09th April 2016.
SALUVAN KUPPAM, ECLIPSE MANDAPAM, SADRAS FORT, ALAMPARAI FORT, VEDAL, VOYALUR, MAMALLAPURAM QUARRY AND THIRUPORUR CAIRN CIRCLE OF IRON AGE BURRIAL SITE.
Even-though it was very hot out side, enjoyed the Buckingham canal trip led by Mr Venkatesh, the Historian & the writer, Mr Vaidyanathan Ramamurthy and the curators Mr Shasvat and our young curator Nandan. The arrangement of the program & Co-ordination was excellent, which makes the trip more enjoyable with out feel of the scorching sun. The tour was planned in such a manner that, we had our breakfast and Lunch at A2B of Mamallapuram. When most of us could not see the cairn circles ( megalithic ) of iron age burial site, we are fortunate to see more than 30 such sites. My sincere thanks to all the participants.
SALUVAN KUPPAM – SRI SUBRAMANIYAR TEMPLE
This archaeological site is very near to Tiger caves and is 6 KM north of mamallapuram. This site was estimated to 4th/5th to 12th/13th century and dedicated to God Sri Subramanya. The exposed structure consists of Palipeadam, vel, Arthamandapam, sanctum. The Sanctum was built like a well. The of the temple was built with laterite stones, over which stone slabs are provided like plinth beams over which the walls are constructed with brick stones of various sizes. Some of the bricks are more than 10 inches. The mandapam pillars are removed from the site kept out and has the inscriptions. The tsunami exposed rock has the inscription of Rajaraja Chozha and Pallava Period. The plinth surface was covered up to 10 feet by the sand.
It is after Mamallapuram on ECR on the road side.. What for it used, do not know We had seen two Dutch persons relief on the pillar. The pillar has reliefs of Gods, Munivars, Dutch, Romance etc., The Ceiling has the relief of The Kannappar Story, Purusha mirugam, monkey with it’s baby and Croc.
The mandapam pillar pothiyals are of different types right from rectangular to kumudam and vaazhaipu ( short). Most probably the mandapam might have been constructed by Dutch and Nayak’s period.
Sadras was known as Rajanarayan Pattinam name after the Sambuvaraya Chieftain. During 1818 it was with Dutch and 1848 Britishers took over the control of the fort. Latter it turned as Sadiravasagan Pattinam again this was changed to Sathuranga Pattinam by Britishers. Kalpakkam Atomic Energy quarters was built adjacent to the fort.
The Sadras fort was established by Dutch during 17th century, on this Coromandal Coast for trading the Muslin Cloths, Horses, edible oil, Pearl, Cotton, spices, salt, etc,. The forth with about 1 metre thickness wall was constructed with brick. The fort house, a cemetery, Church, gallows, office rooms, quarters for staff, Kitchen with a well inside, storage for the grains, stable for the horses, etc,. The cemetery has 16 graves and one is for a mother and her baby died during delivery. This is in the form of load bearing structure ( sumai thangi - சுமை தாங்கி). On one of the grave the Sadras is mentioned as “SADRESPATNAMVOOR”. The fort was constructed with Bastions on the west side and watch round towers on the east side. The bastions are used to corner the enemy from the three corner of the fort and attack.
Alamparai lies on the east coast called the Coromandal coast served as Fort as well as sea origin ancient Tamil Nadu. The Tamil Sangam Literary work, Sirpupanatruppadai mentions that this region called as Idaikazhi Nadu ( one of the regions of ancient Tamil Nadu ) and also describes the region and the activities of the people. The existing ruined fort and dockyard at Alamparai was built by the muslim rulers during 18th century AD, from 1736 to 1740 AD. The fort was under the control of the Nawab of Carnatic Dost. Alikhan. Nawab Alikhan donated this fort and Dock yard to thakkana’s Subedhar Musafarjung a French Captain in the year 1750 AD for the benefit / favor he got from the French Captain Duple. Later in the year 1760 the fort was destroyed by the Britishers, when the French diminishes their power.
The square shaped fort with Towers at angles ( 4 corners), were built of bricks and lime mortar. It occupies an area of nearly 15 acres and the length of the Dockyard is about 100 meters. Alamparai was also known as Alambarva, and Alampuravi. Zari, Clothes, salt and Ghee were exported from the Alamparai port. Alamparai Kasu & Varahan ( Coins ) were minted at the Alamparai Mint. Pottipattan who was incharge of the mint construction and a Shiva temple, a Big pond and a Choultry on the highway for the benefit of the pilgrims who travelled on the east coast from Kasi to Rameswaram. This highway lies at a distance of two miles on the western side of Alamparai Fort. This Fort is maintained ( No maintenance ?) and protected by the state Department of archaeology.
VEDAL - SRI VASANTHA NAYAGI SAMEDHA SRI VADAVAMUKA AGNEESWARAR TEMPLE.
This is the last Pallava and early Chozha period brick temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple facing east. There are two Ambal in a separate sanctum facing south. There are many changes between our last visit to this visit. Fence has been erected. A new Vinayagar sannadi was constructed and Ambal sannadhi renovation is in progress. Still the Gajabirushta vimanam of the main sanctum is vertically cracked from top to bottom. It was learnt that local people are doing thirupani with their own fund. For the details of our last visit through R.E.C.H Foundation : Click Here
VOYALUR – SRI THIRUPULEESWARAR – A CHOZHA PERIOD GAJABIRUSHTA VIMANA STONE TEMPLE.
The temple comples has the sannadhi for Thirupuleeswarar, Vinayagar, Sri Vaikundavasa Perumal, Angayarkanni Thayar. In Shiva’s sanctum koshtam Vinayagar, Guru Bhagavan ( Dhashinamurthy ), Vishnu ( in Lingothbavar place ) Brahma and Durgai. All the sanndhis including Rajagopuram are up to ceiling level with out vimanam. Inscriptions are there at the athistanam of Sri Thirupaleeswarar sanctum.
This temple is under the control of ASI ( Archeological Survey of India )
MAMALLAPURAM – QUARRY, NEAR VALIYAN KUTTAI RATHAM AND PIDARI RATHAM.
This is on the entrance to Mamallapuram from Pondy to Mamallapuram. A beautiful Pillayar pasa angusam, relief greets us at the entrance. Both Valiyan Kuttai Ratham and Pidari ratham are unfinished. We could see not only the chisel marks, but also the chisel scrapping in length wise. Behind both of the Ratham we could see, the abandoned quarry, where the granite hill is split in to blocks or slabs. First the required area is marked and square holes to a depth of 4 to 5 inches depth are formed. Bamboo was tightly hammered in the holes. Then water is poured on the bamboo, which expands and split the granite in to blogs or slabs.
THIRUPORUR IRON AGE BURIAL GROUND SITES
These are the megalithic burial sites belongs to the end of Stone age to Iron age. These are dated between 1000 to 300 BCE. The term Megalithic gets the name from the fact that the people of this culture built structure using large boulders, stones. These structures are available in plenty on the west side of Thiruporur town and south side of Shiva temple on the hill. Since the boulders are available plenty on the hill the same was utilized to build these structures. Some of the structures are intact and many of the structures were incomplete due to removal of the boulders for construction by the present people. We could also see some samples of iron slag, Yes, and not the laterites stones.
The site belongs to the archeological survey of India and warning board was also erected. But the total place is not protected by fence arrangement. Lot of glass bottles are scattered around the whole area. We could explore a small area in which we could see more than 30 circles. There are more such circles are available on the hill up to lake bed. We understood that inspite of warning signs houses were built and encroached by the building developers.
For more details http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=26215