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Megalithic pottery found in Pudukottai dt.

By S. Ganesan

PUDUKOTTAI AUG. 3. Four inscriptions, including a 11th century Chola inscription, have been discovered at Oliyamangalam in Tirumayam taluk in Pudukottai district. Besides, pieces of megalithic pottery were also found.

The Chola inscription, dating back to the fourth regnal year of Veeracholan identified as Rajakesari Veera Rajendran (1063-1069), was discovered in the sluice of an irrigation tank.

The inscription records gifting of the sluice by Muvendavelan Chola Narayanan, probably a chieftain of the region. Though Veeracholan ruled only for a short period, the inscription indicates that he ruled over an extensive territory. An inscription, also in verse, of his reign was found at Vellanur near Keeranur.

The Oliyamangalam discovery throws fresh light on the history of the Chola rule in the region, according to Raja Mohammed, Curator, Government Museum, Pudukottai, who made discoveries along with K. Rajendiran, joint secretary, Pudukottai History Forum.

Also three Pandya inscriptions were discovered from the Varagunisvara temple. One of them belongs to the period of Kulasekara Pandya (1190-1217 AD) and records the gift of 50 ``pon'' by some landlords for celebration of the Chithirai festival.

Interestingly, the inscription notes that eight varieties of side dishes have to be offered to the Lord during the festival poojas.

Another inscription of Sundara Pandya period records gifting of land to the temple, while the other at a pillar in the temple indicates that it was gifted by Cholaperudaiyan Thirugnansambandan.

All three inscriptions help to reconstruct history of the temple, said Mr. Raja. Oliyamangalam, referred to as Ollaiyur in Sangam period, was situated on the boundary of the Chola and Pandya territories.

The ancient village also finds a mention in the `Purananuru'. Several wars were believed to have been fought in the region.

In addition, pieces of Megalithic dolmen (tomb) dating back to 200 B.C. have also been found during field studies, Mr. Raja said.

Few pieces of black and red coloured potteries and terracotta items, dating back to the Sangam period, have been collected by the team in some fields near the Kali temple.

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