TEMPLE ENDOWMENTS — AGNEESWARER TEMPLE AT THIRUPPUGALUR – PART II

Endowment of lands

There is a mention of tax remission on land donated to the God Sri Pugalur Mahadeva in A.D. 1022 during the reign of Rajendra I by the assembly of Bhulokamanikka Chaturvedi Mangalam, a Brahmadeya in Panaiyurnadu, a division of Kshatriyasikhamani Valanadu in consideration of 150 kasus received as fees from the temple. In A.D.1046 during the reign of Rajadhiraja I, there was a sale of land by the residents of Thottakudi to the deity Sandeswara Devar for providing early morning service with ghee rice, dhal and sugar rice along with Vetrilai Amuthu (Betel leaves numbering sixteen). Some part of the inscription is worn out. The measurements of rice are given as 2 nazhi each amudhu (food variety).

During the reign of Rajendra II, there is another inscription in A.D.1053 which registers a remission of taxes on a flower garden called Ponmenda Cholan by the assembly of Karaikal. The assembly is said to have met in the Durga Temple in the Senamukhan quarters of the village. Some land was also given for the maintenance of the gardens. For this land also, remission of tax was made by the same assembly. Senamukhan may refer to military barracks. The Goddess Durga, the favorite deity of the soldiers, perhaps had her shrine located nearby. In the same reign under the same ruler in the year A.D. 1055, there was another donation of land. Though there is an inscription for tax remission, the extent of land could not be found as the inscription was damaged. Again in the next year during the same reign, there was an endowment of cash by Velur udaiyan Parantaka Arumoli Pallavarayan. The amount is to be utilized for the Nulerum ceremony in the temple. Nulerum refers to Kodiyerrum (hoisting of the flag) at the beginning of the temple festival. So, the Thiruppugalur Siva Temple celebrated this Nulerum function regularly. This epigraph also mentions that the temple gave 40 kasus as a loan to the assembly of Pugalur which agreed to pay an interest of 10 kasus in A.D. 1084.

The assembly of Bhuloka Manikka Chaturvedimangalam gave tax remission on some land donated in favour of the temple of Thiruppugalur Devar. A mention of this is made in the inscription during the reign of Kulottunga I. It is also mentioned that the assembly received 10 kasus for the remission of tax.  The extent of the irrigated land is mentioned as 600 kulis. The next endowment during the period of Kulottunga I in A.D. 1091 was about the land for a flower garden. The land was made tax-free by paying 31/2 kasus to the assembly of Jayamkonda Chola Charurvedimangalam, according to an inscription on the walls of Agneeswara temple at Thiruppugalur.

The next endowment is also during the reign of Kulottunga I in A.D. 1095. It was his 25th regnal year. The land was donated for the maintenance of two water bearers who were to bring water from the river Cauvery to the temple for bathing the deity daily. The extent of the land is given as 3/4 veli. The next endowment referred to is in the 29th regnal year corresponding to A.D. 1099 of Kulottunga I. A flower garden is donated to the God of Thiruppugalur by Araiyan-Kalasingam alias Arindavan Pallavan, a Vellala of Iraiyur. The assembly of Mudikonda Chola Chaturvedi Mangalam remits the taxes on this land by receiving the fees. As certain portions of the inscription are worn out, the exact amount could not be read.

The next endowment for the same purpose during the period of Kulottunga I is about the donation of land for digging a pond to rear red lilies for the garland (Thirupallithanam) adorning the deity. The donors were Araisoorudaiayan of Rajendracholanallur of Panaiyur Nadu, Thalami Vedanta Sembian, Panaiyurnattu Mooventhavelan, Manimangalamudaiyan Kon Sembian, Panaiyurnattu Moovendan, Grama Merur Kilavan Karunakaran, Thiruvaikku Balamudaiyan alias Kumara Narayana Moovendavan. These men also made the land tax-free.

The next inscription seems to belong to the 11th Century and as the inscription is damaged we are able to get just the information that a resident of Bhuloga Manikka Chathurvedi Mangalam gave a certain extent of tax-free land to Thiruppugalur temple. The resident’s name is given as Vishnu Chechrayanen, son of Durvedi Pattan Sanasiar. The next inscription dated A.D. 1118 belongs to the reign of Kulothunga I, as the inscription is incomplete, we are able to get just the information that the assembly of Thirumarugal, a Brahmadeya, in Thirumarugalnadu met in Manickadevar Mandapam of the village on a Saturday in Paruvapaksha panchami thithi and sadaya constellation and gave tax-free land to Thirubuvana Sandesvara Devan of Sripugalur Devar temple. The four limits of the land are given but the extent of the land is not clear.

There is another endowment of land during the reign of Kulotthunga II in A.D. 1142. The cost of the land is mentioned as 40 kasus. The assembly Danathunga Chaturvedi Mangalam met in the mandapa of Kailasanathar koil and sold the land to the temple tax-free. The extent of the land is given as Mukkalae Aramia Araikkani. Of the 40 kasu given as price, 10 kasus are the fees for making it. Iraiyili (tax-free) taken by the assembly and the balance of 30 kasus were the cost of the land. It is also mentioned that the deed was written under the authority of Nambi Pattan, Panchanethivanan, Kaviniyan, Thiruchirambalamudaiyan, Akkinidevan, Ethirili Chola Brammaraya and others. It was signed by Damodaran Kunikkum Pran Kasiyapan Kari, Thiruchitrambalam and Kasiyapan Kari Solaimalayan.

There is another inscription dated A.D. 1188 during the reign of Kulottunga III which states that certain lands were taken from two villages to form a new street called Rajakkal Tambiran Tiruveethi. The land survey conducted in the 16th regnal year of Kulottunga I has also received special mention in this epigraph. The two villages referred to are Thiruppugalur and Thottakudi alias Rajendrasolanallur. The order of the government (Thirumandiraolai) was signed by Veli Udai Chola Moovenda Velan Singalarayar, Vizhignaththaraiyar, Nulambarayar, Pandiyarayar and Villavarayar. The measurement of the land was supervised by certain persons whose names are also mentioned. The names are Periya Nambi Pattan, Nilaperiyanambi Pattan, Sri Kariyam Kutralamudaiyan, Thanavinoda Moovenda velan and village writer Thiruppugurudaiyan. The care is taken in passing the order and also measuring out the land gives an insight into the efficient Chola Administration.

The next endowment belongs to Kullottunga III during the last half of the 13th Century. Here, the lands at various places like Deena Chinthamani nallur, Sivapadasekara nallur, Puravari nallur Sembilan thevar and Kedarimangalam have been donated as tax-free lands to the temple servants of Thiruppugalur namely Sri Maheshwara Kankanis (supervisors), officials in the temple and also to Thirukkameswaramudaiyar temple itself. The extent of lands in each place with border limits are given. The details of tax remission are also given. The order was written by Rajendra singa, Moovendavelan, Sethirayar, Kalingarayar Vizhupadairayar, Langeswar and Kangeyarayar. There is similar endowment during the period of Rajaraja III.

to be continued…

Dr. Rukmani Vathanam
Lecturer, Selection Grade
Department of History, Meenakshi College for Women, Chennai

Source: Journal of Indian History and Culture, March 2003

 

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