BY V. R. RAMACHANDRA DIKSHITAR, University of Madras. (Part-I)

In a paper contributed to the All India Oriental Conference Nagpur (1946) Mr. K. R. Srinivasan said: ‘In the South Indian temples, Tirukkamakkottam is the name given in inscriptions to the separate shrine dedicated to Parvati or Devi installed and consecrated as the consort of Lord Siva, the presiding deity in a South Indian temple unit’ He further proceeded and remarked that only in the period of the Imperial Cholas the Tirukkamakottam was introduced as a new member and later on grew in importance.

The conclusion arrived at, is based on mere references in the inscriptions, and perhaps also from a study of the temple architecture, and the tentative definition of a temple unit.

According to him till about the eleventh century A. D. there was no place for a separate Amman shrine or shrine for the goddess.

We are afraid that this theory of a separate Amman shrine as a later addition and that from about the eleventh century cannot be readily admitted. This is to ignore all tradition, literary and oral.

We must first examine the term Tirukkamak-kottam or simply Kamakkottam, tiru meaning sacred. The origin of this expression will be indeed significant for our investigation. It may be a very ancient one but it became very much popular certainly after the Adi Sankaracharya. (1/2)

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