Sri Subrahmanya Swami Devasthanam, Tiruchendur, South India

Tiruchendur Temple Inscriptions

There are four lithic inscriptions of the Pandya times collected together and planted now in a line in the southeastern corner of the first circuit of the temple. Two of them belong to Pandya Varaguna Maran of about 875 A.C.; the third of Pandya Mara Varman of about 1282 A.C.; and the fourth of Vikrama Pandya Deva. The inscriptions of Varaguna speaks of his grant of 1,400 gold kasus or coins to the temple, and the injunction that this sum should be invested as a permanent loan among village assemblies, so that the interest therefrom might be spent on this temple.

There is a mention of a shrine to Nakkira Deva, which speaks highly of the literary advancement of the period, when famous poets were deified and worshipped. Nakkirar was the President of the third Tamil academy of poets at Madura and also the author of Tiru-murug-arruppada the first of the Ten Idylls, known as Pathu Pattu; also other works of high literary merit. The descriptive contents of the inscriptions under reference are given below.* The fifth inscription pertains to the local town temple.

  1. No. 26 of 1912 (Vatteluttu) on two slabs set up in the Subrahmanya temple. A record in the 13th year of the Pandya king Varaguna Maraya. The inscription was partially copied in 1903. Registers that the king who was a devotee of Subrahmania Bahtara provided 1,400 gold coins (kasus) for the requirements of the temple throughout the twelve months of the year. The money was distributed amongst the sixteen villages which were required only to pay interest at two kalams of paddy per year on each kasu borrowed, without disturbing the principal (Note the rate of interest.)
  2. No. 27 of 1912 (Tamil) on a stone pillar set up in the same place. A record in the 13th year of the Pandya king Maravarman alias Tirubuvanachakravarti Konermaikondan Vikrama Pandya Deva. Records gift of two mass of land at Mankalakkurichi in Tiruvaladivalanadu to a Brahmana of Parakrama Pandya Chaturvedimangalam in Karungudinadu. (The king may be identical with him who came to the throne in A.D. 1282 and was the conqueror of Viraganda Gopala and Ganapati. Mr. Krishna Sastri, however, believes that he was perhaps a contemporary of Arikesari Parakrama, founder of the Tenkasi temple, as Kaliyugaraman was).
  3. No. 28 of 1912 (Tamil) on the same pillar. Records in Kollam Era 621, sale of land mentioned in No. 27 to Nakkiradeva Nayanar in the temple of Subrahmania Pillaiyar at Tiruchendil for 630 Kaliyugaranian panam (named after Vira Pandya, the contemporary of Arikesari Parakrama). It is stated that this land which was at Mangalakurichi alias Perunkarnunai Chaturvedimangalam was originally granted to the Brahmana Atthigirinatha Bhattar and two others of Parakrama Pandya Chaturvedimangalam by Ranarangarania Perumal alias Vikrama Pandya Deva. The dedication of a shrine to Nakkira shows the importance attached to in the age to literary greatness.
  4. No. 155 of 1903 (Vattehittu) On a slab set up in the second prakara of the Subrahmania temple. A record in the 13th year of Varaguna Marayaharaja II. Records, gifts of money. The object of the inscriptions is thus stated in order to meet the annual requirements of the temple of Subrahmania-Bhatra, which was the deity in the central shrine (Tirumulattanam) at Tiruchendur, Varaguna Maharaja made a grant of 1,400 kasu and entrusted the amount to three of his officers, viz., Iruppaikkudi-Kilavan, Sattamperuman and Alarruranattukkon, with the stipulation that the money should be lent out and with the interest accruing therefrom, the annual requirements of the temple should be met, the capital always remaining intact. No. 156 of 1903 (Tamil)-On the west and southwest walls, of the Śivakkolundiswara temple at Tiruchendur. An incomplete record in Kollam Era 650, Tiruchendr was also called Madevi-Chaturvedil-mangalam