Later Chola Temples

by S. R. Balasubrahmanyam | 1979 | 143,852 words

This volume of Chola Temples covers Kulottunga I to Rajendra III in the timeframe A.D. 1070-1280. The Cholas of Southern India left a remarkable stamp in the history of Indian architecture and sculpture. Besides that, the Chola dynasty was a successful ruling dynasty even conquering overseas regions....

In the village Madivala in the Malur taluk of the Kolar district in Karnataka State there is a temple of Gangadharesvara. In ancient days the deity of the temple was called Gangaikonda-isvaram Udaiya Mahadevar.

Gangadharesvara (Gangaikonda-isvaram Udaiya Mahadevar) temple

On the wall to the left of the doorway to the temple, there is an inscription in Grantha and Tamil characters, which begins with the introduction Pugal madu vilanga Jqyamvirumba etc. It mentions that in the 43rd year of the reign of Kov-Irajakesaripanmar alias emperor Sri Kulottunga Choladeva, one Rajarajan Kulottungasolan alias Kulottungasola Atimurkkachchengirai, granted as devadana for the god Gangaikonda-isvaram-udaiya Mahadevar of Maaliyur, in Kurukkundaadachchi nadu of Vikkiramasola mandalam, certain lands, specified, together with all kinds of taxes, some named, along with the one veli of land granted as a devadana to provide for offerings of rice for the same god by Rajarajan Piraan alias Rajendrasola Atimurkkachchengirai, lord of Kulalur alias Jayavaranallur in Arikesari valanadu (Epi. Car., Kolar, Malur tq. 101—dated in a.d. 1112). On the basement of the same temple to the south, there is an inscription in Tamil and Grantha characters which relates to the third regnal year of ‘Posaviraamanaa-Devar’ (possibly a reference to the Hoysala ruler Vira Ramanatha). It mentions that one Madhurantakasola Viruvinadalvar alias Paalaandai Naayan granted certain lands, specified, for a perpetual lamp and for morning offerings of rice for the god Gangesvaram Udaiyar (98, ibid). In the 38th regnal year of the same ruler, one Aludaiyar, son of Taamaraikilaar Ambalavar, granted for the god Gangisuram Udaiya nayanar of Madaivilagam in Maaliyur certain lands below the tank named Ponnambalap-putteri (99, ibid). This inscription is found in die same place as the former.

To the north-east of the temple, there is again a Grantha and Tamil character inscription, which is of general interest; Prata-pachakravarti Poysala Villala devan addresses the following petition to the heads of mathas and sthanikas in the temples situated in the Mesar Kundaani kingdom, Virivi nadu, Masandi nadu, Murusa nadu, Sokkanayan Parru, Pennaiyaandaarmada nadu, Aimbulugur nadu, Elavur nadu, Kuvalala nadu, Kaivara nadu, Ilaiyakka nadu and all other nadus that from ‘the date specified, we have remitted all kinds of taxes, several named, hitherto paid on the gifts to temples —devadanam, tiruvidaiyattam, madappuram and pallichchandam—of our kingdom and granted, with pouring of water’, (such and such) vibhavanas for (such and such) gods ‘to provide for worship, offerings of rice, enjoyments and temple repairs.’

From these inscriptions we gather that towards the closing years of Kulottunga I’s rule in this region, a.d. 1112, there was a temple at Maaliyur village, in Kurukkuntadachchi nadu, in Vikramasola mandalam, the deity of which bore the name of Gangaikondisvaram Udaiya Mahadeva; it could have come into existence in the middle or late 11th century as the name indicates. It was named after either Rajendra I himself or one of the chiefs of this region who bore the name of Gangaikondasolan. This is a Chola period temple.

We know of a Setti family, in this region, who were evidently chiefs of the nadu; the members of two successive generations of this family bore the title of Gangaikondasola gamundan. The father Paalaiyan Setti built a temple called Gangaikonda-sola-isvaram Udaiya Mahadevar temple at Chilakalanerpu, nearby, and so it may be a safe guess that this temple at Madivala (which is perhaps a corruption of Madaivilagam) could have come into existence during their time (i.e. about the turn of the 11th century) (see section 29 on Chilakalanerpu).