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 Aduturai (Ten-Kurangaduturai)

The temple at Aduturai was in existence in the days of Appar (7th century a.d.) and he has sung a decad in honour of this God at on the southern bank of the Ponni (the Kaveri). This deity is said to have been worshipped by the monkey kings Vali and Sugriva.

Apatsahayesvara temple

In inscriptions, the Lord is called Tiruk-Kurangaduturai-Mahadevar, in Tiraimur-nadu on the southern bank of the Kaveri.

An inscription of the 16th year of Parakesarivarman alias Uttama Chola refers to the construction of this temple of stone by Sembiyan Mahadeviyar (357 of 1907). It reads as follows:—

“In the sacred stone temple, which Udaiyapirattiyar Mahadevadigalar alias the glorious Sembiyan Mahadeviyar who had obtained in her sacred womb the glorious Madhurantaka deva alias the glorious Uttama Chola, had graciously caused to be built to the God (Alvar) at Tirukkurangaduturai in Tiraimur nadu were, engraved on stone, documents of grants made to the God in former times.”

Sembiyan Mahadevi caused this temple at Aduturai to be built of stone and ordered that the old inscriptions (lakshanas) of former kings which had become old and damaged, be re-engraved on the stone walls of the newly built temple. Among the re-engraved inscriptions is one of the 8th year of Maran Sadaiyan, the Pandyan ruler. We have to be grateful to this worthy royal lady for the keen historical sense displayed by her in preserving for posterity true copies of documents of earlier ages. How we wish that the later generations followed her noble example!

This is an ekatala temple. The griva and the sikhara are spherical. The garbhagriha is a square 16 ft. 6 in. (5.1 m.) side. The antarala two ft. wide (0.6 m.) connects this with the ardhamandapa which extends further by 16 ft. (4.9 m.). It is supported by two pillars in the centre with cushion capitals. Two dvarapalas adorn its entrance. The plinth has plain padma and kumudam mouldings. The devakoshta figures are Ganesa, Nataraja, Agastya, Dakshinamurti, Lingodbhavar, Brahma, Bhikshatanar, Siva and Parvati (Alinginamurti) and Durga.

This is a temple re-built by Sembiyan Mahadevi.

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