Rajendra Chola Built Hospital Surgery Vedic School Thirumukkoodal Temple

Thirumukkoodal temple Inscriptions on Temple Hospital.
Thirumukkoodal Temple inscriptions.

It is now well established that Tamil Kings from ancient times were followers of Sanatan Dharma and they did their best to nurture Vedic practices and took effective steps to spread Sanatan Dharma as a part of duties. In this process , they took care of the needs of the people and apart from being a place of worship,Temples were used as shelters during natural calamities like Famine and Floods. Grains were stored in the temples ,where granaries were available and people were fed during Famines in the temples.During Floods, temples were used to accommodate people.Strong Pandals, Shamianas were erected in the prakaras, which as one can see even today are very huge. Not only this, hospital facilities were also provided with Beds and Surgeries were performed.

Though all the Kings, Chera, Chola and Pandyas, Cholas excelled in this service. Cholas built 108 Vishnu Temples starting from Srirangapatna in Karnataka, where Cauvery flows upto Srirangam,Tamil Nadu,the important pilgrimage centre for Sri Vaishnavas.They did not with these temples . They also built temples in Thandai Mandalam, which is now the areas starting from Ariyalur to Chennai.

The Thirumukkoodal temple dedicated to Sri Vishnu as Thirumukkoodal Appan,Sri Venkateswara is an example of how Chola and later Pallava Kings maintained Vedic School and hospital for the people.The hospital had Fifteen beds and surgeries were performed. People were treated for diseases and epigraphs list the diseases and cures. Specially treated Cow Urine was used to treat internal piles.

Thirumukkoodal. Temple.

prakara are studded with numerous epigraphs in the ancient Tamil script, the oldest of which is datable to the reign of the Pallava ruler, Nripatungavarman of the 9th century A.D. There are also many Chola inscriptions of the reign of Rajaraja-I, Rajendra-I, Vira-Rajendra and Kulottunga-I which speak of endowments and gifts made to this shrine,….

Citation towards the close of the post.
Inscriptions on gifts to be used for deities. Kumkum etc.
Inscriptions on Gifts.

Inscriptions on Gifts:The plinth (jagadi, tripatta-kumuda, walls, pillars, pilasters of the main sanctum as well as those of second circumambulatory path (prakara), the north facing wall at the pillared hall and the east facing outer wall are dotted with 17 inscriptions in Chola Tamil script and most of them speaks about the land endowments for burning perpetual lamp in the temple and for offering to the deity and for flower garden in the name of Rajendra Cholan I, devotees offered sheep, paddy in specific grain measurement and gold.

The inscriptions also details the offerings made to the deity three times a day, like kumkum, camphor, sandal paste and lamp as well as for specific offers for festivals / celebrations during Tamil months Aippasi, Krithigai, Masi and Janmashtami (Lord Krishna’s birthday) and King’s birthday. Provision was made for the recitation of Nammazhwar’s `Thiruvaimozhi.’  The earliest inscription in the temple was recorded in the 24th year of Vijaya Nripatungavarman, the Pallava ruler.According to the Pallava inscriptions, Thirumukkudal was located in the assembly of Siyapuram in Urrukkattu-kottam in Jayangondasola-mandalam.
South Indian Inscriptions. Volume 12. Stones No.75 (A. R. No. 179 of 1915). Thirumukkudal, Conjeeveram Taluk, Chingleput District. On a slab supporting a beam set up in the inner enclosure of the Venkatesa-Perumal temple. This record states that, in the 24th year of Vijaya-Nripatungavikramavarman, the assembly of Siyapuram in Urrukkattuk-kottam agreed to maintain a perpetual lamp in the temple of Vishnu-Bhatara at Thirumukkudal for the interest on 30 kalanju of gold received by them from Ariganda-Perumanar, son of Kadupatti-Muttaraiyar. The interest on 30 kalanju came to 4½ kalanju, calculating at the rate of 3 manjadi per kalanju. For this 4½ kalanju, the assembly of Siyapuram. விக்கிரம வருமக்கு யாண்டு இருபத்து நாலாவது காடுபட்டிமுத்தரையர் மகனார் அரிகண்டப்பெருமானாருக்கு ஊற்றுக்காட்டுக்கோட்டத்து சீயபுரத்து சபையோமொட்டிக்கொடுத்த பரிசாவது திருமுக்குடல் விஷ்ணுபடாரர்க்கு நுந்தாவிளக்கெரிப்பதற்க்கு தந்த எங்கள் கையிற்றந்த முப்பதின் களஞ்சு நாலுப் பொலியூட்டு ஆண்டுவரை களஞ்சின் வாய் மூன்று மஞ்சாடிபொன் ஆயனப்படியால் நாற்களஞ்சரையாலும் ஏறிலும் கறுங்காலும் நாற்பது நாழி எண்ணை நூற்றின்பதி .Inscription on Hospitals:The other interesting aspect was the Hospital and Vedic School that flourished at this place just behind the temple in centuries gone by. There was a full-fledged hospital with a number of beds, doctors & nurses and a medicine center. There has also been a medical centre (Athura Saalai) attached to this college at this place where the students, teachers and the temple staff were treated for various illnesses. This 15 bedded hospital was named after the king ‘Veera Chozhan’ and had ample manpower comprising a physician by name ‘Kodhandaraman Aswathavanam Bhattan’, a surgeon who performed operations, nurses to attend to patients and servants to bring herbs from places and even a barber. The information on the salaries paid to the employees of the hospital and the names of about 20 different types of medicines which were stored in the hospital are well detailed in the inscriptions.

The unique and distinctive inscription (ARE 248/1923) of Vira Rajendra Chola (1063-1068 A.D.), through which this temple became popular. The 55 line inscription documents about the organization and administration of Veera Cholisvara  Aadhura Salai (charitable dispensaries or medical center), to treat students and temple staff, comprising fifteen beds under the charge of a physician. Ancient physicians stacked away 14 other medicines to cure various ailments, including fever, urinary disorders, hemorrhage, lung diseases, fatigue, mental disorders, jaundice and eye and skin diseases. 

Inscriptions on Vedic Schools:As seen in other temple stories in this region including Uthira Merur, this place too was renowned for Vedic Education where one was always a witness to Vedic chanting and Prabandham recitals. However, with passage of time, both of these have taken a back seat. The Hospital has been damaged to an extent of no revival. …. Among these records, the most important and interesting one is engraved on the east wall of the first prakara and belong to the period of Vira-Rajendra Chola (1062-1070 A.D.). This long epigraph records the existence of a Vedic college located in the Jananatha-mantapa inside this temple in the 11th century A.D. where eight subjects including the Rig Veda, Yajur Veda and grammar were taught. The numbers of students enrolled in this educational centre, the number of teachers for each subject and the daily remuneration paid have been detailed in this inscription. Source .https://tamilnadu-favtourism.blogspot.com/2016/12/thiru-mukkoodal-appan-venkatesa-perumal_30.html?m=1

By Ramanis blog

Retired Senior Management Professional. Lectures on Indian Philosophy,Hinduism, Comparative Religions. Researching Philosophy, Religion. Free lance Writer.Blogger,Tedex Speaker

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