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 Tiruppugalur

Agnisvara (or Konappiran) temple

This place lies four miles east of the Nannilam railway station in the Tanjavur district.

The Lord of this temple is believed to have been worshipped by Agni, and there is a figure of Agni in front of the deity; The Lord is called Agnisvara; He is also known as Konappiran (as the deity is in an inclined posture).

Appar is said to have lived here during the last period of his life and his last hymn (his swan song) before his final release was sung by him here. This place is also associated with another Tamil saint Murti Nayanar.

On the north side of the central shrine, there is another ancient shrine called that of Vardhamanesvara. There is also a shrine for Vatapi Ganapati in this temple.

On the west wall of the central shrine, there is an inscription of the 16th regnal year of a Parakesarivar-man who may be identified with Uttama Chola. Though not a foundation-inscription, it seems to be the earliest of its existing inscriptions. It registers a sale of land by Uttama Chola deviyar, alias Gopan Sankuppu, a queen of Uttama Chola for a lamp to the Lord of Kailasam Udaiya Mahadevar at Tripuramangalam, a brahmadeya in Kurumbur nadu (A.R. no. 66 of 1927-28).

An inscription of the twenty-first year of Rajaraja I (A.R. no. 68 of 1927-28) refers to the setting up of the icon of Tirunavukkarasu (Appar) in the temple, and a gift is made for services to this deity.

An inscription of the second year of Vikrama Chola records the sale of land for the maintenance of a hospital (A.R. no. 97 of 1927-28) for tending the sick and the destitute established on the northern bank of the Mudikonda-Solapperaru at Tiruppugalur. The assembly of Kshatriyanatha-chaturvedimangalam met in the Naralokaviran mandapa in the temple of Pugalurdevar and made a remission of the taxes on the land gifted.

The temple of Tiruppugalur is one of the celebrated temples in the Chola desa with rich associations from the earliest period of recorded history.

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