(Last Updated on : 16-08-2010)
The inscriptions attached a traditional splendor to the antiquity of the temple. It not only provides a chronological significance of the temple, but also mentions the name of those benevolent contributors of the contemporary era, who made gifts for the upkeep of the Venkatesa Perumal temple. A long Tamil inscription found on a wall of this temple, belonging to the reign of Vira-Rajendra Chola of the 11th century A.D., provides very interesting information about a Vedic college (pathasala), which functioned inside the premises of the temple. This epigraphic record mentions in detail the different subjects taught here, the number of teachers and students studying each subject, the salary paid to the teachers, etc. The Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Vyakarana (grammar) and the upavataara were some of the important subjects, which were taught here. The famous hymn, Tiruvaymozhi of Nammazhvar was recited at this temple.
As the inscriptions suggest, there was a hostel attached to this temple-college where the students lived and sixty people were fed here everyday. Moreover there was also a hospital attached to this educational institution where the students, teachers and the servants of the temple could be treated. This hospital called "Vira-Cholan' and had fifteen beds s the inscriptions depict. The hospital within the temple precinct was under the charge of a physician called Kodandarama Asvattama-Bhatta, whose name is precisely mentioned in the inscription of the Chola king who prescribed medicines for the patients under his care. Besides him, there was also a surgeon in this hospital to perform operations which might have been necessary. Two people were engaged for procuring medicinal herbs, three people who supplied firewood and also assisted in the preparation of medicine, two nurses to attend on the patients and also a barber, who probably assisted in minor operations in addition to his regular duties were employed in this hospital. The inscription goes on to say that twenty Ayurvedic medicines were stored in this hospital always and their names are also clearly mentioned in these inscriptions stamped on the temple walls. The inscription thus reveals that Sri Venkatesa Perumal Temple was very important religious centre in the Chola times and equally renowned and well known as the educational center.
Apart from this major Chola inscription some other important inscriptions are also found. A number of inscriptions are also found imprinted on the temple walls, which reveal that the deity of this fascinating shrine was known by different names during the rule of the various dynasties like the Pallavas, Cholas ayanagara. The presiding deity enshrined in the temple was also known as Tirumukkudal-Azhvar, Maha-Vishnu, Venkatesvara Svamin and Venkatesa Perumal.
Sri Venkatesa Perumal Temple housed in the small serene village of Tirumukkudal is considered as a flourishing hub of religious fervor and academic activity.