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....

Kugaiyur was an important centre in early times and has a number of temples viz., those of Svarnapurisvara, Panchakshare-svara, Kaila san athar (ruined) and Rajanarayana Perumal. Of these, we are concerned with the first-mentioned temple.

Svarnapurisvara (Ponparappina-isvaram Udaiya Nayanar) temple

This is a dated one. On the south wall of the mandapa in front of the central shrine, there is an inscription of the sixth year of Parakesarivarman alias Tribhuvana-chakravartin Kulottunga Chola deva, ‘who was pleased to take Madurai and the crowned head of the Pandya’ (Kulottunga III). It records that a local Chief of Koval (Tirukkovalur or Tirukkoyilur) set up the image of Ponparappina-Isvaram-Udaiya Nayanar, constructed the stone temple, the Sri Kailasa of the village of Kugaiyur, the ardha-mandapa, the snapana-mandapa, the nritta-mandapa, the first and the gopura, the second prakara and the gopura and made a gift of land for offerings to the deity (called Ponparappina-Isvaraml udaiya Nayanar at Kugaiyur) and the feeding and maintenance of brakmanas at the temple. Kugaiyur is said to be situated in' Naraiyur kurram, a sub-division of Maladu alias Jananatha valanadu (ARE 93 of 1918). A 14th year inscription of the same ruler mentions the gift by the same Chief of the village named Ponparappina-nallur, free of taxes, for worship and offerings to the deity of the temple and the village of Karpundi alias Tiru-jnanasambanda-nallur in Ugalur kurram, a district of Vadakarai Rajasinga valanadu, for conducting a festival in the month of Panguni (ARE 94 of 1918). A third record of the same Chief, dated in the 20th year of Kulottunga III, relates to a gift of two cows and a calf for a lamp by one of the agambadi mudalis of Rajaraja Kovala-rayan to the (same) temple (ARE 95 of 1918).

The temple of Svamapurisvara belongs to the period of Kulottunga III and is a dated one (a.d. 1184).

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