Early Chola Temples

by S. R. Balasubrahmanyam | 1960 | 105,501 words

This volume of Chola Temples covers Parantaka I to Rajaraja I in the timeframe A.D. 907-985. 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....

Temples in Tirukkalittattai

Tirukkalittattai lies two miles (3.22 km.) from Tiruvidaimarudur and close to Veppattur and Tiruvisalur. It is called Tirukkudittittai both in the Devaram hymns and in the local inscriptions.

Vedapurisvara temple

The oldest inscription in this dilapidated temple is perhaps that of the 22nd year of a Parakesarivarman (295 of 1908) who may be identified with Parantaka I. It records a gift of land for offerings to Sri Kudittittai Perumal by a member of the Assembly of Amani-Narayana Chaturvedimangalam (modern Tiruvisalur), a devadana and brahmadeya on the northern bank of the Kaveri.

There is an inscription of the 7th year of ‘Perumal Sundara Chola Devar who drove the Pandya into the forest’. This should be assigned to Sundara Chola. It mentions that his General (S) called Pirantakan Siriyavelar alias Tiruk-Karralip-Pichchan made a grant of land, after having made it tax-free, for offerings to the temple of Kudittittai Udaiyar in Vembarrur on the northern bank of the Kaveri (291 of 1908, Epi. Indica, XII, no. 16). This donor is also mentioned in another record of Sundara Chola (302 of 1908), but it is damaged. There are two records of this chief at Tiruvisalur: an inscription of the 2nd year of Rajakesarivarman mentions that Pirantakan Ilangolan alias Siriyavelar of Kodumbalur made a gift of land for providing a sumptuous meal at noon for a brahman; and in the 4th year of the same ruler, provision is made for the sacred midday offerings to the Lord at Tiruvisalur (317 and 320 of 1907; also, 40 of 1907 of the 5th year of Sundara Chola).

We know from an inscription of Rajaraja I that this chief, Siriyavelar, died in the battle-field in Ceylon during the war with the Pandyas and the Ceylonese, waged in the 9th year of Ponmaligaittunjina Devar, i.e., Sundara Chola (116 of 1896).

From an inscription of the 14th year of Rajakesarivarman, which should be assigned to Sundara Chola, we learn that the wife, daughter and son of this chief Siriya Velan, called Rajadichchi, Kunjaramalli and Velan Sundara Chola respectively made endowments for memorial lamps to be burnt in the temple after the death of the chief (299 of 1908).

In an inscription of the 3rd year of Rajakesarivarman, perhaps Rajaraja I, Kilanadigal, the daughter of Vilup-paraiyar and the queen of Uttama Chola, makes a grant of land for offerings and for the supply of 108 pots of water for ceremonial baths on monthly sankrantis to the temple of Mahadevar of Avani Narayana Chaturvedimangalam.

Another Rajakesari record (297 of 1908, year lost) mentions a gift of a silver pot weighing 181½ kalanju to the temple of Sri Kudittittai Mahadevar by the great royal benefactress, Sembiyan Mahadeviyar, the mother of Uttama Chola.

This temple should be assigned to the days of Paran-taka I.

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