GANGAIKONDACHOLAPURAM: After the worst drought in living memory suffered in 2016, people of this dry belt of Ariylaur district have an extra reason to thank the rain God this year.
The recent rains not only brought cheer to the farmers but has also brought to the fore a ‘ring well’ of presumably the Chola period near the magnificent temple for Lord Shiva at Gangaikondacholapuram, which had served as the capital of the Imperial Cholas for nearly three centuries since Rajendra Chola adorned the crown in the year 1014 CE.
The latest find, a throw-up by nature has excited commoners, historians and archaeologists alike. A local farmer Pandian working in his farm, stumbled upon this ‘ring well’, some 300 feet away from the Brahadeshwarar temple here, similar to the Big temple in Thanjavur and declared by Unesco as world heritage monument.
With the recent rains flaking away the top soil, Pandian came across this circular structure within the temple complex's protected boundary area and reported the matter to the local authorities, State Archaeology department and the district museum.
On information, Er. Komagan, chairman of the Gangaikondacholapuram development council trust, Museum curator Prabakar and Dr Sivarakarishnan, Professor of History, Government Arts College Athur, visited the site and studied the structure.
According to Komagan, it has been observed that the ‘ring well’ with burnt clay, shaped into moulded rings are about one-meter in diameter and 20 cm height each. The depth of the ‘ring well’ is assessed to be 15 feet. “This may belong to that Chola period about 1,000 years back. Available primary evidence like bricks, roof tiles shows it belongs to that age,” he said.
Komagan recalled the State Archeology department’s excavation during 1980’s at Maligaimedu, adjacent village of Gangaikondacholapuram, during which they found evidence of several commercial establishments called “Angadis”.