|Thanjavur big temple.Image Source: www.everscoop.com/jranand|
| Big temple,Thanjavur. main deity- ligam|
To mark the 1000th year anniversary of the temple, 1000 dancers from various countries including the US participated in a Natayanjali / Bharatnatyam Yajna. The participants danced to the divine music - 11 devotional Tamil hymns - Thiruvichaippa (9th Thirumurai) composed by Karuvur Thevar, a siddhar and Guru/mentor of Sri Raja Raja.
In those days transportation of huge blocks of rocks from far-off places was not that easy, not to speak of lack of well-paved roads and numerous streams, rivers or nallas they had to pass through. Very careful controlled explosion using gun powder, it is believed, might have been used to slice the huge rock blocks according to sizes at the rock quarries and then they were taken to the temple site with the help of trained elephants.
|Thanjavur city, location map, Tamil Nadu.Maps of India|
Brahadeshwarar Temple and the myth of huge Monolith Nandi:
It weighs about 20 tons (about 2 meters in height, 6 meters in length and 2.5 meters in width) and is installed in a separate huge mandapam (hall). On auspicious days the Nandi is anointed with oil or sandal paste mixed with water. There has been a myth going around for decades about the size of Nandi and its gradual growth over a period of time. Initially, It is believed, the Nandi was small in size and it slowly started growing larger and larger over a period of time due to the presence of a toad ('Therrai' in local parlance) inside the rock and the bull stopped growing once the toad was taken out of the rock.The nandi mandapam was built only in the later period.
|Thanjavur big temple-bull (right),temple entrance (left).credit:img.com thanjore3-95|
There is a small crack or broken chip on the back of the Nandi – purported to be the toad's exit. The crack is visible even today and, of course, one has to make a careful and close observation. Sometimes, it is difficult to see the crack when part of Nandi is covered with cloth. Common sense tells us that this speculation is based on mere conjecture and not on fact. Definitely the huge Nandi is monolithic. That, how did the builder transport the huge monolithic block of hard rock about 50 to 60 km from the neighboring district, crossing small rivers, nallahs, flood plains etc., with no proper road at all through rugged country side, is a riddle. It is just amazing.
|Statue of Rajaraja Chola II.en.wikipedia.org|
The myth of huge monolithic rock dome on top of Sigara:
|Thanjavur big temple.80 tone dome. symmetrical bulls. amazonnews.com|
It is explained that that the 60 to 80 ton rock dome on top of the tower - Sigara is monolithic. Now, it is believed, that the huge dome may consist of 4 or 8 pieces of huge rock of equal size , each taken atop the tower using specially laid, weight bearing ramp, probably compacted mud slope stretching a few kilo meters from the tower to the bottom of the ramp and all the pieces were put together one by one carefully. Again trained elephants might have been used to push them to the top, using the ramp.It is, indeed, a great feat. It is a myth how the builders managed the huge block of rock at higher levels, where the pull of gravitational forces would have been much higher!!
The hard rock dome is beautifully carved with symmetrical images (each one on one side is the mirror image of the other) on all sides. Likewise, at top of the tower (base of the dome) there are four pairs of large bulls symmetrically carved, each pair facing four corners. For the sculptors, it was a Herculean endeavor to stand carefully and comfortably for long hours on the high wooden platform supported by scaffold roughly about 180 feet from the ground and carry out the laborious and intricate carving and sculpturing work with precision, unmindful of scorching sun and windy conditions. Imagine normally the sculptors have to use both hands to hold the tools comfortably to give life to a carved image. That, how did the artisans perch precariously at such a height and produce geometrically symmetrical stone images of beauty, with perfection and workmanship, that too 1000 years ago, will definitely stagger the imagination of numerous visitors - both foreigners and Indians who wonder at this ancient marvel built by the Hindu King, the great Raj
|Thanjavur big temple small stone carved image..shutterstock.com|
|1000 year old Hindu temple,Thanjavur big temple, European with a bowler hat|
|Thanjavur big temple. Stone image of a westerner with a bowler hat .“connectinc.in|
The presence of a carved image of the head of an European with a bowler hat on the north side of the tower roughly above 120 feet suggests possible European connections then. The European image is positively not British.
Places to Visit in and around Thanjavur.
Tourist Guide to Tamil Nadu Chennai: Tourist Guide to Tamil Nadu.
(minor corrections made: July 21, 2015)
(minor corrections made: July 21, 2015)