(Last Updated on : 25-01-2009)
The inscriptions engraved on the temple wall and the pillars surrounding the temples articulate the antiquity and stately magnificence of the temple. The inscriptions on the wall not only enhance the traditional significance, but also help to determine the actual chronology of the temple. As it is deciphered, there are approximately twelve Tamil inscriptions etched on the walls of this temple. After a thorough research the historians have opined that these inscriptions belonged to the Chola and Vijayanagara periods. The earliest of these epigraphic evidences is dated 944 A.D. and belongs to the reign of Parantaka Chola I, one of the most illustrious kings among the early Cholas. In this inscription, Lord Yathoktakari is referred to as Anantanarayana-Perumal. Apart from these the other inscriptions are also found. The other Chola inscriptions in this temple, according to the historians belonged to the reign of Rajendra Chola I, which is dated 1032 A.D.) and Kulottunga Chola III (dated 1184 A.D.). Several other inscriptions are also found, of which many inscriptions are engraved in the second prakara and on the gopura entrance of this temple. These inscriptions, according to the historical researches belongs to the Vijayanagara period.
The inscriptions not only record the chronology of the temple. Rather they also state clearly the accounts of those benefactors who made important contributions to the temple. These epigraphs also give the record many gifts made to this temple, speak of the festivals such as the float-festival and the summer- festival which were celebrated in this temple. These endowments made in the ancient days reveal the importance which royalty as well as common people gave to this temple. Thus the inscriptions revealed that the contemporary kings and people considered temple as the consecrated place.
In the inscriptions of the Chola period the deity of the temple is mentioned as Anantanarayanasvamin and Anantanarayana Paramasvamin, while the Vijayanagara records refer to the Lord as Sonnavannam Seyda Perumal. By the latter name this deity is fondly referred to even today. Hence the inscriptions not only give records of the date and legends associated with the temple, but also these inscriptions refers to the different cultures prevalent during the period.