Later Chola Temples

by S. R. Balasubrahmanyam | 1979 | 143,852 words

This volume of Chola Temples covers Kulottunga I to Rajendra III in the timeframe A.D. 1070-1280. 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 Rajarajan-tirumangalam

From Kuttalam railway station on the Southern Railway, Tiruvelvikkudi is 4.8 km. in a north-easterly direction; and about 3 km. from the latter village are located three important villages of ancient fame, viz., Edirkolpadi (or Mel-Tirumananjeri), Kil-Tirumananjeri and (Rajarajan-) Tirumangalam. They are situated in the Mayuram taluk of the Tanjavur district. The temple at Tirumangalam is dedicated to Siva under the name of Bhulokanathasvamin.

Bhulokanathasvamin temple (Vikrama Cholisvaram)

From a tenth year record of one Tribhuvanachakravartin Konerinmaikondan, found on the south wall of this temple, we find a royal order at the instance of one Ganitach-chakravarti approving a gift of land as compensation to the temple of Rajendra-solisvaram Udaiyar, for the construction of a new compound wall (tirumadil), a gate-way (tiruvasal) and other extensions to the temple of Vikrama-cholesvaram Udaiyar at Rajarajan-Tirumangalam in Virudarajabhayankara valanadu. This temple is obviously attributable to the days of Vikrama Chola though the exact date of its erection is not easy to determine. In a stone set up in front of the Madhyannesvara temple at Tirumananjeri, also in the same taluk and quite close to Tirumangalam, it is inscribed that the land (where this stone should have been originally set up) was gifted to the god Vikramasolisvaram Udaiyar at Irajarajan-Tirumangalam. A sula (spear) is engraved at the top of the inscription (ARE 111 of 1927). A sixth year record, found on the north wall of this temple and belonging to Parakesari-varman alias Tribhuvanachakravartin Virarajendradeva (Kulot-tunga III), beginning with the introduction Puyal, registers the reassignment of lands belonging to several temples and individuals, necessitated by the erosion by floods of the Vikkira-masolappereri.

There is another record found on the east wall of the second prakara of the temple, relating to Kulottunga III, which registers a grant of land for the maintenance of one Kasyapan Tirunattamadi Avimuttisvaram Udaiyan alias Ananda nayaka Bhatta doing worship in the temple of Vikramasolisvaram Udaiyar at Rajarajan-Tirumangalam, in Kurukkai nadu, a subdivision of Virudaraja-bhayankara valanadu (ARE 112 to 117 of 1926).

There are three pillar effigies in this temple which are worthy of attention; they presumably represent donors or important persons of the locality worthy of recognition, and over the figures are given the following names:

  1. Maddalaperumal (for the figure shown beating a drum);
  2. Bhogamattal alias Bhuvananayaki Manikkam (for the female figure); and
  3. Yerri alias Virapperumal Manikkam.

We may conclude that the temple of Bhulokanathasvamin at (Rajarajan-) Tirumangalam came into being by about the tenth year of Vikrama Chola and was named after him.

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