Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Adi Varaha Temple, Mamallapuram – Inscriptions

Adi Varaha Temple, Mamallapuram – Inscriptions
The Temple has inscriptions in Tamil, Sanskrit and Telugu. All these inscriptions belong to Pallava and Chola Kings. There are the portraits sculptures of the Pallava kings and also bear inscriptions however the identity of these kings has not yet reached consensus among the scholar community. A King seated in sukhasana posture on a seat with two of his queens standing beside him can be seen in one of the panels. The inscription above this panel reads, “the glorious Athiraja Simhavinna-Potrra (Simhavishnu-Pota)”. This Pallava king has been identified with the Pallava king Simhavishnu.
There is another panel displaying another Pallava king opposite to the above panel. The inscription above the panel reads “the glorious Athiraja Mahendra-Pottra”. This king has been identified with the Pallava king Mahendravarman I. These label inscriptions were engraved above the two portraits panels more than century after the creation of the temple. There are two other important sculptures found in this cave shrine. As per the inscriptions, the kings are identified as Simhavishnu and Mahendravarman.
There is an inscription on a slab built into the floor in front of the temple, near Balipeedam. This Inscription belongs to the Pallava king Nandivarman II and dated to sixty-fifth regnal year, corresponding 796 CE. It mentions about the purchase of land by Idaivalanchan Kandan, son of Ilam-Paduvumar, the headman of Kunrathur in Amur Nadu, a merchant of Mamallapuram, in lieu of gold. Boundaries of the land are specified. Among the boundary are two tanks, Koneri and Mandai Thalaivan Eri.
There is an inscription on a niche in the temple. It belongs to Chola Emperor Rajendra Chola I.  It is dated to ninth regnal year, corresponding to 1061 CE. The Chola king is referred as Parakesarivarman alias Udaiyar Sri Rajendra Deva. It records a tax-free gift of land by the nagarams and perilamai of Mamallapuram alias Jananathapuram to Lord Sri Parameshwara Maha Varaha Vishnugriha. Mamallapuram was a Nagaram in Amur-Nadu in Amurkkottam, a sub division of Jayangondachola Mandalam.
There is another inscription on a niche in the temple. It belongs to Chola Emperor Rajendra Chola I.  It is dated approximately to 1052 CE. It mentions about a tax-free land donation to the temple of Parameshwara Maha Varaha Vishnugrihattalvar at Mamallapuram by the village of Tiruvelichchil.
There is an inscription on the lintel above the Hariharan panel. It lists ten incarnations of Vishnu, as Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Rama, Rama, Rama, Buddha and Kalkin. The three Ramas of the inscriptions should be taken as Parashurama, Lord Rama, the son of Dasharatha and Balarama. There is strange verse engraved on the floor of the cave hall. This verse speaks about a curse to those who do not follow Rudra or Shiva. It is very strange to find such a verse in a temple dedicated to Vishnu.

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