9th, 10th century idols unearthed near Thanjavur
The idols of Vishnu, Jain and Sapta Mata of 9th and 10th century were unearthed at a field near Bhoothalur in Thanjavur on Friday.
According to historian and Tamil scholar of Saraswati Mahal in Thanjavur Dr Mani Maran, on information from locals, led a team to Kannimarthoppu near Bhoothalur and found a grand well, which is generally not found in Thanjavur and mostly present in Pudukkottai, Ramanathapuram and Sivaganga. So it is evident that people from these areas migrated to Thanjavur and dug such types of wells, he said.
The team during its inspection also found a ‘sapta mata’ sculpture carved in a single stone on the parapet of the well, reportedly belonging to the 10th century. An idol of Lord Vishnu and a Jain monk, appearing like Lord Mahaveer were found at the site. Mani Maran said that these findings indicate that there could have been settlements during Chola era.
According to legends, people from the present Pudukkottai and Gandharvakottai migrated to Sothupalai and a few descendants still lived in areas like Chithirakudi, Rayanthur, Kalvirayanpettai, Sithayal, Gunamangalam, Vairaperumalpatti and Kovilpathu. Though these people belonged to various communities, they worshipped Santhiveera Ayyan and Pillaithachi Amman, he added.