Raja Raja museum in Tanjore and its plight
  • Hello All

    I happened to visit the Raja raja museum and was shocked ( & disgusted ) by the way it was maintained, poor funding and pathetic marketing found no takers in the glorious emperors past. I was there along with another visitor clad in the Lungi along with his 'girl friend'. The place was a lover's paradise and the scene a dejecting episode.

    Among treasures there was an 850 AD painting of Raja Raja and his guru , excavated from the Periya kovil.

    I hope the government and / or non governmental organizations punch in some weight to revive the bravura of the place, I think we owe the King something.

    PS: I was not able to upload the photos, hence I am sharing my picasa album. Please let me know if you are not able to access the same.
  • hi ravi

    you got the painting's date wrong - RRC ruled between 985 to 1014 -
    we know that the temple was finished 25 years and 275 days after
    Rajaraja took power in 985 AD - around 1010 AD,

    does this painting refer to RRc and K' thevar - is also a point of
    contention. you can seach the prev posts for these.

    personally dont think this painting reflects RRC - or atleast how he
    looked while he reigned - it defn was not a portrait, for imagine RRC
    youth ( ps time) 18 years +- 2years, 15 years for Uttama chola rule +
    some time for the temple work...you are talking of a someone in their
    mid ages while the temple was finished ready to paint. also the
    structure of the youth doesnt reflect someone ( not muscular) used to
    fighting - the shoulders and calf muscles are practically non
    existent - for someone who would have to weild a heavy sword /ride
    for long hours.
  • Hi VJ

    I apologize for the wrong dateline, you were right on the date of the painting. However the painting is confirmed that of RRC and his Guru as confirmed by archeologists who excavated the Periya kovil. ( Please check the video link i had sent earlier).
    You can give some leverage to a painter (often called as a painter's liberty) for not portaying a Hritik like image for RRC,in the same count where we do not see a muscular Shiva or Rama. This is an authentic painting from the museum and what is mentioned was from the museum.
    On a lighter note :
    Depicting a curve on the bi's or tri's may not be necessary for wielding a powerful blade, for all we may know it could have been a slender and light weighted one. I have seen lean guys bench press 100 kgs and bulky guys sweat it for 50 kgs. (Esp we tamils must know that after seeing Dhanush and many others)...
  • > > Among treasures there was an 850 AD painting of Raja Raja and his
    > guru , excavated from the Periya kovil.

    Thankfully not. This is an extremely poor reproduction of the original
    painting which is in the saantharam corridors of big temple
    raajarajeswaram. So you can call it a creation of (19)85 AD - not 850 AD

    Take a look at the following link for the original

  • hi,

    I am not claiming that the painting isnt RRC, but when it was indeed
    painted - RRC would have looked totally different.

    Sculpture and art - they were never true portraits ( a la 23
    pulikesi style) but dont think i mention it in a derogatory
    sense ...even today caricatures and cartoons - in varying levels do
    elaborate certain key aspects - like a indira gandhi nose, a
    naraimha rao spout etc etc.. if you look at the depiction of women (
    not just apsaras) even lords consorts - the busts n waists are
    depicted to show them in sensuous light. this was done to raise a
    sense of awe, fear, grace ....depending on what they wanted to show
    in the sculpture. regarding rama>>>

    Rama was a archer - being an archer his main assets were his keen
    eye sight ( to target), his arms ( to draw the bow ) it is said that
    his arms reached below his knees ( when he stood in his upright
    position) - you can see this clearly in most early sculptures.

    Shiva is another story - his depiction differs with diff poses -
    like in somaskander - you can see the difference between him ( in
    gargutan proportions) when you compare parvati seated next to him.
    again his depictions as nataraja, ardhanari etc etc are strikingly

    i dont want to go into dhanush's (or his FIL's antics on film) - but
    make no mistakes - royal princes were put to good training -
    especially in hand to hand combat, weilding the sword etc- combine
    it with the best of nutrition - if you really want to compare i
    would rather go by a mel gibson in brave heart or a russel crowe of
    gladiator fame..

    what i mean is, the painting could be made to show RRC as a devot
    student in his younger days, and for someone who had the vision and
    drive to bring in the whole of south east asia under his rule - he
    should have been someone with the magnetiscm to draw the inspiration
    of his band of warriors - this for me leaves a lot to prove that
    this painting is indeed rrc unless he has another side - ala anniyan-
    but again we can never be sure can we...

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