[INDOLOGY] Location of Pāṭalika of Loka Vibhāga

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan palaniappa at aol.com
Thu Mar 4 03:30:54 UTC 2021

According to Lewis Rice, Lokavibhāga, a Jain Sanskrit work, possibly translated from Prakrit into Sanskrit, says it was copied in Śaka 380 (458 CE) in the 22nd year of Siṃhavarman, the lord of Kāñchi, by the Jain Muni Sarvanandin in the village named Pāṭalika in the Pāṇa-rāṣṭra. According to Rice (EI, vol.14, p. 334), "Pāṭalika, the village in which Sarvanandin made his copy, may be Pāṭalīpura, in the South Arcot District. The Periya-purāṇam makes it the seat of a large Jaina monastery in the 7th century. Pāṇarāṣhṭra is no doubt the territory of the Bāṇa kings." 


The village called Pāṭalika has been usually associated with Tiruppāṭirippuliyūr, a suburb of Cuddalore on the Tamil Nadu coast. Tamil Pātiri is the same as Pāṭali in Sanskrit. But we have another village called today as Pāṭirāppuliyūr (near Mailam) approximately 60 km to the northwest. Pātirai in Tamil is a variant of Pātiri. Thus the present form Pātirāppuliyūr could represent an ancient form Pātiraippuliyūr. This means Pāṭalika could be Pātirāppuliyūr too.  Which one was it really?  


Now we know that the ca. 6th century Vaṭṭeḻuttu inscription (Early Tamil Epigraphy, 2003, pp. 471 and 629), which mentions the name of a Jain teacher from Pāṇātu, is at Paṟaiyaṉpaṭṭu near Avalūrpēṭṭtai and about 68 km to the northwest of Pātirāppuliyūr. Kuṟuntokai 328 mentions a village called Kuṟumpūr which was probably close to the territory of the Pāṇar, where a battle was being fought.  I think the village of Kuṟumpūr approximately 68 km north of Pātirāppuliyūr and 13 km north of Vandavasi is probably the one mentioned in the poem. The attached Figure 1 shows the locations of Pātirāppuliyūr, Paṟaiyaṉpaṭṭu, and Kuṟumpūr.


The attached picture shows the locations of Jain temples near the north central Tamil Nadu. Looking at the density of Jain sites, it is clear Pātirāppuliyūr is right in the middle of them. But the Tiruppāṭirippuliyūr (Cuddalore) area hardly has any Jain sites. Certainly, what the Google map gives is the current picture. But the distribution of early Tamil inscriptions (2nd century BC- 6th century CE and most of them Jain) shows a similar concentration in this area as shown by Early Tamil Epigraphy Map 1 on p.34. 


Based on this, I propose that the location of Pāṭalika from where Lokavibhāga was copied is present day Pātirāppuliyūr and that Pāṇāṭu mentioned in Akam 155 and the Paṟaiyaṉpaṭṭu inscription and the Pāṇa-rāṣṭra mentioned in Lokavibhāga should be located in the general area where Pātirāppuliyūr, Paṟaiyaṉpaṭṭu, and Kuṟumpūr are located. 


While the area was known as Pāṇāṭu or Pāṇa-rāṣṭra from the time of Akam 155 to the 6th century, the Pāṇar rulers might have moved further north extending from northern Tamil Nadu into Telugu and Kannada regions by the 6th century. 


I welcome comments. 


Thanks in advance




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