Exhibition at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan on the finer aspects of the Brihadeeswara temple

Did you know that the main premises housing the sanctum sanctorum of the world-renowned Brihadeeswara temple stands on a basement with a depth of less than six feet or that the vimana is 216 feet in height?

Such interesting facets, usually unknown to visitors who throng the Big Temple in Thanjavur, can be discovered at an exhibition that begins at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in the city on Thursday.

Organised by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for The Arts (IGNCA), the 11-day exhibition will have on display over 200 photographs of paintings, sculptures and sketches touching upon the finer aspects of the temple.

Unlike in the past, when exhibitions about the temple were dedicated exclusively to its paintings, sculptures or rituals, this is the first occasion in which they have all been brought under one roof, said Prathap Anand Jha, director of Cultural and Informatics Library at IGNCA.

The exhibition, titled ‘Brihadeeswara: the monument and the living tradition’, is the culmination of years of dedicated research by scholars specialising in their respective fields.

After Chennai, the exhibition would move on to Coimbatore, Madurai and Tiruchi, Mr. Jha said.

N. Gopalaswami, former chief election commissioner, Avvai Natarajan, former vice-chancellor, Tamil University, Thanjavur; Bharatanatyam exponent Padma Subrahmanyam and R. Nagaswamy, former director of the department of Archaeology, spoke at the inaugural function held in the city on Wednesday evening.

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