Stalin inaugurates exhibition, dubs it "beautiful and eye catching"

The rich history of the Chola period has been showcased at an exhibition organised in connection with the millennium celebrations of the Big Temple at Thanjavur.

The exhibition was inaugurated on Friday by Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin.

With the bell tower and arsenal tower of the 400-year-old palace complex forming the backdrop, the exhibition on palace grounds depicts art, architecture, sculpture, paintings, dance and music of the Chola period.

A statue of Rajaraja Cholan welcomes people at the entrance. As one enters the pavilion, on one side is a model of Manuneedhi Cholan rendering justice to a cow, which had lost its calf under the wheel of a chariot driven by his son. On the other side is a beautiful painting of Rajaraja Cholan overseeing the construction of the Big Temple. Yet another marvel, Grand Anicut, built by Karikal Cholan has been exhibited in the form of a beautiful model.

Some of the interesting exhibits include a model showing the Kudavolai method of elections followed during the Rajaraja Cholan period; a model tracing the course of the Cauvery captioned ‘Nadanthai vazhi Cauvery;' Thiru Indalur copper plates; photocopies of the paintings of Chola period found at the Big Temple displayed by Archaeological Survey of India; paintings done in a hundred angles of the Big Temple by students of the Kumbakonam Fine Arts College; photos of Tourism and Art and Culture departments; musical instruments; and Uthiramerur epigraph.

Notes of the Panchamukha vadyam, a rare musical instrument from Tiruvarur, wafts in from one of the stalls.

Mr. Stalin inaugurated the exhibition of rare Chola icons kept separately at Sangeetha Mahal in the palace complex. Somaskandar from Thiruvalankadu, Arthanareeswarar from Thiruvenikadu, Chandikeswarar from Thiruvenkadu, Buddha statue, Kannappa Nayanar, Thirugnanasambandar are some of the icons displayed in this section. A total of 369 objects, under 12 topics, including Chola period literature, architecture, copper plates, paintings, coins, musical instruments, weapons, starting from the Sanga period down to later Cholas are on display in the pavilion with 15 stalls.

Mr. Stalin released a book Heritage of Buildings of Thanjavur written by Irai Karkuzhali, Thanjavur Municipal councillor.

“The exhibition is beautiful and eye catching. I appreciate School Education Minister Thangam Thennarasu and officials who worked with him for the exhibition,” Mr. Stalin said. A decision will be taken on extending the exhibition after the celebrations for the benefit of public in consultation with Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, Mr. Stalin said.

Union Minister of State for Finance S.S. Palani Manickam; State Ministers Ko.Si. Mani, Thangam Thennarasu, K. Ponmudy, S. N. M. Ubayathullah, Poongothai Aladi Aruna; Secretary, Tourism, V. Iraianbu; Commissioner of State Archaeology T.S. Sridhar; Director, Tourism, A.C. Mohandoss; Commissioner, Art and Culture, P.A. Mani; and Collector M.S. Shanmugham were present.