Thiruttani and Velanjeri Copper Plates
Thiruttani and Velanjeri Copper Plates
A chance find of a bronze group of Vrshavahana, Devi and a bull, with a prabha, by playful School Children at the Village Velanjeri near Thiruttani, on 6-10-1977 led to the discovery of two important Copper Plate grants, one issued by the Pallava ruler Aparajita and another by Parantaka Chola I. A metal object resembling a nail was found in their school play ground by the school boys. Out of curiosity the boys uncovered a part of the earth and found to their surprise a metal image. With the help of their teacher they skillfully dug out the image and soon found another image and a bull lying there carefully burried. From the report of the teacher, it is seen that the images, were deliberately burried, possibly fearing some desecration or theft. The find of these bronze images attracted large crowds from the nearby villages and the story of the find appeared in the news-papers. Where upon, I deputed the Registering Officer of the Department to inspect the find and submit a report. During his investigation the villagers who discovered the find handed over the two historic copper plates which are now in the custody of the Tamil nadu Department of Archaeology.
Both the copper plates are intact and are fairly well preserved. One of the copper plates was issued by the Pallava ruler Aparajitavarman in his ninth year. The other one was issued by Parantaka Chola in the 25th year about 930 A.D. Both these plates, particularly the Pallava copper plate throws very valuable light on the political and religious history of Tamilnadu and is the most important discovery in recent years.
The Pallava copper plate mentions the gift of taxes to the Subrahmanya temple on the top of Thiruttani hill by the Pallava ruler Aparajitavarman who is portrayed as a great devotee of Lord Subrahmanya. For the first time, the history of the famous Subhramanya temple of Thiruttani is taken to a very remote antiquity. The present copper plates shows that the Subrahmanya temple was in existence even earlier than 900 A.D.
The Pallava copper plate is also important from another angle. Hitherto the place of Aparajita Pallava in the Pallava line was not known. For the past hundred years Scholars have been trying to assess his position and his relationship with other Pallava rulers and contemporaries. Aparajita was considered the son of Nandivarman and a step-brother of Kampavarman and so on.
All the surmises of scholars are proved wrong by the present discovery. The present Velanjeri copper plate mentions that Aparajita was the son of Pallava ruler Kampavarman through a Ganga Princess whose name is given as Vijaya. The copper plate also details the relationship between Kampavarman and Nrpatunga and also the battles won by Aparajita which are of vital interest to the history of the latter Pallavas. The present copper plate throws very valuable light and removes many confusions that have been prevalent with reference to the history of later Pallavas.
The Chola copper plate is also of great interest. It refers to the conquest of Kanchipuram and erection of imposing palaces there by Karikala Chola. It mentions the spider story about the birth of Koccengannan. For the first time, the name of Vijayalayachola's father is known as Orriyuran. About Parantaka, the donor, the copper plate states that he performed Tulabhara in the temples of Kanyakumari, Ramesvaram and Srirangam.
Both the copper plates were said to have been in a clay pot which has also been recovered. The plates and pot were willingly gifted to the Tamil Nadu State Department of Archaeology, by the villagers. The texts and translations of the copper plate charters and also a brief history of Thiruttani are published here.
The image of Siva standing on a pedestal is about 95 c.m. in height. The Devi also standing is about 93 c.m. and the Bull 40 c.m. All the three are placed on a badhrapitha of 15 c.m. in height. A prabha, somewhat broken, covering all the three images about 280 c.m. has also been found. The form of Siva seems to indicate an early date while that of the Devi and the bull seems to be some what later. They fit in with the pedestal. The images probably belong to a period between 950 and 980 A.D.
APARAJITA'S PLATE Among the two copper plate charters found at Velanjeri, Aparajita's plate is the earliest. The charter consists of five plates fastened to a seal. The charter has not suffered any damage, and is available in full.
The plates, five in number, are 27 cm. in length and 10 cm. in width; the ring is 16 cm. in diameter; the seal 9.5 cm. in diameter is countersunk to a debth of 1 cm. The plates are not numbered. The first and the last pages of the plates are not inscribed. The letters are deeply cut and fairly well written with few mistakes.
The seal The seal which is intact, carries the figure of a seated bull in the centre facing left. It is typical of the bulls found in other Pallava seals and stone sculptures. It is flanked by lamps on stands (Kuttu vilakku). Above the bull are shown ashtamangalas, (the eight auspices symbols), among which Kendi, Srivatsa, lamp and mirror are clearly visible. This is topped by an umbrella and fly whisks flanking the parasol. In the rim portion is an inscription in grantha characters reading- Svasti Sri - ntrasa siras sreni sri sikha sayi sasanam rajnah Pallava vamsendoh sri Aparajitavarmanah. Aparajitavarmanah The verse ends with the word Aparajitavarmanah i.e. of Aparajita varman. This word is repeated again as Aparajitavarmanah immediately below the seated bull. The repetition of this word is not only interestsing but also rare. It seems to indicate that the seal is that of Aparajita and that the same word in the verse relates to the royal sasana as a whole.
A point of interest is that the seal was embossed by a smith, whose name is given as Videlvidugu Perun-kannan. So far we have not come across in the Tamil country the name of the artist who embossed the royal seal. It shows that the kings had in their employment artisans to inscribe the order on the plates and separate artisans to emboss the seals.
The Grant The grant was issued by the Pallava ruler, Aparajita, in his ninth regnal year.
After giving the mythical genealogy of the Pallavas, the grant begins with Kampavarman. He seized the throne from Pallava Nrpatunga with glory. A certain Vijaya of matchless virtues and born of the Ganga family, was his queen. Aparajita was their son. Aparajita destroyed the elepants of the Bana ruler, captured Karanai,the Pandya city, and won a great battle against the Chola at Chirrarrur.
At the request of one Vamanayya, the king gifted the village Pudur, in Thiruttaniyal nadu, to the sabha of Melirunjeru as a devatana brahmadeya and stipulated that the village should pay one thousand kadi of paddy as Pancavara to Lord Subrahmanya who is pleased to stand on the hill. The record details the boundaries of the lands gifted, the tax exemptions and the privileges conferred on the village.
A certain Podini Mahadeva bhatta was the composer of this grant.
This silpin Vijayanna engraved the charter and a certain Videlvidugu Perunkannan embossed the seal.
Language The grant, like all other Pallava grants of the seventh and eighth century A.D. is bilingual, written in Sanskrit and Tamil.
The Sanskrit portion is in poetry and prose. The poetic version describe the explooits of Kampavarman, and Aparajita and extols the greatness of Vijaya, the mother of Aparajita.
The prose part closely follows the style of the age, as reflected in Bana's 'Kadambari', 'Harsha Carita' and also the prose portion of the Kuram plates of Paramesvara varman. It contains a long drawn out passage and is written with an eye on word play. It is a beautiful composition, essentially musical. Mahadeva the composer, was certainly an eminent poet, who inherited his father's poetic talent. His father Srikumara is praised as a composer of mahakavyas. The drafting of the Tamil portion is equally good and free from mistakes.
Aparajita's devotion Aparajita Pallava, with great devotion to Subrahmanya on the hill of Thiruttani, gifted the village as a devatana brahmadeya,(a Brahmin settlement attached to the temple) by pouring water from a golden pitcher. The village Thiruttani is refered to as an agrahara and Meliruncru as a Mahagrahara. The gifted village, Pudur was clubbed with Melirunceru and the village sabha was directed to pay 1000 kadi of paddy to Lord Subrahmanya on the hill. In the Sanskrit portion the Lord is mentioned as Shanmukha, the son of Mahesvara, (Mahesvara Sunave Shanmukhaya) and in the Tamil portion as, Subrahmanya who is pleased to stand on Thiruttani hill (Thirumalayil nindrarulina) and also as Subrahmanya the Lord of Thiruttani hill (Thirumalai Piranar).
This charter shows Aparajita's special attachment to Tiruttani. It is well known that the Virattana temple at this village was built in his reign by one Nambi Appi and that the king himself composed a poem in its honour. That Aparajita was a great devotee of Subrahmanya is gleaned for the first time from this record.
A stone sculpture of Subrahmanya, of the Pallava age (ninth century A.D.) is now worshipped as Balasubrahmanya in the Tiruttani temple. It is housed in the prakara of the main shrine. The present main deity inside the sanctum seems to be an installation of the 16th century in the Vijayanagar period, when the main temple seems to have(3) been rebuilt. The Pallava image of Subrahmanya is obviously the deity that received the benefaction of Aparajita. The existence of the Subrahmanya temple in Tiruttani hill, in the reign of Aparajita takes the history of the temple earlier than was hitherto known.
The copper plate is very important from the point of view of political history. In the history of the later Pallavas, the relationship among Aparajita, Nrpatunga and Kampavarma was a mystery.
That Kampavarman and Nrpatunga were brothers was recognised by scholars earlier.(4) Bahur(5) and Chirrur(6) plates mention Nrpatunga as the son of Nandi, through Sankha, the Rashtrakuta princess. The Cholapuram record refers to Nandi Kampa,(7) meaning Kampa the son of Nandi. But how were they related to Aparajita? In the absence of records many suppositions were made. K.A.N. Sastri(8) and T.V. Mahalingam(9) considered Aparajita as another son of Nandi and a brother of Nrpatunga. Mahalingam went to the extent of suggesting that Aparajita was the son of Nandi through Mkarambavai.(10) But now this copper plate charter sets at rest all speculations about their relationship. It specifically mentions Aparajita as the son of Kampavarman, through Vijaya, a Ganga princess,Umeva Rudrasya Rameva Vishnor Visuddha Ganganvaya Janma manya I Gunonurupa Vijayabhidhana Patnis Sapatni Vijaya sriyaibhut II Bahumukha subhagas tatota tasyam Prathama mabhut Aparajitah Sa Saktih
This passage further shows that Kampa and Aparajita had the able support of the Ganga chieftains. Further, this plate states that Kampavarman captured the Pallava throne forcibly from Nrpatunga.
Yo Vijitya Nrpatungam Ahave Pallavam Prabala Vallabhanvitam Svicakara Vasudham Saha Sriya Sagarormi Valayaika mekhalam.
Another point of great interest furnished by this plates is the conquests of Aparajita. Aparajita conquered the Bana, captured Karanai the city of the Pandya and defeated the Chola at Chirrarrur.
This new information furnished by this grant necessitates a re-evalution of the political condition of the period.
The Brother's fight
The fight between the Pallava brothers, Kampavarman and Nrpatunga, needs explanation. It is obvious that Nrpatunga was installed on the throne by his father Nandi III. Scholars have missed a point of considerable interesst mentioned in the Bahur plates of Nrpatunga. The Bahur plates were issued by Nrpatunga in his eighth regnal year. Referring to Nrpatunga, it states that he was still a boy. The relevant portion of the record reads:-
Nrpatunga iti khyato Balopi Bhuvanesvarah
From this it is clear, that Nrpatunga was a boy in his eighth regnal year. He should still have been in his teens.
The Chirrur copper plate(12) of the same ruler, was granted two years earlier, in his sixth year. We have reason to believe that by that time Aparajita also had assumed importance.(13) It suggests that Kampavarman, father of Aparajita, should have been elder to Nrpatunga.
While Kampavarman the elder was alive, the younger, Nrpatunga, though a boy, ascended the throne. This obviously led to enmity between the brothers. Nrpatunga should have been chosen by Nandi II in preference to Kampa, probably because of Rashtrakuta influence. Nrpatunga's mother, Sankha was a Rashtrakuta princess.
It is not known whether Nrpatunga ascended the throne even when Nandi was alive or after his demise. Probably during his last years, Nandi installed Nrpatunga. Kampavarman, immediately after the demise of his father, should have struck the blow and dislodged his brother. Though Kampa removed his brother from the throne, he treated him with considerable moderation and even allowed him to issue charters. He also installed his son Aparajita very early as his co-regent, as Aparajita was known for his valour.
The power alignment during this period also needs consideration. The Banas were clearly on the side of Narpatunga. Bana Paranjaya, who had the title Kadupatti Muttariyan,(14) requested Nrpatunga to grant the Chirrur plates. Aparajita defeated a Bana ruler who was in all probability this Paranjaya, kadupatti Muttaraiya.
A Pandya, said to have been a grandson of the Bana through a daughter, was also defeated by Aparajita. Pandya Varaguna received help from Nrpatunga.(15) It is not known who the mother of Varaguna was. If Varaguna was the adversary of Aparajita, in all probability he was, we get here the information that he was the son of this Bana's daughter. This Bana also had the title Kadupatti Muttarasar. So the fact that the Muttarasar were closely related to Pandya Varaguna is also thus attested. That may also attest to the presence of Varaguna at Sendalai.
The third adversary of Aprajita was a Chola defeated at Chirrarrur. In all probability the Chola adversary was Aditya.(16) We know that subsquently Aditya killed Aparajita in the battle. This shows that Varaguna, Aditya, Bana and Muttarasa were on the side of Nrpatunga while Aparajita and Kampa, were aided by the Ganga ruler Prithivipati on the other. It was mentioned earlier that Aparajita's mother was a Ganga princess. That Aparajita was aided in the Sripurambiyam battle by Ganga Prithivipati is well known(17) Prithvipati obtained victory for his over lord Aparajita, but lost his life in that battle.
It would be interesting to note the various dates of accession of the kings suggested by scholars*. (* K. A. N. stands for K. A. Nilakanta Sastri, T. V. M. for T. V. Mahalingam S.R.B. for S. R. Balasubramaniam and T.N.S. for T. N. Subramaniam)
K.A.N. T.V.M.S.R.B. T.N.S. Nrpatunga859 to 99 869-910855 - Aparajita885 - 903 895-913878 - Kampavarman870 - 912878 - Aditya871 871871 870
Aditya's conquest of Tondaimandalam is attested by his inscriptions found in Tirukkalukunram,(18) and Takkolam.(19) His 21st year inscription seems to be the earliest in Tondainadu. If this is taken as the basis, it would then mean that Aparajita had lost his life by 890. (the 20th year of Aditya). Aparajita's inscriptions are found upto his 18th year(20). So he should have ascended the throne about 870. Kampavarman came to the throne a few years earlier, circa 868 and Nrpatunga, two are three years earlier. Nrpatunga's accession can be placed about 865. On the basis of the above calculations the following would be our revised chronology.
Nrpatunga 865 to 906 A.D. Kampavarman 868 - 900 A.D. Aparajita 870 - 890 A.D.
Prof. Sastri, and S. R. Balasubramaniam agree to 890 as the last year of Aparajita. This tallies with our findings. T.V. Mahalingam's date of 913 for both Aparajita and Aditya seems to us to be unconvincing(21).
From this chronology and power alignment a few points of interest emerge. From 890 to 903 Nrpatunga's inscriptions are not found. Kampavarman probably accepted the suzerainty of Aditya and ruled upto 900.
The role of Chieftains
The role of chieftains during this period requires carefull study. Banas, Gangas, Muttaraiyars, Irukkuvels, Viluppariyars, Tamil Peraraiyar, Pallavaraiyar etc. are found during this period. It is noteworthy that a number of chieftains bore the title Videlvidugu. We have the following Chieftains with this title.
1. Videlvidugu Muttaraiyan.(22) 2. Videlvidugu Kadupatti Tamil Peraraiyan(23) 3. Videlvidugu Vilupperadiyarayan(24) 4. Videlvidugu Ilangovelar.(25).
All these chieftains lived in the middle and later half of the ninth century. Vedilvidugu is a significant title of Dantivarman.
Videlvidugu Kadupatti Tamil Peraraiyan
A Kadupatti Tamil Peraraiyan is mentioned as the Ajnapti of the Chirrur grant of Nrpatunga.(26) He was also called Dramidadhiraja and very abode of dharma. He again figures as the Ajnapti in the eighth year of Nrpatunga in the Bahur plates.(27) In this charter he is given his full title as Videlvidugu Kadupatti Tamil Peraraiyan. The Sanskrit portion calls him Uttamasila. Highly learned and a minister to Nrpatunga. He was held in high esteem by rulers.
Ajnaptih Uttamasilah Trailokyesvara Pujitah Mantri Brahaspati Prakhyah Rajno Sri Tungavarmanah
While one charter mentions him as Kadupatti Tamil Peraraiyan, another calls him Videlvidugu Kadupatti Tamil Peraraiyan. It is likely that he distinguished himself in the closing years of Danti and received the title Videlvidugu. The Kadupatti Tamil Peraraiyan was the executor of the grant of Vijaya Nandi Vikramavarman recorded in Thiruvallam.
Videlvidugu Kadupatti Muttaraiyan
The Vijnapti of the Chirrur plates(28) issued in the sixth year of Nrpatunga was Muttaraiyan, who also had the title Paranjaya. He was a Bana and is called a descendent of Balikula. He is also called Agatrayesa and Saila trayendra.* (* [These are names of the Trikuta mountain, considered to the the highest peak of the Himalayas. Rulers of eminence assumed the title Trikutachalapati to mark their valour. The Cholas a little later assumed the little "Mummudi" which in all probability refers to Trikuta.
The cave temple at Malaiyadipatti, in Pudukkottai district, was excavated by one Kuvavan Sattan alias Videlvidugu Muttaraiyan in the 16th year of Dantivarman.(29) It is not known whether this Videlvidugu Muttaraiyan is identical with Kadupatti Muttaraiyan.
A Kadupatti Muttariya figures in an inscription of Dantivarman (the date is lost) from Pallipalayam village in Kanchipuram taluk.(30) He appears as a Vijnapti. This would suggest that Videlvidugu Muttaraiyan was identical with Kadupatti Muttaraiyan. Kadupatti Muttaraiya raided Koyattur in the reign of Bana Vijayaditta Virachulamani Prabhumeru as mentioned in the Punganur record.(31) This Bana Vijayaditta Prabhumeru, was a contemporary(32) of Nrpatunga and it is evident that this Kadupatti Muttaraiyan is identical with the Kadupatti Muttaraiya mentioned in the Chirrur plates as Vijnapti.
Dr. Ramesan has identified Paranjaya, the Vijnapti of Chirrur plates with Vikramaditya Jayameru Bana Vidyadhara.(33) Since Paranjaya and Vikramaditya were Banas, Ramesan ventured to suggest the identification. The identification is not correct since we have seen, the Paranjaya was Kadupatti Muttaraiya and that he invaded Koyattur under Bana Vidhyadhara. So Bana Paranjaya and Vikramaditya Jayameru Bana Vidhyadhara are two different persons. Vijayaditta, Vikramaditta and others called themselves Mavalivanadhiraya. They probably belonged to a colateral branch of the Bana family. The other Bana family took the title Mutarasa. Kadupatti Muttarasa was active from the 16th year of Dantivarman to that of Nrpatunga, for over sixty years from 810 to 870.
Kaduvetti Muttaraiya's son Arikanta Perumal, is mentioned in the 15th year of Nrpatunga in an inscription of Thiruvalangadu(34). Arikanta continued to hold power and influence upto the 24th year of Nrpatunga(35). In this record he is mentioned as the son of Kadupatti Muttaraiya. In all probability Kadupatti Muttaraiya passed away before the 15th year of Nrpatunga.
The Kodumbalur chiefs also seem to have been under the spell of the Pallavas in the eighth and ninth centuries before they turned hostile. To begin our study of Ilangovel, it is good of take up Videlvidugu Ilangovel mentioned in an inscription of Kampavarman. The inscription is dated between the 11th and 16th year(36) (884). The inscription comes from Thiruvorriyur, and states that Pudi Arindigai was queen of Videl vidugu Ilangovelar of Kodumbalur in Konadu. The damaged portion of the record beginning with the word 'Mut' could be reconstructed as 'Muttaraiyar' in which case the princess was a daughter of Muttaraiya.
As mentioned earlier, the tittle Videlvidugu, assumed prominence in the reign of Dantivarman. Probably this Ilangovelar served under Dantivarman towards the close of his reign and continued to serve upto Kampavarman's 15th year.
The alliance between the Muttaraiyar and Irukkuvel families is attested by another inscription of the same period. In the sixth year of a Parakesarivarman(37) a Varagunanatti Peruman, a daughter of Muttaraiya chief is mentioned as the wife of Sembiyan Irukkuvel.
The identification of Videlvidugu Ilangovel has posed considerarable problems to scholars. Videlvidugu Ilangovel has been identified by a scholar with Videlvidugu Muttaraiyan of the Malaiyadipatti inscription(38) This is quite off the mark and S. R. Balasubramanian is right in rejecting the suggestion.
It is seen that Videlvidugu Ilangovelan is active about the third quarter of the ninth century. We have an Ilangovelan of Kodumbalur active in the same period, with the name Tennavan Ilangovelan alias Maravan(39) Pudi. This Tennavan Ilangovelan is also identified with Parantaka Ilangovelan.
This problem is closely connected with the dating of the famous Kodumbalur temple and has been ably discussed in detail by S. R. Balasubramanian in his book on Middle Chola temples. It is therefore necessary to discuss this is detail. According to the Muvarkoil inscription(40), the builder of the temple was one Bhuti who also conquered one Virapandya. Bhuti had two queens, Karrali and Varaguna. He built the Vimanatraya (Muvarkoil) in his own name and in the name of his two queens. He had two sons, Parantaka and Aditya. These are the important points gleaned from the inscriptions.
S. R. Balasubrahmanian holds the following views.
1. Tennavan Ilangovel alias Pudi is different from Pudi Vikramakesari the builder of Kodumbalur temple. 2. Tennavan Ilangovelan alias Maravan Pudi was a contemporary of Nandi III and contemporary of Aditya I. 3. He had a wife Karrali Piratti. 4. He had another queen Nakkan Vikramakesari. 5. He had a daughter named Pudi Aditta Pidari. 6. There was another chieftain Parantaka Ilangovelan. 7. He had a wife Varaguna, a sister of Aditya I. 8. Balasubramanian does not agree with the view that Tennavan Ilangovel is identical with Parantaka Illangovel. 9. He agrees that there was a Parantaka, son of Pudi called Pudi Parantakan. 10. He holds Pudisvaram is different from Muvarkoil. 11. He states that Pudi had two sons Parantaka and Aditya and that we know nothing about them. 12. He also discusses in detail Vira Pandya, an adversary of Bhuti.
The two Ilangovels
There are two Chieftains with the title Ilangovel; one Tennavan Ilangovel and another Parantaka Ilangovel. Some scholars hold the view that they are identical and others(41) hold that they are two different persons. It is necessary to examine this point.
Tennavan Ilangovel alias Maravan Puti (i.e. Puti son of Maravan), appears in inscriptions from the 16th year of Nandi, 855 A.D.(42) (Throughout the rule of Aditya I) to third year of Parantaka 910 A.D.(43) In all these inscriptions his title occurs as Tennavan Ilangovelan without any change.
There are two inscriptions dated in the 13th year of one Rajakesari(44) which mention Parantaka Ilangovelan; his surname is not known. If this Rajakesari is Aditya I, we have two Ilangovels, one, is Tennavan Ilangovel and another one is Parantaka Ilangovel. (We have shown the title Tennavan Ilangovel appearing for Maravan Puti till the 3rd year of Parantaka, without any change). If this Rajakesari is identified with Arinjaya II as held by K.A.N. (and S.R. Balasubramanian in his first book) then Parantaka Ilangovel is different from Tennevan Ilangovel. In both the account, it is clear that Tennavan Ilangovel is different from Parantaka Ilangovel as rightly held by S.R. Balasubramanian.(45)
The active period of Tennavan Ilangovel who also had the surname Puti was from 855 to 910. The date of Parantaka Ilangovel is disputed. The only reason adduced by S.R. Balasubramanian is Paleography. He holds the Lalgudi inscriptions has pulli and paleographically early and assigns it to Aditya I. On this count he holds the Lalgudi temple was built in the 27th year of Aditya and other inscriptions found on the temple were later copies. Paleography is not a safe guide, when the time gap is only 15 years (13th year of Aditya to 27th year of Aditya). If the 13th year epigraph of Rajakesari is that of Aditya I, then the view that the same temple was built around the 27th year is difficult to susstain. Aditya, Varaguna, Nandi III and Nrpatunga were all contemporaries and it is not surprising that their epigraphs have close resemblance.
So it is not wrong to hold that the 13th year at Lalgudi and Tillaisthanam, belong to the reign of Arinjaya as held by K.A.N. and S.R.B. (in his earlier work). So Parantaka Ilangovel is a later chieftain who lived in 960 A.D. but his surname is not known, while the name of Tennavan Ilangovel is Puti. There is a Puti in the reign of Aditya I and no Puti in the reign of Sundarachola.
The names Karrali and Varaguna as the wives of Puti are found in the reign of Aditya I. There is no Karrali in the reign of Sundarachola. A certain Varaguna appears as the wife, not of Puti, but as the wife of Parantaka Ilangovel. Puti appears in the early years of Parantaka Chola I, and in the same year, appears Puti Parantaka, son of Puti also. It is indisputable that this Puti Parantaka who had the title Sembiyan Irukkuvel, is the son of Puti alias Tennavan Ilangovel, a contemporary of Aditya I and Parantaka I.
There are three Varaguna's mentioned in inscriptions. 1. Varaguna the wife of Tennavan Ilangovel (in the reign of Aditya I and Parantaka I). 2. Varaguna, wife of Puti's son Parantaka alias Sembiyan Irukkuvel in the reign of Parantaka Chola I.(48) She was the daughter of a Muttaraiya and 3. Varaguna the wife of Parantaka Ilangovel in the reign of Arinjaya; she was the daughter of Arinjaya Chola.(49)
The date of Kodumbalur temple
Three names mentioned in the Kodumbalur inscriptions namely Puti, his wife Karrali and their son Puti Parantaka appear in the reign of Aditya I and early years of Parantaka I, whereas the name of Varaguna alone appears in the reign of Sundarachola. It is therefore logical to hold that Tennavan Ilangovelan alias Puti (Son of Maravan) is identical with Puti the builder of the Kodumbalur temple and that he lived in the reign of Aditya I and early years of Parantaka I. The Kodumbalur temple should be assigned to the period of Circa 890 A.D. and not to 960 A.D. as held by S. R. Balasubramanian.(46)
In Nartamalai, we have an inscription dated in the reign of Nrpatunga, which refers to Videlvidugu Ilangovelan and his son Sattan Paliyili (who excavated the cave shrine to Siva).(47) Evidently the surname of Videlvidugu Ilangovelan was Sattan, while that of Tennavan Ilangovelan was Puti. It is evident that Videlvidugu Ilangovelan is different from, but an elder contemporary of, Tennavan Ilangovel the builder of the Kodumbalur temple.
The problem of Virapandya
One more point that needs elucidation is Puti's adversary Virapandya. Sri S. R. Balasubramanian has discussed this problem, quite vigourously. He says that 'Vira Pandya, the enemy of Puti, was the one who took the head of Chola and that he came to the throne in 946 A.D. He was killed by Aditya II in the reign of Sundarachola and so the Kodumbalur temple should be assigned to the reign of Sundarachola I, later half of 10th Century.'(50) First of all the Kodumbalur inscription does not refer to Virapandya as "one who took the head of Chola". No title of Virapandya is mentioned.
"Yo Virah Virapandyam Vyajayata Samare"
Even if we take Vira Pandya of Kodumbalur record as identical with the one "who took the head of the Chola" it has not been established he was identical with the one "who was killed by Aditya II". A Virapandya, appears as a contemporary of Pandya Rajasimha II as early as 920 A.D. It has been shown on an analysis of inscriptions at Pallimadam, Thiruppattur, Ambasamudram, Kuttalam etc., that a Virapandya lived in the closing years of ninth Century and early years of 10th Century A.D.(51)
The Kodumbalur inscription of Bhuti, the builder of the Muvarkoil, refers to the victories gained by the chieftain. It states that "the water of Kaveri was turned red with the blood of the Pallava forces and this warrior defeated Vira Pandya in battle and became death to Vanji Vel".(52)
Kaveri vari Sonam samakrta rudiraih Pallavasya dhvajinyah Yo Viro Vira Pandyam Vyajayata Samare labdanyanama nrpah
Commenting on this Prof. K.A.N. Sastri says "One wonders, however, if by the expression Pallavasya dhvaijinayah, the composer of the incription means "Vallabhasya dhvajinyah" which would be an allusion to the conquest of Chola country by the Rashtrakuta Krishna III, which occurred towards the close of the reign of Parantaka".
It should be studied in the light of Sinnamanur, larger copper plate charter of Pandya Rajasimha,(53) and also a herostone recently found at Karur by the Tamilnadu State Department of Archaeology. The later refers to a soldier, under Vanjivel who lost his life in a battle. The Paleography of the epigraph suggests the same period as that of the Kodumbalur inscription. The place Karur, where the herostone has been found was called Vanji in both ancient inscriptions and literature.
The Sinnamanur Copper plates, mentions a number of conquests of Pandya Rajasimha.
1. He conquered his enemies at Ulappinimangalam. 2. The King of Tanjore was defeated at Naippur. 3. The great army was routed at Kodumbalur. 4. The soldiers were destroyed and the fortified city of Vanji on the northern banks of river kaveri was consigned to flames, and 5. The King of southern Tanjore defeated.
Rajasimha II ascended the throne around 900 A.D. His contemporary Chola rulers were Aditya I and Parantaka I. This charter was issued in his 16th year. So victory over the ruler of Tanjore I (Chola) and Kodumbalur, should be placed before 915 A.D. The Chola, who was defeated at Naippur was either Aditya I or Parantaka I. Similarly the encounter with the Kodumbalur Chief should have taken place in the first decade of the 10th century A.D.
The only reference to the fight of the early Pandyas with a Kodumbalur Chieftain occurs in this plate and that it has taken place around 910 A.D. Correspondingly we have a reference in the Kodumbalur inscription of Bhuti, of a conquest over ViraPandya. We have seen Bhuti lived in the later half of 9th and early 10th Century A.D. We have a Vira Pandya with Rajasimha. This Vira Pandya should have taken part in the battles fought by Rajasimha and obviously the adversary of Bhuti was this Virapandya.
We have seen that Rajasimha boasts of a victory over the ruler of Tanjore at Naippur who could be none other than the Chola. That Vira Pandya participated in the expenditions of Rajasimha was also mentioned earlier. This Virapandya assumed the title 'Cholantaka' and 'Cholan talaikonda' and this should be after the Naippur battle.
The fight of Kodumbalur Bhuti with Vanjivel should have taken place prior to his encounter with Vira Pandya. Karur was under the control of Pallavas and that Vanjivel was in all probability a Pallava feudatory. Bhuti's boasts of turning the water of Kaveri red with the blood of Pallava army, might have taken place in this region. The herostone recently found at Karur refering to the death of a soldier of Vanjivel, might refer to this encounter.
K. A. N. Sastri's suggestion that the term Pallavasya dhvajinyah probably stood for Vallabhasya dhvajinyah arise from his stand that Bhuti lived in the middle of 10th century and that there was no Pallava then. But we have shown that Bhuti lived in the last quarter of the 9th and early 10th century A.D. when the Pallavas were still a power to reckon with. So the word Pallvasya Dhvajinyah occuring in the inscription is quite correct and needs no change.
From the above we conclude that (1) Tennavan Ilangovel alias Pudi, son of Maravan, who appears in the reign of Pallava Nandi, and Cholas Aditya and Parantaka I is identical with Bhuti Vikramakesari, the builder of the Muvarkoil, of Kodumbalur, and that the same was built in the closing years of ninth century A.D. (2) The temple built by this Puti is the temple Pudisvaram, mentioned in many of Parantaka's inscriptions. It is the wellknown custom that the temples built by a person is named after him. (3) The name Rishabha Perumanadigal of Thiruppudisvaram occuring in an inscription refers to the Nandi (Rshabha) of the Pudisvaram and not to the main deity of the temple.
Though the Kodumbalur inscription refers to the construction of the temple, its exact date is not known. But the earliest reference to Pudisvaram occurs in the 21st year of Aditya.(54) So it should have been built around 890.
Whatever the case may be, it is clear that the Kodumbalur Velirs, who were on the side of the Pallavas till the middle of the ninth century, are seen slowly shifting their allegiance to the newly emerging power of the Cholas. Yet the Pallava impact on the Kodumbalur Velir is profound and cannot be ignored in writing the art history of the period.
Videlvidugu Vilupperadi araiyan
Videlvidugu Vilupperadi araiyan, figures in an inscription of the Satyagirisvara temple, Thirumeyyam.(55) His mother Perumbidugu Perumdevi is said to have renovated the temple.
Interestingly, the smith who embossed the royal seal of Velanjeri plates of Aparajita was Videlvidugu Perunkannan. Probably he served the Pallava rulers from the closing years of Dantivarman.
The rise and fall of Aparajita
We have seen that the Kodumbalur Velir Chieftains, the Muttaraiya, Tamil Peraraiyans, and also the Pandya Varaguna joined hand with the Cholas and probably with Nrpatunga and presented a formidable opposition to Kampavarman and his son Aparajita. The Ganga ruler Prithvipati was the sole supporter of Aparajita. Obviously the battle fought at sripurambiyam should have been a terrible one. That the Pallava emerged victorious speaks to his power and valour. But this was short lived. Aditya soon gaining his power struck the final blow and Aparajita lost his life.
Course of Events
The course of events could be reconstructed as follows:-
Nandi III chose Nrpatunga the younger, in preference to Kampa the elder, on account of Rashtrakuta influence. Nrpatunga had Bana Paranjaya alias Kadupatti Muttarayan also on his side. The Pandya ruler Varguna who was a son through a Bana Princess, Naturally, received the help of Nrpatunga. Varaguna's father Sri Mara Sri Vallabha had already extended his power upto Kumbakonam. That explains the presence of Varaguna II in the Chola heart land from the very beginning of his rule. In the meanwhile, Kampavarman overthrew Nrpatunga, by about 868 A.D. Varaguna, with a view to aid his ally did some fighting and extended his power as far north as Pennar. Though Kampa was able to overthrow Nrpatunga from his Kanchi throne, he was losing on the borders, and chose his son Aparajita as heir apparent, to help him. Apparajita had a joint rule with his father Kampavarman throughout his life. Aparajita fought bravely against formidable combination of enemies. The Velanjeri plates dated in his ninth regnal year refers to his fight against a Bana, a Pandya at Karanai, and a Chola at Chirrarrur. All these fights should be placed between the years 870 and 880. This plate however does not mention the battle of Sripurambiyam, where Aparajita won a signal victory (though he lost his trusted friend Ganga Prithvipathi). The battle of Sripurambiyam should have taken place after the ninth year (880 A.D.) of Aparajita as it does not figure in this plate.
The Sripurambiyam battle though gave a great victory to Aparajita, removed his powerful friend Prithvipathi from the scene and this ultimately led to his defeat and death around 890 A.D. The battle field where Aditya and Aparajita met and Aparajita lost his life is not known. It is likely their encounter took place in the Chola country not far away from Kumbakonam. Aditya should have pressed his advantage further and brought the entire Tondainadu under his control. The title "Tondainadu Pavina" should be assigned to Aditya. After the death of Aparajita, Kampavarman should have accepted the suzerainty of Aditya and was allowed to issue his charters and lived upto his 32nd regnal year, circa 900 A.D.
Nrpatunga's inscription is not found from his 25th year to his 41st year. Probably after the death of Aprajita, Nrpatunga was also driven out an account of his Rashtrakuta alliance. Though Aditya contacted Rashtrakuta alliance and had a son Kannara deva through his Rashtrakuta spouse, his other son Parantaka had asserted himself by 890 and as such, the Rashtrakuta alliance was overthrown. It led to the disappearance of Nrpatunga from the scene for sometime. He reappeared in the Thiruttani region in his 41st year, about 906 A.D. that is the year when Parantaka ascended the throne. Parantaka quickly put an end to Nrpatunga around that year.
There is one point that needs consideration. When a ruler conquerred a territory, it was customary to confer it back on the vanguished ruler or one of his family members after levying a tribute. In this instance the records of the region may be dated either in the regnal year of the overlord or the vanquished ruler. This causes no doubt confusion in reconstructing history but that seems to havae been the ancient law. This also would explain the presence of inscriptions of both the Pallava and Chola rulers of the same period in the same region. The presence of the inscriptions of both Aditya and Kampavarman simultaneously in the same region can be reconciled only by this way. If that be so who was the Pallava appointed by Parantaka after his conquest of Tondaimandalam region? This needs further study and future discoveries alone will throw light on this subject. Another point which is not possible of any solution at present, is the rule of Pallava Nandi, the victor of Tellaru.
Pallava Chola Transition
Some of the important temples in Tanjore-Pudukkottai region are Thirumeyyam, Kudumiyamalai, Malayadipatti, Kunnandar Koil etc. In Thirumeyyam an early inscription is that of a Pallava feudatory Videlvidugu Vilupperadiarasan also known as Sattan Maran. In Kudimiyamalai, an inscription of Aditya, dated in 20th year (890 A.D.) mentions Perumbidugu Muttarayar's wife Nangai making gifts. The connection of this Perumbidugu Muttarasa with the Pallavas is obvious from the title. In Kunnandar Koil we have an inscription of Pallava Nandi. The Malayadipatti cave temple was excavated by Videlvidugu Muttaraiyan in the reign of Pallava Dantivarman. The Muttaraiyars mentioned in Sendalai Pillar were feudatories of the Pallavas is also known. It is clear that in all these important places in Tanjore-Pudukkottai, the Pallava power and impact were very much effective in the 9th cent. A.D. It has been shown that these Muttaraiya chieftains were active both in the Kanchipuram and Tanjore-Pudukkottai regions. It would show that the Pallava art of the Tondaimandalam region, very much influenced the Muttaraiya foundations. Also the Irrukkuvel-Ilangovel family were the feudatories under the Pallavas, active in Thiruvorriyur region and Pudukkottai regions as seen by the presence of Videlvidugu Ilangovelan. Naturally the impact of the Pallava art was felt at the Irukkuvel court as well. Till the rise of Aditya in the Tanjore region, the area was under the control of the Pallavas and the art form that flourished there was essentially the Pallava school, of the late 9th cent. A.D. from which the art of the region flowered. The temples built by the chieftains bear late Pallava mark. It is in this context, that the resemblance between the Thiruttani, Takkolam and other decidedly later Pallava temples of the age of Aparajita and the early Aditya temples should be viewed. They certainly represent a transitional phase. The present Aparajita's copper plate charter not only removes the confusion in the latter Pallava history but also in the transitional art.
1. Velanjeri Plates: R. Nagaswamy, The Hindu Dated 11-12-1977. 2. S. I. I. XII No. 95. 3. Vijayanagara inscription at Thiruttani, newly copied by the Tamilnad State Archaeology Department. 4. E. I. VII P. 196; also T. V. Mahalingam, Kanchipuram in Early South Indian History, p. 221. 5. E. I. XVIII, P. 5-15; T. N. Subramaniam, Thirty Pallava Copper Plates (Tamil) 1968 pp. 263-276, 6. Dr. N. Ramesan, "Studies in Mediaeval Deccan History", p. 71. 7. E. I. VII, P. 196. 8. K. A. Nilakanta Sastri, History of South India, p. 160. 9. T. V. Mahalingam, Kanchipuram in Early South Indian History, p. 211 10. Ibid. 11. Epi. Indica XVIII. . 5 to 15. 12. Dr. N. Ramesan, Studies in Mediaeval Deccan History, p. 2 to 76. 13. Dr. R. Nagaswamy, Studies in Ancient Tamil Law and Society, p. 36. 14. Dr. R. Ramesan, Studies in Mediaeval Deccan History, p. 73. 15. Epi. Indica XVIII, p. 5-15. 16. Chola adversary Aparajita - Note. 17. Udayendram plates of Hastimalla, S.I.I. vol. II, No.76. 18. 167 of 1894; EI, III, p. 277 ff. 19. S.I.I. Vol. V. No. 368; E. I. XIX p. 85. 20. S.I.I. XII No. 95. 21. T. V. Mahalingam - Kanchipuram in Early South Indian History-p. 214-220. 22. I.P.S. No. 17. 23. T. N. Subrahmaniam, Thirty Pallava copper plates. 24. Pudukottai Inscription, No. 13. 25. S.I.I. XII No. 103. 26. Dr. N. Ramesan, Studies in Mediaeval Deccan History, p. 25. 27. Epi. Indica XVIII, p. 11. 28. Dr. N. Ramesan, Studies in Mediaeval Deccan History, p. 25. 29. I.P.S. No. 17. 30. S.I.I. XII No. 44. 31. Dr. N. Ramesan, Ibid, p. 29. 32. Dr. N. Ramesan, Ibid-p. 29. 33. Dr. N. Ramesan, Ibid, p. 29. 34. S.I.I. XII No. 66. 35. S.I.I. XII No. 75. 36. S.I.I. XII No. 103. 37. I.P.S. No. 45, S.I.I. Vol. XIX, No. 155. 38. I.P.S. No. 17. 39. S.I.I.XII No. 560. 40. I.P.S. No. 14. 41. S. R. Balasubramaniam, Mediaeval Chola temples, p. 108 to 130. 42. Epigraphia India XXXII No. 10. 43. S.I.I. VII, No. 568 ARE. 258 1908; S.I.I. VIII, No. 208. 44. S.I.I. XIII, No. 240 III 113. 45. S. R. Balasubramaniam, Early Chola temples, p. 131. 46. S. R. Balasubramaniam, Early Chola temples, p. 130. 47. S.I.I. XII No. 63. 48. Kudimiyamalai Record of Sembiyan Irukkuvel, S.I.I. vol. XIX, No. 155. 49. S.I.I. XIII No. 240 and 113 S.I.I. III. 50. S. R. Balasubramaniam, Early Chola temples, p. 124. 51. Dr. R. Nagaswamy, Pallava Pandya Art Links-South Indian Studies pages 162-165. 52. K. A. Nilakanta Sastri, Journal of Oriental Research, p.1-10. 53. Sinnamanur Copper plates, S.I.I. Vol. III, part IV, No. 206. 54. I.P.S. No. 33. 55. I.P.S. No. 13.
VELANCHERI PLATES OF PARANTAKA CHOLA I
Parantaka's charter, consists of five plates fastened to a ring and seal. The plates measure 22 cm. in length, 6.5 c.m. in breadth and 3 m.m. in thickness. The charter is engraved on both the sides of all the copper plates. The ring and seal are intact. The lertters are fairly well preserved.
The seal, fairly well preserved and measuring 7.5 c.m. in diameter is fastened to a ring 15.0 c.m. in diameter. On the face of the seal is found the chola emblem, viz. two fish and a seated tiger placed on a bow flanked by two lamp stands and topped by a parasol and two chauris. Running around the emblem is an inscription in grantha characters recording that it is a charter of Parakesarivarman. The inscription is fully preserved. The emblem and the letters are embossed from a mould and are not chisselled. The inscription on the seal reads:-
Svasti Sri Srimat chandra nyuteneva Chola vamsa sikhamaneh Sasanam Chola bhubartuh Parakesarivarmanah.
The grant is in two parts, the first part is in Sanskrit, written in grantha characters and the second part is in Tamil, in Tamil characters. Both the parts refer to the gift of villages made by Parantaka chola, the Sanskrit part being brief and the Tamil part giving detailed descriptions of the lands, taxes exempted etc. However it is in the Sanskrit portion the geneology of the grantor is given, which is of great interest for reconstructing history. Like all other copper plates of the period, the sanskrit portion is in poetry and prose. However the sanskrit portion lacks the poetic embellishments found in Aparajita's charter. The Sanskrit part consists of 17 verses followed by a prose.
Parantaka's plate is dated in his 25th regnal year, 932 A.D. It gives the names of the progenitors of the Chola line beginning with Vishnu, followed by Brahma, Marichi, Kasyapa, Surya and Usinara. Karikala, Sibi and Koccengannan receive special attention. The tale of Sibi is often repeated in all the Chola records and literature. This record says that Lord Agni took the form of a vulture and came chasing the dove. With a view to save the suffering and life of the dove, Sibi gave his own flesh and rescued the dove from torture.
Three important events in the life of Karikala are mentioned. (1) He caused the crest of the Cholas marked on the slopes of Himalayas. (2) He raised embankments on either side of river Kaveri and controlled its flood and (3) he made Kanchi a city of palaces.
Parantaka Chola's Udayendram plates(1) mention only the name of Karikala without referring to his exploits. Hence this is perhaps the earliest Chola record to refer to the exploits of Karikala. The two points of historic interest are the raising of embankments on either side of river Kaveri; and his conquest upto Kanchi. Regarding the later event, Prof. Sastri has the following to say(2) 'His conquest of Tondaimandalam and settlement of agrarian colonies there, are other elements in the Karikala legends, that can find no support from the earliest authorities on his reign. It would seem that Tondainadu was ruled by Tondaiman Ilamtiraiyan in the days of Karikala and there is no satisfactory evidence in support of the suggestion that has been made that this chieftain was the grandson of Karikala or atleast a viceroy appointed by him after his conquest of Kanchi'.
The above views of Sastri need modification in the light of the present grant. This seems to suggest that Karikala's power extended upto Kanchi and that Karikala fortified the city and built great palaces. According to literary sources Karikala's son is said to have married a Naga princess and the child born to them was called Tiraiyan. The word Tiraiyan is derived from the legend that he was wafted on the shore by the waves of the sea (tirai-i.e.-wave). Interestingly an eighth century Pallava copper plate seems to lend support to this legend. The Kasakkudi plate(3) referring to the lake (now called Tenneri) Triayaneri calls it in the sanskrit portion as Tira-laya-tataka. Tira-laya (wafted on the shore) appears as the Sanskrit equivalent of Tiraiyan. This legend seems to have been popular long before 8th century., the date of the Kasakkudi plates. Karikala's conquest of Kanchi as suggested by the present copper plate of Parantaka shows that it was a historical fact and that Tiraiyan was in some way connected with Karikala.
The legend of Koccengannan, being a spider in his earlier birth and on account of weaving a web over the linga, is referred to in saint Appar's Devaram in 7th Century A.D. The story of Kaccengannan being a spider and blessed by Siva, taking birth in the line of Cholas is mentioned in this grant. It seems to be almost a translation of what Saint Appar says in his Devaram.
A point of interest is the number of battles won by Koccengannan, mentioned by Thirumangai Alvar.(4) In the Thirunaraiyur Padigam (sacred hymns on the Lord of Thirunaraiyur), Thirumangai Alvar, calls him Sembiyan Koccengannan Koccolan, Ten nadan (Lord of the Southern country is Pandya), Kudakongan Ponninadan, Ten Tamilan, Vadapulakkon etc. Among the battles, Venni figures prominently, but his opponents at Venni are not mentioned. One Vilandavel is mentioned as an enemy defeated by him. Alundai, probably identical with Teralundur near Mayuram is also mentioned as a battlefield where he distinquished himself. Thirumangai also refers to the construction of seventy madakkoil to 'Entol Isar' generally identified with Siva. There are also others who consider this as a reference to ashta bujakara Vishnu. At any rate he seems to have been a great devotee of both Siva and Vishnu. While such great victories are mentioned by Thirumangai, a saint of eighth century A.D., no other record speaks of his conquests. Even this plate of Parantaka refers only to the spider story of Koccengannan. (Parantaka was not a religious fanatic. In this very copper plate his benefactions to Srirangam and Kanyakumari are mentioned). That this plate also refers to Koccengannan as a Sivabhakta and is silent abut this Vishnu bhakti would indicate that Thirumangai's reference to his construction of seventy mada temple to Entol Isar, seems to refer to Siva temples.
Orriyuran, the father of Vijayalaya
The charter refers to one Orriyuran born in that family. The inscription places Orriyuran immediately after Koccengannan.(5) The name Orriyuran is significant. Orriyur is the name of a sacred Saivite village near Madras and obviously the name Orriyuran is derived from this village. In the time of the early Cholas, a number of chieftains like the Irukkuvel and Ilangovel are seen bearing this name.(6) Obviusly these names were after this Chola who figures as the father of Vijayalaya in this record. Incidently this is the first time we get the name of the father of Vijayalaya as Orriyuran. The name of Vijayalaya is not specifically mentioned in this record but it says that the son of Orriyuran was a great fighter, the fire to the forest of enemy rulers. His son is mentioned as Aditya.
The record does not mention either the battles or conquests of Vijayalaya and Aditya.
Aditya's son is referred to as Parantaka. This charter is silent even about Parantaka's conquest though it was issued in the 25th year when he had made major conquests over Madurai and Lanka and assumed the title, 'Maduraiyum Ilamum Konda'.(7) His Udayendram plate issued a few years earlier refers to these conquests but yet they are not mentioned in this record. On the other hand this record refers to the performance of Tulabhara ceremonies in Ramesvaram Kanyakumari and Srirangam by Parantaka. This is new information furnished by this grant. It is known from other grants and ulas, that Parantaka covered the golden hall of Chidambaram with gold. The omission of reference to these events means nothing.
It is difficult to say whether Parantaka gilded Chidambaram temple with gold after his 25th year or earlier.
The earliest chola copper plate
All eminent scholars have taken the Anbil plates of Sundara Chola, as the earliest copper plate charter of the Chola dynasty.(8) This view is not correct. The Udayendram plates, referring to Prithvipati II Hastimala edited by Hultsch in S.I.I. II Pt. III was wrongly labelled as 'Udayendram plates of Prithvipati'. The plate was issued by Parantaka in his 15th regnal year. In both the Sanskrit and Tamil portion the donor is Parantaka Chola, Prithvipati clearly figuring as Vijnapti. And this seems to have escaped the attention of the scholars eversince Hultsch made the suggestion in 1896. The plate should be properly labelled 'Udayendram plates of Parantaka' and is the earliest plate known of the Chola line.
The information furnished in the Udayendram plates, taken in the light of Velancheri plates of Aparajita seems to throw more light on the Pallava-Chola transitional period. The Karandai plates of Rajendra,(9) states that Parantaka defeated a Pallava. Who is this Pallava? It seems to us that it was Nrpatunga. It is known that Aditya had besides Parantaka, another son Kannaradeva, through a Rashtrakuta princess. Prof. K. A N. Sastri states that Parantaka has to deal with this rival claim to the throne and that Rashtrakuta Krishna, invaded the Chola country to secure the throne for his grandson Kannara and that Parantaka repelled the invasion.(9) We have seen Nrpatunga was born of a Rashtrakuta princess and had the backing of Rashtrakutas. The Banas, as seen from the Chirrur and Bahur plates, were the allies of Nrpatunga. It is also seen that the Ganga rulers were the allies of Aparajita opposing the Banas. It is also seen from the Udayendram plates the Banas were uprooted by Parantaka and the country made over to Ganga Prithvipathi on whom the title Banadhiraja was confered. Obviously the Pallava adversary of Parantaka in all probability was Nrpatunga. The 41st year record of Nrpatunga coming from Madavalam near Thiruttani(10) seems to be the last of his record which according to the date of his accession held by us, falls in the initial year of Parantaka. Prof. Sastri considers the Bana adversaries of Parantaka as Vikramaditya II and Vijayaditya III(1)
The plate records the gift of three villages, Talaivedu, Mayangaru, and Kilagal as Brahmadeya gift to the Brahmins well versed in vedas and vedangas including the Sahasra sakha of Samaveda, residing at the village Melirunceru. The gift was made by Parantaka, at the request of one Brahmavanvadhiraja. The grant record that the King gifted the villages with great faith and devotion by pouring water from a golden pitcher. The grant also records the boundaries of the villages gifted, the taxes exempted and the rights and previleges attached to the same. The villages mentioned as boundaries include Pundi, Nenmali, Arungalam, Melirunceru, Padpakkam, Nedungunram, Mudippali, Mathura, Ulanjur and Nallarrur, all situated near Thiruttani.
The territorial division mentioned include Kunravardhanakottam, Naduvinmalai Illatturnadu and Thiruttaniyal nadu.
The three villages gifted were clubbed with the Melirunceru village and were directed to pay 3000 Kadi of paddy and nine Kalanju of gold. The three thousand Kadi of paddy mentioned as Pancavara is probably to measure five times a year. It seems that each village was expected to pay 1000 kady of paddy per annum. Aparajita's plate also refers to 1000 kady of paddy as Pancavara.
The Tamil portion of the copper plate charter begins with the word Konerinmaikondan. Several hundred inscriptions of 10th to 14th cent. A.D. begin with this term Knerinmaikondan, which literally means 'an unparalleled king'. This charter shows that the usage 'Konerinmaikondan' has come into vogue even in the early years of Parantaka's rule. Secondly the term is always used in a technical sense. When a king makes a gift himself the epigraph begins with the word Konerinmaikondan. Whenever an epigraph begins with the word Konerinmaikondan it invariably means, that the epigraph relates to a gift by the ruler himself. This charter shows that this custom has come into use from the beginning of 10th cent. This usage seems to be an innovation of the early chola period.
The Composer and Engraver
The last portion of the charter in Sanskrit has three verses, in some what damaged condition. The first verse mentions the name of the composer as Rutsa, a poet. The second verse refers to Parantaka as Virachola and records the usual appeal by the donor to the later rulers to protect the gift. The third verse gives the name of the engraver of the grant as Virachola Mahataksha, an eminent artist, well versed in the science of Visvakarma. That the royal scribe received the title of his emperor Virachola is note worthy.
1. S.I.I. Vol. II No. 76. 2. The Cholas K. A. Nilakianta Sastri, Madras 1955 p. 36. 3. S.I.I. Vol. II, part III. 4. Thirumangi Alwar, Naraiyur Padigam. 5. Dr. R. Nagaswamy, on Thiruttani, The Hindu, 11-12-77, Since Orriyuran is mentioned immediately after Koccengannan, I first took the word sa eva and took Orriyuran to be the son of Koccengannan. But on other consideration I think it is possible that they were separated by some centuries. 6. Early Chola Art, S. R. Balasubramaniam. 7. The Cholas, K. A. Nilakanta Sastri, p. 122. 8. Ibid. p. 157. 9. Ibid. p. 120. 10. A.R.E. 138 of 1943-44. 11. S. R. Balasubramaniam, Early Chola temples, p. 126.
There are four temples in Thiruttani village, viz., (1) The Subrahmanya temple, on top of the hill. (2) The Arumugaswamy temple at the foot of the hill. (3) The Virattanesvara temple built by Nambi Appi in the reign of Aparajita and (4) The Vijayaraghavapperumal temple.
Inscriptions have been copied from all the temples, by the Government Epigraphist for India in the year 1905. The earliest inscription in the village is that of Aparajita dated in his 18th regnal year, found in the Virattana temple. The Chola king, Madurai konda Parakesari, Parantaka I, is the next ruler to be represented. Rajaraja, Rajendra I, Rajadhiraja I, and Vikrama Chola are other Chola kings represented in inscriptions. The important Vijayanagar epigraphs are dated in the reign of Krishnadevaraya and Sadasiva.
In the 18th year of Pallava Aparajita, Nambi Appi built this temple and gifted 1000 Kuli of lands.(1) The Government Epigraphical report for the year 1905, records four inscriptions from the Virattana temple. In the 18th regnal year of Aparajita, Nambi Appi the builder of the temple, bought 1000 kuli of land from the villagers, and endowed it to the temple and paid in the hands of the village assembly necessary amount towards taxes to be lived from the land. The village assembly in its turn gave a perpetual exemption of taxes for the land. The Dharmis of the village agreed to administer the endowment. It was stipulated that from the proceeds of the land, worship should be performed twice a day in the temple and that four measures of rice shuld be mesaured for two food offerings and oil for lamps to be burned on the two sandhis. It is interesting to note from this record that there was a group of members in the village, called Urdharmis (Executors of village endowments). The dharmis probably worked as a limb of the village assembly. The dharmis of this village agreed to pay a fine of a quarter pon, in case they failed to maintain in the endowment. The end passage of the record seems to suggest that the members of the village assembly of Thiruttani were themselves the Dharmins.
The fact that provisions were made for worship by Nambi Appi, the builder, in the 18th year of the reign of Aparajita, shows that the temple has come into existence by that year. The record that refers to the construction of the temple by Nambi Appi, which is in verse form, seems to have been engraved as the same time as the previous record,that mentions the gift of land for worship. The verse is said to have been composed by Perumanadigal, identified with the ruler Aparajita. It shows the personel interest evinced by the emperor in the temple. The builder, Nambi Appi is praised as a scholar in all the arts. The term Nambi, seems to indicate that he was a priest, probably of the Saiva faith. The temple is said to have been built of black granite, and is named a stone temple.
The Virattana temple continued to be of considerable importance till about 1130 A.D. Early in the reign of Rajaraja I (900 A.D.) the annual committee of the village assembly of Thiruttani village agreed to supervise the provision of a lamp for which an endowment was made(2). Towards the end of Raja Raja's reign in 1010 A. D., an individual bought and endowed a land for feeding pilgrims going to and returning from Srivenkatam.(3) Another inscription from the same temple also records the gift of land for feeding pilgrims going to and returning from, Venkatam. It shows the place occupied by Thiruvenkatam in the 10th century and the importance of Thiruttani on the route. Three inscriptions of Rajendra I are found in the temeple referring to some transactions. The temple was continued to be called Virattanam. There is a reference to Siruvellur (modern Thiruvellore, half way between Madras and Thiruttani) as being situated in Tenkarai Ilayurnadu, a distsrict of Vesalippadi (modern Vysaarpadi near Madras)(4) Another inscription, in the same temple, the date of which is not available, refers to a gift of lamp to the temple of Lord Subrahmanya on top of the hill.
This lovely little apsidal temple has evoked considerable interest among scholars, as a land mark in the history of later Pallava temples.
As mentioned earlier the Subrahmanya temple was in existence, before the 9th year of Aparajita. Only one inscription has been copied by the Government Epigraphist from this temple in the year 1905.(5)
The relevant report reads "On a stone set up close to the garbhagraha of the subrahmanya temple in the same village. A record in the thirty second year of the Chola king Maduraikonda Parakesari (Parantaka); built in at the bottam; records gift of land apparently by a certain Parakesari Muttaraiyan to the temple of Subrahmanya Pillayar who was pleased to stand on the hill at Thiruttaniyal near Aguvur, the eastern hamlet of Perumkanchi in Ogavalanadu, a district of Malur kottam, which formed part of Jayamkondachola mandalam. The characters of the inscription are comparatively modern."
Obviusly this inscription was in full when the Government Epigraphist copied it in he year 1905. But this has since been removed during renovations and was noticed by me in a mutilated form in two parts.
There is some confusion in the ARE report. It may be seen that Tondaimandalam is refered to as Jayamkonda cholamandalam, a name given to it only in the reign of Raja Raja I, and the inscription could not belong to the time of Parantaka, as reported. The inscription does not begin with the title Madurai konda Ko Parakesari but simply as Parakesari and is a record of Rajendra I. That in the reign of Rajendra this temple continued to attract attention is attested.
Secondly a Muttaraiya Chief Parakesari Muttaraiya endowed land is of vital interest. We have shown the close connection of the Muttaraiya family of this region with the Tanjore-Pudukottai region even in the reign of Nrpatunga. Mention has been made that the 8th century Pallava Subrahmanya image, made of stone, is now in the Prakara and not in the sanctum.
Three Epigraphs have been noticed by Tamilnad Archaeology Department on the walls of the sanctum and two of them are dated in the reign of Vijayanagara Emperor, Krishnadevaraya of 16th cent. CE.
The first record dated in the reign of Saluva Krishnadevamaharaya in the year saka 1433 (1511 CE.) equal unto the year Prajapati, refers to the endowment of money to Lord Subrahmanya, by a certain Appuvi Paikungeyyan, of Manimangalam, who was an accountant at Thiruttani. The Tamil equivalent day of the grant is Tai-pusa, in the year Prajapati. Lord Subrahmanya is refered to as Sengalunirp pillaiyar pleased to stand on Thiruttani hill.
From the above inscriptions two points of interest are noticed. The name of Lord Subrahmanya, which was known as Subrahmanya or Shanmuga in the nineth, 10th and 11th centuries and probably later as well, was called Sengalunir Pillaiyar in the 16th century in the time of Krishnadevaraya.
It is of interest to mention that the celebrated poet of 14th century Arunagirinathar, who has composed several thousand poems, called Thiruppugazh on Lord Muruga refers to Subrahmanya as Sengamala Pillaiyar.
The second point of interest is that even today the Tai-pusam is a celebrated festival to Lord Subrahmanya and the gift was made on such a day. The endowment consisted of 100 panams, the interest accruing from that has to be utilised for food offerings, lamp etc., Nearly three years later, in the reign of the same ruler, Krishnadevaraya, a similar endowment was made probably by the same person.
The third inscription also on the wall of the main shrine, refers to some gifts in the year 1760 A.D. (the saka year and the Angirasa year mentioned in the epigraph do not tally). Thiruttani is said to be in Narayanap-parru in the sub-division Kunravardhana kottam of Jayamkonda chola mandalam.
The present main shrine of the Subrahmanya temple of Thiruttani, was rebuilt in the reign of Krishnadevaraya, when the Pallava subrahmanya image was replaced by the present one. The bronze images of Shanmugaswamy and others in the temple are of the age of Krishnadevaraya, 16th century A.D.
There is another Subrahmanya temple at the foot of the hill now called Arumukaswami temple. Three inscriptions have been copied from this temple. The earliest is dated in the reign of Parantaka I (Madurai konda Parakesari). But it is not in its original position and probably belongs to the other temple. A damaged record belonging to the reign of Vira Kampana, the Vijayanagara ruler is dated 1365 CE. It is possible that this temple came into existence during this period. The prakara around the temple was built by a Vellanadu chola feudatory Thiruvengadanatha deva chola Maharaja, who is styled a Mahamandaleswara.(6)
The present Vijayaraghava temple in the village, seems to have been rebuilt in the early Vijayanagar period in 14th century, but was under worship even in the early 10th century A.D. A land was gifted to the temple by the village assembly of Thiruttani, in the 34th year of Parantaka Chola I, 940 A.D. An inscription of Parantaka giving this detail is now in the temple. It refers to the temple as Thiruvanantapuram.(7)
There are two inscriptions of Rajendra Chola I. One is a fragment, containing the beginning of Rajendra's prasasti. The second records a sale of land to the temple called Thiruvanandapuram, by the assembly of Jananatha-caturvedimangalam in Menmalai Taniyalnadu. It refers to the king as Parakesari Udaiyar Rajendra chola deva. The epigraph shows the flourishing condition of the Vishnu temple in the 11th century A.D.
Another point of interest is the name Jananatha-caturvedi mangalam. Jananatha is the title of Rajaraja I. It is evident that a part of Thiruttani was renamed Jananatha-caturvedimangalam by Rajaraja I and shows royal chola interest in the village.(8) An inscription of Rajadhiraja I, giving the introductory part is also found.
An interesting epigraph in Telugu script but in sanskrit language, refers to the building (rather rebuilding) of the temple by certain Narayanaraja, said to be fourth in discent from Karikala Chola.(9) Ramaraja Chinna Timmayyadeva Maharaya gifted the village Thiruttani in 1550 A.D. in the reign of Sadasivaraya,.(10) Another inscription of Sadasivaraya giving only his pedigree is also found.
Thiruttani came into prominence in the reign of Aparajita Pallava in late 9th century A.D. with the ruler himself evincing personal devotion to Lord Subrahmanya, and also the newly built Virattana Siva temple. The nearby Melirunceru (now called Velanjeri) was a great Brahmin settlement, Mahagrahara wherein lived several vedic families. Parantaka chola contributed considerably by his gift to the villagers of Melirunceru and endowments to the various temples of Thiruttani. We have seen that in the reign of Rajaraja I, the greatest of the chola emperors , the village assumed greater significance. A part of Thiruttani was renamed after one of Rajaraja's title. The later Pandyas have not contributed anything to the village, but soon in the reign of Vijayanagar ruler, Krishnadevaraya the village assumed significance and pre-eminence. The greatest poet of 17th century A.D., Kacciyappa Sivacharya, was born here and has a lovely poem on Thiuttani. In 20th century one of India's greatest thinkers Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan was born in Melirunceru. (modern Velanjeri) The Subrahmanya temple on top of the hill attracts the largest number of pilgrims in Tondaimandalam region, and is one of the most flourishing temple. For the art connoisseurs, the Virrattana temple is still an important land mark.
1. ARE 433 and 435 OF 1905 2. ARE 432 of 1905 3. ARE 430 of 1905 4. ARE 438 of 1904 5. ARE 439 of 1905 6. ARE 432 of 1905 7. ARE 449 of 1905 8. ARE 445 of 1905 9. ARE 447 to 1905 10. ARE 443 of 1905
Let Janardana, who is ever united with Sri, wields resplendent conch and discus, wears a coral garland, dark in colour like the one which came forth when the gods and demons churned the ocean, and who entered another ocean, protect us.
Let Siva who bore the tremendous sound arising from the stream of water, and the breeze emanating from the foremost lotus flowers and setting out, spreads the divine waters from the forest of matted locks, protect us.
Brahma was born of the naval of Madhava. From Brahma came Angiras and from Angiras was born Vagisa (Brahaspati). Samyu came from Brahaspati and from him Saumya (Bharadvaja) Bharadvaja's son was Drona, the very abode of unequalled tapas. Asvathama became the son of Drona and from him came Pallava, adored by all rulers.
From Pallava, a true consort of kingship, Devaraja in prosperity, a ruler of exalted glory, came this ruling clan into the world.
Let this Pallava family of unending noble qualities, the mighty and the one that has obtained supremacy, a luminary among the good kingly group, the foremost; and the one that remaining high, keeps all the other kings far below just as the sky remaining high keeps the lofty peaks below, protect this world till the very end of the Yuga.
Kampavarma of splendid glory was born in this family, after monarchs like Asokavarma and others attained heaven, having ruled the whole earth justly.
He conquered the mighty Pallava Nrpatunga in battle, and forcibly seized his country that has the ocean as its girdle, along with glory.
Just like Uma to Rudra and Rama to Vishnu, Vijaya of matchless virtues, and born of the pure and Ganga family, became the queen of Kampavarma as if competing with his conquests and wealth.
Just as Guha was born of Lord Paramesvara, the destroyer of enemies'cities and lover of the Bull, Aparajita, a possessor of varied wealth and beauty, was born as her first child.
Even as a boy, Aparajita destroyed the elephants of the Bana ruler in no time, inflicting wounds with the ankusa. He razed to the ground Karanai encircled by turrets, the city of the Pandya ruler, who was a dauhitra (the grandson through a daughter, probably of the Bana) and conquered the Chola king at the great battle of Chirrarrur with the help of elephants.
Though glory of Aparajita, who made the fame of earth appropriate and who equalled the valour of Rama in battles, turned the world into white colour (by his victories), it darneked the fame of his enemy.
His opponents, driven out of their territories, enter, as if entering their own palace, the forests which are the most eminently suited abodes for them. The forests are filled to the very end with leaves and birds, full of Sala trees and abounding in wolves and hyenas, with varieties of descending shoots, and looking as if anointed with the canopy of bounteous openings.
(The verse uses words with double meaning. The description of the forest resembles the description of the beautiful mansion full of salas, turrets, different wings, varied staircases and beautiful with canopies and trellis work.)
The wealth and pleasure that flowed into him from various quarters, the uninterupted prosperity, the splendid glory he attained, and the firm convictions he acquired, together with his opponent rulers served him as his attendents.
Protecting the whole world with his Indra-like rule, and capturing the sovereignity of his opponent rulers, he resembled Upendra. He is really the Purushottama.
His lotus feet were spreading fragrance by the varied, fully blown and sweet smelling flowers, offered continuously with presents of treasure, poured by the kings who were constantly bowing down before him.
He was resplendent sun to the sky of the Kalabhra Kula.
Like the terrible wind that uproots all earthly things, with its own might, he upprooted by his own valour all the other royal families.
In his conduct he surpassed the greatness of Yadu, Raghu, Sagara, Nrga, Nimi, Kuru, Bharata Mala, Nala, Nahusha, Janaka, Sibi, Kusaka, Dasaratha, Prithu and Prithula.
Like Rama, who destroyed the demon Khara and Dhushana in Janasthana, he destroyed the burden of tax and hardship of his country (Janasthana).
He Aparajita Pottavarma, the king among kings, the supreme Lord, and Deva, during his ninth auspicious regnal year, made a gift of the village Pudur in the sub-division of Taniyal rashtra, falling under Kunravartana Kotta;
After demacrating the boundaries by means of carrying a flag and marching the elephant around;
And registering all the boundaries and bestowing all exemptions, changing the old cultivators, and exempting various royal taxes on gold, trees and fields.
Aparajita ordered that one thousand Kadi of paddy be measured annually to Lord Mahesvara's son, Shanmukha, who is pleasted to stand for ever, on the hill, of the great agrahara, Srimat Taniyal mentioned above
That the said village be combined with the great agrahara known to the world as Melirunceru falling with the sub-division Antah Kotta (naduvil kottam) gifted to the residents of that agrahara, who are foremost among the learned people and scholars eminent in the Vedas and Vedangas.
The gift was made by the king with intense devotion by pouring water from golden vessel with his own hand.
Year 3 and day 2103 rd
The royal order. We order at the request of Vamanayya, that the village Pudur in Thiruttaniyal Nadu be added to the village Melirunceru and gifted to the sabha of Melirunceru. Brahmadhiraja is the executor. The village should measure one thousand Kadi of paddy as pancavara till the sun and the moon endure to Lord Subramanya, who is pleased to stand on Thiruthani, in the territorial division Menmalai Thaniyal, in the sub-division of Kunravardhana Kottam. The previous holders of the village are now changed.
The Nattars should demarcate the boundaries by planting stones and Kalli plants after going round the boundaries with pataka and issue the araiyolai (donative charter).
On receipt of this order, the Nattars, adoring the order and bearing it on their head, fixed the boundaries by setting up stones and planting Kalli and issuing the grant.
The boundaries of land thus gifted are;
The eastern boundary is to the west of the boundary of Melirunceru.
The southern boundary is to the north of the boundary of Thiruttani.
The western boundary is to the east of the boundaries of Thiruttaniyal, Oviyur, and Iruganur.
And the northern boundary is to the south of the boundaries of Ponpatinadu and Melirunceru.
The land situated within these four boundaries inclusive of water land, dty lands, the village settlement, the village assembly area, the grazing ground, the groves, the tanks, wells, terris, and the like gifted as Devadana Brahmadeya to the village assembly of Melirunjeru.
The exemptions granted to this gift are:-
Tax on Paddy Udupokku Tax on gold Pida Nali Urkalanju Taraku Urpankadi Tari Nalla Ilapputchi Nallerudu Idaiputchi and Nadatchi Tattukkay
These and other taxes which are due to the king should not be levied from the village.
Permission is granted to construct storeyed buildings with burnt bricks in this village.
Permission is granted for rearing coconut groves.
Flower gardens with Iruveli and Damanaka or any other flower can be grown.
The village could raise embankments to the lake and utilise the water For irrigation.
The village is permitted to dig irrigation canal from the river and use its water.
Inhabitants of other villages are prohibited from using the water from this village. They are also not permitted to irrigate with baskets or picotah.
The assembly members of Melirunceru village, who are learned and pious Brahmins will add this village, Pudur to their own, with the tax exemptions specified above and measure one thousand Kadi of Paddy as Pancavara annually, to Lord Subrahmanya on the hill of Thiruttani and enjoy the rest of the produce.
The Brahmin Vamana, who has studied the three Vedas, owner of prosperity, donor, compassionate, learned in all sciences, and dear to the ruler, was the requester (Vijnapti.)
Brahmadhiraja, who was crowned with a tiara, by this King confering chieftainship over Brahmins, and one of devoted prosperity, learned in Vedas and Sastras, and intelligent was the executor (Ajnapti) of this grant.
Sri Kumara, the foremost among the learned, was born of Kesava, the Brahmin of the Kasyapa family, like Subrahmanya was born of Siva.
He set aside the eloquence of his rivals and was the composer of Mahakavyas. Mahadeva, his son was the composer of this prasasti.
Vijayanna, the foremost among the Silpins, holding the fortune born out of grace of the king, who was born in the City of Kanchi, a connosseur of art, and the well known, inscribed this prasasti.
Podini Mahadevabhatta, of Pravacana Sutra, and Kasyapagotra, who composed thisprasasti got one patti of wet land.
Vijayanna, who inscribed this prasasti got one patti of wet land.
Videlvidugu Perum-kannan (the metal smith) the son of Pattai Nagan, who embossed the seal got one share.
The royal proclamation of Aparajita, the moon of the Pallava dynasty, declared over the row of heads of kings.
VELANJERI PLATES OF PARANTAKA TRANSLATION
1. Let the lotus feet of Murari, which are pleasing by the radiance caused by the red, water-bearing clouds; which are filled with garlands and caressed by the flowers on the head of ---, which are ever rose in colour by the lotus-like arm of Lakshmi, increase our prosperity and happiness.
2. Let the Rudras with their great bodies radiating like the golden coloured clouds; bearing on their left halves pleasing and big female breasts; letting out from the roots of their braided hairs, pure waves of clear water; wearing crescent like ear ornaments; their necks shining with darkness; their bracelets shining with snakes and their foreheads smiling with ashes, bestow prosperity on us.
3. Let this dynasty of Cholendras which planted its lotus feet on the crowns of all the kings, which proclaimed by their swords, the expansion of the foreheads of sovereigns of the entire universe encompassing the seven seas, protect all the world.
4. From the tender lotus, issuing from the naval of Murari, emanated Brahma. Though he was humiliated in a moment by the light that surpassed the soft braided hair, Marichi was born of him.
5. Kasyapa was born of Marichi and from him came Surya (avicharya marga) who adorns the entire world with his pure associates.
6. After many rulers having enjoyed the world attained godhead,was born in that famous family, the great Lord Usinara by name.
7. The king, the ornament of the family, who gave away immediately his own flesh when approached by Lord Agni in the guise of a vulture, and relieved the dove from torture and suffering, was born as Sibi.
8. In that family took place the birth of Karikala Cholendra whose orders made the slopes of Himalayas, the abode of Kubera (the Lord of riches); following whose orders the water-course of the river Kaveri, was controlled by the embankments on either side and whose orders made the city of Kanchi full of palacas reaching the clouds.
9. A spider made a very small, thin and beautiful prapa (protection) for Siva by a web of threads, issuing from its mouth. When Lord Hara was pleased at that, it was born as Kochengannan in that royal family.
10. Orriyura known for his marvellous valour was born. His son was a veritable fire to the forest of enemy kings.
11. Aditya equal in splendour to Kubera, was born of him. He shone as a moon to the lotus like faces of enemy queens.
12. Just as the moon emanated from the milky ocean, as the waters of Ganga from the Himalayas, as the heat energy from the sun and as the trikuta from the great Meru, so also Parantaka was born of him.
13. The opponent kings considered him as the very death; the wise-men thought of him as Brahaspati; the beloveds considered him as the chintamani; the subjects held him as their parent; the good people thought of him as the treasure-house and the damsels held him as the very Lord of Love.
14. This ruler performed Tulabhara with gold acquired by his valour, at the beautiful Sriramathirtha, where the ablest of monkey flocks built the bridge; at the Kanyatirtha which subdued the southern quarters; and at Srirangam beautiful by the arecca groves, where Sri Vishnu reclines on his serpent couch.
15. Brahmavanavadhiraja, an abode of learning, wealth and fame, was the Vijnapti of this royal order.
16. Sarvadeva of Kilinallur, born of Vasitti family, learned and an ornament of his family was the Ajnapti of this order.
17. The honoured Ranasimha of astounding valour born of Srutarutaka family was the Ajnapti of this order.
That Parantaka whose lotus feet are adorned by all the rulers, gifted with faith and devotion, the three villages Talaivedu, Mayangaru and Kilagal in their entirety with three thousand Kadi of paddy and nine niskas (as tax) by pouring water from a golden pitcher to the Brahmins of Melirunceru village, who were great scholars in Vedas and Vedangas, including Samaveda with the three thousand sakhas.
The boundaries for the villages are:-
The eastern boundary lies to the west of the villages Pundi, Nenmali and Arungala.
The southern boundary lies to the north of Melirunjeru.
The western boundary lies to the east of Parpakka, Nedungunru, Mudippali and Mathura.
The northern boundary lies to the south of Ulaiyur and Nallarur.
The area situated within these four boundaries were gifted by the King Parantaka as mentioned earlier, to the Brahmin residents of Melirunceru as described earlier.
Twenty fifth regnal year /- 193rd day /- Konerinmai Kondan /-
The Nattar of Ilattur and the Nattar of Tiruttani in the subdivision of Naduvin-malai, belonging to the territorial division Kunravardhana Kottam will supervise and see that the three villages Kilagal, Mayangaru and Talaivedu, in their territorial division are united into one with the village Melirunceru and measure three thousand kadi of paddy as panca-vara, and nine kalanju of gold, annually, after changing the previous holders, till the sun and moon last. The grant was made at the request of Brahmavanvadhirajan. Two officials Sarvadeva of Kilinallur and Ranasimha were the executors. We order this gift as kani to the village assembly of Melirunceru.
The Nattar should demacrate the boundaries of Talaivedu, Mayangaru and Kilagal in their territory after going around with a flag (Patakai) and planting boundary stones and kalli plants and issue araiy-olai (donative charter).
On receipt of this order, the Nattar, paying obeissance to the order, and bearing it on their head, went round the boundaries, planted boundary stones and kalli plants and issued the charter.
The following are the boundaries of the land thus gifted.
To the west of the three villages Pundi, Nenmali and Arungalam which formed the eastern boundary. To the north of Melirunceru which formed the southern boundary. To the west of the four villages Parpakkam, Nedunguram, Mudipali and Mathira, which formed the eastern boundary. To the south of the two villages Ulaiyur and Nallaru which formed the Northern boundary.
The land situated within this four great boundaries inclusive of water, wetlands, drylands, village settlement, village meeting area, grazing ground, pits, wells, groves, canals, ant hills and mounds - in short the high and low lands, was gifted to the village sabha of Melirunceru as a Brahmadeya.
The exemptions granted to this gift are as follows:-
Tax on Paddy Udupokku Tax on gold Pidhanali Urkalanju Taraku Urpankadi Tari Nalla Ilapputchi Nallerudu Idaiputchi Nadatci Tattukkayam
these and other taxes to be paid to the king should not be levied from these villages.
Permission is granted for erecting storied buildings with burnt bricks.
Permission is granted for rearing coconut groves.
Permission is granted to cultivate all flowers including Iruveli and Damanaka.
Permission is granted to raise embankments and utilyse water from Lake.
Permission is granted to dig canal for irrigation from the river along the flow of water.
Outsiders are prohibited from digging sub-canals either from this or the main canal; they are also not permitted to irrigate with baskets or picotah.
With the above specified exemptions, the gift was made to the members of the village assembly of Melirunceru who are pious and noble Brahmins. The three villages were added to Melirunceru. They are directed to pay three thousand Kadi of paddy and nine Kalanju of gold annually and enjoy the rest of the produce.
This is a paradatta.
1. Damaged:- the readable part says:- This charter was composed by Rutsa by name.
2. Partially damaged:- King Virachola, with humility and devotion requests the succeeding rulers to protect his dharma.
3. Virachola, the great taksha and deeply learned in the science of Visvakarma, engraved the letters on this charter.
The royal order of the Chola ruler Parakesarivarman, the crest jewel of the Chola race, and majestic as the lustre of the moon.