A rare TAMIL inscription from China.
This Tamil Language inscription was found in China. It was found about 500 miles north of Canton, in a place called Chuan Chou. This is a port city. It was an important port city in the ancient times also.
Historically, the Tamils used to sail to Ta Kua Pa in the west coast of Thailand.
They would then take an overland journey across the Isthmus of Kra to other ports like Nakon SiTammarat or Songkla. These ports were on the east coast of Thailand. From there they would sail on to one of the ports of present day Vietnam. Then they would sail northwards to Canton. A straight sail would be a longer distance which would take them across the Bay of Bengal, Straits of Malacca, Gulf of Siam, and South China Sea. They would have to sail around the Malay Peninsula. This would have increased their journey by more than a thousand miles and would have taken up several more months. Apart from Canton, the Tamils had gone to other places also andestablished their own colonies. The merchant guilds like ‘Thisai Aayiraththu AinnuuRRuvar’ was very active around this part of the world. In Chuan Chou, there was a Sivan Temple. In that temple, an image of Siva was consecrated under the ‘Firman’ – royal orders of ‘Sekasai Khan’. This was done for the health of ‘Sekasai Khan’. ‘Sekasai Khan’ in this inscription is the name of Kublai Khan himself. His full name was Kublai Sekcen Khan. Sekcen Khan became Sekasai Khan in Tamil. The Sivan Temple was known as ThiruKathaleesvaram and the Lord of the temple was known as ThiruKathaleesvaram udaiya Naayanaar. The person who executed the order was Thava ChakkaravarththikaL Sampandha PerumaL. It was done on the Chithra Paurnami day of Saka Era 1203 – 1281 AD. This was during the rule of Kublai Khan who came to power in 1260 and ruled until 1294 AD.
The Pandyas were on very close friendly terms with the Great Kublai Khan. At the time that the inscription was inscribed, Kublai Khan was very ill. Marco Polo, the Venetian traveller spent seventeen years at the court of Kublai Khan. When he found that the Great Khan was getting old and sickly, he got permission and left China. It should be noted that he temple was consecrated according to the Firman of the Emperor. The word, ‘Firman’ is used in the inscription. ‘Firman’ is a Royal Order, instuction, or proclamation.