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15th Century inscription discovered in Tamil Nadu village sheds light on land donations for temples

An inscription discovered in Somalapuram village in Tamil Nadu’s Tirupathur district brings to light the donation made to a temple

Fragments of historical evidence, even if they are incomplete, provide much information about the period they belong to and preserving them is vital. That is what Tirupathur District Heritage Conservation Centre (TDHCC) is doing in collaboration with Coimbatore Yakkai Heritage Foundation (CYHF).

The two organisations in a joint field survey have found some very interesting undocumented historical evidence at Somalapuram village in Tamil Nadu’s Tirupathur district. Dr. A. Prabu, Assistant Professor of Tamil at Sacred Heart College, Tirupathur, and TDHCC Coordinator, and his four-member team found an inscription in an agricultural field, information about which was provided by a social activist Radhakrishnan.

Sharing details about the find, Dr Prabu told India Narrative: “The inscription found is carved on a slab of black stone which is five-and-a-half feet long and three-and-a-half feet wide. In total it has 17 written lines. The epigraphical message is written in a mixture of Tamil, Grantha and there are some words in Sanskrit. The inscription is worn and the letters have faded due to years of exposure in the open air in an unprotected environment.”

Grantha is a southern Indian alphabet dating back from the 5th Century AD.

TDHCC Inscription2
The inscription has 17 lines written in a mixture of Tamil, Grantha and some words in Sanskrit

Providing further information Dr. Prabu informed India Narrative: “We coated the inscription with maida flour and got its impression which was read by a team that included Kumaravel and Sudhakar of CYHF and me. As the inscription is not legible in many places, it is not possible to ascertain the name of the king during whose reign it was engraved. However, looking at the arrangement of letters, it can be said that it belongs to the 15th Century. It describes the gift or donation of 20 pits or 35 acres of land approximately at Somanapuram to Anganatheeswarar Temple in Madapalli village which is situated in Tirupattur.”

Highlighting the importance of the inscription Dr. Prabhu said: “It records a very important historical message that 600 years ago Tirupathur was known as ‘Tirupatur’ and that Somalapuram near Tirupattur was known as ‘Somanapuram’ at that time.”

These findings were verified by Dr. Sekar, former professor of Archaeology and Ancient History in Government Arts College, Vellore.

Dr. Prabu hoped that the District Administration and the Archaeology Department will protect and document the inscription.

Also read: 13th Century inscription sheds fresh light on Tamil Nadu temple