tiruvIzimizalai temple and kOtukulam

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Fri Nov 20 23:55:54 UTC 1998

I recently came across inscriptions from the tiruvIzimizalai temple providing
clinching evidence to confirm my earlier suggestion that kOtukulam is
associated with ziva.

According to an inscription of year 1302 AD, there was a deity in the
tiruvIzimizalai temple called aruLmukkiya kOtukula nAyakar. The main deity of
the temple goes under different names tiruvIzimizalaiyTaiyAr, vIzivan2a nAyaka
tEvar, vIzinAtar, etc.

One inscription (12th century) mentions a deity antaNIsvaram uTaiyAr in the
same temple. Another inscription (11th century) mentions a deity pirammIsvaram
uTaiyAr in the same temple. May be a ziva deity in the temple had special
legendary association with brahmins (probably ziva brahmins). Or it may be a
reference to ziva being considered one of the 3000 ziva brahmins of
chidambaram. In any case, the inscriptions reveal that potter
scribe/accountants of the town and temple carry the names such as aiJURRuva
antANa vELAn2 and ainURRuva antaNap piriyan2. This strange combination of
"antaNa" meaning brahmin and "vELAn2" meaning potter/chieftain/landlord
suggests that the name "antaNa" may refer to the name of a deity. (A similar
case may be subrahmaNya pillai. We also find a name antaNap piraman2 with no
explicit caste identification. Could this be a brahmin?)

Can anybody shed more light on the legends/traditions associated with deities
in tiruvIzimizalai temple?

Thanks in advance.

S. Palaniappan

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