Chennai temple yields more history

An inscription of the Chola emperor Rajendra I was recently discovered at the famous Sri Parthasarathy Swamy temple at Triplicane, Tamil Nadu.

  • The inscription offers a “prasasthi”, or eulogy, of Rajendra I, speaking of the fame of the emperor, who ruled between AD 1012 and 1044, and his conquests of many lands including in Vanavasi (Banavasi) and the present-day Kalaburgi region, both in Karnataka, and so on.
  • A mural depicting the Kurukshetra war, a row of horse-drawn chariots and fiercely moustachioed charioteers, all battle-ready, was also discovered. The mural runs to many metres, but had been inexplicably covered with plaster.
  • These findings came to light while conservation work was taken up ahead of the Maha Samprokshanam at the temple.

About Parthasarathy Swamy temple:

It is an 8th-century Hindu Vaishnavite temple dedicated to the god Krishna, located at Triplicane, Chennai, India. It was originally built by the Pallavas in the 8th century by king Narasimhavarman I.

  • The temple has five of the incarnations or avatars of Vishnu: Narasimhar, Ramar, Varadaraja, Ranganathar and Krishna.
  • The temple is glorified in the Divya Prabandha, the early medieval Tamil literature canon of the Alvar saints from the 6th–9th centuries CE and is classified as among the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Vishnu.
  • The name ‘Parthasarathy’, in Sanskrit, means the ‘charioteer of Arjuna’, referring to Krishna’s role as a charioteer to Arjuna in the epic Mahabaratha.
  • The temple is replete with inscriptions of the Pallavas, the Cholas, the Pandyas and the Vijayanagara kings.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki,


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