"நாகத்தணைக் குடந்தை வெஃகாத் திருஎவ்வுள்
நாகத்தணை யரங்கம் பேரன்பில்- நாகத்
தணைப் பாற்கடல் கிடக்கு மாதிநெடுமால்
says நான்காம் திருமொழி. Apart from being of interest as a divya desam, Anbil has another shot at fame helping in tracing the genealogy of the medieval Cholas.
It was here, in Anbil, a set of copper plates was discovered in the early part of the Twentieth century. It was discovered while digging for a foundation of a house. After being entrusted to the local personages and then on to Sri Mahamahopadhyaya V.Swaminatha Aiyer in the erstwhile Madras, it ended up with the ASI epigraphist T.A. Gopinatha Rao for reading the contents of the plate.
It was he, who identified the significance of the plates. The plates were issues in the 4th regnal year of Sundara Chola to his Prime minister Anirrudha Bramadhirajar granting him the Anbil village and surrounding lands for exclusive use, contains the genealogical family tree of the Cholas tracing that from Vishnu.
Not just that, he rightly goes through the list, sort out the poetic licenses and show the actual kings and tries to establish their rules tracing back from the time of the grant. It is a work of Holmes-ian proportions. He published this in the Vol 15 of Epigraphia Indica (available for download online) and that at least partially contributed to the nascent Tamil nationalistic movements of the days.
So it was thus my interest in Anbil was aroused. Luckily, I was able to get a bus going to Anbil almost immediately. While the rain was tapering down, the bus, it is a highest form of euphemism to call it thus, made its way east along the banks of Kollidam passing various little villages. Lalgudi was the largest of the town on the way and it was here that a citizen boarded the bus in complete drunken stupor and started his non-stop talking.
Apparently he was a friend of the bus conductor and hence was allowed out of pity. I was sitting in the last seat of the bus and he landed himself bang in front of me and talked about the problems faced by good, honest drunkards who have to travel to Lalgudi facing hostile conductors and passengers to get drunk at noon. I can only sympathize but the ladies of the bus took umbrage at this and forced the conductor to throw the poor guy out in the middle of some village before Anbil.
Anbil is a little village with a little Perumal temple in the midst. வடிவழகிய நம்பி (Vadivalagiya Nambi) is the name of the Perumal and along with அழகியவல்லி நாச்சியார்(Azhagiya Valli Nachiyar) He showers his blessings on whoever cares to comes to His little abode. There were a couple of people around and they were distributing Pongal to whoever came to the temple (which including me amounted to 6 excluding the 3 cows, 2 hens and one plug-ugly cat).
After the dharshan, I inquired about the next temple Koviladi (Thiruper Nagar). It was 2 kilometers if you care to cross Kollidam and Cauvery by walk but if you want to take a bus, then there is no bridge to cross and so you need to go around in a couple of different ways ticking some 20 KMs. And since the time was past 1PM, there is no chance of the temple being open as well. So, dropped the visit there and after waiting for, what seemed an eternity in the Anbil bus stop, with raising hunger, returned back to Trichy by 3PM.