Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Raja Raja Cholan I Pallipadai and Inscription Controverises


Recently the half buried slanted Shiva Lingam figured in the midst of plantain field and just behind the hut of Pakirisamy's (a farmer) in Mudikondan river bed in Udayalur, Kumbakonam taluk. (Ref. Picture and You Tube video) The site and Shiva Lingam are being claimed as Raja Raja Cholan's ashes' burial place. Both the Shiva Lingam and the inscription lead many people to link and believe the site as the pallippadai of Raja Raja Cholan - I.

 

Raja Raja Cholan I (985-1014 A.D.), born Arunmozhi Varman (also respectfully referred by titles like Raja Raja Sivapaada Sekharan, Peruvudaiyar, Parakesari,  Raja Kesari Varman, Raja Raja Thevar and he carried 42 different titles), was known for his Chola temple architecture, lithic inscriptions, powerful standing army and a considerable navy, local administration and civil administration system, religious and civil endowments. After a short period of illness and suffering, the emperor of Tamil Chola Empire of India passed away  on 14th January 1014.

Udayalur (Sri Kangeyapuram) is a village in Kumbakonam taluk, Thanjavur district, Tamil Nadu, India. It is located located 32 km from Thanjavur and 6 km from Kumbakonam. The 1000 years old Sri Kailasanathar temple, dedicated Lord Shiva is located at Udayalur and it is learned that this temple was built by Raja Raja Cholan I. It is also believed that the Chola emperor has gifted this village to Ulagamuzhuthudayal, one of his wives and also named the village as  Ulagamuzhuthudayalur. This name gradually transformed as Udayalur. (ref.6)

Paalkulaththu Amman temple is another temple located on the banks of Palkulam (Ksheera Theertham) on the eastern border of the village. There is a stone pillar bearing inscriptions at the temple doorway. Previously this pillar was part of the mandapam in Pazhayarai, where in the body of Raja Raja Cholan I laid for last rites. At a later date this mandapam was demolished for unknown reasons. Eventually this pillar was taken from the demolished site and planted at Paalkulaththu Amman temple.This inscription was copied during 1880 – 1910 (about 30 years of work) reported and published in the Annual Epigraphy Report during 1927 – 28.
பால்குளத்து அம்மன் கல்வெட்டுப் பாடம்

1 ஸ்வஸ்திஸ்ரீ ஸகலபுவந சக்கரவர்த்திகள் ஸ்ரீகு
2 லோத்துங்க சோழ தேவற்கு யாண்டு நாற்ப
3 த்திரண்டாவது ஸ்ரீசிவபாதசேகரமங்கலத்து
4 எழுந்தருளிநின்ற ஸ்ரீராஜராஜதேவரான ஸ்ரீ
5 சிவபாதசேகரதேவர் திருமாளிகை முன்பில்
6 பெரிய திருமண்டப முன்[பி¦]லடுப்பு ஜீர்
7 ந்நித்தமையில் இம்மண்டபம் எடுப்பி
8 த்தார் பிடவூர் (பிடவூர் வேளான்) வேளா
9 ன் அரிகேசவனாந கச்சிராஜற்காக இவ்வூர்
10 நாயகம் செய்து நின்ற ஜயசிங்ககுலகா
11 ல வளநாட்டு குளமங்கல நாட்டு சா
12 த்தமங்கலத்து சாத்தமங்கலமுடை
13 யான் நம்பிடாரன் நாடறிபுகழன் இ
14 வருடன் விரதங்கொண்டு செய்தார் இ
15 வ்வூர் பிடாரகளில் ராஜேந்த்ரசோழனு
16 தைய நாயகநான ஈசானசிவரும் தேவ
17 நபயமாந அறங்காட்டி பிச்சரும்

ஸ்ரீசிவபாதசேகரமங்கலம் என்னும் ஊரில் கட்டப்பட்டிருந்த ஸ்ரீஇராஜராஜதேவரான ஸ்ரீசிவபாதசேகரதேவர் திருமாளிகையின் முன்பிருந்த பெரிய திருமண்டபம் பழுதுபட்டதால் பிடவூர் வேளான் அரிகேசவனான காசிராஜன் அதைத் திருப்பணி செய்ய விழைந்தார். ஜெயசிங்ககுலகால வளநாட்டு சாத்தமங்கலத்து பிடாரன் நாடறிபுகழன் அவருக்காக இப்பணியை மேற்கொண்டார். ஸ்ரீசிவபாதசேகரமங்கலத்துப் பிடாரர்களில் இராஜேந்திர சோழன் உதைய நாகனான ஈசானசிவரும் தேவன் அபயமான அறங்காட்டிப் பிச்சரும் இப்பணிக்கு உறுதுணையாக அமைந்தனர்.)

(Text Source from Article - Reference 7)

Meaning: The dilapidated large hall (Thiru Mandapam) before the royal palace (Thiru Maalikai) of Sri Raja Raja Thevar (also known as) Sri Sivapathaatha Shekara Thevar at Sri Sivapaatha Sekara Mangalam was rebuilt on behalf of Velaan Arikesavanatha Kasirajan of the village Pidavur executed through the head of the village Sri Sivapaatha Sekara Mangalam namely Jayasingha Kulakaala valanaattu, Kulamangala naattu, Saaththa Mangalaththu (Saaththa Mangalam - his native village) along with two other Pidaarer (Tamil Saiva Temple Priests) of this village (Sivapaathasekara Mangalam) named Rajendra Chola Uthaiya Nayakanaana Esaana Sivar and Thevan Abayamaana Arangkaatti Pitchchar. (ref.5)


Summary: Three Pidaarers (Tamil Saiva Temple Priests) who executed the rebuilding of the dilapidated large hall (Thiru Mandapam in front of the royal palace (Sivapaathaseara Thiru Maalikai) at Sivapaathasekara Mangalam. (ref.5)

Some local history enthusiasts around Kumbakonam and Thanjavur re-opened discussions on this inscription. This Thiru Mandapam was interpreted as to be a Memorial Temple (of Raja Raja Cholan I) and put forward their views and took efforts to trace out the pallipadai of Raja Raja Cholan I.


 Slanted half buried Shiva Lingam - claimed as Raja Raja Cholan I's ashes' burial place
  Source: Not Ascertainable


Recently the half buried slanted Shiva Lingam figured in the midst of plantain field and just behind the hut of Pakirisamy's (a farmer) in Mudikondan river bed in Udayalur, Kumbakonam taluk. (Ref. Picture and You Tube video) The site and Shiva Lingam are being claimed as Raja Raja Cholan's ashes' burial place.

Both the Shiva Lingam and the inscription lead many people to link and believe the site as the pallippadai of Raja Raja Cholan - I. Pallipadai means a Shiva temple constructed on the cemetery of a king. Pallipadai is the Tamil name for sepulchral shrine. Raising sepulchral shrine on the burial / cremation ground was found common during later Cholas period (10th and 11th century). Inscriptions would point out with details about the construction of sepulchral temples over the remains of kings and princes.

Historian Kudanthai Sethuraman (of Raman & Raman Bus Services) published a paper Aaivukk Katturaikal - vol 2 on this subject during `1980s. In this paper he has reported about his field study and about the inscription and he could not establish any link regarding pallipadai.

According to Dr Kudavayil Balasubramanian, well known epigraphist and historian from Thanjavur district, the inscription speaks about some structures built in memory of Raja Raja Cholan I. The structure mentioned therein was renovated by Kulothunga Cholan I (1070 - 1120 A.D.). The pallipadai figured on the bed of River Mudikondan (a tributary of Cauvery) could be the part of pallipadai. The historian also related the pallipadai of Panchavan Madevi (one of the wives Raja Raja Cholan I) located at Pateeswaram (nearer to Udayalur). He also strongly believe that there could be the pallipadai of Raja Raja Cholan I located in the near by area since the emperor spent his last days at the palace in Pazahayarai. 
  
The state Department of Archaeology (DoA) could not establish any such conclusion since they could not find any reliable evidence to prove it. Some people continued to claim that the Shiva Lingam site on the bed of River Mudikondan, being nearer to the erstwhile Chola capital Pazhayarai,  could possibly be the sepulchral shrine since Raja Raja Chola I was buried about 1,000 years ago.  

Dr. R. Kalaikkovan, Director of the Dr. M. Rajamanickanar Center for Historical Research visited both Paalkulaththu Amman Temple and the site at Mudikondan river bed in Udayalur along with his team and conducted the field study and analyzed the inscriptions. The article, 'Udayaloril Pallippadaya?' was posted in Varalaru.com (http://www.varalaru.com) - A Monthly Web Magazine dealing with history, culture and heritage of South India. http://www.varalaaru.com/design/article.aspx?ArticleID=11. The conclusion arrived by him indicate that nothing in the inscription could be related to pallipadai.

Reference
  1. Brihadishwara Temple, Tanjore, Tamil Nadu. Skyscrapper city http://www.skyscrapercity.com/archive/index.php/t-179815.html
  2. Kailasanatha Sivan temple. Wikimapia. http://wikimapia.org/2157538/Kailasanatha-Sivan-Temple
  3. Monument sought for Rajaraja at his burial place. The Hindu. Saturday, Sep 25, 2010
  4. Pazhayarai. Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pazhayarai
  5. Rajaraja Chola - 1's Pallipadai Temple or Palace Memorial. Vira Rajendra. http://www.mayyam.com/talk/showthread.php?8770-Rajaraja-Chola-1-s-Pallippadai-Temple-or-Palace-Memorial
  6. Udaiyalur. Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udaiyalur
  7. உடையாளூரில் பள்ளிப்படையா? இரா. கலைக்கோவன். varalaaru.com. http://www.varalaaru.com/design/article.aspx?ArticleID=11
You Tube Video
Rajaraja Samadhi - dilapidated condition by archananasar



You Tube Discovery of Raja Raja Cholan's ashes' burial place by Srivaths Sridhar·

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