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....

Tiruppalaivanam is a village in the Ponneri taluk of the Chingleput district.

Tiruppalesvara (Tiruppalaivanam Udaiya Mahadevar) temple

There is an ancient temple here, dedicated to Tiruppalesvara. The ancient name of the deity was Tiruppalaivanam Udaiya Mahadevar. This temple is studded with innumerable inscriptions on the walls of the central shrine, covering the part of the Later Chola period beginning with the 11th year of Vikrama Chola. The majority of the inscriptions relate to Kulottunga III and his successor Rajaraja III. While there is no foundation inscription in the temple, it may be reasonably assumed that the temple came into existence in the days-of Kulottunga I or Vikrama Chola, but we have an inscription of the 15th year of Kulottunga Choladeva ‘who was pleased to take Madurai and the crowned head of the Pandya’ which mentions that Sodi Vadugan alias Jayangondasola Kidarattaraiyan undertook the construction of a stone temple to Tiruppalaivanam Udaiyar and for meeting the cost of this construction he was assigned rights in several villages, two-thirds of which he gave as stri to his two sons-in-law (ARE 313 of 1928-29). The existence of inscriptions of the period prior to the 15th year of Kulottunga III on the walls of the central shrine would seem to indicate that perhaps the earlier structure of the central shrine was partially in stone and partially in brick and that the entire temple was rebuilt of stone in the days of Kulottunga III leaving the earlier stone portion intact.

Since we find inscriptions of the days of Rajaraja III, dated in his 20th year and later, on the walls of the mandapa in front of the central shrine, we could hazard the guess that perhaps this mandapa was also a part of the reconstruction programme undertaken in the 15th year of Kulottunga III; at any rate it was completed before the 20th year of Rajaraja III. The wall of enclosure (tirumadil) was constructed in the 14th year of Jatavarman alias Tribhuvanachakravartin Sundara Pandyadeva (I) (a.d. 1265).

The temple received considerable attention at the hands of the Telugu-Choda chiefs, Allur-Tirukkalattideva Gandagopala devar, Vijaya Gandagopala devar and Rajaraja Gandagopala devar.

The main mandapa should be attributed to Vijaya Gandagopala, whose 15th year inscription is the earliest found on the walls of this mandapa.

From the inscriptions of this temple, we get the following interesting information.

(i) Kulottunga II’s extensive benefactions to the temple of Nataraja at Chidambaram including his gilding of the ‘peram-balam’ gave him his title of Rajakesarivarman ‘who was pleased to gild Tirupperambalam' (ARE 315 of 1928-29) and Tribhuvanachakravartin Kulottunga Choladeva ‘who covered Perambalam with gold’(ARE 349 of 1927-28).

(ii) The Telugu-Choda Chief Madurantaka Pottappich-cholan Siddharaisar was a contemporary of Kulottunga III and his wife Nungama deviyar (the Nikkama deviyar of the Nan-; dalur inscriptions) made a gift of money to the Sivabrakmanas of the temple for burning alamp (ARE 317 of 1927-28).

(iii) From a 15th year inscription of Rajarajadeva (III) we get to know of the grant of land by Gandagopala as the gift of Panaiyandai alias Gandagopala-Manikkam, the sister of Sittammadeviyar, a devaradiyar attached to the temple of Manu-masiddhisvaram Udaiya Nayanar at Nellur, for feeding devotees in the Gandagopala-manikka-madam at Tiruppalaivanam (ARE 350 of 1927-28).

(iv) We learn that an image of Karajkkal Ammai was set up in the temple, as seen from a record of the 18th regnal year of Rajaraja III (ARE 329 of 1928-29).

(v) Metallic images of Chandrasekharar and Consort were set up by Raghunayakulu raju of Koluru in Saka 1681 (a.d. 1758).

The present structure of the temple could be attributed to the last decade of the 12th century with accretions taking place over the next few decades extending to the middle of the 13th century a.d.

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