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....

Temples in Tiruppudaimarudil

Tiruppudaimarudil is about seven kms to the north of the town of Viravanallur, in Tirunelveli district. It is on the banks of the river Tamraparni. The temple of Narumbunadar, facing east, is located on a beautiful bend of this river, and with the various additions made to it in later times, the entire temple presents a picturesque scene. The inscriptions on the walls of this temple refer to the deity as Putarjunesvara.

Putarjunesvara (Narumbunadar) temple

The garbhagriha is 6.17 ms (20' 3") square; the adhishthanam measures 1.45 ms (4' 9") in height from the ground level. Each free wall of the garbhagriha is divided into three vertical elements, each decorated with a koshta-panchara, and separated from one another by low recesses. The width of the central element is 3.12 ms (10' 3"). After the antarala, there is an ardhamandapa, which houses a number of fine bronzes. In the south-western corner, facing east, is a bronze of Chandrasekharar and Manon-mani. On the northern side, along the wall, there are images of Nataraja and Sivakami Amman, Sri Perumal and Kankala-murti, the last one a very fine figure.

In the outer verandah, there is a sannidhi, not amounting to a shrine but constituting a chamber, where there is a fine set of stone sculptures of Nataraja, Sivakami, Patanjali and Vyaghrapada with Karaikkal Ammaiyar to the right of the Nataraja icon.

The wall of enclosure of the second prakara has, close to it and on either side of the gopuram, icons of Surya and Chandra. There is a shrine for Bhairavar in the north-eastern corner of the prakara. There is a second wall of enclosure on which is located the outer gopuram. The Amman shrine housing Gomati Amman is in the second prakara.

What is of importance in this temple is the Chandesvara shrine, located close to and north of the main temple, and adjacent to the antarala, and the ardhamandapa\ this forms a part of the original temple-plan and contains some valuable and informative inscriptions. On the west wall of this shrine, we have a damaged and incomplete record of Rajaraja I (ARE 124 of 1905). There is another of the tenth year of the same ruler which mentions a gift of land and bears signatures of donees in Grantha and Vatteluttu (ARE 123 of 1905). This is found on the north and east walls of this shine. There is a record of the twentieth year of Sadaiyamaran on the east wall making a reference to a servant of Vira Pandya, and the village is therein called Tiruppu-damarudil, in Pandimarttanda valanadu (ARE 122 of 1905).

On grounds of style and epigraphical evidence, this temple (without the later accretions) could be a foundation of the time of Rajaraja I.

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