Irunkōvēl

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Irunkōvēl also Irungkōvēl, Irukkuvēl, Ilangōvēlar was a title of the Irunkōvēl line of Tamil Velir kings. The Irunkovel line of kings ruled over Kō nādu identified with the Kodumbalur and surrounding areas in ancient Tamilakkam.[1] They trace their lineage to the clan of Lord Krishna; one of the inscriptions at Kodumbalur belonging to one of the Kings in the Irunkovel line, namely Tennavan Irunkōvēl, declares that he belonged to the race of Krishna.[1]

The contemporary of Karikala[edit]

The most famous among them was a contemporary of Karikala Chola as well as poet Kapilar and lived during the Sangam era.[2] In addition, this particular Irunkōvēl also bore the title Pulikadimal, literally meaning the hero who destroyed the tiger or tiger slayer in reference to a hunting expedition when he breaks away from the party while being pursued by a tiger but in the end kills it.[3] He proudly traces his lineage back by 49 preceding generations without a break to one of the kings of ancient Dvārakā.[4] He is later defeated by Karikala and becomes a subordinate to the Chola sovereign.[5]

It has been recorded that one Irunkōvēl was present at the coronation of a Karikala Chola after giving him some earth for the ceremony.[6]

Encounter with Kapilar[edit]

After death of Vēl Pāri, another Velir King, Kapilar, a Sangam Tamil poet and the former's friend would approach Irunkovel and plead with him requesting him to marry the two daughters of his friend and patron (excerpt from Purananuru; Tinai:paadantinai, Turai:paricil turai);

But Irunkovel does not pay heed to the poet's words and instead sides with the 3 crowned kings and rather throws an insult back at him alluding to the sorry state of his friend's family. The enraged poet flares up and fires back a curse that his kingdom would fall just like his ancestor's;

Related Inscription[edit]

Here is an inscription belonging to one of the kings of the Irunkōvēl line from the Adhipuriswara temple in Tiruvorriyur district:

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Epigraphia Indica, Volume 12, page 122"
  2. ^ Historical heritage of the Tamils, page 287
  3. ^ Journal of Indian history, Volume 42, page 883
  4. ^ Pivot politics: changing cultural identities in early state formation processes, page 165
  5. ^ Studies in Indian epigraphy, Volume 32, page 58
  6. ^ Pivot politics: changing cultural identities in early state formation processes, page 66
  7. ^ The four hundred songs of war and wisdom: an anthology of poems from classical Tamil : the purananuru Translations from the Asian classics, page 127
  8. ^ The four hundred songs of war and wisdom: an anthology of poems from classical Tamil : the purananuru Translations from the Asian classics, page 128
  9. ^ South Indian shrines: illustrated By P. V. Jagadisa Ayyar, page 57

References[edit]

  • Historical heritage of the Tamils By Ca. Vē Cuppiramaṇiyan̲, Ka. Ta Tirunāvukkaracu, International Institute of Tamil Studies
  • Journal of Indian history, Volume 42 By University of Allahabad. Dept. of Modern Indian History, University of Kerala. Dept. of History, University of Travancore, University of Kerala
  • Epigraphia Indica, Volume 12 By Devadatta Ramkrishna Bhandarkar
  • Pivot politics: changing cultural identities in early state formation processes By M. van Bakel, Renée Hagesteijn, Piet van de Velde
  • Studies in Indian epigraphy, Volume 32 By Epigraphical Society of India
  • The four hundred songs of war and wisdom: an anthology of poems from classical Tamil : the purananuru, Translations from the Asian classics By George L. Hart, Hank Heifetz