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Issue No. 28

இதழ் 28
[ அக்டோபர் 16 - நவம்பர் 15, 2006 ]


இந்த இதழில்..
In this Issue..

இமயத்துக்கே மகுடமா?
கதை 8 - தேவன் தொட்ட சுனை (இறுதிப் பகுதி)
Valanchuli - Interesting Observations
உடையாளூர்க் கயிலாசநாதர் கோயில்
ஜப்பானில் தமிழும் பரதமும்
திரு. ஐராவதம் மகாதேவன் - அறிமுகம்
இரண்டாண்டு நிறைவு வாழ்த்துச்செய்திகள் - II
Links of the Month
Issue No. 28 > Kalaikkovan Page
Valanchuli - Interesting Observations
இரா. கலைக்கோவன்
(Paper presented at the National Seminar on "Recent discoveries and their impact on South Indian History and Marine Archaeology and Maritime History of India" Jointly sponsored by Tamil and Kannada Universities on 22.9.2006 at Tamil University, Thanjavur.)

Mr. President, learned Professors and dear friends, at the out set I wish to thank Prof. Dr. K. Rajan for inviting me to present a paper before this august body, while we are stepping in the twenty fifth year of our organisation, Dr. M. Rajamanikkanar Centre for Historical Research.

Study of temples provides rich information to reconstruct the local history. Such micro studies collectively contribute to organise the History of a State or a Nation. Dr. M. Rajamanikkanar Centre for Historical Research in its twenty-four years of existence, has so far covered forty temples and the dedicated work of our young scholars has yielded forty monographs. One such study was undertaken in Chadaimudinathar temple at Valanchuli situated 6 k.m. from Kumbakonam in the Kumbakonam Thanjavur road, under the sponsorship of Mr. S. Sundar Bharadhwaj an architect from Chennai. The study was assisted by the members of the editorial board of Varalaaru dot com, Mr.B. Padmanaban, from HR & CE department, Mr.S.Sitaraman a builder cum promoter and his associates from Kumbakonam.

47 inscriptions were copied from this temple on two occassions by the department of epigraphy, ASI and texts of 25 are published in the SII volume No. 8. Gist of 22 inscriptions find a place in the ARE volume for the year 1927-28. The state department of Archaeology has copied 36 inscriptions and published their texts in 2001. During our work we were able to copy 31 uncopied inscriptions and 70 fragments.

Before analyzing the data provided by the 114 inscriptions copied by various agencies at this temple, a few words about the architectural elements and the important sculptures noted here shall be shared. Kshetrapala temple built by Logamadevi, the chief queen of Rajaraja I during his eleventh regnal year is an ekatala vesara vimana of misra type. The potikas are angular and have taranga ornamentation with kulavu in between. The central patta is decorated with creepers. It is to be understood here that such type of potikas appear in the constructions from 8th century A.D. and continue to exist until the later reign of Rajaraja I. The earliest appearance of taranga potika with kulavu is noted at the lower rock-cut cave temple at Namakkal.

Various potikas starting from the simple angular ones to the ornamental pushpa potikas are met with in the construction of the southern gopura of this temple. This reveals not only the later renovation of the gopura but also repeated renovations the temple had suffered. This is further supported by the presence of scattered fragments of innumerable inscriptions of Chalukya-Cholas in almost all the areas of the complex. The southern gopura presents a real feast to the student of art history in providing such varied architectural features.

The miniature sculptures depicted on the gala padas of the vedika complex of the vimana of Kshetrapala are peculiar in nature and provide a thread to the story of Kshetrapala. It closely resembles the narration of Sivamahapurana regarding the birth of Bhairava.

Another interesting miniature is found at the gala pada of the southern gopura. It presents a vocalist and an instrumentalist. Both of them are shown seated close to the Linga, the presiding deity of the shrine. The vocalist has a percussion instrument (Udukkai) in his hands and the other person has cymbals. Though we know from inscriptions that Devaram hymns were sung in the temples with udukkai and talam, the place in which the singers were accommodated during the recitation was not known. The present sculpture may help in this regard to identify the place of recitation as the sanctum proper at least in the smaller shrines.

The Kshetrapala worship introduced by Logamadevi, resembles the Bhairava cult that existed in Tamilnadu from the time of Pallavas. An examination of the epigraphical data and the sculptures of the contemporary period throw light on the difference shown between these two icons. Only the presence of dog differentiated Bhairava from Kshetrapala during the middle Chola period. In later inscriptions much confusion prevails in differentiating the icons.

The third regnal year inscription of Rajendra I, copied from the Kshetrapala shrine mentions about a certain female deity worshipped as pidari Ekaviri. Kunthanan Amuthavalliyar, mother of Logamadevi had gifted 40 kasu to conduct a special worship named as "Avapala Anchanai" to Ekaviri, who was housed in a separate shrine in the southern part of the temple complex. During our study we were able to identify the sculpture of Ekaviri and her dilapidated shrine. The base of the porch of the shrine that was excavated with the help of the temple authorities exhibited dance panels of the later Chola period similar to those discovered by us at the thousand pillared mandapa of Srirangam temple.

Ten royal orders were issued in connection with the shrines at Valanchuli. Three of them belong to Rajaraja I. Though these orders resemble any other royal order mentioned in the texts, the steps taken by the oral version of the king to become a royal order and the time taken for the order to get executed are clearly represented. Each one of these versions has passed six stages to reach the final stage of execution. The time taken for the first two orders to reach the final stage was one year and 219 days and one year and 223 days respectively. The third order had taken only 86 days for execution.

An analytical study of the 114 inscriptions of this temple has provided the names of 313 Chola villages. A table was prepared by categorizing the names of villages as per their suffix elements.

Ur 102
Mangalam 35
Kudi 34
Nallur 25
Puram 6
Miscellaneous 111

Most of these villages are mentioned as the residential places of the donors or the witnesses. A small percentage of villages are mentioned as the place of the gifted lands. A few villages are mentioned with two names, suggesting their conversion from one status to the other due to royal interference. Most of the villages had smaller names consisting not more than 4 or 5 letters. The longest names are Thoranakkuri Ambalam and Panankanru Aiyayiravan.

Most of the lands were under joint holding especially in the Brahmin families. Both men and women had the right of possession. Usage such as, " ivan manaivi appa amma " suggest that the lands that were enjoyed by the husband became the property of the wife after his death.

Sale was effected either directly or through mediators. All the sales made by the Brahmin women folk were carried out by mediators. Husband, son-in-law, son, brother or father of the woman played the role of the mediator. When there was no male individual in the family a friend or locally known person became the mediator.

Vellai Vinayaka is still the celebrity of Valanchuli temple. The earliest inscription that mentions Vellai Vinayaka belongs to the 36th regnal year of Kulottunga III. There are fifty seven inscriptions that speak about the sales and the endowments made to this deity. Among them, 53 belong to the various regnal years of Rajaraja III and are found on the walls of the second enclosure and the third gopura. 34 out of this 57 mention sale of several pieces of land to the administrative body of the Vellai Vinayaka temple in a short period of 20 years. Not a single purchase is assigned with any reason or purpose. These sale deeds provide the market price of various types of lands that prevailed during the 13th century A.D. and furnish rich information on the family system and the procedures of sale.

The Brahmin families sold sizeable amount of land to the temple of Vellai Vinayaka through 18 sale deeds and earned a total amount of 3,63,350 anradu narkasu as the sale price. A single sale deed earned 1,32,200 kasu to the sellers through a sale of five pieces of land. The highest price paid by the temple to a piece of land was 50,000 kasu and the lowest was 1,200. The differences in the price of land are also noted. Half ma of land was sold at a price of 11, 000 kasu at Karunakaranallur whereas the same measure of land was sold for 5, 900 kasu at Korrankudi in the same period. 24 inscriptions record various gifts made by individuals and institutions towards offerings and worship.

Names of 19 temples in different villages are mentioned in the inscriptions. Among them Brahmisvaram, Visvesvaram, Ketarisvaram, Rajarajaisvaram, Rajarajan tali, Musukuntha vinnagar, Kan Nirainta Perumal temple, Rajagambira Vinayaka Pillaiyar temple and Thiruman Tankum Brahmananar Alakar temple are not traceable.

An early inscription of Rajendra I introduces him as, "Sivacharana Sekaran", which reminds, "Sivapada Sekaran" his father. An interesting information of planting Nanal to strengthen the bank of the rivers is recorded in an inscription of Rajendra I. List of various lamps with meticulous description and measures, jewels studded with precious stones, silver and copper vessels, tripod stands made out of copper and tara and a mirror include the other gifts showered on this temple by the royal personnel. The tripod stand is mentioned in the inscription as, "Sarikal".

To conclude I request the scholars to encourage the study of temples which help enormously to organise the history of Tamilnadu in its proper perspectives.

Thank you.
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இப்படைப்பு குறித்த தங்கள் கருத்துக்கள் வரவேற்கப்படுகின்றன. கீழுள்ள படிவத்தில் தமிழிலோ ஆங்கிலத்திலோ பின்னூட்டமிடலாம். தமிழில் பின்னூட்டமிட ஏதேனும் ஒரு தமிழ்ச் செயலி பின்னணி செயல்பாட்டில் இருக்க வேண்டும்.
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