Uthiramerur Political Inscriptions (Kanchipuram - Tamil Nadu)

Uthiramerur is quite an interesting place. It has quite a few points of interest and some interesting legends attached to it. I wanted to visit Uthiramerur ever since my primary school days. I was in 4th grade when I came to know of the unique inscriptions there - political inscriptions. So on the recent trip towards Chengalpet & Kanchi, I included Uthiramerur as well.
There are 4 temples here - Vaikunda Natha Perumal Temple, Sundhara Varadha Perumal Temple, Balasubramania Swamy Temple, Kailasanatha Temple. Since I reached here almost in the evening, I managed to visit only the 2 Perumal temples. The first was Vaikunda Natha Perumal Temple. This is under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The entire platform of the temple, on all 4 sides are filled with these political inscriptions. Those were recorded by 1st Parathaka Chola's 14 yr of reign, on 16th day. The sanctum sactorum of the temple was closed, so I couldn't visit inside.
Interestingly multiple varieties of rocks were used for the platform. See the 3-4 colors of rocks in the above pic? Here's what the political inscriptions say... 
According to this, the candidates who stand for the elections must have the following qualities:
1. Must have atleast quarter 'veli' of land.
2. Must have a house in his land
3. Must be aged above 35 years but below 75
4. He must be skilled in atleast one of Vedas, Bashya and Manthras.
5. Must be good in character
6. Must not have had been elected in this for atleast the prev. 3 years.
The following candidates are not eligible:
1. The one who has not shown proper accounts if elected earlier. Also their relatives aren't eligible.
2. The one who has committed adultery, murder, theft, speaks lie or is a drunkard are not eligible.
3. They are not eligible even if their crime's punishment term is over i.e. they must not have a criminal record at all.
4. The one who has eaten what's not meant to be eaten
The period of holding the position is 360 days after which he has to resign. If he commits any crime or gets unfit in between, he'll be fired. 
The election:
There were 30 districts (thogudhi). A bunch of palm leaves with names of people eligible from each district is made. These bunches are dropped in a narrow mouthed vessel and its closed tightly. This is then brought to the central court. Later, in the presence of all citizens, and wise men, the vessel is shown to all. Then a little boy, is asked to pick one bunch from the vessel and asked to drop into another vessel. The bunch is opened up inside the 2nd vessel and the same kid is asked to pick out a single leaf from it. The name of the leaf is loudly announced by the old wise man. A few more also read aloud the name to make sure of the winner. This is then repeated for all 30 bunches for all 30 districts. Those 30 were the heads and govt. representatives of the 30 districts. Now, isn't that incredible. I just wish we could follow this today too!!!!!!!!

TO GET THERE:
From Chengalpet: 28 km to the west
From Kanchipuram: 28 km to the south

Google Coordinates: http://goo.gl/maps/wUAPl
Dedicated to Siva, Gopu, and Vishwa.

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

25 comments:

  1. Wow nice to know about these inscription. I think only few of current politicians have these qualities.

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    1. So true. Wish we could bring in a law that our present politicians should have these qualifications!

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    2. Another thing you should be proud is the elections are held only here democratically when the entire world are hunter and gatherers.

      You can count the fields which Indians has not exiled.

      Such a proud country had been spoiled by present day politicians.

      All corrupt, drunkard and womanizers are MLA's and MP's

      If this law is made as indian law only 10 - 20 MP's will be qualified for the next election.

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  2. Visited that raised Mandapam with some REACH friend 11/10.

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  3. That is very interesting. How do you manage to dig out such places? Nice post, Bhusha.

    http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.in/2013/08/tadiyandamol-trek-and-barapole-river.html

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    1. Ha ha! Thank you so much Niranjan... :)

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  4. Interesting information. Though read these in history books, it would be wonderful to visit there in person and see it......

    Thanks for sharing.....

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    1. Glad you found it useful, venkat! Thank you! :)

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  5. Correction. Not democracy, republic. Not election, selection (lucky draw from a pot). They deliberately avoided democracy. It was limited by learning and caste and land ownership; not by performance or ability. Only men, no women allowed.

    Today's democracy specifically avoids these caste, education, gender, prejudices of the past.

    We should admire Tanjore Big temple for architecture, sculpture, inscriptions etc not for the fake story that its shadow does not fall on the ground. Similarly, we should admire the Uthiramerur inscription for its republicanism, term limits, anti-corruption measures, centrality in the town, and exquisite workmanship of inscription. It's almost as rare as the Kudumiyan Malai musical inscription, or da Vinci's or the Mayan codices. But not for "democracy", "election" which are clearly not there.

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    1. Very correct Gopu! Just like the musical inscriptions, this is also one-of-a-kind and its astonishing too!!!

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    2. Understand one thing. Dont tell that caste is not playing in election. Now also there is a reserved constituency what is the meaning of that. Is that required for a democratic country...

      None of the world has reserved constituency for the minorities or under prevailed persons except in india.

      Worst and I say India is not a democratic or republic but it is a autocratic like Hitlet because of reservations and other minority favours and so on. I am no against this but there is no time line on all these. If India is true democratic country all these should have time line to complete which is not there.

      Because of the so called mistake done by the so called law father Dr. Ambedkar they are making room for all the caste to fight for reservation which is spoiling the India becoming as super power. All Indian brains are working for US and UK ....

      Before commenting think a lot and do...

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  6. This is a great piece of work. We all see inscriptions and pass by. To get a translation and that to so relevant, Congrats!

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    1. Thank you so much Sudhir! Glad you liked!!!

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  7. Informative! thank you for sharing :)

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    1. My pleasure! Glad you found it useful!

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  8. If we keep the 'not eligible' list in mind, than none of our present politicians will ever qualify for any election :P

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  9. Beautiful photos and post!!! would you like to follow each other?
    Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

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    1. Coming over to check out your blog doll!

      Delete
  10. Interesting information, thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. Glad you liked! Welcome to my blog. Do visit often! :)

      Delete

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