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Issue No. 89

இதழ் 89
[ நவம்பர் 16 - டிசம்பர் 17, 2012 ]

இந்த இதழில்..
In this Issue..

திரும்பிப்பார்க்கிறோம் - 36
நல்லூர் மாடக்கோயில்
சேக்கிழாரும் அவர் காலமும் - 4
Issue No. 89 > Art & Research
Kulalakottaiyur a remote village lies between Kadiyapatti and Rayavaram in Thirumeyyam Taluk. On its outskirts lies a flat low level hillock in which the rock cut cell is scooped on its eastern precipice.

The shrine consists of rock cut cell and rock cut extensions in its front1. The rock cut extensions consists of side walls, roof and floor with steps to reach the sanctum. Both the rock cut shrine and its fascia are well formed2. Both the shrine and the deity are anonymous and simply known in the locality as ‘Paaraikoil’.3

The anterior wall of the shrine cell is 1.42mts height and 2.06mts breadth and an aperture is formed in the middle to a height of 1.39mts and to a width of .80mts as opening to the sanctum. The floor extension in front of the shrine cell is .50mts high from ground level and in the middle of the extended floor three rock cut steps are cut with parapet wall. The uppermost step extends as the floor of the sanctum. The side wall extension at floor level is .59mts on both sides and it gradually tapers upward. The roof extension in front of the shrine is .11mts.

The shrine cell is 1.70mts in the north-south and 1.21mts in the east-west direction with a height of 1.41mts. The sanctum is well formed. The sanctum houses rock cut linga formed adjoining the back wall. The circular avudaiyar is .49mts height with a small spout on its north and the bana to a height of .45mts. The avudaiyar is formed as padabandha adhishthana with the components of upana, jagadi, rudra kumudha, kanda flanked by kambu, pattika and upari kambu. The kumudha and the lower kambu are visible only on the northern side whereas in the east and on the south they are broken. Sanctum water outlet is formed on the northern wall and canalized on the rock cut floor extension in the north. Inscriptions are absent. A stone lamp with the name of the endower is found inside the sanctum. In front of the shrine is seen a balipitha.

The rock cut shrine is not an incomplete attempt or an abnormal formation though small in size it is well planned and well formed. Its petite nature is due to the stunted size of the mother rock. It is the only rock cut shrine in the district with the Linga stuck to the back wall of the sanctum.4

Footnotes :
1. Field visit on 19-06-2011.
2. Rajamohamad J., Avanam 19, ‘Pudukkottai Mavattak Kudaivaraik Koilgal’, 2008, In the article the author has stated that the sanctum is not well formed. P.174.
3. ibid., mentioned the deity as Malaikolundiswarar. The name is found nowhere in the shrine. P.175
4. According to Dr. R.Kalaikkovan, Director, Dr. Rasamanikkanar Centre for Historical Research, stated that it is a unique feature and found nowhere in Tamil Nadu rock cut tradition.

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