800--1100 A.D. ANCIENT UNIVERSITY OF KERALA -'THRIKKODTHANAM'
STONE INSCRIPTION IN ANCIENT TAMIL VATTEZHUTHU LANGUAGE
2. THIRU-KHADIKA-STHANAM ( MODERN THRIKKODITHANAM )
Apart from being a religious center, Thrikodithanam was also once a center for culture, arts, erudition & learning.Students used to be taught religious texts - Shastras - in sections or Khadikas.
Since discussions, debates, tests and examinations took place with these sections as the base, the institutions came to be called Khadika-sthanam. These flourishing institutions imparted knowledge and skills not only in language and religious texts but also, in some cases, in warfare and state-craft.
These higher-grade institutions of learning were open to youth of the Chola-Pandya-Chera kingdoms.
Research on Sanskrit texts and philosophy, and Vedic studies were the primary functions of a Khadika or Khadika-sthanam.
included study of the Shastras and Upanishads, and study of Tantra and Mantra
These institutions were as renowned as the famous universities of today.
It is believed that, at any time, between 1000 to 7000 students studied at these institutions.
The most famous of these Khadika-sthanams existed at Kanchipuram even before 345 AD.
Nalgonda inscriptions and inscriptions at VELLORE-PALA, GUDIANAM & KASAGUDI refer to the Khadika-sthanams. The presence of the famous Maha-Vishnu temple lent the prefix of respect Thiru to the Khadika-sthanam here making it Thiru-Khadika-Sthanam.
In the works of Nammalvar too there are references to existence of such an institution.
Over the centuries, Thiru-Khadika-Sthanam became Thirukkadisthanam and finally Thrikodithanam.
3. STONE INSCRIPTIONSS: SECOND CHERA EMPIRE (800 - 1102 A.D)
The stone inscriptions at Thrikodithanam temple are a rich source of information on the life and times during the Second Chera Empire. The earliest of these were recorded
during the 14-year reign of the Chera king BHASKARA RAVI VERMA.
From these inscriptions we get the following insights and information:
ABOUT THE KINGS OF THRIKODITHANAM..
Thrikodithanam was the capital of a prosperous kingdom called Nanrulainattu ("Land of Farmers"). The kingdom covered an area from the north of Odanaadu to south of the present Kottayam town. The eastern boundary of this kingdom extended till Thiruvalvandoor. The temples of Thrikodithanam, Perunnayanallur (Perunna today) and Thiruvalvandoor were within this kingdom.
During the 14 year reign of Bhaskara Ravi Varma,
in 965 AD,
Kothaverma Marthandam, the crown-prince of Venad, made contributions in cash and kind for the temple.
The period 951 - 1109 AD
is referred to as the period of the kings of Thrikodithanam.
Later Kothaverma Marthandam himself became the ruler of Nanrulainattu. The kingdom then expanded into ODANAADU, and parts of THEKKANKUR.
Until the early years of
the main road running from south to north of Kerala - Narayana-peru-vazhi - went alongside Thrikodithanam temple and bifurcated the present village.
Control over affairs of the temple held the keys to the kingdom itseLF
ABOUT LANGUAGE & CULTURE..
Tamil was the common spoken language.
Royal decrees were in Tamil too. It was written in the rounded Vattezhutthu script.
Manipravalam, a mixture of Tamil and Sanskrit, was used by the temple priests.
There used to be a festival called Uthi-Utsavam.
The Deepa festival used to be held in the lunar month of Karthika (November-December). This continues even today.
ABOUT THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE TEMPLE..
The following officials / collectives were responsible for the temple administration:
URAR (Ooralar - Executive)
IDAI-ISSAR (The Manager)
PARAKEDA (A Committee)
CHAVAI (A congregation of citizens)
Ganams or Committees were assigned the task of organising functions during auspicious periods like:
PAZHAVAARU-KANATHAR (Brahmin Sabha for the temple)
Inscriptions spell out the duties, responsibilities and remuneration for all officials.
It was forbidden for the priests (Shaanti) to continue in the same position for more than three years. The Urar were banned from assuming responsibilities of priests.
All the officials and collectives were controlled by the King (Thiru Koil Udayaar Vazhkai Vazhumavar) through his advisers called
During the reign on Kothavarma Marthandam (c.1000 AD),
there was a system to ensure that ordinary workers panimakkal) were not exploited by the temple authorities. A decree of the king, conveyed to the local adviser - Muthoot - through his counselors - Nedumpuratthe Kundran Kovindan and Unmaratthe Iraviraman - forbids the temple functionaries from claiming the property of the workers through lease, mortgage or contract. Those violating the edict had to pay a fine of 24 measures of gold, in addition to foregoing the land