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....
Avarani is a village in the Nagapattinam taluk of the Tanjavur district. Its ancient name was Kilkkudi. There is an old temple here. Today this temple is dedicated to Anantanarayana Perumal (Vishnu), and the name of the deity during the days of the Vijaya-nagara rulers was Pallikonda Perumal. But there are a large number of inscriptions of the days of Kulottunga III and Raja-raja III, found on stones built into the walls of the temple, which furnish interesting information on the change that took place in the temple in the post-Chola period.
Anantanarayana Perumal (Pallikondar) temple
(old Parvatisvara (Siva) temple)
The earliest of these inscriptions (found in stray stones) is one dated in the 15th year of Tribhuvanachakravartin Kulottunga Choladeva ‘who took the crowned head of the Pandya’ and it relates to a gift of tax-free land to the temple of Parvatisvaram Udaiyar set up by Rajanarayanap-Pallavarayar of Palaikkurichchi at Kilkkudi alias Simhavishnu chaturvedimangalam and there is a reference to the land survey made in the ninth year of Periya devar (i.e., Kulottunga III) (ARE 490 of 1922). Yet another record of the 15th year of Tribhuvanachakravartin Kulottunga Choladeva who was pleased to take Madurai and the crowned head of the Pandya’ records an agreement between the villagers of Sittiralegai-perumpalli in Mulaikkattu nadu and the temple authorities of Parvatisvaram regarding an exchange of land (ARE 487 of 1922). Another record of the same ruler belonging to the next year (16th) (stones misplaced) seems to record a gift of tax-free land to the temple of Parvatisvaram Udaiyar set up at Kilkkudi, a brahmadeya in Ala nadu, by the villagers of Rajarajan Alimulai in Mulaikkattu nadu, a subdivision of Arumolideva valanadu (ARE 489 of 1922). An undated record found on stones built into the walls and belonging to the days of Kulottunga III is fragmentary and gives another name to the Pallavarayar who built the temple, viz., Kalyanasundarar (ARE 493 of 1922). Again in an inscription whose date is lost and which is found on stones built into the east and south walls of the central shrine, a gift of land is recorded in favour of the temple of Par..... (which must be ‘Parvatisvaram Udaiyar’) built at Kilkkudi alias Simhavishnu chaturvedimangalam, a brahmadeya in Ala nadu, a subdivision of Arumolideva valanadu, by ‘Kalyanasundaranar alias Rajanarayanap-Pallavarayar, a native of Tirukkannapuram.’ A 24th year inscription of the same ruler (fragmentary) records the remission of certain taxes on the land belonging to the temple of Parvatisvaram Udaiyar on the occasion of the consecration ceremony of Kuttadu Nayanar (Nataraja) and His Consort by the Assembly of Simhavishnu chaturvedimangalam who were managing the affairs of the village, from the month of Karkataka (ARE 488 of 1922). In the 26th year presumably of the same ruler there is a record, found on the north, west and south walls of the central shrine (stones are out of order and some lost) mentioning a gift of land free of taxes to the temple of Parvatisvaram Udaiyar at Kilkkudi by the Assembly of Rajaya-chaturvedimangalam in Mulaikkattu nadu, a subdivision of Arumolideva valanadu. It mentions that the land concerned was an old gift for offerings to the god Kuttadu Nayanar but that the original recipients were dead. There is a reference to the land survey made in the ninth year (of the king) which confirms that this record is one of the days of Kulottunga III (ARE 485 of 1922).
There are two inscriptions of the days of Rajaraja III belonging to his sixth and his 17th years; from the latter we gather that 60 kasus were given as a gift for a lamp to the temple of Tiruvi-ramesvaram Udaiyar at Abaranadani chaturvedimangalam in Ala nadu, a subdivision of Geyamanikka valanadu (ARE 491 of 1922).
Thus it is clear that this temple was built in the 15th year, of Kulottunga III (ARE 490 of 1922) by Kalyanasundaranar Rajanarayanap-Pallavarayan of Palaikkurichchi alias Tirukkanna-puram. In the years following the fall of the Cholas, at some unknown point of time, the temple was converted into a Vishnu temple with Pallikondar (Ananta narayana) as the deity of the centra shrine. At present the temple is known as that of Anantanarayana.
Footnotes and references:
Avarani, the present name, seems to be a corruption of Abaranadani.