Does Singapore Have A Chola Connection? Aussie Researcher’s Study On Iconic Singapore Stone Suggests So

Does Singapore Have A Chola Connection? Aussie Researcher’s Study On Iconic Singapore Stone Suggests So

by Swarajya Staff - Dec 25, 2019 07:04 PM +05:30 IST

A new study by an Australian researcher has revealed that Singapore may be 1,000 years old. The study arises from Dr Lain Sinclair’s dedicated study of the Singapore Stone, which was once a boulder standing on the mouth of the Singapore River.

Dr Sinclair has pushed back Singapore's timeline, further, by 300 odd years. Scholars, as per this report , have believed Singapore to be 700 years old.

Another mesmerising finding from Sinclair's study of the Singapore Stone, which was actually blown up by the British in 1843 for smoothening of their passage through the Singapore River, is: Singapore had ‘Tamil connections’ built through the ‘Strait of Singapore as far back as 1,000 years ago.’

This points at Singapore's possible connection with the Chola Dynasty.

The redefining of the timeline has been possible through a clue thrown by the deciphering of the text inscribed on the stone. It is ‘recognized to be Kawi – a script used in the pre-Islamic Malay Archipelago.’

Dr Sinclair unravelled the phrase “kesariva”, from the inscriptions. This, according to him, was "part of the word parakesarivarman — a title used by several kings of the Tamil Chola dynasty in India."

It is Nalina Gopal, a curator at the Singapore Indian Heritage Centre, whom Sinclair has credited for "encouraging" him towards the study.

Dr Sinclair announced his findings at a conference at the Singapore Indian Heritage Centre.

Gopal has been roped in by the Indic Academy and Centre for Soft Power for interactions and perspectives on Indian heritage in Singapore and cultural ties between Singapore and India, in their events and facets celebrating Indian art and heritage.

Another article points out that "one of the fragments was not thrown and was kept secured” after the British blew up the sandstone boulder.

Then, the slab fascinated Singapore's founding father Sir Stamford Raffles. Scholars,historians and  academics had tried to decipher the text inscribed on the slab. Dr Sinclair eventually cracked the marvellous mysteries and clues locked in the inscriptions.

Dr Sinclair had connected with Gopal "during his seminar on the Chola invasion of the Malay Archipelago..." Gopal, who is a Chennai-born member of the Indian diaspora, had "assisted him in the process."

Gopal has said in an article that her "great-grandfather deciphered inscriptions on temple walls and she has inherited his taste for the historical."

She was naturally drawn to the studies and work on Indian heritage.

She is particularly thrilled by Dr Sinclair's studies and believes that his findings have opened the ground for reinterpretation.

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