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The Indian Analyst

South Indian Inscriptions, Volume 2

Tamil Inscriptions

INTRODUCTION

As it is intended to write in the next volume of this series about the ancestors of Rajaraja I and the Cholas generally, it is enough here to put together all that is known about the life and reign of this king. The nature of the materials available to us precludes any details about his private life. The personal history of a sovereign who lived in the eleventh century and about whose times no contemporary historian has left us any information must consist mainly of surmises and inferences from the few facts that are known of his public life.

The original name of the king was Rajarajakesarivarman or Rajakesarivarman Mummadisoradeva, which occurs, in his earliest Tamil inscriptions. The Tiruvalangadu plates[1] call him Arunmorivarman. This name, in the slightly altered form Arumorideva, occurs also in some of the Tamil records of his reign. The composer of the Tiruvalangadu plate’s remarks that at the birth of prince Arunmorivarman[2] “the wives of the serpent (Adisesha who is supposed to carry the earth on his back) danced for joy in the belief that he would relieve their husband of the burden of bearing the earth.” Rajakesarivarman Mummadisora was the second son of the Chola king Parantaka II alias Sundra-Chola, who was also known as Ponmaligaittunjinadeva[3] “the king who died at the Golden Hall” (i.e., the temple Chidambaram). According to the Tiruvalangadu plates, Sundara-Chola’s queen Vanavanmahadevi is stated to have committed suttee. Apparently the parents of Rajarajadeva were spending their last days at Chidambaram as Saiva devotees. It was evidently this aspect of their life that appealed most strongly to their daughter who set up images to each of them in the Tanjore temple and made an endowment for their worship (No. 6)

So far as we know Rajarajadeva had an elder sister and an elder brother. The latter was called Aditya-Karikala and all that is known of him is that he fought in his youth with Vira-Pandya. In stone inscriptions he is known as “Parakesarivarman, who took the head of Vira-Pandya.” The name of Rajaraja’s elder sister was Kundavaiyar. She had married a certain Vallavaraiyar Vandyadevar (Nos.2, 6, 7 and 8) about whom nothing more is known. It is evident that she spent her later life in Tanjore with her younger brother and that she even survived him. We may suppose that Rajarajadeva entertained a high regard for her and that she exercised considerable influence over him and contributed in no small degree to the formation of his character.[4] These were the surroundings under which the king was brought up. It will now be necessary to briefly review the history of the Cholas of Tanjore for a proper appreciation of the position, which Rajaraja occupies in South-Indian history. The founder of the family was Vijayalaya who established Tanjore as the capital of the dynasty. His son and successor, Aditya I conquered the Pallavas, and his son ParantakaI was continually fighting against the Pandyas and kept them effectually under control. Towards the end of his reign the Rashtrakutas under Krishna III invaded the Tamil country, killed the Chola prince Rajaditya and seized Tondai-nadu, which they seem to have ruled for about a quarter century. During this period the Cholas had to confine themselves to their hereditary dominions in the Trichinopoly and Tanjore districts. Aditya-Karikala appears to have regained Tondai-Nadu, as inscriptions dated in his reign have been found in Ukkal and other villages of that province. Apparently on his death or on the death of his father – whichever was the later – the succession was disputed. The subjects besought Arunmorivarman, i.e, Rajarajadeva to become king, but he did not want the throne as long as his paternal uncle Madhurantaka Uttama-Chola was fond of his country. Eventually Arumorivarman was appointed heir-apparent while Madhurantaka “bore the burden of the earth”. It looks as if the former was a minor when his father or elder borther died.

It is not necessary to give a detailed account to how the date of accession of Rajarajadeva has been arrived at. Professor Kielhorn has examined a number of dates of the king with astronomical details and has come to the conclusion that his accession took place between the 25th June and 25th July 985 A.D. 

Turning to the military achievements of the king which are mentioned in thousands of his inscriptions found over a large part of the Madras Presidency, we find that until the 8th year of his reign = A.D. 994 he did not undertake any expedition. During this period he was probably engaged in recruiting an efficient army and otherwise preparing himself for the struggle, which he must have thought he should undertake before the Chola power and prestige could be restored.

In his first campaign the king is said to have destroyed a fleet in the port of Kandalur, which appears to have been situated in the dominions of the Chera King. The Tiruvalangadu plates, which furnish a lengthy account of Rajaraja’s campaigns, do not mention this item at all. They begin with the war against the Pandyas and report that Rajaraja seized the Pandya king Amarabhujanga and that the Chola general captured the port of Virinam. Perhaps Kandalur or Kandalur-Salai was near Virinam. It is not unlikely that the Chola king fought, on more than one occasion, against the Pandyas. The Cheras and Pandyas appear to have been allied together in their war against the Chola king, for in the Tanjore inscriptions reference is frequently made to the conquest of the Chera king and the Pandyas in Malai-nadu, i.e., the West Coast (Nos. 1, 59, 91, etc.). Kandalur-Salai, which is stated to belong to the Chera king in later inscriptions, was probably held by the Pandyas when it was attached by Rajaraja.

Before his 14th year = A.D. 998-99, Rajarajadeva conquered Vengai-nadu, i.e., the Eastern Chalukya territory, Gangapadi and Nurambapadi which formed part of the present Mysore State, Tadigaipadi, the situation of which has not been made out satisfactorily.[5] According to Eastern Chalukya copper-plate grants, the kingdom of Vengi was without a ruler about this time. The interregnum in the Vengi country, which preceded the reign of Saktivarman, is said to have lasted 27 years. On a previous occasion[6] I pointed out that this interregnum probably came to an end in A.A. 999, when the Cholas invaded Vengi. Accordingly it may be presumed that Rajaraja restored order and peaceful government in Vengi by placing Saktivarman on the throne.

In the same period the Chola king conquered Kudamalai-nadu. Professor Hultzsch has identified this country with Coorg,[7] and we have actually an inscription at the village of Malambi in Coorg[8] which belongs to the time of Rajaraja I and mentions his general Pan chavanmaraya. A place named Udagai is mentioned in connection with the conquest of the Pandyas (p. 250, note 3). The Kalingattu-Parani refers to the “storming of Udagai” in the verse, which alludes to the reign of Rajaraja. The Kulottunga-Soran-ula also mentions the burning of Udagai. This was probably an important stronghold in the Pandya country, which the Chola king captured.[9] As the Pandyas were the natural enemies of the Cholas, Rajaraja seems to have gloried much in his victory over them. In the historical introductions of Tamil inscriptions where the above conquests are recorded it is stated that he was “always depriving the Seriyas (i.e., Pandyas) of their splendour.” Having already overcome the Chera king, probably while destroying the ships at Kandalur or in the war against the Pandyas, Rajaraja assumed the title Mummudi-Chola, i.e., “the Chola king who wears three crowns, viz.,the Chera, Chola and Pandya crows” which occurs first in an inscription of the 14th year at Melpadi[10] [11]in the North Arcot district. After his future was to be very bright and imagined that the goddess of the Great Earth had become his queen along with the goddess of Prosperity. It is in inscriptions of the 8th year of the king’s reign that the usual historical introduction beginning with the words tirumagal, which was evidently composed after the conquest of the Pandyas, occurs for the first time. The Vikkirama-Soran-ula evidently refers to the reign of Rajaraja when it mentions the conquest of Malai-nadu and the killing of 18 princes in retaliation of the insult offered to an envoy.[12] The Kulottunga-Soran-ula also refers to the same Chola king who “cut off eighteen heads and set fire to Udagai.” The conquest of Malai-nadu and the burning of Udagai refer evidently to the reign of Rajarajadeva, but it does not appear when he cut the heads of eighteen princes.

The king also subdued Killam and Kalingam. Tiruvalangadu plates mention Rajaraja’s invasion against the country created by Parasurama, who had taken a vow to destroy all the Kshatriyas. This country is described as inaccessible on account of the mountains and the ocean, which surrounded it. It is doubtful if the composer of the Tiruvalangadu plates refers here to the conquest of Kollam or to the subjugation of the 12,000 old islands of the sea mentioned in some of the inscriptions of the 29th year of the king’s reign. If it is neither, there must have been an invasion of Malabar, which does not find a place in the introduction of the King’s Tamil inscriptions.[13]

As regards the conquest of Kalingam, it is not unlikely that this was effected by his son Rajendra-Chola. The Tiruvalangadu plates mention the defeat of an Andhra king named Bhima in describing the reign of Rajaraja. From the Ranastipundi grant we know that Vimaladitya bore the surnames Mummadi-Bhima and Birudanka-Bhima. Besides,[14] two inscriptions[15] on the Mahendragiri Hill in the Ganjam district which must have been included in Kalinga, record that a general of the Chola king Rajendra-Chola defeated the Kuluta chief Vimaladitya, captured the Mahendraparvata and caused a pillar of victory to be set up on the hill. From these it may be concluded that Rajaraja deputed his son Rajendra-Chola in his campaign against Kalinga. But the Chola king had conquered Vengi already and, as I have surmised, placed Saktivarman on the throne, thus bringing the interregnum to a close. It is therefore unlikely that a member of Saktivarman’s family rebelled immediately after and had to be subdued. In the absence of evidence to the contrary I would suppose that the conquest of Kalinga by Rajaraja was earlier than the war of Rajendra-Chola’s general with the Kuluta chief Vimaladitya and was intended to help Saktivarman in consolidating his dominions after the interregnum. Some considerable time after the accession of Saktivarman, there seems to have been fresh trouble in the Kalinga country. The Tiruvalangadu plates tell us that the Andhra king had killed a certain Rajaraja and his seems to have been the cause of the war. Who this Rajaraja was we are not told. But he must be been some person in whom he Cholas were interested. This I take to be the occasion when the pillar of victory was set up on the Mahendragiri Hill. We find the Vengi king Vimaladitya at Tiruvaiyaru near Tanjore about A.D. 1013 – 14 making gifts to the Panchanadesvara temple[16] Shortly before or after this date he must have married the Chola princess Kundavai, daughter of Rajraja and sister of Rajendra-Chola.

Rajaraja must have simultaneously directed his arms against Ceylon. The king is said to have undertaken his expedition in order that “the eight quarters might praise him”. This phrase occurs in the earlier inscriptions, but in later ones the personal appearance of the Singhalese seems to receive an uncomplimentary remark (e.g., in Nos. 4 and 65). We have at Padaviya in Ceylon a Tamil inscription of the 27th year of Rajarajadeva corresponding to A.D. 1011 – 12 A.D. Several villages in Ceylong were granted by Rajaraja to the Rajarajesvara temple at Tanjore and had to remit their assessment to the temple in the shape of money, grain or iluppaipal (No. 92). These facts show that the subjugation of the island by the Chola king was complete[17]. According to the Mahavamsa (Chapter LV) Mahinda V ascended the throne in A.A. 1001. The trouble in Ceylon began in A.D. 1012 when the king was unable to maintain his army and all the men of Kerala in his service went up to the palace and demanded their wages. Then the Mahavamsa describes events in Ceylon, which took place in A.D. 1037. According to Tamil inscriptions these must have happened about A.D. 1016. The Mahavamsa does not mention the invasion of Ceylon during the reign of Rajaraja unless it be the expedition by Vallabha-Chola during the reign of Mahinda IV (A.D. 975-991)[18]. Thus there is no doubt that there is some mistake in the Chronology of the Mahavamsa.  Then comes a period of three years in the life of Rajarajadeva about which we get no information from his inscriptions which are mainly concerned with his military exploits. This is the interval between the 18th[19] and the 21st years corresponding to A.D. 1002 and 1005 respectively. It was evidently during this time that the king received the title Sri-Rajaraja, which occurs first in inscriptions of the 19th year (= A.D. 1003). According to the Kongude-sarajakkal the king made certain gifts to the Chidambaram temple in Saka 926 = A.D. 1004. It is not impossible as will be show later on, that the title Sri-Rajaraja was conferred on him by the temple authorities at Chidambaram. Perhaps this was also the period when the king conceived the idea of building the temple at Tanjore and made arrangements for the operations to commence.

What the circumstances were that led to the war with the Estern Chalukya Satyasraya we are nowhere told. The Pallavas of Conjeevveram were constantly fighting with the Chalukyas of Badami. The Western Chalukyas of Kalyani were desceuded from the latter and the Cholas occupied Tondai-nadu, the Pallava territory. Besides this fact we know of no cause, which could have brought about the war[20]. The conquest of Gangapadi and Nurambapadi in the modern Mysore State must have brought them into direct contact with the Western Chalukyas. Besides, the rulers of these two conquered provinces were originally feudatories of the Rashtrakutas, the political predecessors of the Western Chalukyas in the Kanarese country. Both the Cholas and the Western Chalukyas were powerful land strong and must have been looking for an opportunity to measure their respective strength. Under these circumstances any slight cause would have been enough to provoke a quarrel.

The Victory over Satyasraya is mentioned in the Tiruvalangadu and the large Leyden plates and in one of the Tanjore inscriptions (No. 1). In the Tamil records of the king, the conquest of the seven and a half lakshas of Rattapadi evidently refers to the same event. It must have taken place towards the end of the 21st (A.D. 1005) or beginning of the 22nd year (A.D. 1006), to judge from the references to the events in Tamil records. We have an independent confirmation of this expedition. According to the Hottur inscriptions of Satyasraya, dated in A.D. 1007-08, the Chola king – here called Nurmadi-Chola and named Rajendra – having collected a force numbering nine hundred thousand had pillaged the whole country, had slaughtered the women, the children and the Brahmans, and, taking the girls to wife, had destroyed their caste.[21] The Western Chalukya king claims to have put the Chola to flight and acquired great stores of wealth and vehicles. The Chola king evidently attached much importance to his victory over Satyasraya, as he is said to have presented gold flowers to the Rajarajesvara temple on his return from the expedition.

The next period in the life of the king, viz., the 23rd to the 29th year, was not characterized by any military exploits. The Chola dominions probably enjoyed peace and the king apparently devoted his energies to the task of internal administration. The building of the Rajarajesvara temple in Tanjore and the multifarious endowments and gifts to it must have occupied a prominent place in the king’s mind during these years.

We have reason to suppose that the king also carried out a revenue survey and settlement during the period.[22] The Tanjore inscriptions published in Part I of this volume bear ample testimony to the accuracy of the operations conducted by the king. Land as small in extent as 1/52,428,800,000 of a veli was measured and assessed to revenue. An inscription at Tiruvisalur in the Tanjore district, dated in the 24th year of Rajaraja[23], refers to a revenue survey apparently carried out some time before the date of the inscription. The officer of Rajaraja who took an active part kin the survey operations were perhaps the general (senapali) Kuravau Ulagalandau alias Rajaraja-maharajan mentioned frequently in No. 95 below. His title Ulagalandan, “one who measured the earth”, might have been given to him in recognition of his services in connection with the survey operations. It was apparently as a result of this survey and settlement that the king issued his order dated the 124th day of the 24th year to the following effect[24] : -

“The land of those landholders in villages of Brahmanas, in villages of Vaikhanasas and in villages of Sramanas (i.e., Jainas), in Sonadu, in the adjacent district included in Sonadu, in Tondai-nadu, and in Pandi-nadu alias Rajaraja-valanadu, who have not paid on the land owned by them, the taxes due from villages, along with the other inhabitants of those villages, for three years (of which two are completed between the 16th and the 23rd years (of my reign) shall become the property of the village and shall be liable to be sold by the inhabitants of these villages to the exclusion of the (defaulting) landholders. Also (the land of) those who have not paid the taxes due from villages for three years (of which), two are completed, from the 24th year (of my reign) shall be liable to be sold by the inhabitants of those villages to the exclusion of the defaulting) landholders.” This order of the king was written by the royal Secretary Rajakesarinallur-Kiravau and having been approved by the Chief Secretary Mummadi-Sora-Brabmamarayau and by Mummadi-Sora-Posau, was engraved by order on the 143rd day of the 24th year. The 29th was apparently the last year of Rajaraja’s reign. Even then his warlike spirit does not seem to have abated; for, in that year an expedition was dispatched against the twelve thousand islands.[25] Which group in the Indian Ocean was denoted by this name I am at present unable to decide.

Rajaraja bore several titles of which the following are the more important: — Mummadi or Mummudi-Chola, Chola-Arumori, Rajasraya, Nityavinoda, Sri-Rajaraja and Sivapadasekhara. He seems to have assumed the title Jayangonda-Chola towards the end of his life. These titles of his, figure in territorial designations occurring in the Tanjore inscriptions and one is tempted to think that in the names Kshatriyasikhamani-valanadu, Pandyakulasani-valanadu, Keralantaka-valanadu, Rajendrasimha-Valanadu and Uyyakkondar[26] were titles of Rajaraja.

Rajaraja indulged in a pretty large number of wives. Lokamahadevi,[27] Cholamahadevi, Trailokyamahadevi, Panchavanmahadevi, Abhimanavalli, Iladamadeviyar (Latamahadevi) and Prithivimahadevi are known from the Tanjore inscriptions[28]. Each of them set up a number of images in the Rajarajesvara temple and made gifts to them. Lokamahadevi was probably the chief queen. She built the shrine called Uttara-Kailasa in the Panchanadesvara temple at Tiruvaiyaru near Tanjore and made many valuable gifts to it. The shrine was in existence already in the 21st year of the king’s reign and was then called Lokamahadevisvara after the queen[29]. Only one son and one daughter of the king are known, viz., Rajendra-Chola I, whose accession took place one year before the death of Rajaraja, and Kundava or Kundavai, who married the Eastern Chalukya king Vimaladitya.[30] The respect which Rajaraja showed to his elder sister Kundavi throws an indirect light of his domestic life. She is spoken us “the venerable elder sister.” In the sentence, which the king himself is said to have uttered when ordering all the grants made to the temple to be engraved on stone, the place assigned to his elder sister is next to himself and the queens are mentioned after her (No. 1). During Rajaraja’s reign the walls of the central shrine seem to have been reserved for registering the king’s grants. The gifts made by the queens and the Officers of State had to be recorded on the niches and pillars of the enclosure. But Kundavai’s gifts were invariably engraved on the central shrine.

That part of Rajaraja’s intellectual nature to which students of South-Indian history owe most is the desire on his part to record his military achievements in every one of his inscriptions and thus had down to posterity some of the important events of his life. As far as we know at present Rajarajadeva was the first king of Southern India to introduce this innovation into his inscriptions. Before his time powerful kings of the Pallava, Pandya and Chola dynasties had reigned in the South, and some of them had made extensive conquests. But none of them seems to have thought of leaving a record on stone of his military achievements. For instance, we have many stone inscriptions in Southern India of the Chola king Parantaka I, whose extensive conquests are well known. Of these the stone inscriptions refer only to the conquests of Madura. Even this item of information would probably be missing had it not been for the fact that the king bore the name of his grand father Parakesarivarman, and it was consequently necessary to add the epithet “conquerer of Madura” in order to avoid confusion. The idea of Rajarajadeva to add a short account of his military achievements at the beginning of every one of his inscriptions was entirely his own. His action in this respect is all the more laudable because his successors evidently followed his example and have left us more or less complete records of their conquests. But for the historical introductions, which are often found at the beginning of the Tamil inscriptions of Chola, kings the lithic records of the Tamil country would be of very little value, and consequently even the little advance that has been made in elucidating the history of Southern India would have been well nigh impossible. Early Tamil records are dated not in the Saka or any other well-known era but in the regnal year of the king to whose time the gants belong, and palaeography is not always a very safe guide in South-Indian history. With the help of the names of contemporary kings of other dynasties mentioned in the historical introductions of the Tamil inscriptions, it has been possible to fix the approximate dates of most of the Chola kings. Consequently, the service, which Rajarajadeva has rendered to epigraphists in introducing a brief account of his military achievements at the beginning of his stone inscriptions, cannot be overestimated. The historical side of the king’s intellectual nature is further manifested in the order, which he issued to have all the grants made to the Rajarajesvara temple engraved on stone. That this order of the king was not due entirely to self-glorification is borne out by other records. For instance, an inscription of his reign found at Tirumalavadi in the Trichinopoly district[31] records an order of the king to the effect that the central shrine of the Vaidyanatha temple at the place should be rebuilt and that, before pulling down the walls, the inscriptions engraved on them should be copied in a book. The records were subsequently re-engraved on the walls from the book after the rebuilding was finished.

The prominence given to the army from the conquest of the Pandyas down to the last year of the king’s reign is significant, and shows the spirit with which he treated his soldiers. Evidently Rajarajadeva gave his army its due share in the glory derived from his extensive conquests. It was evidently this same army that was called “the great warlike army” during the reign of his successor Rajendra-Chola I. The following regiments[32] are mentioned in the Tanjore inscriptions: -

1.      Perundanattu Anaiyatkal.

2.      Pandita-Sore-Terinda-villigal.

3.      Uttama-Sora-terinda-Andalagattalar.

4.      Nigarili-Sora-terinda-Udanilai-Kudiraichchevagar.

5.      Mummadi-Sora-terinda-Anaippagar.

6.      Vira-Sora-Anukkar.

7.      Parantaka-Kongavalar.

8.      Mummadi-Sora-terinda-parivarattar.

9.      Keralantaka-terinda-parivarattar.

10.   Mulaparivara-vitteru alias Jananatha-terinda-parivarattar.

11.   Singalantaka-terinda-parivarattar.

12.   Sirudanattu Vadugakkalavar.

13.   Valangai-Parambadaigalilar.

14.   Perundanattu-Valangai-Velaikkarappadaigal.

15.   Sirudanattu-Valangai-Velaikkarappadaigal.

16.   Aragiya-Sora-terinda-Valangai-Velaikkarar.

17.   Aridurgalanghana-terinda-Valangai-Velaikkarar.

18.   Chandaparakrama-terinda-Valangai-Velaikkarar.

19.   Ilaiya-Rajaraja-terinda-Valangai-Velaikkarar.

20.   Kshatriyasikhamani-terinda-Valangai-Velaikkarar.

21.   Murtavikramabharana-terinda-Valangai-Velaikkarar.

22.   Nittavinoda-terinda-Valangai-Velaikkarar.

23.   Rajakanthirava-terinda-Valangai-Velaikkarar.

24.   Rajaraja-terinda-Valangai-Velaikkarar

25.   Rajavinoda-terinda-Valangai-Velaikkarar.

26.   Ranamukha-Bhima-terinda-Valangai-Velaikkarar.

27.   Vikramabharana-terinda-Valangai-Velaikkarar.

28.   Keralantaka-vasal-tirumeykappar.

29.   Anukka-vasal-tirumeykappar.

30.   Parivarameykappargal.

31.   Palavagai-Parampadaigalilar.

In most of the foregoing names the first portion, viz.,: Pandita-Sora, Uttama-Sora, Nigarili-Sora, Mummadi-Sora, Vira-Sora, Keralantaka, Jananatha, Singalantaka, Aragiya-Sora, Aridurgalanghana, Chandaparakrama,[33] Kshatriyasikhamani, Murtavikramabharana, Nittavinoda, Rajakanthirava, Rajaraja, Rajavinoda, Ranamukha-Bhima and Vikramabharana appear to be the surnames or titles of the king himself or of his son. That these regiments should have been called after the king or his son shows the attachment, which the Chola king bore towards his army. It may not be unreasonable to suppose that these royal names were pre-fixed to the designations of these regiments after they had distinguished themselves in some engagement or other. It is worthy of note that there are elephant troops, cavalry and foot soldiers among these regiments. Thirteen of the above mentioned regiments belonged to the Valangai-Velaikkara-ppadaigal, i.e. the Velaikkara troops of the right hand. It is difficult to determine if this designation is based on the distinction between the right hand and left hand castes of Southern India. No mention of any left hand troops of this class is made in the Tanjore inscriptions though their existence may prima facie be assumed. At any rate the origin of the term is obscure and must be left to future research. The Velakkara troops are frequently mentioned in the Mahavamsa. The term velakkara is explained by Mr. L. A. Wijesinha as “a body of mercenary troops employed by the Singalese.” They figure in the history of Ceylon towards the close of the 11th century A.D. during the reign of Vijayabahu (A.D. 1065 to 1120). They were dispatched on an expedition against the Chola country but refused to proceed and rebelled. Eventually they were subdued by the Singhalese king. This mention does not throw much light either on the origin or on their history in the Chola country at the beginning of the 11th century. It is possible they were no mercenaries in the Chola country but regular soldiers. If a conjecture may be offered, I would say they were perhaps volunteers who enlisted when the occasion (velai) for their services arose[34]. In later times when their services were not required in the Tamil country they probably migrated into Ceylon during the period of iterregnum when there were frequent Chola invasions against the island. Eventually they probably developed into mercenaries. It is interesting to note that eighteen of the musicians of the Rajarajesvara temple belonged originally to one or other of the foregoing regiments and no less than twelve of them were from the Velaikkara troops. Each of these twelve musicians got seventy-five kalam of paddy for his service in the temple. To some of these regiments, the management of certain minor shrines of the temple was entrusted and they were expected to provide for the requirements of the shrine. Others among them took money from the temple on interest, which they agreed to pay in cash. We are not, however, told to what productive purpose they applied this money. At any rate all these transactions show that the king created in them an interest in the temple built by himself.

Among the officers of Rajaraja two generals are referred to in the Tanjore inscriptions, viz. – Kuravan Ulagalandan alias Rajaraja-Maharajan and Krishnan-Raman alias Mummadi-Sora-Brahmamarayan. The latter was the Chief Secretary (Olai-ndyagan or Tirumandiravolai-nayagan) from the 21st to the 24th year of the king’s reign. Another such Secretary (Tirumandiravolai) was Karayil Eduttapadam, the headman of Rajakesarinallur. Amudan Tirttakarau, the headman of Vilattur, who drafted the Anaimangalam grant recorded in the large Leyden plates was also another Secretary; Irayiravan Pallavayan alias Mummadi-Sora-Posan must also have belonged to the secretariat staff as he signed both the Anaimangalam grant and the Ukkal inscription relating to revenue settlement. All of the above mentioned officers figure in the Tanjore inscriptions as donors. Krishnan-Raman built at least two of the enclosing verandahs of the temple. Another officer who belonged to the secretariat was Velau Uttama-Soran alias Madurantaka Muvendavelan who figures among the signatories to the original order of the king in the Anaimangalam charter. Other officers are also mentioned in the large Leyden plates viz.,: — Five persons who are described as Karumamarayum, i.e, “those who look after (the king’s) affairs. They were probably the king’s executive officers. Four others who must have been Brahmanas are described as naduvirukkum “those who are in the middle.” These were perhaps arbitrators or judges. Two other officers are also mentioned, viz.,puravuvari and varippottagam. The former was apparently the office dealing with taxes due from revenue-free villages and the latter with the rent-roll of the Chola dominions. Another important officer of the king was the magistrate (adhikarin) Udayadivakaran Tillaiyali alias Rajaraja-Muvendavelan of Kanchivayil who figures both in the large Leyden plates and in the Tanjore inscriptions. Still another important person was the temple manager Adittan Suryan alias Tennavan Muvendavelar, who was the headman of Poygai-nadu. He set up images of some of the sixty-three Saiva devotees in the temple and made gifts to them. The king seems to have conferred the title Perundaram on the most important officers and men of note in his dominions. The title Perundaram is prefixed to Sirudanattu-panimakkal, i.e., “the servants of the Sirudanam”[35] which seems to denote a class of officers. Perhaps the term was used to denote subordinate officials. One of the officers is described as Sirudanattu-Perundaram. He probably belonged to the class of subordinate officials but received the title Perundaram.

The study of Rajaraja’s inscriptions leaves on us the impression that he must have been an active man[36] and that he was probably successful in realizing some of the highest aims of his life. Like most men who devote a considerable portion of their earlier years in the active pursuit of cherished earthly aims, this Chola king spent the later portion of his life in works of devotion. The Rajarajesvara temple at Tanjore, which has evidently served as a model for a large number of other temples in Southern India, is a stupendous monument of the religious instinct of this sovereign. The enormous endowments in lands and gold made to the temple show that the king had one sole object in his later life, viz., to leave no want of the temple unsupplied. Almost all the booty he acquired in wars he gave away to the temple. Utensils required for temple services; ornaments for the various images set up in the temple; villages for supplying the temple with the requisite amount of paddy ‘ money for purchasing the various articles for temple use not omitting even camphor, cardamom seeds, champaka-buds and khaskhas-roots required for scenting the bathing water of the gods (No. 24) ‘ sheep, cows and buffaloes for supplying the ghee required for lamps; skilled musicians for singing the Devaram hymns; dancing girls; Brahmana servants for doing the menial work in the temple; accountants for writing the temple accounts; and temple treasurers, goldsmiths, carpenters, washermen, barbers, astrologers and watchmen were provided on a most liberal scale.[37] The systematic way in which the various endowments to the temple were made and the principles laid down for their proper administration be speak a genius for organization which could not have been quite a characteristic feature of kings in general at the time. In spite of his sincere and deep-seated devotion to the Saiva faith he was tolerant enough towards other religions. He permitted a feudatory of his to build a Buddhist shrine at Negapatam and granted the village of Anaimangalam to it. This grant is registered on the large Leyden plates. In his order of the 24th year regarding revenue arrears, the villages of Sramanas (i.e. Jainas) are also included. This shows that the latter enjoyed equal privileges with Brahmanas and Vaikhanasas.

The extent of Tanjore city during the reign of Rajaraja may be judged from the large number of big-streets, quarters and bazaars mentioned in its inscriptions. The town proper as in the case of the large cities of the present day was not confined to the traditionary old limits (ullalai) but extended far beyond (purambali). The following street, bazaars and quarters of which several were named after the king or the princes of the family are mentioned (Nos. 94 and 95): -

(1)    Abhimanabhushana-terinda-velam.

(2)    Anai-atkal-teru.

(3)    Anaikkaduvar-teru.

(4)    Arumorideva-terinda-tirupparigalattar-velam.

(5)    Brahmakuttam.

(6)    Gandharva-teru

(7)    Jayangondasorapperunderu.

(8)    Kongavalar-angadi

(9)    Madaippalli-teru.

(10) Pandi-velam.

(11) Panmaiyar-teru.

(12) Panchavanmadeviyar-velam alias Kaidavakaidava . . . . . . velam.

(13) Rajaraja-Brahmamaharajau-angadi.

(14) Rajaraja-terinda-Pandi-tirumanjanattar-velam.

(15) Rajavidyadharapperunderu.

(16) Raudramahakalattu-madaivilagam.

(17) Saliyatteru.

(18) Sivadasansolai alias Rajaraja-Brahmamaharajan-padaividu.

(19) Surasikhamanikpperunderu.

(20) Tribhuvanamahadevipperangadi.

(21) Uttamasiliyar-velam.

(22) Uyyakkondan-terinda-tirumanjanattar-velam.

(23) Vanavanmadevipperunder.

(24) Villigal-teru.

(25) Virasorapperunderu.

The exact date of the building of the Tanjore temple is a question that deserves some attention. Stone temples were apparently not quite common in the time of Rajaraja. This is shown by the use of the word tirukkarrali, i.e. “the stone temple” in the order of the king to have all the gifts engraved on stone. The difficulties also of procuring stones for such a big building must have been very great, particularly as there was no hill in or very near Tanjore, which could have supplied the requisite quantity. Such a monument as the Tanjore temple would take several years to build even with all the inventions of modern engineering. But at the time of which we are speaking mechanical appliances must have been in a primitive state and hence the time taken to finish the building must have been much longer. Therefore we shall only try to fix when the building was probably begun and when it came to a close. We have some reason to suppose that the period between the 18th and 21st year of the king’s reign was not occupied with any wars.; This was probably the time when the titles Sri-Rajaraja and Sivapadasekhara were conferred on him as suggested already. The name Sri-Rajaraja occurs first in an inscription of the 19th year of his reign. If, as is not unlikely, the name Sri-Rajarajesvara was given to the temple in order to perpetuate the biruda Sri-Rajaraja the king could not have conceived the idea of constructing the temple before the 19th year. The temple must have existed in some from or other in the 21st – 22nd year (= A.D. 1005 – 1006); because it was during this year that the king’s expedition against Satyasraya was undertaken, and on his return from this conquest Rajaraja is said to have presented some gold flowers to the temple. The whole structure, however, could not have been ready by that time. A very large number of gifts are stated to have been made between the 23rd and 29th years. The 23rd year was probably chosen because the building of the temple had in that year reached an advanced stage. Thus it appears that the construction of the temple began in the 19th year and that a considerable portion of it was completed by the 23rd year. On the 275th day of the 25th year the king presented a copper-pot to be placed on the pinnacle of the central shrine. We may conclude from this time; for, so far as the central shrine was concerned, the fixing of the copper-pot on the pinnacle would have been the last thing to be done.

A considerable part of the enclosure of the temple was, by order of the king, built by a Brahmana named Krishnan Raman who was a military officer. This fact is engraved twice on the south enclosure and once on the west enclosure. From this repetition we may conclude that these two enclosures were built at different times by the king’s general. There is no such inscription on any part of the north or east enclosure, and it is not impossible that they were built by the king himself. The gopura of the east enclosure and the Chandesvara shrine must have been built before the conquest of the 12,000 islands by the king in the 29th year of his reign.[38]

The circumstances, which led to the building of the Sri-Rajarajesvara temple, may now be examined. In the Devaram hymns, the Tiruvisaippa and the Periyapuranam, the first place among Saiva shrines is assigned to the Nataraja temple at Chidambaram, which is designated koyil, i.e., “the temple”. The name Adavallan “one who is able to dance” which was given o one of the chief images[39] in the Rajarajesvara temple is derived from that of the deity in the temple at Chidambaram and shows the importance attached to that temple during the time of which we are now speaking. From two of the Tanjore inscriptions (Nos. 65 and 66) it is evident that the names of the god as well as of the temple at Chidambaram and their various synonyms were very commonly borne by men and women during the time of Rajaraja.

Reference has already been made to the titles Sri-Rajaraja and Sivapadasekhara. The second, which means ‘one (who has) the feet of Siva as (his) crest’ is a distinctly religious designation. Rajaraja being one of the names of Kubera, the Hindu god of wealth and a friend of Siva, the title Sri-Rajaraja, “the glorious Kubera” must have been conferred on him on account of his munificence. As it appears that both of these titles were conferred at one and the same time, it may be supposed that the king owed them to the authorities of the Chidambaram temple. Rajaraja’s great grandfather Parantaka I. Had distinguished himself by his devotion to that temple. He had either built or at least repaired the golden hall at the place. It was, therefore, quite natural that Rajaraja should try to imitate his famous ancestor in his devotion to the most important Siva temple in Southern India. Practical as he appears to have been in everything he did, the king was not forgetful of his capital Tanjore when he wanted to demonstrate his devotion to the Saiva religion, land accordingly built a temple there. In order to perpetuate the title Sri-Rajaraja, which he must have prized highly,[40] the temple was called Sri-Rajarajesvara.

A study of the order in which the various inscriptions of the temple were engraved is not altogether unprofitable. It appears that the walls of the central shrine were reserved for recording royal gifts, including those of the king’s elder sister about whom more will be s aid in the sequel. The inscription on the north wall (No. 1) which begins with the Sanskrit verse (etat visva-nripa-sreni, etc.) was the first to be engraved and contains the order of Rajarajadeva to have all the grants made by himself and others recorded on the walls of the central shrine. This order of the king is dated on the 20th day of the 26th year. The gifts, which had actually been made prior to this date, were, seven by the king himself and eleven by his elder sister as registered in No. 2.  No earlier benefactions of any of the queens or other donors are known prior to his date. Accordingly when he king issued orders that the gifts made “by us, those made by our elder sister, those made by our wives and those made by other donors” should be engraved on stone, he himself intended to make in addition a large number of presents and expected that his queens and his officers would follow his example. Thus he order of the king referred more to future benefactions than to those which had actually been made prior to the date of the royal order. The earliest gift of which the date is definitely given is that of the copper-pot which was to be placed on the pinnacle of the central shrine. Though it was made on the 275th day of the 25th year, it is by mistake registered between a gift of the 34th day of the 26th year and another of the 104th day of the same year. Some at least of the numerous gifts, which, in this inscription, are stated, to have been made in the period from the 23rd to the 29th year of the king’s reign may evidently have been anterior even to the date given at the beginning of the record. No. 2 likewise begins with the 310th day of the 25th year and registers gifts made by the elder sister of the king in that year and between the years 25 and 29. It is apparent from this that no grants made could have been recorded on the temple walls prior to the 29th year of the king. This is also confirmed by the fact that all the inscriptions of Rajaraja in the Tanjore temple are either dated in the 29th year of the king or register gifts made until his 29th year.

One of the earliest inscriptions of Rajendra-Chola found in the temple is on the Chandesvara shrine quite close to the north wall. During the times of Rajendradeva, Kulottunga I and Vikrama-Chola, the north wall of the enclosure was chosen for recording grants. From these facts it may be concluded that the north wall was the most conspicuous portion of the temple. The gate on the north wall of the enclosure which is now practically closed must in ancient times have been considered as important as the gopura on the east side. It is not unlikely that the royal palace was situated to the north of the temple,[41] and that the members of the royal family entered the temple by the north gate. At any rate, the foregoing facts show that the gate in the north wall of the enclosure was in ancient times as important as the gopura on the east wall, which is now most commonly used.

A few words about the importance of the Tanjore inscriptions for the history of Tamil philology may not be out of place here. In the first place the rules of sandhi are not uniformly observed. We have ney amudu, arakku aya, kari amudu, paruppu amudu, urakku aga, uri aga and para arisi. Forms like narkkaranju, narppattu are not uncommon. The three forms nari uri, nariyur and naduri occur; also tingadorum and tingattiruvira. These forms show that the rules were not unknown. Perhaps they were not commonly used in the popular dialect. The indiscriminate use of the two forms of dental n is also worthy of note munrinal, padinarinal, irandinal, ainjinal, arinal, ettinal and pattinal. The addition of y after words ending in e and ai is common. Its use in the middle of a word occurs in tirukkaiykkarai, aiyngaranju, vaiyttu and other words.

The use of the word kadara as a principal verb is common in monumental Tamil and occurs also in the Tanjore inscriptions. In modern Tamil it is only an auxiliary verb. The history of this word is analogous to that of the English ought. The word arivu[42] appears to have narrowed in its meaning. It occurs in the Tanjore inscriptions in the sense of ‘expenditure’ while its modern meaning is ‘waste’. The termination al in the word pattinal of the sentence is used in the sense of the dative case, though al is only in instrumental termination. According to the Tamil grammar Nannul, the instrumental termination al is in rare cases used in the sense of torum and quotes the example ural ora koyil. This use of the termination al is very common in the Tanjore inscriptions. In the phrase al is used practically as a locative termination. Again comparing the phrases and both of which occur in the Tanjore inscriptions, we have to conclude that vay is practically a dative termination though it is generally treated as a locative ending. Phrases like show that the locative was often used for the genitive. The use of the words tirumeni and pratima, which are almost synonymous, is interesting. The former is used with reference to an image of a god while the word pratima denotes “an image of a human being”. The word polisai or polisaiyuttu, which occurs in the sense of “interest”, is not quite common in modern Tamil. The word is however current in Malayalam. In modern Tamil it means, “Interest on grain lent for the season”. Here, too, there has been a decided change in the meaning of the word. The Sanskrit phrase chandradityavat becomes chandradityaval in the first instance and then the final l becomes r according to a rule of Tamil grammar. This change of t into l is more frequent in Malayalam than Tamil. The Tamil words tarpuruda (Sanskrit tatpurusha) and tarsama (Sanskrit tatsama) are evidently formed on the same principle.

The rule of changing l and r is also applied in the case of a Tamil word ending in the consonant l combining with a purely Sanskrit word. Thus we have. The Sanskrit padma is always written patma in the Tanjore inscriptions; and the word anyadesa occurs in the form anadesa, while ratna is sometimes written ranna. The hard consonant is used for the soft in Bhrimkisa, ardhachantra,[43] Limkapuranadeva and Patanchalideva. In Trailokhyamahadeviyar. The use of the word akkun for akkai deserves to be noted. Tammai is used for tam-ammai and tamappan for “father”. The latter occurs also in an earlier inscription at Sorapuram near Vellore.[44] The use of finite verbs (vilakkirru and kattirru) as verbal nouns is not uncommon in modern Tamil (p. 208). The vulgar forms and are worthy of note.  Is used for twice (pp. 78 and 85). The form occurs several times for or. For the modern Tamil the Tanjore inscriptions invariably use the form, which occurs also in the Ambasamudram Vatteruttu inscription of Varaguna-Pandya.[45] Note also the use of for

The art of making ornaments of gold and precious stones must have reached a very advanced stage in the Chola country about the beginning of the 11th century A.D. A large number of ornaments, which are mentioned in the Tanjore inscriptions, either go by other names at present or have no representatives in modern South-Indian jewel shops.[46] The nine gems are mentioned in one of the inscriptions (No. 93). Their names are: diamond[47] (vayiram), sapphire (nilam), peral (muttu), topaz (pushyaraga), cinnamon-stone (komedagam), coral (pavaram), emerald (pachchai or maratagam), lapis lazuli (vaidurya) and ruby (manikkam). Four rings on each of which the foregoing nine jewels had been set wee presented to the temple. The amount of gold, jewels and silver granted by the king is almost incredible. Several of the Tanjore inscriptions contain lists of gold ornaments set with pearls and other precious stones. The different parts of the ornaments are described in technical language and the number of jewels set on each, their total weight excluding threads and lac and the approximate cost of each ornament are registered in great detail.


[1]These plates will shortly be edited in Vol. III of the South-Indian Inscriptions. An abstract of their contents is given in the Annual Report on Epigraphy for 1906, Part II, Paragraphs 11 to 18.

[2] From an inscription recently copied at Tiruvadandaid (No. 274 of 1910) we gather that Rajaraja must have been born under the asterism Satabhishaj in the month of Avani (Annual Report on Epigraphy for 1911, Part II, paragraph 21). The twelve monthly festivals provided for, on the days of Sadayam (Satabhishaj) in the Rajarajesvara temple (No. 26) were evidently also in honour of Rajaraja’s birth-day. Mr. Kanakasabhai Pillai in his notes in Kalingattu-Parani Canto 8, stanza 24 (Ind. Ant. Vol. XIX, p. 331) mentions a Chola king who established the Chatayam-feast in the Uthiya (Chera-mandala). The reference is evidently to king Rajaraja I and the Chatayam-feast was the one celebrated on his birth-day asterism, the Sadayam.

[3] No. 302 of 1908 refers itself to the reign of king Sundara-Chola alias Pon[maligaittunjinadeva]. In a record of the twenty-seventh year of Rajaraja I (No. 116 of 1896), the ninth year of a Ponmaligaittunjinadeva is referred to. This king can be no other than Rajaraja’s father Sundara-Chola.

[4] An article on this subject was contributed to the pages of the Indian Review, under the heading “An imaginary conversation between Rajaraja and his elder sister Kundavai.”

[5] A record of Rajaraja’s 8th year at Tiruvadandai mentions these conquests. So also a few others of the 10th year begin with the historical introduction Thirumagal pola etc., and register the above-named conquests of the king. Of the countries mentioned, Tadigaipadi is located in the Mysore State. It is identical with the ancient district Dadigavadi ruled over by Dadiga a contemporary of one of the kings named Rachamalla of the Western Ganga genealogy (Ep. Ind., Vol. VII, p. 22). Dr. Fleet writes a big note on Tadigaipadi and identifies it with a part of Mysore including the present Krishnarajapet, Nagamangala, Mandya, Seringapatam and Malavalli taluks. He also thinks that possibly it may be identical with Daigamandala ruled over by the Western Ganga chief Dadigarasa (Ind. Ant., Vol. XXX, p. 109 f). In the Hoskote and Devanhalli taluks of the Bangalore district are a number of inscriptions which mention Dadigavari or Tadigaivari which in the Chola period after Rajaraja bore the surname Vikkiramasore-mandala and included with it the sub-division called Sennai-nadu.

[6] Ep. Ind., Vol. VI, p. 349

[7] Above, Vol. I, No. 40.

[8] Mr. Rice’s Coor Inscriptions (new edition), No. 46).

[9] The Kirur inscription of Rajaraja’s 27th year (No. 236 of 1902), which is partly mutilated, supplies a historical introduction of the king in Tamil poetry, different from the usual Thirumagal pola etc., and mentions the king’s conquest of Udagai in his campaign against Malai-nadu. As already stated the Pandya country must have also included Malai-nadu at the time of Rajaraja’s conquest.

[10] Below, Vol. III, No. 19. The form Mummadi-Chola (not Mummndi-Chola) occurs in early inscriptions of the 3rd, 4th and 10th years. Consequently, the explanation of the name must be ‘the thrice (powerful) Chola’ as in the similar Kanarese and Telugu epithets Mummadi-Bhima, Nurmadi-Taila, etc.,

[12] Ind. Ant., Vol. XXII, p. 142.

[13] No. 394 of 1911 refers to Rajaraja’s conquests of Kollam, Kolladesam and Kodunglur (Cranganore) : Annual Report on Epigraphy for 1912, Part II, Paragraph 22.

[14] Ep. Ind.,  Vol. VI, p. 350

[15] Nos. 396 and 297 of 1896.

[16] No. 215 of 1894. On the strength of this inscription it has been inferred that Rajendra-Chola took the Vengi king captive to the Chola country. But the king who was actually conquered by Rajendra-Chola (or by one of his generals) is not clearly stated in the Mahendragiri inscriptions to have been the Vengi king Vimaladitya. The conquered chief on the other hand receives the epithet ‘the lord of Kuluta.’ It is again doubtful if at this time the Kalinga kingdom was subject to the rulers of Vengi, although about a century later we know they were overloads of the country between Manneru (in the Nellore districy) and Mahendra (in the Ganjam district). The political marriage between the Eastern Chalukya king Vimaladitya and the Chola princes Kundavai must therefore have taken place quite independently of Rajendra-Chola’s conquest of Kalinga.

[17] In the Annual Report on Epigraphy for 1913, Part II, paragraph 21, it is stated that Iram (Ceylon) was called Mummadisora-mandalam, after the well-known surname Mummadi-Chola of Rajaraja. Other names of temples and towns in Ceylon called after Rajaraja are also referred to.

[18] Chapter LIV. Professor Hultzsch has clearly proved in his contributions to Singhalese Chronology (J.R.A.S. for July 1913, pp. 521 to 524) that Vallabha-Chola is a gratuitous mistake, that there is a discrepancy of 23 years in the chronology supplied by the Mahavamsa and that Rajaraja’s invasion of Ceylon must have taken place between A.D. 1001 and 1004

[19] A record of Rajaraja at Tenkarai in the Madura district (No. 132 of 1910) calls the king Rajasraya and adds the qualifying phrase “the conqueror of the world.” This indicates that with the conquest of Ceylon which Rajaraja must have completed in his 17th year, he had actually conquered all enemies whose dominions he thought of acquiring.

[20] The Cholas belonged to the Solar and the Chalukyas to the Lunar race. The former were generally Saivas and the latter were Vaishnavas as they had the boar for their crest. Besides, the Chalukyas were also patrons of the Jainas.

[21] Bombay Gazetteer, Vol. I, Part II, p. 433. An inscription from Uttattur in the Trichinopoly district (No. 515 of 1912) of the 3rd year of Rajendra-Chola I mentions the fight with Satyasraya and the death of a warrior on that occasion. Evidently it was prince Rajendra-Chola I that actually fought the battle with Satyasraya.

[22] This survey appears to have been conducted kin the 17th year of Rajaraja by which time, according to the Tenkarai record, he had completed, ‘the conquest of the word’ ‘ see the Annual Report on Epigraphy for 1913, Part II, paragraph 21.

[23] No. 44 of 1907

[24] See below, Vol. III, No. 9.

[25] This last military campaign was perhaps as successful as the others preceding it. Evidently Rajaraja performed the tulabhara ceremony, i.e., “weighing one’s self against (gold, pearls or other such costly materalis)” in this year in order to celebrate his victories. Queen Lokamahadevi also performed the hemagarbha, passing her body through a golden cow (Annual Report on Epigraphy for 1907, p.75).

[26] The Uyyakkondan channel which is an ancient irrigation work in the Trichinopoly district was probably constructed during his reign and called after him. Besides the name there is, however, nothing to connect Rajaraja with the channal. On the head sluice of the channel is a broken stone belonging to the 28th year of the Chola king Kulottunga III (A.D. 1205-06). Though the channel is not mentioned in it, the sluice is referred to (No. 72 of 1890).

[27] She is surnamed Dantisakti-Vitanki in the Tiruvalanjuri (No. 633 of 1902) and the Tiruvaiyaru inscriptions (Annual Report on Epigraphy for 1895, p. 4).

[28] From a record at Tirukkalittattai (No. 301 of 1908 we learn that Vemban Sirudaiyar alias Minavan Mahadeviyar was another queen of Rajaraja. Prithivimahadevi (in Tamil, Piridimadeviyar) is called by her other name Nakkau Arumori in an inscription from Uyyakkondan Tirumalai (No. 455 of 1908).

[29] Annual Report on Epigraphy for 1895, p. 4.

[30] The Tiruvalanjuri inscription quoted above, also mentions a “middle-daughter” named madevadigal. Evidently Kundavai was the youngest of Rajaraja’s children.

[31] No. 92 of 1895; Annual Report, on Epigraphy for 1895

[32] It is doubtful if the community Rajarajatterinja-Kaikkolar mentioned in an inscription from Konerirajapuram (No. 627 of 1909) was also connected with the military organization of Rajaraja

[33] Compare the titles Tennaparakraman and Kirtiparakrama-Soran which occur in his Senur inscription; Annual Report on Epigraphy for 1912, Part II, paragraph 22,

[34] A Ceylon inscription of the time of Vijayabahu I, gives some particulars about the Velaikkara community; see the Annual Report on Epigraphy for 1913, Part II, paragraph 30.

[35] ‘Sirudanattu-kkangani-ttattan of the lord Sri-Rajarajadeva’ occurs in line 17 of the third section of No. 66. Sirudanattu may also mean ‘of the youth’ and the whole phrase may denote the goldsmith who was in the king’s service when we have young.

[36] Rajaraja’s military officers appear to have entertained a very high regard and even dread for the great disciplinarian. No.64 and its continuation No. 95 which evidently refer to military operations that were going on perhaps towards the close of Rajaraja’s reign, state how some of his officers of the rank of Perundaram and others who were judges and arbitrators vowed themselves to put up lamps in the Rajarajesvara temple, if no disgrace betook them at the hands of the king on their return from the war.

[37] This grand undertaking of Rajaraja must have created an admiration for him in the minds of his subjects. In later times the several incidents connected with the foundation of the Rajarajesvara temple and its equipment, appear by themselves to have become the theme of a popular story. For, in the 4th year of Rajendradeva (i.e. A.D. 1055) we are told that provision was made for the performance of the drama Rajarajesvara-Nataka, on one of the festive days in the temple (No. 67).

[38] It is particularly noteworthy that unlike other Chola temples of the south, the Brihadisvara temple at Tanjore was built completely with its necessary adjuncts in the time of Rajaraja himself, the founder of that temple, “on a well-defined and stately plan which was preserved in till its completion” (Tanjore District Gazeteer, Volume I, page 270). The small temple of Subrahmanya within the coutyard of the temple is not referred to in the inscriptions though the adjoining Chandesvara shrine is. Consequently, it seems to have been a later addition (See Fergusson’s Indian Architecture, Vol. I., p. 365). The Brihannayaki temple also in the courtyard, was constructed kin the second year of a certain Konerinmaikondan probably a Pandya king of the 13th century A.D. (No. 61). The Dakshinamurti shrine abutting the south wall of the central lshrine has been already suggested to have been a later addition. The Mahrathi inscription on the inner wall of the south enclosure which is dated in Saka 1723, Durmati ( = A.D. 1801-02) states that the Mahratha king Sarphoji-Maharaja executed elaborate repairs to the shrines of Ganesa, Subramanya, the Goddess (Brihannayaki), Sabhapati, Dakshinamurti and Chandesvara built one or two new manlapas, and renovated and prakara walls, the temple kitchen and the flooring of the courtyard.

[39] Three of these are mentioned in the Tanjkore inscriptions, viz., Adavallan or Dakshinameru-Vitankan Tanjai-Vitakan and Mahameru-Vitankan.

[40] A clear proof of his having highly valued these titles is found in No. 91 where the king is stated to have presented a large number of silver utensils to the temple, bearing the names Sri-Rajaraja and Sivapadasekhara. The practice of engraving the name or title of the donor on vessels presented to a charitable institution, is still current.

[41]  No. 624 of 1902 from Tiruvalanjuri dated in the 21st year of Rajaraja mentions his palace at Tiruvalam (Annual Report on Epigraphy for 1903, p. 3). It is not impossible that by this is meant the village Vallam 7 miles south-west of Tanjore, which is described as “a fortress of considerable strength and one of the great bulwarks of Tanjore.”

[42] In early Kanarese inscriptions of about the 8th century A.D. ur-arivu oclcurs in the sense of “destruction of the village (by enemies)

[43] Compare also Choda for Chora in Telugu; Tamil + Pothiyil = Tamitpothiyil nargamunda for nadgamunda in Kanarese.

[44] Ep. Ind., Vol. VII, p. 193, text-line 4.

[45] Ibid. Vol. IX, p.91 text-line 59 f.

[46] One of the ornaments is called Sonagachchidukkinkudi (No. 93), the first component of which innicates the influence of the Jonakas (Greeks or Arabs) in Souther India in the 11th century A.D.

[47] The following varieties of diamonds are mentioned in the Tanjore inscriptions : — mottandarai, mottadarai-chcharakkam and mattadaraichchappali (p. 78, paragraph 3 and p. 79, paragraph 9). Another classification of diamonds appears to have been sappadi (flat diamonds) and urulai (round diamonds) (p. 185, paragraph 48 and p. 195, paragraph 25). In paragraph 8 on p. 78 reference is made to pure diamonds (vayirantuyana) and to the two other varieties pandasaram and savakkam. The flaws in diamonds are mentioned to be porivu (spots), murivu (cracks), kaka-bindu (black dots), rakta-bindu (red dots) and rendana (marks as of burning). Palikkuvayiram “crystal diamond” is mentioned on pp. 78, 87, 162 and 163, and palingu “crystal” on pp. 87, 143, 162, 205, 206, 207, 225, 226 and 237. Rajavartam is mentioned after pavaram in three cases (pp. 69, 143 and 179). Of rajavarta (lapis lazuli) Monier Williams says ‘it is a kind of diamond or other gem of an inferior quality, said to come from the country of Virata and regarded as a lucky possession though not esteemed as an ornament.’ As regads rubies (manikkam) the varieties are : halahalam, halahalam of superior quality (halahalam gunariyana), smooth rubies (komalam), bluish rubies (nilagandhi), unpolished rubies (talam), and sattam, all of which are mentioned on p. 79 paragraph 8. They were also divided into big rubies (pariyana) and small rubies (neriyana). The flaws of rubies are recorded as : cavities (kurivu), cuts (prahaa), holes (rejjam), white specks (lasuni), trasu and such as still adhered to the ore (karparru) As regards potti, which was either a kind of gem or part of a jewel, it has to be noted that it always occurs either with palingu or palikkuvayiram (pp. 143, 163, 196, 205, 206, 207, 225, 226 and 237). Other gems taruppu (p. 205), uppalanilam evidently a variety of sapphire (p. 204) and nail-gangapadikkul (p. 196) are also mentioned. The name of the last is interesting as it appears to have been originally at least obtained from Ganagapadi. Dr. Hultzsch thinks it may be the same as beryl. As regards pearls the following varieties were recognized : round pearls (vattam), roundish pearls (anuvattam), polished pearls (oppumuttu), small pearls (kurumuttu, nimbolam, payittam, old pearls (paramuttu), ambumudu, oruppuravan, irattai, sappatti, sakkattu, karalu, panichchay, tol-teyndana and tolidandana. Their properties were varai, karni, kuru, suppiram, ippiparru, uravina, sivandanir, kuliruda-nir and tirangal, which are also mentioned. The nine gems are referred to in the Tamil poem Silappadigaram where the virtues and flaws of each of them are also given. Of diamonds the author mentions four flaws, viz., kakapadam, kalangam, vindu and egai, while the commentator refers to twelve flaws of diamonds, viz., saraimalam, kirru, sambadi, pilttal, tulai, kari, vindu, kakapadam, miruttu, kodiyillama, koddymurindana and taraimarungina. The five characteristics of diamonds are : eight faces (palagai), six angles (kodi), darni, sutti and tarasa and the four colours, the Brahmana “white”, the Kshatriya “red”, the Vaisya “green” and the Sudra “black”. Consequently the virtues and flaws of diamonds were known in the Tamil country long before the time of Rajaraja. 

Other Volumes

Volume 8

Chola Inscription

Volume 10

Telugu Inscriptions from Andra Pradesh

Volume 12

Pallava Inscriptions

Volume 14

Pandya Inscriptions

Volume 16

Telugu Inscriptions
of the Vijayanagara Dynasty

Volume 17

Inscriptions Collected During 1903-1904

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