Esalam Ancient Shiva Temple, Villupuram
Esalam Ancient Shiva Temple is in Vikravandi Villupuram District, Tamilnadu located in State in India. Esalam Ancient Shiva Temple Pincode is 605203 (Kanjanur). Nearby railway Stations are Perani Vikravandi. It is in 20 Km distance to Villupuram City.
Esalam Ancient Shiva Temple is geographically located at latitude 12 ° 6’0'' and longitude 12 ° 6’0''. It was built by Rajendra Cholan I (1012) for Lord Sri Ramanatha Eswarar.
This temple has the uniqueness of having been rebuilt recently and in daily puja. It was built as a tribute to Rajaraja Cholas teacher and has exquisite stone carvings.
This temple is maintained by Archeological Survey of India.
Esalam Bronzes & Copper Plates
On the 11th of August 1987, the inhabitants of Esalam a village near Villupuram, in South Arcot district, Tamilnadu, stuck upon a group of bronzes, temple utensils and a copper plate charter, within the temple premises of Tiru Ramanathesvara temple of the village, while carrying out renovation work to the temple.
When Esalam villagers in the course of their renovation, were trying to clear a granite stone slab, in the North Eastern corner of the prakara, they found a metal rod like object protruding. When they pulled it out, they found it to be a tripod made of bronze. Growing curious, they probed further and found two more tripods. It was also noticed that the area contained river sand totally different from the surrounding earth. Then the villagers found three bells, placed side by side and in between were placed tiny bronze images.
When they were removed, a number of bronze images were found, securely placed in the river sand upside down, arranged radially. The smaller images were at a higher level and the bigger ones were found at the lower level. Beneath all these images was found the copper plate charter, it turned out to be a copper plate charter issued by the Chola emperor Rajendra I, in 1036 A.D. The villagers probed not only further deep but also in the surrounding area, and abandoned the search only when they were thoroughly satisfied that no more object has been left out.
From the clear narration of the finders, it is evident that a pit has been dug specially and that, making use of river sand, all the bronzes, utensils and the copper plates had been very carefully buried several hundred years ago, obviously for safety.
The villagers reported the find to the Revenue official and kept all the items in the temple arranged for their worship.
Altogether 23 bronze images, three tripods, four bells, one dhupakkal, two utensils and a pair of metal padukas were found. While most of them were found in good condition, a few bronzes were found broken, mainly a number of prabhas. All the items were encrusted with sand particles. After cleaning three objects, a bell, a tripod, and a small vessel were found to carry inscriptions.