They were unearthed by removing a thick lime coat by research scholars
Four Tamil inscriptions, including one of the Rajaraja III period recording an endowment, have been copied from the Madhyarjuneswarar Temple at Pettaivaithalai near Tiruchi by research scholars during a field study recently.
The inscriptions were unearthed by removing a thick lime coat during the study taken up by R.Akila of Arignar Anna Government Arts College, Musiri, and M.Nalini of Seethalakshimi Ramasamy College, to compile the history of the temple at the request of the temple executive officer S.Ramanathan.
R.Kalaikkovan, Director, Dr.M.Rajamanikkanar Centre for Historical Research, Tiruchi, who studied the inscriptions, said that they included one from the later Chola period and two from the fag end of the Vijayanagar period. All the inscriptions name the Madhyarjuneswara temple as Maturantaka Isvaramudaiyar Kovil probably named after the great Chola King Rajendra 1. (The earliest record found at this temple belongs to this king who is also known as Maturantaka)
The Chola record engraved in the 14th regnal year of Rajaraja III, speaks about a royal order issued in the 34th regnal year of his father Kulottunga Chola III binding a certain Manikkam Therri alias Abhimanameru Cheelai Chettiar of Kumarur with an endowment to a religious institution named as Rajakkal Thambiran Thirumatam (a Saivite mutt).
As per the order of the king, 500 ‘kalam’ of paddy and 150 ‘kasu’ were to be paid by Manikkam Therri to the mutt from the annual tax due from his wet and dry lands at Korrankudi alias Uttama Cholanallur and the lands of Tiruchirappalli temple in a village. Manikkam Therri was permitted to make the contribution in two instalments from the two seasonal harvests mentioned in the record as ‘kar’ and ‘pasanam.’
The Vijayanagar inscription belonging to 1429 C. E. during the reign of Devaraya registers the appointment of Manikkanayanar one of the ‘kaikkola muthalis’ residing at Thirupparaitturai as the ‘meikaval’(guard) of the temple by the ‘nagarathar’ of Rajendracholan Pettai. A house to reside and a piece of land with a well were allotted to him for his services. The document signed by two leading merchants of the ‘nagarathar’ was written by Devapiriyan of Pennakatam.
The inscription also reveals that the temple was abandoned for a long time and was restored to its past glory by the people of the merchant community. Another three-line Vijayanagar record mentions the king’s name as Devaraya and stands incomplete. A later record on the southern entrance of the front mandapa celebrates a certain Nallamuttu as a sincere devotee of this temple.
The Director of Epigraphy and the authorities of HR & CE Department have been informed of the new finds, Dr.Kalaikkovan said in a press release.
(source : The Hindu)