Author Topic: India's biggest temple turns 1000  (Read 2450 times)

prasanth_ramana_maharshi

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3097
  • ఓం నమో భగవతే శ్రీ రమణాయ
    • View Profile
    • HARE RAMA HARE KRISHNA
India's biggest temple turns 1000
« on: August 16, 2010, 04:57:40 PM »
http://news.rediff.com/slide-show/2010/aug/16/slide-show-1-indias-biggest-temple-turns-1000-years.htm#contentTop

The historic town of Thanjavur is getting ready for festivities as its world-famous Big Temple, an edifice of the great Chola kingdom, turns 1000.

The Tamil Nadu government is planning many cultural events to mark the 1000th year of existence of the grand structure, also known as Brihadeeswara Temple, which is now part of Unesco's Great Living Chola Temples.

To mark the occasion, the state government will organise a dance show under noted danseuse Padma Subramaniam in which 1000 dancers will enthrall the audience.

The small town will turn into a cultural hub for two days starting September 26 as street performers and dancers will be performing all over the town.

Further, 100 'odhuvars' (professional temple chanters) will recite the divine 'Thirumurai'(compendium of Tamil hymns in praise of Lord Shiva).

Standing tall at over 200 ft, this architectural marvel has awed believers and non-believers alike for its sheer magnificence and complex construction technique.

Believed to be the biggest temple in the country, the structure was built by Rajaraja Chola. Built in 1010 AD, the temple remains a grand structure and is visible from any area in Thanjavur, perhaps the only such temple in India having this characteristic.

The temple also boasts what is considered as India's largest 'Nandi', the bull which Lord Shiva rides, located in front of the temple tower.

The inner sanctum houses rare paintings, which were not discovered until a few decades ago. However, access to the paintings is restricted as they are in a very fragile state.


While the Chola king named the temple as Rajarajeswaram, the place of worship which stood the vagaries of monsoon, he could do little to resist the cultural invasion.

The Marathas and Nayaks who invaded Thanjavur later christened the temple as Brihadeeswarar Temple, taking a new name from Sanskrit.

During the festivities this year, the Tamil University in Thanjavur will play host to conferences on the 1000-year-old strong structure while a commemorative stamp will also be released on the occasion.

To boost the infrastructure of the ancient town, the state government will pump in Rs 25.19 crore for upgrading various facilities. Various state government departments are vying with each other to do their bit on the occasion.

The Archaeological Survey of India has also taken up renovation work, while the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation has launched a virtual tour of key destinations in the state with special focus on the Big Temple to enable the locals and those overseas to have a "real kind of experience" of the tourism potential of the state, one of the most preferred tourist destinations in the country.

ఓం  నమో  భగవతే  శ్రీ  రమణాయ   
ప్రశాంత్  జలసూత్రం
ప్రేమే శాశ్వతము

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 23542
    • View Profile
Re: India's biggest temple turns 1000
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2010, 09:56:57 AM »


The Thanjavur Temple, built by King Raja Raja, is an architectural
marvel.  The cupola on the top of the tower, is said to weight 5 tonnes.  It has been recently discovered that the cupola which is
a large spherical structure, is actually of four quarter-spheres.  Even
then, in the absence of lift and other facilities, how that cupola was
taken to 200 feet is a mystery.  There is a village called SarapaLLam, about 10 kms from Thanjavur.  It is said that the masons prepared a slanting angular structure, [like a hypotenuse of a triangle] from that village, made of thick wooden pieces and took the cupola to the tower!  The Big Temple of Thanjavur is surprisingly NOT one of the 226 temples sung by Saiva Saints!




Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 23542
    • View Profile
Re: India's biggest temple turns 1000
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2010, 10:24:20 AM »


There is a story about the largest Siva Lingam in the sanctorum.
He is called Peru-Udaiyar in Tamizh, meaning  Big Form.  In
Sanskrit, Siva is called Brahadeeswarar meaning the same thing.
The goddess, however, is a small image but she is called Periya
Nayaki in Tamizh or Brahan Nayaki in Sanskrit, meaning Big Goddess!  In the Thanjavur Sthala Puranam, it is said that the Lingam could not be properly installed on the base, which is a female symbol called Avudai.  The Lingam was wobbling without
standing aright in spite of various herbal pastes that are kept underneath.  The King tried astrologers but in vain.  He became worried.  He fasted for some days and then met Karuvoorar, a famous Sage who used to sit at the outer portal and keep on singing Tevaram and Tiruvachakam.  He used to chew betel leaves and nuts.  Karuvoorar was requested to do something.  He meditated on Siva and then came to the inner sanctorum.  He came and looked into the base and spat his betal leaves/nuts saliva on the base.  Then he said:  "O King, now you try!"  The
Lingam then stood on the base, without wobbling!     



Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 23542
    • View Profile
Re: India's biggest temple turns 1000
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2010, 10:32:59 AM »


My maternal grandmother was living in Thanjavur for about 20 years. My maternal grandfather was working in PWD and he retired and continued to live there.  My uncles studied there.  I and my parents along with my sisters used to go there for holidays.  We used to visit Big Temple almost every alternate day and also rested sometime in Siva Ganga gardens nearby.  There is a Sannidhi for Karuoorar inside the Temple.  It is a small shrine with Karuvoorar in the meditating pose.  There used to be an old peepul tree behind the Temple and there used to be a large lizard on the tree.  We used to pray to the Lizard there, which is said to be Karuvoorar!

My maternal grandmother used to say, that we should pray to
Karuvoorar whenever there is an unsolvable problem to solve!

There is a Dakshinamurty in that Temple, which is at the height of
60 feet.  There were narrow steps about 60 steps, with no railings on both sides.  We used to climb carefully and pray to Sri Dakshinamurty! 

The Saiva saints have not sung much about this Temple.  There are one or two songs which speaks about the glory of Rajarajeswaram, another name for the temple.



Arunachala Siva.   
   

ramanaduli

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 797
    • View Profile
Re: India's biggest temple turns 1000
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2010, 12:12:31 PM »
There is another unique about this temple  i.e. we cannot see the shadow of the tower during day time.



Ramanaduli

ramanaduli

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 797
    • View Profile
Re: India's biggest temple turns 1000
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2010, 12:55:41 PM »
Recently I saw one video about the Jain's temple. This is in Gujrat near Bhavnagar. There are more than 1000 temples built on top of the hill. The main temple is for Adinath. All jains should visit at least once in their life time. People have to climb about 3700 steps without drinking water or food. Otherwise the place will become polluted. people who cannot go
they are carried by dollis. Jains believe those who can go for 99 times they would go to heaven. They start this trip before Chathur masam. All the temples are so neat and clean. The temple and pillars are carved so beautiful with lots of ornamental figures. If the temples are allowed for tourist we may loose its purity. No Gods want any publicity. These are the political dramas. In tamil nadu, in olden days all kings were pious and they used have good ministers.  As they used to kill many soldiers during the war, they would have brahmahathi dosham. After their victories, to escape from this sin they used to built shiva temples and do pujas. They combined music,drama,sculptures,art,and literature and they put in one format and preserved. Kings built one stage in every temple. Each temple has one big festival (brahmosavam) During that time people would bring out all this traditional culture along with bhakthi. So there was purity. Today there are so many temples do not have proper pujas and there is no fund to light lamp in some temples. Without bhakti there is no tamil literature.
They want only language. These are all political drama. ELLAM AVAN SEYAL. God Himself is a play writer.What we can say.


Ramanaduli

prasanth_ramana_maharshi

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3097
  • ఓం నమో భగవతే శ్రీ రమణాయ
    • View Profile
    • HARE RAMA HARE KRISHNA
Re: India's biggest temple turns 1000
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2010, 01:47:44 PM »
Thanks for all the information ramanaduli garu and Subramanian garu.
ఓం  నమో  భగవతే  శ్రీ  రమణాయ   
ప్రశాంత్  జలసూత్రం
ప్రేమే శాశ్వతము

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 23542
    • View Profile
Re: India's biggest temple turns 1000
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2010, 03:24:04 PM »

Dear ramanaduli,

Thanks for the information about Adinath Temple.

Dear prasanth,

I checked up with Tevaram, 12 books.  In the 10th book, where
a number of devotees have sung one or two decads, there is one
Karuvur Thevar.  He should be Karuvoorar that I had mentioned in the post.  He has composed ten verses on Rajarajeswaram, i.e Thanjavur Big Temple Siva.  He has also composed ten verses on Gangai  KoNda Chozheswaram.

What is this Gangai Konda Chozheswram?  It is further towards
the eastern coast from Thanjavur.  Today it is called Gangai KoNda
Chozha Puram.  Here, King Rajendran I, the son of King Raja Rajan, wanted to build a temple, much bigger than his father's
temple.  But the temple could not be completed due to his death
or lack of funds or fall of Chozha dynasty.  The Chozha dyanasty
fell to Pallavas sometime in 11th century.  This Temple Sanctorum is still intact but the outside portals and other shrines are incomplete.  This temple must be about 900 years old.

Arunachala Siva. 

prasanth_ramana_maharshi

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3097
  • ఓం నమో భగవతే శ్రీ రమణాయ
    • View Profile
    • HARE RAMA HARE KRISHNA
Re: India's biggest temple turns 1000
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2010, 09:20:42 PM »
Subramanian garu,

Now i think i got it.

In tamil language you you replace 'l' letter with 'zh' ? Is it sir?

May i know the reason?

So should arunachala be spelt as 'arunachazha' ?

Somehow for outsiders like us 'l' letter is more comfortable than 'zh'.  :)
ఓం  నమో  భగవతే  శ్రీ  రమణాయ   
ప్రశాంత్  జలసూత్రం
ప్రేమే శాశ్వతము

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 23542
    • View Profile
Re: India's biggest temple turns 1000
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2010, 10:57:30 AM »

Dear prasanth,

There are three consonants with "l" sound in Tamizh.  One is "la"
the second is "La" i.e one should pronounce it keeping the tongue
somewhat more closer to tonsils.  The third is "zha" which is not
there in any other language excepting in Tamizh and Malayalam.
This is pronounced by totally twisting the tongue right into the inner upper jaw. 

Arunachalam - here only la, the first one is used.  No need to
write it as Arunachazha. 


OLir - shining - here the second la is used.

Tamizh - here the third is used. 

But English translations always give only 'la'.


Arunachala Siva.
 

prasanth_ramana_maharshi

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3097
  • ఓం నమో భగవతే శ్రీ రమణాయ
    • View Profile
    • HARE RAMA HARE KRISHNA
Re: India's biggest temple turns 1000
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2010, 01:32:42 PM »
Thanks sir for this detailed explanation.
ఓం  నమో  భగవతే  శ్రీ  రమణాయ   
ప్రశాంత్  జలసూత్రం
ప్రేమే శాశ్వతము