TEMPLE ENDOWMENTS – AGNEESWARER TEMPLE AT THIRUPPUGALUR – PART V

Ornaments

Ornaments were presented by many devotees during the reign of Rajendra II to the image of the god. Devan Pattagal Pandaram and his daughter set up the image of Suryadeva and his two consorts newly in the temple at Thiruppugalur. The names of donors are engraved in the inscription. Devan Pattagal Pandaram and his daughter belonged to Siva Padasekaraterinda Thirumanjanathar velam, a bathing establishment. There is a damaged epigraphical record of endowment for offering food to the God.  This is a royal gift by Pattan Thana Thongiyar, a wife of Uttamachola deva.

Golden Flowers

Kadan Vaikuntan, the head man of Tirupperrur of Puramkarambai Nadu made an offering of a gold flower of 2 kalanju weight to Thiruppugalur devar in A.D. 992 corresponding to 7th regnal year of Rajaraja 1. Again in A.D. 1008 durinig the reign of the same king Selvanacham, a member of the Chatrubhayankara Thernija Valam of the queen Panchamman Mahadeviyar made a donation of nine gold flowers. The inscription is damaged and is not clear. During the reign of the same king, the assembly of Boologa Manicka Chaturvedi Mangalam and Pendattivooran Ponnambalam made donations for a big flower weighing three kalanju three manjadi.

Other endowments

Lands were donated tax free for offerings worship to God Kameswara Mudaiyar with the recitation of Vedas. As the inscriptions are not clear due to damage, no more information could be obtained from it. The inscription is from the period of the king Rajendra I. A certain piece of land is conferred on kani by Royal decree or assembly to one Poyyada Sevadi Kunikkum Praun alias Seranten Singapichan of Tiruvennainallur for singing Devaram Tiruppadigam in Thiruppugalur temple. The epigraphic evidence for such conferment of right for specific duties in the temple is given in an inscription. Rights for the cultivation of certain pieces of land as kani were conferred on carpenters in the temple at the instance of the Government official Rajaraja Mangaladaraiyan according to an inscription dated A.D. 1188 during the 10th regnal year of Kulottunga III. The names of carpenters are given as Tiruneelakanda Uyyavandan alias Rajendrachola Acharian, Tiruneelakandar, Thillainayakan alias Thiruppugalur Acharian.

During the reign of Vikrama Chola in his second regnal year corresponding to A.D. 1120, one Manakkinianathan Veerarajan of Thevur of Rajanarayan  Valanadu instituted a hospital on the northern bank of the river Mudikonda Chola Peraru at Thiruppugalur for tending the sick and destitute. In order to maintain the hospital, a piece of land was sold tax-free by the assembly of Kshatriyanatha Chaturvedimangalam of Panaiyurnadu of Kulottunga Chola Valanadu which met in Naralokaviran mandapa of Thiruppugalur temple. This epigraphy refers that the business of purchasing the lands was done by the assembly in a mandapa, perhaps named after the army general Naralokavira. To sum up, epigraphic evidence is wanting in this temple about additional structures. The temple now looks a full-fledged temple with all its paraphernalia of gopurams, prakaras, a good number of subordinate shrines, ardhamandapa, mukamandapa and a big tank or moat surrounding the entire outer prakara. We have seen that following the royal example, people belonging to all walks of life have richly endowed lands, money and ornaments to the temple. Some of these are engraved on the walls of the temple. We find several types of endowments as enumerated above. Even people from distant places offered some special service to the temple. The kings of neighboring countries like Pandyas who came on expedition and invasion also instituted special endowments for their well-being. The epigraphic evidence forms the main source for the study of endowments in the temple at Thiruppugalur. Endowments are recorded epigraphically from the time of Uttamachola to that of Jatavarma Sundarapandya from A.D 986 to 1265. The earliest inscription about endowments belongs to the reign of Uttamachola. There are no endowments epigraphically recorded after Jatavarma Sundarapandya, though only a few repairs and erection of pillars are recorded after the period.

References

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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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