Temples of Munnur (Historical Study)

by R. Muthuraman | 2016 | 67,784 words

This essay represents a historical study of the Temples in and around Munnur, situated in the Dakshina Kannada district in the state Karnataka (India). Munnur is regarded as an important religious city for the followers of both Shaivism and Vaishnavism. The ancient history of Munnur traces to the reign of the Chola, from whom the city derives it's ...

The Position and Royal Patronage of the Temple

These temples required the service of Brahmins more, when the temple activities increased. So Brahmin families were invited from the North India to settle permanently in the South India particularly in the Chola

Kingdom. As a result, Brahmins from Telugu, Kannada, and Gujarat regions came and settled in different parts of the Tamil Country including Munnur. The Chola monarchs gave liberal donations and special grants for their settlement. The land donations to Brahmins were called Brahmadana land.[1] The villages inhabited by these Brahmins who well-versed in Vedas, Sudras and temple rites were called Chathurrvedimangalam.[2]

These Brahmin settlements were commonly known in various names such as Mangala [mangalam], Agara [agaram],[3] Brahmapura [brahmapuram], Agrahara [agraharam], Agra-Brahmadeya, Agra-Brabmadesa, Brahmadesa [brahmadesam] and Brahmamangala [brahmamangalam].

They were provided with all facilities in their settlements. The donated lands to the Brahmins were exempted from taxation.[4] Separate Padikkaval was deployed for their protection. These Brahmins were also provided with food on certain important occasions at the expense of the temple.[5]

Most of these settlements existed in and around the temple streets known as Tirumadaivilagam. They received Royal patronage then and there and consolidated their position in Tamil Society. They were treated as high caste in the Tamil society too.

Footnotes and references:


K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, The Colas, Madras, 1974, p.548.


Ibid., p. 578.


A.R.E., 311 of 1911.


A.R.E., 57 of 1911.


A.R.E., 75 of 1911.

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