General orientation information for the stalam pages

This page is meant as a general help for understanding the structure of the 276 pages concerning the stalams. It tries to make more explicit the bases on which every piece of information given in those pages relies.

[Go to list of Abbreviations and bibliographical references]

Traditional name (Header)
Every page starts with a header which gives, in transliteration and in Tamil script, the traditional name by which the stalam is referred to in Tēvāram editions. This name is frequently different from the modern name, which is used in "normal" conversation. For instance, the stalam which is referred to as puḷḷirukku vēḷūr (புள்ளிருக்குவேளூர்) in Tēvāram editions is referred to in normal life as Vaitheeswarankoil. This means that when asking for one's way on the road, one would normally ask "How can we go to Vaitheeswarankoil?" and not "How can we go to Puḷḷirukku vēḷūr?", although the latter question would be understandable to one who has a good knowledge of the Tēvāram.
Virtual pilgrimage
After the header, the line starting with the words "Virtual pilgrimage" contains an identifier (in BoldFace) which uniquely characterizes the site. That identifier stands between two links: a "Forwards" link and a "Backwards" link.
The identifier is a string consisting of 2 letters (KV, KT, IN, PA, MA, KO, NA, TO, TU or VA) followed by one or several digits. It is used in maps in order to indicate the sites. It refers to the site position inside the talamuṟai.
Modern name
This name is frequently different from the traditional name (cf. supra). It can be the name of a town, of a village or of a hamlet which is part of a village.
Authority for the modern name
The "modern name" item in the list is frequently accompanied by a specification, such as NIC, SSM, M.I., "Govt press 1930", TVG, R.V. etc. This specification indicates on which authority our statement is based. This is necessary because there are occasional disagreements between the various sources which have been consulted and also because the interpretation to be made of those specfications depends on the nature of those authorities (specialized literature vs. general-purpose sources of public information)
Authority (specialized literature)
Those specifications indicate that the author of a published book (SSM, M.I., TVG-3, R.V., etc.) has stated that a site (classified under its traditional name) is nowadays referred to by such and such "Modern name". For instance, we find in the Civastala Mañcari (alias SSM) on p. 110 an entry starting with "திரு ஊறல் என்பது தக்கோலம்". This means that the stalam traditionally known as Ūṟal is (according to SSM) identical with the town known nowadays as Takkolam ( தக்கோலம் [takkōlam]) in Vellore district.
Authority (general-purpose sources)
Those specifications indicate that such a name is available on a general-purpose source of public information (NIC server, Govt Press 1930 listing, CDML, etc.) and that we (the editors) assume that the place referred to is identical with the site. MOREOVER, such specifications are also used for other fields such as "Nearby village", "Nearby town", etc.
Spelling of names
We have tried to preserve, as far as possible, the spelling used in the authorities used. However, Tamil script entries are sometimes reproduced in transliterated form.
This field indicates in which of the 206 taluks the site was in december 2000.
This field indicates in which of the 30 districts the site was in december 2000.
Old administrative location
This field tries to give the information as it may have been available in older documents. For instance, a site such as KTK_042, which is now classified as belonging to Nagapattinam District and Tharangambadi Taluk, was said in 1930 documents to be part of Tanjore District and Mayavaram Taluk, because those had not yet been divided into smaller districts and taluks.
Railway station
This entry gives the name of the (hopefully) nearest railway station. The spelling used is normally the one found on the Southern Railway web site. We have also tried to give the 2, 3 or 4-letter code used by them to refer to railway stations.
Rank inside third volume of PIFI
This refers to pp.224-280 in TVG-3
Location: according to PK
This field refers to the Tiruppatik Kōvai (திருப்பதிக்கோவை), which is the basis for the arrangement of the talamuṟai.
ARE reference (Annual Report of the Epigraphist, Madras):
The data in this field is based on information currently available on Dr R. Nagaswamy's Tamil Arts Academy web site. Whether the inscriptions are found in the temple was not verified by me (jlc).
Link to NON ZOOMABLE Quarter degree map or link to NON ZOOMABLE half degree map
this link is for all users
Link to ZOOMABLE SVG map
this link is reserved to users who have SVG compatible browsers
Link to Draft route map
This link goes to one of the draft route maps prepared by Mr N. Ramasamy (alias Babu). Some of those maps contain errors which it was not possible to correct and cannot be said to always represent the opinion of the editors. However, they have been provided here because they contain some information which is not available elsewhere, about directions, rivers and routes.