Heritage enthusiasts from Coimbatore found a 12th century stone inscription being used as slab to cover a roadside drain at Neikkarapatti near Palani in Dindigul district.

Based on a tip from a local resident, the heritage enthusiasts, who were at Palani to attend a seminar on archaeology, visited the spot and found the inscription.

“We went to see it after being informed about it by Abdul Raseed, as assistant professor of Tamil, who hails from the area. It was used as a slab to cover a drain. We cleaned it and smeared it with maida flour, so that we can see the letters clearly. We found that it dates back to the 12th century,” S Anandakumar, who visited the spot, said.

“It should be from a temple from the region,” he said, adding, “The inscription has letters written perpendicular to each other and talks about a woman who gave a donation to a temple. It seems like the ending of an inscription as the name of the donor is mentioned,” said Anandakumar.

Raseed said the stone was one of the several such stones that were found when an old panchayat board building was demolished in the region.

“They have been lying here for five years. Recently when we took it to use as a paving stone, we found that it had inscriptions on it. So I contacted people who knew how to read stone inscriptions. They saw it and confirmed it was an ancient one,” he said.

TOI sent a picture of the inscription to S Ravi, associate professor of Tamil and the in-charge of epigraphy studies at PSG College of Arts and Science, in the city.

He confirmed that the inscription belonged to the 12th century.

“It mentions a woman ‘Nangai Aandal’, the wife of ‘Seerilangovin Bramani’, who must have been an important person related to the temple. She must have given a grant to the temple,” he said.

The inscription must be the tail piece of a bigger one, as it mentions the name of the benefactor. “It is an interesting inscription. There are also some dates visible, but not completely. If we get to read it fully, we could accurately say the year and under which king it was written,” Ravi said.

Anandakumar said the archaeology department should safeguard the inscription and place it in the museum in Palani.

Source: Times of India