 7 Kallkkulam, 8 Melancode, 9 Thiruvidaicode, 10 Thiruvithamkode, 11 Thiruppanticode and 12 Thirunattalam). There will be a marathon run by saivite devotees from shrine Thirumalai, the first shivalayam, to the twelfth, Thirunattalam on the day of Shivratri.  The traditional Shiva temple also houses shrines for Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.

The south facing Thirunandhikkarai rock cut cave temple is excavated on the southern slope of the hillock and therefore the cave lies in an east-west orientation. The cave floor is formed 4 m above the ground level. A flight of ten steps (including the two steps provided later by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), leads to the cave. Eight steps sculpted on the (mother) rock slope. The facade is 4.97 m in the north-south and 0.51 cm in the east-west directions. The evenly leveled rock ground is 5.68 m in the east-west and 64 cm in the south-north directions. The finely leveled rock floor is formed 4 cm above the rock ground and measures about 52 cm in the south-north and 5.40 m in the east-west directions. The upana is sculpted 5 cm above the rock floor and runs from east to west.  

The facade is 4.97 m in the north-south and 0.51 cm in the east-west directions. It consists of two massive pillars in the middle and two pilasters on the corners. The pillars and the pilasters are square-kattu-square in shape. The plain angular potikas (corbels) support the slender uttira (beam). and there is no vajana above uttira. The rough rock brow forms the kapota (not designed well). The canopy of the kapota is flat. and do not incline downwards. Above the brow there are two rectangular sockets. There are also two sockets on the rock floor. These four sockets suggest the chances of forming temporary shed (பந்தல்). One meter above the kapota, bhumidesa is indicated with grooves and carvings. 

The mother rock excavated well from top to down to match slopes of the hillock. The western wall is 1.97 m in height and 1.04 m in width  and the eastern wall is 1.89 m in height and 1.19 m in width. There are two 1.54 m tall (shallow) niches on both the walls and Vettezhuthu inscriptions.(வட்டெழுத்து கல்வெட்டுக்கள்) are inscribed. The Vattezhuthu inscription on the 82 cm wide eastern wall is damaged and the other inscription on the western wall is intact. The upper square, kattu and part of lower square of the western facade pillar bear another Vettezhuthu inscription.

The facade leads to the rectangular mukha-mandapam which is 0.86 m in the north-south and 3.28  m in the east-west directions and 2.23 m in height. The inner-mandapam floor is raised to 0.6 cm in height. The mukha-mandapam floor is evenly sculpted. The plain eastern and western walls of mukha-mandapam show prastara components i.e., uttiram and vajanam between wall and the roof. The vajana is running through out the mandapam. The inner-mandapam on the rear is 5.40 m in east-west and 2.42 m in north-south directions and 2.18 m in height. Two square pilasters on either side of the cave walls of the inner-mandapam are supporting the uttira. The walls are plain.  The roof of the mandapa is well formed. 

The square sanctum is 2.16 m in all the four sides and 2.17 m height,. The walls and roof are plain. The Shiva Lingam is instituted in a socket pit which is 70 cm in east-west and 1 m in north-south directions. The square avudai is 82 cm in north-west and 78 cm in east-west directions and 0.53 cm in height. The external faces of avudai  is embellished with padhabandha adishtana with components such as jagadhi (ஜகதி), octogonal kumudam (குமுதம்), khantam with pada flanked by kampa and without patiikai.  The rudra bana is 44 cm in height. A small pit is shown towards north to receive the anointed water. A water chute is seen running up to the north wall and east wall of the sanctum and continued in the east wall of the mukha-mandapam. 

The northern wall of the inner-mandapam is washed with stucco coatings (sudhai) and painted with mural paintings. The mural paintings are considered as important since paintings belongs to earlier phase of Kerala mural art. The line paintings include the human figure with folded right hand on the chest and wears necklace with dollar. The right leg is folded and rested on the seat. The left leg could not be viewed.

The Ganapathy image is sculpted on the western wall of the mukha mandapam. The Lord wears Karandamakutam with head band, yagnopavitha, armlets and bracelets. The right rear-hand holds broken tusk, right fore-hand holds an unknown object, the rear left-hand holds sugar cane leaves and the fore-hand is damaged. The left tusk is visible and the right one could not be seen. The Vidyadharar is seen above right hand corner of Ganapathi. The flying figure holds a flower.

History:


Ay dynasty  ruled the land between Nagercoil and Thiruvalla and Vizhinjam, The Ay Kingdom located to the south of Chera kingdom "functioned for long as an effective buffer state between the declining Chera kingdom and an emerging Pandya Kingdom." Ay dynasty was later known as Venad (வேள்நாடு / வேணாடு) dynasty. This land was also the scene of many battles. In 788 A.D, Vikramaditya Varaguna (885–925), an illustrious Ay ruler ruled Venad. 

Jatilavarman Parantaka (Maranjadayan) the Pandya king waged a war over Ay kingdom and encircled Vizhinjam port. The Pandya conquered the Ays and made it a tributary state. Still the Ays refused to submit and fought against Pandyas for almost a century. Despite frequent defeats Cheras continued to exist as a fighting force. During ninth century Cheras rose again as a notable power. This region came under Cheras during the reign of Bhaskara Ravi Varman Tiruvadi (978 - 1036 A.D.). Rajaraja Chola I waged a war against the Venad ruler and captured the southern region and named it as Rajaraja Tennadu. Muttom is the fishing village in Kalkulam taluk. Rajaraj Chola I named it as Mummudi Chola Nallur. 

The department of archaeology was started under the initiative of Professor Sundaram Pillai and the then Maharajah of Travancore, Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma sanctioned the monthly grant of Rs. 50.00 for its functioning. The renowned  epigraphist T. A. Gopinatha Rao was employed as first Superintendent in the year 1908. T.A. Gopinatha Rao edited and published The Travancore Archaeological Series (T.A.S.) from 1910. Thus T.A.S. inaugurated the systematic survey and collection of inscriptions in the erstwhile Travancore state. The scholar also visited Thirunandhikarai and Chitharal caves in 1920-21 and copied and recorded the inscriptions from the caves. .According to T.A.Gopinatha Rao, the cave temple was built during the reign of the king Vikramaditya Varaguna. Chitharal was erected at Tirucharanam at the behest of a Jain priestess called Muttavala Naranakuttiyar, who also presented the temple a metallic lamp stand and a golden flower. Rao also believed that Thirunandhikkarai rock cut cave was excavated by Vikramaditya Varaguna, the Ay ruler in 9th century A.D in simple Pandya style. The rock cut caves were the founding caves of Jainism.  Thirunandhikarai cave also served as dwelling place to Jain ascetic Veeranandi, who came from Thirunarunkondai Melappalli and preached Jainism during 8th century. One more cave temple Kurathiarai  was also excavated in the ninth century when this region was under the influence of Jainism. Thirunandhikarai rock cut cave is under the maintenance of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Inscriptions:

This cave has four Vattezhuthu (வட்டெழுத்து) inscriptions (Travancore Archaeological Series (T. A. S.) vol. I., p. 413.)  inscribed one on each side of the entrance and others on each side of the pillars. One of which bears the name of the ruler and his regnal year. The inscription, dated in the 18th regnal year of Rajaraja Chola I (முதலாம் இராஜராஜ சோழன்) found on the western cave wall, registers the gift of Muttom (முட்டம்), the village  (name changed as Mummudi-chola-nallur மும்முடிச்சோழநல்லூர்) in Valluva-nadu (வள்ளுவநாடு) under Rajaraja-thennadu (இராஜராஜ தென்னாடு). The gift was made for the celebration of a festival for Mahadeva of Tirunandikarai (திருநந்திக்கரை மகாதேவர்) and also for ablution of the deity in the river, on the Satabhisha, star (சதய நட்சத்திரம்) day in the Tamil month Aippasi, (ஐப்பசி) (October - November) in the year 1003 A.D, being the birthday of the king. Records a provision made by the king for supply of one nazhi (நாழி) measure ghee every day for lighting the perpetual lamp in the name of Rajaraja Chola I in the temple.

Inscription Travancore Archaeological Series (T. A. S.) Vol. III, p. 206 records gift of nine buffalo(s) for the provision of burning a perpetual lamp with one uri measure ghee each day for Tirunandikarai Lord by Ainurruva Mutharaiyan alias Sithakutti Ambi of Veikottumalai under Nanjilnadu and the buffalo(s) were handed-over to Idayarmangalavan Pavithiran, an official serving under the village elders (sabha).  The inscription commences with these words 'the year of annihilation weaponry in Karaikanda Eswaram (‘கறைக்கண்ட ஈசுவரத்துக் கலமறுத்த யாண்டு’) refering the date of inscription. According to Gopinatha Rao, the temple 'Karaikanda Eswaram'  is the saivite temple located near Katikaipattinam in Eranial taluk. The inscription was inscribed in an year when the Chera war-ships were destroyed in Karaikanda Eswaram.    

Inscription Travancore Archaeological Series (T. A. S.) Vol. III, pp. 200-203 inscribed on a pillar, whose date assignable to eight century A.D., records the gift of 'Ur' (ஊர்-a village). For this purpose one Dhaliyazhavan (தளியாழ்வான்), along with the 'elders' of Tirunandikarai (திருநந்திக்கரை பெருமக்கள்) assembled in Kurunthambakkam (குருந்தம்பாக்கம்). The assembly converted the Ur's name into Sri Nandimangalam and gifted to one Nambi Ganapathi (நம்பி கணபதி) for purposes of mid-night offerings (நள்ளிரவுத் திருவமுது) to the Lord of the temple. The four boundaries (எல்லைகள்) are cited for the village under gift and include a river (name not known) (ஒரு பெயரற்ற ஆறு), Nandhi river (நந்தியாறு), Mudukonur (முதுகோனூர்) and Pakkamangalam (பாக்கமங்கலம்). Gopinatha Rao, who copied and recorded the inscription, has pointed out the present existence of  Mudukonur and Pakkamangalam near Nandhimangalam.

Inscription Travancore Archaeological Series (T. A. S.) Vol. III, pp. 203-206 comprising 40 lines was inscribed on another pillar. This inscription records the gift of land by Mangalacheri Narayanan Sivakaran to Tiruvallavazh Mahadevar of Tirunandikarai  (திருநந்திக்கரையில் உறையும் திருவல்லவாழ் மகாதேவர்). The inscription lists out the land pieces. Resolved the wages to be issued from the land produce accrued from the above land: four measures (கலம் Kalam) to Santhipuram, five measures (கலம் Kalam) to Uvachar (category of temple staff), five measures (கலம் Kalam) to Udayar (category of temple staff) and cleaning staff as well as for puja rituals, The perpetual lamps were lit using 60 measures (uri - உரி) of ghee from the remaining land produce. 

How to get there?

Road Transport : Thirunandhikarai and its nearest town Kulasekaram are well connected from Thirvananthapuram or Kovalam Beach or Kanyakumari. You can get busses from Nagercoil, Thuckalay, Marthandam, Kulasekaram. Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) organizes local site seeing tours. 

Nearest Railway Station is Marthandam. Nagerkoil railway station is 15 km away. Kanyakumari railway station is connects with major cities in India.

Nearest Airport is Trivandrum International Airport.
Reference

  1. A topographical list of the inscriptions of the Madras presidency (collected till 1915) with notes and references by Rangacharya, V. (Vijayaraghava); Archaeological Survey of India 1919
  2. Kerala State Archaeology Department (Wikipedia)
  3. On the southern tip of India, a village steeped in the past. The Hindu November 17, 2011
  4. Thirunandikkara Cave Temple in Thirparappu in Kanyakumari. Yatra to Temples.com (http://www.yatrastotemples.com/thirunandikkara-cave-temple-in-thirparappu-in-kanyakumari/)
  5. Thirunanthikarai (Wikipedia)
  6. Thirunanthikarai Cave Temple. C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre, Chennai. (http://www.cpreecenvis.nic.in/Database/ThirunanthikaraiCaveTemple_2939.aspx)
  7. Thirunanthikarai Cave Temple. Tourmet.com (http://tourmet.com/thirunandhikarai-cave-temple/)
  8. Thirunanthikarai inscription. Kerala Culture.org (http://www.keralaculture.org/thirunanthikara-inscriptions/366)
  9. திருநந்திக்கரைக் குடைவரை இரா.கலைக்கோவன், மு.நளினி வரலாறு.காம் இதழ் 63 (செப்டம்பர் 15 - அக்டோபர் 15, 2009)
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