Early Chola Temples
Temples in Nirppalani
Nirppalani is 21 miles (33.80 km.) from Pudukkot-tai town on the Kiranur-Viralimalai road.
On a slab near the nandi-mandapa of this temple, there is an inscription of the Pandyan king Maran Sadaiyan, perhaps Jatila Parantaka Nedunjadaiyan alias Varaguna Maharaja (a.d. 765-815). Therefore, the existence of this temple in the early part of the 9th century is established. Perhaps it was then a brick structure; it seems to have been reconstructed of stone in the 10th century.
On the north wall of the central shrine, there is an inscription of a Rajakesarivarman, whose date has been read as the 10th year by the Editor of the ‘Inscriptions (texts) of the Pudukkottai State’. It mentions a gift of land by Mahimalaya Irukkuvel alias Pirantakan Virasolan for various services to the Mahadevar of Nirppalani; this gift was made on the day of a lunar eclipse which occurred while this chief was staying in the temple of Tirupparaitturai on the banks of the Kaveri. This record has already been discussed in the section on Sittur. We have accepted therein the suggestion of A. S. Ramanatha Ayyar correcting the regnal year from the tenth to the fifth, so as to synchronise the date of this record with those of the Allur and Palur inscriptions cited therein. So this record of Rajakesari, with the amended regnal year (5th), may be assigned to Gandaraditya. Perhaps, the above chief was also the builder in stone of this temple. The temple may, with equal justification, be assigned to the later period of Parantaka I or to that of Gandaraditya before his 5th regnal year.
The garbhagriha is 22 ft. 6 in. (6.86 m.) square. There is an ardhamandapa in front. There are subshrines for Ganesa, Subrahmanyar, Chandra, Jyeshthadevi, Chandesvarar, Surya and Bhairavar which can be assigned to the 10th century.