Rare dance panel of Nayak period found near Tiruchi


  • A rare dance panel of Nayak period and an inscribed pillar of Chola period have been found on an abandoned brick mound at Pathalapettai near Kiliyur in Tiruchi.

About the Dance Panel:

  • The dance panel is depicted on a stone slab that measures 1.21 metres in length and 33 centimetres in height. Four pairs of well dressed male and female dancers, holding some object in one of their hands, are seen engaged in a ritualistic dance in the panel. Three pairs are shown hugging each other while the last pair is dancing keeping a distance between.
  • All of them are decked with ornaments and different head gears.
  • The female deity with a flower in the right hand seen between the first two pairs and the pot depicted between the last two pairs denote the ritualistic nature of the dance.
  • Silappathikaram has references to such ritualistic performances by rural folks.
  • Though several dance sculptures of different periods have been found in Tamil Nadu, this panel depicting pairs in embrace dramatising a ritualistic cultural performance is a significant find.
  • A round pillar found at the spot has an inscribed base.
  • The base has a Tamil inscription of Chola paleography with a few Grantha letters used in between.
  • Though seven lines are visible, the last two are not readable. The inscription records that a certain Rejaladeviyar Sativinjey, queen of Iladevayan, had gifted that pillar.
  • A sketchy figure of a Mugalinga is seen sculpted on the first half of the pillar, suggesting its conversion into a Linga.


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