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....

Tirumalavadi lies on the north bank of the river Kollidam (the Coleroon) opposite Tiruvaiyaru. It is 18 kilometres from Pullampadi, which lies on the Tiruchy-Ariyalur road. This village was a settlement of Malavars and hence acquired its name. The main temple of the village is dedicated to Vaidya-nathasvami. In the inscriptions the deity of this temple was called the Mahadevar of Tirumaluvadi and the village was called Tirumaluvadi. It has a long and continuous history, with which we have briefly dealt in the Early Chola Art, Part I (pp. 131 - 2). This temple as it originally stood dates back to the days of Aditya I and has associations with the Rashtrakuta king Krishna II and later on with Parantaka I and Sundara Chola.

Vaidyanathaswami temple

On the south wall of the central shrine as it stands to-day there is a record of the twenty-eighth year, thirty-ninth day of Rajaraja I which mentions that the king ordered that the srivimana of the temple be pulled down and a new srivimana built. In this record, the village is described as a devadana, in Poygai nadu, a sub-division of Vadagarai Rajendrasimha valanadu. The order further observed that all the inscriptions on the walls of the srivimana should, before it was dismantled, be transcribed in the books with a view to re-inscribing them on the walls of the new structure. The record reads as follows:

Tirumagalpola..... kovirajarajakesaripanmarana Udaiyar Sri Rajarajadevarkku yandu nal 39-nal Vadagarai Rajendrasimha Valanattu, Poygai nattu devadanam Tirumaluvadi Udaiyar sri vimanam vaangi tirukkarrali yedukka venru Udaiyar Sri Rajarajadevar arulichcheyatirukkarrali eduttu sri vimanam vaangi i srivimanattulla kalvettupadi pottagattil sorpikka venru adhikarigal Irumudisola Muvendavelar Niyogamum Mummudisola Brahmadhirayar Myogamum....” (SII, V, 652; ARE 92 of 1895).

From another record relating to the fourteenth year, seventieth day of Rajendra I found on the same wall (ARE 91 of 1895), we get to know that these inscriptions were re-inscribed on the walls of the new srivimana, which would mean that the reconstruction was completed latest by that year. The inscription mentions that the order (olai) to re-inscribe was conveyed by Narakkan Raman Arumoli Uttamachola Brahmamarayan, the Dandanayaka who belonged to the brahmadeyam of Keralantaka-chaturvedimangalam in Vennadu in Uyyakkondan valanadu, to Kulavan Solan, who was in charge of the temple [srikaryam seykinra), Pichchan, the Devakanmis of the temple, the Sabha of Sri-Gandaraditta chaturvedimangalam and the Sabha of Perum-puliyur; and the record further says that the earlier inscriptions were re-inscribed according to the books (“vidippadi munbu kalvettu sortta pottagappadi”;—SII, V, 651; ARE 91 of 1895).

Such was the care and regard for past charitable endowments and such was the historical sense displayed by the Chola rulers. The temple of Aditya I’s days should have been reconstructed between a.d. 1013 and 1026. Unfortunately the structure has undergone further renovation at a later date with the result that some of the features of the Rajaraja I and Rajendra I’s days have been lost.

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