A stone inscription recording a pact to avoid clash between two sects during the Pandya reign has been found at a Sivan temple in Thirumangalam village near Thirumanancheri in Nagapattinam district.
According to Kudavayil Balasubramanian, epigraphist, who deciphered the information in the stone inscription, society at the end of the 13th century was divided into two sects — ‘valankai’ and ‘idankai’. This practice continued during the Chola, Pandya, Vijayanagara and Nayaka periods.
Information about the clashes over the rights and issues of dominance between the two sects were available in later period stone inscriptions and copper plates. Initially, 98 inner divisions existed in each sect and it was later reduced to 30 under ‘valankai’ and six in ‘idankai’.
The recently unearthed stone inscription described an event held at Thirumangalam during the reign of Kochadaiyavarman Thirubhuvana Chakravarthi Sundarapandiya Thevan, when representatives of the two sects of Kurukkai Nadu, Kali Nadu, Vilathur Nadu, Maanthurai Nadu and Thirumangala Nadu coming under Virutharaja Bhayankara Valanadu domain took a vow to avoid clashes between themselves as long ‘as the sun and the moon existed’.
The resolution was endorsed by the ruler and was etched on a stone at the temple, the epigraphist said.
The stone inscription was recently retrieved by Kalyanaraman, a bank officer from Vellore, with the help of villagers during renovation, Mr. Balasubramanian said.
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