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Conservation work at Thanjavur Big Temple in full swing

G. Srinivasan

Call for grand celebration of 1,000th year of the temple

Photo: M. Srinath

MAJESTIC: Renovation work in progress at the Big Temple in Thanjavur. —

THANJAVUR: Conservation work by the Archaeological Survey of India is going on in full swing at the Big Temple here. The ASI took up the conservation work last year after the basement of northern corridor caved in at some places.

The plan was to dismantle the corridor to a length of 56 metres and rearrange it after strengthening the basement. A sum of Rs 60 lakh was allotted for the work to be undertaken in two phases.

ASI sources here said that the dismantling was over and stones and pillars had been numbered.

Strengthening of the basement would be started after the rain and completed by March next.

An architectural marvel built by King Raja Raja Cholan, the temple will complete 1,000 years of existence in 2010.

The first kumbabishekam of the temple by the Chola King was performed in 1010.

At the sadhaya vizha (birthday celebrations) of the King held on October 21 and 22 in the temple, Kudavayil Balasubramanian, an epigraphist and temple expert, had called for a grand celebration to mark the occasion.

The ASI has also taken up conservation work at Iravatheeswarswamy temple at Darasuram near Kumbakonam where too work is going on in the northern corridor. The entrance and lawns of the temple have been illuminated.

Water entered the temple this year too after clogging of a drain. It was pumped out.

The drainage needed to be repaired by Public Works Department, according to ASI sources.

Both the temples have been declared world heritage monuments by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

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