(Last Updated on : 23/01/2009)
Pallippadai was a memorial shrine or temple built over the ruins of kings and princes of the Chola period of South India. During the Chola period, most of the temples and the chief icons in them were named after the ruling kings who set up them.
Sometimes, the worships performed to the idols were after the living monarchs. These temples used to get royal patronages even after their demise. There was a religious group named Devaraja i, e, 'God king' during the Chola period in South India, who were very popular at that time. They used to build funereal temples over the remains of kings and princes and it was evident from the inscriptions available in the Pallippadai.
Some of the examples of Pallippadai are those at Tondamanad constructed by the Adityeswara in the memory of his father Aditya Chola I, the Arinjigai-Isvara at Melpadi built by Rajaraja I. Similarly, in the memory of Arinjaya who died at Arrur, and the Panchavanma-devisvara in Ramanathan Koyil, Rajendra I built Pallippadai.
When many such temples were renovated in the later period, human bones were found under the sanctum sanctorum (garbhagriha). Afterwards, this pallipadai started to get disapproval of the people. It is evident from the fact that the term pallipadai was tried to erase from the inscription at Ramanathan Koyil.