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3 inscriptions unearthed in Pudukottai district

M. Balaganessin

One relates to a well, others on donation of a piece of land



Record past time:One of the inscriptions unearthed at Sunaiyakadu village near Pudukottai by epigraphists recently.

PUDUKOTTAI: Three rare inscriptions have been unearthed at villages adjacent to a private sugar factory on the Pudukottai – Aranthangi highway in the district recently. The special feature of these inscriptions relate to social and pious projects – one on setting up a well and two others on the donation of a piece of land – by Palaiavanam Pandararattar and Aranthangi Thondaiman, both ancient rulers.

One of the inscriptions unearthed at the embankment of a stone well set up by Vijaya Arunachala Vanangamudi Pandarattar, gives vital clue about the Palaiyavanathar era.

The date and month of setting up the well had been mentioned in Tamil almanac as ‘Aavani' and ‘Prabhava' respectively. “From the size and dimension of the well, it should have been used as a community well,” says A. Chandra Bose, Assistant professor of History, H.H. The Rajahs College, Pudukottai, one of the two epigraphists who undertook a study in Sunaiyakadu and Narpavalakudi villages recently.

The ancient rulers could have selected the site based on geologically-favourable factors.

Local villagers say that the water table has never dried up in this well. Villagers do not call it a well but had christened it as a ‘sunai' – a perennial source of water. It had not dried up even during acute drought conditions in the region, Mr. Chandra Bose says. “We worked out the ‘prabhava' cycle – which falls once in 60 years and this rulers pertained to 1687 AD, says Karu Rajendran, another senior epigraphist who had authored a few books and research works on the inscriptions in the district.

Land donation

Other inscriptions furnish information about land donation. The Pandarattars, who ruled Palaiyur Nadu between 17th and 20th centuries AD with Palaiyavanam as their capital, are considered descendants of the Aranthangi Thondaiman family.

The other two inscriptions unearthed at Narpavalakudi, contain minute details including its period about the donation of a piece of land to a Brahmin, Kadavaraya Pattan. Pichar Tondaiman Udaiyar of Aranthangi had donated the land to the Brahmin. Dated 1418 AD, the inscription had been prominently displayed at Sri Ayyapa temple.

Another interesting information is that this piece of land had been exempted from “Rajakaram,” a tax system that had been in vogue in the past. “The village should have been popularly known as Koothanur in those days,” says Mr. Chandra Bose.

A piece of stone of 16th century AD unearthed in front of the temple is yet another undated record. It proclaims the donation by Kamban Mudhaliman, a resident of Alaivil Anjatan Nallur.

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