The ceremony to mark the completion of the 1000th year of Thanjavur Big Temple, constructed by Raja Raja Chola I, will be held on September 25 and 26, in Thanjavur, the State government announced on Saturday.

A meeting chaired by Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi at the Secretariat decided to release a millennium coin and a commemorative stamp, besides organising cultural events and seminars. The government also decided to utilise the occasion to unveil a mega plan to improve the infrastructure of Thanjavur, including widening of roads.

A government release stated that the two- day event would witness both folk and classical music and dance.

On the first day, folk artists would perform in the streets across Thanjavur town. In the evening, noted dancer Padma Subramaniam will lead a programme by 1000 dancers on the premises of Big Temple. Nagaswaram concerts and Thirumurai singing by 100 Oduvars, the exponents of Thevaram and Thiruvchagam, will be held before the dance programme.

On the second day, seminars will be held at Thanjavur Tamil University. General conferences will be on the temple premises. Coins and stamps will be released at Thilakar Thidal. A historical exhibition will also be held.

Saturday's meeting decided to invite Union Ministers, political leaders and experts.

As regards reclamation of the statues of king Raja Raja and his consort Lokamadei, now in a private museum managed by the Sarabhai Foundation in Ahmedabad, the government is considering constituting a team of experts. “The museum expects us to provide evidence. The team of experts will look into the issue and, if necessary, will visit Gujarat,” an official source said.

Reviving moats

At the meeting it was suggested that the beauty of the temple would be heightened if the moats around it were filled with water. In some places, the moats had been destroyed. The government is planning to de-silt waterbodies around the temple such as the Cheevappanaicken lake and Sivaganga Kulam, that were connected to the moats. It is likely to approach the Centre for aid.

Finance Minister K. Anbazhgan; Co-operative Minister Ko.Si. Mani; Transport Minister K.N. Nehru; Information Minister Parithi Ellamvazhuthi; Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Minister K.R. Periyakaruppan; School Education Minister Thangam Thennarasu; Commercial Taxes Minister S.N.M. Ubayadullah; Chief Secretary K.S. Sripathi; Tamil University Vice-Chancellor M. Rajendran; noted archaeologist R. Nagasamy; and DMK MP Kanimozhi, attended the meeting.

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