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....

Melpadi is situated 25.60 kms (16 miles) south-west of Chittoor and 9.60 kms (6 miles) north of Tiruvallam, on the western bank of the Niva (or Ponni) river. The region of Melpadi, which was a part of the Chola kingdom during the time of Parantaka I, was lost to the Rashtrakutas after the battle of Takkolam (a.d. 949), and would appear to have been firmly reannexed to the Chola empire only after Rajaraja I came to the throne (a.d. 985).

Cholendra Simhesvaram

There is a temple in the village, dedicated to Somanathe-svara. Though it was rebuilt and given the new name of Cholen-dra-simhesvaram in the days of Rajaraja I, it dates back in fact to those of Parantaka I. From an inscription of the fourteenth year, 258th day of a king referred to as Konerinmaikondan (ARE 101 of 1921), which should also be attributed to Rajaraja I, we learn that the name of the city changed from Merpadi alias Viranarayanapuram into Rajasrayapuram after a surname of Rajaraja I and that gifts of lands located in several villages were made to the Mahadevar of the Gholendra-simhesvara temple constructed there by the king.

Arinjigai Isvaram

Arinjigai or Arinjaya was the youngest son of Parantaka I and the grandfather of Rajaraja I. Perhaps he fell fighting in or near this place, and consequently came to be referred to later as Arrur-tunjina-devar.

Sometime before his twenty-ninth regnal year (a.d. 1014) Rajaraja I constructed a temple called after him that of Arinjigai Isvarattu Mahadevar, as a pallippadi (memorial sepulchral temple), at the place where the mortal remains of Arinjigai devar were buried (ARE 86 of 1889 and SII, III, 17; See also Early Chola Temples, pp. 299-302).

It may be of interest to mention that in the days of Rajendra I, its management was in the hands of Lakulisa Pandita, the head of the matha of Saivas of the Pasupata sect.

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