THANJAVUR, TAMIL NADU, INDIA, January 17, 2020 (Deccan Chronicle): If one goes by the inscriptions available, the reconsecration to be held this February 5 for the Tnanjavur’s “Big Temple,” 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 Chola 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, Kumbabishekam was performed to the temple during the Maratta period by Rajah Serfoji II (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. “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 performed in December 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.