Showing posts with label Inscription. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Inscription. Show all posts

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Tirukovalur, Ancient Capital of Malainadu (Maladu): History of Malaiyamans and Tirumudi Kari

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Tirukovalur or Thirukkovalur, also known in various names such as Tirukoilur, Tirukoyilur, Tirukovilur, is a panchayat town in Tirukkoyilur taluk, Villuppuram district, Tamil Nadu, India PIN 605757. The nondescript pastoral town, located on the banks of Pennai river, is 202 km away from Chennai (through NH 45 and SH 9), 74.7 km from Pondicherry and 238.5 km from Bangalore and it is placed on the State Highway (SH 9) linking Tiruvannamalai (34.7 km in south-east direction) and the district head quarters Villupuram (49.2 km in Southwest direction). The region is bounded in the west by the Kalrayan hills and the Javadu hills and they meet at the Chengam pass. This ancient town is in the border of the Villupuram district and Tiruvannamalai district. The geographical coordinates of Tirukovalur are 11.95°N  latitude and 79.2°E longitude and the elevation / altitude is 73 m (239 feet) from sea-level.  It has a population of 39,108 (males constitute 49% and females 51%.) according to  2014 census.

This taluk head quarter has great historical and religious significance. This place was once the capital of Malayaman dynasty of Sangam era (3rd century B.C to 3rd century A.D.) Malayaman Thirumudi Kari was  the renowned chieftain of Malayaman dynasty and also known as one of the seven greatest "Bestowers" of the last Sangam era.

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Parambu Hill (Piranmalai)
Kapilar, the most prominent poet of Sangam era composed inspiring poems of merit in Tamil language, was the bosom friend and confidant of Vel Pari, one of the Velir kings  After Vel Pari's killing in a war, Kapilar helped the two daughters of Vel Pari by getting them married to Malayaman of Tirukovalur. After this the poet observed his Vadakkiruthal (fast unto death by facing north). Another version is that he immolated himself in fire on top of a hillock. Kapilar rock or Kapilar Kundru is a hill rock in the middle of the Pennai River on the south bank of Tirukovalur. Kapilar hillock has a shrine on top of the hillock and a flight of steps leads to the shrine. The monument is protected and maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.

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Meipporul Nayanar, the Malayaman chieftain of Malainadu (Miladudaiyar) and one of the 63 Saivite saints glorified in Sekkilar's Periyapuranam, is connected with Tirukovalur. The chieftain was also known as Cediraja, the king of Cedi. The kingdom of Cedi existed around Tirukovalur. Narasinga Muniyaraiyar Nayanar, chieftain of Tirumunaipadi nadu and one of the 63 Saivite saints glorified in Sekkilar's Periyapuranam, is also connected with Tirukovalur.  .Narasinga Muniyaraiyar was the foster-father of saint Sundarar (one of the Tevaram Trios) and Narasinga Muniyaraiyar brought up Sundarar as a prince.

The town is also known for its ancient Shiva shrine (Virattanam of Tirukovalur) at Kilur (Kilaiyur) and is glorified in Thevaram by Sambandar and Appar, one decad each. The Shiva temple has some inscriptions of Vijayālaya. Yet the scholars assign the date to Parantaka. It is also known for its Vishnu temple of Trivikrama at Melur, exalted by the first three early Vaishnavite Alwars (Muthal Alwars).

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Veeratteswarar temple, Tirukoyilur
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Ulagalantha Perumal Temple, Tirukoyilur
Rajaraja Chola I and his brother, the Chola Prince Aditya Karikalan, were born in Tirukovalur. Rajaraja Chola I , born as Arunmozhivarman, the third child of Parantaka Sundara Chola and Vanavanmadevi, the princess of Malayaman dynasty.  Vanavanmadevi was born in Tirukovalur as a lovable daughter of Malayaman chieftain of Thirukovalur (ARE 236 / 1902 S.I.I. Vol.VII.No 863).She committed sati when her husband Sundara Chola expired.

Sangam Polity and Sangam Literature

Tamilakam (தமிழகம்) during Sangam period was divided among the three political powers, the Cholas, Pandyas and Cheras and the three capitals were Pukar (புகார்), Madurai (மதுரை), and Vanji (வஞ்சி). They are known as crowned kings (முடியுடை மூவேந்தர்). Whenever the crowned kings conquered the feudal territories, they never annexed them to their kingdom. Instead they  allowed the feudal to function as an autonomous states under their suzerainty. Thus there were number of feudatories or chieftaincies  in Tamilakam These chieftaincies evolved as a landed aristocracy and in course of time they might have acted as soldiers, warriors, generals and even ministers to their suzerains..

Some chieftains exercised vast powers of internal autonomy within their respective territories. However they owned some kind of nominal allegiance to one or more of the the crowned kings. Number of references can be seen about the internecine warfare between the crowned kings and the vassals in Sangam literature, The reason for these feuds  could be the breaking of personal loyalty to their over-lords and refusal to pay tribute.

The chieftains are also tribal clan in character. For example Pegan belongs to Aviyar tribe or clan, Athiyan and Ori belongs to Malavar, tribe or clan. Velir chieftains ruled various parts of Tamilakam and enjoyed the privilege giving their daughters in marriage to the crowned kings. They are celebrated personalities and treated next to the crowned kings. Those chieftains who acted as the guardians of the garrisons (known as Kurumbu) in the border areas. .

According to A. K. Ramanujan, the word Sangam “means an academy or fraternity.   The word is probably borrowed from the vocabulary of Buddhism and Jainism, the two religions competing with Hinduism in the 6th and 7th centuries in South India”. Sangam literature constitutes a total of 2381 poems (26,350 lines of poems) composed by 473 poets (including 30 poetesses and 102 poems by anonymous authors).  Both men and women including kings, noble men, learned men, doctors, businessmen, teachers, metal smiths,  goldsmiths, cattle  herders etc have become poets.

Sangam poems are the panegyrics or the court poetry in praise of the crowned kings and chieftains of Sangam era and are composed by court-bards or the poets. Sangam literature is still the main source for the early Cholas, Pandyas and Cheras. Most of the poems are secular in nature.   Only sixteen poets have composed 1177 poems (fifty two percent) of the total 2279 non-anonymous poems. They are Ammoovanar (127 poems), Kapilar (235 poems), Orampokiyar (110 poems), Peyanar (105 poems), Othalanthaiyar (103 poems), Paranar, Maruthan Ilanākanar, Palai Padiya Perunkadunko, Avvaiyar, Nallanthuvanar, Nakkeerar, Ulochanar, Mamoolanar, Kayamanar, Perunkundrur Kilar and Perisathanar.  Out of 473 poets, 144 poets have eulogized their patrons in their poems.

Sangam poems, especially in Purananuru and Patirruppattu have a mine of information regarding the heroic exploits of the Sangam era chieftains i.e., Purananuru provides 164 direct references about 59 chieftains, vassals, princes, which are the only available source of information for Sangam polity. Many poems in the Purananuru were written by various Kings of the Tamilakam.  Though the Akam poem books listed above represent the dramatic monologues of the heroes, loved ones, their companions and the heroine's mothers / stepmothers, they have copious historical allusions to the crowned kings and chieftains. In the Ten Idylls there are 27 references  to 12 chieftains.

Sirupanatruppadai, one of the Ten Idylls,  is sung on Oyman Nalliyakodan, the chieftain Oyma nadu by Nallur Nathathanar of Idaikkazhinadu, The poem lines 84 to 112 also speaks about the greatness of the Seven Great Benefactors or Bestowers or Patrons of the last Sangam era a.k.a Kadai ezhu vallalgal (கடையேழு வள்ளல்கள்) and they include: 1. Pegan of Aviyar clan (வையாவிக் கோப்பெரும் பேகன்), 2. Vel Pari, the Lord of Parambu (வேள் பாரி), 3. Kari (மலையமான் திருமுடி காரி), 4. Ay Andiran (ஆய் அண்டிரன்), 5. Athikan (அதிகன்), 6. Nalli (நளி மலை நாடன் நள்ளி) and 7. Valvil Ori (வல்வில் ஓரி). Athikan is also known as Athiyaman.

Purananuru poem 158 sung on Kumanan (குமணன்), chieftain of Mutiram hills (முதிரமலை) by Poet Perunchithiranar (பெருஞ்சித்திரனார்) also mentions about the greatness of the Seven Great Benefactors or Bestowers or Patrons of the last Sangam era a.k.a Kadai ezhu vallalgal (கடையேழு வள்ளல்கள்). Instead Athikan (அதிகன்) at srl. no. 5, the poem includes Ezhini (எழினி), the chieftain of Kutirai hills (குதிரைமலை நாடு) 

ஊராது ஏந்திய குதிரைக் கூர் வேல்
கூவிளங் கண்ணிக் கொடும் பூண் எழினி
(Poet Perunchithiranar sang to Kumanan. Purananuru 158: 8 - 9)

Elini Athiyaman carrying a spear who ruled over Kuthirai Mountain wearing a koovilam garland and curved necklace

The poets, bards and minstrels indicated the path of virtue to the crowned kings and chieftains. Their political diplomacy has prevented bloody feuds and internecine warfare and even safeguarded the lives of young princes. Kari was captured and killed by Kulamutrathu Thunjiya Killivalavan (குலமுற்றத்துத் துஞ்சிய கிள்ளி வளவன்), the Chola king in a battle. The Chola king was also planned to have his children crushed by an elephant. Poet Kovur Kilar intercedes in a timely manner and saves the children. (Purananuru 46).

Miladu Maladu Malainadu

Tolkappiyam (தொல்காப்பியம்) is the earliest available work in Tamil. The dating of this earliest Tamil grammatical work has been disputed much and its date is still inaccurate and doubtful. Proposing a date has witnessed wide disagreements among scholars. It has been dated variously between 8000 BC and 10th AD. It is composed in the form of short formulaic compositions a.k.a noorpaa (நூற்பா). Its three books include the Ezhuttadikaram, the Solladikaram and the Poruladikaram. This seminal work assigns to classes the Tamil language into classical Tamil or Sentamil (செந்தமிழ்) and dialectal Tamil or koduntamil (கொடுந்தமிழ்). The former is employed almost exclusively in literary works and the latter was spoken by the people in the various regions of ancient Tamilakam. According to Tolkappiyar (தொல்காப்பியர்) there were twelve ancient regions (panniru nilam = பன்னிரு நிலம்) as the sources of the dialectisms (கொடுந்தமிழ்):

செந்தமிழ் சேர்ந்த பன்னிரு நிலத்தும்
தம் குறிப்பினவே திசைச்சொல் கிளவி.

He never mentioned about the names of those regions.  According to a poem or venba by latter commentators, there were twelve regions (panniru nilam) which were the sources of the dialectisms (கொடுந்தமிழ்):

தென்பாண்டி குட்டம் குடம்கற்கா வேண்பூழி
பன்றிஅருவா அதன்வடக்கு — நன்றாய
சீதமலநாடு புனல்நாடு செந்தமிழ்சேர்
ஏதமில் பன்னிரு நாட்டெண்

Malayaman nadu or Malainadu was included as one of the twelve region.

The geographical region of the present Villupuram district was forming part of Nadunadu (நடுநாடு) and included the regions of two Sangam era feudatories or chieftaincies.  One among them was known as Malayaman nadu (மலையமான் நாடு) a.k.a Malainadu (மலைநாடு) or Maladu (மலாடு) or Miladu (மிலாடு). The other one is the Oymanadu (ஓய்மாநாடு). Malainadu or Maladu included the present Kallakurichi, Tirukoyilur, Sankarapuram, Villupuram, Ulundurpet regions as well as Kalvararayan hills. Oymanadu included coasts of present Pondicherry, Marakkanam, Tindivanam and Gingee regions.

According to an inscription (Epigraphia Indica, Vol. No: 7. K.P. No. 146) Malainadu included 2000 bhumi (பூமி) (bhumi is an area measuring unit i.e., one bhumi included ten veli land). Malainadu or Maladu was having 1. Kurukkai-kurram (குறுக்கைக் கூற்றம்): - Tirukovalur, Sirringur (சிற்றிங்கூர்) (Siddhalingamadam) and 2. Panur-kurram (பானூர் கூற்றம்): - Iraiyanaraiyur (இறையநாரையூர்) (present name Elvanasur எலவனசூர்)  was a large independent village. It was also called as Pennaiyam Padappai Nadu

பெண்ணையம் படப்பை நாடு கிழவோயே. (Poet Marokathu Nappasalaiyr. Purannuru 126: 23)
O lord of the country with the lovely Pennai River!

Back in time, when it was at the peak of its glory, the region was also known as Chedi Kingdom or Chethi Nadu (சேதி நாடு). Cedi chieftains ruled this region and the Cholas acted as their suzerains. The Cedi kings have entered marital relationship with Cholas. A number Kurrams constituted Valanadu. Commencing from the reign of Rajaraja Chola I till the end of 13th century A.D. this region was known as Jananatha Valanadu.  Several Valanadus made up one Mandalam or province i.e., Jayangondasora mandalam. During the reign of Vijayanagara dynasty this region was known as Tiruvathi Rajyam and Tiruvathi Seemai during the reign of Achyudha Rayar (1529 - 1542) as well as Sadashiva Rayar (1535 - 1575).

Malayaman Tirumudi Kari

Malayaman Tirumudi Kari was one of the Seven Great Benefactors or Bestowers or Patrons of the last Sangam era a.k.a Kadai ezhu vallalgal (கடையேழு வள்ளல்கள்). He was a good and kind chieftain in many respects and never sent the bards and mendicants, who visit his abode seeking munificence, with empty handed. The poets mention about the shower of lavish gifts of gold, gems, elephants, sturdy horses, chariots, food grains and fine muslin garments made to the bards.

Kari was eulogized for his generosity and valour in four of the eight anthologies (Ettuthokai) books such as Akananuru (அகநானுறு), Kuruntokai (குறுந்தோகை), Natrinai (நற்றிணை) and Purananuru (புறநானுறு) as well as in one of the Ten Idylls (பத்துப்பாட்டு) book - Sirupanatruppadai (சிறுபாணாற்றுப்படை). Sangam poets such as Ammuvanar (அம்மூவனார்), Kalladanar (கல்லாடனார்), Kapilar (கபிலர்), Marokathu Nappasalaiyar (மாறோக்கத்து நப்பசலையார்), Perunchithiranar (பெருஞ்சித்திரனார்) and Vadama Vannakkan Perunchathanar (வடம வண்ணக்கன் பெருஞ்சாத்தனார்) lauded Kari. 

In Sirupanatruppadai (சிறுபாணாற்றுப்படை), poet Nallur Nathathanar of Idaikkazhinadu (இடைக்கழி நாட்டு நல்லூர் நத்தத்தனார்) eulogizes Malayaman Tirumudi Kari in the poem lines 91 to 95. 
……………………… கறங்கு மணி
வால் உளைப் புரவியொடு வையகம் மருள
ஈர நல் மொழி இரவலர்க்கு ஈந்த
அழல் திகழ்ந்து இமைக்கும் அஞ்சுவரு நெடு வேல்
கழல் தொடித் தடக் கை காரியும் (Pathuppattu – Sirupanatruppadai 91-95)
Kari, adorned with sliding bracelets on his huge hands, has gifted horses with jingling bells and white plumes. He inspired people with his kind, good words. His bright, tall spear caused terror.

In Purananuru poem 158 poet Perunchithiranar praises about Malayaman Tirumudi Kari in the poem lines 6 to 7. The genorosity of Kari is being compared with the rain cloud. 
காரி ஊர்ந்து பேர் அமர்க் கடந்த
மாரி ஈகை மறப்போர் மலையனும்
(Poet Perunchithiranar sang to Kumanan. Purananuru 158: 6 - 7)
Malayan, brave in war, who was as charitable as the rain cloud and won battles riding on his stallion Kari

Malayaman dynasty ruled over Malainadu and the mountain plateau called Mullur-malai (முள்ளூர் மலை) a.k.a Mullur nadu (முள்ளூர் நாடு).formed part of his territory.
முள்ளூர் மன்னன் கழறொடிக் காரி (Akananuru 209)
Mullur King Kari with warrior anklets and bracelets,

Therefore the region was known as Malainadu. Malayaman dynasty was also known by this name. Tirumudi Kari was the chieftain of the mountain plateau of Mullur or Mullur-malai. Malaiyamān Tirumudi Kari was the chief of the renowned warrior clan of Malavar. His capital was Tirukovalur.
துஞ்சா முழவின் கோவல் கோமான் (Akananuru 35)
Kari the Lord of Kovalur, the town with non-stopping drums

The people of his time considered him the most modest of kings. Nobody left empty-handed after paying a visit to him and the visitor who came on barefoot would usually return mounted on a horse or an elephant of his choice. He called himself not a king but a "rightful servant of his beloved people".

Kari revolted against Killivalavan

The chieftains were subdued by the empire builders i.e., Muvendars - Chera, Chola and Pandya of ancient Tamilakam and their paramountacy was accepted. He was a vassal to the early Chola king Kulamutrathu Thunjiya Killivalavan (குலமுற்றத்துத் துஞ்சிய கிள்ளி வளவன்). Over the period of time he broke his loyalty to the over-lord and wore a crown and declared himself as Tirumudi Kari. Thus he became virtually an independent ruler. He was very powerful and had his own administration and army. He enjoyed certain rights and privileges. He was a revolting vassal and was one of the most dangerous threats to the crowned king and neighboring vassals. 

Kari supported Cheral Irumporai in Chera - Chola War

Yanaikatcei Maandaran Cheral Irumporai (சேரமான் யானைகட்சேய் மாந்தரஞ்சேரல் இரும்பொறை)
was a Chera king  The Chola ruler Rajasuyam-vetta-peru-nar-killi (சோழன் இராசசூயம் வேட்ட பெருநற்கிள்ளி) and Maandaran Cheral Irumporai encountered each other in a pitched battle. Kari and his army supported the Cholas in this battle and helped the Chola to conquer the Chera. Without the support of Kari this victory could not have possible for Cholas. For this they have lost huge number of elephants in the battle, yet Kari never mind about loss and brought victory to Cholas.

குன்றத்து அன்ன களிறு பெயரக்
கடந்துஅட்டு வென்றோனும் நிற்கூ றும்மே
வெலீஇயோன் இவன் எனக்
கழல்அணிப் பொலிந்த சேவடி நிலம்கவர்பு
விரைந்துவந்து சமம் தாங்கிய
வல்வேல் மலையன் அல்லன் ஆயின்
நல்அமர் கடத்தல் எளிதுமன் நமக்குஎனத்
தோற்றோன் தானும் நிற்கூ றும்மே
(Poet Vadama Vannakkan Perunchathan, Purananuru 125)

The victor who slayed mountain-like elephants says, that you gave him victory.  The defeated one thinks that without Malaiyan with his strong spear who came swiftly to the field, his handsome legs gleaming with war anklets, he would have won easily. He praises you when he says that you were the one who made him lose.  Greatness!  

Kari - Athiyaman Neduman Anci: Encounter

Athiyaman Neduman Anci was the chief of the renowned warrior clan of Malavar. Thagadoor was his capital (identified with modern Dharmapuri district. Kari waged war on Thagadoor against Athiyaman Neduman Anci. It was an attempt fueled by his longtime desire to become an emperor equivalent in power to the Cholas. Kari was defeated and lost Kovalur to Athiyaman.  After sometime Athiyaman believed to have demolished the Kovalur town and the inscription in Thanjavur Big Temple seems to have the evidence.

Kari Killed Ori in a War

Paalai paadiya Perum Cheral Irumporai (பாலை பாடிய பெருஞ்சேரல் இரும்பொறை), the Chera monarch was in agreement with Malayaman Tirumudi Kari and the Chera was expecting Kari's support in defeating Valvil Ori (வல்வில் ஓரி), the chieftain of neighboring Kolli hills (கொல்லிமலை). Kari defeated and killed Ori and took Kolli Hills. An Akananuru poem 209 registers this event.

முள்ளூர் மன்னன் கழல்தொடிக் காரி
செல்லா நல்இசை நிறுத்த வல்வில்
ஓரிக் கொன்று சேரலர்க்கு ஈந்த (Akananuru 209)
Mullur King Kari with warrior anklets and bracelets, owning bloody spears, gifted to the Cheras after killing Ori of unfading fame and strong bows.
"ஓரிக்கொன்றவொருபெருந் திருவிற், காரி புக்க நேரார் புலம்போற், கல்லென் றன்றாலூரே" (Poet Kapilar, Natrinai. 320)

The whole town laughs with great uproar. This is like when Kāri killed Ori of ancient victories, and then entered his wide avenue which had no match, and his people raised uproars.

Perum Cheral Irumporrai Killed Athiyaman

Kari, in order to avenge his earlier defeat, also sought the support of Chera to invade and conquer Thagadoor Accordingly the Chera king attacked and Athiyaman was killed in this battle. After this encounter Kari was able to regain back Kovalur. In "Thagadoor Yathirai," (தகடூர் யாத்திரை) the Sangam poets detail about Thagadoor attack by Perum Cheral Irumporrai.

Kulamutrathu Thunjiya Killivalavan Defeated and Killed Kari

Kari commenced to dominate or overshadow the early Chola king Kulamutrathu Thunjiya Killivalavan (குலமுற்றத்துத் துஞ்சிய கிள்ளி வளவன்). The Chola king wanted teach him a lesson by invading Tirukovalur. There was a pitched battle. Kari was resolute enough to win or die. During the early encounter Chola army met with huge casualty and lost around 10000 soldiers. The Chola intelligence captured the twin sons of Kari as war prison. Kari followed them up to the Chola army camp, where he was captured and killed by the Chola. Further to this Killivalavan, Chola king was getting ready to have his children crushed by an elephant. Poet Kovūr Kilar intercedes in a timely manner and saves the children. (Purananuru 46 by Poet Kovur Kilar).

Malayaman Choliya Enati Tirukkannan

Malayaman Choliya Enati Tirukkannan (மலையமான் சோழிய ஏனாதி திருக்கண்ணன்) was a descendant of Malayaman Tirumudi Kari. He was the Chietain of Maladu and the Lord of Mullur. He might be Kari's son. He succeeded as the chieftain of Maladu after Kari's death. Kulamuttrathu Tunjiya Killivalavan (குலமுற்றத்துத் துஞ்சிய கிள்ளி வளவன்),  an early Chola king, was the over-lord of Tirukkannan. He was not only the chieftain of Malayaman dynasty, but also a feudatory as well as military chief to Chola king. He was awarded with the title "Choliya Enati" (Choliya = Chola; Enati = army chief) i.e., the chief of the Chola army. 

கவலை நெஞ்சத்து அவலந் தீர
நீ தோன்றினையே நிரைத் தார் அண்ணல்
கல் கண் பொடியக் கானம் வெம்ப
மல்கு நீர் வரைப்பில் கயம் பல உணங்கக்
கோடை நீடிய பைதறு காலை
இரு நிலம் நெளிய ஈண்டி
உரும் உரறு கருவிய மழை பொழிந்தாங்கே.
(Poet Marokathu Nappasalaiyar Purananuru 174: 23 - 29)

Poetess Nappasalaiyar of Marokam has composed this Purananuru poem 174 Malayaman Choliya Enati Tirukkannan  In a Purananuru poem 174 Marokam Nappasalaiyar praises that Tirukkannan played an important and significant role in regaining the falling Chola  kingdom. His appearance is being compared rains falling with loud thunder and lightning, during a long summer when mountains crumbled, forests burned and reservoirs filled with water dried up.

Mullur a.k.a Mullurmalai

At present there is a village / hamlet called Mullur and is located in Gingee taluk, Villupuram district, Tamil Nadu, India PIN 605201. It comes under Anaiyeri Panchayat.. The village  located 28 km towards north of district head quarters Villupuram, 7 km from Gingee and 162 km from Chennai. This village is in the border of the Villupuram district and Tiruvannamalai district.

A Purananuru poem 123 by poet Kapilar assigns about the tallness of Mullur mountain plateau and this hilly region receives abundant rain..

தொலையா நல்லிசை விளங்கு மலயன்
மகிழாது ஈத்த இழையணி நெடுந்தேர்
பயங் கெழு முள்ளூர் மீமிசைப்
பட்ட மாரி உறையினும் பலவே.
(Poet Kapilar. Purannuru 123: 3 - 6)
Shining Malaiyan with untarnished fame gives away beautifully decorated chariots without drinking, their numbers higher than the rain drops that fall on fertile Mullur Mountain.

Further to this another Purananuru poem 126 by poetess Marokathu Nappasalaiyar describes about the dense and dark forest of Mullur and the roaring sound produced by the waterfalls resembles the hard beats of the drum.
துயில் மடிந்தன்ன தூங்கிருள் இறும்பின்
பறை இசை அருவி முள்ளூர்ப் பொருநர்
தெறல் அரும் மரபின் நின் கிளையொடும் பொலிய
(Poet Marokathu Nappasalaiyr. Purannuru 126: 7 - 9), 
O lord of Mullur Mountain, where waterfalls roar like drums of war and the fores t seems to be sleeping through nights with pitch darkness! 

Kuruntokai and Natrinai also refer Mullur as:

செவ்வேல் மலையன் முள்ளூர் (Poet Kapilar. Kuruntokai 312)
Malayan with lance)

"மாயிரு முள்ளூர் மன்னன் மாவூர்ந்தெல்லித் தரீஇய வினநிரைப், பல்லான் கிழவரின்" -(Natrinai. 291)
Kari rode up with his horse and seized the cattle herd with many cows.

ஆரியர் துவன்றிய பேர் இசை முள்ளூர்
பலர் உடன் கழித்த ஒள் வாள் மலையன, தொருவேற் கோடி யாங்கு (Natrinai 170: 6 - 7)
Malaiyan with bright sword, who along with his army, repelled Aryan invaders in renowned Mullur.

There was a battle at renowned Mullur. Aryans attacked with their army. King Malaiyan (Malayaman Tirumudi Kari) fought with them with bright sword. Malaiyan repelled the Aryan invaders. Viralis were artists who sang and danced.  They were related to bards. The dancing skills of the beauteous Virali will be like Malaiyan (Malayaman Tirumudi Kari) with bright sword, who along with his army, repelled Aryan invaders in renowned Mullur.
ஊராது ஏந்திய குதிரைக் கூர் வேல்
கூவிளங் கண்ணிக் கொடும் பூண் எழினி
எள் அறு சிறப்பின் முள்ளூர் மீமிசை
அரு வழி இருந்த பெரு விறல் வளவன்
மதி மருள் வெண் குடை காட்டி அக்குடை
புதுமையின் நிறுத்த புகழ் மேம்படுந
விடர்ப்புலி பொறித்த கோட்டைச் சுடர்ப் பூண்
சுரும்பு ஆர்  கண்ணிப் பெரும் பெயர் நும் முன்
ஈண்டுச் செய் நல்வினை யாண்டுச் சென்று உணீஇயர்
உயர்ந்தோர் உலகத்துப் பெயர்ந்தனன் ஆகலின்
(Poet Marrokathu Nappasalaiyr. Purannuru 174: 13 - 20)
At a difficult time when the Chola kingdom was lost, your ancestor with drums roaring in his front yard, ended the sorrow of the fine country where Kaviri flows with abundant water hitting its shores, set the moon-like white umbrella in its place, of Valavan who was in hiding firmly on the tall Mullūr Mountain decorated with clouds. sung by poet Kapilar whose tongue never lied, as brave enemy warriors ran away rapidly showing their backs.  May his fame soar!
Your famous ancestor whose fortress was carved with the symbol of the tiger that lives in caves, he who wore gleaming jewels and a garland humming with bees, has gone to the higher world to enjoy the benefits of his good deeds here, and so you have come here to relieve the misery of those in all directions whose hearts are in pain.

There was a town on the banks of Pennai and it was known as "Kotunkal" (கொடுங்கால்).  At present there is a place called Kodungal and is located in Mugaiyur block, Tirukoyilur taluk, Villupuram district, Tamil Nadu, India PIN 605755. It is a village Panchayat.. The village,  located on the south banks of Pennai river, is 14 km away from Tirukoyilur, 15 km from Tiruvennainallur, 7 km from Mugaiyur, and 5.9 km from Arkandanallur. The nearest railway station to Kodungal is Mambalappattu which is located in and around 7.2 km distance. This village is in the border of the Villupuram district and Tiruvannamalai district. The geographical coordinates of Kodungal are 11.961022 N  latitude and 79.2757237 E longitude and the elevation / altitude is 75 m from sea-level.  It has a population of 3090  (male 1558 and female 1532) according to  2011 census. Some scholars consider this village as Sangam age Kotunkal. Pennai river flows to the south of Kodungal.  At this place the Pennai river splits into two and flows towards east and merges back into single river. Thus an island is formed (like the Srirengam island formed between  Cauvery and Kollidam rivers). The southern branch of Pennai river is broad and the flow of water is vast when compared with northern branch of Pennai river. Since the north Pennai is narrow and left with less water flow, Sangam poet Ammuvanar (of Akananuru poem 35) draws comparison of fine sands of the huge shores of Pennai river with the dark hair of the heroine.

துஞ்சா முழவின் கோவல் கோமான்
நெடுந்தேர்க் காரி கொடுங்கால் முன் துறை
பெண்ணையம் பேரியாற்று நுண் அறல் கடுக்கும்
நெறி இருங்கதுப்பின் என் பேதைக்கு
அறியாத் தேஎத்து ஆற்றிய துணையே.
(Akananuru 35: 13 - 17)
May he be a partner to her in the paths of unknown lands, my daughter with straight, dark hair, resembling the fine sands of the huge shores of the Pennai River at Kodunkāl, belonging to King Kāri of Kovalur owning tall chariots, where drumsdon’t rest!


Jambai inscription of Athiyaman Neduman Anci (அதியமான் நெடுமான் அஞ்சி) is found on a rock inside a cavern, Dasimadam (தாசிமடம் குகை) on the hillock of Jambai, a village in Villupuram district. It was discovered in 1981 by Tamilnadu State Department of Archaeology. The village, located on the north bank of the Pennai river, is just 19.6 km away from Tirukovalur. The epigraph, dated the 1st century A.D.,  is in Tamil Brahmi  (தமிழ் பிரம்மி) and reads as:

Satiyaputo Atiyan Natuman Anci itta Pali 
The abode given by Athiyan Neduman Anji, the Satyaputo

It is the Jambai inscription that prove that the “Satyaputo” mentioned by Asoka was none other than the Adhiyaman dynasty, which ruled from Thagadur. The Tamil Brahmi inscription also links Adhiyaman Netuman Anci with the Tamil Sangam Age (தமிழ் சங்க காலம்) (the Eight Anthologies (எட்டுத்தொகை) and Ten Idyls (பத்துப்பாட்டு) and the Tamil-Brahmi age (தமிழ் பிரம்மி காலம்)

Jambai Inscription (Wikimedia)

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has copied 79 (77+2) inscriptions in the year 1902 vide ARE nos. 230 to 306 1902; 23 inscriptions in the year 1905 vide ARE nos. 3 to 25; and 2 inscriptions in the year 1935 vide ARE nos. 200 to 201 in Tirukovalur Virataneswarar Temple.  The temple has 104 inscriptions in Grantha and ancient Tamil. South Indian Inscription (S.I.I.) volume VII has published the full text of the 79 inscriptions from no. 857 to 935. Inscriptions copied during 1905 and 1935 are yet to be published in S.I.I.

The Pallava inscriptions of this temple include inscriptions of Nandivarman II (731–795 AD), Dantivarman (795–846 AD) and Nandivarman III (846-869 AD);  Chola inscriptions include inscriptions of Parantaka Chola I (907–950 AD), Rajaraja Chola I (985–1014 AD), Rajendra Chola I (1012–1044 AD), Rajadhiraja Chola (1044–1054 AD), Virarajendra Chola (1063–1067 AD), Kulotunga Chola I (1070–1120 AD), Vikrama Chola (1118–1135 AD), and Kulothunga Chola II (1133–1150 AD). The Rashtrakuta inscription was inscribed by Krishna III or Kannara Deva (938 - 967 AD) and the Pandya inscriptions belongs to, Sundara Pandya, Vikrama Pandya (1180 - 1190 AD) and Vijayaraya Marayar (Deva Raya II) (1424–1446 AD).

Inscription (ARE 236 / 1902 S.I.I. Vol.VII.No 863) of Rajaraja Chola I inscribed Kamban Maniyan, a Chola official in the Virattaneswarar temple in Tirukovalur.  Dr.R.Nagaswamy has conveniently categorized this inscription into eight portions for his study. The first portion devotes to Rajaraja Chola I and his achievements; the second portion addresses about Vanavanmadevi the mother of Rajaraja Chola I; and her link with Tirukovalur as the princess of Malayamans. the third portion speaks about Pennai ricer; the fourth portion is about Kapilar hillock and supreme sacrifice after handing over Vel Pari's daughters with Avvaiyar; the fifth portion praises the Viratteneswarar temple in Tirukovalur; the sixth portion registers the Devadana of land for daily puja rituals and offerings made to Lord Viratteneswarar and goddess Parvati;  the seventh portion is about the temple personnel and their emoluments;  the eighth portion concludes with the bestower Vithi vitankan Kamban, who was the trustworthy officer under Rajaraja Chola I.
... ... ... கம்பத் தடிகள்       245
மாதி விடங்கு வருபரி வல்ல
வீதி விடங்கன்

Sundara Chola and Vanavanmadevi were the parents of Rajaraja Chola I. His birth name was Arunmozhivarman. His brother was Aditya Karikala. These two Chola prices had their birth in Tirukovalur and spent their early childhood in Tirukovalur Malayaman palace. Sundara Chola died of broken heart due to the murder of Aditya Karikala in a mysterious circumstances. Vanavanmadevi committed sati (entering the funeral pyre of her husband) leaving her tender child. This was the supreme sacrifice by the Chola queen and it is being highlighted in the second portion of the inscription. Vanavanmadevii is described in this inscription as a "lovely female deer that gave birth to a tiger".

செந்திரு மடந்தைமன் ஸரீராச ராசன்
இந்திர சேனன் ராஜசர் வஞ்ஞ னெனும்
புலியைப் பயந்த பொன்மான் கலியைக் - - - - - - 40
கரந்து கரவாக் காரிகை சுரந்த
முலைமிகப் பிரிந்து முழங்கெரி நடுவணுந்
தலைமகற் பிரியாத் தைய்யல் நிலைபெறும்
தூண்டா விளக்கு..............
........ ......... .......சி சொல்லிய - - - - - - - - - - -45
வரைசர்தம் பெருமா னதுலனெம் பெருமான்
பரைசைவண் களிற்றுப் பூழியன் விரைசெயு
மாதவித் தொங்கல் மணிமுடி வளவன்
சுந்தர சோழன் மந்தர தாரன்
திருப்புய முயங்குந் தேவி விருப்புடன் - - - - - - - 50
வந்துதித் தருளிய மலையர் திருக்குலத்
தோரன் மையாக தமரகத் தொன்மையிற்
குலதெய்வ ........ கொண்டது
(ARE 236 / 1902 S.I.I. Vol.VII.No 863 Inscription of Rajaraja Chola I inscribed Kamban Maniyan, a Chola official  in the Shiva temple in Tirukovalur in Kurukkai-kurram, a subdivision of Miladu (Jananatha-valanadu).

The fourth part of the inscription details about the supreme sacrifice made by poet Kapilar. It has historic significance. Purananuru poems 113, 117 and 201 by Kapilan brings out the story of Vel Pari and his two daughters. Vel Pari, one of the seven great bestowers, ruled Parambu hills (presently called as Pranmalai, located near Singampunari village in Sivagangai district). Poet Kapilar, his bosom friend and life long companion, extolled Vel Pari for his valour and generosity. 
‘பாரி ஒருவனும் அல்லன்;  மாரியும் உண்டு, ஈங்கு உலகு புரப்பதுவே’  (Purananuru, 107)

He is being praised for the act of giving away his chariot to a climber plant.The three crowned Tamil kings Chera, Chola and Pandya wanted expand their kingdoms ruthlessly and turned their attention towards Vel Pari. Vel Pari refused to accept their suzerainty. They laid siege to the heavily fortified Parambu hills and the war dragged for years. Kapilar moved towards the three crowned kings and pacified them to lift the siege. (Purananuru: 109). After prolonged war  Vel Pari was killed by treachery. After his death Kapilar became the guardian for Angavai and Sangavai, the two daughters of Vel Pari and the poet unsuccessfully approached few Velir chieftains to find  grooms. However Kapilar sacrificed his own life by entering fire and immolated himself on top the hillock on the banks of the river Pennai. Later, poet Avvaiyar took care of the daughters of Vel Pari and married them off successfully into the family of Malayaman and the marriage ceremony took place in Karapuranathar Temple, Uthamacholapuram, Salem district. The portion of inscription is in abidance with what is best known through the anthology of poems by Sangam era poets.

வன்கரை பொருது வருபுனல் பெண்னை    67
தென்கரை உள்ளது தீர்த்தத் துறையது 
மொய்வைத்து இயலும் முத்தமிழ் நான்மைத்  
தெய்வக் கவிதைச் செஞ்சொற் கபிலன் 
மூரிவண் தடக்கைப் பாரிதன் அடைக்கலப் 
பெண்ணை மலையர்க் குதவிப் பெண்ணை 
அலைபுனல் அழுவத்து அந்தரிட் சஞ்செல 
மினல்புகும் விசும்பின் வீடுபேறு எண்ணிக்  
கனல்புகுங் கபிலக் கல்லது புனல்வளர் .........  75
(ARE 236 / 1902 S.I.I. Vol.VII.No 863 Inscription of Rajaraja Chola I inscribed Kamban Maniyan, a Chola official  in the Shiva temple in Tirukovalur in Kurukkai-kurram, a subdivision of Miladu (Jananatha-valanadu).

The widely known Kapilar kundru or Kapilakkal is in the middle of the Pennai river in the vicinity of Shiva temple. A small shrine is found on this little hillock. 

Archaeological Excavations at Tirukovalur

The Tamil Nadu State Department of Archaeology conducted excavations in Tirukovalur in the year 1994. The team laid six trenches. The excavations help us to understand the history of three different cultures since from first century B.C. till the end of 17th century A.D. Fragments of Roman amphora jars (large storage jars used to transport wine, olive oil, fish products, and so on throughout the Roman empire) were excavated in Tirukovalur i.e., outside the boundaries of Roman empire. The Amphora shreds stand as evidence to Indo-Roman trade in Tirukovalur. Coins issued in ancient Rome have also been excavated near Tirukovalur and this also confirms ancient Indo-Roman trade. The site is also marked by the presence of number of decorated red ware shreds and Indian roulette ware (which were made in the northern parts of India) The Indian roulette collected from this site. indicates the ancient trade links with the rest of the country. They have also unearthed terracotta dolls used by the ancient children as toy. Ancient people have laid 9.5 m long drinking water channel by joining together fifty terracotta pipes. Each pipe measured about 19 cm x 16.5 cm x 2 cm.  The unearthing of terracotta spindle reveal the prevalence weaving craft in this region. They have used timber, iron nails and terracotta tiles for constructing the roof in their houses. The excavation also include the pieces of bangles, made in glass, conch and copper, as well as terracotta ear studs. Excavators have also discovered terracotta  smoking pipes datable between 13th and 17th century A.D.

How to get there?

Nearest Bus station: Tirukoilure is well connected with Villupuram and Tiruvannamalai. People will get buses from these two prominent towns.
Nearest Railway station:  Tirukkoyilur Railway station, the very nearby railwaystation, is located on the section line between Villupuram and Katpadi and passes through Tiruvannamalai. Katpadi Junction Railway station, a major railway station, is located 130 km from Tirukkoyilur

  1. Chieftains of the Sangam Age. Tirunavukkarasu, KD. IITS, Madras. 100p.
  2. Sri Thiruvikrama swamy temple. Dinamalar.
  3. Sri Veeratteswarar temple. Dinamalar.
  4. Thiruk-koyilur inscription. R.Nagaswamy. Tamil Arts Academy.
  5. Thanjavur Brihadhiswara Temple Inscriptions. South Indian Inscriptions.
  6. Thiruk-koyilur inscription R.Nagaswamy. Tamil Arts Academy.
  7. Tirukoyilur. One Five Nine.
  8. Tirukoilur temples.  Dr.Ravishankar's blog. October 16, 2011
  9. Veeratteswarar Temple of Shiva
  10. கொடுந்தமிழ் நாடு
  11. சங்ககாலதிற்கு முன்பிருந்த சோழர்கள்
  12. சோழ மன்னர் மெய்க்கீர்த்திகள்
  13. திருக்கோயிலூர். அப்துல் மஜீத், அ. in ஆய்வில் பூத்த மலர்கள். தமிழ்நாடு அரசு தொல்லியல் துறை, சென்னை, 2001. 20 - 25 பக்.    
  14. திருக்கோயிலூர் கீழூர் வீராட்டனேஸ்வரர் திருக்கோயில்.. பிச்சைபிள்ளை கூ. விஜயா பதிப்பகம், உளுந்தூர்ப்பேட்டை, 2016. 144 பக்.   
  15. மலையமான் திருமுடிக்காரியும் முள்ளுர் நாட்டு வளமும்


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Naviram Hills (Parvathamalai) and Chieftain Nannan as Portrayed in Sangam Poem Malaipadukadam

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Naviram Hill (Nanviramalai) (நவிரமலை) is one of the hill range described in Malaipadukadam (மலைபடுகடாம்),  a Sangam poetic work in Pattuppattu (பத்துப்பாட்டு) anthology. Before two thousand years ago the Javadhu hill-range (ஜவ்வாதுமலை), an extension of the Eastern Ghats comprising the modern Tiruvannamalai and Vellore districts of Tamil Nadu, was known as Palkunrakkottam ('பல்குன்றக் கோட்டம்'). Thondai Nadu (தொண்டைநாடு), a historical region situated in the northern part of Tamil Nadu, was divided into 24 districts or 'Kottams.' Palkunrakkottam was one among the 24 kottams. Palkunrakkottam means the land surrounded by hillocks (குன்று சூழிருக்கை நாடு). The Javadhu hill range extends about 50 miles (80 km) wide and 20 miles (32 km) long and lies at about 2350 feet to 3500 feet above sea level. In the opinion of U.V.Swaminatha Iyer, the Naviram hill range, situated in Thenmathimangalam village, Kalasapakkam taluk,  Tiruvannamalai district, Tamil Nadu, India, is now known as "Parvathamalai. Most of the scholars agree his view. Lines 81-84 and 579 of Malaipadukadam refers Naviram hills and "Kariyundikkadavul," (காரி உண்டிக் கடவுள) "the god who drank poison," as the Lord of Naviram Hills.

நீரகம் பனிக்கும் அஞ்சுவரு கடுந்திறல்
பேரிசை நவிர மேஎ யுறையும்
காரி உண்டிக் கடவுள தியற்கையும் (மலைபடுகடாம்.81-84)
(Know the greatness of the god who resides in Naviram who ate poison, who causes the earth surrounded with water to tremble!)

கழைவளர் நவிரத்து மீமிசை ஞெரேரென (மலைபடுகடாம்,579)
Nannan showers unspoiled wealth like the rain showers on Naviram Mountain, the lord of the country surrounded by mountains... )

The present presiding deity of the hill temple of Parvatamalai (பர்வதமலை) is named in Sanskrit as "Kalakanteshvarah" (காலகண்டேஸ்வரர்) - 'the god whose neck is dark blue.' The hill temple is popularly known as Lord Mallikarjunaswamy (மல்லிகார்ச்சுணசுவாமி) (Lord Shiva) temple. The resemblance of the name of the presiding deity stands as evidence for assigning Naviram Hill as Parvatamalai. Parvathamalai is also known as Kandhamalai, Mallikarjunamalai, Naviramalai, Parvathagiri, Sanjeevigiri, Thenkailayam and Trisulagiri.

அடிக்கொரு லிங்கம் அண்ணாமலை,பிடிக்கொரு லிங்கம் பர்வதமலை

Palkunrakkottam was ruled by Nannan, son of Nannan, the Velir Chieftain of Chenkanmä (பல்குன்றக் கோட்டத்துச் செங்கண்மாத்துவேண்மான் நன்னன் சேய் நன்னன்), a Velir chieftain. Naviram Hill formed part of his country. He was also the lord of Cheyaru valley.

குன்று சூழ் இருக்கை நாடு கிழவோனே
(Nannan, the lord of the country surrounded by mountains)

Malaipadukadam narrates Naviram hill as Nannan's hill. The poet Perunkausikanar addresses a group of Kuttar and advises them to seek the patronage of king Nannan son of Nannan whose territory includes Naviram Hill. Chenkanma (செங்கண்மா) was the capital of Nannan's country. Chenkanma is presently identified as Chengam (செங்கம்), a town in Chengam taluk in Tiruvannamalai district of Tamil Nadu state, India.

Parvatamalai (பர்வதமலை)

The geographical coordinates of Parvathamalai are 12°26'11"N latitude and 78°58'19"E longitude. The steep vertical rock cliff is 1219 m (4000 feet) high from sea level and spans around 5500 acres.  The hill is 20 km from Polur 25 km from Chengam, 25 km from Kadaladi and 35 km (approx) from Tiruvannamalai.. Chengam, Kadaladi, Tiruvannamalai and Polur are located on the south eastern side of the Javadhu hills.

How to Get There?

There are two routes to reach on top of Parvathamalai hill. One route is through Thenmathimangalam village located in Polur - Chengam road. Another route is through Kadaladi (north of Tiruvannamalai). Kadaladi route is shorter than Thenmadhimangalam route. People find it is easy to climb through Thenmathimangalam route.The flight of steps leading to the hill commences from foot hills and there is a balipeeta as well as shrines of Vinayaka and Subramaniyar with consorts Valli and Devayani.

However both Thenmathimagalam and Kadaladi routes meet at the common junction and from there it is a single route leading to the summit of the hill.  It is the steep and rocky terrain. Trekking on top of Parvathamalai cliff is a very challenging task. A steep climb offering more than 1219 m (4000 feet) vertical feet . The rough terrain path has iron rod steps, track steps, ladder steps, and sky steps (Agaya padi) usually not found at other such sacred mountains. Kadapparai (crow bar) path section is considered as the most toughest phase of the hike. Iron rods are planted after drilling the rock and the chains between the rods help the trekkers to cross the sharp ascent. The view on the way up is scenic with medicinal flora. Mounaguruswamy Ashram is located near to the temple. Feeding the devotees (Annadhanam) is taking place during full moon day occasions.

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The prime deity of the hill-temple is Sri Mallikarjunaswamy and goddess Sri Bramarambigai also known as Sri Akilandesvari amman.  The temple is not protected by doors or compound wall. Surprisingly no priests are available to perform puja rituals or ablution. The devotees is free to do puja and ablution. The hill attracts a lot of devotees every full moon day.

Chenkanma (Chengam) செங்கண்மா (செங்கம்)

Chenkanma was the capital of Nannan son of Nannan. At present this Sangam era town is known as Chengam and is located in Chengam taluk in Tiruvannamalai district of Tamil Nadu state, India PIN 606701. Chengam lies on the geographical coordinates of 10.15654°N and 76.208982°E and the elevation / altitude is 272 meter (892 feet).  It is located 36 km towards west from district head quarters Tiruvannamalai. There is no railway station near to Chengam in less than 10 km. However Katpadi Jn. Railway station is the major railway station located 92 km from to Chengam.

Nannan, son of Nannan, the Velir Chieftain of Chenkanmä of Palkunrakkottam ruled the town Chenkanma. Over the period of time the name Chenkanma transformed into Chengam. Dr. U.V. Swaminatha Ayyar and other scholars unanimously hold this view. Inscriptions also refer this town as Chenkanma as well as Chengama. Literally Chenkanma in Tamil means the animal with red eyes (Chenkan = red eye and Ma = animal). Perhaps this town might have named after an animal. The town according to Malaipadukadam was located on the southern bank of the river Cheyaru. Present town also located on the southern bank of the river Cheyyaru.

இரை தேர்ந்து இவரும் கொடுந்தாள் முதலையொடு 
திரைபடக் குழிந் தகல்அகழ் கிடங்கின்
வரை புரை நிவப்பின் வான்தோய் இஞ்சி
உரை செல வெறுத்த அவன் மூதூர் மாலையும் 
"Listen now to what I have to tell you about his town with sky-high fort walls surrounded by a wide moat with waves, where crocodiles with curved legs search for prey!" (Malaipadukadam 89 - 94)

வியல் இடம் பெறாஅ விழுப்பெரு நியமத்து … 
யாறு எனக் கிடந்த தெருவின் சாறு என
இகழுநர் வெரூஉம் கவலை மறுகின்
கடல் என கார் என ஒலிக்கும் சும்மையொடு
மலைஎன மழை என மாடம் ஓங்கி
துனிதீர் காதலின் இனிது அமர்ந்து உறையும்
பனி வார் காவின் பல் வண்டு இமிரும்
நனி சேய்த்தன்று அவன் பழவிறல் மூதூர் (480 – 487)
"The streets are wide as rivers and the opulent markets are huge.  People gather together like constant festivities.  The forked streets cause fear in enemies.  There are loud sounds like those from the ocean and the rain.  In the tall mansions that are like mountains and clouds, there are loving people.  There are groves with dew where flowers are swarmed by bees in his ancient, old town that is not far away." (Malaipadukadam 480 - 487)

பொருந்தாத் தெவ்வர் இருந்தலை துமிய
பருந்துபடக் கடக்கும் ஒள் வாள் மறவர்
கருங்கடை எஃகம் சாத்திய புதவின்
அருங்கடி வாயில் ... (488 - 491)
"The protected gates of Nannan is guarded by warriors who chopped the black heads of enemies for kites to descend. The warriors lean their bright spears with black handles on the walls of the gate.." (Malaipadukadam 488 - 491)
Cheyaru (Cheyyaru) சேயாறு (செய்யாறு)

Cheyyaru also known as Ceyaru is a river which originates in Javadhu hills and flows through Tiruvannamalai district before emptying into the Bay of Bengal. Northeast and Southwest monsoons bring most of its rain and is the major source of irrigation for several villages, including the town Cheyyaru. It is the main tributary of Palar river. In Malaipadukadam, the river Cheyyar is called "Cheyaru," the river of Cey, usually understood to be Murugan (The word Cey means "ed" and "son" Today the river goes by the name Shanmuganadhi, the river of Shanmuga or Muruga.

The guiding bard gives a detailed account on the ways and means to reach Nannan Sei Nannan's ancient town situated on the bank of Cheyaru. The lines 474 - 477 points out the prosperous Cheyaru river:

வனைகலத் திகிரியின் குமிழி சுழலும்
துனை செலல் தலைவாய் ஓவு இறந்து வரிக்கும்
காணுநர் வயாஅம் கட்கு இன் சேயாற்றின்
யாணர் ஒரு கரைக் கொண்டனிர் கழிமின்
"If you see a rushing stream with bubbles and whirlpools that whirl like wheels of potters, go on the other  side of the prosperous river Cheyaru which is sweet to behold." (Malaipadukadam 474 - 477)

Malaipadukadam மலைபடுகடாம்

Malaipadukadam (Tamil: மலைபடுகடாம்) (also known as Kuttar Arruppadai (கூத்தர் ஆற்றுப்படை) is one of the poetic work forming part of Patiṉeṇmelkaṇakku (Tamilபதினெண்மேல்கணக்கு) collection and further categorized under Pattuppattu (Tamil: பத்துப்பாட்டு) sub-collection (Ten Idylls). The meaning of the title Malaipadukadam is the "rut that produced by the mountain."  The author is Kousikanar of Iranyamuttam Perungunrur  (இரணிய முட்டத்துப் பெருங்குன்றூர்ப் பெருங்கெளசிகனார்). The lengthy Sangam anthology comprise 583 lines of poetry in the Aciriyappa meter.

Arruppadai (ஆற்றுப்படை)

Among the 'puram' poems, the Arruppadai (ஆற்றுப்படை) had been the earliest. In Pattuppattu there are five Arruppadai poems i.e., Tirumurugarruppadai (திருமுருகாற்றுப்படை), Porunararruppadai (பொருநராற்றுப்படை), Perumpanarruppadai (பெரும்பாணாற்றுப்படை), Cirupanarruppadai (சிறுபாணாற்றுப்படை) and Malaipadukadam (மலைபடுகடாம்)..The title of the poem is 'Malaipadukadam' is unique since this poem in the Pattuppattu anthology do not have the Arruppadai suffix.

Tolkappiyam,  an ancient Tamil Sangam grammatical treatise, prescribes rules for the different types of poetic composition. The third book is Porul adhikaram. Of its nine sections, five deals with aham, one section with puram (புறம்), one each with similes, prosody and idioms. The puram section is concerned with the activities connected with war and also grouped into seven categories or 'tinai.' Patan tinai prescribes grammar to praise the victorious king. Arruppadai poems fall in this category.

கூத்தரும் பாணரும் பொருநரும் விறலியும்
ஆற்றிடைக் ஆட்சி யுறழத் தோன்றிப்
பெற்ற பெருவளம் பெறாஅர்க் கறிவுறி இச்
சென்றுபய னெதிரச் சொன்ன பக்கமும் 
(Tolkappiyam தொல்காப்பியம்-1037)

Arruppadai poems, the unique Sangam literary form, where in one bard or the minstrel (பாணர்), who is returning with bounteous gifts from a Maecenas or Patron (usually the king / chieftain). In all arruppadai poems the bard or the minstrel gained immense opportunity to detail the nature of 'Sangam' terrain', (its beauty, fertility, and other resources) and its territory to be traversed. There is an emphasis on the tedious journey to reach the fort palace of the Maecenas. Among the five arruppadai poems, one of them differs from the others i.e., Tirumurugarruppadai, which directs devotees not to a  Maecenas but to God Murugan.

Sangam Era Musicians

The Sangam musicians were generically categorized into Kuttar (கூத்தர்), Panar (பாணர்), Porunar (பொருநர்), and Viraliar (விறலியர்). The Kuttar were dancers and actors; the Panar were both vocalists and instrumentalists; Porunars, also known as war-bards, were well versed in martial music like Parani (பரணி) and they used to travel with warriors. Viraliyars were female dancers cum singers. Porunars were further categorized into Erkalam Paduvar (ஏற்களம் பாடுவார்), Porkkalam Paduvar (போர்க்களம் பாடுவார்) and Parani Paduvar (பரணி படுவார்). The Panar had the following group: Isaippanar (இசைப்பாணர்), Yazhppanar (யாழ்ப்பாணர்) and Mandaippanar (மண்டைப்பாணர்). Maduraikanchi mentions about Perumpanar (பெரும்பாணர்). The panars mentioned in Malaipadukadam were bestowed with knowledge and skills of the 7 notes and 3 octaves. Pattuppattu books also describes Yazh, the stinged instrument of the Sangam period. Perumpanars (பெரும்பாணர்) played Periyazh (பேரியாழ்) (21 strings) and Sirupanar (சிறுபாணர்) played Seeriyazh (சீறியாழ்) (7 strings). The other yazhs (யாழ்) played by panars include Makarayazh (மகரயாழ்) (19 strings), Sagodayazh (சகோடயாழ்) (14 strings) and Sengottuyazh (செங்கோட்டுயாழ்) (7 strings).

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The wind instruments mentioned in Malaipadukadam include 1. Pili (பிளி) also known as Siruchinam (சிறுசினம்) - a small trumpet; 2. Kodu (கோடு) a.k.a Kombu (கொம்பு), letter 'S' shaped long trumpet; 3. Kanvidutumbu (கண்விடுதும்பு), a flute like instrument with larger  circumference and appears like the trunk of an elephant; and 4. Kuruntumbu (குறுந்தும்பு),. a small flute. Pattuppattu refers several percussion instruments and Murasu (முரசு) was the most common instrument and was in use on all occasions. Malaipadukadam details about the construction and tuning of Murasu. The top of the instrument was covered with skin and tied with leather straps. It also mentions about Muzhavu (முழவு), Aguli (ஆகுளி) or Siruparai (சிறுபறை)  and Tattai (தட்டை)  or Karadijai (கரடிஜை) . It also bring outs a drum known as Ellari (எல்லரி) also known in varied names as Salli (சல்லி) or Sallikai (சல்லிகை). The instrument parai, made out of bamboo stick produced sound resembling the croaking of frog or the bear.
The poem opens with the poet Kousikanar of Iranyamuttam addressing to the chief of the clan of artists or ''Panars" or bards accompanied by their dancers or viralis.  The length of the poem is 583 lines and the poet devotes about 380 lines to describe the harmful mountain path, (துன்பமான மலைநாட்டு பாதை) leading through village of forest dwellers (கானவர் குடி), village on the path (வழியிலுள்ள சிற்றூர்), Kariyundikkadavul temple (காரியுண்டிக் கடவுள் கோவில்), sparse woodland in the mountain (குன்றுகளில் உள்ள குறுங்காடு), Nannan's  secondary forest (நன்னனின் கானெயில்), Memorial stone area (நடுகற்கள் அமைந்த பகுதி), enemy's land (பகைவர் நிலம்), Mullai (craggy) land (முல்லை நிலம்), Protected outskirts of craggy land  (நாடு காவலமைந்த முல்லை நில புறங்காடு), Farming land (மருத நிலம்), Cheyaru river (சேயாறு) to reach Nannan's abode in the mountain country (நன்னனது மலைநாடு). Nannan would welcome them promptly. The song describes many facets of life in different communities in the hero’s land.  There are exquisite descriptions of nature. The poet compares the mountain range to a herd of elephants. The tall Naviram peak resembles like the mighty elephants.

Sound scape of Malaipadukadam

In all arruppadai poems there is an emphasis on the tedious journey to the abode of the king or chieftain. The poem also stresses the abundance of Nannan's mountain including hills, forests and farm lands. and narrates vast kingdom of Nannan. The poem details the weary and dangerous way as well as many facets of life in the different communities in Nannan’s land and the journey is marked by short stay at strange habitats. Sound, in Malaipadukadam (lines 292 to 348), is often expressed in habitat. The poet employs the word Chummai (சும்மை) and skillfully brings out the connection between the habitats and the sound scape:

The bard begins with the musical sound (இன் இசை) produced by celestial maidens (வான் அர மகளிர்) by scooping water with their hands while bathing in waterfalls. The poem draws comparison of the sound with the drums of the dancers. Another din produced is the strident noise (புரிவளைப் பூசல்) of the hunters (மீமிசைப் பணவைக் கானவர்) by encircling the trapped elephant.  The weeping (அழுகை) of wounded hunters (கானவர்) attacked by spines (எஃகு உறு முள்) of the hedgehog (எய்) is heard and the songs of Kodichiyar (கொடிச்சியர்) women who comfort their wounded hunters (husbands) (கொடுவரி பாய்ந்தென கொழுநர் மார்பில் நெடுவசி விழுப்புண்). In the tall mountains, the young women who raise confusing/protective noises (இடி உமிழ் தழங்கு குரல்) (interpreted by commentators as ‘vengai’, ‘vengai’ meaning ‘tiger’ ‘tiger’ (புலி புலி), when she was leaped and attacked by a bright colored mighty tiger (ஒண் கேழ் வயப்புலி பாய்ந்தென). Her spouse went to get food and take care of her. Poet compare noise with the the painful roaring trumpets of a naive, tender-headed pregnant cow elephant and her herd (கன்று அரைப்பட்ட கயந்தலை மடப்பிடி). The aggrieved black-fingered female monkey (கைக் கோள் மறந்த கருவிரல் மந்தி) and her troop (கிளை) produced continuous loud sounds inarticulately (களையாப் பூசல்) when she lost the clung of her untrained baby monkey (கல்லாப் பார்ப்பு) which fell into the rock crevices (அருவிடர் வீழ்ந்த).

Aboriginal hunters (கானவர்) bring forth joyous sound when they harvested huge honeycombs (தேன்கூடு) with honey (தேன்) collected by bees honey  (பெரும் பயன் தொகுத்த தேம் கொள் கொள்ளை) on the tall mountain after climbing on bamboo ladders  (நிலை பெய்து இட்ட மால்பு நெறி ஆக). The hunters, who drank liquor during the day (நறவு நாட் செய்த குறவர்), celebrate happily since they have destroyed forts of their enemies (அருங் குறும்பு எறிந்த கானவர் உவகை), and that the loot got will serve as gifts to Nannan with perfect spears (திருந்து வேல் அண்ணற்கு).    The hunters drink liquor and celebrate loudly (கல்லென) with kuravai dances in the sky-high mountain (வான் தோய் மீமிசை அயரும் குரவை), with their matrons, to the accompaniment of small, loud deer hide parai drums (மான் தோல் சிறு பறை கறங்க). There are roaring sounds produced by rivers with rocks as they enter rocky crannies (கல் யாறு ஒலிக்கும் விடர் முழங்கு இரங்கு இசை), appearing like beautiful chariots riding in a row (நல் எழில் நெடுந்தேர் இயவு வந்தன்ன).

There are clamors of  mahouts (பாகர்கள்) (elephant trainers or keepers), who speak different professional language (விரவு மொழி பயிற்றும் பாகர் ஓதை). The mahouts bind their fierce elephants to tall posts to reduce their rage, after saving them when they fell into huge whirlpools.  The rattle sounds raised by girls by rattling bamboo (ஒலி கழைத் தட்டை புடையுநர்), to scare the parrot from millet fields and protect standing millet crops (கிளி கடி மகளிர் விளிபடு பூசல்). The tumultuous sound heard from the fight with great rage between the fine bull with large hump, that strayed from its herd (இனத்தின் தீர்ந்த துளங்கு இமில் நல் ஏறு) and the male elk that came from the mountains (மலைத் தலைவந்த மரையான்) and this fight ruined thick-petaled kulavi flowers and kurinji plants (வள் இதழ்க் குளவியும் குறிஞ்சியும் குழைய). The vocal sound made by boys (மகாஅர்), who thrash the seeds of sweet arils (bulbs) of the jack fruit (பலாச்சுளை) that was dropped on the ground  by many who ate the fruits (வண் கோட் பலவின் சுளை விளை தீம் பழம் உண்டு), by driving calves (கன்று கடாஅவுறுக்கும்) with the ladle like petals of fragrant gloriosa (kanthal) flowers (காந்தட் துடுப்பின் கமழ் மடல் ஓச்சி). The typical noises of machines which crush sugarcane with nodes rapidly (ஞெரேரெனக் கழை கண் உடைக்கும் கரும்பின் ஏத்தமும்) in all the factories (ஆலைதொறும்), that appear like the sounds of rain (மழை கண்டன்ன). The young women pound the millet by singing Vallai song (a kind of folk song) (தினை குறு மகளிர் இசைபடு வள்ளையும்) The beating of parai drums produced beat sound to chase the pillaging and plundering pigs ( பன்றிப் பறையும்) and protect turmeric plants and chēmpu yam (Colocasia antiquorum, Colocasia esculenta) (சேப்பங்கிழங்கு) crops (சேம்பும் மஞ்சளும் ஓம்பினர் காப்போர்).

... ... ... .................. குன்றகச் சிலம்பும்
என்று இவ் அனைத்தும் இயைந்து ஒருங்கு ஈண்டி
அவலவும் மிசையவும் துவன்றிப் பல உடன்
அலகைத் தவிர்த்த எண் அருந் திறத்த
மலைபடு கடாஅம் மாதிரத்து இயம்ப (Malaipadukadam 344 - 348)

"All these and other sounds (குன்றகச் சிலம்பும் என்று இவ் அனைத்தும்) , countless in numbers (அலகைத் தவிர்த்த எண்) join together (இயைந்து ஒருங்கு ஈண்டி), are heard in the canyons (அவலவும்) and peaks (மிசையவும்) in all directions (மாதிரத்து இயம்ப). The sounds join together and ooze from the mountain (மலைபடு கடாஅம்) like musth flowing from a bull elephant, rare to hear alone."

Food scape in Malaipadukadam

Food is the perennial theme in Sangam arruppadai poems. The guiding bard praises about the benevolence of the king or chieftain to the travelling bard. In an interesting manner food features an important place in the context of the guiding bard, travelling bard and the patron in Arruppadai poems. In Malaipadukadam the guiding bard speaks about the hospitality of the chieftain Nannan's land as well as his citizens.

"When you reach the prosperous small village of the forest dwellers (கானவர் குடி), who carry honey, tubers and flesh of small-eyed pigs (சிறுகட் பன்றி) with unwanted parts removed, using tusks of dead elephants as carrying poles, you and your large clan of relatives will receive abundant food." (Malaipadukadam 151 - 157).

பரூஉக்குறை பொழிந்த நெய்க்கண் வேவையொடு
குரூஉக்கண் இறடிப் பொம்மல் பெறுகுவிர் (Malaipadukadam 167 – 169)

"Hospitality in a Village on the Path: 

"Now hear what kind of food you will receive. When you reach a village on the mountain slope and if you tell them that you are the respected musicians of the honored king Nannan, you will receive from them dishes with big pieces of deer meat roasted in ghee along with colorful millet rice. Along with food they will give you sweet liquor aged in bamboo pipes (வேய்ப் பெயல் விளையுள் தேக்கட் தேறல்) and toddy made from rice (நறவு மகிழ்ந்து), which you can drink without limits. And for your hangover to go, in the morning they will serve you scattered seeds of fruits brought down by waterfalls mixed with sour-sweet tamarind fruit and buttermilk in just proportion (வெண்புடைக் கொண்ட துய்த்தலைப் பழனின் இன் புளிக் கலந்து மா மோர் ஆக); and while cooking it she stirs it so that  fragrance of the food is felt throughout  the hills. She serves it with boiled white bamboo rice (வால் அவிழ் வல்சி அகம்)." (Malaipadukadam 170 - 185)

அகம் மலி உவகை ஆர்வமொடு அளைஇ
மகமுறை தடுப்ப மனைதொறும் பெறுகுவிர் (183 – 185)

Hospitality on the Mountain Path:

"When you go on the mountain path you will see a dead boar with wounds on his chest, its tusks ruined by digging, killed by a forest guard from high above with arrows. Roast it in the dry bamboo fire which burns without much smoke, remove the hair and eat it. Relax and drink clear water from the beautiful sapphire colored fresh spring. Carry the excess meat in heavy bundles. At night enter a mountain cave and treat it like it is your home". (Malaipadukadam 245 - 255)

Hospitality in Nannan's Enemy Land:

"If you reach the land of Nannan's enemies by night, the noisy place where sounds in the forest are like those from the ocean, with many herds of sheep and goat mixed together (தகர் விரவு துருவை வெள்ளையொடு விரைஇ) like the different colors of rice (பகர் விரவு நெல்லின் பல அரி அன்ன) obtained through bartering, you will be given milk and food that they cooked for themselves". (Malaipadukadam 394 - 420)

“If you see warriors with sharp arrows and curved bows tell them you are going to see Nannan, they will force feed you with abundant meat and tubers. They are the ones that will protect you, not hurt you. Such is the nature of the forest".  (Malaipadukadam 421 - 427) 

Hospitality in Village Huts:

“At night in the villages with huts you will be served cooked bamboo rice and rice grown on high grounds along with tamarind gravy with avarai beans. In all the villages with huts you will receive huge balls of rice made with tiny perfect rice, butter and meat of white goats. You will also get dishes made with fine millet flour mixed with powdered sugar. Leave in the morning when the birds start chirping". .  (Malaipadukadam 434 - 448) 

Hospitality in the Agricultural Land:

"In the farmlands fishermen's wives mix slices of large necked valai fish with large slices of varal fish and cook. Along with these they serve rice from mountain-like haystacks kept on mounds near the fields. They will also serve liquor made with paddy sprouts".. .  (Malaipadukadam 454 - 470) 

Nannan's Generosity:

"At Nannan's palace you will receive fresh meat and white rice with no limits. You will enjoy this throughout your stay, as much as you want. He will give you perfect clothing, and tall chariots that run like flowing water, large herds of cattle, and horses with tufts decorated with gold jewels. He fills the hands of poets who have nothing with his large hands"..  (Malaipadukadam 560 - 570) 

Nannan's Ancestors 

This Sangam anthology extols the hero of the poem, Nannan, son of Nannan, the Velir Chieftain of Chenkanmä, his qualities, his wealth, and his generosity.  The father of Nannan, the hero of Malaipadukadam, whose name also Nannan, ruled the Ezhil Hills (Ezhilmalai) and Param town of Konkana Nadu (Tulu Nadu i.e., Tulu-speaking region spread over parts of the Karnataka and Kerala states of India) during 2nd century AD. Paranar, famous Sangam era poet, refers to Nannan, who was ill famed as woman killer (பெண்கொலை புரிந்த நன்னன்), in a number of poems.  He was known as Konkanathu Nannan (கொங்கணத்து நன்னன்). The woman was sentenced to death by Nannan for the fault of eating a mango fruit that came to her floating down the stream in which she was bathing. Thus Nannan got bad reputation for killing a woman. Nannan denied to commute the death sentence in spite of being offered eighty one tusker elephants and the gold image of woman as compensation. It is not certain that this event is fact or legend.

மண்ணிய சென்ற ஒண்ணுதல் அரிவை
புனல்தரு பசுங்காய் தின்றதன் தப்பற்கு
ஒன்பதிற் றொன்பது களிற்றொடு அவள்நிறை
பொன்செய் பாவை கொடுப்பவுங் கொள்ளான்
பெண்கொலை புரிந்த நன்னன் போல
வரையா நிரையத்துச் செலீஇயரோ
(குறுந்தொகை, Kuruntokai 292, 1-5). 

Kalladanar in Akananuru poem 199 spoke about Konkanathu Nannan who was defeated and killed by Kalankai-Kanni Narmudi Cheral. Patirrupattu also refer the defeat of Nannan by  Kalankai-Kanni Narmudi Cheral who also engaged in cutting his Vagai tree . He could have lived much earlier to our Nannan, the hero of Malaipadukadam.

Akananuru poems 97 and 152 refer Nannan Venman as the chieftain of Pali (பாழி), Viyalur (வியலூர்), Param (பாரம்), and Pirambu (பிரம்பு) of Konkanam region. 

"நறவுமகிழ் இருக்கை நன்னன் வேண்மான்
வயலை வேலி வியலூ ரன்ன" 

"இசைநல் லீகைக் களிறுவீசு வண்மகிழ்
பாரத்துத் தலைவன் ஆர நன்னன்
ஏழில் நெடுவரைப் பாழிச் சிலம்பில்" 
(Akananuru 152)

Akananuru poem 396 : line 2 -6 refer another Nannan. The friend of Nannan is Ay Eyinan, a chieftain who fought with Minili in Pali battle (பாழி போர்) and got killed (Akananuru 396 : 2-6). Paranar most often refer this Nannan, who could be the father of Nannan, t,he hero of Malaipadukadam. 

பொலம்பூண் நன்னன் புன்னாடு கடிந்தென
யாழிசை மறுகில் பாழி யாங்கண்
அஞ்சல் என்ற ஆய் எயினன்
இகலடு கற்பின் மிஞிலியொடு தாக்கித்
தன்னுயிர் கொடுத் தனன்          
(Akananuru. 396 : 2-6)

இரும்பொன் வாகைப் பெருந்துறைச் செருவில்
பொலம்பூண் நன்னன் பொருதுகளத் தொழிய
வலம்படு கொற்றந் தந்த வாய்வாள்
களங்காய்க் கண்ணி நார்முடிச் சேரல்
இழந்தநாடு தந்தன்ன வளம்
(Akananuru. 199 : 18-24)

Yet another Nannan Udiyan is referred by Paranar in Akananuru 258 line 1 - 4 and he belonged to ancient Velir clan (Tonmudir Velir) of Pali town (பாழி நகர்). Udiyan was the name of a family tree.

Nannan son of Nannan: As Delineated in Malaipadukadam

The poet Perunkausikanar addresses a group of Kuttar and advises them to seek the patronage of king Nannan whose territory includes Naviramalai, a mountain range in Tiruvannamalai district, which features prominently in the poem. Many scholars agree with U.V.Swaminatha Iyer's assignation of Naviramalai, the Sangam era hill range, with the present "Parvatamalai" One of the pieces of evidence which favors this assignation is the name mentioned in the poem, "Kariyundikkadavul," (காரியுண்டிக்கடவுள்) the god who drank poison, referring to god Shiva who resides in this hill. (Malaipadukadam 83). Today the deity, who resides in this hill temple, is called by the Sanskrit name "Kalakanteshvarah" (காலகண்டேஸ்வரா) - the god whose neck is dark blue. There is also a river which flows in this region. In the poem it is called "Ceyaru," the river of Cey, usually understood to be Murugan (The word Cey means "ed" and "son" Today the river goes by the name Shanmuganadhi, the river of Shanmuga or Muruga.

Malaipadukadam provides a vivid description of Nannan's wives in the first instance and then proceed to introduce Nannan as their husband. "Nannan is the husband to women with curved, rounded arms that resemble bamboo; moist eyes that appear like flowers, and painted, pretty breasts. His chest, decorated with sandal paste, has flower garlands on which bees swarm.  His large hands are trained to use bows.  He has great strength to ruin enemy lands, a man of clear thinking who avoids evil thoughts.  He has the lovely nature to donate to bards who plant seeds of praise."

புனை தார்ப் பொலிந்த வண்டுபடு மார்பின்
வனை புனை எழில் முலை வாங்கு அமைத் திரள் தோள்
மலர் போல் மழைக்கண் மங்கையர் கணவன் (56 - 58)
முனைபாழ் படுக்கும் துன்அருந் துப்பின்
இசை நுவல் வித்தின் நசை ஏர் உழவர்க்குப்
புதுநிறை வந்த புனல் அம் சாயல்
மதி மாறு ஓரா நன்று உணர் சூழ்ச்சி
வில் நவில் தடக்கை மே வரும் பெரும் பூண்
நன்னன் சேய் நன்னற் ... ... .. (Malaipadukadam 56 - 64)

"Nannan has the ability to bring his enemies under his control, and he gives totally to those who praise his kingship. Like the unfailing skies that drop pure water drops, with a peaceful countenance, he gives without keeping for himself.  In his happy court, he is surrounded by the wise who protect and express the views of those with limited abilities who are unable to express themselves in front of others."

பலர் புறம் கண்டு அவர் அருங்கலம் தரீஇ
புலவோர்க்குச் சுரக்கும் அவன் ஈகை மாரியும்
இகழுநர்ப் பிணிக்கும் ஆற்றலும் புகழுநர்க்கு
அரசு முழுது கொடுப்பினும் அமரா நோக்கமொடு
தூத்துளி பொழிந்த பொய்யா வானின்

வீயாது சுரக்கும் அவன் நாள் மகிழ் இருக்கையும்
நல்லோர் குழீஇய நா நவில் அவையத்து
வல்லார் ஆயினும் புறம் மறைத்து சென்றோரைச்
சொல்லிக் காட்டி சோர்வு இன்றி விளக்கி
நல்லிதின் இயக்கும் அவன் சுற்றத்து ஒழுக்கமும் (Malaipadukadam 71 - 80)

"Know the greatness of the god who resides in Naviram who ate poison, who causes the earth surrounded with water to tremble!  Know the faultless, splendid nature of Nannan who is like the sun that rises, chasing wide spread, pitch darkness, to usher in the day!"

நீர் அகம் பனிக்கும் அஞ்சு வரு கடுந்திறல்
பேர் இசை நவிரம் மேஎய் உறையும்
காரி உண்டிக் கடவுளது இயற்கையும்
பாய் இருள் நீங்கப் பகல் செய்யா எழுதரும்
ஞாயிறு அன்ன அவன் வசை இல் சிறப்பும் (Malaipadukadam 81 - 85)

"He marched far into distant enemy countries and routed their armies.  He performed charitable duties to his noble warrior brigades with spears, for ruining the tall battle elephants of enemies.

இகந்தன ஆயினும் தெவ்வர் தேஎம்
நுகம் படக் கடந்து நூழிலாட்டி
புரைத்தோல் வரைப்பின் வேல் நிழற் புலவோர்க்குக்
கொடைக்கடன் இறுத்த அவன் தொல்லோர் வரவும் (Malaipadukadam 85 - 88)

"Nannan the honoured king whose victories in battles cannot be handled by enemies."

நோனாச் செருவின் வலம்படு நோன்தாள்
மான விறல் வேள் வயிரியம் எனினே (Malaipadukadam 163 - 164)

"Nannan has fought many great battles, who has Lakshmi on his chest."

தொல்முறை மரபினர் ஆகி பல்மாண்
செருமிக்குப் புகலும் திரு ஆர் மார்பன் (Malaipadukadam 355 - 356)

 "There are tall forts with army leaders who don’t leave the side of Nannan of great fame.  There are huge bull elephants resembling rain clouds that ruin enemy kings. "

உரை செல வெறுத்த அவன் நீங்காச் சுற்றமொடு
புரை தவ உயரிய மழை மருள் பல்தோல்
அரசு நிலை தளர்க்கும் அருப்பமும் உடைய... (Malaipadukadam 376 - 378)

"There are many memorial (hero stones) stones on confusing, forked paths planted for warriors of fine, unspoiled fame who fought and died, embarrassed after enemy uproars in the field."

ஒன்னார்த் தெவ்வர் உலைவு இடத்து ஆர்த்தென
நல்வழிக் கொடுத்த நாணுடை மறவர்
செல்லா இல்இசைப் பெயரொடு நட்ட
கல் ஏசு கவலை எண்ணு மிகப் பலவே (Malaipadukadam 386 - 389)

"Nannan’s ancient town has tall houses with wealth and citizens who do not move away."

நிதியம் துஞ்சும் நிவந்து ஓங்கு வரைப்பின்
பதி எழல் அறியாப் பழங்குடி ... (Malaipadukadam 478 - 479)

“Nannan! You are the heir of those with truth and great fame, know that their fame should not  stop today, but stay until this world stays, since the great ones who analyzed and knew died!  You are a great one that knows the duties of generosity!”

இன்று இவண் செல்லாது உலகமொடு நிற்ப
இடைத் தெரிந்து உணரும் பெரியோர் மாய்ந்தென
கொடைக் கடன் இறுத்த செம்மலோய் என (Malaipadukadam 341 - 343)


The following poetic inscription dated 12th century was found in Shiva temple, Tiruvannamalai. 
நல்லிசைக் கடாம்புனை நன்னன் வெற்பில் 
வெல்புக ழனைத்தும் மேம்படத் தங்கோன் 
வகையும் குரங்கும் விசைய முந்தீட்டிய 
ஆடல்புனை நெடுவேல் ஆட்கொண்ட தேவன் 

The poetical inscription refer "musically echoing (Naviram) hill of Chieftain Nannan" (நல்லிசைக் கடாம்புனை நன்னன் வெற்பில்).
Anubambigai Samedha Rishabeswarar temple (அனுபாம்பிகை  சமேத ரிஷபேஸ்வரர் ஆலயம்) is located on the banks of river Cheyyar in Kannai (கண்ணை), Chengam town. Poetic inscription dated 12th - 13th century was discovered in 1972 by Mr.M.Chandhiramurthi, Deputy Director (retired), Department of Archeology, Government of Tamil Nadu, Chennai. This poem was sung on one Kangeyan, a chieftain of this region. Kangeyan has conquered the southern king and the army. He became angry and his eyes turned red. The battle was so fierce and devastating. Where it happened? It happened in the hill (Naviramalai) that was the subject matter in the Pattuppattu anthology Malaipadukadam.  The battle ended in a massacre and nothing more than a bloodshed. The blood flowed like river and soaked the hill with the loss of several hundred thousand people..Please note that the word "Malaikadam" (மலைகடாம்) and the phrase Malaipadukadam Pattunda Malvarai (மலைகடாம் பாட்டுண்ட மால்வரை) linking Naviramalai and its chieftain Nannan, son of Nannan, chief of Chenkanmä. Meaning: 

மூவண்டறை தார்மன்னர் மலைப்படைத் தென் மன்னரை 
வென்கண்ட  திறற் காங்கேமன் கண்சிவப்ப பண்டே 
மலைகடாம் பாட்டுண்ட மால்வரை செஞ்சொரி 
அலைகடாம்  பாட்டுண்டது.   (Ref. Kalvettu Quarterly no 5, p. 13.)
When the eyes of the Ganga chief,

The conqueror of the crowned kings three

And more so the victorious ruler
Pandya of mountain ranges like army,
Turned red with merciless anger
The great Navirai hill, that received
Praises in days of yore, in
The song Malai kadām pāṭṭu,
Was reddened with waves of blood

The place where the fort of Nannan son Nannan located is now called as "Kottaimedu" (கோட்டைமேடு) (Fort Mound). Another village by name 'Mudalaimadu' (முதலைமடு) also can be linked with the fort. The village Karimalaippadi (கரிமலைப்பாடி) suggests link to training the elephants by mahouts. Urn burials are noticed in Chengam town.

Archaeological Excavations

Andipatti is located in Chenagam taluk, Tiruvannamalai district and the village is situated 15 km away from Chengam town. The State Department of Archeology, Chennai carried out systematic excavation in the year 2004 - 2005. At two habitation mounds locally known as Nattamedu (நத்தமேடு) and Sambalkadu (செம்பைக்காடு), the archaeologists laid twelve trenches and unearthed a terracotta bull image, shell bangles, "Mother Goddess" figurines, spindle whorls, pottery with graffiti marks of Megalithic and Historic periods. The potteries comprise black and red-ware sherds as well as coarse red-ware sherds. The Department of Archeology also discovered three potsherds with Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions. One of the potsherds deciphered the Tamil Brahmi inscription as "kan narpo" and the department epigraphists ascertained the date between 4th - 5th century AD. Another two Tamil Brahmi inscriptions inscribed on pot lids read  "... aa th tha... " and "...ku ma... " and the date could be assigned to an earlier period.

Based on the unearthed antiquities, it is ensured that Andipatti site has been continuously occupied since 1st century BC through 12th century AD. Terracotta figurines of Mother Godess has been found in three locations in Tamil Nadu including Adichanallur near Tirunelveli, Melaperumballam near Poompuhar and Poluvaampatti near Coimbatore.. At Andipatti the team also unearthed two figurines mostly human parts i.e., hand and leg portion and mother goddess and the two figurines discovered by Archaeologists at Andipatti belong to 8th to 12th century AD. About 143 lead coins of the 2nd century A.D. were unearthed during an excavation in 1968. According to Iravatham Mahadevean, the coins could have minted by chieftains who ruled this land between 2nd and 3rd century AD. The coins bear the graffiti of two mountain ranges and goad and inscriptions of Sangam era names like "Thinnan" and "Sendhan." They have used the unique Sangam era character "." (period) punctuation on the coin. The goad mark indicates the presence of elephants in abundance and mahouts engaged in training them. Army camps also existed to protect the elephants.

Andipatti 1.jpg (350×282)
A bull, made of terracotta, found at Andipatti PC: State Arch Dept
Andipatti 2.jpg (350×282)
Terracotta, found at Andipatti PC: State Arch Dept
In a garden of an old house in a Chengam intersection they have discovered the burial urn, human skulls, teeth, red and black potsherds  When dug in Nattamedu here, they have observed dilapidated structures and retrieved the gold coins, icons of Buddhist and Jain monks. The State Department of Archeology has discovered over 45 hero stones in the Chengam region and Malaipadukadam also mentions about Memorial stones

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Mann Pesum Sarithiram Episode 285. Vasanth TV

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