Ex-cop seeks centre’s help to safeguard antique in Lanka

According to the officer, the inscription refers to the gift of three veils of land to the temple, but there is very little information available about the temple.
Ponn Manickavel
Ponn Manickavel

CHENNAI: Former IGP of Idol wing CID, AG Ponn Manickavel has communicated to the central and state governments to conduct a thorough inspection and spot study in Sri Lanka and safeguard a 1000-years-old stone pillar in the island nation, linked to the Chola dynasty of Tamil Nadu.

The retired IPS officer has written to the Union Ministry of Culture to take steps to preserve a 1,009-year-old antique granite pillar containing most valuable epigraphical material engraved during the period of Chola king Rajarajan which was in a neglected state in Sri Lanka.

In his letter addressed to G Kishan Reddy, Minister of Culture and Meenakshi Lekhi, Minister of State for Culture, Ponn Manickavel has stated that the pillar was documented by a European epigraphist at least 110 years ago. He has noted that pillar with old Tamil letters belongs to Uthama Chola Iswaram Udaiya Mahadevar temple, which was constructed at Etakade in Kalpa Korale of Sri Lanka after its conquest by Rajendra Cholan as per the directions of Raja Raja Cholan.

According to the officer, the inscription refers to the gift of three veils of land to the temple, but there is very little information available about the temple. The officer has requested the culture ministry for a spot study of the temple through proper channels and with the consent of the Sri Lankan government, to prepare a report to ensure preservation of the pillar and renovation of the temple on scientific lines if traced.

‘Temple goes missing’

PonnManickavel, in another letter to the state HR&CE minister P K Sekar Babu, said that a 949-year-old temple at Kunigal in Tumkur in Karnataka, built by Chola Dynasty has gone missing including a stone pillar with Tamil inscription was still there.

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