Thanjavur attracts more number of foreign tourists next to Chennai said M.S. Shanmugham, District Collector, here on Wednesday.

Speaking at the 1,024th Sadhaya Vizha (coronation day) of King Raja Raja Cholan at the Big temple here, Shanmugham said the Big Temple, the palace complex, the Saraswathi Mahal Library and the Art Gallery are the main attractions for foreign tourists. The people of Thanjavur should keep the town and temple clean.

Raja Raja Cholan was an able administrator and he was a pioneer in introducing local administration, land management and banking system. He contributed greatly to art and culture and the Big temple was his architectural marvel. “Anyone who enters Big temple will forget his ego on seeing its magnificence,” the Collector said.

S.N.M. Ubayathullah, State Commercial Taxes Minister, said that Raja Raja Cholan waited for 17 long years to ascend the throne though he had the backing of the people. He sacrificed the throne for his uncle Uthama Cholan, a great quality in a king so young.

Karthikeyan, the Registrar of Tamil University, said Chola kings were mighty builders of temples. The Big Temple at Thanjavur, Iravatheeswaraswamy temple at Darasuram, the Big Temple at Gangai Konda Cholapuram, Sarabeswaraswamy temple at Thirubuvanam are examples of this fact. Nearly 1000 epigraphs were also found in the Chola kingdom.

T. Selvam, Chairman, Sadhaya Vizha Committee, Babaji Raja Bhonsle, Senior Prince and hereditary trustee of the Palace Devasthanam, Tamil scholars, Thamizh Seranar, Kudavayil Balasubramanian and R. Kaliyaperumal also spoke.