Friday, December 11, 2020

Tamil Pillar Inscription of Rajendra II, Colombo National Museum

Tamil Pillar Inscription of Rajendra II
Tamil Pillar Inscription of Rajendra II is one of the Tamil Inscriptions in Sri Lanka. It is presently on the display at the Stone Gallery of the Colombo National Museum.

The inscription has been engraved on a narrow stone pillar. It consists of 27 lines and the text of the record is formulated in a poetic style (Pathmanathan, 2005). The texts are in Tamil characters of the 11th century A.D. but Grantha letters are also found in the inscription in three places (Pathmanathan, 2005). In orthography, the inscription exhibits characteristics that are commonly found in medieval Tamil inscriptions (Pathmanathan, 2005).

Content
The inscription is dated in the second are of a king styled Rajendra Devar who, according to scholars, is King Rajendra II [(1054-1064 A.D.) Pathmanathan, 2005]. It records the establishments of a Visnu temple named Mutikonta Cola Vinnakar in the southern part of Anuradhapura and endowments made to it by a dignitary called Pallavarayan Muventavelan, an agent of the king (Pathmanathan, 2005). However, no archaeological remains of the temple that is mentioned in this inscription have been found hitherto in Anuradhapura (Pathmanathan, 2005). 

Prof. Pathmanathan who read this inscription has explained the importance of this inscription as follows;
The information recorded in this inscription is of unusual interest and hitherto unknown. It throws new light on some aspects of Cola rule in the island. Firstly, it provides incontestable evidence of the presence of successive Cola viceroys in the island. Secondly, it suggests that these viceroys were assisted by some dignitaries in conducting the administration. Thirdly it focuses attention on the support extended by the Colas to Vaishnavism and its institutions at some stages of their occupation of the island. Fourthly it provides some indication of the fact that the city of Anuradhapura received some measure of attention from the Cola rulers.
Citation: Pathmanathan, 2005. p.23.
References
1) Pathmanathan, S., 2005. Tamil inscriptions in the Colombo National Museum: Spolia Zeylanica. Vol 47. (2010). Department of National Museums, Sri Lanka, pp.23-37.

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