Tamil Nadu minister meets Modi,seeks Rajaraja,Lokamadevi statues
  • Indeed a good initiative. They are surely tamil kings , that's certain
    to start with !!

  • reported in the hindu as well


    *Modi's help sought to get back Chola icons * A. Srivathsan

    * ON A MISSION:School Education Minister Thangam Thennarasu presenting a
    memento to Gujarat *

    Chennai: A delegation from Tamil Nadu headed by Minister of School Education
    and Archaeology Thangam Thennarasu met Gujarat Chief Minster Narendra Modi
    on Monday to seek his help in getting two bronze icons, said to be that of
    Rajaraja I, the Chola emperor who built the Brihadisvara temple in
    Thanjavur, and his queen, that are currently owned by the Sarabhai
    Foundation and exhibited in their museum in Ahmedabad

    The Gujarat government release on its website described the visit by the
    delegation as courtesy call. It “acquainted” Mr. Modi about the forthcoming
    millennium celebration of the Thanjavur temple, organised by the Government
    of Tamil Nadu. It also mentioned that “the delegation wishes to take back
    with it,” the two bronze icons to coincide with the millennium celebrations.

    The 11 {+t} {+h} century inscriptions at the Brihadisvara temple, belonging
    to the Rajaraja's period, record that a manager of the temple got seven
    metal images installed in the temple. Two of these images are described as
    Periya-perumal and his consort Lokamahadevi — the emperor-builder himself
    and his wife. These icons, along with many others in the temple, disappeared
    centuries ago. It is claimed that the two icons found in the Sarabhai
    foundation are the lost Rajaraja I and his queen.

    When contacted, the officials at the Sarabhai Museum said that R. Nagaswamy,
    in his book Timeless Delight - South Indian Bronzes in the collection of
    the Sarabhai Foundation published by the Sarabhai Foundation in 2006, had
    stated that there was no proof to state that the icon in the Calico Museum
    was that of Rajaraja I. In an email reply to The Hindu, the museum officials
    said that all necessary information had been given in the book. They had
    nothing more to add.

    Mr. Nagaswamy's book identifies the two icons as Royal Couple — Chola King
    and Queen — and not by name as Rajaraja I and Lokamahadevi. Both icons are
    dated as belonging to the 11 {+t} {+h} century, when the Thanjavur temple
    was built.

    The icon of the Chola king is described as standing in ‘anjali,' adoration,
    holding a flower offering in his clasped hands. He wears a crown and the
    ear-rings are conspicuously absent.' The book remarks that ‘the portrait has
    all the touches of a Chakravarti, king of kings. The icon of the queen is
    described as “standing modestly,” with a gold cross chain and a
    “tight-fitting” mangalsutra.

    (With inputs from Manas Dasgupta in Ahmedabad)

    “*Here the language of stone surpasses the language of man*” – Nobel
    laureate, Rabindranath Tagore
  • dear sps

    these two are apparently the only surviving ones from the same inscription


    if so, cant we find out the tanjore scale from the inscription and comparing
    it with the two which are still in tanjore
  • "" .... The measurements – height, girth, number of arms, and the symbols held in the hands – of each of the 66 metal images are catalogued in the inscriptions. There are references to the art of metal casting – solid casting, hollow casting, riveting, gilding with brass or gold, precious gems in the eyes of the images, and so on. These bronzes were decorated during festivals with numerous gold jewels studded with diamonds, emeralds, rubies, pearls, corals, and so on.... "

    " cant we find out the tanjore scale from the inscription and comparing it with the two which are still in tanjore ""


    Appxly one virakkadai is 2 ".

    And that scale appears to fit with Ahmadabad Bronzes under discussion.

    Since the subject is being handled by respective Governments at the height level, let us await more details officially.

    warm rgds / sps
  • This is only one part of the process. Why no one has asked how the
    Sarabhai museum got the statue in the first place and what records are
    available with them?Perhaps it is museum taboo I think? I can hazard a
    guess that the museum has none!Sampath

    Since the subject is being handled by respective Governments at the
    level, let us await more details officially.

    warm rgds / sps
  • That question applies to all museums

    for that matter - It is not only RRC image,

    whatever moortis in Indian museum should go to their right place for worship.

    If safety is a question - then should be kept at a safer place and poojas should be done

    for eg- - Rishbarudar - RRC made him for worship at Thiruvenkadu - not for Tanjore museum. It had to be burried safely for protection - but that dosenot mean they should go to museum after we unearth them.

    He was once even taken to US for an exibition in spite of many protests. ( remeber reading as a school days in vikadan)
  • Hi

    I think he did not go. A replica was made and sent. It is now in the
    madurai temple as an exhibit in the museum inside the temple ( but
    without any board saying its a replica !!)

  • I agree with you 100%. Let the museums make replicas for public display.
    Security is an issue, but that must faced in a different way. Vigrahas
    meant for worship must be returned to their origins.
  • There is also another catch by taking the moorthis to the temple.
    a. The murthi is not available for us to see, at all times. It is brought out only at a certain time on a certain day, like say Pradoksham, etc. (Eg. MellaiKadambur )
    b. Not all murthis in possession of the temple are brought out, some of the idols have just been under lock and key. (It applies to a certain degree to the Museums too. Not all of the collection in Madras Museum is on display)
    c. Some of the temples have in its possession murthis that could rival any great museum, but only the chosen few can get access to see it. (Eg. Konerirajapuram)

    I totally agree if the moorthis where made for worship, its place should be in the temple. The security in the temple needs to the level, such that they can also be protected.
    Of course, once it is in worship, one can hardly see the moorthi anymore, we would at the best get to see the garlands and the alangarams done on it, but never the moorthi.
    I am sure it pretty difficult to please people with varied interest.
  • We need to work on improving conditions at temples -

    Local participation

    Ownership by locals

    This is a live culture/tradition. Not meant for museum.

    They need to be viewed as representation of god - not as a show piece.

    For appreciation - the abishegam period - which should be open.

    again with regard to decorations - the kings have provided jwellery for the moortis for decoration.

    I checked with some gurukkals - why they add the extra fittings and decorate.

    They say - that is the safer way for procession. They tie so much cloth around the moorti so that in case of a mishap, nothing happens to moortis. The chest andcrown is so padded /decorated - even if it falls face down - the face will not touch the ground. The impact is taken by the outer crown and chest pads.( that is why they keep a big kreedam after tieing so much cloth on the head.

    Now i realise - why the face is inside.
  • Dear KS,
    I agree the local participation will improve the situation. A live tradition should also ensure accommodating every one, irrespective of caste, religion, color. Which still needs a lot of improvement.
    Your view is that of a devotee. The ornamentation provided is for use only during certain specific period. Typically you find these moorthis always covered, even behind the locked rooms. If you ask a Stapathi, would he agree to this? Never. He would feel humiliated by every additional ornamentation. I am sure there are many better ways to secure the safety of a moorthi during a procession.
    As much as there people who would like to appreciate the moorthi as they are, there are equal number or even greater who wish to see it covered with every ornament.
    As I stated earlier, it is very difficult to satisfy diverse interests.

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