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.
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.
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.
---OM SHIVAYA NAMA---