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....

Papanasam is a railway station on the main line of the Southern Railway, between Kumbakonam and Tanjavur.

Srinivasa Perumal (old Visvesvara) temple

On the north and south walls of the mandapa in front of the central shrine of the Srinivasa Perumal temple here, there is a record of Tribhuvanachakravartin Kulottunga Chola deva ‘who was pleased to take Madurai and the crowned head of the Pandya’, dated in his 19th year; the stones are out of order and lost in some places. The inscription refers to the gift of two velis of land as tirunamattuk-kani at Kundavai-nallur, a hamlet of Rajake-sari chaturvedimangalam in Nallur nadu, a subdivision of Nittavi-noda valanadu, by a certain Aramudu Madevan alias Vikrama-sola Brahmamarayan to the temple of Visvesvaradeva built by himself at Panchavan Madevi chaturvedimangalam (ARE 467 of 1922); on the same walls there is another record, of the 21st year of the same ruler (also fragmentary), apparently recording another gift of land by the person mentioned above to the same temple. Vikramasola Brahmamarayan is said to be a native of Rajaraja chaturvedimangalam (ARE 468 of 1922). On the east wall of the vahana mandapa, there is a 24th year record of Tribhu-vana-chakravartin Kulottunga Choladeva III registering a gift of land to the temple (ARE 476 of 1922).

This temple which thus came into existence in the days of Kulottunga III was extensively renovated in the days of Vijaya-nagara Mallikaij unadeva Maharaya, 'son of Pratapa Devaraya Maharaya ‘who instituted the elephant hunt’, as learnt in a record dated in Saka 1370 (= a.d. 1448) found on the north wall of the central shrine; on the occasion of the reconstruction of the temple, Saluva Maharaja Tirumalaideva Maharaja made a gift of the village of Rajakesarip-parru alias Papanasam, with all the taxes levied on the village, for offerings, worship and twilight lamps and for conducting the festivals instituted in the temple of Papanay sap-perumal (ARE 448 of 1922).

On a pillar in the north verandah of the first prakara, there is an undated inscription recording that the mandapa was built) by Vijayapalan, and again on another pillar in the mukhamandapa in front of the temple, there is an undated Tamil verse recording the construction of the mandapa by a certain Chedipan, resident of Puduvai (ARE 471 of 1922). On the lintel above the doorway of the Visvaksena shrine in the same mandapa, there is an undated Tamil record mentioning a certain Velaikkaran Tirunirrusola Nambi and the renovation of that doorway (tiruvaasal) by a certain Gangarayar of Manappakkam (ARE 472 of 1922). A damaged Tamil verse at the entrance to the second gopuram (right side) records the construction of several shrines including the Pankaya-valli mandapa, Suttikoduttal shrine, Kaveri mandapa, Kayyamayil mandapa and the central gopuram by a certain Ayya Nayakar (ARE 475 of 1922).

Thus this temple, originally dedicated to Siva as Visvesvara-deva, which was perhaps in existence even in the Middle Chola period probably as a brick structure, was reconstructed in stone in the days of Kulottunga III. It was converted into a Vishnu temole for Lord Srinivasa Perumal in the days of Vijayanagara rulers when it was reconstructed or renovated in the 15th century (ARE 446 to 477 of 1922).

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