Rajadhiraja I’s Inscription on Paravai Nangaiyar- A Son’s Tribute to Father’s Intimate Companion!

In the previous post, Rajendra Chola I’s honourable recognition of his Intimate Companion, Anukkiyar Paravai Nangaiyar, through the King’s Thiruvarur inscription was discussed.

This post, aims to throw light on the Thiruvarur inscription of Rajadhiraja I, son of Rajendra I. While Rajendra’s inscription showcases one of the distinct deeds of the Emperor, Rajadhiraja’s inscription certainly commands a noteworthy place, since it is yet another distinct deed- this time that of a Son, in recognition of his Father’s Special Friend.

The Thiruvaroor inscription of Rajakesarivarman Rajadhiraja Chola I, is dated 1042, the 24th regnal year of the King.

Rajadhiraja’s Meikeerthi starts with –

‘Swasthi Sri thingalendharu thanthongal venkudaikeezh

nilamagal nilava malarmagal punarndhu senkolochi………

…………………………………………………………………………………….

uyarndha perupugazh korajakesari panmarana

udaiyar Sri Rajadhiraja Devarkku….’

According to the inscription, the contributions of Paravai Nangai continue to pour into the temple, during the reign of Rajadhiraja I too. There are three places, where Rajendra I and Paravai Nangai have been mentioned together.

Several features that the inscription brings to limelight are as follows-

a. There are details regarding the yield of grains received by the temple, from the land purchased previously by Paravai Nangai, in Theeyankudi.

……………….Udaiyar Sri Rajendhira

Choladevar Anukkiyar Nakkan Paravai

Nangaiyar ikkoyil devadhanam theeyang-

kudiyil munbu vilaikondudaiya nilam……..

b. Details regarding yield from the land previously purchased by Paravai Nangai in Menmangalam-

…….ivare thiruvarur nagarathaaridai

thriuvaraneriyudaiyar devadanam menmangalathu

sabaiyar vilai kondudaiya………………

……………………………………………………

……………………………………………………

kondudaiya nilam

c. From the grains received from these lands, Rajadhiraja orders to arrange for ‘thiruvamudhu’ and ‘parisattam’ to be offered to the icons of Rajendra Chola I and Anukkiyar Paravai Nangaiyar. ‘Thiruvamudhu’ is the ‘holy food offered to deities in temples’ and ‘Parisattam’ denotes the clothes to be offered.

…………………………….udaiyar Sri Rajendhira Devarkkum

Paravai Naachiyaarkkum thiruvamudhukkutpatta…….

………………………………………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………………………..

…………………………………………ivarkalukke parisat-

tathukku kaasu …………………………………………………

The inscription mentions Paravai Nangaiyar along with Rajendra Chola, thrice. First, it introduces her as ‘Rajendra Choladevar Anukkiyar, Nakkan Paravai Nangaiyar’. The second time, she is referred as, ‘Paravai Nachiyar’. The third time, the inscription says- ‘Udaiyar Sri Rajendra Chola Devarkkum Paravai Nangaiyarkkum’.

Through this inscription, Rajadhiraja I, also reinforces the endowments that were formerly offered by Paravai Nangai to the temple of Thiruvarur. The immense patronage the Lady extended to Temples, most strikingly to the Temple of Thiruvarur, had made her name truly be carved in the history of the Temple. So much to say, that the Emperor Son of Rajendra I, endorses the recognition and honour his Father bestowed upon Paravai, in the inscriptions of his era too.

Respecting a Lady, who was his Father’s distinguished companion, and supporting her Patronage, might have been a difficult personal as well as political issue for Rajadhiraja I, the Son and the King. Rajadhiraja’s appreciation of Paravai’s contributions and additionally, documentation of her Generosity, only magnifies the Qualities, for which Paravai must have been looked up with respect.

If this is a magnanimous act of Rajadhiraja I, it is also a significant tribute, Paravai Nangai is glorified with.

If this isnt enough…. Next, a crowning glory to the Lady, a Temple built in her name. This would be discussed in the next post.

Note:

All images of inscriptions- Photo Courtesy:  Dr. Kalaikkovan, Founder, Dr. M. Rajamanikkanar Centre for Historical Research, Thiruchirapalli.

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