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....

Tidaavur (also Tadavur) is in the Attur taluk of the Salem district. It is 19 km. from Talaivasal on the way to Attur via Viranganur, 5 km. from Viranganur and 14.5 km. from Attur.

Ekambranathar temple

There is a temple here called that of Ekambranathar. It is situated on the southern bank of the Sveta river.

An inscription of the 27th year of Kulottunga III found in this temple registers that this temple called that of Tiruvegambam Udaiya Nayanar at Mel-Gangapadi alias Tadavur, in Arrur kurram, a subdivision of Miladu alias Jananatha valanadu was built of stone, the cost being met from the gold already in possession of the temple and from what was presented by the king and the youngest queen (ARE 458 of 1913).

In a fifth year inscription of Kulottunga III (ARE 461 of 1913), one Kulottungasola Vanakkovaraiyan makes a gift of land to this temple in Mel-Gangapadi nadu, a sub-division of Arrur kurram in Miladu alias Jananatha valanadu, for worship, repairs and festivals.

In a seventh year inscription of the same ruler, it is mentioned that the village of Puttur was made a gift of to this temple and this transaction was attested by Tayilumnalla Perumal and Vilu-padaraiyan and communicated to Vitadaraiyar and the accountants of the temple.

There is a ninth year record (ARE 456 of 1913), also presumably of Kulottunga III, according to which land at Virasola-nallur was gifted to the deity. This transaction is again attested by Tayilumnalla Perumal and Viluppadaraiyan and communicated to Vitadaraiyar and the accountants (Puravariyar)

From a tenth year record, where the king goes under the name of Vijayarajendra, we find that land was gifted for worship and repairs to the temple of Tiruvegambam-udaiya Nayanar and ‘Kuram-erinda Perumal’ (ARE 457 of 1913) (Vijayarajendra was a surname of Kulottunga III).

The temple faces east. It consists of a garbhagriha and an ardha-mandapa with an antarala in between. The devakoshta sculptures are Dakshinamurti in the south, Ganga-Visarjana-murti in the west and Brahma in the north wall of the garbhagriha. On the antarala walls, i.e., between the walls of the garbhagriha and the ardhamandapa is a kumbha-pancharam on each face. There are subshrines for Ganapati, Subrahmanya and Jyeshtha Devi (on the west) and for Bhairavar on the south-east of the central shrine. The compound wall has collapsed.

This is a stone temple built in the 27th year of Kulottunga III. Evidently the temple was in existence earlier, presumably as a brick structure. The western devakoshta sculpture of Ganga-Visarjana-murti is noteworthy. The location of the Bhairavar subshrine clearly points to the fact that the eighth parivara devata is Bhairavar (for a discussion of the see my Early Chola Temples).

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