THANJAVUR: Special ablutions (abishekams) to Peruvudayar and Periyanayagi, the presiding deities of the 11th-century Big Temple in Thanjavur, and the garlanding of Rajarajan’s statue on Thursday marked the 1037th Sathaya Vizha of King Raja Raja Chola I who ruled the Chola kingdom from Thanjavur.
With Sathaya Vizha celebrated on ‘Sathayam’ the day of the birth star of the king in the Tamil month of Aipasi District Collector Dinesh Ponraj Oliver garlanded Raja Raja Chola’s statue located outside the Big Temple in the morning. Tiruvaiyaru MLA D Chandrasekaran, Thanjavur City Municipal Corporation Mayor S Ramanathan, Deputy Mayor Dr Anjugam Boopathy, Dharumapuram mutt pontiff Masilamani Desiga swamigal, D Selvam, the president of the festival committee, and Babaji Raja Bhonsale, the hereditary trustee of Palace Devasthanam, were present.
Ahead of the garlanding, a ceremonial procession of the manuscripts of ‘Thirumuraigal’, the compendium of songs on Lord Shiva, the original manuscripts of which were said to have been unearthed by Raja Raja Chola during his regime, was taken out from the temple. The manuscripts were taken atop an elephant with artists rendering music in the front. A group of 48 Odhuvars also rendered the Tirumurai hymns through the procession. Hundreds of devotees were present.
Following this, special abhishekams were performed to the 13-foot-tall Shiva Lingam (Peruvudayar) with 48 substances, including milk, tender coconut water, sandal paste, turmeric paste, panchamirtham, vibuthi (sacred ash), juice of various citrus fruits and rice.
Later the bronze idols of Peruvudayar, Periyanayagi, Raja Raja Chola and his consort Logamadevi were taken out in a procession in the evening. Musical performance and kuchipudi performance were then held on the premises. Siva Amirthalingam, the secretary of Agathiya Sanmarga Sangam, retired dean of Thanjavur Medical College Hospital P G Sankaranarayanan and Saiva Siddhanta professor V Jayapal were conferred with the ‘Mamannan Raja Rajan Award’ at the meeting in the evening.
Meanwhile, representatives and office bearers of as many as 78 organisations, including political parties and caste outfits, garlanded the statue of Raja Raja Chola. Each organisation was allotted a particular time for garlanding. A heavy posse of police was deployed near the statue. Traffic diversion was in effect in a way that vehicles could not use the road passing near the entrance of the temple.
‘The brightest star’
Chennai: CM MK Stalin hailed emperor Raja Raja Chola on his 1037th birth anniversary, which was celebrated on Thursday. Stalin tweeted that the fame of Raja Raja Chola, who built the Big Temple of Thanjavur and won all the battles he waged, would forever shine like polar star in history.