No. 12─VELUR INSCRIPTION OF VIJAYA-NARASIMHAVARMAN
K. D. SWAMINATHAN, MADRAS
The subjoined inscription is engraved on a hero stone up in the Vēḍiappan temple at
Vēḷūr in the Chengam Taluk of the North Arcot District. Below the inscription is the representation of a warrior in bas-relief in a defiant attitude, holding a bow in his left hand and a sword
in the right. There is also the representation of a small structure near his feet. I edit the inscription with the kind permission of the Government Epigraphist for India.
The language of the inscription is Tamil and the alphabet Vaṭṭeluttu. But the
forms of certain aksharas remind us of Tamil characters ; e.g., y in viśaiya (line 1), Paraiyaº
(line 3) and ºmāḷiyār (line 4) ; l in Mēl (line 3) ; ḷu in Vēḷūr and āḷum (in line 3). In respect
of palaeography, the epigraph closely resembles the Hanumantapuram inscription of Vijaya-Īśvaravarman. The form of ñ in ñānru (line 4) is slightly different from the usual form found
in the inscriptions of the same period copied from the southern Districts. The characters
are assignable to the 9th century A.D. The orthographical peculiarities do not call for any
remarks. The word toru occurs also in Kannaḍa and Telugu epigraphs of almost the same
The inscription is dated in the 2nd year of king Vijaya-Narasiṅgavarman (Narasiṁhavarman)
and records the death of Paraiyamāḷiyār, the chief of Mēl-Vēḷūr in Mīkonrai-nāḍu and a servant
of Vāṇakōn Adiyaraiśar, in a cattle raid. Only four inscriptions of Vijaya-Narasiṁhavarman are
so far known, though he ruled for at least 24 years. Two of them dated the 3rd and 18th years of
his reign are found at Kīl-Muṭṭugūr in the North Arcot District, while a third dated the 24th
year comes from Baṅgavāḍi in the Kolar District of Mysore, on the borders of the North Arcot
District. The fourth record is found at Chinna-Nāgapūṇḍi in the Tiruttaṇi Division of the Chittur
District. The present inscription offers the earliest date for Narasiṁhavarman.
The importance of the record lies in its being the only inscription of Narasiṅgavarman in the
Vaṭṭeluttu script, while the alphabet used in his other known inscriptions is Tamil. The use of
Vaṭṭeluttu in an epigraph found so far north as Vēḷūr is noteworthy. The existence of a number
of similar hero stones in and around North Arcot testifies to the disturbed state of the region during
the 9th century A.D. the major portion of this District, with the bordering portions of Salem and
Kolar, were under the sway of local chiefs who ruled contemporaneously with the Bāṇas, Noḷambas
and Gaṅgas during the eighth and ninth centuries A.D. During this period of confusion, Narasiṅgavarman of our record may have assumed the status of an independent ruler.
 A. R. Ep., No. 69 of 1933-34.
 There is another Vēḍiappan temple at Iḍaipparai in the Polur Taluk of the North Arcot District. It contains
an inscription of Parākrama-pāṇḍya, dated in his 8th regnal year. See ibid., No. 141 of 1941-42.
 Above, Vol. VII, p. 24 and Plate.
 Cf. ibid., Vol. IX, p. 90 and Plate ; SII, Vol. V, No. 783 and Plate.
 See SII, Vol. IX, part i, No. 10 ; cf. No. 15.
 A.R. Ep., No. 298 of 1935-36.
 Above, Vol. IV, pp. 178, 360.
 Ibid., Vol. VII, p. 22.
 A.R. Ep., No. 133 of 1943-44. The date portion of this record is damaged.
 A.R. Ep., Nos. 104 to 106 of 1940-41 ; Nos. 102 and 116 of 1941-42 ; No. 68 of 1933-34 ; SII, Vol. XIII,