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Updated: May 30, 2013 18:11 IST

Consecration after 160 years

G. Srinivasan
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Mahasambrokshanam being performed at the Sri Rukmini Sathyabama samedha Sri Venugopalaswamy Sri Seetharama Lakshmana Anjaneyaswamy Temple at Soorakottai near Thanjavur.
Special Arrangement Mahasambrokshanam being performed at the Sri Rukmini Sathyabama samedha Sri Venugopalaswamy Sri Seetharama Lakshmana Anjaneyaswamy Temple at Soorakottai near Thanjavur.

The ancient shrine was built by the elder sister of Sivaji II, the Maratha King.

Samprokshanam took place after 160 years at Sri Rukmini Sathyabama samedha Sri Venugopalaswamy Sri Seetharama Lakshmana Anjaneyaswamy temple, at Soorakottai, Thanjavur district. The temple was built by Ammani Raje, elder sister of Sivaji II, the Maratha king (1832 A.D.-1855 A.D.), on her journey to Rameswaram to help pilgrims.

Marathi epigraph

The queen also made arrangements for annadhanam. A reference to this is found in the epigraph, written in Marathi language, at this temple.

In a rare coincidence, film actor Sivaji Ganesan's family renovated the temple, after nearly 160 years, and performed the mahasamprokshanam on May 23. The temple is located in the farm owned by the family.

“We purchased the land from a Nadar family. The temple is located on a Puramboke land and is maintained by the HR and CE Department. It is an ancient temple built by the queen a of Maratha king and was in a state of disrepair. We renovated it and performed the mahasamprokshanam,” said G. Ramkumar, elder son of the actor and Giri Shanmugham, his cousin.

Renovation of the temple was completed in a year.

“We got the permission of the Jeer swamigal and also from the people of Soorakottai to renovate the temple. It is God's grace we did it,” said Giri Shanmugham.

Hundreds of people from Soorakottai witnessed the mahasamprokshanam on May 23 along with actor Prabhu, son of Sivaji Ganesan, and Vikram Prabhu of ‘Kumki’ fame.

Two avatars of Vishnu

“It is unique to see two avatars of Vishnu - Rama and Krishna - in the same temple,” said Ramkumar.

“We are fortunate to perform the mahasamprokshanam to a historical temple. We deciphered the Marathi epigraph, translated it into Tamil and have put up that version also to help people know the history of the temple,” said Prabhu.

“Those who are on their way to Pattukottai from Thanjavur cannot miss this temple,” he added.

Apart from providing other facilities to the visitors, plans to construct a car park and organise festivals regularly at the temple are on the anvil.

“We are happy that the temple has been renovated,” said Babaji Rajah Bhonsle, senior prince of Thanjavur, and descendant of the Maratha kings.

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