The world would have been aware of the famous bullion mystery Yamashita’s Gold and many Filipinos are digging even today to search it. But there is one in Tamil Nadu. In a place called Marungapallam, within the Peravurani jurisdiction of Thanjavur District (Thanjavur, also called Tanjore – The place of the great Brahadeeshwara temple). The inscriptions on the rock carvings in the temple of Lord Shiva at Marungapallam has one similar unsolved conundrum about a bullion. The puzzle is unsolved to this day. It has a story behind it, but first the inscription in the form of a song. It goes like this,

“Ezhuvaanukkum Thozuvaanukkum Edaiyilay
Kaakai Mookin Nizhalilay
Kalvar Pogum Vazhiyilay
Kandaalum Kammaalan Kannilay
Ezhubadhu Kodi Pasumpon”
– Inscription at Lord Shiva Temple
in Marungapallam

meaning –

“Between the one who rises and the one who worships,
In the shadow of a crow’s beak,
In the path used by thieves,
Even if seen only recognisable by the goldsmith,
There is Seventy Crores pure gold”

The interlingual rendition is as follows,
Ezhuvaan – The person who rises, probably the Sun
Thozhuvaan – The person who worships, probably the human
Edaiyilay – in between
Kaakai – Crow
Mookin – possessive case of Mooku – beak, nose
Nizhalilay – possessive case of Nizhalal – shadow
Kalvar – Plural of Kalvan – Thief
Pogum – Going
Vazhi – Path or route
Kandalum – Seeing, in this case, even if seen
Kammaalan – Goldsmith
Kannil – in the Eyes (Kann)
Ezhubadhu – Seventy
Kodi – Crore
Pasumpon – Pasumai (fertile, pure, rich) + Pon (Gold)

Well, now the story behind it. There once lived a goldsmith who had somehow acquired a huge bullion of gold. He kept that information as a secret and he began the purifying process of the gold. So while purifying the gold, he collected the wastes which were like impure iron and threw it away as it had no use or value. This aroused suspicion among the spies of the then king of the region and the secret was delivered to the king and the king ordered his men to get that gold. The goldsmith on knowing that the secret is not a secret anymore, hastily went to hide the gold. And he hid that bullion in some place and to safeguard that place, he sacrificed his own daughter to the Gods (a cruel practice that was believed in those days), called Kaavu Koduthal in Tamil meaning sacrificing life for some purpose, and wrote the above song in an inscription and committed suicide. The waste product that the goldsmith dumped was collected by people and used as a cure to Anaemia. It was named as Nagur Raththa Sogai Marundhu (Nagur – a place in Tamil Nadu near Thanjavur; Raththa (Blood) Sogai (non-vitality) – Anaemia; Marundhu – Medicine). And it is said that people actual got cured of anaemia. Whatsoever be it, the place where he hid that gold is still a mystery to this day as Yamashita’s Gold

More to come, until then…