Tuesday, 19 September 2017

PREHISTORIC PERIOD ROCK ART IN A SMALL WESTERN GHATS HILL, AT MATHAKADIPUTHUR, NEAR UDUMALPET.

10th September 2017.
While planning for this Udumalpet Heritage Visit,  we had decided to cover different interest heritage sites like, temples, Nadukarkal, Jain’s monuments and rock art. Normally rock art depicts the animals, human beings and their culture, important rituals, their habits, relation between them with the animals, etc,. We could find such rock arts in caves of various parts of the world. The rock paintings normally in white and red ochre colours. As per the research and the red ochre paintings are more than 10 thousand years old, while the white colour is about 2000 to 3000 years old.  

This small hill at Mathakadiputhur  is a part of western Ghats. This small hill has 3 to 4  caves or the rock shelters with such rock art paintings. This rock art is in a open natural cave or the rock shelter measuring approximately 150 feet in length with an opening of about 25 to 30 feet height.  This rock shelter has the group of white colour ( Combination of minerals like lime and vegetable colours )  rock arts depicting men, women and elephants. In one group people are gathered for a rituals. In another group people with children going with a goat for a ritual function. Some of  the hand paintings also there to show the strength of the group. In one group of art shows the capturing of elephant and taming for domestic purposes. We could see some of the paintings are  less skilled, which means they are little older than the others. As per the archaeologists these paintings are 2000 to 3000 years old and the shelter was continuously uses for more than 1000 years.













---OM SHIVAYA NAMA--- 

Monday, 18 September 2017

HERO STONES, HERO STHAMBAS, MEMORIAL STONES, SATI STONE IN KADATHUR AREA, NEAR UDUMALPET.

10th September 2017.
A hero stone is erected  for a brave man who fought with enemies or  to save his cattle  against Tiger, Lions, pig etc and died in the process of fight.  This 17th century Hero stambam / stone is  erected in a village called Kottamangalam. This stambam is of 8 feet high, 2 feet width and 1.5 feet thickness. There are nine stages with hundreds of reliefs of men and women on all the 4 sides of the sthambam exquisite carving. 

The top is made like a temple vimana with Natarajar relief  in dancing posture.  From  top to bottom the reliefs are  Viyakrapathar worshiping Lord Shiva, Gajalakshmi, Kannan with flute, A cow milking on  Shiva Linga, Heroes are carried in a palanquin, Soldiers fighting  against the enemies sitting on Horses, elephants, Women ( Sati ), etc.,  are carved nicely. From the reliefs we may conclude that this hero sthambam was erected for the heroes who are died in a war and the ladies who undertook sati after their husband’s death.

சீறிமுக வருடம் ஆடி மாதம் 8தேதி ஏகாதெசி
பெற்ற திங்கள் கிளமை நாள் பாலவரில் காம
நாயக்கர் மகன் வல்லைக் கொண்டம நாயக்கர்
உண்டாக்கின வீர கம்பம்

From the inscription the hero sthambam/ kambam was erected during the year 1693 by  Vallaikondama Nayakar ( During this periods Kammavaru & Kollavaru Nayakars ruled this area under Madurai Thirumalai Nayakars. )



 


This hero sthambam is under worship by the Balavaru community a section of Raja kambala Nayakars. Regular poojas are conducted on Monday and Friday. And annual festival is being conducted during Masi month Siva Rathiri day after VallaKonda Amman thiru kalyana urchavam.

In addition to this there are  two  panels  with the reliefs of Man and women in worshipping posture. They might be Palayapattu Nayakars with their wives who ruled in this area.   
Nadukal on the left side of Hero sthambam

Nadukal on the right side of Hero sthambam

A nadu kal at Kottamangalam 

Thanks Sundaram Sir, and for further reading Kongukalvettuaayvu blog may be referred.

HERO STHAMAM ( WOOD) AT METRATHI, NEAR UDUMALPET.
This 17th century wooden hero sthambam is open to sky erected  in the midst of field in  a small Village  Metrathi, This is very much similar to that one at Kottamangalam except the material. The difference is, this stambam or the kambam is made out of wood. It was told that this was also erected and worshipped by Palayakarar Nayakkars.

This sthambam consists of 12 tiers with hundreds of reliefs on all the four sides. In the top tier Kannan and Shiva Linga, sun,  moon etc... Sthambam top is made like temple vimana. The Thamba must be of 10feet high, 1.5 feet width and 10 inches thickness. There must be two sthambas erected and  one might have damaged due to age.










SATI STONE AT KADATHUR.
This hero stone was erected abutting the compound wall of Maruthakali Amman Temple. The Lady who undertook sati is holding a large pot ( may contain toddy or arrack ). The top of the stone was chopped to mark the ritual followed. By the side of this hero stone there is a panel with man and a women in worshipping posture. This may be a memory stone of a donors for some social cause.



NADUKAL AT KURUVAN VALASU, KADATHUR, NEAR UDUMALPET.
This memory stone or a nadukal is erected along with a amman statue. On the back of the Nadukal there are inscription, which are not legible. This consists of Various symbols.


The upper portion consists of mangala symbols like, lamp, Venkotrakudai ( umbrella ), Samaram, Damru, etc,.  The lower portion consists of weapons used  like Knife, Sword, drager,  and some of the symbols are not known. It was believed that this belongs to a group of business people and the weapons are for the groups also called as Nattars,  who saves the business people from any danger.

It is claimed this as Vanikar kal and exact name and purpose of installation is not known. If any body, who come across such stones are requested to explain.



---OM SHIVAYA NAMA---

Sunday, 17 September 2017

AYIRAI MALI ( IVAR MALAI), THE REMAINS OF JAINISM IN KONGU MANDALAM, NEAR UDUMALPET.

10th September 2017.
This Ayirai malai is about 1400 feet above mean sea level without vegetation. Now the hill is called a Ivar malai. There is a pond with sweet water at the middle of the hill.  As per the legend the Panchapandavars stayed here during their vanavasam, hence called as Ivar Malai. The hill was praised by many poets in sangam literature Pathitrupathu. Once this place was busy with activities of the Jain monks and students.

The Ayirai malai has a longest cave of 140 feet lengths and 15 feet high. It was told that there were many beds for the Jain monks. At the entrance of the cave top there are 16 jain Theerthangarar reliefs with Tamil vatteluthu inscriptions with names of the person who was responsible for making these reliefs. The inscriptions belongs to 09th to 10th century. Some of the theerthangarars are Achanandhi, Indrasenar, Mallisena of Veerasangam and Avvanandhi. It is worth to note there is a lady also. It was understood that a big educational institution was functioning here between 08th to 10th century. Some of the students from Pandya nadu also took training at Ayiraimalai Jain’s institution.

The Tamil vatteluthu inscriptions also helped the historians to arrive the year of Varaguna Pandiyan’s 8th year rule as 870AD and his starting of rule as 862AD.

THE PRESENT CONDITION:
The beds used by the jain monks were concreted in the name of renovation, and there is no bed now. The Iyaki (might be ) is being worshiped as Throwpathi Amman and new statues like Nagars, Hanuman, Man & Women in worshipping posture were also installed. There must be some rock arts one the ceiling of the cave, But the ceiling was completely covered with ash and soot of the fire used for cooking pongal  for the Throwpathy Amman.
The Ayirai malai is under the control of Tamil Nadu Archaeological Department.

LOCATION:CLICK HERE








 Varaguna Pandiyan’s inscription
 Jain's beds completely concreted 

 Jains beds completely concreted 

a  sweet water pond on the middle of the hill
recent additions - Hanuman

recent additions  

recent additions  

recent additions   

Installed in recent years  

Installed in recent years ( a replica of the above at the base of the hill ) 


Installed during recent years

 View of the cave from a long distance



---OM SHIVAYA NAMA---