Stone inscriptions dating back to the 10th and 11th century AD found recently in a nearby village have thrown light on the way records of properties were maintained during the Chola times.
The stones were found last week during digging at the Sirukarumbur hamlet, tucked away from the main road 25 km from Kancheepuram.
Sirukarumbur seems to have been a bustling and active land of cultivation, then named Rajarajaseri, as many stone inscriptions were discovered scattered around the mound behind twin temples of the village, an archaeology expert said.
The stones disclosed the many agreements reached between different groups of people for endowments and upkeep of the temple. The inscriptions also revealed that there were chola bronze images, consecrated and worshipped in that temple.
The inscriptions were the way that the people of Chola times maintained their solid land and property records, Dr R Nagaswami, well-known archaeologist and former director of state Archaeology department, said.
One of the stone documents recorded that a bronze idol of Umaparameswari, consort of Lord Nataraja, was installed and worshipped by the villagers in the year 1013 AD, the 28th year of the reign of Rajaraja Chola-I, in the temple.
The stone records also brought to light agreements reached by a group of people in the village to endow paddy for the upkeep and maintenance of the temple.
Names of the people of the community such as Arunan, Ezhilan Pondhai, Mani Nagan, and village posts such as "Gramavitthan", mentioned in the stones, revealed that the temple had been a common holding of the community, Nagaswami said.
The stones were spotted by the present junior Kanchi Sankaracharya Sankara Vijayendra Saraswathi when he visited the place with Nagaswami on May 11.