Saturday, 5 July 2014

Chapter 43 - Pazhaiarai

Now that our hero is on his way to Pazhaiarai, braving hoards of soldiers who are out to catch him, let us go ahead and pay a visit to this city.

Let us take a glimpse at this old city from the banks of Arasalaru. What a beautiful city is this? The unparalleled beauty of this city cannot be described in words. Bountiful with flowing gentle rivers, swaying greens, scented flowers, graceful palaces and holy temples, this city issues a welcome invitation to all.

The old city of Pazhaiarai had many small villages within its borders making this erstwhile capital, an important landmark in Chola history. With four Shiva temples in four directions, the city also housed the families of Chola soldiers in four distinct streets. Amidst them, stood a whole host of palaces for kings, queens, princes and princesses built right from the time of Vijayalaya Chola.

The grandeur and the charm of the city today is so exhilarating that it makes one wonder, how it must have looked years ago when Sundara Chola was residing here. Reduced to a sleepy town today, Pazhaiarai was once the epitome of culture and religion.

Ever since Sundara Chola shifted his capital to Thanjavur, Pazhaiarai’s importance had reduced. There were no new visitors, emissaries from other countries, delegates from neighbouring kingdoms, travelling mendicants, important officials, poets, artists, artisans stopped coming here to pay their respects. Instead, they made their way to the new capital.

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Volume 1 - New Flood