A wall in Tamil Nadu that speaks a forgotten story- The New Indian Categorical

Shaivism and Vaishnavism, the 2 hottest religion techniques in India, have a well-documented and long-standing historical past. Deep-rooted in society, Vedic deities Siva and Vishnu are the most well-liked Gods with particular person temples in virtually each village. Conventional town-planning manuals, particularly these utilized in South India, reserved house for temples for the deities and designed settlements round them. Strict affiliation to those particular person religion techniques typically led to arguments over superiority. Some have been tutorial debates recorded in books. On events, the variations sparked off tussles, disturbing concord.

One well-documented case of faith-based variations that led to political intervention and disruption of regulation and order occurred in Tirumeyyam, a village close to Pudukottai in Tamil Nadu. This area of Tamil Nadu is filled with historic monuments courting to the seventh–ninth century CE. A grand cave temple was excavated across the eighth–ninth century by the Mutharaiyar chieftains in Tirumeyyam. The complicated housed a shrine every for Siva and Vishnu. There was a shrine for Siva and an extension led to a colossal depiction of a reclining pose (Anantasayana) of Vishnu. The architects who deliberate the preliminary blueprint for this shrine maybe didn’t anticipate the repercussions almost 5 centuries later. 

Although the precise origin of the dispute is misplaced within the pages of historical past, the archives give us a tough concept of the background. In the midst of the thirteenth century CE, the seventh 12 months of the rule of Maravarman Sundara Pandya II (1245 CE), this area was dominated by the Hoysala kings. Commissioned by Appanna Dandanayaka, the brother-in-law of Ravidevan Dandanayaka, the military common of Vira Someshwara, a number of vital dignitaries met to draft a everlasting resolution. The congress included the executive heads of the ‘nadu’, cities and villages, non secular heads, native chieftains, clergymen initiated within the Saiva agama, representatives from the Pandya nation (the preliminary rulers of this area), Srivaishnavas, Saivites of Tirumeyyam, non secular leaders from Piranmalai temple, a sure Narayana Srikumara Bhattan of Barathwaja gothram, and the guardians of the group of 18 settlements of this area. 

The factors of battle associated to the temple’s possession and authority over tax assortment. The arguments resulted in a lack of funds, even affecting the conduct of day by day rituals. The assembly primarily addressed this difficulty and got here up with an answer. The land dues have been to be break up in a 2:3 ratio between the Siva and Vishnu temples. On mutual acceptance, a portion of the disputed land was to be exchanged for land in one other a part of the identical area. Canals and water our bodies owned by the temple have been break up evenly between the 2 events. A wall was to bifurcate the temple campus that housed the 2 shrines. Stones marked the boundary line and a wall, virtually a foot in width, was constructed to specs. The expense of this building was to be borne by the events in the identical ratio, 2:3. The bushes within the path of this wall have been to be lower down. The respective boundaries have been to be demarcated by erecting stone slabs with trishula and chakra symbols respectively. The campus on the east of the wall grew to become a separate Vishnu temple and to the west was Siva’s. The settlement included a clause that if future desilting of tanks or excavation of the temple campus yielded buried murtis of Gods and Goddesses, they need to be handed over to the denomination to which they belong. 

The land outdoors the campus was additionally divided within the 2:3 ratio. So have been the residences of the clergymen. Whereas the denominations had their respective clergymen and assistants, the ‘nagaswaram’ gamers have been frequent to each the deities. So the committee advised that the person temples should henceforth prepare for his or her musicians individually. Agricultural land, bushes, gardens, home websites and dry land outdoors Tirumeyyam have been to be equally shared by the 2 events. To file this prolonged settlement, a number of outdated inscriptions in grantha script (together with one on classical music) have been reformatted by wiping out the unique etchings. Inscriptions in regards to the properties of the Siva temple on the partitions of the Vishnu temple have been erased and rewritten on the partitions of the previous. 

The decision was deemed important for the welfare of the settlement and therefore, extreme punishments have been designed for these violating its provisions. Offenders have been to be declared traitors to the king and nation and deemed disloyal to their moms. They have been to pay penalties. Some crimes may threaten their lives too. Nevertheless, 4 years later, a difficulty regarding the land gifted to fulfill the expense of the musicians employed by the Siva temple cropped up. A sure Tiruvengada Nambi, an arbitrator, was known as to resolve the difficulty. This time there have been no lengthy arguments or fact-checking accomplished to ship justice. The arbitrator as an alternative picked a token out of two that bore the respective symbols from the arms of Sri Krishna within the temple. This was thought of a divine intervention and it favoured the Saivites of Tirumeyyam. 

As we stroll previous these temples right now, we’re moved by their grandeur and creative illustration. These forgotten but fascinating tales embellish our experiences. We’re accustomed to a few of these conflicts, and their resolutions, even right now.

Madhusudhanan Kalaichelvan
Architect and conservationist considering Indian heritage and tradition


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