VILLUPURAM: A team of archaeologists brought to light 1,200-year-old sculptures of Lagulesar and Kathir Pillaiyar deities from an ancient temple near Chinnasalem.
Led by Veeraragavan of Villupuram and Vengatesan of Arakazhur village near Chinnasalem, a team of archaeologists from the Salem Historical Research Centre, involved in research in Varanjaram village.
“Varanjaram is situated in the south of Komugi dam and in the 11th century, this area was called Thiruvalanjaram. Pasubatheeswarar temple in the village was built using bricks in eighth century CE (Common Era). It was reconstructed using rocks three centuries later,” Vengatesan told to Express.
He said that their team found two-feet tall Lagulesar and Kathir Pillaiyar sculptures in the temple, which is believed to have been constructed first in the eighth century CE. The sculptures are carved in nearly one-foot long rocks.
He added that this is one of the beautiful Lagulesar sculptures found by the archaeologists. “Pasubatham is one among the Shaivism-following group which existed in Tamil Nadu since Sangam period. This branch of Shaivism was started by Lagulesar, who came from Gujarat, and spread across India by his disciples,” said Veeraragavan.
Veeraragavan further said that in Tamil Nadu, Lagulesar sculptures were found in the Kudaivarai temples of Pallavas and Pandias. Even Cholas made Lagulesar individual sculptures during the period from sixth century to tenth century CE, he said. Vengatesan said Lagulesar is considered to be the 28th Avatar of Lord Shiva, and among 20 Lagulesar sculptures found in Tamil Nadu so far, 10 are from Villupuram district alone.
“Lagulesar sculpture found in Varanjaram is the 11th in Villupuram district and here it is worshipped as Jadamuni. If further research is carried out in this village, more historical evidence can be found,” added Veeraragavan.