Kotravai sculpture from Pallava period unearthed near Ulundurpet

"The idol is depicted with eight hands, indicating its origin in the eighth century during the Pallava period.”
Kotravai sculpture discovered in Pilrampattu near Ulundurpet.
Kotravai sculpture discovered in Pilrampattu near Ulundurpet.

KALLAKURICHI: A team of archaeological researchers has discovered an eighth-century Kotravai sculpture, an artefact that dates back to the Pallava period, near Ulundurpet.

Raj Paneer Selvam, president of Tiruvannamalai Marabusaar Amaippu, and Sridar C and Tharamai Kannan R of Arupukottai inspected the sculpture found in farmland at Pilrampattu village in Kallakurichi. They confirmed that it is 1,200 years old and was used for worship.

Raj told TNIE, “Kotravai sculpture is made in a slab stone of five-feet height and four-feet width. The idol is depicted with eight hands, indicating its origin in the eighth century during the Pallava period.” Raj further elaborated on the sculpture’s features, its local artistic style, crown, batrakundalams on ears, sarapali neck ornament, tholvalai on shoulders, kaivalai in all hands, and marbu kachai covering the chest.

“The sculpture depicts various elements such as chakkara, sword, bell, and abhaya mudra in the right hands. Conch, bow, shield, and Uru Mudhra are shown in the left side hands along with bangles in all hands,” Raj added.
He described the presence of trishul (soolam) and lion (simmam) on the right side of head, and blackbuck (kavarimann) on the left side.

“Kotravai is portrayed standing on the head of a buffalo, with two guards on each side,” he said. Raj also noted the uniqueness of the sculpture’s crown compared to other eighth-century Kotravai sculptures found in the area.

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