1200-year-old Kotravai sculpture discovered in Tamil Nadu's Villupuram
Raj Paneerselvam and R Udayaraja from Marabusar Organization in Tiruvannamalai came to Paruthipuram village near Melmalayanur for a field visit.
VILLUPURAM: Archeological enthusiasts unearthed a 1200-year-old Kotravai (Goddess of war and victory) sculpture embossed in a slab stone near Melmalayanur in Villupuram district.
Raj Paneerselvam and R Udayaraja from Marabusar Organization in Tiruvannamalai came to Paruthipuram village near Melmalayanur for a field visit. Based on information from residents, the duo inspected the sculpture near the farmlands in the village.
"The sculpture is five-feet-tall and four-feet-wide and carved onto the slab. We confirmed that it was a sculpture of Kotravai with the four hands." explained Paneerselvam. Donning an ancient soldier helmet crown on her head, the deity has the characteristic elliptical shaped face and thick lips.
"After inspecting the sculpture, based on the clothing and jewellery, we confirmed it belonged to the eighth century," explained Udayaraja. Kottravai statues dating back to that century are usually seen with four hands and a bell in one hand, he said.
Paneerselvam further pointed out that she was wearing a 'panayolai kundalam' (palm leaf ear button) and 'aram' (chain). "All her hands had 'tholvalai' and 'kaivalai' (jewellery on the shoulder and wrist.) She covered her chest with thick katchai and her hip area had another cloth with a huge knot," he added.
According to the archeological activist, her top right hand held a 'chakra' and the lower one had a bell. A 'sangu' is seen in her top left hand, while her lower one is placed in her hip. A deer rests on the left-side of the sculpture and soldiers are carved on the right-side. Kotravai stands on a buffalo-head, he added.