Archaeology 11th century inscription found in Kovilpalayam



Archaeology An 11th century inscription with four incomplete lines in Tamil vatteluttu script that was recently discovered in Kovilpalayam

An 11 th century inscription with four incomplete lines in Tamil vatteluttu script that was recently discovered in Kovilpalayam.
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The engraving, in vattalettu script, bears the ‘Kavayanputhur’, the ancient name of Coimbatore.

A group of volunteers recently discovered a stone block with an inscription in Tamil vatteluttu script, dating back to probably the early 11 th century, in Kovilpalayam, near Coimbatore. The volunteers had been involved in cleaning the Kalingarayan Lake in Kovilpalayam on December 16, when they discovered the block.

Archaeological lovers R. Kumaravel and N. Sudhakar together with Federal government Museum curator C. Sivakumar figured out the script on the stone block. Mr. Kumaravel stated that the engraving’s authenticity was confirmed by R. Poongundran, retired Assistant Director of the Tamil Nadu State Department of Archaeology as well as senior researcher Rajagopal Subbaiah.

There are 4 incomplete lines in vattalettu script inscribed on the block which measures 83 cm in length, 22 cm in width and 28 cm in height.

The second line bears the word ‘Kavayanputhur’, the ancient name of Coimbatore. The very first line bears the name of Srivikrama Chola, a Kongu Chola who ruled the area for 43 years between 1004 CE to 1047 CE, according to an inscription discovered in Thingalur near Perundurai in Erode district. “As the freshly found inscription is insufficient, the exact year of the engraving could not be figured out,” Mr. Kumaravel said.

However, as the engraving mentions the name of Srivikrama Chola after pointing out the king’s father Kokkalimoorkan, it shows that the inscription was made during his reign. For this reason, the engraving should have been created in between 1004 CE and 1047 CE, making it almost one thousand years old, according to Mr. Kumaravel.

Srivikrama Chola was the grand son of Veera Chola, one of the Kongu Chola rulers who ruled the Kongu area after 10 th century when the area came under the control of the Chola kingdom, he stated.

In a statement released, Mr. Poongundran said that this may be one of the oldest inscriptions bearing the Tamil vattalettu script found in the Kongu area. The engraving also validated the significance of Kovilpalayam throughout the Chola period, he stated.

Mr. Sivakumar stated that the District Administration has actually initiated the procedure to bring this inscription block for display at the Government Museum.