Friday, August 29, 2008

World Heritage Thanjavur temple: state-sponsored vandalism















































http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/Big_temple_inscriptions_damaged/articleshow/3010487.cms

Times of India, 5 May 2008

THANJAVUR: Granite pillars containing inscriptions at the 11th century Brahadeeswara Temple in Thanjavur have suffered serious damage during restoration and maintenance work by the Archaeological Survey of India.

A visit to the 'Big temple', as it is popularly known, revealed that five stone pillars, brought down and laid in the open prahara as part of the restoration work, were found chipped and cracked, and in the case of at least one pillar, broken.

A portion of one of the pillars was shattered to such an extent that the inscriptions can no more be read fully or documented. These inscriptions date back to the reign of Raja Raja Chola I, the pre-eminent king of the Later Cholas, who conceived and constructed the imposing temple to Lord Siva.

However, the ASI believes that the damage is not irreversible and the original structure can be restored. Sathyabhama Badrinath, superintending archaeologist, Chennai circle, ASI, said the damaged pillars could be mended and affixed in their respective places. "It will look as original as it used to be," she said.

The five pillars were in the thiruchutru maaligai (circumambulatory corridor) in the north of temple. There are over 150 stone inscriptions in the temple, of which 120 belong to the Chola period between 1000 and 1200 AD.

Experts say the inscriptions have much to say about temple administration of the era, land grants by the Chola kings, and details of the temple's jewellery and festivals. And there are nuggets of information, like the one that points to the existence of a bank in the temple that lent money at an interest of 12.5%. There are also references to employees, dancers, musicians and architects.

Declared a world heritage site, the Big Temple stands testimony to the intricacy and skill of Chola era sculptors and architects. Hundreds of thousands of people visit the monument from across the world every year.

Experts who have done extensive studies of these inscriptions say the damaged inscriptions on the pillars in the thiruchutru maaligai refer to orders issued by Raja Raja Chola to his chief commander Krishna Raman alias Mummudi Chola Brahmarayan.

It was restoration that was causing more damage to the world heritage site than aging, they pointed out.

mayilvaganan.v@timesgroup.com

19 September 2008

DETAILS OF INSCRIPTIONS OF RAJA RAJA CHOLA ON THE FOLLOWING PILLARS THAT WERE DAMAGED

Sir:

Namaskaram:

Subeject:With Reference to my report posted in your blog site dated 26.8.2008, I had said that extent of damage will be published separately.

Immense wealth was donated by Raja Raja Chola to the Peruvudayar Temple at Thanjavur. The pillars bear testimony to the fact of the prosperity that prevailed during the reign of the Emperor.The Emperor himself had seen to it that these were recorded as inscriptions. These were found on the pillars .Now these indepth survey reveal the the extent damage done.and details are available to larger audience.If had it been any other country by now the head of ASI would have rolled.
Thanks

GP Srinivasan


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Sept, 18, 2008.

DETAILS OF INSCRIPTIONS OF RAJA RAJA CHOLA ON THE FOLLOWING PILLARS THAT WERE DAMAGED

1) INSCRIPTION NO 47 - Pillar on three sides ( Page 191-192).

2) INSCRIPTION NO 48 - Pillar B . Has inscriptions on two sides.(PAGE 195 -196).

3) INSCRIPTION NO 51- PILLAR B. INSCRIPTIONS ON FOUR SIDES (PAGE 205 207 ).

4) INSCRIPTION NO 51 - PILLAR C. INSCRIPTIONS ON FOUR SIDES. (207 – 210).

5) Mahahamandapam- adhistanam- kumadappadi on the outer wall- maximum damage.

6) Maximum vandalism is found inside the hollow of Sree Vimanam where the original thousand year old one foot thick plaster inside the has been removed – scrapped away . This has not been replaced. This has lead to seepage during the last one year there by weakening of the gopuram. This is considered to be maximum vandalism. This may result in the damage to the gopuram, paintings inside and the damage of the unique Kalasam.

INSCRIPTIONS ON PILLARS THAT WERE DAMAGED

ON A PILLAR OF THE WEST ENCLOSURE

This inscription records that, before the 29th year of the reign of Rajarajadeva, an officer of the king set up a copper image of Bhringisa, to which he presented some ornaments. Regarding Bhringi, I am indebted for the following to Mr. P. Sundaram Pillai, M.A. , Professor of Philosophy , Trivandrum College :--- " Bhringi is one of the attendants(gana) of Siva. Allusions to his bigoted worship of Siva , which would not condescend even to acknowledge the godhead of Parvati, are frequent in Tamil literature.


INSCRIPTION OF RAJARAJA


According to the skandapuranam, it was to annoy his exclusive spirit , that Parvati sought union with Siva in the form of Ardhanarisvara. But Bhringi assumed the shape of a bee and pierced his way through the united body of the god and the goddess, going round and worshiping the Siva portion, only of the hermaphrodite.The goddess avenged herself then by withdrawing all sakti from the zealot, and he is now generally represented as a skeleton, supporting himself with a third leg, which Siva, out of mercy, improvised for him." In accordance with this myth, three legs and three arms are attributed to the image of Bhringisa in paragraph 2 of the subjoined inscription.

1. Hail ! Prosperity ! The following copper image,--- which had been set jp in the temple of the lord Sri-Rajarajesvara until the twenty-ninth year (of the king's reign) by Kovan (i.e., Gopa) Annamalai, alias Keralantaka-Virupparaiyan, a Perundaram of the minor treasure (sirudanam) of the lord Sri-Rajarajadeva,---was engraved on stone, after it had been measured by the cubit measure (preserved) in the temple of the lord, after the jewels (given to it) had been weighed without the threads by the stone called (after) Dakshina- Meru- Vitankan, and after the gold had been weighed by the stone called (after) Adavallan :---
2. One solid image of Bhringisa, (measuring) one muram, two viral and a half in height from the feet to the hair, and having a bush (sedi) of the height of one viral, three divine feet and three divine arms.
3. One pedestal on which this (image) stood, set with jewels (and measuring) twenty viral in length, twelve viral in breadth, and six viral in height.
4. To this (image) were given :---
5. One ornament of three strings (trisaram), weighing, with the lac, five karanju and quarter, and worth three and a half kasu. On ( it ) strung one hundred and fifty pearls, ---viz., sakkattu and crude pearls, ---- (one) talimbam
and ( one ) eye.
6. One necklace( kantha-nan), weighing, ---- inclusive of one rudraksha (bead ) , (one ) eye and ( one ) hook,----( one ) karanju , and worth five kasu .
7.One sacred arm-ring (tirukkaikkarai), (consisting of one) karanju and two manjadi of gold.
8. One sacred arm-ring , (consisting of one ) karanju and four manjadi of gold.
9. One sacred arm-ring, (consisting of ) three quarters (of a karanju) , four manjadi and (one) kunri of gold.
10. One sacred foot-ring (tiruvadikkarai), (consisting of one ) karanju and four manjadi of gold.
11. One sacred foot-ring , (consisting of one ) karanju, (one) manjadi and (one) kunri of gold.
12. One sacred foot-ring, (consisting of one ) karanju, three manjadi and (one) kunri of gold.

ON A NICHE AND A PILLAR OF THE WEST

ENCLOSURE

This inscription records that, before the 29th year fo the reign of Rajarajadeva, his queen Trailokyamahadevi set up copper images of Siva calle Kalyanasundara, of his wife Umaparamesvari, and of the two gods Vishnuand Brahman, who were represented as worshipping the first image, and that she presented a number of ornaments to the first two images. An inscription of the 10th year of the reign of Rajendra-Choladeva (No.11) refers to these two images of Kalyanasundara and his wife as having been set up by Trailokyamahadevi, the consort of Rajarajadeva.

1. Hail ! Prosperity ! The following copper images,---which had been set up in the temple of the lord Sri-Rajarajeswara until the twenty-ninth year (of the king's reign) by Trailokyamahadevi, the consort of our lord Sri-Rajarajadeva,---- were engraved on stones, after they had been measured by the cubit measure (preserved) in the temple of the lord, after the jewels (given to them) had been weighed by the stone called (after) Dakshina-Meru - Vitankan, and after the gold had been weighed by the stone called (after) Adavallan:---

2. One solid image of Kalyanasundara , having four divine arms (and measuring) one muram and three quarters , two viral and a half in height from the feet to the hair.

3. One lotus on which this (image) stood, set with jewels (and measuring ) four viral and a half in height.

4. One solid image of his consort Umaparamesvari, (measuring) one muram eleven viral and a half in height from the feet to the hair.

5. One lotus on which this (image) stood, set with jewels and measuring four viral and two torai in height.
6. One pedestal on which the god and his consort stood, (measuring) two muram and fourteen viral in length, twenty-two viral in breadth , and nine viral in height.
7. One solid aureola, covering the god and his consort, (consisting) of two pillars and on half-moon, and measuring seven muram in circumference.
8. One solid (image of ) Vishnu, standing, pouring out water to this (god), having four arms (and measuring ) twenty viral in height from the fet to the hair.
9. One lotus on which this (image) stood, set with jewels (and measuring) two viral and a half in height.
10. One four-legged pedestal, (which measured) three quarters (of a muram) and three viral in height up to the lotus, and which consisted of four legs and a bush.(sedi) which was one viral and a half thick.
11. One solid (image of) Brahman, represented as offering an oblation (huta) , having [four] arms and four faces , comfortably seated (and measuring) half a muram in height from the feet to the hair.
12 .One pedestal , joined to a lotus, set with jewels ( and measuring ) eight viral in height , twelve viral and a half in breadth, and three quarters ( of a muram ), three viral and a half in length .
13. To (the image of ) Kalyanasundara were given:--
14. One sacred ear-ring (tirukkambi), (consisting of one) karanju and a half of gold.
15. One sacred ear-ring , (consisting of one) karanju, nine manjadi and (one) kunri of gold.
16. One string of round beads (tiral-mani-vadam) , (containing) five karanju and four manjadi of gold.
17.One string of round beads , (consisting) five karanju and one manjadi of gold.
18. One string of round beads, (consisting ) five karanju,two manjadi and (one) kunri of gold.
19. One sacred arm-ring, (tirukkaikarai), (consisting of) twenty karanju and a half and (one) manjadi of gold.
20.One sacred arm-ring,(consisting of ) twenty karanju and a half, two manjadi and (one) kunri of gold.
21. One sacred arm-ring ,(consisting of) twenty karanju and six manjadi of gold.
22. One sacred arm-ring, (consisting of ) nineteen karanju and three quarters of gold.
23. Two sacred foot-rings (tiruvadikkarai), consisting of thirty-five karanju and a quater of gold, --- each (consisting of ) seventeen karanju and a half, two manjadi and (one) kunri of gold.
24. To ( the image of ) the consort of this (god) were given.
25. A spiral (tiru), strung on a neck-ring (pattaikkarai) of gold , weighing (one) karanju and a quater and (one) kunri, and worth three and a half kasu. Into (it) were set three flat and round diamonds; and (on it) were fstened one crystal, one potti and one nali-Ganga padikal.
26. One sacred ear-ring , (consisting of one ) karanju and a half and (one) kunri of gold.
27. One sacred ear-ring , (consisting of one ) karanju, nine manjadi and (one) kunri of gold.
28. One string of round beads, (containing) four karanju and six majadi of gold.
29. One string of round beads, (containing) four karanju and a half of gold.
30. One string of round beads,(containing) four karanju and nine manjadi of gold.
31. One sacred arm-ring, (consisting of ) eleven karanju and three quarters and four manjadi of gold.
32. One sacred arm-ring,(consisting of ) eleven karanju and three quarters, two manjadi and (one) kunri of gold.
33. One sacred foot-ring , (consisting of ) twelve karanju, two manjadi and (one) kunri of gold.
34. One sacred foot-ring, (consisting of ) twelve karanju and half and (one) manjadi of gold.


ON TWO NICHES AND TWO PILLARS OF

THE NORTH ENCLOSURE.

This inscription records that, before the 29th year of the reign of Rajarajadeva, his queen Panchavan-mahadevi (paragraphs 1,36, and 37 ) set up copper images of Siva called Tainjaiyaragar , of his wife Umaparamesvari, and of their son Ganapati, to which he presented a number of valuable ornaments. The description of some of these ornaments a still more detailed than usual, and often obscure, because the measings of part of the technical terms are unknown. As regards the name of the chief image, its first part, Tainjai, is the same as Tanjai or Tanjavur. The second part, Aragar, means ' the beautiful one' . The whole name would thus be synonymous with that of the god TanjaiVitankar, who must, however, be distinct from Tainjaiyaragar, as the image of his consist had been set up by Kundavaiyar, the elder sister of Rajarajadeva.


1. Hail ! Prosperity ! The following copper images,----which had been set up in the temple of the lord Sri-Rajarajesvara until the twenty-ninth year (of the king's reign) by Panchvan-mahadevi, she consort of our lord Sri-Rajarajadeva, --- were engraved on stone, after they had been measured by the cubit measure (preserved) in the temple of the lord, after the jewels (given to them) had been weighed by the stone called (after) Dakshina-Meru-Vitankan , and after the gold and silver had been weighed by the stone called (after) Adavallan:---
2. One solid image, bearing the sacred name of Tainjaiyaragar, having four divine arms and (measuring ) two muram and four viral in height from the foot to the hair ,---including (an image of ) Musalagan, who was lying under that sacred foot, on which (the god) stood.
3. One lotus on which this (image) stood, set with jewels and measuring {five viral} in height.
4. One solid image of this consort Umaparamesvari, measuring one (muram) and three quaters, [ two ] viral and a half in height form the feet to the hair.
5. One lotus on which this (image) stood, set with jewels and measuring four viral and a half in height.
6. One pedestal on which the god and his consort stood, measuring [two] muram and four viral in length , on muram .............in breadth, and eleven viral in height.
7. One solid aureola, covering the god and his consort , consisting of two pillars and one half-moon, and measuring seven muram in circumference.
8. One solid image of Ganapati, stading, having {four diving arms } , and (measuring) three quaters and one eighth of a muram in height from the feet to the hair.
9. One lotus on which this (image) stood, set with jewels and measuring {two} vira and {half} in height.
10. One pedestal, measuring {nineteen} viral in length, nine { and three quarters of a viral } in breadth, and five viral in height.
11. one solid aureola, measuring two. three quarters and one eighth of a muram in circumference.
12. To this (image) Tai {njaiyaragar } were given :---
13. [one] sacred garland (tiru-ma[lai] ) , hanging down , weighing, ---inclusive of the pinju and of the lac, and exclusive of the threads, --- ninety-one karanju, and worth one hundred and twenty-five kasu. On .............and on the inner side (?) were strung .............- nine pearls, viz., round pearls, roundish pearls, polished pearls and small pearls; on twenty-one marriage badges (tali ) , [two].............; on two marriage -badges which were soldered together, and on two talimbam (each of) which consited of five ( pieces) soldere together, were fastened ninety-four crystals, eleven potti and four hundred and: ..........-two diamond crystals; (and) on the [pa]ligai, it had one and one hook.
14. One ornament consisting of single string, weighing,----exclusive of the threads used for stringing, and inclusive of the lac,---four karanju,nine manjadi and eight tenths and worth six kasu. On (it) were strung thirty -one pearls,---viz., polished pearls, small pearls, crude pearls and (pearls) resembling toddy in colour,---two corals, two lapis lazuli, two talimbam, one eye and one hook.
15. One ornament consisting of a single string, weighing ,---inclusive of the minute nails in the talimbam and of the lac, and exclusive of the threads used for stringing,--- four karanju and a half , two manjadi and four tenths, and worth eight kasu. On (it) were strung twenty-eight old pearls ,---viz., small pearls and crude pearls ,---two corals, two lapis lazuli,two talimbam, one eye and one hook.
16. One ornament consisting of a single string, weighing,---inclusive of the lac and exclusive of the threads,--- four karanju, nine manjadi and nine tenths, and worth seven kasu. On (it) were strung thirty old pearls,---viz., polished pearls, small pearls and crude pearls,---two corals, one lapis lazuli, one sapphire, two talimbam, one eye and one hook.
17. One ornament consisting of a single string, weighing,--- inclusive of the lac and exclusive of the threads,---four karanju and two manjadi , and worth ten kasu. On (it) were strung thirty-two old pearls,---viz., polished pearls, small pearls, (pearls) of brilliant water, of red water and of rubbed surface, and sappatti,----two corals two lapis lazil, two talimbam one eye and one hook.
18. One sacred pearl ornament (sri chhanda) , weighing,___ inclusive of the lac , and exclusive of the threads used for stringing,-----one hundred and six karanju, (one)manjadi and two tenths, and worth one hundred and forty-one kasu. (It had) two clasps (?mugam) , two pendants (takkam), eight front-plates (idaikkattu), ten eyes, two front-plates with eyes, eight pins (nembu)soldered together, four double pins, two karadigai, two double hooks , two treble hooks , and eight nails for pearls sewn on (taippu-mutt-ani). On (it) were strung two thousand five hundred and twenty-four pearls, viz., round pearls, roundish pearls, polished pearls small pearls, nimbolam, ambumudu and crude pearls. (On it)
were sewn eight pearls, viz ., sakkattu, sappatti, polished pearls and small pearls. On the two clasps, on the front-plates and on the pedants were fastened thirty-seven crystals, twenty-seven potti and seventy-five tarup [pu].
19. One Telugu ear-ring ([Va]duga-vali) weighing , inclusive of the gold, two karanj and half and three manjadi, and worth seven kasu. On (it) were strung nine pearls, viz., small pearls, nimbolam and (pearls developed only) on one side (? oruppuravan).
20. One sacred armlet (sri-bahu-valaya), weighing , ----inclusive of the lac, and exclusive of the red stones (sivappu-silai) affixed (to it) and of the threads, ---forty-five karanju and a half, four manjadi and (one) kunri and worth fifty-two kasu. On two front-plates and on one clasp were fastened forty-nine crystals, six potti and one hundred and eighty-one diamond crystals. On (it) were strung as pendants ( ?kal ) two hundred and sixty-three pearls, viz., round pearls, roundish pearls, polished pearls and small pearls.
21. One sacred armlet, weighing, -----inclusive of the lac, and exclusive of the red stones affixed (to it) and of the threads,--- forty-five karanju and three quarters and two manjadi, and worth fifty-two kasu. On two front-plates and on one clasp were fastened fifty crystals, six potti and one hundred and ninety-five diamond crystals. On (it) were strung as pendants two hundred and sixty-five pearls, viz., round pearls, roundish pearls, polished pearls and small pearls.
22. One sacred arm-ring (tirukkaikkarai) of balls (gundu)and sockets (kevanam) soldered on a band (pattai) of gold , weighing , ----- exclusive of the threads used for stringing and of the copper nails, and inclusive of the lac,----twenty-two karanju, nine manjadi and (one) kunri,and worth twenty-eight kasu. On eleven strings (vadam) (attached) to two points (tunda) were strung four hundred and eleven pearls, viz., round pearls, roundish pearls, polished pearls , small pearls, sappatti, sakkattu and crude pearls. On (it) werb fastened thirty-two crystals and twelve potti.
23. One sacred arm-ring of balls and sockets soldered on a band of gold, weighing,-----inclusive of the lac, and exclusive of the copper nails and of the threads,----twenty-two karanju and (one) kunri, and worth twenty-six kasu. On eleven strings (attached) to two points were strung three hundred and eighty-five pearls, viz., round pearls, roundish pearls, polished pearls, small pearls, sakkattu, sappatti and crude pearls. On (it) were fastened thirty-two crystals and twelve potti.
24. One sacred arm-ring of balls and sockets soldered on a band of gold, weighing ,----inclusive of the lac, and exclusive of the copper nails and of the threads,---twenty-two karanju and six manjadi and worth twenty-seven kasu. On eleven strings (attached) to two points were strung four hundred and fifteen pearls, viz., round pearls, roundish pearls, polished pearls, small pearls, sappatti and sakkattu.On (it) were fastened thirty-two crystals and twelve potti.
25. One sacred arm-ring of balls and sockets soldered on a band of gold, weighing ,-----inclusive of the lac, and exclusive of the copper nails and of the threads,---twenty-two karanju and three quaters and four manjadi , and worth twenty-nine kasu. On eleven strings (attached) to two points were strung four hundred and twenty-six pearls, viz., round pearls, roundish pearls, polished pearls, small pearls, sappatti , sakkattu and crude pearls. On (it) were fastened thirty-two crystals and twelve potti.
26. A sacred girdle (tiruppattigai), weighing,---inclusive of the lac, and exclusive of the threads and of the stones (silai),---eighty karranju and three quarters, two manjadi and (one) kunri, and worth fifty-five kasu. On one clasp were fastened twenty-four crystals, nine potti and fifty-six diamond crystals. On twelve flowers (pu) , (each of which consisted of) five (pieces) joined, were fastened fifty-four crystals and six potti. On one bud (mottu) at the top of the chief pendant (?tanaittakkam) (which had the shape of ) a braided garland ([p] innukkovai), were fastened one crystal, one potti, nine diamond crystals and eight bundles (savi) of three strings (each) . Into eight small pendants (siru-tukkam),--- in the middle of the bundles,---(each of) which had three vidangu at the top of an enali, were set eight potti and (on them) were fastened sixteen crystals. On the body (? udal), the points, the bundles, the pendants and the chief pendant were strung twothousand three hundred and forty-nine pearls, viz., round pearls, roundish pearls, polished pearls, small pearls, crude pearls , sakkattu and sappatti. On the clasp were sewn nine sappatti pearls.
27. One sacred foot-ring (tiruvadikkarai) of balls and socketssoldered on a band of gold, weighing,----inclusive of the lac, and exclusive of the copper nails and of the threads,----thirty-one karanj , six manjadi and (one) kunri, and worth forty-four kasu. On twelve strings (attached) to two points were strung four hundred and sixty-nine pearls, viz., round prearls, roundish pearls, polished pearls, small pearls, crude pearls sappatti and sakkattu. On (it) were fastened forty-two crystals and thirty potti.
28. One sacred foot-ring of balls and sockets soldered on a band of gold, weighing,----inclusive of the lac, and exclusive of the copper nails and of the threads used for stringing,--- thirty karanju and a half, four manjadi and three tenths, and worth forty-two kasu. On twelve strings (attached) to two points were strung four hundred and eighty-eight pearls , roundish pearls, roundish pearls, polished pearls, small pearls, crude pearls, sappatti and sakkattu. On (it) were fastened forty-two crystals and thirty potti.

29. One sacred arm-ring , (consisting of) eleven karanju and a half of gold.

30. One sacred arm-ring, (consisting of ) eleven karanju, seven manjadi and (one) kunri of gold.
31. One sacred arm-ring, (consisting of ) twelve karanju and a half of gold.
32. One sacred arm-ring,(consisting of) twelve karanju and three quaters and two manjadi of gold.
33. One sacred foot-ring(consisting of ) fourteen karanju and a quarter of gold .
34. One sacred foot-ring, (consisting of ) thirteen karanju and three quarters and (one) manjadi of gold.
35. One small scimitar, the hilt (?), blade (?) and knob of which were inlaid with gold.
36. One plate (taligai), bearing the illustrious name of Panchavan-mahadevi (and consisting of ) seventy-one karanju, six manjadi and four tenths of silver.
37. One cup (vattil), bearing the illustrious name of Panchavan-mahadevi (and consisting of ) seventy-one karanju, six manjadi and four tenths of silver.
38. To (the image of ) Umaparamesvari, the consort of this Tainjaiyaragar,--- the same (queen) gave:---
39. One pair of pearl sidukku, weighing, inclusive of the gold, two karanju and (one) kunri, and worth four and seven twentieths of a kasu. On (it) were strung eighteen pearls, viz., sappatti and small pearls.
40. One pearl bracelet (sudagam), weighing,--- inclusive of the lac , and exclusive of the threads used for stringing,---twenty karanju and a quater and (one) kunri, and worth thirty kasu. To two points (were attached) six karakigai, twenty-four potti which were soldered and set into sockets, and seventy fastened crystals. On fourteen strings were strung four hundred and eighty-one pearls, viz., round pearls, roundish pearls, polished pearls, small pearls, crude pearls, sakkattu and old pearls.
41.One bracelet, weighing,----inclusive of the lac, and exclusive of the threads used for stringing,---twenty-one karanju and a quarter, and worth thirty kasu. To two points (were attached) six karadigai, twenty-four potti which were soldered and set (into) sockets, and seventy-nine fastened crystals. On fourteen strings were strung four hundred and eighty-five pearls, viz.,round pearls, roundish pearls, polished pearls, small pearls, crude pearls, sakkattu and old pearls.
42. One sacred foot-ring , weighing,----inclusive of the lac and exclusive of the threads,---- twenty karanju and three quarters and two manjadi, and worth twenty-five kasu. To two points (were attached) six karadigai, twenty-two potti which were soldered and set (into) sockets , and eighty-seven fastened crystals. On twelve strings were strung four hundred and sixty-seven pearls, viz., round pearls, roundish pearls, polished pearls, small pearls, crude pearls, sakkattu and old pearls.
43. One sacred foot-ring , weighing, ---- inclusive of the lac and exclusive of the threads, ----nineteen karanju and eight manjadi, and worth twenty-four kasu. To two points (were attached ) six karadigai, twenty-four potti which were soldered and set (into) sockets, and eighty-one fastened crystals. On twelve strings were strung four hundred and sixty-eight pearls , viz., round pearls, roundish pearls, small pearls, crude pearls, sakkattu and old pearls.
44. A collar (karai), (consisting of) two karanju, seven manjadi and (one) kunri of gold,---- including one spiral (tiru) which was strung on (it).
45. One sacred arm-ring, (consisting of ) nine karanju and a half and (0ne) kuari of gold.
46. One sacred arm-ring , (consisting of ) nine karnju and a quater of gold.
47. One sacred foot-ring, (consisting of ) ten karanju and a half , two manjadi and (one) kunri of gold.
48.One collar with a spiral (tirukkarai), (consisting of) eleven karanju and a quarter of gold.
49. To (the image of) Ganapati, which the same (queen) had set up, she gave:----
50. One sacred arm-ring, (consisting of) ten karanju and half of gold.
51. One sacred arm-ring, (consisting of) ten karanju of gold.
52. One sacred foot-ring , (consisting of ) eleven karanju and three quarters of gold.
53. One sacred foot-ring, (consisting of ) twelve karanju, seven manjadi and (one) kunri of gold.

References:

Book referred to with reference to the pillars and the inscriptions to identify the damages.
SOUTH INDIAN INSCRIPTIONS, three Volumes
Volume two has Parts 1 & 2,
First published by ASI in 1892
Madras.
By E. Hultzsch.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Thanjavur world heritage: How to fix broken pillars with araldite.




Photo of an inscription in Thanjavur Temple and cover page of the book by E. Hultzsch.

Initial survey on the loss and damage of Inscriptions in BIG Temple after ASI's so called conservation

August 2008.


"If E. Hultzsch, the Epigraphist comes back, it will break his heart", said my local guide to the temple.



I said if Raja Raja Chola comes back, "he will order those ASI officials, with death sentence for having damaged his inscriptions".

Some workers were busy trying to fix broken and shattered pillars with araldite!



I asked the head contractor what are you doing ? He said we received orders to put them back and keep them in museum!

Before E. Hultzsch the Epigraphist identified the Inscriptions found in the Big Temple, in the last part of last century, the temple was referred to Kaduvetti Chozhan Temple by Thanjavur local people, who were afraid of going inside as the Temple was covered with jungle. At that time the temple was used as a garrison for the British Army with nominal poojas performed in the main sanctum. Earlier the temple was not visited by people at all as jungle had covered the premises. When I visited the temple in 1971, it was full of shrubs and in subsequent visits it was in a much better shape.

A local reporter said "Local People are shell shocked about the Vandalism in the name of Conservation after our report was published , it has sent some ripples. There were denial statement issued by the ASI Vide the Indian express, Chennai edition dated 25, August, 2008. We purchased local Indian express in Thanjavur edition did not have the news."

I asked my guide whether all Inscriptions have been deciphered?



Some inscriptions were in niches and not mentioned by E. Hultzsch has been identified and deciphered later. Yes "The inscription that mentions that Raja Raja Chola had covered the Temple gopuram with gold gauze was discovered was discovered later".

Where is all the gold gauze now I asked?

He said "it was looted by Malik Kafur".



Why are there no signs of Malik kafur's invasions?




He pointed out to the two tiers over the Ardhamandapam that were demolished and remnants can be found. "This is not normally visible unless pointed out by guides".

Inside the sanctum the Archaka said "the invaders did not even spare the 'peruvudayar' the largest Siva lingam in any Hindu Temple. Raja Raja wanted every thing big in the temple. The invaders attempted to uproot it with crowbars but their efforts were in vain. One can see to this day the marks of crowbar on the back of deity".

It is ridiculous that when E. Hultzsch, (Epigraphist, to the Government of Madras from 1886 to 1903) published his monumental three volume book on the Brihadeeswara Temple inscriptions by ASI under the British he could have never have imagined, that the very same ASI, under Independent India, would be instrumental in destroying those Inscriptions 105 years down the line!.

His book South Indian Inscriptions and identified the inscriptions on the broken pillars as given below.

The damaged pillars and the inscriptions found on them are found published in the VOL 2 Parts 1 & 2. I am not going into details of the inscriptions in this report, as these are voluminous. These will be published seperately. Some pillars have inscriptions on one side. Some have on two sides; some have inscription on three sides and some on four sides.



1) INSCRIPTION NO 47 - Pillar on three sides ( Page 191-192)



2) INSCRIPTION NO 48 - Pillar B . Has inscriptions on two sides.(PAGE 195 -196)



3) INSCRIPTION NO 51- PILLAR B. INSCRIPTIUONS ON FOUR SIDES . (PAGE 205 207 )



4) INSCRIPTION NO 51 - PILLAR C. INSCRIPTIONS ON FOUR SIDES. (207 – 210).



5) Mahahamandapam- adhistanam- kumadappadi on the outer wall- maximum damage.


6) Maximum vandalism is found inside the hollow of Sree Vimanam where the original thousand year old one foot thick plaster inside the has been removed – scrapped away . This has not been replaced. This has lead to seepage during the last one year there by weakening of the gopuram. This is considered to be maximum vandalism. This may result in the damage to the gopuram, paintings inside and the damage of the unique Kalasam.

When we came out of the temple premises workers were trying to paste the broken pillars with araldite- obviously from instruction from higher ups in Chennai.

"ASI's method of conservation after destruction" quipped my driver.


GP.Srinivasan
26.8.2008

Reference:

SOUTH INDIAN INSCRIPTIONS, three Volumes

Volume two has Parts 1 & 2,

First published by ASI in 1892 Madras

Reprinted by Navrang in 1983.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Preserving World Heritage, Thanjavur temple: ASI side of the story.

Preserving World Heritage, Thanjavur temple: ASI side of the story.

See the Dinamani (Tamil daily) report of May 5, 2008 at: http://janajaati.blogspot.com/2008/08/imminent-danger-to-thanjavur-big-temple.html

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_UwwzmzFWHXA/SLK4D9InD3I/AAAAAAAACYs/JpLIvkHl6gU/s1600-h/thanjavur1.jpg

Let us hope that ASI is alive to its responsibilities mandated under law to care for the heritage monuments and responds with alacrity, with compassion and promptly to public concerns.

kalyanaraman

Brihadishwara renovation in full swing
Monday August 25 2008 02:04 IST
V Gangadharan | ENS

http://www.newindpress.com/images/aug08%5CIIT%20MADRAS%20RESURCH.jpg

PRESERVING HERITAGE: The adhishtana moulding or Kumudam that was removed. It will be fixed after the IIT submits its report.

CHENNAI: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is waiting for a scientific report to restore an important stone fixture at the Brihadishwara temple in Thanjavur, a world heritage monument, where the restoration work is almost over.

According to Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, Chennai Circle, Sathyabama Badrinath, the strengthening work of the foundation structure at the northern cloister of the mandapam area, an essential feature of the restoration exercise, was over.

Asked, whether the ASI was replacing the ancient stone slabs and ceiling structures with new ones, the ASI official said that only those, which had lost the load bearing capacity, were being replaced.

“We always try to restore only the original and using of new slabs is very rare.” On apprehensions raised by some local residents that the ancient stone fixture at the northeastern part of the main shrine – the adhistana moulding, also known as Kumudam – was broken during the conservation work, Sathyabama said it was not true.

“The moulding was old and dilapidated and it was removed,” she said.

The ASI has sought a scientific report from the Indian Institute of Technology and the moulding would be fixed only after getting the report.

Responding to a question, the top ASI official said the Maratha paintings of the 16th and 17th centuries were being preserved.

Asked about the precautions being taken by the ASI in view of the damage caused to some inscriptions before, she claimed that nothing was damaged by the workers. “Our officials are watchful and have sensitised the workers about the importance of the work they do.”

http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IE920080825020408&Page=9&Title=Chennai&Topic=0&v

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Imminent danger to Thanjavur Big Temple -- GP Srinivasan






http://janajaati.blogspot.com/2008/08/imminent-danger-to-thanjavur-big-temple.html
IMMINENT DANGER TO THANJAVUR BIG TEMPLE
By G.P.Srinivasan
Thanjavur. August 17,2008.

ASI (Archelogical Survey of India), department under Government of India, has been engaged in renovation work in the Brihadeshwara Temple, popularly known as the Big temple for the past one year. This is the present state of parts of the temple after the so called renovation . (Please See Photos http://janajaati.blogspot.com/2008/08/imminent-danger-to-thanjavur-big-temple.html ). In the name of conservation many valuble inscriptions, pillars, manadapam, shrines and original art have been destroyed beyond repair and rendered beyond recovery leading to irreparable loss to the great Hindu heritage. The temple was apparently built like a jig saw puzzle. Each stone was weighed and balanced precisely vis-a-vis the whole complex structure; selected strictly according to agamas and shilapasastra and assembled like a mammoth jig saw puzzle. One has to know high level geometry and complex trignometry, material sciences and ancient temple architecture to understand the complex temple.

Over the years I have visited the temple at least 100 times and was taken around by experts in field. The entire gopuram was covered by Raja Raja Chola by Gold leaf coating known as Veli. When Malik kafur invaded South India, he not only destroyed two tiers on the ardha mandapam, but also vandalised many parts of the temple. The temple remained under disuse for centuries and rebuilt by later day kings .The British and French had used the huge ramparts of the temple as their garrison to make long history short.

Last year when the ASI dismantled some portions of the huge complex by untrained contractors, who were never trained in ancient methods of construction technology adopted by the King for constructing the Temple. Now they are having a tough time, as seen from the piles of wreckage which they dismantled for conservation, but now do not know how to it !

ASI lacks the skills technology and the minute care adopted in foreign countries for conservation. The temple complex resembles a war torn zone like Iraq. The temple has been reduced to piles of broken pillars and beams. This ancient temple, which withstood the test of time, many floods, rains and earthquakes, is in imminent danger. Please read further. It is shocking to note the marks of granite cutters . They have been used to remove blocks of stone called "kumudappadai" lotus motifs that adorn the outside walls of the huge temple. What Malik kafur could not do the, ASI is doing !

Rajarajeswaram more popularly known as the Big Temple (at Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, India), was built a millennium ago by the Chola emperor Raja Raja I. The UNESCO has declared it as a World Heritage monument. It is completely under the control of the Archaeological Survey of India. The Thanjavur Palace Devastanam is in charge of the temple's religious administration only. It is the living monument testifying eloquently to the multi-foliate grandeur of the Chola Empire. It is a treasure-house of art, architecture, sculpture, painting, music, dance and the like, of Thamizhakam. It fosters the traditional Vedic and Agamic culture. It is hailed as the Devalaya Chakravarti. During the last one year systematic vandalism is taking place within the sacred premises of this great shrine in the name of conservation. Millennium- old inscriptions are getting shattered into smithereens. This is done under the blessed auspices of the Archaeological Survey of India. Portions of the Northern circumambulatory mandapam, the upapeetam and the athishtanam of the Maha Mantapam as also the inner part of the Sri Vimana are systematically destroyed in the name of restoration.
The circumambulatory mandapam was built by the Emperor's General known as Krishnan Raman alias Mummudi Chola Brahamaraya. These inscriptions bear testimony to the oral orders issued by the Great Emperor. A good many inscriptions were etched on the pillars, walls and basement. In these, only one pillar was slightly damaged during the invasion of the French and the British armies. However, the Maharatta Rulers, with great care, restored the pillar. The other pillars and also the roof-area of the Mandapam remained intact. Alas, the pillars treasuring these inscriptions, the cross-beams of the roof and also the ceiling stones have been broken to bits and thrown away. Replacement through fresh stones is at work. These new stones bear no comparison to the old ones at all. Moreover, the stones laid as foundation by Raja Raja have been uprooted, dismantled and carted away. It is said, lorry loads of stones have been sold secretly.
In addition to dismantling the stones in the adhistanam and upapeetam pertaining to Mahamandapam, granite-cutters have substantially damaged the Kumudappadai, thus in the process of weakening the building.
The inner plastering of the Sri Vimana had been totally removed as a consequence of which rain water seeps into the building and utterly spoils the ancient paintings. As the protecting nets in the Sri Vimana have been removed, the Sri Vimana has become as asylum of bats. Sooner or later the sacred Vimana will be filled with the excrement of bats and noxious bad odour will pervade God's tower. The conservation is being done by untrained contractors and one shudder to think of immense damage which is imminent. May lord Siva save himself! Or else Hindus must step in to save the temple immediately to save the house of Lord Siva! Hindus must approach the UNESCO immediately to save the Temple from further destruction and for immediate restoration.

19 August 2008

From:
S. Kalyanaraman, Ph.D.,
Sarasvati Research Centre, Chennai 600015

To:
Hon'ble Smt. Ambika Soni,
Union Minister for Culture,
Govt. of India, New Delhi TEL. -26499332, 26494199, 26494652Fax 26494652, 9868181830(M)22, Akbar Road, New Delhi

cc: Hon'ble Smt. Sonia Gandhi, UPA Chairperson, New Delhi soniagandhi@sansad.nic.in Fax: +91 (0)1123017047
cc: Hon'ble Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, New Delhi manmohan@sansad.nic.in pmosb@pmo.nic.in Tel.Telephone: 91-11-23012312.
Fax: 91-11-23019545 / 91-11-23016857 Tel. 23018939, 23011156, 23018907, 23019334, 23015470
cc: Hon'ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Thiru Kalaignar Mu. Karunanidhi, Chennai. cmcell@tn.gov.in

Dear Smt. Ambika Soni ji,

I am bringing to your notice a serious report which should be of immediate concern to the Govt. of India and requesting you to take immediate remedial action.

We will be constrained to bring the state of affairs in Archaeological Survey of India to the notice of UNESCO since what is happening to the World Heritage Monument of Thanjavur Brihadis'vara Temple is a matter of concern for the civil societies and all citizens of the world.

In the wake of the callous approach of UPA Government to attempted destruction of Rama Setu and humiliation of the Hindu pilgrims to Amarnath shrine, this act of state-sponsored vandalism in a World Heritage Monument is serious issue which should receive your immediate intervention.

Thanking you for your consideration and hoping for IMMEDIATE corrective action,

Yours truly,

Dr. S. Kalyanaraman
Sarasvati Research Centre,
Chennai 600015 kalyan97@gmail.com

http://janajaati.blogspot.com/2008/08/imminent-danger-to-thanjavur-big-temple.html

(including 4 photographs of ongoing destruction of the world heritage monument in Thanjavur)