A rare dance panel of Nayak period and an inscribed pillar of Chola period have been found on an abandoned brick mound at Pathalapettai near Kiliyur in Tiruchi.
The dance panel:
The dance panel is depicted on a stone slab that measures 1.21 metres in length and 33 centimetres in height.
Four pairs of well dressed male and female dancers, holding some object in one of their hands, are seen engaged in a ritualistic dance in the panel. Three pairs are shown hugging each other while the last pair is dancing keeping a distance between.
All of them are decked with ornaments and different headgears. The female deity with a flower in the right hand seen between the first two pairs and the pot depicted between the last two pairs denote the ritualistic nature of the dance.
The pillar found at the spot has an inscribed base. The base has a Tamil inscription of Chola palaeography with a few Grantha letters used in between. Though seven lines are visible, the last two are not readable. The inscription records that a certain Rejaladeviyar Sativinjey, queen of Iladevayan, had gifted that pillar. A sketchy figure of a Mugalinga is seen sculpted on the first half of the pillar, suggesting its conversion into a Linga.
It is one of the Five Great Epics of Tamil Literature according to later Tamil literary tradition. A poet-prince from Kodungallur near Kochi referred to by the pseudonym Ilango Adigal, is credited with this work.
The epic revolves around Kannagi, who had lost her husband to a miscarriage of justice at the court of the Pandyan Dynasty, wreaks her revenge on his kingdom.