V Rajaguru with the stone inscription found in Thiruvadani in Ramanathapuram
V Rajaguru with the stone inscription found in Thiruvadani in Ramanathapuram

Kulothunga Chola era inscriptions of land donations found

Epigraphist Rajaguru said it’s once customary to plant trident-engraved stones on the boundary of the lands donated to the Shiva temples.

MADURAI: Stone slabs with trident symbol and inscriptions dating back to 800 years ago from the 13th century were discovered at Oriyur near Thiruvadanai in Ramanathapuram district for the first time.

The inscriptions are believed to be from the later Pandya kingdom. Trident (shoolam), which otherwise known as ‘Sulakkal’ (trident stone) was supposedly given by a landlord to a temple of Lord Shiva, Ramanathapuram Archaeological Research Foundation president V Rajaguru said on Monday.

On information shared by a teacher Arjunan and ‘Oriyur’ Kannan, a native of Oriyur that there’s an inscription at Oriyur Keezhakudiyiruppu near Thiruvadanai, Ramanathapuram, he took estampage and read the inscription, Rajaguru said.

Epigraphist Rajaguru said it’s once customary to plant trident-engraved stones on the boundary of the lands donated to the Shiva temples.

“The granite stone is two feet high and one and a half feet wide found in the area of the Oriyur Keezhakudiyiruppu canal. The stone bears an inscription of 10 lines on one side and a trident symbol on the other,” Rajaguru said. Some of the writings could hardly be understood, but after making attempts to read it, have managed to carve out a niche in history. The inscription begins with Swastishri and ends with ‘U’. The inscription said ‘Orur’ alias Vanavan Madevi Nallur Keezhaikuruchi donated Orur, which’s now called as ‘Oriyur’ as ‘Devadana’- (donated to Gods) to Udaiyar Thirupunavayiludaiya Nayanar and the right of cultivation (Karankizhamai) on the donated land was given to a person named Nindra Nilaiyandrathanan of Ulakuyyavantha Nallur. The Shiva temple indicated in the inscription is in Thiruppunavasal, Pudukkottai.

“It’s a Karankizhamai (right to cultivation of agriculture) inscription granting the right to cultivate the land. Further tracing history, he said Ulakuyyavanthan is the special name of Kulothunga Chola-I. Vanavan Madevi was the wife of Rajendra Chola-I and maternal grandmother of Kulothunga Chola-I. Vanavan Madevi Nallur is the current Oriyur.

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