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 Nangavaram (about the 10th year)

Nangavaram is 15 miles (24 km.) north-east of Tiruchy. The place was known in the past as brahmadeyam alias Arinjigai-Chaturvedimangalam named after Arinjigai, a son of Parantaka I; and the deity of the Siva temple was called Maravanisvarattup-Peruman; perhaps it was consecrated by a Paluvet-taraiyar chief of Paluvur.

An inscription of the IQth year of a Parakesarivarman (337 of 1903) mentions one Solap-Perimdeviyar alias Peru-Nangai, the wife of Sembiyan Irukkuvel alias Pudi-Parantakan, who makes a lavish endowment of 1080 kalanju of gold to this deity, on her birthday when there was a solar eclipse, for food offerings, a festival and worship. This chief Sembiyan Irukkuvel alias PudiParatakan claims in an inscription of the 11th year of Parakesarivarman (359 of 1903) at Andanallur to have built of stone the temple of Tiru-Alandurai Peru-manadigal at Andanallur. We have identified this Parakesarivarman of the Andanallur inscription with Paran-takal. Therefore, this inscription of Parakesarivarman at Nangavaram should also be attributed to Parantaka I. It will thus be clear that the Siva temple at Nangavaram was in existence sometime before the 10th year of Parantaka I.

The devakoshtas had Vinadhara Dakshinamurti now placed in the subshrine of the Saptamatrikas, Vishnu in the west and a standing Brahma of fine workmanship in the north (broken into two pieces, lying loose on the ground). The Brahma image is now in a Bombay museum.

The sikhara and the stupi are circular but newly plastered.

There are subshrines of the Saptamatrikas (a rectangular structure), of Ganesa (apsidal) and of two more with circular sikharas housing Subrahmanyar and Mahalakshmi (in the place of the original Jyesthadevi).

In this place, there is also an early Chola Pidari temple called Pidariyar Sattanur Nangai at chaturvedimangalam according to an inscription of Madiraikonda Parakesari i.e., Parantaka I. Its date is lost. Another inscription of a Rajakesarivarman, perhaps, Sundara Chola mentions a body called ganattar who were in charge of the administration of the affairs of this temple. This temple has undergone renovation at a later date.

Both the Siva and the Pidari temples of Nangavaram were in existence from the days of Parantaka I.

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