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....

In Appendix 2, we have referred to Kalattur in Chingleput district. One of the two temples here is now called Munkudumi Isvaram, but is referred to in inscriptions as the temple of Perum tiruk koyil Mahadevar at Kalattur.

Munkudumi Isvaram (Perun Tiruk Koyil)

The present structure of the temple seems to be Later Chola. The earliest inscription here is one of the 5th year of Kulottunga I, recording a gift of money for two lamps (ARE 340 of 1911). There are three other inscriptions of his days. One (ARE 339 of 1911), on the west wall of the main shrine, records a gift of land by some devaradiyar (‘women dedicated to the service of the Lord’ in the literal sense, but often loosely and incorrectly translated into 'dancing girls’): we learn that Kalattur had the alternate name of Gangaikondasola chaturvedimangalam. Another of the same year registers a gift of land by two devaradiyar who were sisters; one of them also set up an image of Kshetrapalar in the temple. An inscription of the 23rd year records a gift of three lamps (ARE 341 of 1911). We have an inscription of the 15th year of Vikrama Chola, on the west wail of the central shrine, which records a gift of two lamps ‘to the temple of Perun tiruk koyil Mahadevar at Kalattur’ by a brahmana of the village. Next comes one of the 12th year (293rd day) of‘Tribhuvana chakravartin Kon-erinmai kondan’ Kulottunga II (ARE 346 of 1911). It registers a royal order to one Tondaiman to grant certain lands in and around Kulattur, clubbed together under the name of ‘Kulottunga-solan Tiruttondat-togai nallur’, as devadana to the temple for the tirumadai-vilagam and a flower-garden. The royal secretary communicating the order is the same as in the contemporaneous records at Tiruvanakkoyil, namely, Anapaya Muvendavelan.

There is an Amman shrine here, built by a certain Arulala Perumal alias Rajaraja Villuparaiyan for the merit of his mother, in the 15th year of ‘Tribhuvana chakravartin Vijaya Gandagopala’, who ruled over the region around Kanchi, nominally as a vassal of Rajaraja III but in effect independently.

A slab built into the floor of the mukha mandapa contains a fragmentary Pallava inscription of the 14th year of ‘Nandivarma Maharaja’: it makes mention of the names of Kalat-tur kottam and Paramesvara. This fact points to the existence of a temple at the site during the pre-Chola period. There is no clue as to its form or structure.

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