Sunday, 29 September 2013

A temple in a river island

Nrpatunga pallava temple on island in Paalaru
On Tuesday, Sept 24, with friends, Siva, Bhusha and VSS, I visited Vaayalur near the Paalar river, to see the temple accredited to RajaSimha and see his genealogical inscription of 57 generations of the Pallavas. There was only one pillar with his inscription. I could not read it because it was not clear and the light was harsh. But the folks there pointed us to another temple on an island on the other side of the Paalar, built by the much later Nrpatunga Pallava. This is the photo onthe left, but as you can see it is completely "modernised" with cement and paint and shutters, and if there are any inscriptions, they are all gone.

Lion sculpture in Nrpatunga temple
A lion sculpture, perhaps of Pallava antiquity stands mutely there.

But the locale is still beautiful and would be more so if the river had more flowing water. This was in a village called Paramesvara mangalam, probably a Brahmin settlement, commissioned by Paramesvara Pallava, son of Narasimha Varma, conqueror of Vatapi.

After this, we moved on to the nearby Naththam Paramesvara mangalam section of the village, which had another old temple modernised by recent activity - you can see the scattered old sculptures nearby, discarded like so much trash.

Bikshatana in a koshtam

The priest said that some visitor told him that this was built by Paramesvara Pallava - if so it must have been in brick, because granite structural temples were begun by Paramesvara's son RajaSimha, as per scholars. The temple had a Chola structure, with the signature Lingodhbhava sculpture in the rear koshta.

The villagers believed that the Nrpatunga temple is older, but I told them he came 200 years after Paramesvara.

After we visited some megalithic burial site in Tirupporur and Siruthavur.

PS: Blogger seems to limit number of photos I can upload...

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