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.
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.