• A stone slab brought from Neyyattingara debiceds that there exists a temple in the name of Kandalur Mahadevar in Tiruvanandapuram. Date of this inscription is Kollam Year 839 – corresponding to 31st March 1664 CE – 17th Century:

    Detailed notes related to this Slab Inscription of 17th Century :
    Primary Source : Trivancore Archaelogical series - TAS- Vol V – P 128:
    Ref : Trivandrum Museum Inscription of Kollam 839 ( 1664 CE) :
    Quote : Annual Report on Archaelogy for 1096 :

    “ Ichchamm-adikuttiyuma and Ayyappan – Marttandan of Seruvilaividu in Chirayinkil desam were granted the land called Seriyarannivilai in Neyyattinkarai desam. On this gift land in Neyyattinkarai, they built a kalmadam and ambalam. i.,e a stone-shed for travelers and a shrine. Among the lands granted, there were two of which portions of income had been previously assigned to two temples and balance only was available for the present grant. These two temples are :

    (1) Rameswarattu Mahadevar and (2) Kandalursalai Mahadeva.

    The Text of the inscriptions running 163 lines – is also published in T.A.S. Vol. V beginning with:
    Line 1 : Om Ganapathiye Namaha:

    Lines 114 – 119 - the land called Marudara situed to the east of the tank of Sarappukkadu in the village of Alattur, measuring 12 kuruni comprised in one tadi, obtained exclusive of the vara, assigned to the temple of Kandalaursalai Mahadeva;…

    In the 163 Lines, only 5 lines are pertaining to Kandalaur salai Mahadevar and that too apart from mentioning this temple, there is no other data – pertaining to Kandalur – that it is a Sea-Port, that there was a Naval Establishment, that there were several ships or any such data is mentioned in this inscription - which is dated 17th Century.

    This clearly indicates that there is a basic error in identifying this “ Kandalur salai” Mahadevar temple with the inscriptions of Rajarja’s inscriptions related to Kandalur salai.

    Further additions to the Annual Report based on assumptions :

    Epigraphists – who prepared the aforesaid Annual Report – jumped into conclusion and went on adding several other data as stated below:

    i) The Slab in which the inscription is engraved is now preserved in the Trivandrum Museum appear to have been brought from some place near Neyyattingarai, Kuzhithurai as their contents indicate. The former being from Neyyantinkarai, Kandalur-salai mentioned it is probably identical with Kandalur situated 6 or 7 miles from Neyyattinkarai.

    ii) Kandalur is repeatedly referred to in Chola inscriptions, where it also occurs in the contracted form Salai;

    iii) Earlier reference to Kandalur are found in the Copper plate of Ay Chief Karunandadakkan (=866 AD) and the Sendalai (near Tirukandiyur) pillar epigraph of the 8th Century AD. (Ep.India – Vol XIII – P 137).

    iv) Chera kings maintained a powerful fleet at this place as well as Talaikkulam and Karaikandaiswaram and several attempts were made by neighbouring Kings to destroy them.

    v) Successive Chola sovereigns from the time of Rajaraja I claim to have cut off ships at Kandalursalai.

    vi) Rajadhiraja I is another of the Chola Kings, who claims to have destroyed the ships in Kandalur. His long introduction refer to the event by phrase “kandalur – salaikalam-atutta”. His Kanyakumari inscription summarises briefly his military achievements “Vira pandiyan taiyum, Seralan Salaiyum Ilangaiyum tandalkonda” . This clause means “he who by means of jhis army took the head of Vira-Padya, the Salai of the Chera King and Lanka”. This introduction makes it plain that Salai is the name of the place and not common noun means “charity institution”. The employment of the word “tandal konda” means “who took by means of his army”.

    vii) Two other inscriptions, not dated in any particular King’s reign mention : “Karaikandisvarathu kalam-arra yanda “ and “ Talaikkulattu kalam-arru yandu” These have been wrongly connected vide TAS Vol II P2 with Rajaraja, but there is not the least warrant for this, as neither “salai” nor “ Rajaraja” is mentioned in these records.”

    Assuming that Kandalur existed in the Southern Part of Kerala – near Vizhingnam or Valiasalai or Tiruvaanthapuram:

    i) The Basic View point differs with the Report in the way in which the term “Kandalur salaikkalamarutharuli” was interpreted based on “Kandalur + Salai + Kalam + Aruthu ( ARUTHU) + aruli “and expressed to be “the King Rajaraja destroyed the Vessels (Warships) at Kandalur”.

    ii) Geographically Kandalur was so far equated more with “ Valia Salai” near Vizhignam, closer to present day Tiruvananthapuram in the Southern Part of Kerala. This Geogrpahical prejudice led to make TA Gopinatha Rao, who edited TAS Volumes to believe that Kandalur was a Seaport and the word Kalam denoted “Ships or Warships” and the word Aruthu meant “Cutting of vessels or Warships” and thus the sentence was intearpreted as a war expedition;

    iii) By annexing Vizhingnam and Valaisalai – and interpreting the location of Kandalur - a scenario was created in the minds of Historians as if it was a Major Naval Establishment well protected by Muscle Power of the Chera Warriors and unless it is destroyed neighbouring provinces will not have Peace;

    iv) Several Historians including Sastry, Sadhasiva Pandarathar, Rasamanickanar, S.R. Balasubramaniam and Swaminathan also concluded that destruction of Warships at Kandalur Salai situated in Kerala remained top priority for Emperor Rajaraja in the year 988 C.E – but no Historian is able to attribute such motive for Rajaraja to accord superior-most priority to destroy Kandalur in the Chera Province.

    v) KAN Sastry could not explain the anomaly as to how Rajaraja’s army invaded Kandalur (which is supposedly close to Vilingnam – Tiruvanadapuram) first, without invading Pandyas in 988 – 989 CE ? Rajaraja conquered Pandya Amarapujangan only in 993 CE and without conquering him, it would not have been possible for the Army to invade Kandalur, supposedly situated near Tiruvananthapuram in 988 CE.

    vi) No inscriptions of Rajarja is available either near Tiruivananthapuram or in Pandyanadu prior to 993 CE.

    vii) How can it be explained that the term “ Kandalursalaikalamaruthu” figured in the inscriptions of Rajaraja, his grandsons and great-grandsons also !! Was Rajaraja or his successors underestimated the power of Kandalur and fail to destroy it completely ? This itself gives raise to major doubt as to how Rajaraja or his son Rajendra, after destroying such Kandalur, could allow it to survive to be “destroyed “ again by their successors !?

    viii) Jadavarman Parantaka Pandiya Prasasti “Kannippor seydhu kandalur salai kalamaruthu “. Does it mean that even Jadavarman Parantaka waged a War against the Cheras and destroyed Kandalur ? in the 13th Century ?

    anbudan - sps

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