March 29, 2006

kuravai koothu - second century A.D

Several artefacts have been unearthed from the ruins of a Muruga temple that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has been excavating since July 2005 on the beach at Salavankuppam close to the Tiger Cave, near Mamallapuram.

The ASI's discoveries this year include a terracotta plaque that depicts five women performing `kuravai koothu,' a folk dance; a six-foot `vel' (spear held by Lord Muruga) hewn out of granite; three inscriptions in Tamil of the Pallava, Rashtrakuta and Chola kings; a tiny, beautiful terracota Ganesha; and the remnants of a furnace and crucibles for melting and moulding metals.

"It is an important find because it is difficult to find terracotta figurines of the pre-Pallava period," said P. Shanmugam, Director, Institute of Traditional Cultures of South and South-East Asia, University of Madras. "This is the first time in Tamil Nadu that such a group dance plaque has been found," he said. `Kuravai koothu' performed in Muruga temples find mention in the Tamil epic Silapadhikaram.

More info on this exciting find - here

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