Kambarmedu, believed to be the birth place of Tamil poet Kambar, in state of neglect

Though it was declared a protected monument after the Archaeological Survey of India excavated the area, there has been no further follow up

Kambarmedu in Terazhunthur near Kumbakonam, believed to be the birth place of Tamil poet Kambar, is in a state of neglect.

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had decided to pay attention to it after photographs of the site were shared widely on social media. Though it was declared a protected monument after the ASI excavated the area, it remains there without any further follow up.

“Since we have created a separate circle in Tiruchi, we will turn our attention to the site,” said T. Arun Raj, the Superintending Archaeologist of the Tiruchi circle. But he said there was no evidence to prove that Kambar lived on the site, though Therazhunthur is his birthplace. His view is also supported by noted historian Kudavasal Balasubramanian. “There is no historical or literary evidence to suggest that Kambar lived there. Of course traditionally it is believed that in the site stood the house of Kambar,” Mr Balasubrmanian explained.

Mr. Arun Raj said the ASI excavated the ancient mound popularly known as Kambarmedu in 1984 and the findings revealed that it was occupied by early Megalithic people with late Neolithic remnants, followed by the Medieval period.

According to a report prepared by C.L. Suri, P.N. Babu and P.R.K. Prasad of the Southern Circle of the ASI, the lowest period at this site was Megalithic. “The early levels yielded pottery of black and red ware and the associated pottery red ware. Apart from red ware, both handmade and wheel-made pottery was encountered in this place along with a fragment of Neolithic axe. A rolled handaxe was also found in the early levels,” the report explained.

The other notable antiquities recovered were terracotta objects, beads of semi-precious stones in large quantities, shell bangles, iron sickle and nails. The report said the site was reoccupied after a gap. “The vestiges of the Medieval period were represented by floor levels, brick walls, burnt pits and pottery of dull red ware in abundance,” it further said. Other antiquities recovered from the site were terracotta objects, plumb-bob, ear ornament, beads, pendants, hopscotches, bangle pieces of glass and shell, iron object and copper rings.

The discovery of Chola period coins along with semi-precious stones like coral, carnelian, agate and steate make people believe that Kambar lived on the site.

Asked about the belief that Kambar every day used newly-made clay pots and discarded them after cooking and this resulted in creation of a mound, Mr. Balasubramanian said it was an apocryphal story.

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