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he arranged that each section of land should as far as jDossible be
sold to people of the same or allied castes. Thereafter work
proceeded briskly, and soon the town was surrounded with three
new sets of four streets, all again roughly parallel with the temple
walls, which were called respectively the Yelividi (' outside street ') ,
the North, South, East and West Marrett streets (after the then
Assistant Revenue Surveyor) and tlie North, South, East and
West Perumal Maistry streets, after the foreman of works. Black-
burne had written to Government that he intended to form ' a
handsome boulevard ' out of the new ground. Doubtless his new
streets were handsomer and wider than any others in the place, but
he lost a great opportunity of making a really fine boulevard all
round the town which might have done something to provide it
with the open spaces it still so badly needs.

Nothing now remains of the old fort except the west gateway
and guard-rooms, in and over which the present maternity hospital
is built. The gate itself has been blocked up and the building
otherwise greatly altered, but three or four of the old embrasures
for cannon are still left. Much of the stone taken from the





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ramparts was used for strengthening the causeway across the CIIAP. XV.
Vaigai. The stone figure of an elephant which now faces this was Madura.
brought from the palace and set up in its present position as a
memorial of Blackljurne's work ; and with the same intent the
' Blackburne lamp ' was erected near the site of the old east gate
of the fort. The inscription on this says that it was put up ' by a
grateful people, ' but the numerous petitions complaining of his
proceedings when he effected these improvements had much to do
with the suspension which subsequently was his lot. He was
eventually restored to his post, but never forgave the authorities.

Troops were stationed in the town for several years after tlie
fort Wiis demolishe.l. Ttiey lived ia temporary barracks put up
on the site of the existing lines of the Police Eeserve and it is
said that the masonry powder-magazine there was originally
built for them.

It remains to refer to the three buildings for which Madura
is so widely known ; namely, the great temple, the tank called
the Teppakulam and the palace of Tirumala Nayakkan.

The temple, as already stated, stands in the centre of the
town. Except the inner shrines, probably none of it is older
than the si.Kteenth century. The origiual building of the days
of the Pandya kings was almost entirely destroyed (see p. 38)
by the Musalman troops of Malik Kafur in the invasion of lolO.
The eastern gopuram bears an inscription purporting to be of
Pdndya times, but the script is modern. The inner shrines are
mentioned by Manikya-Yachakar (see p. 290), who is thought to
have lived in the fifth century of the present era, and even by
Tamil poets who have been assigned much earlier dates. These
latter call the temple Velliamhalam, 'the hall of silver' —
probably in contradistinction to Ponnambalam, ' the hall of gold,'
the name given to the shrine at Chidambaram. The attached
plan of the existing building gives a clearer idea of its general
arrangement than could be conveyed by any description. It
will be seen that — excluding from consideration for the present
the Piidn niantapam and Udya gopuram referred to later — it is
constructed on the system usual with the larger Dravidiau
temples. Four high stone walls, in the middle of each of which
is a gateway surmounted by pyramidal go/niranis, enclose a
nearly rectangular space about S^jO feet hy 7 lit) feot within which
is a labyrinth of store-house?, cloisters, mantapanis and lesser
shrines and the sacred tank, and, in the centre, surrounded by
other walls with more gateways and towers, the inner shrines of
the god and goddess. The god is Siva in his form Sokkandtha


CHAP. XV, or Sundara, ' tlie beautiful,' and the goddess, liis wife, is Minakslii,
.aial>ura. ' tlie fish-cjed.' The legend regarding tliom in the local sthrila
purdna says that she was tlie daughter of a Pandya king wlio,
to the consternation of her parents, was born with three breasts.
A fairy, however, told the king that the third breast woald
disappear as soon as she met her future husband ; and it did so
when she first encountered Siva. They were wedded accordingly
with much pomp. It has been suggested that Minakshi may
have been a local Dravidian goddess whom the Biahman immi-
grants found to be too dear to the hearts of the people of the
country to be ousted by any of tlieir Aryan deities, and that her
marriage to Siva was a method adopted to reconcile and unite
the old faith and the new.

Round about the temple, outside the high outer walls, ia a
neat garden fenced in with iron railings which was laid out in the
eighties at the suggestion of Mr. Crole to replace the heaps of
rubbish which then occupied this space. The gopm^ams are of the
ordinarj^ pattern, the lowest storey consisting of sculptured stone
and the upper ones of brickwoi-k profusely ornamented with
figures made of brightly painted plastor and representing the
more popular of the deities, personages and events met with in
the Hiudu sacred books. They are unusually lofty and are a
landmark for miles round. All of them have been repaired of
late years at great cost by the Nattukottai Chettis who have
spent such large sums in the restoration of the Saivite temples
of this Presidency. The highest of them is the south gopuram,
tlie top of which is about 150 feet above the street below it.
The northern tower used to consist only of the brick and stone-
work storeys and was known in consequence as the mottai (literally
' bald ') gopuram. Recently, however, a courageous Chetti who
cared nothing for the superstition that it is most unlucky to
complete a building thus left unfinished, placed the usual plaster
top upon it.

Visitors generally enter the temple by the Ashta Sakti mantapam
(' porch of the eight saktis,' so called from the images of these
goddesses which form part of the pillars inside it) which (see the
plan) juts out from the eastern wall. It is noticeable that the
lloor of this is considerably lower thau the street. The level of
Madura has been mucli raised in the course of ages. When
foundatiuns for new buildings are dug, debris is always met with.
In tlio case of St. George's Church this went down as deep as
fourteen feet. At the further end of the mantapam is a doorway
on cither side of which are images, blackened with frequent


oblations, of Ganesa (the elephant-licadcd son of Siva) and CUAP. XV,
Subralimanya, his brother, in his form Slianmuga, the six-faced. Madura.
Passing- through the doorway one enters the mantapam of
Miaaksiii Niiyakkan, who is said to have been one of the ministers
of Tiramala Nayakkan. This is supported on six rows of tall
carved pillars, each of which consists of a single stone. 'J he outer •
parts of it are used as stables for the temple elephants and the
rest is packed with shops and stalls where all kinds of commodities
are sold. Both here and in the Pw/u mantapxm these shops so crowd
the building as to cloak its architectural beauties, but the temple
cash-chest is the richer by some Es. 17,000 annually from tlie
rents they pay, and the mtinaging body are consequently unwill-
ing to tarn them cut. At the further end of tlie mantapam is a
doorway surrounded with a brass frame covered with scores oi
small oil lamps. These are lighted daily from the income derived
from certain villages which a former zamindar of Wivaganga
presented to the temple for this purpose. Eeyond it is the
Mudali Pillai mantapam, which is usually known as ' the dark
mantapam ' and is upheld hy various large stone figures executed
with great spirit.

Passing through this one reaches ' the golden lily tank,' of the
religious efficacy of a bath in which so many stories arc told. It
is surrounded by a pillared colonnade from one auspicious corner of
which the golden tops of the roofs of the two inner shrines can be
seen. Its walls were formerly covered with frescoes. These
gradually became obliterated by damp and age and were painted
out, but parts of the walls have been newly decorated with
representations of events from the sacred writings, such as the 64
miracles which Siva is said to have worked in and about Madura.
On the western side of the tank is the little chapel of queen
Mangammal which has already been referred to on p. 55 above.

Next this is the Kiltkaiii (' parrot ') mantapam, so called
from the screaming caged parrots which are kept in it. It is
upheld by pillars formed of excellent statues — each cut out of a
single great block of granite — of ydlis and of the five Pandava
brothers. These latter would be more appropriate in a Vaishnava
temple than in one dedicated to Siva, and tradition says that they
were brought from a shrine to Kariyamanikka Perumal which
formerly stood immediately south-west of the Cliinna mottai
gupnram but was demoli^niod. Leading out of this mantapam
is Minakshi's shrine, within wliicli are several smaller diapels to
Subralimanya and Vighnesvara. Passing northwards, the visitor
goes towards Si\a's shrine through a gateway under the NacluJiattv


CHAP. XV. (' iniddlo ') gapuram. Facing this is an image of Ganapati
Madura. (Pillaiyar) whicli is said (see Lelow, p. 274) to have been dug up in
the great Teppakulani.

Siva's shrine contains several subsidiary buildings which it i?
not necessary to particularise, a stump which is said to be all that
now remains of the legendary forest of ]cada7nba trees which is
supposed to have formerly covered all this part of the country,
and a series of statues of the Af'uvattmnvar, or 63 Saivite saints.
In it are kept the temple jewels, which include a pendant for the
god given by a Pdndyan king, a head-dress studded with pearls
and rubies presented by Tirumala Ndyakkan and a pair of golden
stirrups which were the gift of Kous I'eter — a thank-offering, goes
the story, for an escape from an elephant he had wounded. In the
covered colonnade surrounding the shrine are little chapels sacred
to the Sangattdr, or members of the Third Sangam referred to on
p. 174, to the nine planets and to the poet-saint Tirugnana Sam-
bandhar whose exploits are mentioned on p. 297. In one corner
of it (see the plan) is the Mantapanayakka mantapam or ' king
mantapam among mantapam s.^ It in no way now deserves this
high-sounding name, as it is quite eclipsed by the kambattadi
{' foot of the flagstaff ') mantapam which adjoins it and surrounds
the gilded flagstaff which directly faces the entrance to Siva's
shrine. This building was put up in the seventies by the Nattu-
kottai Chettis and is supported by high monolithic pilLars perhaps
more elaborately chiseUed than anything in the building. Behind
the flagstaff are four huge images of Siva dancing, of the fearsome
goddess Kali and of Virabhadra in two different shapes, which are
again cut out of single blocks of stone. They are done with great
spirit and their numerous limbs and elaborate oruaments and
attributes make them probably the greatest triumph of technical
skill in stone-cutting to be found within the temple walls. East-
ward of these images is the great Viravasantaraya mantapam
which is said to have been built by Tirumala Nayakkan's
predecessor on the Madura throne, Muttu Virappa (1609-23). It
is supported on pillars cut from single blocks of granite and is
roofed with long slabs of stone. South of it is the Kalyana
(' marriage ') mantapam. This has been restored by the Chettis
and contains too much varnished woodwork^ to be pleasing to
European taste. In it is conducted the marriage of the god and
goddess at the time of the great annual Chittrai festival.

North of the Viravasantaraya mantapam is the ' Thousand-
pillared mantapam.' Two shrines built within it reduce the
actual number of pillars (all of which are monoliths) to 985, but


Fergusson ^ considers that ' it is not their nurnhf r but their marvel- CHAP. XV.
lous elaboration that makes it the wonder of the place ' and declares ^^ai^ura-
that tlie ' sculptures surpass those of any other liall of its class I
am acquainted with.' It is supposed to liave been built by the
Arya Natlia Mudali referred to on p. 42, and an equestrian statue
of him flanks one side of the steps leading up to it. Jf this legend
is correct, it is (next to the central shrines) the oldest part of the

Passing thi'ough the gateway is the eastern tower, and crossing
the street, one enters the Pudu {' new ') mantapam, otherwise
called ' Tirumala Nayakkan's clioultry.' It was built by the ruler
whose name it bears (who reigned between 1623 and 1659) as a
summer retreat for the god, and, being formerly surrounded by
a narrow stone water-course designed to cool the air in it, is some-
times called the Vasanta {' spring ') mriniapam . It consists (see
the plan) of a rectangular porch 333 feet long and 1 05 feet wide
(measured on the stylobate) roofed with long slabs of granite
which are supported by four parallel rows of 124 sculptured stone
pillars about 20 feet high. These pillars are all most richly
sculptured and all different in design. Some of them are
ornamented with rearing ydlis, while those near the middle
of the centre aisle are decorated with life-size figures of Tirumala
Nayakkan (with his wives) and liis predecessors. At one end
is a porcli made of polished black granite. The facjade is adorned
with more i/dlis or with groups, all cut out of a single block of
granite, representing a warrior seated on a rearing horse the fore
feet of which are supported by the shields of foot-soldiers slaying
tigers or men. ' As works exhibiting difficulties overcome by
patient labour/ says Fergusson, ' they are unrivalled, so far as
I know, by anything found elsewhere.' The whole building is
perhaps the most remarkable of its kind in south India, but the
effect of it is at present sadly marred by the shops and stalls with
which the whole centre aisle is crowded.

East of it is the unfinished' Rd>/a gopuram {' Ving tower')
which Tirumala Naynkkan began and never completed. Native
manuscripts say that he began 6i others (some give the figure as
£6) in different places, all at one and the same auspicious moment,
but that many of them were never completed. Unfinished
examples very similar to that at Madura may be seen at Alagar-
kovil and Periyakulam. ' Beginning a Rdya gopuram ' is a saying
now applied in Madura to tlio commencement of any hopelessly
ambitious undertaking. The lowest storey of this tower occupies
} Indian and Eastern Architecturt {3 ohu Murray, 1876), 365,



CIIA?. XV. more tlian twice the space covered by any of the existing gopuramfi
JlAniTBA. {^,,,1 the sculptare on it is riclior and cleaner cut than that on any
other. Tlie doorposts of tho f^aton-'ay through it are formed of
monolitlis over 50 feet high and 3 feet wide, carved with exquisite
scrolls of foliage. Had it been finished it would have been tlie
finest gopuram in southern India. Having never been conse-
crated, it has escaped the whitewash which has spoilt so many of
the other buildings in the town.

Here we may take leave of tlie great Madura temple. No
general view of it will remain in the memory, for there is no point
from which more than a small portion of it can be seen, and the
chief impression it leaves is wonder at the enormous amount of
labour spent upon the immense quantity of elaborate carving in
granite which it contains. This granite is supposed to have come
from Tirupparankunram. It is not known where the fine grained
black stone which appears here and there in it and in TirumaUi
Nayakkan's palace was quarried.

The inscriptions in the temple so far deciphered are not of
much interest. On the inner parts of it are some grants of
Pandyan times. The institution is managed by five dharmakartas
appointed by election under the Eeligious Endowments Act,
s ubordinate to whom is a manager. A typical annual budget is
roughly as under : —





Tasdik allowance


Daily expenses (lighting,

Inam villag'ea and land


food for the di'ities, oLc.)..!


Rent of shops and stalls in



the temijle ...


Establishment (priest.s,

Rent of cocoanut topes, etc.


cooks, sweeper.=i, etc., and

Rent of land in and about

revenue officials for tho

Madura and elsewhere ...


care of the temple's land).


Offerings in tlie undial





Legal expenses




Any surplus is usually laid out in repairs to the fabric,, which,
notwithstanding the fact tliatthe Nattukottai Chettis have spent
some five lakhs apon the building, are stiU urgently needed iu


The chief festivals arc tlic Ohittrai, Teppakulam and Avaai- CHAP, XV.
mulam feasts. The first (and chief) of these occurs in tlie month Maddea,
of Chittrai (April- May) and celebrates tlie marriagw of >Siva and
Minakshi. The great event in it is the dragging of the temple
car through the foiir Masi streets, so called because this event
originally took place in the month Masi February-March. A
very large cattle-fair is held at the same time and the Alagarkovil
god comes to the town. The second feast takes place in Tai
(January-February). The images of the god and goddess are
floated on a raft [teppam) round the Teppakulam, whicli is lighted
with thousands of little lamps for the occasion. This festival was
originated bj Tirumala Nayakkan after he had built the Teppa-
kulam, and is fixed for the anniversary of his birthday. The
third feast occurs in August or September and at it a number of
the exploits of Siva are commemorated — among them those con-
nected with the life of the saint Manikya-Vachakar and referred
to on p. 290 below.

There are many other temples in Madura, but space docs not
allow of any- detailed account of them. The biggest is that to
the Yaishnava deitj' Peruinal in the south-west part of the towu.
Near it is a tank called the Perumal teppakulam to distinguish
it from the other ('Vandiyur') Teppakulam. The outer walls
of this building bear several marks made by round-shot. The
central shrine was designed on regal lines, but was apparently
never finished. The stone work in this — especially the pierced
granite windows, all of different delicate designs, whicli light the
passage round the inner shi-ine — is as excellent as anything in
Madura. The temple to kSiva in his form Nanmaitaruvar, ' giver
of benefits,' has recently been repaired at great cost by the
Chettis. The Patnulkarans [seQ p. lUU) have their own place
of worship, in which priests of the caste officiate. The lower
classes largely frequent the shrine to Mariamma, the goddess
of small-pox, which stands on the edge of the Vaudiyur
Teppakulam. This is hung with cradles presented by women
who believe themselves to have obtained childreu by the grace of
the goddess and is decorated with rows of painted clay images
of children whom she is held to have delivered from sickness.

This Teppakulam (' raft tank '), which has been several times
referred to, is an artificial reservoir made by Tirumala Ndyakkan.
It is filled by a channel from the Vaigai and lies at the extreme
south-east comer of the town. It is almost a perfect square,
measuring (along the outside of the parapet walls) 1,000 feet on
the north and south and 950 feet on the east and west, and is the


274 MADtJRA.

CHAP. xy. largest construction of the kind in south India. The sides are
W A DURA. faced all round with cut granite and surmounted by a handsome
parapet of the same material, just inside which a granite-paved
walk, five feet wide, runs all round the tank. Flights of steps,
three on each side, run down at intervals to the water's edge. In
the middle of the reservoir is a square island, also faced with cut
granite, on which, among green palms and flowering trees, is a
small white temple with a tower of the usual kind, flanked, at the
four corners of the island, with graceful little mantapams. The
whole is exceedingly well-proportioned and graceful in effect. The
story goes that this spot was the place at which the bricks for Tiru-
mala Nayakkan's palace were made, and that when the clay for them
was being dug out the stone image of Ganapati now in the temple
and referred to above was found buried underground. Realizing
that the discovery showed that the spot was holy ground, the king
turned the excavations into this beautiful tank. The legend at
least affords an explanation for the construction of such an under-
taking so far from the tovpn.

The ruins of Tirumala Nayakkan's palace stand near what was
once the south-east corner of the old fort. The map of the town
in 1757 already given shows what an immense area the buildings
originally covered. Only one block of them now survives. The
destruction of them was begun by Tirumala's own grandson
Chokkanatha, who ruled from l(i62 to 1682. He held his court at
Trichinopoly, and, to provide himself with a dwelling there, ruth-
lessly removed thither all the best portions of his grandfather's
splendid residence, but only succeeded in constructing a building
which has remained quite unknown to fame. The plan of 1767
shows the arrangement of the chief parts of the original building ;
a vernacular paper translated on pp. 157-9 of Vol. il of Taylor's
Oriental Historical Manuscripts gives a lengthy description of
these ; the two drawings made by DanieU in 1794 which are
reproduced in M. Langles' Monuments anciens et modernes de
I' Uindoustan (Paris, 1821) show portions which have now entirely
disappeared ; a painting in the library in the Tanjore palace and
another in the possession of Mr. Fischer and referred to above
show other similar parts ; and from the roof of the one block which
survives may be seen the taU Ten Pillars, a small dome among the
Patnulkarans' quarter, and the site of the old Naubat khana (or
band stand) which were all once included in the original building.
But these materials are not sufficient to enable us to reconstruct
the palace as it stood in the days gone by. One thing only is
certain, namely that, in spite of the current belief to the contrary,


the Collector's present office near tlie temple and the building- CHAP. XV.
called ' Mangammal's palace ' where the taluk cutch'Drry and other Madura.
offices are now located were entirely distinct from it.

The Nauhat khana, it may here be noted, was so dilapidated
in the fifties that the American Mission declined to take it as a
gift ; it was then restored by Mr. Greorge Fischer for the use of a
school ; and was taken by Government in 1 858 for the use of the
new Znia school. When the new building for this latter was put
up, the Naubat khana was used for some time as the ]3olice head-
quarter office. It was eventually sold as being past repair and the
Patnulkarans' primary school now occupies its site.

The one block of the palace which now survives consists of two
oblong- buildings running east and west en echelon and connected
at one corner. The smaller of these is 135 feet long, half as wide
(including- the cloisters on either side), and about 70 feet in height.
' It possesses,' says Fergusson, whose book contains an inadequate
engraving of its interior, ' all the structural propriety and
character of a Gothic building.' The roof is a pointed arch of
brickwork strengthened by granite ribs springing from a double
series, one above the other, of other pointed arches supported on
columns. Behind the upper series of these arches runs a gallery
resembling the triforium of an English cathedral. Tradition
says that this room was Tirumala's sleeping apartment and that
his cot hung by long chains from hooks in the roof. One night,
says a favourite story, a Kalian made a hole in the roof,
swarmed down the chains and stole tlie royal jewels. The king
promised a jaghir to any one who would bring him the thief, and
the Kalian then gave himself up and claimed the reward. The
king gave him the jaghir and then promptly had him beheaded.
For many years this chamber was used as the District Court, and
portraits of two former Judges, Sir Pliilip Hutchins and Mr.

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