THANJAVUR: If one goes by the inscriptions and manuscripts available, consecration to be held on February 5 to the Big Temple here this year, it will be the sixth such grand event in its history. As per an inscription, the first ‘Kumbabishekam’ to the temple was held in 1010 CE and was done by King Raja Raja Cholan himself, who built the temple. He did it on 25th year of his coming to power, says the inscription.
According to Kudavayil Balasubramanian, temple researcher and epigraphist, as per manuscripts available at Thanjavur Rajah Serfoji two Saraswathi Mahal Library and inscription in the Kalasam on the temple, kumbabishekam. was performed to the temple during Maratta period by Rajah Serfoji one (1729 A.D) and by his great grandson Sivajindra Chatrapathi (1843 A.D).
The present ‘Kalasam’ is said to have been made during Rajah Serfoji-I period and placed on top. That the ‘kalasam’ was presented by him has been written in the kalasam as ‘his upayam”. The ‘Kalasam’ was renovated during the ‘Kumbabishekam’ performed by his great grandson.
“Not only the ‘Kalasam’ but also the entire ‘Vimana’ was gold-plated during Raja Raja Cholan period, according to another inscription,” said Balasubramanian.
Then after 177 years, ‘Kumbabishekam’ was performed to the temple on April 3, 1980 by the then district collector Gangappa. Next ‘Kumbabishekam’ was done in 1997 and now consecration is scheduled on February 5, 2020.
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which maintains this world heritage monument, has completed chemical cleaning and maintenance works
for the great event. Balalayam was perfomed in December-end 2019 and ‘pujas’ are performed to ‘Balalayam’ images of the deities in the temple. Application of ‘ashta bandhana marunthu’ to all the deities has been completed and ‘Kalasam’ on top of ‘Vimana’ has been removed for renovation and gold plating. The 12-ft ‘vimana’ has grains inside and it will be removed and fresh grains will be filled. The ‘vimana’ will be installed again after gold plating for the ‘Kumbabishekam’.
‘Yagasala’ has been put up at Pethannan Kalaiyarangam near the temple.
The police is giving importance to crowd management and has chalked out a plan for regulating the crowd with clear entry and exit points.
M. Govinda Rao, Thanjavur district collector, Loganathan, DIG of police, Thanjavur range, Maheswaran SP, visited the temple to oversee the arrangements last week.