Middle Chola Temples

by S. R. Balasubrahmanyam | 1975 | 141,178 words

This volume of Chola Temples covers Rajaraja I to Kulottunga I in the timeframe A.D. 985-1070. 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....

We have briefly dealt with this temple under our Historical survey in Early Chola Temples (pp. 246 and 247). The earliest inscription found in this temple dates back to Uttama Chola (ARE 66 of 1927 - 28); but the temple received considerable attention at the hands of the Middle Chola rulers and their consorts and nobles.

Konapiran (Sri Pugalur Mahadevar) Temple

One of the earliest records of Rajaraja I here dates to his sixteenth year and mentions that Nakkan Tillai-y-alagiyar alias Panchavan Mahadevivar, queen of Rajaraja I, made a gift of some tax-free land for conducting a festival and for providing offerings to the God every month on the day of Sadaiyam, her husband’s as well as her own natal star. She also made a gift of some ornaments to this temple (ARE 47 of 1927 - 28). In his twenty-first year, a remission of taxes by the assembly of Karodu-cheri, a brahmadeyam in Panaiyur nadu, was effected on the lands granted to the temple by the king and the queen Panchavan Madeviyar, for conducting special worship to the god every month on the day of their natal star (ARE 54 of 1927 - 28). Again, in his twenty-first year, a gift of paddy and money is made by one Angikumara Kramavittan alias Porkoyil Chandesvarayogi of Kundur for offerings to the image of Tirunavukkaraiya devar (ARE 68 of I 927 - 28). In his twenty-third year, one Selvan Achchan, a member of Satturubhayankara-terinda-velam of the queen Panchavan Madeviyar made a gift of nine gold flowers to the god Konapperumal (ARE 62 of 1927 - 28). In his twenty-seventh year, a brahmana lady by name Ganapati Ponnalvi alias Solai gave money to the brahmanas of Pugalur for burning a perpetual lamp before the deity (ARE 69 of 1927 - 28). The southern entrance into the shrine bears an inscription giving the name of the entrance as Irasarasan tiruvasal (ARE 71 of 1927 - 28), presumably referring to Rajaraja I.

In the fifth year of Rajendra I, certain lands belonging to the temple were exempted from taxes by the assembly of Bhuloka-manikka-chaturvedimangalam and provision was made for offerings and worship to God Sri Kamesvaram Udaiyar and for the recitation of the Vedas (ARE 52 of 1927 - 28).

From a tenth year record here of Rajendra I, we get to know that the assembly of Bhuloka-chaturvedimangalam, a brahma-deyam in Panaiyur nadu in Kshatriyasikhamani valanadu received 150 kasus from the temple and remitted the taxes on a piece of land belonging to the god Sri Pugalur Mahadevar (ARE 44 of 1927 - 28). In the twenty-seventh year of Rajadhiraja I, a brah mana lady by name Pichchan Sirudaikalal of Saliamangalam in Inga nadu made a gift of money for a festival with offerings to the image of the Consort of God Navalingesvara in the temple, on the day of Sadaiyam. It provided for the services of eight men to participate in the ashta-mangalam ceremony during the bathing of the deity (mirror, water-pot, flag, fly-whisk, elephant goad, drum, lamp and a pair of fish (?) constituting the “eight signs of prosperity”, ARE 49 of 1927 - 28 ). From a record of the 32 nd year, we learn of the setting up of a deity called Sivapurattu devar for providing offerings for whom a gift of land free of taxes was made by a certain lady (ARE 48 of 1927 - 28).

There is a fourth year record of Rajendra II on two lion pillars at the north entrance in the first prakara of the temple, remitting certain taxes on some temple lands (ARE 79 of 1927 - 28). We could conclude that the first had come into existence even during these days. In the fifth year, an agreement was made by the assembly of Pugalur to pay 10 kasus as interest on 40 kasus lent to them from the sum given by Parkkaran Arumoli of Velur, in Puliyur nadu, a division of Vijayarajendra valanadu for the expenses of the nul erram ceremony (dhvajarohanam?) in the temple (ARE 57 of 1927-28). The same lady also set up the image of Ulaguyyakondasola Surriya devar (and provided money for offerings to this deity (sixth year; ARE 64 of 1927-28). In the eleventh year, one Devanpattagal Pandaram and her daughter, belonging to the Sivapadasekhara-tirumanjanattar-velatn, set up in the temple at Pugalur images of Surya devar and His two Consorts and presented them with ornaments (ARE 63 of 1927-28).

Evidently, the first prakara wall came to be built along with the central shrine, or at least during the Middle Chola period, and the mandapa adjoining the north wall of enclosure was the contribution of one Ghedirayan, the headman of Arkadu. No date is mentioned. The existence of lion-pillars in the Middle Chola period is confirmed. They are found even in the Later Chola period (see Early Chola Temples, pp. 246-7; ARE 78 and 79 of 1927-28).

Tiruppugalur is particularly significant, as the place where Appar attained his salvation (Pis 58 to 60 and Lalit Kala 17).

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