Friday, May 5, 2017

Rajagopala Swamy Temple, Mannarkoil – Inscriptions

Rajagopala Swamy Temple, Mannarkoil – Inscriptions
One finds several inscriptions relating to significant contributions made by rulers dating back to the Chozha and Chera period. Rajendra Chozha made big contributions to this temple in the 11th century AD, so much so that this place was referred to as Rajendra Vinnagaram. Later, Chera King Rajasimman donated several pieces of land to this temple. Jatavarma Chozha Pandya as well as Nayak kings also made contributions to the Mannar Koil. There are also interesting inscriptions on the floor of the temple right at the entrance.
There are numerous inscriptions of Jatavaraman Sundara-Chola Pandya found on the outer (southern, western and northern) walls of the main vimana base dating back to the Chola period. According to Ep. Ind., Vol. XI, pp. 294 the Chera king Rajasimha was a contemporary of the first viceroy Jatavarma Sundara Chola Pandya. Inscriptions mention about the existence of Temple Maha Sabha empowered to register all the land grants from monarchs - Chola and Pandya rulers. The land grants were realized when these rulers camped in nearby places like Velaikurichi and Kallidaikurichi. In this way there are references about the gifting of the village of Velancholai to the temple.
The 4th year reign - inscription records some decisions taken in the meeting of the assembly held in a hall of the Ambalam about the land and houses granted to the gardeners, drummers, potters, garland makers, torch bearers and temple dance girls (devaradiyar). It is located on the south wall of the temple. The 6th year reign - inscription records the order about the gift of taxes on the land (endowed as a Devadana to the temple) in a village called Manabharana Chaturvedimangalam. It is located on the north wall of the temple.
On the 139th day in the 13th year reign - inscription records the details of land sale by the Sabha of Rajaraja Chaturvedimangalam to the temple. The 14 and odd veli of land in extent was regrouped into a new hamlet called Sola Pandya Nallur and converted into a tax-free Devadana. It is located on the west wall of the Temple. In the 14th year reign - inscription registers the sale of the village Manabharana Chaturvedimangalam, a Brahmadeya in Mulli Nadu, which was the property of two Brahmans of Nigarilisola Chaturvedimangalam named Govindan Madhava bhattan and Govindan Thirivikraman, to the temple. Also records that the Brahmans had originally obtained the village as the gurus of the ruling dynasty. It is located on the north wall of the temple.
In the 18th year reign - inscription registers the sale by the Sabha of Rajaraja Chaturvedimangalam to the temple. It is located on the north wall of the temple. Another inscription records gift of land to 12 Brahmins who had settled down in the village from towns such as Thirukkurungudi, Tirukurugur (Azhwar Thirunagari) and Thirumaliruncholai (Azhagar Koil), in recognition of their recitation of the 'Thiruvaimozhi' in the Thiruvaimozhi Mandapam (even now called in  the same).
One more inscription records to the Maha Sabha accepting the legacy of land from two widows only after their male relatives had agreed to the land being gifted to the temple. In cases where the signatories to a contract were illiterate, others had signed on their behalf. Two other inscriptions record routine matters like the appointment of Sankara Nayanar as the dharmakarta in Kollam year 764 and the gift of land to some common people like the temple watchman.

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