Rare paintings of the Vijayanagar period, said to be date between the 15th and 16th century were discovered in the sanctum sanctorum of a temple recently.
The paintings came to light when renovation works in the Sri Kalyana Sundareswarar temple in Nallur village of Tiruvarur district was taken up ahead of the Maha Kumbabisekam of the temple, slated for August 30.
Kudvayil Balasubramanian, noted historian and archaeologist, who was informed about the historic find, visited the temple and made a study on the painting.
Based on his analysis, he said the temple is located near the ancient city of Pazhayarai, the capital city of Cholas. He also said the temple finds specific mention in the hagiographies of Tirunavukkarasar and Amarniti Nayanar. There was evidence to show the temple was renovated and consecrated by Chola queen Sembian Mahadevi.
The paintings in the sanctum sanctorum were done during the period of the Vijayanagara kings. Though many of the paintings have faded, four figures are still clearly visible, Kudvayil Balasubramanian said.
The paintings depict Naradar who plays Veena, an artiste who keeps a pair of cymbals and child Skanda holding the lotus flower. The paintings have been done with natural colours. He also appealed to the authorities that these paintings should be preserved, as they are vital to write the history of the paintings of Tamil Nadu.