Both the copper plates are intact and are fairly well preserved. One of the copper plates was issued by the Pallava ruler Aparajitavarman in his ninth year. The other one was issued by Parantaka Chola in the 25th year about 930 A.D. Both these plates, particularly the Pallava copper plate throws very valuable light on the political and religious history of Tamilnadu and is the most important discovery in recent years.
The Pallava copper plate mentions the gift of taxes to the Subrahmanya temple on the top of Thiruttani hill by the Pallava ruler Aparajitavarman who is portrayed as a great devotee of Lord Subrahmanya. For the first time, the history of the famous Subhramanya temple of Thiruttani is taken to a very remote antiquity. The present copper plates shows that the Subrahmanya temple was in existence even earlier than 900 A.D.
The Pallava copper plate is also important from another angle. Hitherto the place of Aparajita Pallava in the Pallava line was not known. For the past hundred years Scholars have been trying to assess his position and his relationship with other Pallava rulers and contemporaries. Aparajita was considered the son of Nandivarman and a step-brother of Kampavarman and so on.
All the surmises of scholars are proved wrong by the present discovery. The present Velanjeri copper plate mentions that Aparajita was the son of Pallava ruler Kampavarman through a Ganga Princess whose name is given as Vijaya. The copper plate also details the relationship between Kampavarman and Nrpatunga and also the battles won by Aparajita which are of vital interest to the history of the latter Pallavas. The present copper plate throws very valuable light and removes many confusions that have been prevalent with reference to the history of later Pallavas.
The Chola copper plate is also of great interest. It refers to the conquest of Kanchipuram and erection of imposing palaces there by Karikala Chola. It mentions the spider story about the birth of Koccengannan. For the first time, the name of Vijayalayachola's father is known as Orriyuran. About Parantaka, the donor, the copper plate states that he performed Tulabhara in the temples of Kanyakumari, Ramesvaram and Srirangam.
Both the copper plates were said to have been in a clay pot which has also been recovered. The plates and pot were willingly gifted to the Tamil Nadu State Department of Archaeology, by the villagers. The texts and translations of the copper plate charters and also a brief history of Thiruttani are published here.
The image of Siva standing on a pedestal is about 95 c.m. in height. The Devi also standing is about 93 c.m. and the Bull 40 c.m. All the three are placed on a badhrapitha of 15 c.m. in height. A prabha, somewhat broken, covering all the three images about 280 c.m. has also been found. The form of Siva seems to indicate an early date while that of the Devi and the bull seems to be some what later. They fit in with the pedestal. The images probably belong to a period between 950 and 980 A.D.
APARAJITA'S PLATE Among the two copper plate charters found at Velanjeri, Aparajita's plate is the earliest. The charter consists of five plates fastened to a seal. The charter has not suffered any damage, and is available in full.
The plates, five in number, are 27 cm. in length and 10 cm. in width; the ring is 16 cm. in diameter; the seal 9.5 cm. in diameter is countersunk to a debth of 1 cm. The plates are not numbered. The first and the last pages of the plates are not inscribed. The letters are deeply cut and fairly well written with few mistakes.
The seal The seal which is intact, carries the figure of a seated bull in the centre facing left. It is typical of the bulls found in other Pallava seals and stone sculptures. It is flanked by lamps on stands (Kuttu vilakku). Above the bull are shown ashtamangalas, (the eight auspices symbols), among which Kendi, Srivatsa, lamp and mirror are clearly visible. This is topped by an umbrella and fly whisks flanking the parasol. In the rim portion is an inscription in grantha characters reading- Svasti Sri - ntrasa siras sreni sri sikha sayi sasanam rajnah Pallava vamsendoh sri Aparajitavarmanah. Aparajitavarmanah The verse ends with the word Aparajitavarmanah i.e. of Aparajita varman. This word is repeated again as Aparajitavarmanah immediately below the seated bull. The repetition of this word is not only interestsing but also rare. It seems to indicate that the seal is that of Aparajita and that the same word in the verse relates to the royal sasana as a whole.
A point of interest is that the seal was embossed by a smith, whose name is given as Videlvidugu Perun-kannan. So far we have not come across in the Tamil country the name of the artist who embossed the royal seal. It shows that the kings had in their employment artisans to inscribe the order on the plates and separate artisans to emboss the seals.
The Grant The grant was issued by the Pallava ruler, Aparajita, in his ninth regnal year.
After giving the mythical genealogy of the Pallavas, the grant begins with Kampavarman. He seized the throne from Pallava Nrpatunga with glory. A certain Vijaya of matchless virtues and born of the Ganga family, was his queen. Aparajita was their son. Aparajita destroyed the elepants of the Bana ruler, captured Karanai,the Pandya city, and won a great battle against the Chola at Chirrarrur.
At the request of one Vamanayya, the king gifted the village Pudur, in Thiruttaniyal nadu, to the sabha of Melirunjeru as a devatana brahmadeya and stipulated that the village should pay one thousand kadi of paddy as Pancavara to Lord Subrahmanya who is pleased to stand on the hill. The record details the boundaries of the lands gifted, the tax exemptions and the privileges conferred on the village.
A certain Podini Mahadeva bhatta was the composer of this grant.
This silpin Vijayanna engraved the charter and a certain Videlvidugu Perunkannan embossed the seal.
Language The grant, like all other Pallava grants of the seventh and eighth century A.D. is bilingual, written in Sanskrit and Tamil.
The Sanskrit portion is in poetry and prose. The poetic version describe the explooits of Kampavarman, and Aparajita and extols the greatness of Vijaya, the mother of Aparajita.
The prose part closely follows the style of the age, as reflected in Bana's 'Kadambari', 'Harsha Carita' and also the prose portion of the Kuram plates of Paramesvara varman. It contains a long drawn out passage and is written with an eye on word play. It is a beautiful composition, essentially musical. Mahadeva the composer, was certainly an eminent poet, who inherited his father's poetic talent. His father Srikumara is praised as a composer of mahakavyas. The drafting of the Tamil portion is equally good and free from mistakes.
Aparajita's devotion Aparajita Pallava, with great devotion to Subrahmanya on the hill of Thiruttani, gifted the village as a devatana brahmadeya,(a Brahmin settlement attached to the temple) by pouring water from a golden pitcher. The village Thiruttani is refered to as an agrahara and Meliruncru as a Mahagrahara. The gifted village, Pudur was clubbed with Melirunceru and the village sabha was directed to pay 1000 kadi of paddy to Lord Subrahmanya on the hill. In the Sanskrit portion the Lord is mentioned as Shanmukha, the son of Mahesvara, (Mahesvara Sunave Shanmukhaya) and in the Tamil portion as, Subrahmanya who is pleased to stand on Thiruttani hill (Thirumalayil nindrarulina) and also as Subrahmanya the Lord of Thiruttani hill (Thirumalai Piranar).(1)
This charter shows Aparajita's special attachment to Tiruttani. It is well known that the Virattana temple at this village was built in his reign by one Nambi Appi(2) and that the king himself composed a poem in its honour. That Aparajita was a great devotee of Subrahmanya is gleaned for the first time from this record.
A stone sculpture of Subrahmanya, of the Pallava age (ninth century A.D.) is now worshipped as Balasubrahmanya in the Tiruttani temple. It is housed in the prakara of the main shrine. The present main deity inside the sanctum seems to be an installation of the 16th century in the Vijayanagar period, when the main temple seems to have(3) been rebuilt. The Pallava image of Subrahmanya is obviously the deity that received the benefaction of Aparajita. The existence of the Subrahmanya temple in Tiruttani hill, in the reign of Aparajita takes the history of the temple earlier than was hitherto known.
The copper plate is very important from the point of view of political history. In the history of the later Pallavas, the relationship among Aparajita, Nrpatunga and Kampavarma was a mystery.
That Kampavarman and Nrpatunga were brothers was recognised by scholars earlier.(4) Bahur(5) and Chirrur(6) plates mention Nrpatunga as the son of Nandi, through Sankha, the Rashtrakuta princess. The Cholapuram record refers to Nandi Kampa,(7) meaning Kampa the son of Nandi. But how were they related to Aparajita? In the absence of records many suppositions were made. K.A.N. Sastri(8) and T.V. Mahalingam(9) considered Aparajita as another son of Nandi and a brother of Nrpatunga. Mahalingam went to the extent of suggesting that Aparajita was the son of Nandi through Mkarambavai.(10) But now this copper plate charter sets at rest all speculations about their relationship. It specifically mentions Aparajita as the son of Kampavarman, through Vijaya, a Ganga princess;
Umeva Rudrasya Rameva Vishnor Visuddha Ganganvaya Janma manya I Gunonurupa Vijayabhidhana Patnis Sapatni Vijaya sriyaibhut II Bahumukha subhagas tatota tasyam Prathama mabhut Aparajitah Sa Saktih
This passage further shows that Kampa and Aparajita had the able support of the Ganga chieftains. Further, this plate states that Kampavarman captured the Pallava throne forcibly from Nrpatunga.
Yo Vijitya Nrpatungam Ahave Pallavam Prabala Vallabhanvitam Svicakara Vasudham Saha Sriya Sagarormi Valayaika mekhalam.
Another point of great interest furnished by this plates is the conquests of Aparajita. Aparajita conquered the Bana, captured Karanai the city of the Pandya and defeated the Chola at Chirrarrur.
This new information furnished by this grant necessitates a re-evalution of the political condition of the period.
The Borther's fight
The fight between the Pallava brothers, Kampavarman and Nrpatunga, needs explanation. It is obvious that Nrpatunga was installed on the throne by his father Nandi III. Scholars have missed a point of considerable interesst mentioned in the Bahur plates of Nrpatunga. The Bahur plates were issued by Nrpatunga in his eighth regnal year. Referring to Nrpatunga, it states that he was still a boy. The relevant portion of the record reads:-
Nrpatunga iti khyato Balopi Bhuvanesvarah
From this it is clear, that Nrpatunga was a boy in his eighth regnal year. He should still have been in his teens.
The Chirrur copper plate(12) of the same ruler, was granted two years earlier, in his sixth year. We have reason to believe that by that time Aparajita also had assumed importance.(13) It suggests that Kampavarman, father of Aparajita, should have been elder to Nrpatunga.
While Kampavarman the elder was alive, the younger, Nrpatunga, though a boy, ascended the throne. This obviously led to enmity between the brothers. Nrpatunga should have been chosen by Nandi II in preference to Kampa, probably because of Rashtrakuta influence. Nrpatunga's mother, Sankha was a Rashtrakuta princess.
It is not known whether Nrpatunga ascended the throne even when Nandi was alive or after his demise. Probably during his last years, Nandi installed Nrpatunga. Kampavarman, immediately after the demise of his father, should have struck the blow and dislodged his brother. Though Kampa removed his brother from the throne, he treated him with considerable moderation and even allowed him to issue charters. He also installed his son Aparajita very early as his co-regent, as Aparajita was known for his valour.
The power alignment during this period also needs consideration. The Banas were clearly on the side of Narpatunga. Bana Paranjaya, who had the title Kadupatti Muttariyan,(14) requested Nrpatunga to grant the Chirrur plates. Aparajita defeated a Bana ruler who was in all probability this Paranjaya, kadupatti Muttaraiya.
A Pandya, said to have been a grandson of the Bana through a daughter, was also defeated by Aparajita. Pandya Varaguna received help from Nrpatunga.(15) It is not known who the mother of Varaguna was. If Varaguna was the adversary of Aparajita, in all probability he was, we get here the information that he was the son of this Bana's daughter. This Bana also had the title Kadupatti Muttarasar. So the fact that the Muttarasar were closely related to Pandya Varaguna is also thus attested. That may also attest to the presence of Varaguna at Sendalai.
The third adversary of Aprajita was a Chola defeated at Chirrarrur. In all probability the Chola adversary was Aditya.(16) We know that subsquently Aditya killed Aparajita in the battle. This shows that Varaguna, Aditya, Bana and Muttarasa were on the side of Nrpatunga while Aparajita and Kampa, were aided by the Ganga ruler Prithivipati on the other. It was mentioned earlier that Aparajita's mother was a Ganga princess. That Aparajita was aided in the Sripurambiyam battle by Ganga Prithivipati is well known(17) Prithvipati obtained victory for his over lord Aparajita, but lost his life in that battle.
It would be interesting to note the various dates of accession of the kings suggested by scholars*. (* K. A. N. stands for K. A. Nilakanta Sastri, T. V. M. for T. V. Mahalingam S.R.B. for S. R. Balasubramaniam and T.N.S. for T. N. Subramaniam)
K.A.N. T.V.M.S.R.B. T.N.S. Nrpatunga859 to 99 869-910855 - Aparajita885 - 903 895-913878 - Kampavarman870 - 912878 - Aditya871 871871 870
Aditya's conquest of Tondaimandalam is attested by his inscriptions found in Tirukkalukunram,(18) and Takkolam.(19) His 21st year inscription seems to be the earliest in Tondainadu. If this is taken as the basis, it would then mean that Aparajita had lost his life by 890. (the 20th year of Aditya). Aparajita's inscriptions are found upto his 18th year(20). So he should have ascended the throne about 870. Kampavarman came to the throne a few years earlier, circa 868 and Nrpatunga, two are three years earlier. Nrpatunga's accession can be placed about 865. On the basis of the above calculations the following would be our revised chronology.
Nrpatunga 865 to 906 A.D. Kampavarman 868 - 900 A.D. Aparajita 870 - 890 A.D.
Prof. Sastri, and S. R. Balasubramaniam agree to 890 as the last year of Aparajita. This tallies with our findings. T.V. Mahalingam's date of 913 for both Aparajita and Aditya seems to us to be unconvincing(21).
From this chronology and power alignment a few points of interest emerge. From 890 to 903 Nrpatunga's inscriptions are not found. Kampavarman probably accepted the suzerainty of Aditya and ruled upto 900.
The role of Chieftains
The role of chieftains during this period requires carefull study. Banas, Gangas, Muttaraiyars, Irukkuvels, Viluppariyars, Tamil Peraraiyar, Pallavaraiyar etc. are found during this period. It is noteworthy that a number of chieftains bore the title Videlvidugu. We have the following Chieftains with this title.
1. Videlvidugu Muttaraiyan.(22) 2. Videlvidugu Kadupatti Tamil Peraraiyan(23) 3. Videlvidugu Vilupperadiyarayan(24) 4. Videlvidugu Ilangovelar.(25).
All these chieftains lived in the middle and later half of the ninth century. Vedilvidugu is a significant title of Dantivarman.
Videlvidugu Kadupatti Tamil Peraraiyan
A Kadupatti Tamil Peraraiyan is mentioned as the Ajnapti of the Chirrur grant of Nrpatunga.(26) He was also called Dramidadhiraja and very abode of dharma. He again figures as the Ajnapti in the eighth year of Nrpatunga in the Bahur plates.(27) In this charter he is given his full title as Videlvidugu Kadupatti Tamil Peraraiyan. The Sanskrit portion calls him Uttamasila. Highly learned and a minister to Nrpatunga. He was held in high esteem by rulers.
Ajnaptih Uttamasilah Trailokyesvara Pujitah Mantri Brahaspati Prakhyah Rajno Sri Tungavarmanah
While one charter mentions him as Kadupatti Tamil Peraraiyan, another calls him Videlvidugu Kadupatti Tamil Peraraiyan. It is likely that he distinguished himself in the closing years of Danti and received the title Videlvidugu. The Kadupatti Tamil Peraraiyan was the executor of the grant of Vijaya Nandi Vikramavarman recorded in Thiruvallam.
Videlvidugu Kadupatti Muttaraiyan
The Vijnapti of the Chirrur plates(28) issued in the sixth year of Nrpatunga was Muttaraiyan, who also had the title Paranjaya. He was a Bana and is called a descendent of Balikula. He is also called Agatrayesa and Saila trayendra.* (* [These are names of the Trikuta mountain, considered to the the highest peak of the Himalayas. Rulers of eminence assumed the title Trikutachalapati to mark their valour. The Cholas a little later assumed the little "Mummudi" which in all probability refers to Trikuta].
The cave temple at Malaiyadipatti, in Pudukkottai district, was excavated by one Kuvavan Sattan alias Videlvidugu Muttaraiyan in the 16th year of Dantivarman.(29) It is not known whether this Videlvidugu Muttaraiyan is identical with Kadupatti Muttaraiyan.
A Kadupatti Muttariya figures in an inscription of Dantivarman (the date is lost) from Pallipalayam village in Kanchipuram taluk.(30) He appears as a Vijnapti. This would suggest that Videlvidugu Muttaraiyan was identical with Kadupatti Muttaraiyan. Kadupatti Muttaraiya raided Koyattur in the reign of Bana Vijayaditta Virachulamani Prabhumeru as mentioned in the Punganur record.(31) This Bana Vijayaditta Prabhumeru, was a contemporary(32) of Nrpatunga and it is evident that this Kadupatti Muttaraiyan is identical with the Kadupatti Muttaraiya mentioned in the Chirrur plates as Vijnapti.
Dr. Ramesan has identified Paranjaya, the Vijnapti of Chirrur plates with Vikramaditya Jayameru Bana Vidyadhara.(33) Since Paranjaya and Vikramaditya were Banas, Ramesan ventured to suggest the identification. The identification is not correct since we have seen, the Paranjaya was Kadupatti Muttaraiya and that he invaded Koyattur under Bana Vidhyadhara. So Bana Paranjaya and Vikramaditya Jayameru Bana Vidhyadhara are two different persons. Vijayaditta, Vikramaditta and others called themselves Mavalivanadhiraya. They probably belonged to a colateral branch of the Bana family. The other Bana family took the title Mutarasa. Kadupatti Muttarasa was active from the 16th year of Dantivarman to that of Nrpatunga, for over sixty years from 810 to 870.
Kaduvetti Muttaraiya's son Arikanta Perumal, is mentioned in the 15th year of Nrpatunga in an inscription of Thiruvalangadu(34). Arikanta continued to hold power and influence upto the 24th year of Nrpatunga(35). In this record he is mentioned as the son of Kadupatti Muttaraiya. In all probability Kadupatti Muttaraiya passed away before the 15th year of Nrpatunga.
The Kodumbalur chiefs also seem to have been under the spell of the Pallavas in the eighth and ninth centuries before they turned hostile. To begin our study of Ilangovel, it is good of take up Videlvidugu Ilangovel mentioned in an inscription of Kampavarman. The inscription is dated between the 11th and 16th year(36) (884). The inscription comes from Thiruvorriyur, and states that Pudi Arindigai was queen of Videl vidugu Ilangovelar of Kodumbalur in Konadu. The damaged portion of the record beginning with the word 'Mut' could be reconstructed as 'Muttaraiyar' in which case the princess was a daughter of Muttaraiya.
As mentioned earlier, the tittle Videlvidugu, assumed prominence in the reign of Dantivarman. Probably this Ilangovelar served under Dantivarman towards the close of his reign and continued to serve upto Kampavarman's 15th year.
The alliance between the Muttaraiyar and Irukkuvel families is attested by another inscription of the same period. In the sixth year of a Parakesarivarman(37) a Varagunanatti Peruman, a daughter of Muttaraiya chief is mentioned as the wife of Sembiyan Irukkuvel.
The identification of Videlvidugu Ilangovel has posed considerarable problems to scholars. Videlvidugu Ilangovel has been identified by a scholar with Videlvidugu Muttaraiyan of the Malaiyadipatti inscription(38) This is quite off the mark and S. R. Balasubramanian is right in rejecting the suggestion.
It is seen that Videlvidugu Ilangovelan is active about the third quarter of the ninth century. We have an Ilangovelan of Kodumbalur active in the same period, with the name Tennavan Ilangovelan alias Maravan(39) Pudi. This Tennavan Ilangovelan is also identified with Parantaka Ilangovelan.
This problem is closely connected with the dating of the famous Kodumbalur temple and has been ably discussed in detail by S. R. Balasubramanian in his book on Middle Chola temples. It is therefore necessary to discuss this is detail. According to the Muvarkoil inscription(40), the builder of the temple was one Bhuti who also conquered one Virapandya. Bhuti had two queens, Karrali and Varaguna. He built the Vimanatraya (Muvarkoil) in his own name and in the name of his two queens. He had two sons, Parantaka and Aditya. These are the important points gleaned from the inscriptions.
S. R. Balasubrahmanian holds the following views.
1. Tennavan Ilangovel alias Pudi is different from Pudi Vikramakesari the builder of Kodumbalur temple. 2. Tennavan Ilangovelan alias Maravan Pudi was a contemporary of Nandi III and contemporary of Aditya I. 3. He had a wife Karrali Piratti. 4. He had another queen Nakkan Vikramakesari. 5. He had a daughter named Pudi Aditta Pidari. 6. There was another chieftain Parantaka Ilangovelan. 7. He had a wife Varaguna, a sister of Aditya I. 8. Balasubramanian does not agree with the view that Tennavan Ilangovel is identical with Parantaka Illangovel. 9. He agrees that there was a Parantaka, son of Pudi called Pudi Parantakan. 10. He holds Pudisvaram is different from Muvarkoil. 11. He states that Pudi had two sons Parantaka and Aditya and that we know nothing about them. 12. He also discusses in detail Vira Pandya, an adversary of Bhuti.
The two Ilangovels
There are two Chieftains with the title Ilangovel; one Tennavan Ilangovel and another Parantaka Ilangovel. Some scholars hold the view that they are identical and others(41) hold that they are two different persons. It is necessary to examine this point.
Tennavan Ilangovel alias Maravan Puti (i.e. Puti son of Maravan), appears in inscriptions from the 16th year of Nandi, 855 A.D.(42) (Throughout the rule of Aditya I) to third year of Parantaka 910 A.D.(43) In all these inscriptions his title occurs as Tennavan Ilangovelan without any change.
There are two inscriptions dated in the 13th year of one Rajakesari(44) which mention Parantaka Ilangovelan; his surname is not known. If this Rajakesari is Aditya I, we have two Ilangovels, one, is Tennavan Ilangovel and another one is Parantaka Ilangovel. (We have shown the title Tennavan Ilangovel appearing for Maravan Puti till the 3rd year of Parantaka, without any change). If this Rajakesari is identified with Arinjaya II as held by K.A.N. (and S.R. Balasubramanian in his first book) then Parantaka Ilangovel is different from Tennevan Ilangovel. In both the account, it is clear that Tennavan Ilangovel is different from Parantaka Ilangovel as rightly held by S.R. Balasubramanian.(45)
The active period of Tennavan Ilangovel who also had the surname Puti was from 855 to 910. The date of Parantaka Ilangovel is disputed. The only reason adduced by S.R. Balasubramanian is Paleography. He holds the Lalgudi inscriptions has pulli and paleographically early and assigns it to Aditya I. On this count he holds the Lalgudi temple was built in the 27th year of Aditya and other inscriptions found on the temple were later copies. Paleography is not a safe guide, when the time gap is only 15 years (13th year of Aditya to 27th year of Aditya). If the 13th year epigraph of Rajakesari is that of Aditya I, then the view that the same temple was built around the 27th year is difficult to susstain. Aditya, Varaguna, Nandi III and Nrpatunga were all contemporaries and it is not surprising that their epigraphs have close resemblance.
So it is not wrong to hold that the 13th year at Lalgudi and Tillaisthanam, belong to the reign of Arinjaya as held by K.A.N. and S.R.B. (in his earlier work). So Parantaka Ilangovel is a later chieftain who lived in 960 A.D. but his surname is not known, while the name of Tennavan Ilangovel is Puti. There is a Puti in the reign of Aditya I and no Puti in the reign of Sundarachola.
The names Karrali and Varaguna as the wives of Puti are found in the reign of Aditya I. There is no Karrali in the reign of Sundarachola. A certain Varaguna appears as the wife, not of Puti, but as the wife of Parantaka Ilangovel. Puti appears in the early years of Parantaka Chola I, and in the same year, appears Puti Parantaka, son of Puti also. It is indisputable that this Puti Parantaka who had the title Sembiyan Irukkuvel, is the son of Puti alias Tennavan Ilangovel, a contemporary of Aditya I and Parantaka I.
There are three Varaguna's mentioned in inscriptions. 1. Varaguna the wife of Tennavan Ilangovel (in the reign of Aditya I and Parantaka I). 2. Varaguna, wife of Puti's son Parantaka alias Sembiyan Irukkuvel in the reign of Parantaka Chola I.(48) She was the daughter of a Muttaraiya and 3. Varaguna the wife of Parantaka Ilangovel in the reign of Arinjaya; she was the daughter of Arinjaya Chola.(49)
The date of Kodumbalur temple
Three names mentioned in the Kodumbalur inscriptions namely Puti, his wife Karrali and their son Puti Parantaka appear in the reign of Aditya I and early years of Parantaka I, whereas the name of Varaguna alone appears in the reign of Sundarachola. It is therefore logical to hold that Tennavan Ilangovelan alias Puti (Son of Maravan) is identical with Puti the builder of the Kodumbalur temple and that he lived in the reign of Aditya I and early years of Parantaka I. The Kodumbalur temple should be assigned to the period of Circa 890 A.D. and not to 960 A.D. as held by S. R. Balasubramanian.(46)
In Nartamalai, we have an inscription dated in the reign of Nrpatunga, which refers to Videlvidugu Ilangovelan and his son Sattan Paliyili (who excavated the cave shrine to Siva).(47) Evidently the surname of Videlvidugu Ilangovelan was Sattan, while that of Tennavan Ilangovelan was Puti. It is evident that Videlvidugu Ilangovelan is different from, but an elder contemporary of, Tennavan Ilangovel the builder of the Kodumbalur temple.
The problem of Virapandya
One more point that needs elucidation is Puti's adversary Virapandya. Sri S. R. Balasubramanian has discussed this problem, quite vigourously. He says that 'Vira Pandya, the enemy of Puti, was the one who took the head of Chola and that he came to the throne in 946 A.D. He was killed by Aditya II in the reign of Sundarachola and so the Kodumbalur temple should be assigned to the reign of Sundarachola I, later half of 10th Century.'(50) First of all the Kodumbalur inscription does not refer to Virapandya as "one who took the head of Chola". No title of Virapandya is mentioned.
"Yo Virah Virapandyam Vyajayata Samare"
Even if we take Vira Pandya of Kodumbalur record as identical with the one "who took the head of the Chola" it has not been established he was identical with the one "who was killed by Aditya II". A Virapandya, appears as a contemporary of Pandya Rajasimha II as early as 920 A.D. It has been shown on an analysis of inscriptions at Pallimadam, Thiruppattur, Ambasamudram, Kuttalam etc., that a Virapandya lived in the closing years of ninth Century and early years of 10th Century A.D.(51)
The Kodumbalur inscription of Bhuti, the builder of the Muvarkoil, refers to the victories gained by the chieftain. It states that "the water of Kaveri was turned red with the blood of the Pallava forces and this warrior defeated Vira Pandya in battle and became death to Vanji Vel".(52)
Kaveri vari Sonam samakrta rudiraih Pallavasya dhvajinyah Yo Viro Vira Pandyam Vyajayata Samare labdanyanama nrpah
Commenting on this Prof. K.A.N. Sastri says "One wonders, however, if by the expression Pallavasya dhvaijinayah, the composer of the incription means "Vallabhasya dhvajinyah" which would be an allusion to the conquest of Chola countr