TWO NEW SANSKRIT INSCRIPTIONS FROM KĀMĀKṢI AMMAN TEMPLE

The presiding deity of Kāñcīpuram and one of the Śaktipīṭhas is situated at the centre of the city. The deity of the temple is Kāmākṣī and the temple is named as “Kāmakoṣṭha” (Kāmakoṭṭa in tamil). The shrine for Dharma Śāstā at this temple is known in connection with Karikāla legend. Aḍiyārkku nallār commentary written in 9th CE to the Tamil epic Cilappatikāram quotes the following Tamil verse in connection with Karikāla Coḹa and śāstā of Kāmakoṭṭam.

கச்சி வளைக்கைச்சி காமகோட்டங்காவல்

மெச்சியினிதிருக்கும் மெய்ச்சாத்தன் கைச்செண்டு

கம்ப களிற்றான் கரிகாற்பெருவளத்தான்

செம்பொன் கிரிதிரித்த செண்டு.

Kacci Vaḷaikkaicci Kāmakkoṭṭaṅ kāval

Mecciyinitirukkum Mey cāttan – Kaicceṇḍu

Kampa Kaḷiṙṙāṉ Karikāṙ Peruvaḷattāṉ

Cempoṉ Kiri Tiritta Cenḍu.

Karikāl Coḹa, who had mighty elephant battalion, shattered the golden mountain Meru with a bouquet (Ceṇḍu) that was given by the śāttan (śāstā) who is protecting the Kāmakoṭṭa of Vaḷaikacci (lady with beautiful bangles) of Kāñcīpuram.

This verse is quoted by many scholars to prove the ()antiquity of the temple. The same verse is inscribed beneath the adhiṣṭhāna of the śāstā shrine in 15th CE letters. The shrine has two more Sanskrit inscription and a Tamil inscription which are not mentioned in ()ASI reports are by any scholar of archaeology. Both of the inscriptions can be paleographically dated as 13th CE.

INSCRIPTION 1:

The first inscription is inscribed in the wall of the śāstā shrine. The text of the inscription is as follows

First inscription from Kamakshi amman temple

First inscription from Kamakshi amman temple

Line 1 :            स्वस्तिश्रीकामकोष्ठे शिखरापता

Line 2 :            ग्रमवासममहाशास्तुरीशसूनोः। का

Line 3 :            ञ्चीपुरग्राहकपाण्ड्यदेवः काञ्चीपुरीमण्डनमात

Line 4 :            तान।

Line 1 :           svastiśrīkāmakoṣṭhe śikharāpatā

Line 2 :           gramavāsamamahāśāsturīśasūnoḥ| kā

Line 3 :           ñcīpuragrāhakapāṇḍyadevaḥ kāñcīpurīmaṇḍanamāta

Line 4 :           tāna|

The inscription is fragmentary. The name of the king is mentioned as Kāñcīpura-grāhaka – the capturer of Kāñcīpuram. He is Jaṭāvarmā Sundara Pāṇḍya  of the Pāṇḍyan race. The meaning of the inscription is that “Pāṇḍya deva, the capturer of Kāñcīpuram, made the shrine for śāstā, son of Īśvara as the jewel of Kāñcīpurī.”

This helps us to clearly understand that Jaṭāvarma Sundara Pāṇḍya  erected the shrine for śāstā.

INSCRIPTION 2:

            The second inscription is inscribed above the first one. The text is as follows.

second inscription

second inscription

Line 1 :            आकाशविधिमतिलंघयत्। भश्शृङ्गञ्च यैश्शेखरित

Line 2 :            ..अक(अर्क)बिम्बम्। काञ्चीपुरग्राहकपाण्ड्यदेवश्शास्तु

Line 3 :            गृहं शाश्वतमेव चक्रे।

Line 1 :           ākāśavidhimatilaṁghayat| bhaśśṛṅgañca yaiśśekharita

Line 2 :           ..aka(arka)bimbam| kāñcīpuragrāhakapāṇḍyadevaśśāstu

Line 3 :           gṛhaṁ śāśvatameva cakre|

This inscription is also clearly states that the shrine for śāstā was erected by Kāñcīpura-grāhaka Pāṇḍya deva (Sundara Pandyan) as mentioned above. It states that the structure reached for the skies and was adorned by the Sun at the very tip.

The inscriptions show that a huge building was built by Sundara pāṇḍya to śāstā. But no tower or super structure is not available today.

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2 thoughts on “TWO NEW SANSKRIT INSCRIPTIONS FROM KĀMĀKṢI AMMAN TEMPLE

  1. Sankaranarayanan,
    Great relevation. Small correction in the end: It should be read as…”But no tower or super structure is available today. By adding not in between is and available, it becomes double negative and has no meaning. Sorry if I am wrong. Thanks, but a splendid article otherwise, I am happy to be associated with you who are a scholar in all languages, needed for deciphering many more unknown epigraphs in this dravida desa.

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