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Copper plates and bronze icons found in India

A caches of 85 copper plates and 12 bronze icons have been found in a temple in India.

The copper plates — 45-cm long and 20-cm broad — were strung around a two-foot diameter copper ring and forged with the Chola emblem.

Earlier, 20 copper plates were found in Villupuram, says an official of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments. The emblem with two fishes fringed by a seated tiger to its left and a bow and arrow to its right and an umbrella indicated that the plates belonged to the Cholas.

The bronze icons include Ganapathy, Appar, Manikavasagar, Thirugnyanasambandhar, Rishabandagar with Amman, Sandikeshwarar, Chandrashekarar with Ammam, Karaikal Ammaiyar with a cymbal, Somaskandar (Lord Shiva with his consort and son), and Valli. The find points to the Chola period of 11th or 12th century AD, says Bala Padhmanaban, special Revenue Inspector, HR&CE. According to him, the Skandha Maalai (the garland over the shoulder of Lord Shiva) pointed to the middle Chola period. Further, the Perumal temple at half a km vicinity of Kailasanathar temple was built in the 11th century and is inscribed to be the contemporary of this temple.

Along with these were worship artefacts such as a guindy, thiruchanam and asaradevar. The rationale for the presence of a Nataraja icon amid the above pantheon was strengthened further with the pieces of broken Thiruvasi (found behind Nataraja idols) being part of the find.

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