Chola inscriptions near Madras
The Hindu, 15 May 1987
Based on "A New Chola Inscription from
Pammal near Madras", Paper presented at the Thirteenth
Annual Congress of The Epigraphical Society of India held at
Patna in April, 1987.STAT 63/87, May 1987 - Dr. Gift
A recent archaeological discovery refers
to Tambaram in the city as "Taampuram" as well as Gunaseelanallur.
"Surathur" which was the headquarters of Surathur Nadu in ancient
days, is now known as "Tirisulam."
The discovery relating to Chola history, from an inscription noted
in Pammal near here, was reported to the Congress of the
Epigraphical Society of India held in Patna in April this year, in a
paper presented by Dr. Gift Siromoney of the Madras Christian
The new inscription belongs to the 35th year of the reign of
Rajendra Chola III whose rule is stated to have ended in AD 1279. He
was the last Chola king and his latest known inscription belonged to
the 33rd year. Another inscription discovered in Madambakkam (near
Tambaram) refers to the 36th year of his regime. Both the
inscriptions can be assigned to Rajendra Chola III. Hence, the Chola
rule (as he was the last in the chain) did not end in AD 1279 as
hitherto believed but lasted for three more years.
The discovery that Rajendra III was known by the name Tribhuvana
Chakravarthi Veera Rajendra Chola Deva, has been proved by
paleographic and internal evidence in the inscriptions. In the
Pammal slab, the letters "da" and "na" have the same forms as their
modern counterparts and hence it would belong to the end of the 13th
century and not earlier. The Madambakkam inscription mentions
"Arunagiri Perumal Nilangarayan" who is known to be a local
chieftain and who lived at the end of the 13th century.
The Pammal inscription contains the names of Tiruneermalai, Pammal
and Surathur. "Surathur" derived from Churam or jungle path, was the
old name of Tirisulam which is derived from Tiru Churam.
The Madambakkam inscription refers to Nedungundram (near Vandalur),
Madambakkam and Maduraipakkam, a hamlet near Madambakkam.
Madambakkam belonged to Nedungunra Nadu and Pammal to Surathur Nadu,
according to Dr. Gift Siromoney.