TIRUCHY: During an explorative study undertaken by a team of historians at Alakiyamanavalam, a village near Mannachanallur, 11 new inscriptions from of Pallava and Chola periods were found in a Siva temple.
Dr R Akila, Assistant Professor, Dept. of History, Arignar Anna govt. Arts College, Musiri, and Dr M Nalini, Head, Dept. of History, Seethalakshmi Ramasamy College, Tiruchy, has brought to light a good number of uncopied inscriptions of Pallava and Chola periods.
Dr R Kalaikkovan, Director, Dr Rajamanikkanar Centre for Historical Research, examined these records and said that already four inscriptions were copied by the government epigraphist from this temple in 1992 and this adds 11 more to the list. According to him, the earliest of the new findings are two records that belong to the 15th Regnal year of Nandivarma Pallava II of CE 8th century and are inscribed on a stone tablet which has bas-relief impressions of a well-formed Trishul on one side, and a sickle, spiral knife and “thuratti” on the other side. Records inscribed on both sides register two different endowments made by two shepherds namely Manattul Araisan and Kuditali Kovanattan to light lamps in the temple of Merrali. The imprecatory verse in the records is different from the usual sayings.
Among the four inscriptions of Parantaka Chola I of CE 10th century found here, two register gift of land made by two individuals, one belongs to the fold of temple musicians and the other belongs to a member of the mercantile community of Manikramam settled at Pachchil. A third Regnal year record of a Rajakesari (Sundara Chola or Rajaraja I) hints at a gift given by Nakkan Paavai alias Vallanaipaka Thalaikkoli who considered herself as the daughter of the presiding deity of the temple. A piece of land was purchased out of the 7 kalanju of gold she had gifted. Thalaikkoli was the highest distinction conferred on the highly skilled temple dancers. It is equally interesting to note that three dancers of this temple were taken into the fold of the famous Thalichcheri Pendukal settled at the residential quarters of Rajarajisvaram at Thanjavur during the regime of Rajaraja I. A fragmentary inscription of CE 9th century records lighting of a lamp from dawn to dusk for the merit of a certain Kanappuli and the endowment was accepted by the temple authorities.
Another record in which the king’s name is missing also registers lighting of a day lamp for the merit of Sangan Pattili by his mother Nakkan Perral who had gifted five sheep and 40 goats to the temple authorities. The discovery of the new records has been informed to the authorities.