21 December 2008

Pavala Kundru History

On my way from Tiruvannamalai Bus Stand to Ramana Nagar whilst going through the business end of town, I took the below photograph of one of my favourite Tiruvannamalai Temples, Pavala Kundru (i.e. Jewel of the Hill). This revered Temple has a fascinating history which starts with the legend of Goddess Parvati and her time on the Hill whilst performing tapas. In recent times Pavala Kundru is associated with Ramana Maharshi’s stay at the Temple. Currently there is a dispute underway regarding construction on the adjacent Coral Hill. But probably the most charming recent assocation of the Temple is its colony of beautiful Langur Monkeys.

View from Town

History of Pavala Kundru
“In 1790 Tippu Sultan captured Tiruvannamalai over-riding the Treaty of Mangalore (1784 A.D.) in which he and the English agreed to mutual restoration of conquests and exchange of prisoners. Tippu Sultan attacked Thiagadurga Fort (30 miles south of Tiruvannamalai). The whole population of the surrounding region took refuge in this fort.
Activated by the news from Thiagadurga and apprehending attack, the inhabitants of Tiruvannamalai collected arms and men to defend themselves till British reinforcements arrived. When Tippu Sultan attacked Tiruvannamalai, its inhabitants put up a brave resistance but were compelled to surrender in the end. Tippu Sultan, it is said, occupied the hillock of Pavalakkunru after destroying the small shrine that was there. His solders, it seems, were cruel to the people of the town but strangely the Temple of Sri Arunachala was left untouched, barring a single cannon shot that was fired at it. The missile seems to have hit a part of the northern wall causing minimal damage. After camping there for some weeks, Tippu Sultan and his army left Tiruvannamalai.

Location of Temple on a Arunachala Hillock

A gun belonging to Tippu Sultan was found buried near the hillock where he had camped. It was taken and placed in a museum in Madras. Ramana Maharshi said that whatever Temple might have existed on or about Pavalakkunru seemed to have disappeared probably on account of Tippu Sultan’s invasion. The present Temple was probably built only a hundred and fifty years ago.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thats an amazing photograph of the Temple.