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 Paramesvaramangalam

Paramesvaramangalam is a village situated about 15 miles from Madurantakam in the Chingleput district. It lies on the southern bank of Palar river; on its opposite side is situated the village of Vayilur (Vayalur), another place of Pallava celebrity, in whose neighbourhood in the village of Vasuvasamudram were recently discovered some Roman relics like the amphora (drinking vessels) and other objects of antiquarian interest.

Senpakesvara temple

There is an inscription of the 16th year of the Pallava king Nrpatungavarman on a slab near the Ganesa image outside the Kailasanathar temple at Paramesvaramangalam (see Kailasanathar temple).

On a slab set up near the Vaikuntha Perumal temple, there is an inscription of Krishnadeva Raya, the Vijaya-nangar ruler of the 16th century.

The temple of Senpakesvara is situated in the Nattam (hamlet) of the village. The walls of this temple contain inscriptions of Rajendra Chola I (3rd, 6th and 9th years—262, 263 and 261 of 1912); of Kulottunga I (year lost—265 of 1912) and of Rajaraja III (260 of 1912).

Paramesvaramangalam had the alternate name of Nigarilisola Chaturvedimangalam (named after a surname of Rajaraja I).

The temple of Senpakesvara seems to have been a temple rebuilt in the post-Parantaka I period.

The garbhagriha is 14 feet and a half square. There is an ardhamandapa closely fitted into the central shrine, and it projects 10 feet and a half in front. The adhi-shthana is 3 feet and a half high. It is a tri-tala temple. It faces the east.

The devakoshta figures (clockwise) are Bhikshatanar, Ganapati and Dakshinamurti (on the southern side) Lingodbhavar with Brahma as Hamsa at the top and Vis hn u as Varaha below (on the west) and Brahma, Durga and Harihara (on the northern side).

The additional sculptures of Bhikshatanar and Harihara seem to point out that the temple was rebuilt in the days of Uttama Chola.

In the premises of the temple are found sculptures of Ganapati of the valampuri variety and two broken figures of dvarapalas—perhaps of the later Pallava age (Pls. 286-290).

Kailasanathar temple

There are two inscriptions on the two sides of this slab. One is of the 15th regnal year (perhaps of Nrpatunga). It records the construction of a shrine to Ganapati and its consecration in the temple of Sailesvara (Kailasanathar) by a brahman lady who also makes a gift of paddy for lamps and worship (A.R. 258 of 1912). The other of the 16th regnal year of the Pallava king Nrpatunga records a gift of eleven kalanju of gold for offerings to the Mahadeva in the temple of Sailesvara at Paramesvaramangalam. This temple is roofless. Its adhishthana is of stone and the superstructure is of brick and so it is a misra type of temple built in the days of Nrpatunga.

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