Tracing Chola Footsteps in 'Namma' Bengaluru

Published: 30th May 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th May 2015 12:31 AM   |  A+A-

Chola Footsteps.jpgCHENNAI: Madivala is a familiar name for many Chennaiites, who rush to Bengaluru on any given weekend. Though it sounds like a typical Kannada name, it actually owes its origin to  Tamil. Madivala is derived from the Tamil words Madai  and Valagam, and was where priests and temple workers resided. Besides the stray set of familiar sounding words, the common love for idly and dosa, and the thousands of native Tamilians thronging Namma Bengaluru— the link dates back to 995 AD, when a Chola king set foot on this land. P Venkatesan, a retired superintending archaeologist, threw light on this deep connect during a lecture session on Chola kingdoms in Karnataka organised by the Tamil Valarchi Iyakkam on Wednesday. Venkatesan narrated the story of  a Chola temple, which was discovered in Bengaluru, a decade ago. On a small lane off the main road in Domlur stands the Chokkanathaswamy Temple, which is the oldest in Bengaluru city. Venkatesan, who has trained archaeologists in epigraphy, revealed that Tamil might be the root of all Dravidian languages spoken across South India today. “Traveling to the little towns around Bengaluru was like visiting Thanjavur. When you trace the temples along Cauvery, every local will tell you that it was built by the Cholas,” he said.

He narrated tales of the temples scattered across Karnataka, some hidden, many in ruins, and some still standing. All the temples bear the Tamil verses and inscriptions that was the trademark of Raja Raja Chola and his successors, who remained in the old settlement of Karnataka (formerly Gangapadi) until 1114 AD, when Hoysala kingdom overthrew them. He explained how the old Chola markings adorned every temple they built, “In the plinth, on the walls and along the pillars —these Tamil scripts are everywhere,” he said, sharing his years of research on the subject.

But besides Madivala, the Cholas also managed to christen other parts of  Bengaluru like Koramangala and Ananda Giri Hills (now called Nandi Hills). So, the next time you are in the outskirts of Bengaluru, you might want to discover the Tamil connect.

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