Tamil Nadu, November 11, 2016: The Ramanathapuram Archaeological and Historical Conservation Centre has discovered two Siva temples that might belong to the 13th century and built by Maravarman Sundara Pandyan I, in the coastal hamlets of Therkku Naripaiyur and Vettukadu off the east coast in the district.
Fishing landing centres in the past were suffixed with the term ‘Padu’ in Tamil. Mr. Rajaguru, a school teacher and an amateur archaeologist, with his mechanical engineer friend, Kalimuthu, also an amateur archaeologist, have launched an exploration to find Shiva temple at Chokkanpadu as Shiva, which is also known as Chokkanathar.
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Mr Rajaguru said to The Hindu, that Chidambara Nataraj, an 85-year-old villager had seen a temple about six decades ago and it could have been buried in sands as it was located within 100 metres from the shore.
They found a ‘kodungai’ (a rainwater outlet) and some pillars partly buried in a coconut grove in the area which increased their curiosity. Enquiries with local people revealed that stones were unearthed in the area.
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According to The Hindu, after locating a partly buried ‘Nandhi’ in the Vettukadu area, they discovered a Siva temple. There was a roofless Ulagamman temple (Kali temple) in close proximity and it also belonged to the 13th century.
In 2007, during an excavation work to construct an overhead tank idols of ‘Amman’, ‘Murugan’ and ‘Bairavar’ were found there. The idols are now kept in the government museum, which also belonged to 13th century. Therefore it is evident that there is a temple buried near the Nandhi statue, said Mr Rajaguru to The Hindu.
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In this place too, there is a ‘Pizhaiporuthamman’ temple (Kali Temple). During digging a well local people had unearthed terracotta figurines and they too turned out to be the 13th-century figurines.
In the coastal areas of Kilakarai, Melakidaram, Melaselvanoor, Mariyur, and Thirumalugandakottai- 13th century Siva temples were found, so Mr Rajaguru wants the State archaeological department to take up the work at Therkku Naripaiyur and Vettukadu. This would throw more light on the trade, religion, culture and style of governance during the Pandya period.
– Prepared by Ruchika Kumari of NewsGram. Twitter: @RuchiUjjaini