Sanskrit, once a lingua franca of kings
  • The language Sanskrit was once used as a lingua franca all over the nation
    during the ancient and medieval era. Most of the inscriptions of those days
    were in Sanskrit and those inscriptions were found in large numbers in
    Tamil Nadu, said Dr Chitra Madhavan, a noted historian, here on Thursday.

    Delivering the lecture on ‘Sanskrit inscriptions in Tamil Nadu’ at the
    Pallava dynasty to the Maratha dynasty, which ruled Tamil Nadu — Sanskrit
    inscriptions were used, since it was widely followed and the mother tongue
    of each dynasty was different from others.”

    “Through the inscriptions, one can know about the political geography,
    culture, administration, economy, etc., of these periods,” she said.

    She added that most of the inscriptions were found in temples, which
    indicated that the donations were made by the kings. One can find
    inscriptions that are centuries old at Thiruparuthikundram near

    “Interestingly some of the inscriptions found in Gangai Konda Cholapuram
    tell us that kings from the Northern parts of India also made their
    contributions through these donations,” she added.

    She said, “Most of the temples in Tamil Nadu do not have the names of the
    kings. But one of the temples in Thiruvottiyur, which is in the shape of a
    gajapirushtam, has an inscription naming the builder of the temple as Veera
    Chola Ravi.”

    Another interesting point she noted was that the Vijayanagara Dynasty kings
    did not sign in their own names on the inscriptions. Whenever they signed
    on the metal inscriptions, they used the name of Sri Virupaksha, since the
    latter was the traditional deity of those kings.”

    “One can get a lot of information from these inscriptions. But people do
    not have a conscious sense of history and damage such inscriptions by
    abandoning them or pasting posters on them. This must be prevented,” she

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