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Vol. XXXIII No. 20, February 1-15, 2024

Heritage Watch: Heritage in the Hinterland

Last fortnight, your Deputy Editor had to travel to the city’s outskirts. Having completed his errand, he found there was enough time to explore and so as he wandered about, he came upon what looked like a modern temple. The vast open-air setting of the place, and the waterbody by its side was inviting and so some time was spent in prayer and lots more in contemplation.

The priest was chatty and in the course of conversation said that the temple dated to the time of the Cholas. Now this is often claimed by many shrines and so this was received with evident scepticism whereupon the priest took your editor to the side of the sanctum where there were two large stone slabs, much worn out, with inscriptions of some kind. The temple bases its claims on these though they have not yet been deciphered by any epigraphist.

The present structure it is clear is of modern provenance and the locals have it that the Sivalinga alone is a survivor from ancient times. Perhaps it is time that a trained archaeologist or an epigraphist is called in to decipher what it written. For the record, this is the Meghanatheswarar Temple at Melakottaiyur on the Vandalur Kelambakkam Road.

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