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 Jambai

Jambai is a town on the northern bank of the Pennai; It is situated in the South Arcot district. It has an ancient temple called in the past according to the local inscriptions that of Tantonrippiran at Pennai-Vadagarai Valaiyur. It is now known as the temple of Jambunathar.

Jambunathar temple

This temple seems to have been reconstructed in the days of Rajaraja I, as the inscriptions of Rajaraja I and of his son and successor Rajendral are found on the walls of the present central shrine,[1] and the earlier inscriptions of Parantaka I and of Kannaradeva are found (in fragments or mutilated) on slabs built into the floor of the second prakara or at the entrance to the gopuram. Evidently, these earlier inscribed stones of the central shrine were used in the building of the stone structure of the gopuram.

Out of the seven inscriptions of Parantaka I, four are dated ones. The date is lost in three of them. The earliest is one of the 24th regnal year of Madirai konda Parakesarivarman found on a slab built into the floor of the second prakara of the Amman shrine. It refers to the construction of a mandapa at the city of Valaiyur by Viranarayaniyar, queen of Gandaradittar and the daughter of Solamadeviyar (A.R.E. 108 of 1906); One of his 25th regnal year (gopu right of entrance) mentions the gift of a lamp to the Lord of Vidividangar in the temple of Tantonrippiran at Pennai-Vadagarai-Valaiyur (A.R.E. 117 of 1906); that of his 33rd year (gopuram, left of entrance) concerns the gift of a lamp (A.R.E. 124 of 1906); and one of his 35th year (gopuram, right of entrance) is a fragment which refers to an endowment for daily requirements.

There are also seven inscriptions of Rashtrakuta Kannaradeva; the regnal year is lost in two of them. There are two inscriptions of his 23rd regnal year; one of them (south wall, gopuram) is a fragment and it refers to the gift of a lamp (A.R.E. 110 of 1906); and the other (gopuram, right of entrance) mentions the gift of a lamp to the temple of Tantonripperumal alias Yidividanga devar at Yalaiyur on the northern bank of thePennaiin Vanagoppadi (A.R-E. 118 of 1906). The inscription of his 24th year (right of entrance, A.R.E. 116 of 1906) refers to a gift of gold for a lamp. That of his 26th regnal year (gopuram, right of entrance, A.R.E. 112 of 1906) mentions the gift of 90 sheep for a lamp and of gold for offerings to the shrine of Surya devar in the temple of Tantonri Alvar at Valaiyur. The inscription of his 28th year (gopuram, left of entrance, A.R.E. 125 of 1906) refers to a gift for a lamp.

Thus it is clear that the temple at Jambai in the old Bana country was called Tantonrisvaram at Jambai or Valaiyur. The seven inscriptions each of Parantaka I and of Kannaradeva should have belonged to the original central shrine of the temple; and when it was renovated, the old inscribed slabs should have been used for the construction of the gopuram, the kitchen and the other parts of the temple. It is a matter of great significance that the victor Kannaradeva was no less zealous than the vanquished Parantaka deva I in honouring the gods of the temples of the land.

Footnotes and references:


1 Inscriptions of Rajaraja I: 16th year (A.R.E.90 of 1906); 24th year (84of 1906); 26th year (71 and 86 of 1906); 28th year (77 of 1906).

Valaiyur the old name of Jambai was renamed Nittavinodapuram after a title of Rajaraja I.

It is renamed Rajendrapuram in the days of his son and successor Rajendra I (3rd year, 80 of 1906 and 25th year, 82 of 1906).

Again this place is renamed Virarajendt apuram as mentioned in an inscription °f the 40th regnal year of Kulottunga I (68 of 1906).

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