Tamil inscriptions of Bangalore

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There are nearly a thousand inscriptions in Tamil in the Southern Karnataka districts of Bangalore, Mysore, Kolar and Mandya in India. Nearly one third of these inscriptions are found in the Kolar District. Of all the inscriptions collected and published in the Epigraphia Carnatica Vol X for Kolar district , a fourth are in Tamil. The Tamil inscriptions start to appear around 1000 AD, after the conquest of the region by the Chola dynasty king Rajaraja I. Even after the Cholas left the area, the Hoysala and later the Vijaynagar kingdoms continued to use Tamil in the inscriptions.[1]

Tamil inscriptions are found south of the Pennar-Ponnaiyar divide, running south west from Bangalore to Mysore. Several Tamil inscriptions are found in the Honnu-Hole basin.[2]

Numerous Tamil inscriptions can be found in the Bangalore Rural district, especially in the Nelamangala and Hoskote taluks. The Mukti Natheshwara temple at Nelmangala have Tamil inscriptions of Kulothunga Chola I, dating back to the 11 Century. At Kadugodi, there is one inscription from the period of Rajendra Chola's rule, that records donations for developing the Pattandur lake.[3]

Temple InscriptionsEdit

Many Tamil inscriptions in Bangalore were compiled and documented by Benjamin Lewis Rice and appear in the Epigraphia Carnatica: Volume IX: Inscriptions in the Bangalore District[4]

Chokkanathaswamy Temple, DomlurEdit

The Chokkanathaswamy Temple, located in Domlur is a 10th-century temple supposedly of Chola origin though there are no such records. There are a number of Tamil inscriptions in the temple. Domlur is called as Tombalur or Desimanikkapattanam in these inscriptions. Chakravarthi Posalaviraramanatha Deva has left inscriptions with directions to temple authorities of his kingdom. Further some inscriptions record the tributes, taxes and tolls made to the temple by Devaraya II of Vijayanagar Empire, which state the houses, wells, land around Tombalur were offered to the deity Sokkapperumal. Another Tamil inscription dated 1270 talks about 2 door posts being donated by Alagiyar. Yet another inscription in Tamil details Talaikkattu and his wife donating lands from Jalapalli village and Vinnamangalam tank to the deity. A 1290AD inscription talks about donation of ten pens from the revenue of Tommalur by Poysala vira Ramananda.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

Someshwara Temple, MadivalaEdit

The Someshware temple at Madivala is one of Bangalore's oldest. There are a number of Tamil Grantha inscriptions on the outer walls of the temple. The oldest of these inscriptions dates to 1247 AD talks about a land grants "below the big tank of Vengalur" by a Veppur (modern Begur) resident. Other inscriptions also talk about other land grants including those done during the reigns of Ballala III . Another inscription dated 1365 talks about land grand at Tamaraikkirai (which translates to 'lotus pond bank' in Tamil), and according to HS Gopala Rao, Secretary of the Karnataka Itihasa Academy refers to the present day Tavarekere suburb.[12][13]

Around BangaloreEdit

Dharmeshwara Temple, Kondarahalli, HoskoteEdit

Vijayanagar period copper plates in possession of the temple priest written in Grantha script:

Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple, NandiEdit

The Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple, on Nandi Hills (Nandidurg), 50 km from Bangalore has Chola period Tamil inscriptions on the walls

Kolaramma Temple, KolarEdit

The Kolaramma Temple, at Kolar, 60 km from Bangalore, was built by Rajendra Chola I (A.D.1012-1044) and has his statute and Tamil inscriptions (KL110-KL115) on the walls of the temple. Numerous other Tamil inscriptions are found around Kolar and Bowringpet[14]

Mukthi Natheshwara Temple, BinnamangalaEdit

The Mukthi Natheshwara Temple, at Binnamangala, Nelamangala Taluk, 60 km from Bangalore was built by period of Kulothunga Chola - 1 (A.D.1069-1120). The inscriptions in Tamil talk about the endowments of surrounding villages to the deity Muththeeswarem Udaiya Mahathevar (Lord Shiva), referring to the place as "Vinmamangalam of Kukkanur Nadu of Viikkiramachola Mandalam"[4]

Someshwara Temple, UlsoorEdit

The Someshwara Temple, at Ulsoor was originally built by the Cholas, and later renovated during the Vijaynagar Period.[15][16]

Outside BangaloreEdit


An ancient Tamil inscription found in Ugra Narasimha temple in Maddur explains that the temple is built for the people for Marudhur.

Village InscriptionsEdit

Kalkere LakeEdit

An ancient Tamil inscription, supposed to be from the Chola period was found under a sewage canal connecting to Kalkere Lake in East Bangalore. A similar stone was at Kithaganur Village nearby and has been installed in a temple. The inscription hasn't been deciphered as yet, as it is written in an older form of Tamil.[17]


A Tamil inscription from dating 1043AD exists in Kadugodi, [1] from the period of Rajendra Chola I, which describes the construction of the Pattanduru Lake, and Ganesh, Durga and Kshetrapaala temples by Chola chieftain Raja Raja Velan son of Permadi Gavunda.[18] The Chola period Tamil inscription of Rajendra Chola is located at a graveyard at Kadugodi, East Bangalore. The inscription records the construction of the Pattandur Lake with three sluice gates, with the land grants given by Rajendra Chola. Further, the inscription talks about installation of the deities of Shiva, Durga and Ganapathi. There is some words to protect the inscription, cursing anyone who damages with inheriting the sins of all those who died between The Ganges and the Cape Comorin.[19]


Doddanekkundi village,[2] located North of Marathahalli,[3] and much older than Marathahalli, has two ancient inscriptions in Tamil. The first inscription dated 1304, mentions the village name as Nerkundi and talks about the existence of a fort around the village constructed in 1304. The second inscription talks about the Hoysala king Ballala III granting the entire revenue of the Doddanekkundi village to the Shivagange Temple. There is also a Telugu inscription in Marathahalli. According to scholars, this shows the use of Tamil and Telugu in Bangalore, much before the reign of Krishnadevaraya of the Vijaynagar Kingdom.[20][21][22]

KR PuramEdit

In 2017, Tamil inscriptions of the Hoysala period were discovered around Bangalore. Two inscriptions of Ballala II (1173-1220) were found in KR Puram. The inscription was found at Sadaramangala describes land grants made to Brahmins who had migrated from the present Andhra Pradesh region. Another inscription dated 1343 was found an abandoned site in Kattigenahalli near Yelahanka. This inscription has 16 lines and dates to the year after death of the Hoysala King Ballala III.[21]

British Period Inscriptions in TamilEdit

Madras Sappers War Memorial, Brigade RoadEdit

A war memorial raised by the British to commemorate the lives lost in different wars by the Madras Sappers Regiment. It details the number of British officers, Indian officers and soldiers who died fighting during Second Opium War in China, Third Anglo-Burmese War(1885–87), World War I, Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) (1916–18), East Africa (1914-18) and the North West Frontier (1915). The soldiers fell during the Indian wars of Assaye, Seringapatam, Seetabuldee and Sholinghur are also acknowledged. The inscriptions are both in English and Tamil.[23][24]

Broadway, ShivajinagarEdit

When an encroached storm water drain was cleared in Shivajinagar, a huge plaque dating back to the 19th century was found. The stone, shows the progress of the building of the British Bangalore Cantonment. It reads 'This stone laid across the main channel in 1868 and worn by the feet of two generations was set up to mark the opening of this bridge and road on 16 February 1922'. The inscription is in English, Tamil and Urdu. According to SK Aruni, deputy director of the Indian Council of Historical Research, Tamil was used as all the workers of the British were Tamil people, and Urdu to communicate to the Hindustani men working for the British.[25]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Subbarayalu, Y (1990). Sreenivasa, H V; Rao, B Surendra; Veluthat, Kesavan; et al. (eds.). Essays on Indian History and Culture: Felicitation Volume in Honour of Professor B. Sheik Ali (First ed.). New Delhi: Mittal Publications. p. 101. ISBN 8170992117. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  2. ^ Iyer, (Diwan Bahadur) L Krishna Anantha Krishna (1936). The Mysore Tribes and Castes. Madras, British India: Mittal Publications. p. 104. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  3. ^ Bharadwaj, Arun (2016). Seen & Unseen Bangalore. Notion Press. ISBN 978-9386073181. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Rice, Benjamin Lewis (1894). Epigraphia Carnatica: Volume IX: Inscriptions in the Bangalore District. Mysore State, British India: Mysore Department of Archaeology. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  5. ^ Rice, Benjamin Lewis (1887). Mysore: A Gazetteer Compiled for Government. London, UK: Asian Educational Services. p. 70. ISBN 8120609778. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  6. ^ Githa, U B (19 April 2004). "A Chola temple in Domlur!". No. Bangalore. Deccan Herald. Archived from the original on 4 January 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  7. ^ Githa, U B. "Chokkanathaswamy Temple, a fine example of Chola architecture". Chitralakshana: All about Indian Art. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  8. ^ Sridhar, Lakshminarasimhan; Sridhar, Geetha. "Chokkanarayan Swamy Temple Domlur". Vishnu Temples of Karnataka. Archived from the original on 18 January 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  9. ^ Rao, Priyanka S (19 May 2012). "Chokkanatha: The city's oldest temple". No. Bangalore. The New Indian Express. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  10. ^ Harshitha, Samyuktha (10 December 2012). "The temple of the Cholas". Suttha Muttha. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  11. ^ Rizvi, Aliyeh (20 October 2014). "Good vibrations". No. Bangalore. Bangalore Mirror. Bangalore Mirror Bureau. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  12. ^ Iyer, Meera (20 July 2009). "Ancient temple; bustling junction". No. Bangalore. Deccan Herald. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  13. ^ Srikumar, S (12 March 2014). Kolar Gold Field: (Unfolding the Untold) (International ed.). Partridge Publishing. p. 57. ISBN 978-1482815078. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  14. ^ a b Rice, Benjamin Lewis (1894). Epigraphia Carnatica: Volume X: Inscriptions in the Kolar District (Part II). Mysore State, British India: Mysore Department of Archaeology. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  15. ^ Bayer, Jennifer Marie (1986). Dynamics of Language Maintenance Among Linguistic Minorities: A Sociolinguistic Study of the Tamil Communities in Bangalore. Bangalore: Central Institute of Indian Languages. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  16. ^ Achari, Soumya Narayan (10 April 2012). "Bangalore's beautiful Someshwara temple". No. Bangalore. Deccan Herald. Deccan Herald. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  17. ^ Mehrotra, Reya (30 April 2018). "Down the drain, a piece of history". No. Bangalore. Bangalore Mirror. Bangalore Mirror Bureau. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  18. ^ Krishnamurthy, P V (2005). "Inscriptions of Bangalore East Taluk - A Study". Itihasa Dharshana. 20. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  19. ^ BR, Rohith (17 April 2018). "11th-century stone inscription found in graveyard". The Times of India. No. Bangalore. Times New Network. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  20. ^ Aruni, S K (12 January 2012). "Of inscriptions and the medieval period". The Hindu. No. Bangalore. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  21. ^ a b Rudrappa, Chetan (14 September 2017). "Two more Hoysala inscriptions in city". No. Bangalore. Bangalore Mirror. Bangalore Mirror Bureau. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  22. ^ "Stories in stone". No. Bangalore. Bangalore Mirror. Bangalore Mirror Bureau. 17 August 2017. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  23. ^ Rodricks, Allan Moses (19 September 2014). "A chapter from the war". The Hindu. No. Bangalore. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  24. ^ Karthik, S A (11 August 2014). "A memorial for WWI Warriors". No. Bangalore. Deccan Herald. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  25. ^ "Slice of history found in encroached drain". No. Bangalore. Times of India. 15 January 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2015.