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 temple of Patalisvara is situated within the village of Brahmadesam, whereas the Brahmapurisvara temple already dealt with under Rajaraja I’s temples is outside the village limits.
The earliest inscription in this temple belongs to the twenty-fourth year, 230th day of Rajendra I. It relates to a gift of land for worship and offerings to this deity by one Parantakan Sut-tamalliyar alias Mukkokilanadigal for the success of the king’s arms (bhujam vardhikka). The inscription adds that at the time of the grant, the king was residing in the temple of Rajarajesvaram Udaiyar, perhaps the Brahmapurisvara temple itself in the neighbourhood (ARE 188 of 1918). A gift of land was made in the twenty-ninth year, 342 nd day during the reign of Rajadhiraja (I) (ARE 194 of 1918). The next is an inscription of the fourth year of Vira Rajendra which also refers to a gift of paddy (ARE 195 of 1918). There are two inscriptions of Kulottunga Chola I; the first, of the seventh regnal year, mentions that a certain shepherd of Eydar (the old name for Esalam, a southern hamlet of Rajaraja chaturvedimangalam) received 32 cows and agreed to burn a perpetual lamp in the temple of Tirup-patalisvaram (ARE 190 of 1918). The other one of the eighteenth year is incomplete. During Vikrama Chola’s period there are two records relating to gifts to the temple (ARE 187 and 193 of 1918). There is the usual donation by one Alagan, in the shape of 16 cows for a lamp in expiation of the sin of accidentally killing a friend in a hunting expedition. This inscription is dated in the thirteenth year of Kulottunga II (ARE 185 of 1918). The next one is a 14th year record of Parakesarivarman alias Rajaraja deva (II) which quotes a twenty-first year record of Kulottunga Chola deva (I or II?) and refers to a gift of land by the assembly for worship of the image of Aludai Nachchiyar set up in the temple, by one Irungolar on the day of the consecration and the celebration of the marriage festival (ARE 192 of 1918). There are two inscriptions of Kulottunga III belonging to his sixteenth and twenty-sixth years. The former is about a gift of two she-buffaloes, an ox and two calves for the purpose of burning a lamp in the temple of Patalisvaram Udaiya Nayanar by one Sengeni Mangalamittan Ammaiyappan Mittan Appan alias Cholendrasinga Sambuvarayan. The other is with regard to a gift of a gold diadem to Patalisvaram Udaiya Nayanar (at Rajaraja-chaturvedimangalam, a brahmadeyam and taniyur in Panai-yur nadu, a sub-division of Rajaraja valanadu), by a merchant of Ulogamadevipuram, a nagaram in Oyma nadu (ARE 189 and 186 of 1918). The last of the inscriptions is one of Kampana Udaiyar, son of Vira Bukkana Udaiyar dated in Saka 1256 (a.d. 1334). It mentions the remission of taxes by Goppanangal on the lands in Kulottungasola-nallur alias Brahmesvaram belonging to the temples of Brahmesvaram Udaiya Nayanar and Tirup-Patalisvaram Udaiya Nayanar of Rajaraja-chaturvedimangalam, a brahmadeyam and taniyur.
The temple faces east. It is an eka-tala temple with a garbhagriha, an ardhamandapa, an antarala and a mukhamandapa. In addition, there is a detached hall in front of the temple which may belong to a later date. The garbhagriha, the ardhamandapa, the antarala, the adhishthanam and the walls are of stone but the griva and the sikhara portions are of brick—perhaps a later renovation. In the case of the mukhamandapa, only the adhishthanam is of stone, the walls and the entablature being of brick. There is no hara over the walls in the garbhagriha and like many other earlier structures, the superstructure starts off straightaway with the griva and the sikhara. There are four grivakoshtas which are now empty.
Certain special features of this temple bring to mind the layout of the Rajarajesvaram at Tanjavur and the Gangaikonda-cholisvaram at Gangaikondasolapuram. We have already noticed that the main entrance to the sanctum sanctorum of these temples is not provided in the axis of the building but in the flanks; thus there are two doorways reached by a flight of steps flanked by low and sinuous balustrades from the northern and the southern prakaras. The peculiar feature of the mukhamandapa is that it is in the form of a massive cross with the northern and the eastern sides completely walled up, while on the southern side there are two sets of steps from the sides leading up to the projecting portion of the hall. The ardhamandapa has six very finely carved pillars in the typical style of the Rajaraja-Rajendra period, massive, attractive and graceful. Between the ardhamandapa and the mukhamandapa, there is a small antarala into which the two gates from the sides open. On either side of the entrance to the ardhamandapa, there are two Rajaraja-type dvarapalas. The detached structure in front of the mukhamandapa must have presented a graceful and fine facade to the entire temple, but now it is in ruins. There is a collapsed hall in the south-eastern corner of what was once the prakara of the temple; it might have served as a madam (matha)with a kitchen. The entire structure is in a state of utter disrepair.