Kalasam on Big Temple's ‘Rajarajan Thiruvayil' damaged in lightning strike
  • is quite a surprise - why it hit the Gopuram when the taller Vimanam was


    *Kalasam on Big Temple's ‘Rajarajan Thiruvayil' damaged in lightning strike
    * G. Srinivasan — Photo: M. SRINATH

    * Heavy blow:The lightning struck ‘Rajarajan Thiruvayil' gopuram at Big
    Temple with its broken kalasam in Thanjavur on Sunday. *

    THANJAVUR: One of the five kalasams on ‘Rajarajan Thiruvayil', the third
    gopuram at the entrance of the Big Temple, was damaged following a lightning
    strike during the heavy rain on Sunday.

    The kalasam made of brick and lime mortar fell into pieces.

    The temple, built by King Rajaraja Cholan, has three gopurams leading to the
    main temple which has a soaring vimana on the sanctum sanctorum.

    The first gopuram was built during Maratha period.

    The second one is known as ‘Keralandhagan Vayil.'

    The third one ‘Rajarajan Thiruvayil,' the one struck by lightning, was built
    during the Chola period.

    Archaeological Survey of India sources said lighting conductors have been
    fitted on ‘Keralandhagan Vayil' and the main vimana of the temple.

    ‘Keralandhagan Vayil' is 25 metres high while the main vimana on the sanctum
    sanctorum is 65 metres high.

    While the main vimanas are made of stone (all stone structure),
    ‘Keralandhagan Vayil' and ‘Rajarajan Thiruvayil' are made of brick and lime

    No separate lightning conductor

    “As ‘Rajarajan Thiruvayil' was smaller in height, a separate lightning
    conductor was not fitted on it. The one on ‘Keralandhagan Vayil' can take
    the shock for 100 metres radius and could protect ‘Rajarajan Vayil' also.
    Because of its presence only, the lightning could not cause much damage to
    ‘Rajarajan Vayil' except smashing one kalasam,” ASI sources explained.

    A temporary kalasam will be put up in the place of damaged one.

    As kumbabishekam is to be performed to the temple next year (2011), the
    kalsam will be newly fitted then, ASI sources said.

    M.S. Shanmugam, Collector, and K.A. Senthilvelan, Superintendent of police,
    visited the temple to inspect the damage.

    “*Here the language of stone surpasses the language of man*” – Nobel
    laureate, Rabindranath Tagore
  • I was about to post, my brother just called me and conveyed the damage..
  • I was there yesterday, so many thunders heard and the rain was so heavy. But
    I didnt hear this news until this morning!
  • Even after a lighting stike - only the kalasam is damaged.

    a small doubt? why the kaalsm is made of sudhai instead of the usual copper?

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