Pudukkottai - Its contribution to Tamil Culture


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Pudukkottai, a princely state during the British time is rich in archaeological monuments. It has produced eminent people in many walks of life

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  • Pudukkottai is no doubt a great storehouse of culture. there is so much that despite two long visits I have yet to finish my research on the early Tamil art. I love the kind, helping people and young children all going to schools and colleges. But one thing i hate that it is a shame. On Pudukkopttai bus stand all men stand by the drain and urinate, the stench is unbearable, people eat food just near this open urinal. I found that thee is a toilet but is dirty and without water. Can the authorities not put an end to this shameful activity by creating many nice and clean toilets. I understand people travel from long distance place to Puddukkottai but they should be stopped and toilets built. Of course in my travels across India I find this story repeated in many places.
    UI hope someone does something and when i come to Pudukkottai next it will be a civilized space of a toilet for people to use.
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Pudukkottai - Its contribution to Tamil Culture

  1. 1. Click anywhere to start the presentation<br />
  2. 2. India, our motherland, <br /> can boast of an unbroken tradition <br /> of 5000 years. <br />Truly, a nation of unity in diversity.<br />by<br />S. Swaminathan<br />(sswami99@gmail.com)<br />
  3. 3. Tamilnadu, the land of our forefathers, <br /> is a land of culture and arts.<br />Tamil, our language, is ancient and classical, and at the same time modern.<br />
  4. 4. Our tradition has a hoary past.<br />It is unique; <br /> unique in many respects.<br />
  5. 5. Thol-kaappiyam<br />not just a treatise on grammar; <br />but a treasure-house of <br />contemporary Tamil tradition...<br />Sangam poetry, a collection of <br />marvelous dramatic monologues.<br />Kural<br />won the appellation of ‘world gospel’.<br />Bharathi<br />not only the morning star <br />of modern Tamil literature,<br />but also a leading light of the 20th century renaissance in Indian life and letters.<br />
  6. 6. Thus would go on our unique culture<br />
  7. 7. PUDUKKOTTAI<br />Public Office Building, Pudukkottai<br />PUDUKKOTTAI,<br />a district of Tamilnadu, <br />is a museum of South Indian arts and <br />can be called an archaeological paradise.<br />
  8. 8. PUDUKKOTTAI<br />This tiny slice of South India <br /> has a glorious past and <br />can be proud of its contributions <br /> to Indian culture, <br /> especially to Tamil culture.<br />The palace of the last Maharajah (present Collectorate) in Indo-Saracenic style<br />
  9. 9. THIRUVARANGULAM<br />This is Lord Nataraja performing the cosmic dance.<br />This beautiful bronze is <br />from Tiruvaran-gulam,<br />Pudukkottai<br />One may see <br />this imposing bronze <br />at the entrance of <br />the National Museum, <br />New Delhi.<br />Some even say that <br />this the second best bronze<br />ever sculpted by humankind.<br />
  10. 10. AVUDAIYARKOIL<br />Thiru-p-perum-thurai,<br />a place blessed by the Saint<br />Manikka-vasagar. <br />A great story of <br />great significance is <br />attached to this place. <br />Every one knows the story <br />how jackals became horses.<br />Manikka-vasagar<br />Now known as<br />Avudaiyarkoil,<br />the temple in addition, <br />is well known for <br />its exquisite sculptures.<br />
  11. 11. SITTANNAVASAL<br />A scene from the Sittannavasal painting<br />Sittannavasal <br />the best known archaeological site of <br />the district.<br />The celebrated paintings here of <br />the 9th century AD <br />are considered to be second only <br />in importance to <br />the paintings in <br />the Ajanta caves. <br />
  12. 12. SITTANNAVASAL<br />This is a pre-historical burial site, <br />at least 3000 years old.<br />A Pre-Historic burial site<br />
  13. 13. SITTANNAVASAL<br />Here are some highly polished stone beds<br /> in which the Jain sages <br /> fasted unto death as religious austerity<br /> from the 3rd century BC onwards. <br />The famous inscriptions in Tamil-Brahmi of the 3rd century,<br /> Vattezhuththu of the 2nd century AD & <br /> later Tamil inscriptions are milestones in <br /> Tamil history<br />Ancient Tamil inscription found around this Jaina bed<br />
  14. 14. TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE<br />The district can boast of largest number of <br />cave temples in Tamilnadu.<br />The celebrated ones are<br />Thiru-go-karnam<br />Thirumayam<br />Malayadippatti<br />Kudumiyanmalai.<br />
  15. 15. TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE<br />Most of the early temples<br />that led to the great Chozha temples, like <br />the Brihadisvara Temple <br />can be seen in the Pudukkottai tract.<br />Kodumbalur<br />Narttamalai<br />Narttamalai, Kodumbalur, Kaliyapatti,<br />Panangudi, Kannanur, Tirukkattalai etc <br />are some of the early Chozha temples<br />
  16. 16. SCULPTURES<br />Pallava-s initiated the tradition of <br />temple building in Tamilnadu, <br />starting from cave temples and <br />perfecting structural temples. <br />Their sculptures are of great beauty, <br />unexcelled even by the Imperial Chozha-s. <br />Their equals are here in Pudukkottai.<br />Kalari-moorthi and<br />Rishabha-rudha are <br />some of the masterpieces<br />one finds in Muvar-koil <br />of Kodumbalur.<br />Kalari-moorthi<br />Rishabha-rudha<br />
  17. 17. IDENTITY OF PUDUKKOTTAI<br />Many places in Pudukkottai tract <br />find mention in Sangam literature.<br />The traditional boundary <br />between the Chozha-s and the Pandya-s <br />was the river Vellar <br />which runs in the middle of Pudukkottai tract.<br />CHOZHA-S<br />RIVER VELLAR<br />PANDYA-S<br />
  18. 18. IDENTITY OF PUDUKKOTTAI<br />The present Pudukkottai District <br />has become an administrative entity <br />from the time of the Thondaimans in 17th century. <br />Rule of the Thondaiman dynasty continued <br />with the support of the British, <br />until its merger with the Indian Union in 1948.<br />Rajah Rajagopala Tondaiman, the last Maharajah<br />Rajah Ramachandra Tondaiman in Darbar<br />
  19. 19. IDENTITY OF PUDUKKOTTAI<br />Amman Kaasu<br />Coin minted by the Thondaimans.<br />
  20. 20. EPOCH MAKERS FROM PUDUKKOTTAI SOIL<br />The Pudukkottai town is one of the few fully planned towns in India, thanks to the great administrators. <br />William Blackburne<br /> 200 years ago laid the foundation stone.<br />Sashiah Sastri<br /> 100 years ago completed the task. <br />Tottenham whose administrative procedures <br /> are followed through out Tamilnadu.<br />Sashiah Sastri<br />W. Blackburn<br />Tottenham<br />
  21. 21. EPOCH MAKERS FROM PUDUKKOTTAI SOIL<br />Veeramamunivar<br />that is Fr. Beschi, a great Tamil savant, was living in Avur during 1732 AD, and <br />during the turbulent days of Carnatic war the Father bore ill-treatment by the army of Chanda-Saheb with unruffled equanimity <br />
  22. 22. EPOCH MAKERS FROM PUDUKKOTTAI SOIL<br />Dr Muthulakshmi Reddy <br />the first woman MBBS in the country. <br />Also the first woman to be elected <br /> to a legislative body in the country. <br />Her contribution to women emancipation<br /> is immense<br />
  23. 23. EPOCH MAKERS FROM PUDUKKOTTAI SOIL<br />Sathyamoorthy<br />the famous freedom fighter.<br />
  24. 24. EPOCH MAKERS FROM PUDUKKOTTAI SOIL<br />Akhilan<br />the first Tamil to receive Bharatiya Jyanpith award. <br />
  25. 25. EPOCH MAKERS FROM PUDUKKOTTAI SOIL<br />Al. Valliyappa<br />The famous poet for children.<br />Pudukkottai was an important centre <br /> for publishing. <br />Its contribution to children’s literature <br /> is substantial. <br />
  26. 26. PERFORMING ARTS<br />Pudukkottai’s contribution to music and dance is impressive. <br />It is believed that Saint Thyagaraja first sang in the Thondaiman court<br />
  27. 27. PERFORMING ARTS<br />The nada upasakar and laya vidwan <br /> Mamundia Pillai created Kanjira and <br /> established the Pudukkottai <br /> school of mridangam. <br />Among his worthy disciples was the redoubtable Dhakshinamoorthy Pillai.<br />Dhakshinamoorthy<br />Mamundiya Pillai<br />
  28. 28. PERFORMING ARTS<br />The veena brothers, Subbarama Iyer and Sambasiva Iyer, <br /> perfected the Thanjavur bani of <br /> veenai playing.<br />
  29. 29. PERFORMING ARTS<br />Sivarama Nattuvanarand a host of dance teachers of <br /> this princely state were <br /> celebrated all over the dance world<br />
  30. 30. PERFORMING ARTS<br />Rukmani Devi Arundale was mainly responsible for <br /> making Bharathanatyam an art form <br /> fit for concerts.<br />
  31. 31. PERFORMING ARTS<br />The list of <br />musicians, dancers and dance teachers <br />hailing from Pudukkottai is long and <br />their contribution to their chosen field <br />is considerable<br />
  32. 32. PERFORMING ARTS<br />In the popular field of cinema Pudukkottai-ans <br /> carved a place for themselves.<br />Raja Sandow, <br />the hero of the silent movie, <br />who made a mark in Mumbai too. <br />PU Chinnappa, the then superstar.<br />Gemini Ganesan, the romantic hero<br />AVM Rajan, a well known actor of yesteryears.<br />
  33. 33. One may go on...... <br />This is our PUDUKKOTTAI.<br />
  34. 34. THE PRESENT SCENARIO<br />It is certain that there are similar reasons for every person to be proud of <br />his/her own district.<br />But, how many of us are aware of our own history? <br />
  35. 35. THE PRESENT SCENARIO<br />Those who are born in Pudukkottai and<br /> lived in there for considerable time <br /> would be aware of some part of <br /> its history and its importance.<br />But most, particularly belonging <br /> to the younger generation, <br /> may not.<br />Worse we witness helplessly <br /> destruction of our heritage, our history.<br />
  36. 36. THE PRESENT SCENARIO<br />Most of the priceless <br />paintings of Sittannavasal are <br />damaged by vandalism and apathy.<br />
  37. 37. THE PRESENT SCENARIO<br />The celebrated temples are dilapidated.<br />This is not due to lack of resources,<br />but for lack of historical sense.<br />
  38. 38. THE PRESENT SCENARIO<br />Valuable documents, <br />palm-leaf manuscripts, books, <br />personal memoirs and <br />those that can help trace history <br />are irrevocably lost, and being destroyed. <br />
  39. 39. I now take the pleasure of presenting <br />Sittannavasal, <br />which, along with<br />Kodumbalur and Narttamalai<br />form a Golden Triangle of Pudukkottai.<br />
  41. 41. Location of Sittannavasal<br />Trichy<br />Thanjavur<br />To Illupur<br />Pudukkottai<br />To Madurai<br />Karaikkudi<br />Sittannavasal,<br />a small village <br />in the Pudukkottai district<br />of Tamilnadu, <br />is a world-famous <br />archaeological site.<br />It lies at 15 km from Pudukkottai on the road to Illuppur.<br />
  42. 42. Sittannavasal monuments<br />There are four interesting monuments on and around a large rocky hillock:<br />Arivar-koil<br />It is renowned for its mural paintings in the Jaina cave temple. <br />These paintings are second only in importance <br />after Ajanta paintings and <br />have an important place in the Indian art history.<br />It was a flourishing centre <br />of Jaina influence where Jainism flourished <br />for over 1200 years (3rd century BC to 10th century AD). <br />
  43. 43. Sittannavasal monuments<br />Ezhadippattam<br />There are a number of natural caverns <br />with polished stone- beds in this hillock <br />where Jain ascetics performed austerities. <br />One of such caverns, called Ezhadippattam, <br />contains 17 stone-beds, <br />with inscriptions in Tamil dating from 3rd century BC.<br />
  44. 44. Sittannavasal monuments<br />Navachchunai<br />A tarn situated on the northern part of the hillock, <br />with a submerged rock-cut shrine inside.<br />
  45. 45. Sittannavasal monuments<br />Burial sites<br />This village was one of <br />the oldest inhabited sites in this area. <br />The megalithic burial sites here testify to this.<br />
  46. 46. ARIVAR-KOIL<br />
  47. 47. Arivar-koil<br />This is <br />a Jaina cave temple, excavated <br />before the 9th century AD <br />and has <br />the famous mural paintings <br />Originally thought of an excavation of Mahendra-varma Pallavan, <br />this is now considered to be a Pandya contribution <br />Still there is uncertainty regarding the origin of this temple <br />
  48. 48. Arivar-koil<br />The cave temple lies on the west face of the hillock, <br />near the northern end.<br /> A walk of about 100 feet over the sloping rock <br />takes the visitor to the cave temple. <br />
  49. 49. ARIVAR-KOIL<br />architecture<br />
  50. 50. The cave temple consists of<br /> a garbha-griham,<br />an ardha-mandapam <br />and a pillared veranda. <br />Garbha-griham<br />A mukha-mandapam <br />that was added <br />in 9th century AD <br />has collapsed. <br />Ardha-mandapam<br />Pillared-veranda<br />The pillared veranda is <br />a later addition <br />in the 20th century.<br />
  51. 51. Originally the entire space, <br />except the floor, <br />had been plastered and painted. <br />But only <br />a part of the paintings on the ceiling and <br />patches elsewhere <br />remain.<br />
  52. 52. Pillared-veranda<br />
  53. 53. Pillared Varenda<br />This pillared veranda, in front, is a later construction, <br />added in the 20th century by the Tondaiman-s of Pudukkottai. <br />It provides much needed protection from rain and sun. <br />
  54. 54. Pillared Varenda<br />A 17-line Tamil inscription on the rock-face of the original cave <br />can be seen from here. <br />It mentions <br />about the repair <br />and extension <br />of the cave temple <br />by a Jaina Acharya <br />called Ilan Gautaman,<br />during the reign of <br />the Pandya king, <br />Srimaran-srivallabhan <br />(9th century AD). <br />It is from this inscription we find that the cave temple <br />was excavated before the 9th century.<br />
  55. 55. Ardha-mandapam<br />
  56. 56. Ardha-mandapam<br />From the front veranda one enters <br />this ardha-mandapam<br />which is 22½ feet by 7½ feet.<br />On the side walls <br />are two niches containing <br />sculptures of <br />a Tirthankara and <br />an Acharya.<br />
  57. 57. The ardha-mandapam contained <br />some exquisite paintings, <br />of which precious little remains. <br />
  58. 58. Garbha-griham<br />
  59. 59. Garbha-griham<br />Beyond the ardha-mandapam is this Garbha-griham.<br />It is 10 feet by 10 feet. <br />On the back wall are three images <br />carved in relief. <br />On the ceiling is carved a Dharma-chakra.<br />The ceiling contains relics of paintings. <br />
  60. 60. ARIVAR-KOIL<br />sculptures<br />
  61. 61. There are only five sculptures, <br />all in relief, in this cave temple.<br />Two of them are <br />in the ardha-mandapam, <br />on the side-walls.<br />The garbha-griham contains <br />three figures in a row, <br />on the rear-wall. <br />These sculptures are of Jaina Tirthankara-s and Acharya-s.<br />
  62. 62. Ardha-mandapam<br />
  63. 63. Ardha-mandapam<br />The niche on the southern wall contains a figure of Parsvanatha,<br /> the twenty-third Tirthankara. <br />He is seated cross-legged <br />in the dhyana (meditative) pose. <br />There is a five headed serpent <br />spreading its hood over his head identifying him as Parsvanatha.<br />
  64. 64. Ardha-mandapam<br />The niche on the northern wall is a figure of a Jaina Acharya seated in the same pose. <br />There is a single umbrella over the head of the image, <br />which indicates that it is not a Tirthankara.<br />
  65. 65. Garbha-griham<br />
  66. 66. Garbha-griham<br />On the back-wall of the garbha-griham are three images carved in relief in a row. <br />All of them are in the same dhyana (meditative) posture. <br />The northern and central figures have <br />‘mukkudai’ (‘triple umbrella’), <br />indicating them to be Tirthankara-s. <br />The southern figure has a single umbrella, <br />and probably a Chakravarti or an Acharya. <br />
  67. 67. ARIVAR-KOIL<br />paintings<br />
  68. 68. Indian Paintings<br />Ajanta,<br />200BC-600AD<br />Sittannavasal paintings are an early example of post-Ajanta period painting and are of the classical Ajanta style with variation in the handling of the material by the artists. <br />
  69. 69. Indian Paintings<br />Kanchipuram<br />7th century AD<br />The paintings in Kailasanatha Temple in Kanchi antedate the Sittannavasal paintings.<br />
  70. 70. Indian Paintings<br />Thanjavur<br />1100AD<br />The paintings in Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur <br />are the continuation of the Sittannavasal tradition.<br />
  71. 71. Sittannavasal Paintings<br />The technique used is known as fresco-secco, <br />that is, painting done on dry wall. <br />In this process,<br />the surface is first covered with lime plaster,then coated with lime-wash <br />and the painting done on it. <br />Mineral colours of permanent nature <br />were employed for the painting.<br />
  72. 72. Sittannavasal Paintings<br />The subjects of the Sittannavasal paintings include<br />the Samava-sarana of the Jaina mythology, <br />a few solo-pictures, that includes dancing damsels, <br />birds, floral decorations, and <br />various carpet canopy designs. <br />
  73. 73. Sittannavasal Paintings<br />Originally the entire cave temple, <br />excluding the floor, <br />including the sculptures was covered with plaster and painted. <br />Only traces of these are now extant.<br />All these paintings, which would rank among the great paintings of India, are barely visible now, mainly due to vandalism with in the last 50-60 years. <br />
  74. 74. Sittannavasal Paintings<br />This Jaina site and its paintings were<br />first noticed by a local historian S. Radhakrishna Iyer in 1916. <br />But Jouveau Dubreuil and T.A. Gopinatha Rao brought it before the archaeological world in 1920.<br />
  75. 75. Sittannavasal Paintings<br />In 1942, Dr. S. Paramasivan and K.R. Srinivasan found that there are two layers of paintings, an earlier and a later superimposed over the earlier one. <br />The layer of painting, which we see today and admire, is probably the work of Ilan-Gautaman (9th century AD), mentioned in the inscription. <br />These are some of theearliest frescos in South India and only example of early Jaina frescoes. <br />
  76. 76. Ceiling of ardha-mandapam<br />On the ceiling of ardha-mandapam, <br />canopies of floral pattern are painted over the two relief images. <br />
  77. 77. Ceiling of ardha-mandapam<br />The samava-sarana composition<br />In Jainism, where worship of great souls occupies an important place, Tirthankara-s are the most venerated religious prophets. <br />One of the five important events in the life of a Tirthankara is <br />the first sermon after attaining the kevala-jnana (realisation), <br />in a specially designed complex called Samava-sarana. <br />This Samava-sarana is a favourite motif for representation in the Jaina temples. <br />
  78. 78. Ceiling of ardha-mandapam<br />The samava-sarana composition<br />The scene painted in the ardha-mandapam <br />is a lotus tank <br />which is a part of the Samava-sarana complex. <br />It is the second region, called khatika-bhumi (region-of-the-tank). <br />Here, we see, the bhavya-s (the good ones), <br />rejoice while washing themselves, as they pass on from region to region in order to hear the discourse of the Lord in the heavenly pavilion of Samava-sarana.<br />
  79. 79. Ceiling of ardha-mandapam<br />The samava-sarana <br />composition<br />This painting shows bhavya-s enjoying themselves in a pool, full of flowering lotuses. <br />Flowers <br />with their stalks and leaves, <br />various kinds of fishes frolicking, <br />a makara (mythical fish), buffaloes, elephants and numerous birds <br />are shown with simplicity, charm and naturalness. <br />
  80. 80. The samava-sarana composition<br />The pose and expression of the bhavya-s shown in the picture have a charm and beauty, which compel attention.<br />Two of them are shown together in one part of the tank.<br />One is picking lotus flowers with his right hand and has a basket of flowers slung on the other.<br />
  81. 81. The samava-sarana composition<br />His companion carries a lotus in one hand, the other is bent gracefully, the fingers forming the mrigi-mudra (‘deer-gesture’).<br />
  82. 82. The samava-sarana composition<br />The third bhavya, <br />an extremely beautiful figure, <br />carries a bunch of lotus <br />over his left shoulder and lily over his right.<br />The three figures are naked, <br />except for their loin-cloths.<br /> The hair is neatly arranged and <br />the lobes of the ears are distended.<br />
  83. 83. The samava-sarana composition<br />The three figures are naked, except for their loin-cloths.<br /> The hair is neatly arranged and the lobes of the ears are distended.<br />
  84. 84. Ceiling of ardha-mandapam<br />The samava-sarana composition<br />
  85. 85. Pillars of ardha-mandapam<br />There were some exquisite paintings of dancing girls on the pillars. <br />These priceless treasures are now lost forever and only their outlines are traceable today.<br />These animated figures, with their broad hips, slender waists, and elaborate ornaments, recall the beauty of the apsara-s of mythology; their pose and expression suggest rhythm and dynamic movement. <br />These portraitures of dancers must rank as one among the best<br />in the whole of India.<br />
  86. 86. Pillars of ardha-mandapam<br />One of them has her left arm <br />stretched-out in lata-hasta pose <br />and right arm bent at the elbow. <br />Her ears <br />are adorned with olai <br />(patra-kundala), <br />rings set with gems, <br />and <br />her arms decked <br />with bracelets <br />and bangles.<br />
  87. 87. Pillars of ardha-mandapam<br />The other is even more graceful. <br />Her left arm stretched-in <br />lata-hasta pose, <br />while her right arm is bent at the elbow. <br />The head-dress and the ornaments of this dancer are very distinct. <br />The hair is decked with flower garlands.<br />
  88. 88. Pillars of ardha-mandapam<br />There is also remnant of <br />a painting of a royal couple, on the southern pillar. <br />
  89. 89. Cornice & beam of ardha-mandapam<br />There are paintings on the corbels, beam and cornice. <br />On the corbel are scroll designs with lotuses. <br />Painted lotuses <br />in different stages <br />of flowering. <br />
  90. 90. Cornice & beam of ardha-mandapam<br />The painting on the cornice is made up of carpet designs with lotuses. <br />In front of each of <br />the two pillars are <br />painted hamsa <br />(mythical swan). <br />On the northern wall<br />are the figures of fruits and flowers in yellow and red.<br />
  91. 91. Ceiling of garbha-griham<br />The painting above the three relief sculptures suggests a carpet, with striped borders and irregular squares and circles interlinked. <br />Within the squares are lotus flowers. <br />Inside the circles is a cross, with two human figures on upper side andtwo lion figures on the lower side of the horizontal arm. <br />
  92. 92. EZHADIPPATTAM<br />
  93. 93. Ezhadippattam<br />Ezhadipattam is the name given to a natural cavern <br />where over more than a thousand years <br />since 3rd century BC, <br />Jaina ascetics practiced severest penance <br />such as <br />Kayot-sarga (meditation-till-salvation-in-standing-pose) <br />and <br />sallekhana (fasting-unto-death).<br />
  94. 94. Ezhadippattam<br />A few hundred meters south of the cave-temple is the beginning of the path <br />that leads to Ezhadippattam. <br />
  95. 95. Ezhadippattam<br />The cavern is near <br />the top of the centre of the hill, <br />on the eastern side. <br />But the approach is from the west. <br />The Cavern<br />Entry to the Cavern<br />Originally this path to the cavern, <br />along a narrow ledge <br />was difficult and dangerous. <br />
  96. 96. The stone-beds<br />The cavern is roomy but low. <br />The floor is marked out into spaces <br />for seventeen beds, <br />each with a sort of stone pillow. <br />They are highly polished. <br />Most of the beds are inscribed. <br />But all these inscriptions are <br />barely visible now, <br />due to vandalism within last 50-60 years.<br />
  97. 97. Inscriptions<br />One of the beds, the largest, is the oldest <br />It contains an inscription in Tamil <br />in the Tamil Brahmi script of the 3rd century BC. <br />This is one of the oldest lithic records of South India. <br />It mentions that <br />Ilaiyar of Tenku-ciru-posil made this seat for Kavutiborn at Kumizhurin erumi-naadu (probably in Karnataka). <br />
  98. 98. Inscriptions<br />Near other beds, names of other Jaina ascetics who practised penance are inscribed. <br />There are a number of inscriptions belonging 7th to 10th centuries AD.<br />
  99. 99. Ezhadippattam; stone beds & inscriptions nearby<br />There are a number of stone-beds and inscriptions around Ezhadippattam.<br />There is also a passage to reach the hill through a very narrow cavern,<br />now under disuse.<br />
  100. 100. NAVACH-CHUNAI<br />
  101. 101. Navach-chunai<br />The pool takes its name from a <br />naval-maram (Syzygium jambolanum) close by.<br />
  102. 102. Jambunatha submerged cave temple<br />The sunai contains a submerged Pandya rock-cut shrine inside. <br />It contains a lingam in the centre and a narrow passage to walk around.<br /> The water is occasionally baled out, and the lingam is worshiped. <br />However, there is no clue as to why such temples were excavated at all. <br />
  103. 103. MEGALITHIC BURIALS<br />
  104. 104. Megalithic Burials<br />Certain typical modes of disposing the dead <br />in the mega-lithic period <br /> (3rd century BC to 1st century AD) <br /> are preserved in the Pudukkottai tract.<br />
  105. 105. Megalithic Burials<br />Excavations reveal three types of burials in Pudukkottai region: <br /><ul><li>grave-burials, practised by poor people,
  106. 106. urn-burials, in which the dead men were buried </li></ul> in a sitting posture in a large earthenware pot and <br /><ul><li>burials in deep stone-chambers formed of stone slabs (cists).</li></ul>Quite a few burial sites are found in Sittannavasal<br />
  107. 107. Megalithic Burials<br />Loosely called ‘dolmans’, <br />these are stone-capped burial monuments with chambers in stone.<br />Mudu-makkal-thazhi (‘burial-pots-of-the-old-people’) <br />is the most widely used local name. <br />These are easily identifiable by the appearance of <br />a circle of laterite or granite stones <br />and small boulders on the surface of the spot.<br />
  109. 109. Other places of interest<br />At the foothills of the hillock, on the western side, <br />are two temples in ruins.<br />One is dedicated to Siva and<br />another to a Goddess.<br />There are <br />a few loose sculptures near to these shrines.<br />These two temples have not been studied <br />in detail yet.<br />
  110. 110. Other places of interest<br />There are shrines for local deity, Ayyanar with the customary terracotta sculptures of horses, etc. nearby.<br />
  111. 111. The Sittannavasal Complex offers an opportunity <br />to travel in time <br />from the 3rd century till modern times,<br />and to savour certain unique features of our past. <br />
  112. 112. Thank you<br />S. Swaminathan <br />Kiran & Pandian<br />
  113. 113. This presentation is made possible by <br />Sudharsanam,<br />a centre for arts and culture,<br />Pudukkottai, Tamilnadu<br />and the presenters acknowledge <br />their gratitude to the trustees.<br />