The Temples of Tiruchanur – The thiruvanaikoil

This is the earliest of the five temples of Tiruchanur. The earliest inscription relating to this temple is dated in the 51 st year of the reign of the Pallava king, Dantivarman, corresponding to 826A.D. It may be inferred from this that the temple existed from the beginnin of the ninth century at the latest. There are no records relating to I temple after the reign of the Chola king, Rajaraja UL This indicate that, in all probability, this temple declined in its importance fror about die beginning of the thirteenth century.
There are thrity two inscriptions which relate to this temple, these, only ten mention it by name while the others seem to belon to this temple. Fourteen of these are undated fragments. Two of t records belong to the time of the Pallava king, Dantivarman (1 Р* and 2). One mentions a Ganga chief (1-5). Another mentions a Gunvadaparajltan (1-6) who must have been a Pallava chief. Five inscriptions belong to the Chola period (1-12,13,15,17). Of these, one iidatad in the 29th year of Parantaka I (907-950). Anothci; is dated the next year. One belongs to the reign ofRajaraja 1 and anothermthe 5th year of Rajaraja 111.
this tiruviankoil contained an image which was installed as a represiatative Of Tlruvenkatattuperumanadigal or Sri Venka- tesvara ofThumala. The earliest inscription records the gift of 30 kakatfu offold for setting up a perpetual lamp by Ulagappenimanar, an inhabitant Of Solanur in Solanadu (I-I). The next record (1-2) mentionslfaafift of fine red gold by a certain Siyakan for burning a light inthatn$le. The well known Bana chief, Vijayaditya, gifted land, taxes and gold for lamps and food offerings to 1iruviUmkoil- perumanadisal, Tirumantrasalai-perumanadigal and TiruVenkattU’ptrumanadigal (1-4). A later Pallava chief, Gunavanaparejitan, arranged for the feeding of two brahmans in the temple (l-6).Arecordof 898 A.D. (1-7) states that the officials of the village diverted the income that they derived from the village on account of its administration for the maintainence of the temple. Obviobkly, there was a fall in the revenues of the temple and they were not enough for its maintainence. This crisis in the history of the teniple may be explained in a way. The last Pallava king, Aparajita, had a disturbed reign and many of his relations took possession of parts of the kingdom. The Chola king, Aditya, invaded Ibndamandalam about this time, defeated the Pallava ruler and Minuted it to the Chola kingdom. The pilgrims that usually visited Tiruvilankoil must have given up coming hoe on account of the mentioned above and the income of the temple must down considerably as a consequence.
I and order were restored during the first quarter of the liry and the temple became popular once again. For die
first time after the crisis of898A.D. a lamp was gifted to this temple in 927A.D. in the reign ofParantaka 1. A certain Kudongoluran of Malanadu gifted 40 kalanju of gold for setting up a lamp in this temple in 936 A.D. (I-12). A Chola subordinate, named Arulakki alias Rajarajamuvandavelan, made a gift during the reign of Rajaraja 1(1-17).
Chola power in Tondamandalam declined by about the middle of the thirteenth century. Jatavarman Sundara Pandya I invaded this region and subjugated most of the Chola subordinates here. Afterwards these subordinates became independent taking advantage of the Muslim invasions which shook the contemporary Hindu kingdoms of the Deccan and south India to their foundations. These chieftains continued to enjoy their power till about the middle of the fourteenth century when they were all subjugated by the Sangama rulers of the Vijayanagara empire. There are many inscriptions which belong to this period. Most of them are undated and do not mention any rider. One record refers to a god being taken out in procession (1-96), Another refers to the gift of taxes received in gold coin an’ to the Panguni festival conducted in the Tiruvilankoil (1 -97). At inscription refers to the conduct of a festival previously instituted by three individuals (1-108). A fourth record refers to people who managed the affairs of the temple (1-118). Another mentions th sanctum of the temple (1-119). A gift for the feeding of brahmans i recorded in another fragment (1-120). Reference is made to th temple treasury, the townsmen and the servants of the temple another fragmentary record (1-121). One fragment mentions a j of 40 Kalanju of gold (1-129) and one more mentions Govinc perumal or Govindaraja ofTirupati, Narayana and Tiruvilankoil ( 144). Another refers to oil to be smeared over the body of a gc obviously theTiruvilankoil-perumal.
It is not possible to locate or identify this Tiruvilankoil’ in Tiruchanur. As most of the inscriptions referred to above are to be¬†found either il^lhe Vahaoamantapa or on slabs found in the Padikavali gopura qf the Padmavati temple, it may be surmised that the Tiruvilankoil wdlted on die site of the three shrines now found inside die coippoundoftbe Padmavati temple. It must have been neglected andf^^ibfojrufas.Amedley of pillars and stones of various styles and timei found In the three temples inside this compound leads us to bdtevedwlie material of this ruined temple was hilly used in the con&Dcjfc* &thf three temples now seen in this compound.

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