Old Govt. Entries

PANNIRENDARS AS FOUND FROM GOVERNMENT RECORDS

 

CASTES AND TRIBES OF SOUTHERN INDIA

 

BY

 

EDGAR THURSTON, C.I.E.,

SUPERINTENDENT, MADRAS GOVERNMENT MUSEUM; CORRESPONDENT ETRANGER, SOCIETE

 

CHETTI PAGE 93

 

Palayasengadam in the Trichinopoly district is the head- quarters of a section of the Chettis called the Pannirendam (twelfth)  Chettis. “These are supposed to be descended from eleven youths who escaped long ago from Kaveripatnam, a ruined city in Tanjore. A Chola king says the legend, wanted to marry a Chetti girl; whereupon the caste set fire to the town, and only these eleven boys escaped. They rested on the Rantnagiri hill to divide their property; but however they arranged it, it always divided itself into twelve shares instead of eleven.  The god Ratnagiri then appeared, and asked them to give him one share in exchange for a part of his car. They did so, and they now call themselves the twelfth Chettis from the number of the shares, and at their marriages they carry the bridegroom round in a car. They are said to be common in Coimbatore districe”.

 

MADRAS DISTRICT GAZATTEERS (1907)

TRICHINOPOLY

BY

F.R. HEMINGWAY,

INDIA CIVIL SERVICE

Ratnagiri : Five miles south – south west of Kulittalai. Is a hamlet of Sivayam (population 3338) and takes its name from the curious bare concial rock( the ruby hill) which there rises suddenly from the surrounding plain. This is 1178 feet high and is ascended by a flight of 952 steps which are said ( in a inscription in the temple on the top) to have been built in 1783 A.D.

 

The temple on the top is a handsome, though small building , and an admirable view is obtained from it. On the walls are numerous inscriptions, two of which copied by the Government Epigraphist (Nos 102 – 03 of 1892) belong the the Hoysala king vira Someswara who occupied much of the district in the 13th century.

 

The god is known as Ratnagiriswarar ( the lord of the ruby hill) or, more popularly, Sokkar. Like the deity of Kadambarkovil near Kulittalai (q.v.) the god is said to have been worshipped by a Agastya, and his sacred days are Mondays, in Kartigai and the Tai – pusam day. Thunder is said to come and worship the god once every twelve years, and a crevice in the roof is pointed out as the place through which the thunder once made its entry in order to do so.

 

The water for the god`s bath is brought by a caste of non-Brahmans known as Tirumanjana Pandarams, who fetch it every day from the Cauvery. The say they are descended from an Aryan king who came to the god with the hope of getting rubies from him. The god, in the guise on a Brahman, tested his devotion by making him fill a magic vessel with Cauvery water. The vessel would not fill, and the Aryan stranger in a fit of anger cut off the Brahman head. The dead body t once turned into a lingam and the Aryan was ordered to carry water for the temple till eternity. A figure of him is carved in the prakaram (arcade) of the temple.

 

There are two shrines subordinate to the Ratnagiri god, namely  that to Vaira Perumal at the foot of the hill and small belly god temple half way up the hill. Vaira Perumal is said to have been a man of the weaving caste from Conjeeveram who cut off his own head herein fulfillment of a vow and was deified accordingly. His image has no head. Hi is worshipped with Animal sacrifices and the oaths sworn before him are held to be particularly binding. The belly-god is called ‘the watcher of the crows’. It is said that he cursed the crows for upsetting a devotee`s milk-pot, and that they dare not now come near the temple. The bites of snakes and venomous reptiles are said to be innocuous on this hill.

 

The Ratnagiri temple is held specially sacred by two small communities; namely, the Malai-kanda Vellalans (the Vellalans who watch the hill), who never leave the neighbourhood and must gaze at  the hill every morning when they get up, and the twelveth Chettis referred to in the account of Mahadanapuram above. It was the god of Ratnagiri who took the twelveth share of their property.

 

 

MADRAS DISTRICT GAZATTEERS

 

STATISTICAL APPENDIX

 

FOR

TRICHINOPOLY DISTRICT

Vol. II

1931

 

Page 285 : Add at the end of the page following :

 

The trustees of the temple are members of the “ Twelveth Chetti” caste, whose office is at the flight of steps leading to the shrine on the hill. The community contributes twelveth of the income of its members to this temple, and this is devoted to daily worship and to various acts of charity at festival time.

 

Page . 286 : Insert before Musiri taluk, the following particulars about the …..

 

 

 

MADRAS DISTRICT GAZATTEERS (1907)

TRICHINOPOLY

BY

F.R. HEMINGWAY,

INDIA CIVIL SERVICE

PAGE 281

                Mahadanapuram : Eight miles west of Kulittalai. Population  6545. Contains a railway – station, a private choultry ( where all castes are given accommodation, but Brahmans alone are fed) and a saltpeter refinery. The village is said to have been given by Krishna Udaiyar of Mysore to some Brahmins. Hence its name, which means village of the great gift`. It possesses a hamlet called Palayasengadem. This name it supposed to be a contraction of Palaya – Jayankonda – Cholapuram in the Udayar palayam taluk. The latter name means ‘the town of the victorious chola, and Palayasengadam is locally believed to have been once a Chola capital. It contains some jain remains, the ruins of an extensive camp and a beautifully-constructed stone tank, which lend some support to this theory of departed greatness.

 

In this hamlet is a well-known and blood-thirsty village goddess called Alahanachi Amman. In whose honor a festivel is celebrated every two years in Panguni ( March – April). The godess conveys her assent to the performance of the festival by the chirping of the lizards round her shrine.

 

Palayasengadam is the head – quarters of a section of the Chettis called the Pannirendam (twelfth)  Chettis. These are supposed to be descended from eleven youths who escaped long ago from Kaveripatnam, a ruined city in Tanjore. A Chola king says the legend, wanted to marry a Chetti girl; whereupon the caste set fire to the town, and only these eleven boys escaped. They rested on the Rantnagiri hill to divide their property; but however they arranged it, it always divided itself into twelve shares instead of eleven.  The god Ratnagiri then appeared, and asked them to give him one share in exchange for a part of his car. They did so, and they now call themselves the twelfth Chettis from the number of the shares, and at their marriages they carry the bridegroom round in a car. They are said to be common in Coimbatore districe”.

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