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Stone inscription throws light on agraharam existence 550 yrs ago

Vanathirayars were chieftains and royal officers during the Pallava, Chola and Pandya periods. After the fall of the Pandyas, a separate State was established with Madurai Alagarkoil as its headquarters under the Vijayanagara and Nayak kings.

Stone inscription throws light on agraharam existence 550 yrs ago
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Stone inscription found outside a temple in Bramanakurichi

MADURAI: An ancient stone inscription discovered at Bramanakurichi near Ilayangudi in Sivagangai district recently has revealed the existence of an agraharam built by Vanathirayar 550 years ago.

The nine-line inscription on a six-and-a-half feet tall and one foot-wide granite stone in front of the Thadiyar Udayar Ayyanar Temple at Bramanakurichi was found by a team, led by V Rajaguru, president of Ramanathapuram Archaeological Research Foundation, comprising V Sivaranjani, student of Ramanathapuram CSI College of Education, and Thiruppullani Heritage club students, S Srivibin and A Mohammed Sahabdeen.

Vanathirayars were chieftains and royal officers during the Pallava, Chola and Pandya periods. After the fall of the Pandyas, a separate State was established with Madurai Alagarkoil as its headquarters under the Vijayanagara and Nayak kings. The inscription has “Sundarathol Mahavali Vanathirayar Dhanmam Anakurichi Akirakaram” written on it.

There are kamandala and tridanda symbols engraved on top of the stone.

According to the inscription, king Sundarathol Mahavali Vanathirayar of the Vanathirayar clan donated an agraharam to the Brahmins at Anakurichi in the 15th century AD. He ruled between 1468 AD and 1488 AD. Though the village was now known as Bramanakurichi, it is noteworthy that in the inscription it is called ‘Anakurichi’.

During the field exploration around the temple, where the inscription was found, black and red potsherds, iron slags along with hopscotches were also found. Hence, it was evident that the village was inhabited 2,000 years ago from the Sangam Age, he claimed and added that an iron smelting industry could have existed in ancient days.

DTNEXT Bureau
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