At Visalur near Kudumiyanmalai in Pudukottai district
Parts of an ancient Early Chola temple, buried into the earth, have been found at Visalur near Kudumiyanmalai in the district on Wednesday.
The temple, dedicated to Lord Siva, has numerous stone idols which are partly damaged and found strewn across, around the buried vimanam of the temple. The stone idols pertain to the images of Jeyshtadevi, Nandhi, Chandikeswarar, Narasimhar, Dakshinamurthy, Dwarapalagar and above all Lord Muruga seated on an elephant.
“It could be the idol of Lord Subramanya or Lord Muruga on an elephant which testifies to the Early Chold period and stone temple architecture of the temple,” says A. Manikandan, founder of the Pudukottai Heritage Research Centre, who conducted a study in the village.
He said that the temple is believed to have been built by Velir Kings, who were chieftains under the Chola rulers. The Velir Kings built smaller temples using lime and mortar as binding material, so that the temple can withstand rain and shine for centuries.
Pointing out that the pillars of the temple were found strewn around in the village, he urged the State Archaeology Department to shift the ancient idols to safety.
He took up the study after a tip-off from Ramesh Muthaiyan, a heritage photographer, who chanced to come across the broken pieces of Nandhi idols in the village last week.