Monday, June 16, 2014

Aditya Chola I Pallipadai (Royal Sepulchre) Near Sri Kalahasti, Andhra Pradesh

Arch and Stupi at The Road Junction: Tirupati - Sri Kalahasti - Puttur Roads
Information Plaque below Stupi
Three tier Rajagopuram. The compound wall enclose large rectangular sized land.
Rajagopuram, Bali Peetam, Nandhi Mantapam, and the Main Sanctum (Adityesvara) aligned in the same axis.
View of shrine in 2010 Source: ஆதித்த சோழனைத் தேடி....Bodhi.
Date: Thursday, October 7, 2010
Vimanam: Superstructure Damaged: Source: ஆதித்த சோழனைத் தேடி....Bodhi. Date: Thursday, October 7, 2010
Present Date: 08 06 2014 View of Aditya Chola I Sepulchre (Under Renovation) and Kamakshidevi Shrine
Shiva Lingam at the Sepulchre Sanctum: Sanctum and Ardha Mantapam Viewed
Vimana base comprise: upana, jagati, tripatta-kumuda, kantha and kampa molding. Tripatta Kumuda bears inscription. 
Central niche of the Southern wall housing Dakshinamurthy.  Source: ஆதித்த சோழனைத் தேடி....Bodhi.
Date: Thursday, October 7, 2010
Present View: Central Niche Projected.  Padma and Silambu Kumuda. arrangement of friezes of bas-relief lion above the base
Lion Bas relief and Gomukha
Inscriptions of 34th regnal year  from Parantaka  Chola I (94l)
Portions of Tri-patta Kumuda damaged: Portions of the inscriptions lost. See the paint mark to identify the stone block
Excess Cement Mortar used to join boulders. The inscriptions and other sculptural aspects lost
Consort shrine: Kamakshidevi
Visiting the Adityesvara temple (ஆதித்தியேஸ்வர ஆலயம்) aka. Kodandaramesvara temple (கோதண்டராமேஸ்வர ஆலயம்) is a must on any visit to Sri Kalahasti in Andhra Pradesh. Kodandaramesvara is the Pallipadai (பள்ளிப்படை) sepulchre temple of Chola king, Aditya Chola I (c. 871 – c. 907 CE) (முதலாம் ஆதித்த சோழன்), the son of Vijayalaya Chola. Sepulchre temples are wonderful places to explore since there is lesser information known about them. Those of you who are familiar with sepulchre temples will no doubt amplify more; so please feel free to comment.

Aditya Chola I died at Tondaimanarrur in 907 CE. An inscription describe this by the epithet  "Tondaimanarrur tunjina udaiyar (தொண்டைமானரூர் துஞ்சின உடையார்)- "the king who died at Tondaimanarrur". 'The Kanyakumari inscription supplies us with the information that Aditya was also known by the surname Kodandarama.  In later times, this same title was borne by his grandson, prince Rajaditya.' 'In this village there still exists a temple called Kodandaramesvara, also mentioned in its inscriptions by the name Adityesvara. In one of the Tondamanad inscriptions reference is made to a “pallippadai”  (i.e., a shrine built over or near a burial ground) apparently at the same village.  It is evident, therefore, that Aditya died at Tondaimanarrur near Kalahasti and that his son Parantaka I built a Siva temple over his ashes.'

Where is this village Tondaimanarrur? How to get there and visit Adityesvara temple aka. Kodandaramesvara? I was searching the Google on the whereabouts of this sepulchre shrine near Sri Kalahasti. One or two travelogues in Tamil informed about Tondamanad and the sepulchre shrine which is in close proximity to Sri Kalahasti, in Chitoor district, Andhra Pradesh, PIN - 517641.

I was very keen to visit this sepulchre to show his respects and pray. Started from Tirupati on 08th June 2014 at 7.30 am by by Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation Bus (APSRTC). Distance between Tirupati to Sri Kalahasti is 37 km. Travel Time by road is 1 hr.  Sri Kalahasti is a holy town and a municipality near Tirupati. When enquired about Thondamanad Shiva temple,the name of this place is unheard for many. 

I 
am told to watch for an Arch on the right side of the road and I continued down the road for about 34 km. The arch was visible from the road and I got down from APSRTC. No one came to help me and the villagers neither know about Adityesvara temple nor Kodandarameswara temple. Now all left to me. However they guided me to proceed straight into the village and I walked about two - three km to reach Tondamanadu and finally I landed in Thondamanadu Sri Venkateshwara Swamy temple built by Thondaman Chakravarthy brother оf Sri Padmavathi ammavaru (brother-in-law tо Sri Venkateswaraswamy).  This is only temple where one can see Venkateswaraswamy will be sitting along with Sri Devi (Lakshmi)  and Padmavathi Ammavaru. After darshan there, I was guided properly by the priest to go Bokkasampalem village and proceed further from the village arch into the village to get into the temple. Bokkasampalem is the historical village situated between Subbanaidukandriga and Eguva veedhi in the Sri Kalahasti Mandal.  ."Bokkasam" means Treasury, Thondaman chakravarthy ruled Thondamanadu. His treasury was placed in that village, so that the name came to Bokkasampalem village. Finally I have walked into Kodandarameswara sepulchre temple, in Bokkasampalem village. The little dilapidated Shiva temple was standing with amazing vibe. I have regained my confidence. One would simply love to sit around there and relax in peace.

The temple is maintained by the Executive Officer, Sri Kalahasteeswara Swamy Devastanam, Sri Kalahasti, Andhra Pradesh, India. This historical monument is not protected by the Department of Archaeology and  hence continue to lie in utter neglect. After being neglected for decades, the historical Kodandarameswara sepulchre temple of Parantaka Chola I era in Sri Kalahasti mandal are set to undergo renovation. The Sri Kalahasteeswara Swamy Devastanam authorities have taken up renovation works in the main shrine. The vimana with beautiful stucco work was built using brick and lime mortar and was converted later into stone. Now it is completely demolished and the reconstruction have not commenced yet. They have strengthened the foundations and relaid the granite blocks from upana (the base) to prastara (entablature) including adhishtanam and wall structures of the shrine. However the rare inscriptions are smeared with cement mortar and the stone blocks bear painted identification markings. It appears that the renovation is taking place in a snail’s pace. Thanks to the patronage of Sri Kalahasteeswara Swamy Devastanam, devotees and heritage conscious persons, the daily rituals are being held without any interruption at the Ambal shrine.

Pallipadai  (Sepulchre temple)

Pallipadai means a (Sepulchre temple) Shiva temple constructed the mortal remains of Chola royalty.  Pallipadai is the Tamil name for sepulchral shrine. Normally funerary temples were erected over the places of burial of the mortal remains of ascetics, saints and sages. However raising sepulchral shrine on the burial / cremation ground was followed by the Lakulisa Pashupata sect during later Cholas period (10th and 11th century). No sepulchre temple traceable from the Pallava, or Chera kings,  but there are sepulchres from the Cholas. Such kind of worship protocol is not practiced today. Though there are about 16 Chola sepulchres pointed out, the scholars are in agreement with three sepulchre temples since they have specific inscriptions in their wall or plinth stating that they are Pallipadai koil (funeral temples). The remaining Chola sepulchres could not be traceable or there is a difference of opinion among the scholars about the identity of the location mentioned in the sources. The inscriptions from these Chola sepulchres deify the king or queen and commemorate the death. The direct male descendant of the king or queen and legitimate successor for the throne has only built the Chola sepulchre. The cult raising sepulchres for the dead king or queen and the cult of exalting or worshiping them was not prevalent after Chola dynasty. No Hindu Agamic text prescribes cannons for Pallipadai Temple construction.

The  spacious east facing Kodandarameswara Kamakshidevi temple complex is situated in the middle of the village Bokkasampalem and surrounded by the residences. The temple does not show any complex plan and the temple never enlarged by royal successors.  The architectural elements ‘reflect Chola convention.’ This whole temple complex stands within a spacious rectangular compound defined by prakara walls. The temple faces west towards the east gopuram of the Kodandarameswara complex, with which it is perfectly aligned.  The simple and interesting Stucco images (Sudhai) decorate the stone gopuram. Typical Chola dwarapalakas (door guardians) are not traceable. Main entrance showing Bali Peeta, and Nandhi Mantapa. An intricately sculpted Nandhi aka the celestial Bull, the divine mount of Lord Shiva, sits facing the main deity.

The vimana of the main shrine is small and typically square and includes sanctum (garbhagriha)  and ardhamandapa. From upana to prastara, the vimana is built with granite stone and the superstructure including shikara seems to have built out of brick and re-converted to stone.   At present the sanctum is bereft of its superstructure. Shiva Lingam (5 - 6 feet tall) is present in a two meter square sanctum sanctorum. There is an Ardhamantapa before the sanctum.

The vimana walls are divided into three segments and named as pathis and these pathis usually extends towards the upper tiers of the vimana. The segmenting is marked by pilasters. The corner pathis are called Karnapathis or Karnabhadra. The centrally located and little projected pathis from the walls is known as Salapathi or Salabhadra. Salapathis have one or more niches (koshta) or Sala-koshta. The plain outer walls of this particular vimana have brahmakanta pilasters (four sided) and plain Karnapathis. Although there is a slight projection of the sala-koshtas, there is almost no depth to house the deities. It appears that the sala-koshta deities might be later additions. Now niches are bereft of sculptures.

The vimana has the very austere basement (adhishtana) of padabandha type with the components of upa-peeta, upana, jagadi, tri-patta kumuda moulding. Prativari with Padma and Silambu Kumuda appear beneath the centrally projected niches. There is the arrangement of friezes of bas-relief lion above the base.

The consort (Ambal) shrine (added at later date) is in a separate sanctorum on the left. Also there are Navagriha figures (nine planets) on platform appears to have been added at later date.

Inscription

During the Raja Raja Chola rule, Sri Kalahasti fell under the revenue division of Attrur Nadu of Perumbanaipadi, which was a sub-division of Tiruvenkata Kottam (Tiruvenkata Circle) under the larger division of Jayamkonda Cholamandalam.

The detailed lithic records (stone inscriptions) of the 34th regnal year  from Parantaka  Chola I (94l)  written all around the tripatta kumuda of the central shrine (vimanam) recording a gift of 105 Kazhanchu gold (one Kazhanchu is approximately equivalent to 5 grams) and agreement to measure every year 4000 kadi of paddy as deposit by Vageeswara Panditha Bhattarar.  The inscription records further about the utilization of interest accrued from gift (deposits) i.e, agreed to measure 1000 kadi of paddy every year as interest as well as to provide curd, ghee, salt, vegetables and other requirements for observing the seven day celebrations that concluded on Sadhayam star constellation in the Tamil month Purattasi (September - October). Sadhayam was the natal star constellation of Aditya Chola I. The inscription also instructs further to dedicate the seven day festival to Lord Indra,  the god of thunder and rain. (Indra Vizha (Festival for Lord Indra) was celebrated in the ancient Chola capital Kaveripumpattinam and it is believed that the discontinuation of the Indra Vizha celebrations led to the destruction of this Chola capital.)

During the Indra Vizha celebrations one thousand devotees of different sects and classes were to be fed. Of the one thousand devotees, 500  devotees must be from different religious sects and classes "பக்தர்களான பல சமயத்து அந்நூற்றவர்." From the remaining 500, there must be 300 brahmins and 200 devotees must be saints, ascetics (தபஸ்விகள்), including hermits of  Mahavratam sect (மகாவிரதிகள்), from six different Saivite sects (Saivam, Pasupatham, Kalamukham, Mahavratam, Vamam and Bhairavam) of the Hindu religion "தபஸ்விகளில் மகாவிரதிகள் உட்பட ஆறுசமயத்து தபஸ்விகள் இருநூற்றவர்" 

The charity of feeding the devotees was to be maintained by the Vageeswara Panditha Bhattarar of the Pallipadai temple and by the Sabha (assembly prominent Brahmin landholders in Chola local administration system) and devotees of Thondaimaan Peraarur village. The inscription specifies that the interest was to be measured in 1000 kadi of paddy.

The village sabha paid in measures of paddy-wages to servants for spreading banana leaves, fetching drinking water of paddy-wages; to pot maker for providing mud pots; to vendors for providing flower garland and firewood. There was a Chola sponsored vedic school and measures of paddy-wages were provided for its maintenance purposes. The Pallipadai temple was also attached with the  theatrical hall for dramatic dance and music and the carpenter (who attended the maintenance work) was also provided with measures of paddy-wages. During the celebrations, folk dance dramas (koothus) were organized. The drama artists and singers were also given measures of paddy-wages.  

Vijayalaya Cholas

The Sangam literature fame early Chola kingdom (Uraiyur as Chola capital city) faded into darkness after 3rd century A.D. After the 'dark' age there was an ascendancy of the Pallava and Pandya dynasties.

The real founder of the Chola dynasty of Thanjavur was Vijayalaya Chola (848-891) aka. Parakesarivarman, a feudatory of the Pallavas. His dynasty rose to its prominence during the middle of the 9th century A.D. He captured Thanjavur in 848 A.D. from some local chieftains (Mutharaiyar) and established as a semi autonomous state.

The successors of Vijayalaya  managed to become independent from the control of the Pallavas. They fought with Pallavas and Pandiyas of Madurai and defeated them and extended they sway to most parts of modern day Southern Tamil Nadu. Thus greatest Chola empire came into existence in South India during the second quarter of the 9th century A.D. and lasted for more than

Aditya Chola I (முதலாம் ஆதித்த சோழன்) (c. 871 – c. 907 CE) was the son of Vijayalaya Chola. Aditya Chola I had a long and victorious reign during which he laid the foundation of the future greatness of the Chola empire. He had "Rajakesari" title. He was also called as Kodanda Raman.

Aditya Chola I is regarded as Thirupurambiyam battle hero. The village Thirupurambiyam is located on the Thanjavur - Kumbakonam route in Tamil Nadu. The battle was mainly engaged between the Pallava king Aparajit and Pandia king Varaguna Pandian aka Varagunavarman II  in the year  885 CE. The two sons of  the Pallava king Nandivarman III - his eldest son Nripatunga and another son Aparajit - developed enmity after the demise of their father in 869 AD. The Pandias supported Nripatunga and Pallavas supported Aparajit. Aparajit also received support from Ganga king Prithvipathi I and Aditya Chola I.

The Pandias got defeated and this battle ensured the end of Pandya power in the south. The Ganga king Prithvipathi was also killed in this battle. The king Varaguna Pandian renounced his throne and turned as an ascetic. Cholas reaped maximum benefit out of Thirupurambiyam victory and the grateful Aparajita not only agreed to retain the territories won by Vijayalaya Chola, but also assigned the new regions around Thanjavur held by Mutharaiyars to Cholas as  the token of appreciation.

Later, in the year 903 CE, the 32nd year of his reign, Aditya Chola I became very powerful and don't want to continue as a subordinate to Pallavas. In a battle he defeated the Pallava king Aparajit and captured Pallava kingdom. It is believed that he himself killed Aparajit who was mounted on an elephant in the battle. The conquest of the Tondaimandalam earned for Aditya I the epithet "Tondainadu pavina Rajakesarivarman" (தொண்டைநாடு பாவின இராசகேசரிவர்மன்) - "Rajakesarivarman who overran Tondainadu". The name Tondaimandalam region was later converted as Jeyangonda. Cholamandalam. Aditya Chola I also conquered the Kongu country located in the south west of Tamil Nadu and captured region from the Pandya king Viranarayana.

Aditya Chola I is claimed to have built a number of temples for Lord Shiva along the banks of the Cauvery. The Kanyakumari inscription gives us the information that Aditya I was also known by the surname Kodandarama.

Aditya Chola I was survived by his queens Ilangon Pichchi and Vayiri Akkan alias Tribhuvana Madeviyar. Besides these two queens Aditya I also had a mistress named Nangai Sattaperumanar as evidenced from an inscription.

Medieval Cholas aka. Vijayalaya Chola Dynasty
Reign Period (A.D.) Name of the Chola Relationship Historical Facts - Reign
848 - 871 Vijayalaya Chola (848 - 871) Founder of Medieval Chola Dynasty
Successor: Aditya Chola I
Vijayalaya rose out of obscurity and captured Thanjavur in 848A.D. from Mutharaiya, the local chieftain.
871 - 907 Aditya Chola I (871 - 907) Son of Vijayalaya Chola
Predecessor: Vijayalaya Chola
Successor: Parantaka Chola I
extended the Chola dominions by the conquest of the Pallavas. Tondaimanarrur tunjina udaiyar
907 - 950 Parantaka Chola I (907 - 950) Son of Aditya Chola I
Predecessor: Aditya Chola I
Successor: His second son Gandaraditya

Long reign (48 years). Increased success and prosperity.
Died in 950 A.D.,


Rajaditya (died.949)
("aanai mael thunjiya devar") 
Son of Parantaka Chola I (the prince and the first in line to the throne - killed in one of the bloodiest battles in Thakkolam (949 A.D.)
950 - 957 Gandaraditya (950 - 957)      Son of Parantaka Chola I
Predecessor: Parantaka Chola I
Successor: Arinjaya Chola
More suited to the realm of religion than politics. His reign was marked for the stagnation in the progress of the Chola power.
956 - 957 Arinjaya (956 - 957) Son of Parantaka Chola I
Predecessor: Gandaraditya Chola
Successor: Sundara Chola
Ruled for a brief period
957 - 970 Sundara Chola (957 - 970)
Title: Parantaka Chola II 
Son of Arinjaya Chola
Predecessor: Arinjaya Chola
Successor: Uththama Chola
Aditya II (Aditya Karikala)
Rajaraja Chola I
Kundavai (Daughter)
Chola power recovered during Sundara Chola’s reign. Died in 973 A.D.

Aditya Karikala (died. 965)
Aditya II    
Son of Sundara Chola and the prince and the first in line to the throne -
Defeated the Pandyas. Invaded in the north up to Tondaimandalam. Killed in a political intrigue in 965 A.D. Uththama Chola’s   involvement in this plot has been suspected.
970 - 985 Uththama Chola (970 - 985) Minor son of Gandaraditya Chola and Sembiyan Mahadevi and the cousin of Sundara Chola.
Predecessor     Sundara Chola
Successor     Rajaraja Chola I
Due to his immaturity, his rights to the Chola throne were probably set aside and Gandaraditya’s younger brother Arinjaya Chola was crowned king.
985 - 1014 Rajaraja Chola I (985 - 1014)  Son of Sundara Chola and the prince and the second in line to the throne
Predecessor: Sundara Chola
Successor: Rajendra Chola
Consolidated and established  the Chola Empire. Brought political unity to the whole of Southern India and establish- ed the Chola Empire as a       respected sea power. Rajaraja eliminated the last remnants of the Rashtrakuta power.
985 - 1014Rajaraja Chola I (985 - 1014) 
Titles: Parakesari, Rajakesari, Mummudi Cholan
Son of Sundara Chola and the prince and the second in line to the throne
Predecessor: Sundara Chola
Successor: Rajendra Chola I
Consolidated and established  the Chola Empire. Brought political unity to the whole of Southern India and establish- ed the Chola Empire as a       respected sea power. Rajaraja eliminated the last remnants of the Rashtrakuta power.
1012 - 1044 Rajendra Chola I (1012 - 1044)
Titles: Parakesari, Yuddhamalla, Mummudi, Gangaikonda Chola
Son of Rajaraja Chola I
Predecessor: Rajaraja Chola I
Successor: Rajathiraja Chola
Issues:
Rajadhiraja Chola I
Rajendra Chola II
Virarajendra Chola
(daughters)
Arulmolinangayar
Ammangadevi

Extended his father’s            successes by completing the  conquest of Lanka          (1018 A.D.), invade Western Chalukyas (1021 A.D.) and  invade Vengi (1031 A.D.).
1018 - 1054 Rajadhiraja Chola (1018 - 1054) -     Son of Rajendra Chola I
Predecessor    Rajendra Chola I
Successor     Rajendra Chola II
lost his life on the battlefield
1051 - 1063 Rajendra Chola II (1051 - 1063) -     Son of Rajendra Chola I
Predecessor    Rajadhiraja Chola
Successor     Virarajendra Chola
crowned in the battlefield
1063 - 1070 Virarajendra Chola (1063 - 1070) Son of Rajendra Chola I
Predecessor    Rajendra Chola II
Successor     Athirajendra Chola

1067 - 1070 Athirajendra Chola (1067 - 1070) Son of Virarajendra Chola
Predecessor    Virarajendra Chola
Successor     Kulothunga Chola I


How to Get There:

Bokkasampalem village is located on the Puttur -  Sri Kalahasti road - in between  Subbanaidukandriga and Eguva veedhi. It is 7 km from Sri Kalahasti. The temple located 0.5 km away from Thondamanadu Sri Venkateshwara Swamy Temple. Good transport facility (frequent share autos and occasional buses) is available from Sri Kalahasti to Bokkasampalem village.
  • Address :     Near Rachabanda , Sivalayam Street , Ramalayam temple, 517640
  • Nearest Bus Stop     Eguva veedhi Bus Stop 1 KM. from temple
  • Nearest Railway Station     Sri Kalahasti Railway Station distance 7 KM. from the temple
  • Nearest Airport     Renigunta Airport distance 17 KM. from the Temple

References 

  1. ஆதித்த சோழனைத் தேடி....Bodhi. http://bodhiparthi.blogspot.in/2010/10/blog-post_07.html 
  2. XI.- Inscriptions of Parakesarivarman Parantaka I No. 103. – ON A SLAB BUILT INTO THE VERANDAH ROUND THE CENTRAL SHRINE OF THE ADHIPURISVARA TEMPLE AT TIRUVORRIYUR) http://www.whatisindia.com/inscriptions/south_indian_inscriptions/volume_3/introduction1.html#_ftnref10
  3. Aditya Chola I Wikipedia
  4. Balsubrahmanyam, S. R. Early Chola Art, part I, Asia Publishing house, 1966
  5. Choubey, M.C. Lakulisa in Indian Art and Culture, New Delhi: Sundeep Prakashan, 1997.
  6. Living beyond death: Chola sepulchres. http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Living-beyond-death-Chola-sepulchres.-a0271884983
  7. Nilakanta Sastri, K.A. The Colas, Madras: The University of Madras, 1984. 
  8. The Cholas. Humanities 360. http://www.humanities360.com/index.php/the-cholas-46118/
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