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....

On the Kanchipuram-Uttaramerur road, after crossing the Veghavati at Kanchi and the Palar four kilometres further south, one proceeds another four kilometres to reach Arpakkam; it lies between the Palar and the Cheyyar.

Adikesava Perumal (Tiruvira-vinnagar Alvar) temple

In this village, there are two important temples, with rich historical associations, one belonging to the Middle Chola period and the other to the Later Chola period. The former is that of Adikesava Perumal which bore in the ancient days the name of Tiruvira-vinnagar Alvar temple, and the latter the temple of Tiruvalisvaram, or Tiruviramesvaram. We are here concerned with the Adikesava Perumal temple.

On the north wall of the temple is an incomplete record (ARE 139 of 1923) of Rajaraja I dated in his eighteenth year, registering a gift by purchase of a tank and land, made tax-free, for offerings to the god Tiruvira-vinnagar Alvar in the name of the queen Sembiyan Mukkokilanadigal alias Kannara-Nachchi Pidara Nan-gai, by a certain Kodandaraman of Panivagamangalam of Chola mandalam. From this inscription we come to know the name of a queen of Rajaraja I not generally known, and the name would indicate that she was a Kannara princess. Another inscription of Rajendra I relating to his twenty-seventh year, registers a gift of land by the residents of Arpakkam for the maintenance of seven musicians for service in the temple of Tiruvira-vinnagar Alvar (ARE 145 of 1923). On the south wall of the temple is a record of Udaiyar Sri Rajendra Choladeva (II), relating to his second year registering a gift of land for two perpetual lamps to the god Tiruvira-vinnagar Alvar by queen Trailokya Mahadevi, one on behalf of her mother Umai Nangai and the other on behalf of Vikramakesari Pallavaraiyar (ARE 138 of 1923). There are two records of Sakalaloka-chakravartin Rajanarayana Sambuvarayan both dated in his sixteenth year registering a gift of land in Mungilappattu as tirunamattukkani by certain individuals of Magaral and its later conversion into a sarvamanya gift by the residents (nattavar)of Vayalaikkavur, to the god Kesava Perumal of Arpakkam in Eyil nadu, a subdivision of Eyir-kottam (ARE 140 and 141 of 1923). In the fourth year of Vijaya Gandagopala, one kalanju of gold is given as a gift for burning a twilight lamp in the temple by the headman of Anangur in Paniyur nadu, a subdivision of Naduvil nadu alias Rajaraja valanadu (ARE 142 of 1923).

This temple would appear to have come into existence some time before the eighteenth year of Rajaraja I (a.d. 1003) and was possibly renovated after the days of Rajendra II which explains the misplacement of some of the stones containing the inscriptions of the first two rulers of the Middle Chola period.

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