Tiruchy: Four new inscriptions were discovered at the Madhyarjunesvarar temple at Pettaivaithalai near Tiruchy during a routine field study undertaken by Dr. R. Akila, Arignar Anna Govt. Arts College, Musiri and Dr. M. Nalini, Seethalakshimi Ramasamy College, Thiruchirappalli. They are compiling a history of the temple at the request of temple executive officer, S. Ramanathan.
Dr. R. Kalaikkovan, Director, Dr M. Rajamanikkanar Centre for Historical Research, Thiruchirappalli, said that the present study has yielded four uncopied Tamil inscriptions that include one from the later Chola period and two from the fag end of the Vijayanagar period. All these inscriptions name the Madhyarjunesvara temple as Maturantaka Isvaramudaiyar Koyil, probably named after the great Chola King Rajendra 1. (The earliest record found at this temple belongs to this king who is also known as Maturantaka).
The Chola record engraved in the 14th regnal year of Rajaraja III (1230 CE) mentions a royal order issued in the 34th regnal year of his father, Kulottunga Chola III, binding Manikkam Therri alias Abhimanameru Cheelai Chettiar of Kumarur with an endowment to a religious institution named as Rajakkal Thambiran Thirumatam (Saivite Mutt) that was in the vicinity of the temple. As per orders of the king, 500 kalam of paddy and 150 kasu were to be measured and paid by Manikkam Therri to the Mutt, out of the annual tax due from his wet and dry lands at Korrankudi alias Uttama Cholanallur and the lands of Thiruchirappalli temple lying in some village whose name is lost.
The Vijayanagar record engraved in 1429 CE, during the reign of Devaraya, son of Viravijayaraya, registers the appointment of Manikkanayanar as the guard of the temple by the nagarattar of Rajendracholan Pettai. A house to reside and a piece of land with a well were allotted to him for his services. The document signed by two leading merchants of the nagarattar was written by Devapiriyan of Pennakatam.
It is understood from this record that the temple was abandoned and was restored to its past glory by people of the merchant community. Another Vijayanagar record is in three lines and mentions the king's name as Devaraya. A later record found on the right door jamb of the southern entrance of the front mandapa, celebrates a certain Nallamuttu as a sincere devotee of this temple, he said.
The discovery of the new records was duly informed to the Director of Epigraphy and the authorities of HR & CE department, he added....