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....

The village of Madagadipattu lies about 24 kms from Pondicherry on the road to Villupuram. A few metres to the south of the main road, there is a tank and on its western bund is a venerable temple called Kundankuli Mahadevar koyil. It was in a very dilapidated condition and P. Z. Pattabhiramin got the temple renovated on scientific lines.[1]

Kundankuli Mahadevar Koyil

It is an eka-tala stone temple (karrali). The garbhagriha rests on a high adhishthanam with many mouldings consisting of upanam, padmam,jagati and kumudam. The kapotam is decorated with kudus.

There are only three devakoshtas in the garbhagriha and perhaps they had Dakshinamurti (?), Vishnu and Brahma. The French Institute of Indology, Pondicherry have preserved some of the images of this temple in their Museum. Among them are the fine figures of Ganapati and Durga (Pis 100 - 105).

There is an ardhamandapa in front; the garbhagriha is surmounted by the kodungai (kapota). The circular griva has devakoshtas, and vimana-devatas are installed in each of them; each devakoshta has a finely wrought kudu; the bell-shaped sikhara and the circular stupi are finely turned out.

There are a few weather-beaten and fragmentary inscriptions; from one of these we learn that this temple was raised by Raja-raja I. It reads as follows: “Sri Rajaraja devar eduppit-tarulina tiru-karrali”—“the stone temple raised by Sri Rajaraja devar”; and Puri Bhattan is mentioned as the builder of this temple. The reading of the rest of the inscription is doubtful; however, the name of the Lord of the temple could be gathered from it, which runs as follows: “Tiruk-Kundan-Kulach-Cheri Olukarai Mahadevan”. The shape of the sikhara bears resemblance to those of Narttamalai, Arinjigai Isvaram of Melpadi and others all of which are of the days of Rajaraja I.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

A detailed account of this temple will be found in the “Quatre Vicux Temples” by P.Z Pattabhiramin.

Revue Historique De V Inde Francatse, Pondicherry, 1948.

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