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South Indian Inscriptions





Collection of Tiruvarur Temple Inscriptions 

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Tiruvarur Temple Inscriptions


Of Nos. 205, 217, 244, 540, 583, 585, 587 and 588 dated in the reign of Rajadhiraja II only three give full details of date.  No.244 from Melsevur in the South Arcot District, is dated in the 13th regnal year of the king. The details given, viz., Karkataka 13, ba. 11, Rohini and Wednesday, do not admit of easy verification in spite of their completeness. If we take March 1163 A.D., as the date of the king’s accession, the details may correspond to 1175 A.D., July 15, Tuesday (not Wednesday), in which case it will be Karkataka 19 and not 13 as mentioned in words in the record. If 1166 A.D. is taken as the date of his accession, the date may correspond to 1178 A.D., July 2, Monday. No. 540 from Vedaranyam is dated in the year 14, Mithuna ba. 5, Wednesday, Sodi (Svati). The combination of ba. 5 and Svati is impossible in the month of Mithuna and even if it is taken as a mistake for Mina, the date appears to be irregular. Another date available with details for the 2nd year of the reign from No. 583 well corresponds to 1168 A.D., April 15, Monday, thus yielding some day in 1166 A.D., as the date of the king’s accession. This inscription records a grant of land by Palaiyanur-udaiyan Vedavanam-udaiyan Ammai-Appan alias Rajaraja-Vilupparaiyan of Menmalai-ppalaiyanur-nadu. The officer is evidently identical with one of the same name, but with the title Pallavarayan (Pallavarajan) who figures in the Pallavarayanpettai inscription[1][15] and two other records of the same king from Tiruvarur (Nos. 585 and 587). The title Rajaraja-Vilupparaiyan in this record indicates clearly that this officer had served under Rajaraja II and continued to serve also Rajadhiraja II. It is possible that he assumed the title Pallavarayan after the death of Tiruchchirrambalamudaiyan Perumal Nambi alias Pallavarayan who held a very high office during the days of Rajaraja II and Rajadhiraja II. That Vedavanam-udaiyan Ammai-Appan Pallavarayan might have continued to serve also Kulottunga III seems to be indicated by No. 582 from the same place. This possibility is strengthened by the fact that this officer continued to carry out the commissions assigned to his predecessor in the office of Pallavarayar, especially in relation to the campaign against the Singhalese in the course of the Pandyan cilvil war.

Of the two records from Tiruvarur mentioned above, No. 585 is dated in the 10th year and the details given, viz.,., Mina su. 13, Tuesday, Magha, yield two equivalents one corresponding to 1173 A.D., February 27, Tuesday, and the other to 1176 A.D., February 24, Tuesday. This inscription which commences with the prasasti (Kadal sulnda parelum, etc.,) of Rajadhiraja II affords a variant from the 5th line up to which it resembles the prasasti of his predecessor Rajaraja II. Line 5 describes  how the queens were given royal honors with the king and continues to describe one of the queans as ‘the jeweled lamp to the Chola race, that appeared from the Yadava stock’. The contemporary ruling family that belonged to the Yadava stock was evidently that of the Hoysalas, with whom the Cholas might have had some marital connections[2][16] The inscription then proceeds to describe the queen consort in glowing terms. It says that she enjoyed the rights of kingship in full by being crowned with the king[3][17]. It is further stated that she ruled from the following places in the order, viz., Uraiyur, Peruragai (?), Udakai, and Madhurapuri.[4][18]  She is also given the title Ulagudai Mukkokkilanadigal. The description of a queen consort as found in this record is not ordinarily met with in any prasasti  of the Cholas or even of the Pandyas.

No. 593 from Tiruvarur in the Tanjore district records that, while the god Vidividangadevar of Tiruvarur was pleased to be seated in the pavilion of Devasriyan,[5][19] he witnessed a dance performance by Pungoyil[6][20]-nayaka-ttalaikkoil[7][21] and afterwards orally ordered the grant of land in Vayarrur, a brahmadeya, as kani to Pungoyil Nambi who composed a poem called Viranukkavijayam in honor of Nammakkal Virasola anukkar. The order was passed through the kelvi  (i.e., at the instance of ) Tyagavinodakkadigaimarayan (Ghatikamaharaja)[8][22]. The inscription does not mention the king’s name but is dated in the 13th year and 202nd day. It may be paleographically assigned to the 12th or 13th century.   

Mention is made of a market place at Tanjavur called Tribhuvanamadevi-perangadi after a queen of Rajaraj, in No.24 of the 2nd year of Parakaesari. A member of a regiment known as Arumolideva-terinda-Kaikkolar figures as a donor in another inscription of the same year from Tiruppalanama (No. 29) Vanavan Peraraiyan  alias Korran Arumoli (No. 73), Rajendrasola-Muvendavelar (No. 43) and Sandirasan (Chandraditya) Satturugandan of Varampursal (No. 248) are other persons of some note in this reign. The last mentioned is referred to as having the menayakam administration over the Tiraimur-nadu.An inscription of the 6th year of Parakesari from Tiruvarur (No. 158) probably of this period, registers a gift of gold entrusted to the Nagarattar of the place by one Devan Arubattunavalan, for burning a lamp before the image of Tiruvaraneri Mahadeva-Bhattaraka in the temple. The name of the deity is reminiscent of the legendary Chola king Manuniti-Chola associated with Tiruvarur.

[1][15]  Ep. Ind.,  Vol. XXI, p. 191.

[2][16]  Prof. Sastri and Sri T.N. Subramaniyam have drawn our attention to another instance as stated in a passage in the Kulottungasolan-ula (vide Ep. Ind.,  Vol. XXXI, p. 225).

[3][17]  See also kanni  71 of the Ula.

[4][18]  It may be noted here that we do not come across instances where the queens or the princesses of the ruling family governed from secondary capital cities of the kingdom in the Tamil country as in Karnataka where women of the royal family ruled as governors in distant provinces.  However it may be added that a Rashtrakuta princess Akkaiyadevi ruled over an area around Siyamangalam in the North Arcot district (S.I.I.,  Vol. VII, NO. 75) in the tenth century.

[5][19]  Devasriyan is the name of a hall in the temple at Tiruvarur, where the celestial beings are considered to be waiting for the favour of the Saiva devotees.  Cf.  Periyapuranam,   Taduttatkondapuranam, verse 137.

[6][20]  Pungoyil is the name of the temple of Tyagarajasvamin at Tiruvarur. The dancing woman and the Nambi were probably attached to the temple and therefore were called so. Cf.  Op.  cit., verse 136, and TK. Colas  by Prof. K.A.N. Sastri, p. 644.

[7][21]  Another dancing woman Pukkaturai-vallava-talaikkoli is stated to have performed a dance before the god at Devasriyan. Talaikkoli is a title ordinarily assumed by dancing women initiated into the profession See Kalaikkalanjiyam, Vol. VI, p. 341.

[8][22]  Prof. Sastri’s interpretation of the word nammakkal as a feudatory is not correct, even though he has emended the reading nammagan as given in the Annaul Report for 1905, to nammakkal in the second edition of his work (p. 664).

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