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....

Mayuram is a big town today, being the headquarters of the taluk by the same name in the Tanjavur district. It is an ancient centre of culture and religion and is located on the banks of the Kaveri. There are a number of ancient temples in this town.

Panchanadisvara temple

We have already dealt briefly with the temple of Mayura-nathasvamin in our Early Chola Ttemples (p. 197).

Another temple of importance to our study is the Panchanadi-svara temple. It is situated in the western suburb of Mayuram called Koranadu, and was built in the days of Kulottunga I and received considerable attention during the days of Kulottunga II. There are a number of inscriptions (ARE 374 to 385 of 1907) on the walls of the mandapa in front of the central shrine, many of which are dated in the reigns of kings who cannot be identified; but there are six which belong to the reign of Kulottunga III (one dated in his 19th year, three in his 25th year, one in his 33rd year and one whose date is lost). They relate to routine transactions and gifts but we incidentally learn from them that the deity was called Udaiyar Tiruvaiyaru udaiyar at Kulottungasolan kurralam in Tiruvalundur nadu, a subdivision of Jayangondasola valanadu. In three records found on the walls of the mandapa, there is a reference to the 21st year of Udaiyar Sungamtavirt-tarulina devar (Kulottunga I) and because of the high regnal years (exceeding 30 in two cases) of some of these records, they have to be attributed to the days of Kulottunga III or his successors.

We may hazard a guess that the temple was originally built during the days of Kulottunga I, received endowments from him or during his time, that the mandapa in front on which these inscriptions are found was either added or reconstructed during the reign of Kulottunga III while the central shrine underwent renovation at some later time; we have no inscriptions from the walls of the central shrine.

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