Showing posts with label Pallavas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pallavas. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Thrikkakkudy Cave: Hindu Rock-cut temple, Kaviyoor near Pathanamthitta, Kerala

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Thrikkakudi rock cut cave temple is located about one km. north-east of Kaviyoor village, Thiruvalla taluk, Pathanamthitta district, Kerala, India PIN 689582.  The rock cut cave is located at a distance of 29 km from Pathanamthitta and 6 km from Thiruvalla, The meaning of the village name is like this: Thiru - kal - kudy’ that means - ‘sacred dwelling place in rock.’ The cave temple was renovated by Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) and the board maintains with one daily morning pooja rituals. 

Kaviyur, a village panchayat, located on the western bank of the river Manimala, was a part of Nanruzhai Nadu which had its capital in what is now Thrikkodithanam, 9 km west of Kaviyoor. The Mahadeva temple of Kaviyoor,  built in 10th century A.D, is considered as one of the ancient Shiva (Mahadeva) temples in Kerala. Inscription dated 950 A.D. speak about gifts offered to this temple. The village  is one of the ancient 64 brahmin settlements of Kerala. The geographical coordinates Kaviyoor is Latitude 9°23′0″North (9.3920848)  and Longitude 76°36′0″East (76.6192022) and the elevation / altitude is from 8m to 61m.

The south facing Thrikkakudi rock cut cave consists of a facade, a rectangular mukha-mandapam and a sanctum. It is very skillfully cut into dome shaped roof. The plinth is plain and the cave floor little higher in level from the ground floor. A flight of four steps leads to the mukha-mandapam. The facade consists of two massive pillars in the middle and pilaster on both ends with the features of square, octagonal kattu and square. The walls are simple and plain with six foot high floor. The rough rock brow is bereft of any curved cornice moulding called 'kapota' (overhanging cornice) or drip line for rainwater.

The temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The ten foot high and seven-foot square sanctum houses 3 feet tall Shiva lingam. The bas relief image at the door way represents Bhima, the Pandava prince of Mahabharatha.  Also there are bas relifs of Lord Ganapathi and the sage. The sanctum is guarded by imposing bas relief images of Dwarapalakas. The niches, on  the outer wall on either side of the entrance of the sanctum, houses these Dwarapalakas.. It is inferred by scholars that this cave temple was constructed in the Pallava architectural style and may be datable to 8th century. The natural pond amidst two rocks is another attraction. The rock-cut monument is protected by the Archaeological Department.

One version of the legend says that the rock cut monument was built by demons within one night. It is also believed that Lord Shiva and Hanuman of Kaviyur Mahadeva temple appeared here to interrupt the task of temple construction. The demons had to flee to save their lives. Another version says that the Pandavas of Mahabharatha dwelled in this cave during their exile in the forests.

In the words of Unnikrishnan, an archaeologist of repute, Thrikkakudi rock cut cave temple might have been a Buddhist vihara centuries ago. It is evident that Buddhism and Jainism flourished in this location before 10th century A.D.

Thiruvalla is well connected to other major cities of the country via regular buses. Kozhikode, Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam Kannur, Kochi , Coimbatore , Chennai, Madurai, Bangalore and Mangalore are connected from Thiruvalla through road.
Nearest Railway Station:  The town has its own Railway Station named as Thiruvalla Railway Station. It is  about 5 km from Kaviyoor.
Nearest Airport: Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, about 119 km from Pathanamthitta.


  1. Kaviyuur. Mathrubhumi (English) 31 May 2008.
  2. Kaviyoor Ente Gramam. Fa
  3. Rock-cut temple at Kaviyur, relics of a bygone age. Radhakrishnan Kuttoor. The Hindu. July 10, 2013.
  4. Remnants of a Bygone Era: Rock-Cut Temple at Kaviyur. 
  5. Thrikkakkudy temple, where time stands still. The Hindu. March 23, 2015.
YouTube videos

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Bhairavakona Cave Near Ongole, Andhra Pradesh: Pallava Style EIght Rock cut Cave Temple Group

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Bhairavakona (பைரவகோணா) , a group of eight rock cut temples are located close to the borders of Nellore (நெல்லூர்) and Prakasam (பிரகாசம்) districts. The caves are situated amidst dense Nallamala forest (நல்லமலா காடு) nearer to Ambavaram (அம்பாவரம்) - Kothapalli (கொத்தபள்ளி) villages. From Onipenta (ஒனிபெண்டா)  village on the Mydukur - Porumamilla road (bus route), the cave is 12 km away. Other nearest towns include Kadapa (கடப்பா) (60km), Yerraguntla (எர்ரகுண்டலா)  (50km), Mydukur (மைடுகூர்) (30 km) are nearest big towns. The geographical Coordinates of Bhairavakonda are 15.° 5'15" North and 79°12' 14" East and it has an elevation of 230 meters (757 feet).

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 Trimukha Durga devi / Shiva Lingam 
There are eight rock cut cave temples having resemblance with Mamallapuram (மாமல்லபுரம்) rock cut cave temples. There are eight cave temples excavated on the side of a granite cliff comprising carved architectural elements such as decorative pillars and finely sculpted panels. The Pallava (பல்லவர்) architects started carving rock cut caves and the rock cut architecture of Mamallapuram commenced from late 7th century A.D. Bhairavakonda cave temples have resemblance with Mamamallapuram cave temples  with certain Rashtrakuta-Chalukyan features.

Lord Shiva is the presiding deity here in the form of Kala Bhairava and hence the name Bhairavakona. Roughly the caves can be categorized into two divisions based on their rock cut architecture. The first group caves commencing from north have only shrine cells and completely bereft of any mandapam in front. The cave shrine appear with simple entrances guarded by sthanaka (standing) dvarapalas on either side. Each sanctum cell is provided with a Shiva Lingam. The Shiva Linga peeta sculpted from mother rock and the bull vehicle (Nandi) statue sculpted from the rock and set in front of each sanctum cell.  The back wall of the sanctum in the central cave carved with bas relief image of Trimurti and this image reminds us the Mahesa image at Elephanta cave. The unique cave temples wherein Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Bhairava are worshiped together at one place. The central cave temple also has the idol of goddess Trimukha Durga Devi. A cave temple is also dedicated to goddess Annapurna and the shrine accessible through ladder platform.  The northern most end of the rock bears two splendid images sculpted in conspicuous bas relief – a eight handed Hari Hra and ten-handed slim figure of dancing Siva facing the water falls,. The Trimurti rock cut caves (grihas) reminds us the Pallava caves at Mandagapattu and Mamallapuram To sum up the rock cut cave architecture can easily be assignable from 8th to 9th century AD.

One can easily recollect the rock cut architecture of Mahendravarma Pallava (மகேந்திரவர்ம பல்லவன்). The ornate pillars with Mahendra squatting lions at the base and also the bulbous capital surmounted by a  large abacus, a typical Pallava signature can also be found here. The pottika (corbel) above the pillar is curved but without roll and median patta.  The typical kapota or cornice is roughly sculpted with kudus. Frieze of Buta ganas found below kapota. The two armed gorgeously decorated dwarapalas (door keepers) do not provide front view but only side view and turn straight towards the shrine. Both are standing is similar tribhanga posture over the support of their club.  No protruding curved sharp canine teeth or horns noticed and they are decorated with very fine carvings representing cloth and jewellery.

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Cell bereft of any front mandapam
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Cell with front mandapam Lion pillar - Other Pallava signatures
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Another attraction is that smooth moonlight used to fall on the idol of Goddess Durga Devi on the day of Karthika Pournami and Maha Shivarathri.   The peaceful lush green forest surround the awesome waterfall cascading from 200 mts and flows 1 mt below the central cave temple.  The waterfall offer a pleasant weather. The thundering medicated crystal clear water descends from the height of 200 mt and retreats their health under fullmoon light.  


The legend says that Lord Shiva and his consort goddess Parvati descended from their mount Kailash and were lured by its lush green vegetation, the cascading waterfall and the cave temples. They installed a Shiva Lingam resembling the one at Amarnath. The scholars assign date back to 7th - 8th century A.D.


Karthika Fullmoon day,  found auspicious for Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu, is celebrated in a large scale. Maha Shivaratri is another important festival attracts devotees in huge number.

Small guesthouse is available for stay


Ambavaram Kothapalle, Prakasam district, Andhra Pradesh

How to Get There

By Road: Nellore to Udayagiri; Udayagiri to SR Puram; SR Puram to Kothapalle; Kothapalle to Bhairavakonda

Nearest raiway station Yerraguntla railwaystation (50 km.) Kadapa railway station (60 km).

Nearest Airport: Tirupathi

  1. Bhairava Konda Temple (
  2. Bhairava Konda cave temples, Ambavaram, Kottapalli, Ongole Andhra Pradesh November 5, 2014 (
  3. Many people throng Bhairavakona. The Hindu November 13, 2008

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Heritage Trail: Thiruvallam, Melpadi, Mahendravadi and Pullalur 5

Two Obelisks: Cap.James Hislop & Lt.Col.George Brown Battle of Pollilur 1781

After the visit to the historical Mahendravadi rock cut cave temple, we proceeded on our journey to our next destination - Pullalur, the historical Battlefield. Pullalur is also known for its ruined brick sanctum sanctum and 60 feet shikara of Sri Varadharaja Perumal temple, new Sri Varadaraja Perumal temple and the Kailasanathar temple built during  Narasimha Pallava Period with inscriptions.

Obelisks Amidst Paddy fields
We continued our journey through Nemili - Senthamangalam road and continued up to Kammavarpalayam on the Arakkonam - Kanchipuram road and took left turn and proceeded on the single lane road. After lot of guidance through GPS system as well as by the locals we could view two obelisks standing erect amidst paddy fields. Moving across roads, lanes and by-lanes we reached a village street dotted with houses and cattle sheds.

Seedling Trays used in Paddy Nursery
Behind the houses the obelisks were standing majestically amidst lush green paddy fields. We walked across the furrows of the paddy fields and viewed the 'tray nursery method' using Paddy Seedling Tray in the paddy nurseries. Clouds catch the last red-orange rays of the setting sun. The cool puff of gentle breeze produced lashing waves in paddy leaves. 

Kombai S Anvar Explains
Mr.Kombai S.Anvar, former freelance journalist and photographer, an independent researcher in South Indian history and in particular Muslim history, was explaining us the history, causes of Anglo Mysore war and the actual Battle of Pollilur (1780 & 1781) with the aid of a field map. As there was paucity of time, we could not cover the temples. We returned back to Chennai via Govindhavadi, Valthur, Maduramangalam, Sunguvarchatram and Sriperumbudur.

Pullalur or Pollilur (புள்ளலூர் அல்லது பொள்ளிலூர்), a historical urban village (Latitude 12.970 and 79.705 Longitude) located in Kanchipuram taluk (காஞ்சிபுரம் வட்டம்), Kanchpuram district (காஞ்சிபுரம் மாவட்டம்), Tamil Nadu Pin Code 631553, has been the site of three historic battles - 1. the Battle of Pullalur (611-12 A.D.) -  Pallava king Mahendravarman I vs the Chalukya king Pulakeshin II, 2. the Battle of Pollilur (1780) and 3. Battle of Pollilur (1781) as part of the Second Anglo-Mysore War between Hyder Ali and the East India Company. Lush, tropical vegetation flanked both sides of the muddy road. Carts loaded with fodder bales and the flocks of buffaloes and cows blocked the traffic. The vast stretches around this non descriptive villages are filled with green patches of agricultural fields, grazing lands, bushes, shady trees, hay stacks, manure heaps and cattle sheds.  The village is part of Pullalur Village Panchayat and as per census 2011 it has a population of 2,843 and 72.86 % literacy rate. People in this village make their living through agriculture. Kancheepuram is nearest town to Pullalur village.  

Battle of Pullalur (611 or 612 A.D.)

Pulakeshin II (இரண்டாம் புலிகேசி) (610 - 642 A.D.) the most celebrated swayer of the Chalukya dynasty (சாளுக்கிய வம்சம்) secured his northern border, then moved south against his  great rival Mahendravaran I (முதலாம் மகேந்திரவர்மன்) (600–630 A.D.) the first well known among the long line of the great Pallava rulers (பல்லவர்கள்). Durvinita (துர்வினிதா) (529–579 A.D.)  of the Gangas dynasty (கங்க வம்சம்) from the West and the Pandyan king Jatavarman (ஜடவர்மன்) from the South aided the Chalukya king. In the pitched battle of Pullalur in 611 or 612 A.D. (date of this battle is in dispute) Mahendravarman I and his General Paranjothi (பரஞ்சோதி) were decisively defeated and Chalukya army laid siege to the Pallava capital at Kanchipuram, but failed to conquer the capital. Though Mahedravarman I saved his capital, he lost the northern provinces to Pulakeshi II. 

The battle of Pullalur initiated an enduring line of conflict between Chalukya and Pallava in the South India. The defeat was avenged by the Pallava king Narasimhavarman I son of Mahendravarman I when he defeated and killed the Chalukya king Pulakeshin II at his capital Badami (வாதாபி - Vatapi). The chapter 24 of the Tamil novel 'Sivakamiyin Sabhatham' (சிவகாமியின் சபதம்) by Kalki R. Krishnamurthy narrates the Battle of Pullalur (click here for English Translation of the Chapter).

The four military confrontations (First Anglo-Mysore War 1767–69 A.D.; Second Anglo-Mysore War 1780–84 A.D.; Third Anglo-Mysore War 1790–92 A.D.; and Fourth Anglo-Mysore War 1799 A.D.) between the British East India Company and the Mysore rulers were known as Anglo-Mysore Wars.

Hyder Ali (1761–1782)
1761 - Hyder Ali, the commander-in-chief, known for his administrative acumen and military skills, made himself ruler of state of Mysore and determined in expanding his territory.   

First Mysore War (1767–69)

1766  - The British East India Company aligned with the Nizam of Hyderabad. This was against Hyder Ali for which the East India Company was offered the Northern Sarkars as cession. 
1768  - However the Nizam of Hyderabad kept himself aloof and the East India Company faced Hyder Ali alone. 
1769  - Hyder Ali stormed the Company's Government in Madras and dictated 'peace treaty of Madras' on the basis of the status quo.

Second Mysore War (1780–84)

1780 - The army of Hyder Ali was one of the largest armies in India. Hyder Ali made a treaty with the Marathas and Nizam of Hyderabad and convinced both of them not to fight against British or Hyder Ali. 

However the Mysore army swept down the Eastern Ghats and burnt the villages. The British could not sense the attack for lack military intelligence. In addition to this 1. Hyder laid the siege of Arcot (near Vellore) and 2. Dispatched his son Karim to Porto Novo (near Chidambaram).

To lift the siege of Arcot, the British Government also marched the force from Madras under the command of Maj. Gen. Sir Hector Munro. Of course Hyder Ali expected this move and moved to deal with the British troop. His intelligence also alerted about the reinforcement or the additional troop comprising 4,000 - 7,000 men, under Colonel William Baillie,  marching from Guntur, Andhra Pradesh to Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu (475 km). Col.William Baille had intention to join with Lt. Gen. Sir Hector Munro (1778-1782) in Kanchipuram and Baille's force reached Pollilur (18 km from Gen Munro's position) on 06th September 1780.

Tipu Sultan (1782  – 1799)

Hyder Ali on the one side deputed his son Tipu Sultan with 2,000 - 3,000 men, cavalry and rocket corps and 18 guns to intercept Colonel Baillie who was on his way to join Sir Hector Munro and on the other side led another force by himself  to intercept Col. Braithwaite.

The army, comprising 5209 men including most of the native troops, one battalion of the company's European troops, and the grenadiers of another, and 800 highlanders, reported to Maj. Gen Sir Hector Munro at St.Thomas Mount and marched towards Kanchipuram.

Battle of Pollilur (1780)

Mural of the Battle of Pollilur on the walls of Tipu's summer palace (Wikipedia)
The Battle of Pollilur (Pullalur) took place on 10 September 1780 at Pollilur, Kanchipuram district, Tamil Nadu, India as part of the Second Anglo-Mysore War. In the battle of Pollilur the Baillie's force faced the worst defeat in the hands of Tipu's force and suffered a high number of casualties. The forces of Munro and Baillie, though closer to each other, made no effort to unite. Two days after the battle Col. Baillie sent a note to Gen. Munro to push forward with the main force since he was unable to advance in the face of an enemy..

After three days (poor strategy and logistics) Gen. Munro dispatched the flank companies of the 73rd Highlanders under Captains David Baird and the Honorable John Lindsay, 2 companies of European grenadiers, and 11 companies of sepoys, all under the command of Col Fletcher. The reinforcement troops arrived late by taking circuitous route and strengthened the detachment of Col. Baillie. The combined force advanced further on the evening of 09th September 1780 to join with Gen. Munro. Not even a mile passed and the force fell in with the picket of Hyder Ali's army.

Mysore Rockets (Tipu Sultan) PC: Indiandefence.Wiki
The Rocket Corps of Mysore Army used the 'Mysore rockets' (sword and blade thrust rockets) against Col.William Baillie's force and against ammunition stores. By the hit of Tipu's rocket would have detonated the ammunition store of Baillie.

These 'missiles' were fitted with swords (like fin stabilizer) and cruied several meters through the the flight path before coming down with edges facing the enemy target. The components of Mysore Rocket included the soft hammered iron tube, closed at one end, measuring about 8 inches (20 cm) in length and 1.5 to 3 in (3.8 to 7.6 cm) in diameter. The iron case was strapped to a 4 ft (1 m) long bamboo shaft. The iron case filled with black powder or solid propellant provided the adequate combustion power and ballistics for the rocket to cruise and hit the terminal end or target. The iron cased rocket and the solid propellant provided higher thrust and long range for the rockets i.e, up to 2 km range. The Mysore iron rockets served as the base model for the Congreve rocket of the British rocket development project.

Col. Baillie was compelled to stay on the spot for the whole night without disturbance. Next day Baillie continued his march for two miles further and entered into a jungle. Hyder Ali had concentrated his army of 3 batteries around this spot (one in the centre of the grove, and one on each flank). Soon a field artillery of 57 cannons commenced the covering fire. Baillie's English column, marching in the form of square with the sick, and the baggage, and ammunition in the centre, was assaulted with huge force. After a despairing conflict of three hours duration, the brave English column was set to drive back at every point. "Hyder determined to retreat; and a rapid movement which Baillie made from the centre appeared to have decided the day. Orders were given to Col. Lally, a French officer in the service of the sultan, to draw off his men, and to the cavalry to cover the retreat, when in that instant two explosions were perceived in the English line, which laid open one entire face of their column, destroyed their artillery, and threw the whole into irreparable confusion!"  Encouraged by this attack, Hyder engaged his cavalry squadron and infantry armed with muskets and Baillie's column managed to repel the attack. Baillie's force was reduced to 400 men. Further rounds of fire killed or disabled Baillie's men  and reduced them further. Still the sworded officers and bayoneted soldiers were able to repulse 13 rounds of fire. Soon cavalry of Hyder joined the attack. Col. Baillie wanted to save few brave men and therefore showed the flag truce. Thus  Col.William Baillie was compelled to surrender.  On hearing the defeat, Sir Hector Munro retreated back to Madras, after dumping his baggage and Cannons in a Water Tank in Kanchipuram.

Baille surrenders to Hyder Ali. PC Wikipedia

Colonel Baillie's Dungeon

Col. Baillie's Dungeon & Memorial @ Srirangapatna (Near Mysore)
Baillie and few of his surviving officers and soldiers were captured and taken as a war hostage to Srirangapattana.  There the hostages were thrown into a dungeon by Hyder Ali, and were treated with such barbarity. The dungeons at the underground can be found even today at the north of Ranganatha Swamy temple, close to Lal Mahal Palace about 15 kms from Srirangapattana. The dungeons, built using brick and lime mortar, measures 30.5 mts in length and 12.2 mts in width. Tipu Sultan used these dungeons to imprison the war prisoners. The prisoners were chained to the stone slab attached to the east, west, and north sides of the wall and it was then filled half-way with water. The dungeon's were surrounded by a deep moat to prevent escape. The dungeon prison was named after Colonel Baillie's Dungeon, since the brave officer died here on May 13th 1782.

Reaction by British Government in India 

After the Battle of Pullalur (1780), Hyder Ali renewed the siege of Arcot with full strength. The utter defeat of the British forces in the encounters with the Mysore Army rocked Warren Hastings,  the first Governor of the Presidency of Fort William (Bengal) and thereby the first de facto Governor-General of India from 1773 to 1785. Hastings arrived in Madras shortly after the end of the First Anglo-Mysore War. A fresh troop under the command of  General Eyre Coote left from Bengal to engage Hyder along with the existing British troop. Eyre Coote came to Madras and took command from Hector Munro. Eyre Coot marched the troop into the Carnatic and occupied Cuddalore. Both the troops engaged in a war at Porto Novo and the British marched as victorious. Further reinforcement troops also marched to Cranatic. Hyder made futile attempts to stop the troops.

Battle of Pollilur (1781)
Lt.Gen.Eyre Coote (Wikipedia)
The British East India Company led by Lt. General Eyre Coote (1745–1783) and the Mysore Army engaged in another battle in Pollilur 27th August 1781. The venue was the same Pollilur in which a Col. Baillie's force was almost completely killed or captured. Gen. Eyre Coote's army engaged the troops of Tipu on one side and the troops of Hyder on the other side. The battle lasted for eight hours on August 27, 1781. Hyder's army faced severe casualties and drawn back to Kanchipuram. Shortage of provision made Lt.Gen. Coote to move his forces towards Thirupachur. Though Hyder got defeated the battle remained in decisive.

Two Obelisks were built by the British in Pullalur in memory of two British Officers who died in the Battle on 1781. The first one for Captain JAMES HISLOP,  an officer of much promise and another for Lieutenant Colonel GEORGE BROWN, an officer of merit and experience.  It is learned that Brigadier-General James Stuart and Colonel George Brown lost one leg each from the same cannon ball, and the latter succumbed to the injury. The local villagers called these Obelisks  as Ghori.

The first obelisk, in memory of Captain James Hislop, displays the following text:

Plaque of Cap.James Hislop

The second  obelisk dedicated to Lieutenant Colonel George Brown bears the following text:
Plaque of Lt.Col.George Brown

This prolonged Second Anglo Mysore war was hotly contested, for the aged Sir Eyre Coote had lost his energy, and the Mysore army was not only well disciplined and equipped, but skillfully handled by Hyder and his son Tipu. All of a sudden, Hyder died in 1782, the battle remained indecisive and peace was finally concluded with Tipu on 28 June 1784, on the basis of a mutual restitution of all conquests. This is called the “Treaty of Mangalore“.

How to Get There:
Pullalur village is located in Kancheepuram taluk of Kancheepuram district in Tamil Nadu, India.  It is located 14 KM towards North from District head quarters Kanchipuram. 23 KM from Walajabad. 67 KM from State capital Chennai. Pullalur Pin code is 631553 and postal head office is Edayarpakkam. Tirumalpur Rail Way Station, Takkolam Rail Way Station are the very nearby railway stations to Pullalur. 

  1. Battle of Pollilur (1781) (Wikipedia)
  2. Colonel Baillie's Dungeon -- Srirangapattana. Casey. diksoochi blogspot 13 January, 2008. 
  3. In a forgotten land. Pradeep Chakravarthy. The Hindu February 27, 20115
  4. Pullalur (Wikipedia)
  5. The Battle of Pullalur and the Naturalization of the British on the Subcontinent. UC Press E-book collection, 1982 - 2004. University of California.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Heritage Trail: Thiruvallam, Melpadi, Mahendravadi and Pullalur 4

Mahendravadi Rock cut Cave (Views)
Mahendravarman I split the rock to build temple for Murari
After a fresh juice we left Melpadi and proceeded to Mahendravadi. Journey between Melpadi to Mahendravadi was very long, tedious, and in many parts extremely difficult. We also relied on GP system for directions, when we could not find people to enquire for directions. Melpadi villagers suggested to follow Melpadi New Bridge Road, the muddy road surrounded by barren land and the road was almost empty. Ponnai - Wallajah road was better. Journey across rural Tamil Nadu was interestin and the roadsides are  dotted with cultivable lands, huts, cattle sheds, shady trees, slow moving flocks of buffaloes, cows and goats as well as bullock carts loaded with bales of fodder and occasional bazaars. We reached Sholingur and proceeded further in the Sholingur - Kaveripakkam road dotted with paddy fields and occasional villages. We took diversion at Banavaram. It was just 7 km to reach Mahendravadi.  We reached Mahendravadi finally and the lunch was served there. After lunch we proceeded into the fenced premises maintained by Archaeological Survey India. The grill gate of the sanctum was kept closed. We could not spot any ASI staff.

On the way we saw the huge Mahendravadi lake receiving supply from Palar river. The Pallava kings have also excavated huge tanks and lakes such as: Chitramega Tadakam (Mamandur), Vairamekan Tadakam (Uttaramerur), Thralaya Thadakam (Thenneri), Paramesvara Tadatakam (Varam Eri), Avani Narayana Chaturvedi Mangalam Lake (Kaveripakkam), Kanakavalli Tadakam (Vellore Kurram), Marutanadu Lake (Vandavasi Kurram) and some more lakes.    

Mahendravadi  (மகேந்திரவாடி), a historical village (Geo-location co-ordinates : Latitude 12.891 and 79.758 Longitude) located in Arakkonam taluk (அரக்கோணம் வட்டம்), Vellore district (வேலூர் மாவட்டம்), Tamil Nadu Pin Code 632502, is popular for its rock cut cave temple hewn by Mahendravarman I. The village is part of Mahendravadi Village Panchayat and as per census 2011 it has a population of 2503 people and 72.12 % literacy rate. Agriculture is the main source of income for the people of this village. Nemili, Sholinghur and Arakonam are nearest towns of Mahendravadi and is well-connected by bus transport.

Rock cut Caves of Mahendravarman I

Most of the rock cut cave temples Mahendravarman I 's  are located in small villages and a small or moderate lakes were dug out nearer to some caves. The inscription in the Mahendra-Vishnugriha (Mahendravadi) mentions about the presence of Mahendra-thataka (Mahendra Lake) around Mahendravadi.

Rock cut Cave Temples of Mahendravarman I 

The seven rock cut caves accompanying the inscriptions of Mahendravarman I
Rock cut Cave  Inscription Name Title Location
Mandagapattu Lakshidayanam Vichitrachittan Villupuram - Ginjee   Road
Mamandur (Dusi-) - Narasamangalam              -              - Kanchipuram - Vandavasi Road
Mahendravadi Mahendra-Vishnugriha Gunabaran Kanchipuram - Arakonam Rd; >> Senthamangalam - Nemili Rd; >> Nemili - Banavaram Rd
Pallavaram              -             - GT Road.
Seeyamangalam Avanibhajana-Pallaveshvaram Griham Lalitankuran Chennai - Tindivanam >> Tindivanam - Vandavasi >> Thellaru - Desur >> Seeyamangalam
Tiruchirapalli 'Lalithankura Pallaveshvara Griham Lalitankuran Tiruchirapalli Rockfort >> Upper western cave
Dhalavanur Satrumallesvaram Satrumallan Villupuram - Ginjee >> 28th km >> Dhalavanur

The three  rock cut caves do not accompany the inscriptions of Mahendravarman I. They depict the rock cut cave architecture styles employed during period of Mahendravarman I. Though these three caves do not accompany any inscription about the constructor, it is possible to consider them as Mahendravarman I style cave. The three caves include:
Vallam Caves nos.1 - 3 Vasanteshvaram        -             - Chengulpet - Tirukazhukundram Rd.
Kurananilmuttam Alvar of Kal-Mandakam            - Kanchipuram - Vandavasi Rd. >> 8th km >> left road >>
Sikhari  Pallaveshvaram Sri Sikhari  Pallaveshvaram            - Ginjee - Mel Malayanur Rd >> Singavaram >> Sikhari  Pallaveshvaram

Among the seven rock cut caves accompanying the inscriptions of Mahendravarman I, Mahendra-Vishnugriha, is the lone rock cut cave temple dedicated to Vishnu (Murari).

The east facing  Mahendra-Vishnugriha rock cut cave in Mahendravadi is small and cute. The well planned and well executed single sanctum rock cut cave is hewn from a free standing boulder measuring about 3.35 meter long and 7.62 meter wide from north to south. The cave comprise a facade, a rectangular mukha mandapa, ardhamandapa and the slightly projected cubical sanctum.

The facade floor is formed 0.50 meter above the ground level. The facade measures 5.71 meter in north south direction and 0.60 meter in east west direction.  The facade comprise two pillars with the features of square, octagonal kattu and square in the middle and two pilasters one on each side of the corners. There are three wide 'anganas' (bays) are formed between the pillars and pilasters.

The lower square and kattu are long when equated with the upper square. While all the upper faces of the square are decorated with circular lotus medallions, all the lower faces except the west face is adorned with flower medallions. The flower medallions appear different from lotus medallions and the square frames also have deep embellishments. While the upper south and north faces of the pilasters have lotus medallions, the east faces of the pilasters also have only half frame of the medallions and the west face is left blank.

The lone four line inscription of Mahendravarman I in Pallava grantha script and in Sanskrit language is inscribed on the north face of the southern pilaster just below the lotus medallion. The details of the inscription will be discussed in succeeding paragraphs.  The vettu potikas holding the prastara components such as uttira (beam) and vajanam. The mother rock is evenly sculpted and extended in a semi-circular shape. In spite of its appearance as kapota, the structure is not shaped as kapota in its full form. Also there are two deep grooves above the facade - the lower one is short and the upper one extends up to the entire cave length.

The open rectangular mukha-mandapa is formed between two rows of pillars i.e., row of pillars in the facade and the row of  rear pillars with the features of square, octagonal kattu and square in the middle. No medallions noticed on the faces of the square part. Here also the vettu potikas holding the prastara components such as uttira (beam) and vajanam. The floor level is raised above up to 0.05 meter. The side walls, measuring about 5.75 meter in length and 1.15 meter in width, are  left blank. The floor and roof are even and there is a band of vajanam running on all four sides.

We may call the space formed between two rows of pillars i.e., row of rear pillars and rear wall as ardhamandapa. Ardhamandapa measures about 5.87 meter in length and 2.22 meter in width. The floor level is still raised above up to 0.05 meter.

The sanctum is formed on the western lateral wall facing east and it is protruding out of the western lateral wall up to 0.39 meter. The sancum floor level is raised above up to 0.59 meter. The components of adhishtana of the sanctum includes  jagadi, kumuda, khanta and pattika flanked by kampa. The moldings are more distinct on the northern wing than the southern wing. A flight of three steps without ballustrades, cut from the mother rock, leads to the sanctum. The doorway is framed by east facing pilasters on either side.  There are two niches - one on either side of the sanctum, excavated up to 1.51 meter high on the western lateral wall. Both south and north niches houses two male dwarapalakas. The niches are framed patti (band) on all four sides. The roof is supported by uttiram, vajanam and rough kapota. The lateral walls of the sanctum are not even at roof level.

Lord Narasimha's Sanctum

Lord Naraimha's Sanctum
Lord Narasimha appears in padmasana posture in the sanctum and this could be the later addition. The original prime deity 'Murari,' as mentioned in the inscription could not be found.   The pilasters at the entrance and the rear row of pillars bear niches for lighting oil lamps. This also could be the lateral additions.

In this cave temple daily pujas are not offered to Lord Narasimha. At least the sanctum can be maintained with some respect. Let it not be used as store room for plastic pots, broomsticks etc. 


Both the dwarapalakas (door guards) in Mahendravadi appear in parsavakosana, an unusual posture. The dwarapalaka in the right niche appear in parsavakosana with the left leg in parsva (foot slightly towards right) and the right leg 90 degree. The left and right heels are aligned and the thighs are firm and the right thigh outward and the center of the kneecap is in line with the center of the right ankle. The left hip slightly forward, towards the right and the upper torso extends back to the left. The face is upright and smiling. The left hand and the broken right hands are resting on his hips. He appears wearing headband, karandamakuta with chanka motiff and ornaments worn by him includes patra kundala in ears, sarapali in the neck, armlets (tolvalai). The yagnapavita is worn in niveta fashion. The knots of the waist attire is shown on the right.

The left niche dwarapalaka also appear in parsavakosana with the left in parsva (foot slightly towards left) and the right foot 90 degree. The left and right heels are aligned and the thighs are firm and the right thigh outward and the center of the kneecap is in line with the center of the right ankle. The left hip slightly forward, towards the right and the upper torso extends back to the left. The face is slightly bent and smiling. The right hand and the broken left hands are resting on his hips. He appears wearing headband, karandamakuta with chanka motiff and ornaments worn by him includes patra kundala in ears, sarapali in the neck, armlets (tolvalai). The yagnapavita is worn in niveta fashion. The knots of the waist attire is shown on the left.



As told earlier the north face of the southern pilaster at the facade bear the inscription of Mahendravarman I in Pallava Grantha script and use Prakrit (Sanskrit) language (Epigraphia Indica Vol. IV pp. 152 - 153).

मह्हिततमं सतामु [प] महेन्द्र [त] टाकमि  [दम्]
स्थिरमुरु कारितं गुणभरेन विदार्य्य शिल [|म] [|]
ज [न] नयनाभिर [|] मगुणधाम   महेन्द्रपुरे
मह्हति महेन्द्रविष्णुगृहनाम मुरा [रि] गृ [हं] [॥]
(Script Cortesy: Saurabh)
Mahhitatamam sataamu [pa] mahendra [ta] taakami [dam]
Sthirmuru kaaritam gunabharen vidaaryya shila [am] [|]
Ja [na] nayanabhir [|] magunadhaam mahendrapure
Mahhati mahendravishnugrihanaam mura [ri] griha [ham] [||]
(Script Cortesy: Saurabh)
மஹ்ஹிதாதாமம் சதாமு [ப] மஹேந்த்ர [த]டாகமி [தம்]
ஸ்திர்முரு  காரிதம் குணபரன் விதார்ய ஷீல [அம்] |
ஜ [ந] நயநாபிர் | மகுநதாம் மஹேந்த்ரபு
மஹ்ஹதி மஹேந்த்ரவிஷ்ணுகிரிஹனாம் முரா[ரி] கிரிஹ  [ஹம்]  ||

English Translation: The wide temple of Murari (Vishnu), named Mahendra-Vishnugriha was caused to be made by splitting the boulder by Gunabhara (Pallava king Mahndravarman I) on the bank of Mahendra Tataka (Mahendra Tank) in the prominent (city of) Mahenthirapura and this is extremely appreciated by estimable citizenry.

How to Get There – Proceed up to 20 km in the Kanchipuram - Arakkonam road and take diversion on the left and travel further in the enthamangalam - Nemili road. From Nemili proceed further in the Nemili - Banavaram road. Mahendravadi is located in the 8th km on Banavaram-Nemili road.  

  1. Amazing Temple Carved Out of a Single Block of Rock. Ram Subramanian. Mar. 5, 2014
  2. Mahendravadi – Vishnu Temple of Mahendravarman. Saurabh. Indian History and Architecture. October 20, 2010
  3. Mahendravadi (Wikipedia)
  4. Seeyamangalam-cave temples of the Pallavas. Lakshmi Sharath. September 3, 2010
  5. Welcome to Pallava cave hunting. Lakshmi Sharath. September 4, 2010
  6. குடைவரை கோயில் அமுது கௌரி பாலன் October 16, 2014
  7. பல்லவர்கள் Maya Digi Media  9 February 2015
  8. மகேந்திர விஷ்ணு கிருகம் in மகேந்திரர் குடைவரைகள். நளினி, மு. மற்றும் கலைக்கோவன், இரா. pp. 80 - 88. 2012. 286 p. ரூபாய். 225/-
  9. மாமண்டூர் ஏரியை அமைத்த பல்லவர்கள். June 18, 2015. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Heritage Trail: Thiruvallam, Melpadi, Mahendravadi and Pullalur 1

Tiruvallam Vilvanaeeswarar Temple Facade
Aadi Perukku (18th Day of Tamil month Aadi - (mid-July to mid-August)) is an important day for Hindus as well as Ponniyin Selvan Group (Facebook Group). The group organized a meeting on 08th August 2015 from 03.00 - 6.00 pm at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, No. 18/20/22, East Mada Street, Mylapore, Chennai, India. An exceptional talk by artist Shri Maniam Selvan, on his father's immortal sketches and the talk by Dr. (Smt).A.Padmavathy, the scholar and epigraphy expert on Imperial Cholas delighted the chosen audience.

On 9th August 2015 Ponniyin Selvan Group (Facebook Group) organized an "One day trip to Thakkolam, Mahendravadi, Melpadi and Thiruvalam! . It was well planned and accommodated a bunch of 25 people.   We couldn't cover on Thakkolam during our trip. We started around 6:30 am from Sri Balaji Temple, Venkatnarayana Road  and reached back Chennai by 7:30 pm. 

Transport: Two 12 seat Tempo Travellor
Total travel time : 13.00 Hours
Travel on road: 07.00 Hours
Distance Covered: 258 Km
Breakfast before Ranipettai: 0.30 Hours
Lunch at Mahendravadi: 0.30 Hours
Tea break @ NH4: 0.30 Hours
Maintenance: Tyre puncture before Ranipettai.

ooo ooo ooo

Thiruvalam or Tiruvallam (திருவலம் அல்லது  திருவல்லம்), a historical urban village (Latitude 13.001 and 79.245 Longitude) and the ancient Shiva temple here brings the Pallava, Bana and Chola history to life. It is located in Katpadi taluk (காட்பாடி வட்டம்), Vellore district (வேலூர் மாவட்டம்), Tamil Nadu Pin Code 632520. The urban village is part of Thiruvalam Town Panchayat and as per census 2011 it has a population of 9,153 and 84.50 % literacy rate. Since it is on the western bank of Ponnai River, people in this village make their living through agriculture and other small scale and cottage industries.

During the 10th century this village was a buffer region between the Chola and Chalukya dynasties. Tiruvallam alias Vanapuram alias Tikkali Vallam, under Bana kingdom, was forming part of part of   Perumbanappadi (a subdivision) of Jayankonda Cholamandalam  (a district). Tiruvallam is approximately 123 km from Chennai and 45 km from Kanchipuram, 8 km from Ranipettai. If you are coming by bus from Chennai, alight at Muthukadai bus stop and take another bus going to Chittoor. You will find the iron bridge built (by British Indian government) on the Niva river. After passing this bridge you will find the temple on your left.

Tiruvallam was the gateway to the north-west of the Chola imperium. The historical province was known as Tondaimandalam. which included the northernmost part of Tamil Nadu. Vallavaraiyan Vandiyadevan of Vanar clan was the chieftain of Vallavaraiyarnadu, the feudatory under Rajaraja Chola I and the chieftain was married to Kundavai, the elder sister of Rajaraja Chola I. The Lord of Tiruvallam is being linked with this chieftain without any valid evidence.

It has been written numerous times about Dhanurmadhyambigai Sametha Sri Vilvanadeeswarar Temple in several blogs. Therefore I don't wish to repeat certain information. But,let me quote some interesting facts here (that I have learned from various sources).

Prime Deity : Vilvanadeeswarar (வில்வநாதீஸ்வரர்), Vallanathar (வல்லநாதர்).
Goddess : Dhanur Madhyambal (வில்லிடை நாயகி !), Vallambikai (வல்லாம்பிகை).
Holy Tree: Vilva Tree (Aegle marmelos) (வில்வமரம்)
Holy water  : Gowri Tirth (கௌரி தீர்த்தம்), Niva River (நீவா நதி)
Glorified by : Tirugnanasambandar Devaram First Tirumurai Part 3 Pathikam 113.
Address : Sri Vilvanadeeswarar Temple, Tiruvalam Post, Via Ranipettai, Katpadi taluk, Vellore district - 632515
Temple Timings : 07.00 – 12.00 am ; 05.00 – 08.30 pm
Phone : 0416-2236491
Unique feature : Two Prime deity shrines, Two goddesses shrines, Two Flagstaff, three Nandhis placed in the same axis and facing away from Lord, Adhikara Nandhi Facing the Lord. The temple complex as seen today, like numerous others, is a product of many centuries of evolution, with different parts being added at different periods in history.

Ornate Stone Bowl with Danseuse
Lord Vilvanadeeswara (Shiva), the presiding deity of the temple is enshrined as Shivalingam in the east facing main sanctum of this temple. There is a small ardhamandapam in front of this sanctum which leads to pillared maha - mandapam in front. Opposite this sanctum there are three Nandhi images appear facing the entrance before the flag staff i.e, a granite Nandhi (appears to be the original), a huge stucco Nandhi image and another granite Nandhi image (latest addition) appear facing the circumambulation path. The flagstaff and balipeetam are also located before the Lord in the outer corridor. Adhikara Nandhi (bull-head human standing on two legs) facing the Lord is located in between stucco and granite nandhis.

PC Mohan Hariharan
The vimana is made out of granite substructure (from adishtana to prastara) and brick super-structure (hara, griva and shikara) studded with with stucco images. The outer walls of the vimana has simple Padabandha adhishtana with the components of upana, jagadi, tri-patta kumuda moulding.  The pada portion of the vimana has slit-niches (koshtas) between elegantly carved pillars.  The outer wall of Vilvanadeesvara sanctum has the beautiful idols of Ganesha, Dakshinamurthy, Vishnu, Brahma, Durga, and Chandikeswara. The upper tala (Storey) built with bricks carries a hara with octagonal sikhara. There is a metal stupi to crown the Sikhara of the Vimana. The main sanctum also houses few Chola bronze idols of Chandrasekhar, Bikshatana, and Nayanmars (inner corridor).
PC Velu Chamy
The fierce Dwarapalakas, on each side before the sanctum are looking with bulging eyes, protruding curved sharp canine teeth, bushy eyebrows. The yagnopavita (sacred cord) runs across their chest and ornamented with  sarapali; kati-bandha jeweled waist band; naga-bandha armlets and anklets.The Dwarapalaka on the right of the Lord Shiva shows visvaya mudra i.e, raising the right hand index finger meaning that ‘God is one' and the left hand holds the mace.  His upper right hands holds a club and the left hand raised above head. The Dwarapalaka on the left shows the darjani mudra i.e, the left hand index finger towards the Lord directing the devotee to have his mind set on the Lord. He stands erect and his right leg raised and kept on the mace as if resting. The two sculptures are breathtakingly real and artistic. There are many other sub-shrines for Brahma, Vishnu, Chandikeswarar and Nagar (Serpent) in the inner circumambulation path. The stone images as well as bronze images of 63 Nayanmars are arranged in a separate enclosure. 

There are stucco images for the 27 natal stars with their names written in Tamil are located on the vimanam of the sanctum. It is believed that appropriate prayer to the natal star image would relieve the individual from malefic effects of the planets on transit.

Goddess  Dhanur madhyambal alias Dhanur Madhyambikai aka Theekali Ambal (தீக்காலி  அம்பாள்) appear in a separate east facing sanctum on the left side . It is learned that the goddess appeared with fierce (ugram) face and Adi Sankaracharya pacified her and from then onwards she appears peaceful and graceful. Dhanur means bow and the waist of the goddess is curved and resembles the bow (வில்லிடை நாயகி). The Dravidian style vimana of Dhanur madhyambal also has the granite sub - structure and brick super - structure. The niches in the outer walls of the vimana house the sub-shrine deities (பரிவார தேவதைகள்) of Vinayagar, Annapoorani and Durga.

Adi Vilvanadha
Pillared Mandapam
There are also sub-shrines for Shivalingams in the form of Kasi Viswanathar, Chandramouleeswarar, Annamalaiyar, Sadhasivam,  Anandha, Neelakhanta, Ambikeswara, and Vinayaka who obtained fruit (கனி வாங்கிய விநாயகர்) as well as main shrines for Adhi Vilvanathar and Sundareshwara and Meenakshi in the middle corridor (prakaram). The 100 pillared Natarajar mandapam (நடராஜர் மண்டபம்)  amply supported by ornate pillars. The legend of Nandhi protecting the village from demon Kanjan is depicted on the pillar faces as bas relief images.

Goddess Shrine
Nandhi (stucco)
The Gowri Tirth (with neerazhi madapam (நீராழி மண்டபம்) at the center), the holy water source and the Ambikeswar  shrine are situated in the outer corridor (prakaram) of the temple. The vilva tree (Aegle marmelos) (வில்வமரம்) is the holy tree (sthala vriksham) of this shrine.

The tall south facing five tier rajagopuram adorning the entrance to the temple, and visible from afar, has fine stucco sculptures of themes from Saivite mythology on it. Also there is a second level three tier gopuram. This temple complex extending up to five acres are is surrounded by high perimeter walls.

Thiruvallam is one the 274 Shiva temples praised in Devaram hymns and it is the 10th of the 32 Devara Stalams in the Thondai Nadu. Sambandar's patikam honors this shrine, while Appar has referred to this shrine in a patikam.

எரித்தவன் முப்புரம் எரியின் மூழ்கத் 
தரித்தவன் கங்கையைத் தாழ்சடைமேல்
விரித்தவன் வேதங்கள் வேறு வேறு
தெரித்தவன் உறைவிடம் திருவல்லமே.

கற்றவர் திருவல்லம் கண்டுசென்று
நற்றமிழ் ஞானசம் பந்தன்சொன்ன
குற்றமில் செந்தமிழ் கூறவல்லார்
பற்றுவர் ஈசன்பொற் பாதங்களே.
                                                                      -- திருஞானசம்பந்தர்

Saint Mounaswami stayed in this shrine and cured the illness of people with holy ashes and vilva leaves. The temple was consecrated by him from the donations received from public.

Festivals: Full moon nights are considered to be special here. The annual Bhrammotsavam is celebrated in the Tamil month of Maasi. Shivaratri, The Float Festival, Navartri, Thai Poosam are the festivals of significance here.


The inscriptions of Tiruvallam relate to Pallava, Bana, Vaidumba, Ganga and Chola dynasties. The Banas claimed as descent of Mahabali - the demon and his son Bana. The Banas humbly state that they were appointed as the door keepers by god Paramesvara. The geneology of Banas of the Perumbanappadi is furnished by the Gudimallam and Udayendiram plates.   Parigipura aka Parivi, the traditional capital of these Banas in the Hindupur Taluk of the Anantapur district, may be said to be the nucleus of their kingdom, from which they spread towards each  from north and south, the country they thus occupied. Bana emblem was black buck represented in their banner, and the crest was the bull.

The earliest mention of the Banas in authentic historical records is in the middle of the fourth century AD, and as the feudatories of the Satavahana and early Pallavas. The Banas were opposed by their neighboring dynasties and they served some major dynasties such as the Pallavas, Cholas and Pandyas as feudatories, after sometimes they were subjugated by them. Tondai Nadu was one such neighboring country.  The inscriptions refer this region as one of the kurrams (divisions) of Tondai Nadu i.e, part of Paduvur kurram.

Perumbanappadi (Bana kingdom) was large piece of land located to the west of extended Vadugavali Merku.  The Perumbanappadi was bound by Srisailam and Kolar in the west, Kalahasti in the east, and the Palar river in the south.  Perumbanappadi included the modern regions such as Kolar, Anantapur, Chittur districts as well as Taluks of  Gudiyattam, Vaniyambadi, Arakkonam, in Vellore district of Tamilnadu. The inscriptions and copper plates of Chalukyas, Telugu Cholas, Gangas and Kadamba mention Perumbanappadi in different names. Tiruvallam aka Vanapuram, a town was located in the southern territory of Perumbanappadi, was its capital.  Perumbanappadi was forming part of Tondai Mandalam (north - west portions) during Pallavas and Jayakonda Chola Mandalam during Cholas.

The Bana Dynasty also ruled Andhramandala bound by Kalahasti in the west and Palar in the south and included the North Arcot district (an old name to the district in Tamilnadu) as well as Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh. The Bana king, Vadhuvallaba Malladeva Nandivarman in 338 AD.

The Bana Dynasty also ruled Baikula Nadu during early 7th century forming part of  modern Chittor, Ananthapur and Cuddapah districts. They had affiliation with Imperial Cholas. Nellore was added later to this region. Gudimallam alias Vanapuram  near  Kalahasti and Nandagiri also served as their capitals. 

Bana Kings

  • Jayanandivarman (770 - 795 AD.)Nandivarman or Jayanandivarman should have received this name as being a feudatory of Nandivarman Pallavamalla. From an inscription dated in the 62nd regnal year of Nandivikra mavarman we learn that the Pallava king of that name had an unnamed Mavali-Vanaraya as his feudatory. The Bana king Jayanandivarman  assisted his Pallava Suzerain Nandivarman II Pallavamalla against Gangas and was rewarded for his loyalty by the assignment of some territory of the Gangas.  
  • Vijayaditya I, (796 - 835 AD.) Son of Jayanandivarman:  We have little information. He was a feudatory of Pallava Dantivarman. In the Gudimallam inscriptions 3 dated in the 49th regnal year of Dantivarman (778 - 829 A.D.) a Bana chief, Vijayaditya Mahavali Vanaraya is said to be a feudatory of Dantivarman.
  • Malladeva, (835 - 850 AD.), Son of Vijayaditya I: Malladeva was conferred with the title Jagadekamalla, Vadhiivallabha and Nandivarman, expanded the Bana power at the expense of the Telugu Cholas in the north.
  • Bana Vidhyadhara, son of Malladeva (Married a grand-daughter of the Ganga King Siva maharaja, who reigned between 1000 and 1016AD)
  • Prabhumerudeva, son of Banavidhyadhara
  • Vikramaditya I, Son of Prabhumerudeva: He was also a Pallava feudatory, entered into a matrimonial alliance with the Gangas. He married Kundavai, the daughter of Ganga king Prtivipati I, who was a contemporary of the Rastrakuta king Amoghavarsa I and of the Pandya king Varagunas.
  • Vikramaditya II or Pugalvippavar-Ganda, Son of Vikramaditya I
  • Vijayabahu Vikramaditya II, Son of Vikramaditya II
  • Aragalur udaiya Ponparappinan Rajaraja devan alias Magadesan (Magadai Mandalam chief) of Aragalur

There was big trial of strength between Banas, Vaidumbas and Ganga Pritivipati I on one side, and the Nolambas, Telugu Cholas and Rajamalla I on the other. The Banas were the prime movers and who entered into matrimonial alliance with Pritivipati I whose daughter Kundavai was married to prince Vikramaditya I. Vaidumbas captured parts of Renadu and Banas captured the capital of Telugu Chola. They wanted to dislodge Ganga Rajamalla I and bequeath it to Pritivipati I and they could not succeed in their attempt. Instead Rajamalla I invaded with Bana country and advanced up to Vallimalai near Tiruvallam.

In the beginning of 10th century AD. between 909 and 916 AD. the Banas were conquered by Parantaka Chola I and were thus deprived of their kingdom. The Ganga king, Pritivipati II was conferred the title "Lord of the Banas" by Parantaka Chola I after he defeated the Banas.

After this the Banas were subsequently found ruling various parts, such as Nellore, Guntur and Anantapur, as Chieftains in medieval Andhra.


Some very rare and interesting inscriptions dating from Pallava, Ganga Pallava, Bana kings to Rajaraja Chola I, Rajendra Chola I, Kulotunga Chola I, Kulotunga Chola III, Rajaraja Chola III,  as well as Pandya king Virapandya and Vijayakanta Gopala have been found in the Vilvanadeeswara temple at Tiruvallam. (ARE 300, 301, 302, 303, 304 of 1897).  

The inscriptions call the Vilvanathesvara temple : 1. Vanapuran (வாணபுரம்) (S.I.I.,Vol III, No. 42, Pages 91) during the period of Nandivarma Pallava II (793 AD.); 2. Paramesvara at Tikkali Vallam (தீக்காலி வல்லமுடைய பரமேஸ்வரர்) (S.I.I., Vol III, No. 43, Pages 93) during the reign of Nandivarma Pallava III (863 AD.); 3. Tiruttikkali-Perumanadigal of Tikkali-Vallam (திருத்தீக்காலிப் பெருமானடிகள்) (S.I.I., Vol III, No. 44, Pages 95) during  the reign of Mahavali Vanaraja (Vikramaditya I) (888 AD.); 4.  Tiruttikkali-Alvar (திருத்தீக்காலி ஆழ்வார்) (S.I.I., Vol III, No. 49, Pages 102) during the reign of Rajaraja I (991 AD.); 5. Tikkali-Vallam (தீக்காலி வல்லம்) (S.I.I., Vol III, No. 49, Pages 102) during the reign of Rajaraja Chola I (991 AD.); 6. Tiruvallam-Udaiyar (திருவல்லமுடையார்) (S.I.I. Vol III, No. 53, Pages 108) during the reign of Rajendra Chola II (1015 AD.); 7. Mahadeva of Tiruvallam  (திருவல்லமுடைய மகாதேவர்) (S.I.I. Vol III, No. 55, Pages 175.) during the reign of Vikrama Chola (1123 AD.); 8. Nayanar of Tiruvallam (திருவல்லமுடைய நாயனார்) (S.I.I. Vol III, No. 62, Pages 122 & 123) during the reign of Kulotunga Chola III (1212 AD.).  It contained shrines of Kalyanasundara and Karumanikka, and of their goddesses (S.I.I. Vol III, No. 57).

Many of the inscriptions of this temple indicate that Tiruvallam seems to be the capital of Bana country and Bana dynasty. (S.I.I. Vol III, No. 46, 51, 52, 55, 56, 58 to 60). The alternative name indicated as Vanapuram (S.I.I. Vol III, No. 42, 51 and 53).  Some other inscriptions pronounce "Tikkali-Vallam" (S.I.I. Vol III, Nos. 43to 45, 47 to 49, 54 and 61) as an ancient name of Tiruvallam.

Perumbanappadi was the nadu (district) of Banas i.e, 'the great Bana country.' There is a tiny village by name Vanasamudram exists in the neighbourhood Tiruvallam. Also there is a village Banavaram found near Sholingur in Arakonam Taluk of Vellore district in Tamil Nadu.

The early inscriptions accommodate Tiruvallam within Miyaru-nadu (S.I.I. Vol III, Nos. 43 to 45, 49 and 54) or Miyarainadu (S.I.I. Vol III, No. 52) and some other inscriptions accommodate it under
Karaivali (sub-division) of Perumbanappadi  (S.I.I. Vol III, Nos. 53, 55, 56, 58 and 59).

Tiruvallam was forming part of  Jayankonda-Chola-mandalam (province) (S.I.I. Vol III, Nos. 53 to 56, 58 and 59) and Tyagabharana-valanadu (division) (S.I.I. Vol III, No. 55) Paduvur-kottam (district)  (S.I.I. Vol III, Nos.43, 44, 49, 51 to 54).

The whole Chola Imperium was bifurcated into provinces or mandalams and the Chola princes were nominated to govern the provinces. Further the provinces were sub-divided into valanadus or kottams (divisions) (வளநாடு), nadus (districts) (நாடு) or Taniyur (தனியூர்) and kurrams (villages). The towns and villages mentioned in the inscriptions include: 1. Alinganapakkam in (the district of) Urrukkattu-kottam in the province Tondaimandalam; 2. Vannipedu belonged to Karai-nadu, a subdivision of the district of Paduvur-kottam (Vannipedu, alias Ranavikrama-chaturvedimangalam, in Karai-nadu, (a subdivision) of Paduvur-kottam,);  3.  Ettukkur, a hamlet on the north-east of Kavirippakkam, alias Kavdippakkam Avaninarayana-chaturvedimangalam situated in Paduvur-kottam; 4. Ponpadukuttam, a tax-paying village (near) Kachchippedu, i.e., Kanchipuram; 5. Naratunga-chaturvedimangalam in Karai-nadu, (a subdivision) of Paduvur-kottam. 

Village was the basic unit of administration. The villages were mainly of three types. 1. Ur was the general assembly of the village where local residents discussed their matters without any formal rule or procedure; The Ur constituted of an intercaste population where the land was held by all classes of people and paid taxes to the king in the form of land revenue. It was the most frequent type. 2.  Brahmadeya or agrahara villages were granted to the Brahmins and was entirely inhabited by them. 3. Devadana was the village granted to god. They were exempted from tax and were prosperous. The revenues from these villages were donated to a temple. During Cholas the Devadana type of villages gained more popularity as the temples became the centres of life.

The Chola pattern of government was based more or less on democratic principles and most of the business was carried on by the village assemblies.  Chola officers participated in village affairs more as advisers and observers than as administrators. The assembly of Tikkali-Vallam in Miyaru-nadu, (a subdivision) of Paduvur-kottam, (a district) of Jayankonda-Sola-mandalam was held responsible for the entire responsibility of the village administration. This body participated by the selected few and elders of the village possessed absolute authority over the affairs of villages and the temple. They maintained law and order in the village. It wielded a great authority in the administration of the village and the temple.

The names of Chola government officers mentioned in Tiruvallam inscription include: 1. Kaduptti - Tamila-Perarayan (official),  copyist for Videlvidugu Kadupati-Tamila-Perarayan; 2. Irayiravan Pallavarayan, alias Uttama-Sola-Pallavaraiyan, 3. Perundaram (higher official of Chola HQ) of the Lord Sri-Rajendra-Chola deva (and) the lord of Araisur in Pambuni-kurram, (a district) of Nittavinoda-valanadu, 4. Samkaran Kandaradittanar, alias the Senapati Rajaraja-Soliyavaraiyar, the Lord of Inganur in Inganadu, (a district) of Arumolideva-valanadu, (a military officer).

Siva-Brahmanas were in charge of the shrine (sthana) of the temple while Devakanmis were the administrator in the temple. Shiva Brahmanas are priests who performed pooja rituals in Tiruvallam temple during Chola period: 1. Kausiha-Nagama-Bhattan, a Siva-Brahmana was in charge of the shrine (sthana) of the temple of Tiruvallam-udaiyar at Tiruvallam, a brahmadeya in Karaivali, (a subdivision) of Perumbanappadi, (a division) of Tyagabharana-valanadu, (a district) of Jayankonda-Sola-mandalam; 2. Gangadhara-Bhattan, Akkaa-Bhattan, Sivakkolundu-Bhattan, Sikkali-Bhattan, Rudra-Bhattan, Vikkiramadittan, Tirumapperan and the other (persons) in charge of the store-room of the temple, 3. Chandesvaradeva, the first servant of (the god) Mahadeva (of the temple) of Tiruvallam.

All the charities mentioned in the inscriptions were placed under the protection of Mahesvaras, the Chola government official took part in the sabha proceedings. 

Weights and Measurements

Inscriptions also mention about weights and measures that deal with gifts of land and produce to temples. The Chola system used to measure land was in Kuzhi (11 cents ?) and the area decided by one standard rod length and rod width (Adavallan Kol). Maa (33 cents ?) comprise three Kuzhi. Veli (660 cents or 6.6 acres) includes 20 Maa. One Kani = 8.25 cents.

Rice was measured in Nazhi (Padi) (1. 344 lit. (2 Uri / 4 Uzhakku / 8 aazhakku).

Paddy was measured in Marakkal (Kuruni) (10. 752 lit. (8 nazhi / 16 uri / 32 uzhakku / 64 aazhakku), two marakkal made one Pathakku ( 21.504 lit. (2 kuruni / 16 nazhi / 32 uri / 64 uzhakku /128 aazhakku); six marakkal one Kalam (86.016 lit (3 kalam / 6 pathakku / 12 kuruni / 96 nazhi / 192 uri / 384 uzhakku / 768 aazhakku); 12 marakkal one Podhi; 21 marakkal one Kottai. Kadi was used another measurement unit.

Oil and ghee were measured in Azhakku (0168 ml); Uzhakku (336 ml); Uri (672 ml - 2 Uzhakku / 4 aazhakku).

Gold gifts expressed in weighing units such as Kalanju. Kundrimani (Abrus precatorius) and  Manjadi (Adenanthera pavonina) are very consistent in weight. Ancient Tamils  used both the seeds as units of weight to weigh gold using a measure called kunrimani seed (0.133 gm) and manjadi seed (approximately 0.266 gm). Twenty manjadis or  forty kundrimanis made one Kalanju (5.320 gm or approximately 1.5 sovereign). Thirty manjadis or sixty kundrimanis made one sovereign or poun weighing 7.98 gm. 
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  1. An inscription (S.I.I. Vol III, No. 42, Pages 91) records the gift of land by a goldsmith to the temple at Vanapuram (‘the town of the Banas,’ seems to have been the residence of the Bana chief and have been situated closed to Tiruvallam) with the approval of the king Mahavalivanaraya mentions: "Om. Obeisance to Siva! Hail! Prosperity! In the sixty-second year (of the reign) of king Vijaya-Nandivikramavarman, while the glorious Mavalivanaraya, - born from the family of Mahabali, who had been made door-keeper by the lord of gods and demons, Paramesvara (Siva), who is worshipped in all the three worlds,- was ruling the Vadugavali twelve-thousand.  I, Aridhiran, the son of Madan, a goldsmith (and resident) of a house in the east of Alinganapakkam in (the district of) Urrukkattu-kottam, caused to be renewed the Vada-sigara-koyil at Vanapuram and gave to it the patti  (called) Alinjirkalam, (which I had) bought from Manradi, the son of Ilangilavar."
  2. Another Inscription (S.I.I., Vol III, No. 43, Pages 93) 17th year of the reign of Vijaya-Nandivikramavarman records the grant of three villages to the temple at the request of the Bana king Vikramaditya.  
  3. The Devaram hymns, are cited in the inscriptions as Tiruppadiyam. The much old lithic reference to the singing of Tiruppadiyam, fall out during the reign of Nandivarman III, the Pallava ruler  845 A.D. found in Tiruvallam. Inscription records that three villagers were granted to the temple at the request of the Bana king Vikramaditya Mavali Vanarayan. The three villages were clubbed together into one village, which received the new name Videlvidugu-Vikkiramaditta-chaturvedimangalam. Videlvidugu, i.e., ‘the crashing thunderbolt,’ may have been a surname of Vijaya-Nandivikramavarman. Main interest is the quoting of individual who had to sing the Tiruppadiyam i.e., the Devaram, in the temple.  Tlkkalivallam in Miyarunadu|, a subdivision of the Paduvurkottam. The members of the assembly of this Videlvidugu-Vikkiramaditta-chaturvedimangalam stipulate that the Assembly should pay 2000 kadi of paddy and twenty Kalanju of gold to the temple for the feeding of Siva Brahmans, the drum-beaters (Sribali) and other temple servants including the singers of Tirupadiyam  i.e., the Devaram as well as for perpetual lamps, anointment of idols, temple repairs, etc„ The singers of Devaram hymns were referred as Tirupadiyam Vinnapam seyvar or Pidarar from the inscriptions of Nandivarman III in the Tiruvallam Bilavaneswara temple records. Saptarishisvara temple at Lalgudi (99/1928-29) records provide particulars about the gifts provided to the singers of Devaram from Parantaka Chola I in 944 AD. Thiruverumbur temple (129/1914) records during reign of Sundara Chola (Parantaka II) also provide particulars about the Tirupppadiyam reciters. The records speak about the singers of Tiruppadiyam in Shiva temples much before the reign of Rajaraja Chola I.  The discovery of the Devaram hymns, probably under Rajaraja I, led to the Tiruppadiyam being institutionalised. It is learned that he deputed 48 pidarars and made liberal provisions for their maintenance and successors.  (S.I.I., Vol III, No. 43, Pages 93) 
  4. The inscription (S.I.I., Vol III, No. 44, Pages 95) of Mahavalivanaraya records that a Brahmana of Ettukkur near Kavirippakkam (now a City in Kaveripakkam Taluk in Vellore District) (S.I.I., Vol II. Nos. 10 to 12) paid 25 kalanju of gold to the villagers of Vannipedu (S.I.I., Vol II. Nos. 5 and 19), (now Vannivedu, a Village in Walajapet Taluk in Vellore district) who, in return, pledged themselves to supply oil to a lamp in the temple.  At the time of the inscription Vannipedu belonged to Karai-nadu, a subdivision of the district of Paduvur-kottam.  Karai-nadu owes its name to Karai, a village on the north of Ranipet. (S.I.I., Vol III, No. 44, Pages 95)
  5. The inscription (S.I.I., Vol III, No. 45) of Mahavalivanaraya records that an inhabitant of Ponpadukuttam near Kachchippedu, i.e., Kanchipuram, purchased some land from the inhabitants of Tiruvallam.  The produce of the land had to be used for providing offerings and for feeding a lamp in the temple. (S.I.I., Vol III, No. 45)
  6. The inscription (S.I.I., Vol III, No. 46) records a gift of gold for maintaining a lamp by the queen of Vanavidyadhara-Vanaraya ( this king may be identified with Vikramaditya I., the sixth of the Bana chiefs). Vanamahadevi,  the daughter of Pratipati-Araiyar and the great queen of Vanavidyadhararaya, alias Vanaraya, born from the family of Mahabali, gave to the members of the assembly of this Tikkali-Vallam twenty kalanju of pure gold for (maintaining) one perpetual lamp before (the god) Tikkali-Perumanadigal. The assembly members have agreed to supply (one) uri of ghee per day for one lamp from the  interest on this gold.  (S.I.I., Vol III, No. 46)
  7. Thiruvallam inscription records (S.I.I. Vol III, No. 49, Pages 102) that certain Madhrantakan Kandaratittan (Kandaratittan son of Madhrantaka) "while he stood in the temple observed that the offering presented to the Alvar (prime deity) were reduced to two nali of rice: the offerings of vegetables, ghee and curds had ceased and the perpetual lamps had been neglected." He summoned the 'Siva Brahmanas' of the temple and the assembly of Takkalivallam and said: 'state the revenue and expenditure of the temple in accordance with the royal order and the royal letter.' (S.I.I. Vol III, No. 49, Pages 102)  
  8. This inscription (S.I.I. Vol III, No. 50) is dated in the  seventh year of the reign of king Rajaraja-Kesarivarman.  It records that a Brahmana set up an image of the goddess Uma-Bhattaraki and granted a lamp to the temple.  He also purchased 1,700 kuli of land from the inhabitants of the village of Mandiram in Tunadu and made it over to the temple authorities, who had to feed the lamp and to supply offerings from the produce of the land. Tunadu, to which Mandiram belonged, was the name of the country round Melpadi.  Mandiram had the surname Jayameru-Srikaranamangalam (11. 2 and 15 f.), which seems to be derived from Jayameru, one of the surnames of the Bana king Vikramaditya I. (S.I.I. Vol III, No. 50)
  9. This inscription (S.I.I. Vol III, No. 51) is dated in the 16th year of the reign of the Chola king Rajaraja I. and records that the citizens of Vanapuram, i.e., Tiruvallam, sold 700 kuli of land by a deed of sale to Samkaradeva, the son of Tiruvaiyan, who granted it to the temple of Tiruvaiya-Isvara and for (providing) the expenses of the worship.  Tiruvaiya-Isvara temple was situated on the south of the Bilvanathesvara temple and was evidently named after Tiruvaiyan, the father of the donor. The inscription marks the four boundaries of the land  as well as the estimated measurement as seven hundred kuli  by the rod of sixteen spans. (S.I.I. Vol III, No. 51)
  10. This inscription (S.I.I. Vol III, No. 52) is dated in the 20th year of the reign of the Chola king Rajaraja I. and records the gift of a lamp by Nannamaraiyar or Nannaman, the son of Tukkarai.  The donor belonged to the Vaidumba family and ruled over Ingallur-nadu, a district of Maharajapadi. For (maintaining this lamp he) gave 90 full-grown cows, which must neither die nor grow old. (S.I.I. Vol III, No. 52)
  11. This inscription (S.I.I. Vol III, No. 53) is dated in the 3rd year of the reign of Parakesarivarman, alias Rajendra-Choladeva I.  It records that the inhabitants of Vanapuram, i.e. Tiruvallam, sold 1,000 kuli of land to Vaidumba Somanatha, (the son of ) Samkaradeva (Ref: S.I.I. Vol III, No. 51).  The inscription marks the four boundaries of the land as well as the estimated measurement as one thousand kuli by the rod of sixteen spans. He also granted 96 sheep for the maintenance of a lamp in the same temple.   (S.I.I. Vol III, No. 53)
  12. This inscription (S.I.I. Vol III, No. 54) is dated in the 4th year of the reign of Rajendra-Chola I.  Irayiravan Pallavaraiyan, alias Uttama-Sola-Pallavaraiyan, a Perundaram of the lord Sri-Rajendra-Choladeva (and) the lord of Araisur in Pambuni-kurram, (a district) of Nittavinoda-valanadu, had built a shrine to (the god) Chandesvaradeva (of the shrine) which he called Rajarajesvara. It is apparently identical with the shrine on which the inscription is engraved.  For maintaining two lamps in this shrine, he purchased for 50 kasu from the inhabitants of Tiruvallam a piece of land (shown the four boundaries of the land) which measured 2, 000 kuli, and which received the name Araisur-Vadagai with an allusion to his native village of Araisur (S.I.I. Vol III, No. 54)
  13. This inscription (S.I.I. Vol III, No. 55) is dated in the 3rd year of the reign of the Chola king Rajendra I and records that the temple authorities received 25 kalanju of gold from  Kattukkuri Madhava-Kramavittan, (one) among the commissioners who rule Aimbuni in Karaivali, (a subdivision) of Perumbanappadi, (a division) of Tyagabharana-valanadu, (a district) of Jayankonda-Sola-mandalam, under the condition that the interest should be applied for the feeding of a learned Brahmana (a Dikshita who knows the Veda and the sacred Agama) and other purposes.   The interest on 20 kalanju gold being (one) padakku of paddy per day, (measured) by the marakkal (called after) Arumolidevan, viz., three ulakku and two sevidu of paddy per day from every kalanju. The end of the inscription is lost.  (S.I.I. Vol III, No. 55)
  14. This inscription (S.I.I. Vol III, No. 56) is incomplete (of the five lines which are preserved only the two first lines are published).  It is dated in the 2nd year of the reign of Rajakesarivarman, alias Rajamahendradeva, and records a deed of sale of land. Samkaran Kandaradittanar, alias the Senapati Rajaraja-Soliyavaraiyar, the lord of Inganur in Inganadu, (a district) of Arumolideva-valanadu, (a military officer) purchased 800 kuli of land from the inhabitants of Tiruvallam and granted them to the temple. (S.I.I. Vol III, No. 56)
  15. This inscription is dated on the 200th day of the 3rd year of the reign of Parakesarivarman, alias Adhirajendradeva. Before the time of this inscription, the income of the temple had been regulated in the 8th year of the reign of “the emperor Virarajendradeva.”   
  16. Two Chola royal  officers i.e,  the magistrate (adhikarin) 1. Puran Adittadevanar, alias Rajarajendra-Muvendavelar, of Pulangudai in Purakkiliyur-nadu, (a subdivision) of Pandikulasani-valanadu, (a district) of Sola-mandalam, and the 2. Senapati Rajarajan Paranriparakshasan, alias Virasola-Ilango (probably a prince of the blood) the headman of Naarin Tiraimur-nadu, (a subdivision) of Uyyakkondar-valanadu, having met in the Gangaikonda-Solan, a mandapa on the east (of the temple) of Tirumayanam-udaiyar at Kanchipuram in Eyil-nadu, (a subdivision) of  Eyir-kottam, called for the accounts of the villages which are devadanas (of the temple) of Tiruvallam-udaiyar (Tiruvallam Temple). The magistrate Rajarajendra-Muvendavelar ordered that the revenue from the villages of Kukkanur in Tuy-nadu  and Mandiramin Tuy-nadu  should be assigned to the temple for expenses not previously provided for.  A larger committee then assembled and made allotments from this revenue for various heads of the temple expenditure. (S.I.I. Vol III, No. 57)
  17. இடம் : வடஆர்க்காடு மாவட்டம், குடியாத்தம் தாலுகா, திருவல்லம். இவ்வூர் பில்வநாதேசுவரர் கோவிலின் மகாமண்டபத்துத் தென்புறச் சுவரில் உள்ள செய்யுள் சாசனம். Place: Tiruvallam Bilvanathesvara temple south wall of maha-mandapa  South Indian Inscriptions. Volume IV  (S.I.I. Vol. IV. No. 325. )

சாசனச் செய்யுள்

ஆலத்தூ ராளி திவாகரன்தான் செய்வித்தான்
பாலொத்த வெள்ளி நாற்பதின் கழஞ்சால் - சோலைத்
திருவலத்தே யாழ்வார் திருப்பல்லிக்குச் செல்வம்
வருநலத்தான் கொள்கைதான் மற்று.

Meaning: Bilvanathesvara temple of Tiruvallam was known as Alvar Temple of Tiruvallam. One Divakaran of Alattur gifted 40 silver kazhanchu for the pooja rituals (Tirupali) of Alvar of Tiruvallam (வல்லத்துப் பில்வநாதேசுவரர் கோவில், முற்காலத்தில் திருவல்லத்து ஆழ்வார் கோயில் என்று பெயர் பெற்றிருந்தது. இக்கோவில் பூசைக்காக ஆலத்தூர் திவாகரன் என்பவர் தானம் செய்ததை இச்செய்யுள் கூறுகிறது.)  

  1. Mahalingam, T.V.  Pages 122 – 140. A.S.I Library, George Fort Complex, Chennai.
  2. Miscellaneous Inscriptions From the Tamil Country
  3. The Banas by T. N. Ramachandran, M.A., Archaeological Assistant, Madras Museum.
  4. The History of Andhra Country, 1000 A.D.-1500 A.D.  By Yashoda Devi
  5. Thiruvalam Sri Vilvanatheswarar Temple, Thiruvalam, Tamilnadu  திருவலம் அருள்மிகு திரு வில்வநாதீஸ்வரர் கோயில், திருவலம், தமிழ் நாடு  Haindava Thiruvalam ஹைந்தவ திருவலம். 
  6. Topographical List of Inscriptions in Tamilnadu and Kerala States, Volume – 1, North Arcot District.
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