Thursday, December 14, 2017

Tax Collecting Rights to the Local Body - reveals newly found Chola Era's stone inscription

A new stone inscription is discovered at a remote village named Sirunjunai,  Annavasal Taluk of Pudukkottai District. This newly found inscription mentions in the 13th Century local bodies had the right to collect taxes. Earlier members of archaeological preservation club of Government School of Ellaippatti, Aiswarya, Nikalya and Ayanraj informed their club coordinator Kasthuri Rengan about the presence of the stone inscription in Sirusunai Village. He then informed the  Disctrict co- ordinator Manikandan Arumugam. Heritage Preservation club of Pudukkottai team, Kalvettu Rajendren President of  Pudukkottai Archaeological Research Forum, Muthukkumar co-ordinator of ARF , probed the site and found this stone inscription with the help of the school children. 

Manikandan, founder of  Pudukkottai Archaeological Research Forum (ARF) and district co – ordinator of Heritage Preservation club of Pudukkottai Schools opined that 
The remains of the temple at this site belongs to Aranya Vidangar, Shiv Temple of 13th Century. Further evidences are also proves this fact. Another inscription on the huge rock in the middle of the pond says in 1243 B.C a Periyapillai Marunthaalvan donated 200 coins and land donations and the measure of their harvest to be donated to the temple. This particular stone inscription was found years earlier by Kalvettu Rajendren. In the same site Square shaped Aavudai, dilapidated Nandhi, Murugan on Peacock is also found. These idols are preserved by the villagers. A new stone inscription also found near the same site.
 Puravari, a tax levied for villages exempt from Government Tax, can be collected by the local bodies as per local auditing systems guidelines. The officials who are empowered to collect this tax were titled "sekaranthaar". In the Chola era these details were carved in stone pillars and erected in the temple, which served as then administrative posts for villages. 
The message in the new found stone pillar The inscription starts with Mangal lines, and after the Mangal Lines it reads Sirunjunaiyoor, Viratharaaja Bayangara Sathurvethi Mangalam Puravari Sikaranathaar Aasiriyam" As per this inscription Sirunjunai Village was known as Virutha Raja Bayangara Sathurvethi Mangalam, and the tax levying powers were endorsed to the official titled "Seekaranam". This inscription sends a surprising insight into Chola Era's Taxing Procedures, and the local bodies were enabled to Levi taxes and maintain their infrastructure. "This democratic measure was practiced in Chola Era is very surprising indeed" opined Manikandan.

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