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Thread: Kudamulukku Peru Vilaa (Maha Kumbhaabishekam) at Gangaikondacholeswarer Thirukkoyil

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    Kudamulukku Peru Vilaa (Maha Kumbhaabishekam) at Gangaikondacholeswarer Thirukkoyil


    UNDER CONSTRUCTION

    The "Kudamulukku Peru Vilaa" (Maha Kumbhaabishekam) of the "Gangaikondacholiswarer Thirukkoyil" built by the greatest "Tamil Chola Emperor - Rajendra Chola (A.D.1012-1044)" of Tamil Nadu - India - was held on the 2nd of February 2017

    The birth of Rajendra Chola - 1 as the son of Rajaraja Chola - 1

    Rajendra Chola - 1 was born on the Thiruvathirai Nakashathiram of the month of Adi (from mid July to Mid August) as the son of Rajaraja Chola - 1 (A.D.985=1014) by his 'second' Queen Uthaiya Piraatiyaar Thambiran Adikal - Vaanavan Maadeviyar 'also known as' (alias) Thiribhuvanamadeviyaar, and was named as Mathuraanthahan. During his young days he learnt all aspects of warfare and administration in addition to the religious, philosopical and literary compositions under his Guru Esaana Siva Pandithar. He successfully completed his studies and earned the title the 'Panditha Cholan'. In the year A.D.1012 he was made the 'heir apparent' (Ilavarasan = Uvaraja) to the Chola empire by his father Rajaraja Chola - 1.

    Rajendra Chola - 1 with his capture of many regions in the Indian mainland, after a lapse of two years he became more ambitious in conquering the northern and north-western regions of India. He commenced his war expedition in this direction in the year A.D.1021 with his capture of Sakkarakkoattam the south Chhattisgarh.
    From here he split his forces in to two and sent the first expedition in the direction of Ganges river in the north and the second expedition in the north-western direction, while he stationed himself at Sakkarakkoattam until the two expeditions were complete.

    The first expedition went towards towards river Ganges in the north from Sakkarakkoattam and captured the regions of Odda Vishayam of Orissa, Kosala Naadu the north Chhattisgarh, Thandabuththi in north Orissa , Thakkana Laadam in south Jharkhand, Vangala desam the Bangaladesh, Uttara Laadam of north Jharkhand and reached the great river Ganges.

    The second expedition went towards the north-west of India from Sakkarakkoattam direct to the Mathuramandalam crossing the Kalachuria, Chandella and Paramara kingdoms in between, enabled by the friendly ties the Cholas had with these countries. Chola forces thus captured the kingdoms of Mathuramandalam the west Uttar Pradesh, Namanaikkonam of north Haryana, Panchappalli of east Punjab (of Pakistan) Maasunidesam of north Punjab (of Pakistan) and Athinagar (the Purvadesam - Purva means ancient) of south Kashmir.
    The Chola Indian Mainland expedition ended in A.D.1022 and details of the countries conquered by his forces in this single expedition were included in his Meikeerthi's from the year A.D.1023. Rajendra Chola - 1 in this year commenced the construction of a new city named the "Gangaikonda Cholapuram", and a big 'water tank' named the "Chola Gangam" where the holy water brought in from the Ganges River was poured commemorating his victory over the Gangetic region and river Gangai.

    Rajendra Cholan - 1 completed his North Indian expedition in the year A.D.1022 and added the names of all countries he conquered from Sakkarakkoatam onwards towards upto the Gangetic region and great river Gangai in east of North India, and Purvadesam (Gandara country) of Pakistan west of North India in his Meikeeththi (true glory) only from this year and in it's short format as "Purvadesamum Gangaiyum konda Ko-Parakesari Rajendra Chola Devar".

    With the return of his forces from their great expedition in the north-east and north-west, he very soon embarked on his overseas war expedition towards South-East Asian Countries in the year A.D.1022. With the same vigor, vitality and enthusiasm created by these great victories. He immediately thereafter sent a large force overseas in many ships (alai kadal meethu pa Kalam seluthti) on a great war expedition towards Kadaram kingdom (Kedah Region) and other kingdoms of Malaysia, and Sri Vijaya kingdom in (Palembang Region) and other kingdoms of Sumatra Indonesia, and the other South-East Asian Countries including the regions of the present Thailand and Miyanmar etc. These forces very successfully conquered all these overseas countries and their names were further added to his Meikeerthi (True Glory) from the year A.D.1025. These victories condensed in a short format were also included in many of his Inscriptions as "Purvadesamum Gangaiyum Kadaramum konda Ko-Parakesari Rajendra Chola Devar".

    Hence it is quite evident the great war expedition overseas to the South-East Asian Countries by Rajendra Chola - 1 took two years to complete from the year A.D.1022 to A.D.1024 and the countries conquered were further included in his Meikeerththi in the year A.D.1025.

    Construction of Gangaikonda Choleswarer Temple

    It was from this year onwards Rajendra Chola - 1 retired from all his ambitious war expeditions in the Indian mainland and Overseas, which is confirmed by the very fact that there were no other countries have been included in his Meikeerththi upto his death in A.D.1044. It was during the period from A.D.1025 Rajendra Chola - 1 could have given his full concentration in the construction of the Gangaikonda Choleswarem temple - a great divine edifice to God Siva, under his complete purview.

    We are aware the first endowments of Rajendra Chola - 1 himself were granted to the Gangaikonda Cholaeswarem temple built by him in the year A.D.1035 (as per Virarajendra Chola's Inscription on these endoments at this temple). Hence we are certain that the construction of the Gangaikonda Cholaeswarer Temple by Rajendra Chola - 1 commenced in the year A.D.1025 and was completed in the year A.D.1035 after 10 years and the first Kumbaabishekam too would taken place in this same year., the year Rajendra Chola -1 made his first endowments to this temple - "being the first among all other Kings who made endowments to this temple".

    With his return Rajendra Cholan - 1 from his expedition towards the great Ganges river region in the year A.D.1022 claimed a new title as "Gangaikondaan", and gave the title "Gangaikonda Cholan" (the Chola who captured Gangai) to his younger brother who lead the Gangetic expedition. Subsequently in the year A.D.1025 he commenced building the Great Divine Edifice to God Siva named the "Gangaikonda Choleswarer Temple". The presiding Deity of this Temple is refered to in the Inscriptions of Virarajendra Chola, Kulothunga Chola - 1, Sundera Paandiyan - 2, Vikkrama Paandiyan and Kulasekara Paandiyan in this very temple - as "Gangaikondacholapuraththu Udaiyar Gangaikonda Cholaiswaramudaiyar....."

    In this great temple "Gangaikonda Cholaeswarem" built by him, the presiding deity of the Karuvarai (Sanctum Sanctorium) was known as the "Gangaikonda Cholaeswarer" also known as "Peruvudaiyar" - the God Siva in the form of Lingam, the biggest Lingam among the Siva Temples both in India and Worldover, having a height of 13 ft and 20 ft in circumferance. The Goddess was known as Periyanayaki

    Note: Only during the subsequent period in the fourteenth century during the perid of Nayakkar kings at Thanjavur the changed the name of Peruvudaiyar as Birahadeeswarer and Periyanayaki as Brahmanayaki.

    The Essalam Copper Plates of Rajendra Cholan - 1 specifically states that with the conquest of the Gangetic region, it was Rajendra Cholan - 1 who constructed the new city the Gangaikonda Cholapuram, the great Gangaikonda Choleswarer temple, and the sacred Cholagangam Tank (at the Udaiyar Palaiyam region of Ariyalur district).

    Evidences:

    ".....Gangaam thunga payotharam kunavatheem isvethesm iprathi
    praapthasri sa Bakeeratham ivyajayatha
    akruruch raaptha Gangaa jala.
    Rajenththro ivyathitha sa Gangaikoanda
    Cholapuryaam sathkunanithi aathmanaa ikruthaayaam
    than naamaavarapavana Maheswarasya
    bakthyaa thath patha yuga paarijaatha iprunga......"


    Meaning:

    ......the Ganga with straight breast and of good nature he brought to his country. He of grace who obtained without difficulty the Ganga waters considered as won Baghirathan.
    The Rajendran the wealth of good nature, built a temple to Sivaperumaan (God Siva) at Gangaikonda Cholapuram (already) constructed by him, having the same name (Gangaikonda Cholaeswarer). He remained a fly at the feet of Sivaperumaan.

    Cholar Cheppedukal - by Ve. Mahadevan & Ka. Sankaranarayanan, Thanjavur University, Tamil Nadu.
    Esalam Copper Plates (A.D.1037) of the 25th Year of Rajendra Chola - Page 912
    .


    Gangaikonda Cholaeswarer Thirukkoyil (Temple) under Chola Kings

    Rajendra Chola - 1

    In the year A.D.1035 and A.D.1036 Rajendra Chola made the first ever endowments by anyone to the Gangaikonda Cholaeswarer Thirukkoyil. He also gave land at Thiruvellarai in the Thrutchi district as endowment to this temple in the year A.D.1036.

    Inscription on the west wall of the central shrine the Siva temple, at Thiruvellarai.
    Topograpical List of the Inscriptions of the Madras Presidency - V.Rangacharya, Vol 3, Page 648



    Rajahadhiraja Chola - 1

    Subsequently in the year of death of Rajendra Chola - 1 in A.D.1044 his son Rajadhiraja Chola - 1 made much more endowments to the Gangaikonda Cholaeswarer Temple (possibly for the merit of the Soul of his father Rajendra Chola - 1). He also made further endowments to this Temple in A.D.1048.

    Virarajendra

    All these endowments that have been made both by Rajendra Chola - 1 and his son Rajadhiraja Chola - 1 verbally were recorded on Ola Leaves by the Olai Nayagam witnessed by high Officers of these kings and records were well preserved. However it was only during the period of Virarajendra Chola - 1 these details from Ola Leaves were inscribed on the basement of Outer Walls of the Karuvarai and Mahamandapam falling within the second Pirakara of the Gangaikonda Choleswarer Temple, on the instructions of Virarajendra Chola - 1 fourth Son of Rajendra Chola - 1. Further the donations made to this Temple by Virarajendra Chola - 1 himself in the year A.D.1068 too were inscribed in the same place, following the details of the endowments made by his 'father and elder brother' referred in these Inscriptions as 'Iyyer and Annar'. This long Inscription of Virarajendra - 1 is the 'longest and the earliest' inscription that has been inscribed in this Temple.

    Kulothunga Chola - 1

    In the year A.D.1017 Kulothunga Chola - 1 gifted the village Tirundadevangudi at the present Veppattur in Kumbakonam Taluk as devadanam to Gangaikonda Cholisvaram Udaiyar Temple.

    Inscription on south wall of mantapa in front of central shrine in the Karkatesvara temple, Veppattur, Kumbakonam.
    Topograpical List of the Inscriptions of the Madras Presidency - V.Rangacharya, Vol 2, Page 1289

    ctory (virabishekam)
    Gangaikonda Cholaeswarer Thirukkoyil (Temple) under Paandiya Kings

    Maravarman Sunthara Paandiyan

    It was in the year A.D.1234 Maravarman Sunthara Paandiyan sent his forces on war expedition to Cholanadu, which destroyed setting fire to the great Thanjavur (Thanjai) and Uraiyur (Uranthai) the and present former Chola capital cities. On seeing same Rajaraja - 3 who ruled from Thanjavur went into hiding in fear while Maravarman Sundara Paandyan who celebrated his Viraabishekam at the Chola abisheka mantapam named Ayiraththali at Thanjavur. However Maravarman Sunthara Paandiyan recalled the Chola king and offered him the Chola kingdom to rule but as his subordinate paying tributes. Rajaraja who earlier ruled from Thanjavur with much damage to Thanjavur changed his capital to Palaiyarai which was also known as Mudikonda Cholapuram.

    He after some years Rajaraja - 3 defied paying tributes and Maravarman Sundara Paandiyan and the Maravarman Sundarapaandiyan invaded Palaiyaarai captured the capital city and conducted his second Virabishekam at Mudikonda Cholapuram (Palaiyaarai).

    After his initial destruction of Thanjavur and Uraiyur had marched to Chithambaram temple for worship of God Siva, and on his way has not inflicted any damages to the city of Gangaikonda Cholapuram and its temple Gangaikonda Choliswarer as this capital was not the seat of rule of Cholas during the period Rajaraja - 3, who changed back to the former city of Thanjavur as his capital. He instead visited the Gangaikonda Cholapuram and the Gangaikonda Choliswarer temple, made much endowments to the temple and arranged for a daily ritual at this temple to God Siva named after him as 'Sundarapaandiyan Santhi'

    Vikkrama Paandiyan

    Sadaiyavarman Sunthara Paandiyan - 2

    Sadaiyavarman Vira Paandiyan

    Maravarman Kulasekara Paandiyan


    Gangaikonda Cholaeswarer Thirukkoyil (Temple) under Sambuvaraayer Kings

    Gangaikonda Cholaeswarer Thirukkoyil (Temple) under Kalaakal Chola Udaiyars Kings

    Gangaikonda Cholaeswarer Thirukkoyil (Temple) under French

    Gangaikonda Cholaeswarer Thirukkoyil (Temple) under Nawab of Arcot Kings

    Gangaikonda Cholaeswarer Thirukkoyil (Temple) under English

    Gangaikonda Cholaeswarer Thirukkoyil (Temple) under Kalaakal Chola Udaiyars Kings (2nd Phase

    Gangaikonda Cholaeswarer Thirukkoyil (Temple) under Indian Government

    Gangaikonda Cholaeswarer Thirukkoyil (Temple) under Kalaakal Chola Udaiyars Kings

    Previous to last Kudamulukku peru Vilaa (Maha Kumbhaabishekam) (A.D.1932) Gangaikonda Cholaeswarer Thirukkoyil (Temple)

    Last Kudamulukku peru Vilaa (Maha Kumbhaabishekam) (Jan/Feb - A.D.2017) Gangaikonda Cholaeswarer Thirukkoyil (Temple)

    (4) Basic Architecture and the General Layout of the Gangaikonda Cholaeswarem Temple

    The great temple Gangaikonda Cholaeswarem as originally built by Rajendra Chola - 1 comprised of the Karuvarai (garbagriha = sanctum anctorum) with Vimaanam (tower over Karuvarai), Sikaram (Crown-head), and Kalasam (pinnacle), Muha Mandapam (intermediate hall between Karuvarai and Maha Mandapam) with connected Maha Mandapam having two levels (main hall for religious rituals & discourses), and the Nandi Mandapam. In front of the north entrance to the main temple was the small Chandesvarar shrine. The main temple was surrounded by a large paved courtyard and a Thiruchchuttru Maalikai (surrounding cloister), connected to a single Gopura Vaayil (main gateways with 'ornate towers' i.e. Gopurams).

    The Karuvarai (sanctum sanctorium) is built on a square basement measuring 92 1/2 ft per side externally, with its four walls rising to a height of 70 1/2 ft in two levels, from where the Vimanam (Tower rising over Karvarai) rises tapering to a height of 185 ft in nine tiers upto a truncated basement of the tapering Vimanam measuing approximately 5 ft per side externally. On this basement was laid a single spherical stone estimated to be of a weight of ---- tons, and going to a further height of 6 ft with a Seppuk (copper) Kalasam adorning it at it's crown.

    The Seppuk (Copper) Kalasam laid covered with gold sheets and placed on the temple by the Saiva Acharya..... of this temple on the occasion of the Kumbha Abishekam of this temple.

    However my own description of the "General Layout" of the "original construction" is as follows:

    (a) Karuvarai with Vimanam, Sikaram and Kalasam

    Karuvarai of this temple was built on an Upa-Peedam (platform) measuring 150 ft square and of 8 Ft height. Karuvarai measuring 100 ft square outwardly is going to a height of 54 ft (22 ft + 32 ft) in two levels. Within this Karuvarai was consecrated the presiding deity of this great temple the "God Siva" (God - as Siva) in his 'aru-uruvam' form of Lingham, and was known as "Rajarajaeswaram Udaiyar" and also as "Peruvudaiyar". This is the second biggest Lingam among the Siva Temples both in India and Worldover, having a total height of 9 ft and of 23.5 ft in body circumferance .

    Between the inner walls and the outer walls of the Karuvarai there are two Unnaalikai (corridors), one running around the Karuvarai above the 'ground floor level', and the other running around the Karuvarai above this corridor at the 'first floor level'.

    From the top level of the top corridor of the Karuvarai, commences the pyramidical shaped Vimanam going to a further height of 113 ft vertically having thirteen levels and ending up in a truncated square basement of 26 ft square at the top.

    Unlike the southern, western and northern faces of the Vimanam, the lower part of the eastern face has a large stone panel depicting God Siva, Goddess Parvathi and Gangai depicted as a Mangai within three Thiruvaasikal (ornamented arch - behind the rear head of the God Idols), and Pillaiyaar on their left, and Murugan with Valli and Theivayanai on their right without any Thiruvaasikal - all depicted as residing on the Meru mountain (the Himalayas in the north).

    This concept seems to have deeply embedded in the mind of Rajaraja Chola - 1 for long and re-created by him on the Vimanam and known as "Dakshina Meru Vithankar". From the Inscriptions in this temple it is also known that Rajaraja Cholan had presented a bronze statue similer to this panel in a miniature form also named as Dakshina Meru Vithankar to be consecrated within the temple.

    On the truncated square basement of the Vimanam was the ornate Sikaram - with a vertical cylindrical stem over which is an Ettumuha Thalam (octagonal plinth). Above this plinth continues another cylindrical stem but flaring up at the top all round, to hold a inverted "Arai-koala Mudi (hemispherical dome) having total height of 28 ft, with a crowning copper Kalasam (pinnacle) of 13 ft covered with "gold plates". Thus the total vertical height of the Upathalam, Karuvarai at two levels, Vimanam, Sikaram and Kalasam totals to height of 216 ft.

    However in our normal reference, the term "Vimanam" is loosely used to denote the entire structure over the Sancturm Sanctorium, and it's total height too is indicated loosly as the "height of the Vimanam of this temple, from the (outside) ground floor level" being 216 ft.

    (b) Artha Mantapams with connected Maha Mantapams

    The Artha Mandapams are in between the Karuvarai and the Maha Mantapam, and have four levels vertically, with three entrance doors at first three levels and a large window at the fourth level all facing towards east.

    (1) at the ground floor level

    At the ground floor level the relevent door facing towards east opens into the existing Maha Mantapam. There are two Dwarapaalakar (guardian deities) on either side, of the door entrance falling into and within the Maha Mantapam.

    The Artha Mantapam at this level also has two other small doorways within and adjacent to each other on the right side, when facing the Karuvarai.

    The first doorway leads to the Unaalikai (corridor) rightround the Karuvarai where you find the Chola period paintings on the vertical wall panels right round.

    The second doorway has a Padiththalam (stairway) leading to the first floor level of Artha Mantapam and also to the Maha Mantapam of this level (which now remains as an open terrace).

    The Artha Mantapam at ground floor level has two further large doorways on the either side with two sets of Padiththalam leading to the outside of the Karuvarai, and the temple as a whole.

    (2) at the first floor level

    At the first floor level corresponding door facing towards east opens into the open terrace, which undoubtedly was another Maha Mantapam of the same area as the existing ground level Maha Mandapam that was there during the time of Rajaraja Chola - 1, but it appears the structure of this Mantapam has been damaged and got dismantled at a subsequent period, as we could see part of the front two corner walls of same still remaining.

    At the first floor level too there are two Dwarapaalakar on either side of the door entrance falling in to and within the Maha Mantapam confirming the existance of this Maha Mantapam.

    At this level too on the side of the Karuvarai there is a doorway leading to a second corridor right round the Karuvarai which has the beautifull Natya Karanas depicted carved out on the stone wall panels. It is to be noted that only 83 of the 108 Natya Karnas have been fully sculptured while other not completed for reason unknown.

    (3) at the second floor level

    At the second floor level the relevent door of Artha Mantapam facing towards east opens into the second level walled Thiranthaveli Thalam (open terrace) over the full area of the ground level Maha Mantapam which undoubtedly existed during Rajaraja's time, but now this floor which also served as the roof of the first level Maha Matapam with columns too have been possibly damaged possibly and was dismantled.

    There are two narrow stairways on both sides of the entrance door on the outer walls of th Artha Mandapam within the Mahamandapam going from the first floor level to the second floor level exists even today though the second floor no longer exits.

    The existance of this second floor level is confirmed by the fact the existing outer perimeter walls on both sides of this level have slotted holes to lock in position similerly the other consecutive granite wall panels going right round having the locking system.

    All the Artha Mandapams at the three levels are remaining even today unlike the second Maha Mantapam and walled "Open Terrace", and are of the same width when viewed from the main entrance (i.e from east).

    (4) at the third floor level

    Above the third Artha Maandapam is a small "Open Enclosure" but of smaller width unlike the Artha Mandapam at the other levels, but with another doorway in front also facing in the same eastern direction, and two side slotted stone windows, but with no Maha Mandapam or Open Terrace in front of same.

    This enclosure terrace is in front of the Dakkshina Meru Vidandakar Stone Panel on the Vimanam. There should have been an approach stairway to this open enclosure terrace area too and possibly the daily religious rituals was also done to the Dakkshina Meru Vidandakar on the Stone Panel on the east face of the Vimanam.

    On all the top edge walls of the third Mahamandapam possibly was decorated with equi-spaced Nandi all right round. We even on the short width side walls on the forth level enclosure with final finish has three small Nandis on them. These damaged and dismanled Mahamandapams on the first level and second level would have been with stone windows all around for ventilation as seen in the existing ground floor Mahamantapam.

    From the three levels of Arthamandapam there are doorway on the western side too leading in the the Karuvarai of the temple.

    At the third level Artha Mandapam which is reached from the second level Arthamandapam by a stairway within second level Mahamandapam.the There appears to be another doorway at this level on the Karuvarai side which is possibly a corridor right round the base of the joint level Karuvarai and the start of the Vimanam over it.

    (c) Muha Mantapam


    (d) Chandeswarar Shrine

    Closer to the northern main entrance stairway leading to the outside from the ground level Artha Mantapam of the big temple, is the seperate small temple shrine to Lord Chandeswarer.

    (e) Nanthi Mantapam

    There apparently had been a Nanthi Mantapam in front of the Muha Mandapam during the period of Rajaraja Chola - 1 as we can still see in the paved flooring opposite Muha Mantapam at places square sections of granite levelled to surronding floor level but having slightly varied colour granite stones.

    The original Nanthi within the Mantapam during Rajaraja’s time, is now removed and kept in the Ullaalai (corridor) on the western side of the Thiruchchuttru.

    The original granite Nanthi more finely carved that existed during the period of Rajaraja Chola - 1 has been removed from it's original location in front of the temple, and placed in the west wing of the Thiruchchuttru-Maaligai at a subseqent period. (while the present Nanthi and the enclosing Mantapam over it were built in it's place during the period of emperor Kulothunga Chola - 1 and king Achuthapa Naayakar who ruled over Thanjavur at differnt periods).

    (f) Katthala Velimuttram

    Surrounding the main temple structure comprising of 'Karuvarai with Vimanam', Maha Mantapam and Muha Mantapam all in integral, is a vast Katthala Velimuttram (Stonepaved Outeryard) within the Thiruchchuttru Maalikai.

    (g) Thiruchchuttru Maalikai

    On the order of the emperor Rajaraja Chola, the single floor enclosure cloister (thiru-chuttru-maaligai) which surrounds the Rajarajaeswarem temple was caused to be built by his general (Senathipati) Sri-Krishnan Raman alias Mummudi-Chola-Brahma-Marayan.. This connects to the second Gopuram from the main entrance being called as the Rajarajan Thiruvaayil.

    The Thiruchchuttru Maalikai going all round the Katthala Velimuttram measures internally 500 ft length and 250 ft width and externally 800 ft length and 400 ft width. The entire cross section of this Thirucchuttru Maalikai comprises of an long Ullaalai (Inner Corridor) of single Tier, with an integral outer Wall having a height over the Ulaalai upto 28 ft.

    On the top four corners of the Thiruchchuttru Maalikai integral Wall there are four Sikarams, and inbetween these Sikarams along the top perimeter of the Wall, are the equi-spaced same size Nanthis to be seen.

    Within the Ullaalai of the Thiruchchuttru Malikai there were some smaller Shrines of the Parivaara Theivangkal (accompanying Deities).

    (h) Gopura Vaayilkal

    There are two Thiruvaayilkal (main entrances) to this temple.
    The first was known as Keralanthakan Thiruvaayil the outer ornate Gopuram of 113 ft height in three tiers. This connects on both sides to the Thiruchchuttru Maalikai Puramathil going right round the temple. The Thiruchuttru Maalikai Puramathil small eqi-spaced Nanthis all round on the Puramathi with ornate Gopurams at the four corners of the Puramathil.

    The second one was known as Rajarajan Thiruvaayil the inner ornate Gopuram but shorter than the Rajaraja Thiruvaayil and of 90 ft height this connects on both sides to the Ullalai of the Thiruchuttru Maalikai going right round the temple.

    (i) Velichchuttru between the Thiruchchuttru Malikai and Pura Mathil

    (i) Pura Mathil


    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ponniy...unt=20&dir=asc

    (5) The Chola Painting in the Unnalikai at ground floor level

    Within the Vimanam above the Karuvarai there is an inner corridor running right round its perimeter, on the walls of which you find the Chola paintings of this period. One of these paintng shows Rajaraja Chola - 1 with Karuvur Thevar, another shows God Siva seated in Kailayamalai with Nandi and other Siva Ganas around while Apsaras are dancing in front of him, another shows Sundaramoorththy Naayanaar going forth to Kailayamalai on an elephant, while Cheraman Perumaal Naayanaar on a white horse going in front, God Siva as Aadavallaan (Nadarajah) in front of whom a valiant looking warrior, 'possibly' - the emperor Rajaraja Chola - 1 prostrating to him while three queens beside him on looking with two guardians beyond them, and below them other officials and the men and women at their service.

    (6) Chola Dance Sculptures in the Unnalikai at first floor level

    Also in this temple in the bottom row of the interior - of the upper floor of Karuvarai, the 108 - Karnas of the Siva Tandava dance was intended to be carved out, but only left with 81 - Karnas fully sculptured while the 82nd partialy finished for some reason unknown.

    (7) The Sitpis (Architects) who designed and constructed the temple

    This temple was designed by a group of Silpis (Perum Thatchchar) and the chief among the Silpis who was intrumental in the construction of this great temple was Viracholan Kunjajara Mallan alias Rajaraja Perum Thatchchan with his two assistants, and the expertise of two other Silpis namely the Kunavan Mathuranthahan alias Niththavinotha Perum Thatchchan and Ilaththi Sadaiyan alias Kandaraathiththa Perum Thatchchan.

    (8) The first Kudamullukku Peru Villa of Rajarajeswaram Temple
    The construction of the entire Rajarajaeswarem temple was completed and Kumba-abishekam done in the year A.D.1010 mid January.

    ----------------------------------

    The first tier and the second tier - interior perimeter corridors have the statues of Saivite deities.

    The "Gopuram" of this big temple goes to a height of ---- ft and the construction of this temple was completed and the first Kumba-abishekam was done, around A.D.1035.

    During Rajendra Chola's period a two floor enclosure (thiru-chuttru-maaligai) was built surrounding the Gangaikonda Cholaeswarem temple.

    The original Nandi that was built during the period of Rajendra Chola - 1 has been posible removed from it's original location in front of the temple at a subsequent period, and now lost to us (and the present stucco Nandi appear to have been of much latter period possibly during the Maharashtra period of Thanjavur). The present Simha Kinaru (well) too appears to be that of that of latter period.





    Tamil Inscriptions on the Granite Structures of the Temple Complex

    There are eleven Inscriptions nine of them are inscribed on the east, west, and north Granite Walls of the Second Pirakara connected to the half dilapitated Granite Structure of the Main Entrance Gopuram of the Temple. Among them the Inscription of Virarajendra Chola (A.D.1063-1070) the fourth son of Rajendra Chola - 1 is the longest inscribed Inscription of this period in this Temple. Other Inscriptions belong to that of Later Paandiya Kings and others namely, two of Maravarman Kulasekara Paandiyan, Konerimaikondaan Vikkrama Paandiyan, Konerimaikondaan Sri Sunthara Paandiyan, two of Ekambaran Gangeyan, Kulothunga Chola - 1, and one inscription of Virupaksharayer son of Malikarujunadeva Maharayar the Vijayanagara king. (S.I.I.Vol 4 - Nos 522-530)



    Important Note:

    In the above Video it is mentioned that we have "only one" Inscription found at Gangaikonda Choleswarem Temple, and that too is of Rajadhiraja Chola - 1, 'which is totally incorrect'. There are no Inscriptions belonging to Rajadhiraja Chola -1 is to be found at Gangaikonda Choleswarem Temple. However in the first and lengthiest Inscription engraved at this temple in the year A.D 1068 of Virarajendra Chola includes the details of the earlier endowments made to the Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple by his "father" Rajendra Chola - 1 refered to as "Purvadesamum, Gangaiyum, Kadaramum kondarulina Iyyer" in the year A.D.1035 and A.D.1036 and his "elder brother" Rajadhiraja Chola - 1 refered to as "Kalyanapuramum Kollapuramum kondarulina Anai mel thunjina Annar" in the year A.D.1044 and A.D.1048. It also enumerates the endowments made to this temple by Virarajendra Chola himself in the year A.D.1068. Further we are aware that around twenty Inscriptions have been discovered on the main temple on it's outer walls of the Karuvarai, Mahamandapam and Mukhamandapam and further nineteen Inscriptions of other kings in the subshrine of Durga and other minor buildings within the complex and on broken slabs found in the second Pirakara within the Temple, and one on it's Eastern Gopuram as at today. Further an error to be corrected in the above Video where it is said the Period of Rajendra Chola as A.D.1012 - 1014 which should correctly be A.D.1012-1044.

    There had been many Scholars (T.N.Subramanian, Dr R.Nagaswamy, Dr T.V.Mahalingam, L.Thyagarajan, and Pierre Pichard) who had ventured in the study of the Inscriptions at Gangaikonda Cholaeswarem Temple and in the other Shrines and on broken Slabs, lying within this Temple Complex. The best indepth study that has been made in the study of these Inscriptions is that by the Scholar "Daud Ali" of University of Pensilveniya, USA" who visited Tamil Nadu and had made a "reasearch study" and written a book titled as "The Epigraphical Legacy at Gangaikondacholapuram: Problems and Possibilities" which is the currently the more 'informative book' on all Inscriptions that had been copied 'up to now' at Gangaikonda Cholaeswarem Temple complex at Gangaikonda Cholapuram in Ariyalur district, Tamil Nadu. I with much courtesy to him, extracting only the details of these 39 - Inscriptions with the valuable Informations available on them, which includes many recently discovered Inscriptions which have still not been officially published in the South Indian Inscription Journals and not known to many as given in his Book (pages 21-26), and a Diagram (Page 19) showing the actual locations of these Inscriptions in this Temple which have been verified and confirmed by him - are appended below in his own words. My very sincere gratitude to him, for the great services he has done in this connectiom - which is a great asset to the Historical Community of Tamil Nadu and upcoming Students of Epigraphy of Tamil Nadu.


    Before venturing into the study of these 39 - Inscriptions, it should be noted that there had been another Inscription on the "Vimaana" (tower over Garbagraha) of the Gangaikonda Choliswarem Temple (making a total of 40 - Inscriptions) noted by T.N.Subramanian (South Indian Temple Inscriptions Vol 1, Page 678), which has still not been re-traced by the subsequent ASI Surveyors and it's actual location confirmed. Trust some enthusiastic young Researchers will take an initiative to locate same on the Vimaana and publish informations on same. The text of the fragmental Inscription said to be on the Vimana is as follows: "suba sri racentira cola tevarkku yantu.....mahesura raksha". In my view it doesnot appear as a fragment of an Inscription, but an epitome on Rajendra Chola - 1 engraved on the Vimana of the great temple built by him to God Siva meaning "the blessings of Maheshwara (God Siva) 'be with' ('yaantu') prosperous Sri Rajendra Chola Thevar.

    Further I myself have noted a short damaged Inscription on the plinth just under the "seated Chandeswara with a Garland being wound on his hair-knot by God Siva (now interpreted as Rajendra Chola - 1 being blessed by God Siva with a Garland being wound on his hair-knot). In this Inscription the Tamil Characters - 'vi' 'sha' 'thi' 'ra' 'ja' and few other non-Tamil Characters could be seen with the naked eye, without any enstampage being taken of same
    . This short Inscription 'has not been refered to by any Scholars upto now', which has to be studied by competant Epigrapers at site and readings be published in Epigrapical Journals.


    Inscriptions at Gangaikonda Choleswarem Temple complex

    Inscriptions on the Central Shrine

    (1) King/Date - Virarajendradeva, Year - 5 (1068 AD)
    Dynasty - Chola
    Details - Mutilated. Records the kings order issued when he was in his palace at Kanchipuram
    relating to a number of villages assigned as tevatana to the temple of Gangaikondacholiswarem.
    essary entries were madein tax registers regarding these villages by a number of King's officers.
    Some of the villages had been assigned to the temple in the reigns of Rajendra - 1 and Rajadhiraja
    Minute details of the assessment of all the assigned villagesare given in the Inscription.
    Location (confirmation) - On the kumuda, padma, and jagadi of the north and west walls of central shrine. Located
    Publication - SII 4, 529 ARE 82 of 1892

    (2) King/Date - Kulottunka - 1, Year - 41 (1111 AD)
    Dynasty - Chola
    Details - Damaged and unfinished Tamil and Grantha inscription, beginning with the meykkirrtti of king beginning with the words
    "pukal culnta" and followed after the date by two verses of a Gahadvala prasasti.
    Location (confirmation) - on the west wall of the central shrine of the main temple.Located
    Publication - Unpublished ARE of 29 of 1908

    (3) King/Date - Kulottunka - 1, Year - 49 (1119 AD)
    Dynasty - Chola
    Details - Beginning of each line lost. Commences with the poetic introduction beggining pukalmatu vilanka.
    Records gift by thr king of land as devatana-iraiyili in Cungatavirnta-colanallur to a temple of Rajendra Chola Isvaramudaiyar at pottali matam. the gift was made by the king while he was in his palace at Gangaikondacholapuram on a petition made by a ascetic (tapasi0 of the temple that the services were at a standstill for want of endowments.
    Location (confirmation) - On the kumuda of the west wall of the central shrine. Located
    Publication - SII 4, 527 ARE 80 of 1892

    (4) King/Date - Konerinmai-kondan Sundara Pandiyadeva - 2, Year - 2 (1253 AD)
    Dynasty - Pandiya
    Details - Registers remission of all taxes and dues on number of lands belonging to the temple to .conduct services in temple called Sundara pandya Sabdhi. Lands were free from taxes such as minpattam, tari-irai, tottapattam, katai ayam etc
    Location (confirmation) - On the kumuda of the south wall of the main shrine. Located
    Publication - SII 4, 524 ARE 77 of 1892

    (5) King/Date - Ko Maravarman Kulasekharadeva, Year - 5 (1273 AD)
    Dynasty - Pandiya
    Details - Incomplete. Records the sale of lands belonging to number of individuals to temple Gangaikondacholisvaram.
    Location (confirmation) - On the kumuda of the south wall of the main shrine. Located
    Publication - SII 4, 525 ARE 78 of 1892

    (6) King/Date - Ko Maravarman Kulasekharadeva, Year - 4 (1272 AD)
    Dynasty - Pandiya
    Details - Records the purchase of lands in Devaniputtur belonging to certain Kumaramankalam Utaiyan Civatandan
    Location (confirmation) - On the kumuda of the eastern side (southern face) of the main shrine. Located
    Publication - SII 4, 522 ARE 75 of 1892

    (7) King/Date - Konerimai-kontan Vikrama-Pandyadeva, Year - 6 (1289 AD)
    Dynasty - Pandiya
    Details - -Registers gift of 20 veli of land by the king for a special service called Rajakkanayan-Sandi instituted after the name of the king as tax free land to the temple authorities of the temple of -Udaiyar at Gangaikontacolapuram in Mannaikontacola-valanadu in Vikramacolavalanatu..."
    Location (confirmation) - On the kumuda of the south wall of main shrine. Located
    Publication - SII 4, 523 ARE 76 of 1892

    (8) King/Date - Tribhuvanacakravartin, Year - ? (???? AD)
    Dynasty - Pandiya
    Details - Probably belongs to reign of Sundera Pandiya
    Location (confirmation) - On the south wall of the central shrine of the main temple. Could be unidentified inscription on the mahamantapa Not Located
    Publication - Unpublished ARE 31 of 1908

    (9) King/Date - no king mentioned Year - Subhanu (1??? AD)
    Dynasty - Vijayanagara ? (my view it could be possibly a Sambuvarayar king ?? to be verfied)
    Details - Damaged. Records the gift of the Chief Tiruvenkatamudaiyan mentioned in No: 10 below. may have been a subordinate of Vijayanagara king.
    Location (confirmation) - On the west wall of the central shrine. Located
    Publication - SII 4, 528 ARE 81 of 1892

    (10) King/Date - Ko Maravarman Kulasekharadeva, Year - 4 (1272 AD)
    Dynasty - Pandiya
    Details - Records the purchase of lands in Devaniputtur belonging to certain Kumaramankalam Utaiyan Civatandan
    Location (confirmation) - On the kumuda of the eastern side (southern face) of the main shrine. Located
    Publication - SII 4, 522 ARE 75 of 1892


    (11) King/Date - Ko Maravarman Kulasekharadeva, Year - 4 (1272 AD)
    Dynasty - Pandiya
    Details - Records the purchase of lands in Devaniputtur belonging to certain Kumaramankalam Utaiyan Civatandan
    Location (confirmation) - On the kumuda of the eastern side (southern face) of the main shrine. Located
    Publication - SII 4, 522 ARE 75 of 1892


    (12) King/Date - Ko Maravarman Kulasekharadeva, Year - 4 (1272 AD)
    Dynasty - Pandiya
    Details - Records the purchase of lands in Devaniputtur belonging to certain Kumaramankalam Utaiyan Civatandan
    Location (confirmation) - On the kumuda of the eastern side (southern face) of the main shrine. Located
    Publication - SII 4, 522 ARE 75 of 1892


    (13) King/Date - Ko Maravarman Kulasekharadeva, Year - 4 (1272 AD)
    Dynasty - Pandiya
    Details - Records the purchase of lands in Devaniputtur belonging to certain Kumaramankalam Utaiyan Civatandan
    Location (confirmation) - On the kumuda of the eastern side (southern face) of the main shrine. Located
    Publication - SII 4, 522 ARE 75 of 1892


    (14) King/Date - Ko Maravarman Kulasekharadeva, Year - 4 (1272 AD)
    Dynasty - Pandiya
    Details - Records the purchase of lands in Devaniputtur belonging to certain Kumaramankalam Utaiyan Civatandan
    Location (confirmation) - On the kumuda of the eastern side (southern face) of the main shrine. Located
    Publication - SII 4, 522 ARE 75 of 1892














    Further there are also some Inscriptions visible even today at the Lower Anicut (Dam) built across Kollidam River, as the British Engineer Arthur Cotton who built same in A.D.1836 used many dismantled granite stones from the Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple and it's other Structures. These visible Tamil Inscriptions on the Stones and Carved Pillars used to build these Dam Walls should be transcribed and documented long before they are lost to us forever - by enthusiastic young Epigraphists of Tamil Nadu - from the Low Anicut (Dam) over Kollidam.
    .



    Last edited by virarajendra; Yesterday at 01:09 AM.

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