Thanjavar: A video message posted in social media that Tamil inscriptions at Big temple here are being “replaced” by ‘Hindi’ inscriptions kicked up a row on Tuesday, following which the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has clarified that the inscriptions are not in ‘Hindi’ but in ‘Devanagiri’ and have been there for long from the Maratta period in the temple.
The message doing the rounds in social media has an audio from a person showing some inscriptions and claiming that they are written in ‘Hindi’ and also shows some inscriptions in Tamil.
Following this, Mr. S. Shankar, Conservation Assistant of ASI, here categorically denied the report and dubbed it a ‘rumour’. He also clarified that inscriptions in ‘Devanagiri’ script existed in the “Thiruchutrumaligai” of temple for many years as they were added during the erstwhile Maratta period.
He explained that Raja Raja Cholan-I built the Big temple between 1003 A.D and 1010 A.D. He built Keralandhagan Gopuram at the entrance after conquering the Cheras (modern day Kerala).
During his period inscriptions about his Meikeerthi (history and achievements) (in Tamil) were added in the temple which spoke about number of staff employed in the temple, donations given by him and also people, the method of temple administration, security and victories in war etc. These inscriptions are seen around the massive main structure of the temple around the ‘Vimana’.
Later Nayak Kings and Marattas ruled Thanjavur. The Nayak Kings included paintings in Thiruchutrumaligai. Marattas built a gateway at the entrance and included inscriptions in ‘Devanagiri’ script used for Maratti language. “This is different from Hindi,” he categorically explained.
Shankar also said that there are 64 inscriptions of King Raja Raja Chola-I, 21 by Rajendra Cholan-I (Raja Raja Cholan’s son), one by Rajendra Chola-II, one by Kulothinga Chola-I, one by Rajendra Chola-III, two by Pandyan Kings, four by Vijayanagara empire Kings and four by the wonderful Marattas.
Shankar appealed to the people not to believe ‘rumours’. “The temple is a world heritage monument and such rumours may endanger its safety and security,” the officer said....