In search of imprints of Buddhism: Ayiraveli Ayilur

Dr B Jambulingam
Having came to know that there was a Buddha in Ayiraveli Ayilur I had been there and saw the Buddha. After more than a decade on the basis of information received from a TV crew stating that there was a Buddha near Musiri I went there and saw the same Buddha. 

JUNE 1999
Now, over to first trip. On the margins of the seminar held under the auspices of Tamil Nadu Archaeological Society held at Pondicherry, I had the chance of meeting - among many scholars and friends  - Mr C.Santhalingam of Tamil Nadu State Archaeology who informed me about a prevalence of Buddha statue at Ayiraveli Ayilur in Trichy District of Tamil Nadu, which I noted in my diary and eagerly waited for a suitable time to go over there to get the glimpse of it. That was the time when I was very particular to get information on the Buddha statues found in the Chola country and record them so as to document them in my Ph.D.thesis entitled "Buddhism in Chola country. 
OCTOBER 1999  
During my field visit to Karur I met my co-brother Mr Tirumurthi, who was working as a Physical Education Teacher. While I enquired him about the place he said that there was a place called Ayiraveli Ayilur, presently known as Sriramasamuthiram, in Thottiyam district of Trichy district. Programme was fixed to go over there and we went to that place in a car. During our journey we enquired about the prevalence of Buddha statue. While we were nearing the place one person said that there was no such statue. Another person said that earlier there was a statue but it was found now.      
Ayiraveli Ayilur Buddha, Photograph: B Jambulingam
Later Mr Tirumurthi explained them about my research and the importance of the statue. Among them one Mr Thandapani Sivam understood about our study and in turn told the people gathered there about the purpose of our visit.  Mr Rajamani took us to the place where the Buddha was found. The Buddha was found like the Buddha found in Pettaivaittalai

Myself and Mr. Thillai Govindarajan were returning from Ambur after attending the marriage of Mr Malayaman, son of Mr Ananthapuram Krishnamurthi. Around 12.00 midnight,  Mr Thillai Govindarajan said that two persons who were seated near were discussing about Buddha statue. (Earlier, alongwith Mr Tirukkovilur Natarajan we went to Kappalur Kunthunathar Jain temple, Renderipatti Neminathar temple, Kunnatthur Athinathar temple and other temples). I said to Mr Thillai "Yesterday we went to so many Jain temples. It is very surprising to hear about Buddha. After brief introduction we came to know that while one person was a press reporter other was from a private TV. After I informed him about my Buddha research, Mr KRK Kumar from private TV channel said that there was a Buddha near Musiri. While I told him that I have seen all the Buddha statues of the area he promptly said that it would be a new Buddha. As he said it was a new one I wanted to see the Buddha. As per plan after reaching Thanjavur I had to return to the spot. 
Now, over to second trip. In spite of my continuous journey for the past three days, I was left with no other alternative but to go there because of the new Buddha statue. As soon as I reached Thanjavur, without wasting any more time, I started for the field work. From Thanjavur I went to Trichy and my onward journey was on Trichy-Salem route. As per his advice I got down at Elurpatti and waited for him. Later he came there on bike and took me to Kattupputthur which was nearly 13 km from there. While going through the place I came to know that I was there during my previous trip to see a Buddha. Then we reached Ayiraveli Ayilur. We met the Mr Thandapani Sivam (aged around 80). Though he could not able to understand what we were saying, he identified me easily and informed the place where the Buddha was. On our route we enquired about Buddha but we could not get a clear picture about the location of the Buddha statue. At last we came to know that the statue was found in Adi Dravidar Street.
Ayiraveli Ayilur Buddha, Photograph: Mr KRK Kumar
Within a short while we reached the spot. We met Mr Rajamani (53), who I saw during my first field trip. "This statue was found since my grandfather's days,probably more than 75 years.  We worship this statue. The statue was damaged due to felling of a tree some years back", he said. As soon as I saw the Buddha I thought about the Puthur Buddha which was under worship. He recorded the information about the Buddha and said it would be telecast within two days. I thanked him for having given me a chance to see the Buddha the second time, though it was the one which I saw during 1999.  I also thanked the locals for their help during our visit. After a heavy heart for not having seen a new Buddha, I returned to Thanjavur. 

My thanks are to Mr C.Santhalingam, Mr Tirumurthi, Mr Thillai Govindarajan, Captain TV Musiri Correspondent Mr KRK Kumar, Mr Thandapani Sivam, Mr Rajamani and the local people of Ayiraveli Ayilur  
ௌத்த சுவட்டைத் தேடி: ஆயிரவேலிஅயிலூர்
திருச்சி மாவட்டம் ஆயிரவேலி அயிலூரில் 1999இல் ஒரு புத்தர் சிலையைக் காணும் வாய்ப்பு கிடைத்தது. 2012இல் முசிறி அருகே ஒரு புதிய புத்தர் சிலை இருப்பதாகக் கூறி தனியார் தொலைக்காட்சி நிருபர் அழைத்துச் சென்றபோது அந்த சிலை முன்னர் பார்த்த சிலைதான் என்பதை அறியமுடிந்தது.  இப்பதிவின் தமிழ் வடிவம் இம்மாதம் 1ஆம் தேதி வெளியாகியுள்ளது.
For more information on the Buddha statues found in the Chola country please visit the following link:

Here he grieves, hereafter he grieves. In both states the evil-doer grieves. He grieves, he is afflicted, perceiving the impurity of his own deeds. - The Dhammapada 15

A pork-butcher, named Cunda, who lived by killing pigs throughout his lifetime, was subject to much suffering in his last days. Before dying, he rolled on the floor, actually squealing like a pig. After death he was born in a woeful state.   
 (The Dhammapada, Narada Thera, The Corporate Body of the Buddha Educational Foundation, Taiwan, ROC, 1993)


  1. Your untiring work to unearth the Buddha statues will definitely inspire the new researchers.
    Thanking you Sir

  2. dr.k.ravindran15 December, 2013

    It is not a simple job you are doing. It is a different kind of research with authority.This will enlight young scholars and guide them in realistic research. dr.k.ravindran.

  3. dr.k.ravindran15 December, 2013

    it is a great service u are doing.It will enlight young researchers.surely it gives a new direction in realistic research. dr.k. ravindran

  4. As said this is not a simple job. But this was possible only because of well wishers like you, sir.Thank you

  5. சரவணா16 December, 2013

    மிகவும் மகிழ்ச்சியான செய்தி அய்யா!! சிங்கள நூல்கள் புத்தர் சாரனாத்தில் இருந்து இந்தியா முழுவதும் நடந்து வந்தார் என்ற குறிப்பு உள்ளது, அவர் தங்கிய இடம் எல்லாம் திருப்பதி, திருவலஞ்சுழி, திருப்பாதநல்லூர், திருவடியனூர் என்று வழங்கப்படுகிறது, புத்தரின் தெற்கு பயணம் குறித்து ஆந்திர அரசு பாடப்புத்தகங்களில் பாடங்கள் உள்ளது,

  6. எனது பதிவுகளைத் தாங்கள் தொடர்ந்து வருவது மகிழ்ச்சியைத் தருகிறது. தங்கள் மூலமாகப் பல செய்திகளை அறியவும் முடிகிறது. நன்றி.

  7. Out of interest I took this area and continue my journey with all your blessings.


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