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Kadavarayar And The Famous Ruler Koperuncingam

Kadavarayar were the Pallava rulers of South India. After the decline of the Pallava kingdom in the 9th century CE, their descendants became petty chieftains under the Cholas. They began to challenge the Chola power in the 13th century CE.

Their inscriptions are found in places like Vriddhachalam, Thiruvennainallur, Kanchi and many other parts of Thondaimandalam.

Koperuncingam, called Maharaja Simha in Sanskrit, the best known among them (13th century CE), was a very religious ruler and a great devotee of Shiva, especially Nataraja of Chidambaram. He constructed the eastern gopuram of the Chidambaram temple and decorated the four sides of this structure with the booty received from his conquests. He made many benefactions, including presents of jewels, crows and throne to the Arunachaleshwara temple at Thiruvannamalai. Many of this inscriptions mention his endowments to temples in sacred cities like Kanchipuram, Thiruvanaikaval, Madurai, Kalahasti, Draksharama, Chidambaram, Thiruvennainallur and Shiyali for various services, including the laying of flower gardens. He beautified his capital Sendamalam with an impressive fort and a temple dedicated to Shiva (Apatsahayeshwara). The western gopuram of the Vishnu temple at Tiruvendipuram was constructed by an officer of his.

Koperuncingam, also referred as Kopperunjinga, was a scholar and a patron of Tamil and Sanskrit scholars. He was also a patron of music and the art of dancing. His inscription at Draksharamam mentions his title “Natyakya Vedambudihi” (the ocean of the art of dancing or Natyashastra). It was perhaps this king who was responsible for the carvings of the dance postures (karanas) enlisted in Natya Shastra of Bharata, together with descriptive labels found in the eastern gopura at Chidambaram.