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....

Nattamangudi is a village near Alambakkam in the Lalgudy taluk of the Tiruchy district. Nattamangudi and Alambakkam were once part of an ancient dty dating back to Pallava days known as Nandipanma-mangalam. During the Early Chola period, it was called Madhurantaka-chaturvedimangalam and included in it were such hamlets as Tiruvisalur, Tirunarayananallur, etc.

There are a number of important temples in the neighbourhood—a Selliyamman temple, an Ayyanar temple, the ancient Vishnu temple now called Varadaraja Perumal temple and the j Siva temple known as the Kailasanathar temple, all at Alambakkam.

Adimula Perumal temple

On the base of the north, west and south walls of the central shrine in the Adimula Perumal temple in the village, there is a 38th year record of ‘Tribhuvanachakravartin Tribhuvanavira deva who took Madurai, Karuvur, I lam and the crowned head of the Pandya and performed the anointment of heroes and victors’, which states that, as the brick vimana above the adhishthana of the tempie of ‘Srinandai Emberuman’ at Madhurantaka chaturvedi-mangalam had become dilapidated, it was repaired and the original inscription of the 2nd year of Rajarajavarman incised on the jagatippadai was re-engraved, so far as it was decipherable. This latter inscription records the sale of some land to ‘Sattan Madhavan alias Panchavan Brahmadarayan of Punavayil, the adhikari of Uttamasolamangalam, a in Panaiyur nadu, a subdivision of Kuladhipasikhamani valanadu’ by a number of brahmanas belonging to the Assembly of Madhurantaka chatur-vedimangalam, a brahmadeya in Poygai nadu, a subdivision of Rajendrasimha valanadu, for being assigned to the temple of Tiruvisaiur-Pallikonda-Alvar to provide for sacred bath, offerings etc. on amavasya days. Thus the present structure of the central shrine was built in stone in the last years of Kulottunga III (See my Early Chola Temples, p. 262).

There are four records pf the days of Tribhuvanachakravartin Rajaraja, who should be Rajaraja III, found on the south wall of the mmdapa in front of the central shrine; they relate to his 26th, 27th and 28th years. One registers a gift of land in Mangudi alias Tyagasamudranallur by two brahmanas of Madhurantaka chaturvedimangalam, to the temple of Srinandai-Adimutti Naya-nar. The next one records a sale of land by Nayaka devichchani, wife of Narayana Bhattan of Kottur, to the temple of Adimutti Nayanar at Srinandai-Madhurantaka-chaturvedimangalam. Of the remaining two, both dated in the 28th year, one registers a sale of land by two brahmanas to the temple and the other registers a gift of land by the Assembly of U ttamasolachaturvedim angalam an agrahara in Poygai nadu, a subdivision of Vadagarai Rajaraja valanadu, for offerings to the god Srinandai-Adimutti-Nayanar at Tirunarayana-nallur, a hamlet of Madhurantaka chaturvedi-mangalam (ARE 149,146,157 and 148 of 1928-29).

There are two inscriptions of the days of Vira Ramanatha dated in his 13th and 17th years; the former, on the outer eastern wall of the first gopuram records an order of the king, reducing to eight kasus per loom the ayakkadamai on the weavers living within a certain area in Tirumalavadi nadu, who were unable to pay the tax at the rate then prevailing; the other inscription registers a gift of land to the temple for the expenses of the morning services.

We may conclude on the basis of the epigraphical evidence that the temple was in existence in the days of Rajaraja I who should be the Rajarajavarman referred to in the original inscription on the jagatippadai, in view of the fact that it mentions Rajendrasimha valanadu as the district in which the temple was located; the village was named presumably after Parantaka I or Sundara Chola, both of whom bore the title of Madhurantaka. In the closing years of Kulottunga III (by a.d. 1214), the central shrine which was of brick was reconstructed of stone. The mandapa in front and the gopuram should also be taken as being part of the new construction, as we get only inscriptions of the days of Rajaraja III (of his 26th year, i.e., a.d. 1242 onwards) and Vira Ramanatha (13th year) on its walls.

Madhurantaka chaturvedimangalam was originally a brahma-deya in Poygai nadu, a subdivision of Rajendrasimha valanadu. In the days of Rajaraja III, the location is given as Tirunarayana-nallur, a hamlet of Srinandai Madhurantaka chaturvedimangalam, in Poygai nadu, a subdivision of Vadagarai Rajaraja valanadu. The change in the names of the administrative units is worth noting. Rajaraja I’s inscription refers to the god as Tiruvisalur Pallikonda alvar. There is a reference to the same deity in am inscription found on the north wail of the central shrine in the Kailasanathar temple at Aiambakkam (ARE 718 of 1909). It belongs to the second year of Rajakesarivarman alias Udaiyar Sri Virarajendradeva and records that the Assembly of Madhuran-taka chaturvedimangalam met in the temple of Tiruvisalur-Pallikondalvar of that village and made a gift pf land to the temple of Tiruvalisvaram Udaiya Mahadevar at Aiambakkam (in whicl are situated a Selliyaman temple, an Ayyanar temple, the Varadaraja Perumal temple and the Kailasanathar temple).1 Aiambakkam is referred to as being located in Madhurantaka' chaturvedimangalam, a brahmadeya in Poygai nadu, a subdivision of Rajendrasimha valanadu; in fact, Aiambakkam is close to Nattamangudi and we can identify Tiruvisalur-Pallikondalvar with Sri-Nandai-Emberuman (also see ARE 704 to 733 of 1909). Aiambakkam was originally (Early Chola period) called Nandipan-mamangalam; as for instance, the Varadaraja Perumal temple at Aiambakkam is called that of Tiruvisalur Perumanadigal of Nandipanmamangalam in an undated inscription of an unidentified Rajakesarivarman. In the Middle Chola period it was renamed Madhurantaka chaturvedimangalam. Evidently the renaming was done after either Parantaka I or Sundara Chola (Madhurantaka).

Help me keep this site Ad-Free

For over a decade, this site has never bothered you with ads. I want to keep it that way. But I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased truth, wisdom and knowledge.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: