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 Arunachalesvarar (Tiru-Annamalaiyar)

The temple of Arunachalesvara (or Tiru-Annamalaiyar) has a number of early Chola inscriptions. The earliest of them are found on the south and the west walls of the central shrine. Four of them belong to an unspecified Parakesaripanmar and they are on the south wall of the central shrine and seem assignable to Parantaka I. One of his 3rd year (A.R. no. 470 of 1902) is a gift of a perpetual lamp to Tiruvannamalai Mahadevar by Cheraman Deviyar Kilanadigal (a Kerala princess). It was a period of close friendship between the Cholas under Parantaka I and the then ruler of Kerala, further strengthened by a matrimonial alliance. The Anbil Plates of Sundara Chola state that Parantaka I “married the daughter resembling regal glory incarnate, of the Kerala king who was called the Paluvettaraiyar”.

Another of the fourth regnal year (no. 473 of 1902) also records a gift of a perpetual lamp to this deity by one, perhaps a royal officer, called Tennavan Brahmadhirayan of Sola-nadu (Chola country).

There are two other inscriptions of a Parakesarivar-man whose dates are lost. Both are gifts for lamps to Tiruvannamalai Alvar or Lord of Tiruvanna. One is by the queen (Deviyar) of Perumanadigal.

There is, however, another inscription on the west wall of the central shrine which could be definitely attributed to Parantaka I. It is an inscription of the 15th regnal year of Madirai konda Kopparakesari-panmar. It registers a gift of a perpetual lamp to Tiruva nn attu Mahadevar by Arkunran Anbarkkadi of Vanakkopadi north of the Pennai river.

During the time of Kannaradeva the Rashtrakuta king Krishna III, who conquered this region in the latter part of the reign of Parantaka I, a gift of 20 cows for curd-bhath (tayir-amudu) to Tiruvannamalai Alvar is recorded.

There are two inscriptions of the 3rd and 4th years of Parakesarivarman “who took the head of Vira Pandya”. They are also on the south wall of the central shrine. They are gifts for lamps to Tiruvannamalai Alvar (or Andar, in the 4th year record).

On a slab built into the floor of the first prakara of this temple there is a record of the 13th regnal year of a Ko-Rajakesarivarman which may be assigned either to Aditya I or more probably Sundara Chola. It concerns a gift of 20 kalanju of gold for the maintenance of the tank at Puliyurnattu Chaturvedimangalam, a devadana and brahmadeya of Tiru-vannadu (Tiruvannamalai) by a member of Vanakovaraiyar family.

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