7th century memorial stones unearthed

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Puducherry, Apr 11: Two memorial stones dating back to the seventh century were found at Vanjikuli, a small tribal hamlet on the Kalrayan hills at Sankarapuram taluk in Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu.

The stones were recently discovered by R Ramesh, a student of the Department of History in Pondicherry University.

According to a release from the university here yesterday, Ramesh, as part of his M Phil programme, undertook an archeological exploration on the Kalrayan hills when he came across the stones.

The first stone was erected in 654 AD during the 24th regnal year of Pallava king Narasimhavarman 1, for the hero belonging to Vanjikuli, who died in an attack. The hero is standing in a charging posture holding a bow in his right hand and a sword in his left hand. The village Vanjikuli was found mentioned in the inscription which shows that the village is surviving till date without any change in the name.

The second hero stone also has incriptions, but due to weathering it could not be deciphered. Probably, this was the first time such hero stones were found on Kalrayan hills which indirectly suggest that these inaccessable places were brought under the state administration as early as seventh century AD.

These hero stones were worshipped as Vediyappan till recent years.

Such hero stones were also noticed at Mallapuram at the foothill of Kalrayan hills, the release added.

UNI

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