Temples Centre Of Medieval Social Strata Gleaned By Inscriptions
In the medieval period, temples performed multifarious activities in and around their precincts. They extended their helping hands in various ways to the hundreds of devotees and the suffering masses, and promoted the preservation of the various parts of the day. They not only catered to the physical needs of the people but also to their mental and spiritual elevation. While the upper caste men had a greater say in the spiritual and educational matters, the lower caste men had their role in manual labour. It is evident from several records that the temples were the social structure of medieval days. The society in the medieval Tamil Country was caste-based. The Aryan Varnasrama system was accommodated to local conditions. The inscriptions from Tiruvalam reveal their respective conditions and the sub-castes sprouting from the local society. This paper throws light on the social strata of the contemporary medieval society.