A master temple architect from Maamallapuram stepped up next and exhibited the miniature model of a temple. He explained how this was a new and unique temple construction. He expressed his desire to utilize this design for each of the 276 paadal-petra-sthalam temples, where the three main Shaivite saints had sung the Devarams.
Mandapam in ruins near Patteeswaram temple. (img src: gcmouli.com)
Before we get to Vandiyathevan’s entry into Pazhayarai, the reader is invited to get a brief glimpse of this beautiful city. It was one of the finest cities in the Chozha land filled with grand temples like Thirusakthimutram and Patteeswaram. It was a planned city with segregated areas for soldiers, traders, merchants, and royalty. Palaces were grand and the streets were wide.
Vandiyathevan wanted to take care of the guard first. He lunged towards him and slit his throat. He then focused on his friend. Kandanmaran was laying limp half inside the chamber, half outside. He gave Kandanmaran a push, and slipped out of the chamber. He noticed that the wall closed behind him automatically.
Vandiyathevan slowly traced his way down the underground passageway. After a little while, the steps stopped. He was in a chamber of sorts. At the end of the tunnel he could see some glimmering light. He walked closer. It was not light from a window. It was not moonlight.
Original paintings by Maniam for Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan Ponniyin Selvan, written by Kalki Krishnamurthy, is a historical novel set in the time period between the Tenth
The current Emperor Sundara Chozhan had been ruling this kingdom for twelve years now. The Chozha Empire had been expanding since he ascended the throne.