KARU. RAJENDRAN MELAPPANAYUR
Kodumbalur - a small village is located 40km west from Pudukkottai on Pudukkottai to Manapparai road via Kudumiyamalai. Though now it is a small village it was a famous town some 1500 years ago. This article sheds new light on the history of famous Kodumbalur.
Silappathikaram mentions this Ancient Kodumbai Nedungulak kottagam”i. Periyapuranam mentions Kodumbalur as the capital of Konadu in the “kurukurangum konattuk kodinagaram Kodumbalur”ii. The Irukkuvelir chieftains ruled Kodumbalur during the medieval period of Tamilnadu. They were ruling under the Pallaasa, the Pandyas and the Cholas.
TEMPLES IN KODUMBALUR
Muvar Kovil, Mudukundramudayar Kovil an Ainthali are the three important temples now found in Kodumbalur. Apart from the three well known temples namely Mudukundramudayar, Muvarkoil and Akinthali now found at Kodumbalur another temple called Alankoil though mentioned in inscriptions could not be identified. Notable chieftains among the Irukkuvelirs are Bhuti Vikaramakesari, Mahimalaya Irukkuvel, Parantaka Velan and Siriya Velan.
Among the Bhuti Vikramakesari built Muvarkoil and Mahimalaya Irukkuvel built the Mudukundramudayar temple. The builder of Ainthali tample is not known. In these three temples Mudukundramudayar temple is found intact except its subsidiary temples. In Muvarkoil only middle and southern shrines are extant now and the northern shrine, the common mahamandapa of all the three shrines are only indicating their presence by their basements. Ainthali temple also now has only its adhishtana portion. All the remaining portions are destroyed due to long negligence.
All the three shrines of Muvarkoil are with 21 feet square garbhagriha, 18feet ardhamandapa and a common 91 by 41 feet mahamandapa. One can easily understand the form and the structure of the destroyed northern shrine from the existing two shrines which are sharing most of the features including dimensions in common
MDARAPPATTI AND KODUMBALUR ART
The stones of the destroyed temples of Kodumbalur have been used in the bund costruction of the tank in front of the Mudukkundramudayar temple of Kodumbaklur The stones are also found in the later constructions of Perumal temple, Periyakulam and Thalakulam of Kodumbalur. The pair of lion pillars now found in the buildings called Kodumbalur chatram and Kodumbalur savadi were brought from Kodumabalur ruins. So many such architectural pieces including broken sculptures and inscriptions can be found in the tank of Madarappati located 3km east of Kodumbaluriii.
In the Madarappati tank one can find the stones of adhishtana sch as upana, mahapadama, kumudaka, kanta and vyala and pieces of pada vargas and prasthara vargas like bhuta vari kapotaka vari and vyala vari. The components of salahara of the second floor prathara, kantha, sikara of the vimana are also found scattered in and around the tank. Apart from these architectural pieces 2 inscriptions datable to 10th country A.D. confirm that these stones were brought from Muvarkoil of Kodumbalur. Two pieces of grantha inscription of the chieftain Bhuti Vikaramakesari who built Muvarkoil.
An inscription found in Madarppatti tank reads.
2) ththur Kodumbalur
3) par minna
4) mazhai iichvara
5) mum kapalaththu
6) errup perru asi
7) thi pandithar vi
8) ra murukki nangai
9) koil prathi
10) ttai seithu ana
11) tinpu arala
12) pathi sing
14) dupichcha mandapamu
15) nth thirunilai......... iv
Another inscription here written on thrippata kumuthaka reads.
1) svasthisri ventharu......... kodumbai
2) valaru vadasei.....
3) snathu koduvari parappith thik
5)kaliyin valiyai murukkungchir
6) antharama ravianan asiri...thar kavasamv
This inscription could not be completely read as some portions are hidden below a big stone placed above it. While the first inscription name kodumpar, the second inscription name kodumbai for Kodumbalur. The deity viramurukki nangai mentioned in the first inscription could be identified as Durga. The Muvakoil inscription mentions that Minnamazhai was the original name of Bhuti Vikramakesari. So the the name Minnamazhai isvaram found in the first inscription would suggest that one of the triple shrines of Muvarkoil was called as Minnamazhai isvaram. The architectural style noticed in these sone pieces also confirm that these were brought from the fallen structures of Muvarkoil of Kodumbalur.
MERCHANT GUILDS OF KODUMBALUR
One of the Kodumbalur inscription mentions that there were two types of merchant guilds in Kodumbalur. One was ainurruvar and the other was manigramaththaar. The name of Ainurruvar was mentioned in an inscription found by this author on a stone pillar erected at the canal at periyakulam of Kodumbalur. the inscription reads; “Svathisri Ainurruvar rakshai seiviththaan Saaththan Neelan”vi. The name Manigramaththaar has been mentioned i the Piranmamalai inscriptionvii. So it is evident that two groups of mercahnt guilds existed at Kodumbalur.
WERE IRUKUVELIRS FROM YATHUKULA?
While mentioning the genealogy of Irukkuvelirs in the Muvarkoil inscription Bhuti Vikramakesari claims that he belongs to Yathukula. Based on this evidence scholars argue that Bhuti Vikaramakesari is from Yadava clan. Nayaks of Amamyanayakkaur belong to Nayak family. But one of these Nayaks while mentioning the genealogy in the thanichchiyam tank inscription from Madurai dt. of A.D. 1802 claims that he is from Yathukulaviii.
In the Ligamanayakkan kottai inscription of Naththam Anadhanamadam of Dindigul dt. Muththulinga Nayakar claims that he belongs to Yadava Kothraix. These two inscriptions of Nayaks claim that Nayaks belong to Yadava clan.
In an inscription of 17th century A.D. found in Kulatthur, Pudukkottai. dt. while referring Lakshmana Aiyyangar to whom donation was given by Ramasamy thondaiman it is mentioned “barathvasa kotthiraraana aapasthanbha sutthiraraana yedhusaaga adhyaraana somaaji letchuman aiyarukku”. Y. subbarayalu has mentioned that the person who learnt somayaga was called somaaji. In Brahmanas Aiyangar belongs to Vaishnava cult. Krishan is an avathar of Vishnu. So these examples only indicate that the worshipers of Krishan just to relate themselves with Kirshna, called they were from yathu vamsam.
Though Bhuti Vikramakesari called himself as yedhukulathilakam, their descendants added only velir or velar after their names. So Velirs of Kodumbalur were oly from Vilir clan and not the yadhava clan. It is probable that Bhuti Vikramakesari caled himself as yedhukulathilakan, because, he was the worshiper of Krishna.
So the details discussed above shed new light on the history of Kodumbalur.