'Hero stones' found in Tiruvannamalai district

Tiruvannamalai: ‘Hero stones’ considered as old as 1,500 years were retrieved from Desur village near Vandavasi in Tiruvannamalai district.

Based on information provided by personal assistant of Tiruvannamalai Collector, S Janaki, Desur revenue inspector A. Venkatesh accompanied by S Balamurugan, secretary, Tiruvannamalai District History Research Centre, and professor Sudhakar, visited the spot and found an ancient dilapidated mosque-like structure with five ‘Hero stones’ near it.

Of the five, two stones had two lines of Tamil inscriptions on them considered to date back to the fourth or the fifth century.

Explaining its significance, Historian, professor R Punguntran said that in two of the ‘Hero stones’ got from Desur village, one had ‘Kottrampak Kizhar’ inscribed on it. On the other stone was inscribed ‘Son of Kottrampak Kizhar - Seelan’.

The four-feet-tall stone tablets had the sculpture of a hero wielding a sword and a shield. Besides these stones, were three other ‘Hero stones’ which were ravaged by time.

It is likely that there could have been a village clash or a bullfight during the reign of one Banaraisaru in Seeyamangalam, where the father and son would have lost their lives, said Prof. Punguntran. Elucidating further, Punguntran said that these stones should have been installed in memory of them.

It is said that earlier to this finding, one Tamarai Kannan had found a stone which inscribed Seeyamangalam on it. Hence, Punguntran alleges that since these two stones also had Seeya mangalam inscribed on them, the place could be the ancient ‘Baanaadu’ which was ruled by the ‘Baanaraisar’ community.

Further, this ‘Baanaadu’ region is presumed to have spread as far as Cuddalore. It is also thought that ‘Kottrampak Kizhar’ could have been some important ‘head man’ of the ‘Baanaraisar’ community, who lived there.

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