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Pallava period 'herostone' unearthed in Vellore dt.


By Our Staff Reporter

VELLORE, NOV. 23. A 9th century `herostone' built during the region of the Pallava King, Dantivarman, has been unearthed recently at Balekuppam in Katpadi taluk.

History has it that Dantivarman ruled Thondaimandalam with Kancheepuram as the capital for about 50 years from 796 A.D. to 846 A.D.

The war of Thellar took place during the reign of Nandivarman III, son of Dantivarman. `Marpidugu Eri' (lake) and `Swastik' well at Thiruvellarai, both in Tiruchi district, were constructed during Dantivarman's regime.

According to Mr. M. Gandhi, Curator of the Government Museum, Vellore, a feudatory called Mavali Vanarayan, under Dantivarman, ruled the area around modern Thiruvalam.

Vanarayan's headquarters was Vanapuram. The `herostone' belongs to this vassal's period.

The `herostone', which was erected during the regnal year of Mavali Vanarayan in 816 A.D., has a height of six feet and is four feet wide.

The hero, shown in relief work, rides on a galloping horse. He has a beautiful turban on his head. He throws a spear with his right hand and a dagger dangles from his waist band.

A thick `hara' adorns his neck. There are 34 lines of inscription on three sides of the figure. The inscription has been chiselled in Grantha and Tamil.

The hero named Pennan, son of Arikanri, died heroically defeating his enemies while they raided Palai Udai Pymur. Therefore the `herostone' was installed with a donation of land to be utilised by his relatives. Mr. Rajendran of Balekuppam, an M.Phil student, informed Mr. Gandhi about the presence of the `herostone'. With the permission of Dr. R. Kannan, Commissioner of Museums, and the Department of Archaeology, Mr. Gandhi and Mr. P. Venkatesan, a PG assistant, Government Higher Secondary School, Kaveripakkam, studied the herostone.

The 'herostone' which has been unearthed recently at Balekuppam in Katpadi taluk.

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