The Brihadeeswarar temple, Thanjavur, will soon have a sound-and-light show. The plan now is to have two shows each day – one in English and the other in Tamil – and the duration is expected to be about 45 minutes each.
After a long struggle, and coordinated efforts of the Tamil Nadu Tourism department and personal interest of Chief Secretary K.S.Sripathi, the decks have finally been cleared for the show. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on July 8 between the Director General, Archeological Survey of India and the Managing Director, Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation, signalling the formal completion of procedures ahead of putting up a show.
The temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva and built by Rajaraja Chola (985-1012), is a UNESCO recognised world heritage site. Hence, though the Tourism department had thought of the sound and light show around the same time that it introduced the show at the Tiumalai Nayakar Mahal at Madurai, a series of steps needed to be completed ahead of the commencement of the event.
“The temple is a protected monument. So the ASI wanted acoustic and light effect studies carried out ahead of giving us permission,” said Tourism Secretary V.Irai Anbu.
This took time. The National Physical Laboratory deputed its experts to investigate the effect of “induced vibrations due to acoustic excitation form the sound show” at the temple.
They also studied the effect of light due to the light show on the monument. The studies conclusively established that there could be no damage to the structure as a result of the show.
The sound and light show in Madurai has been a huge draw, Mr.Irai Anbu said. “In nine months, we have collected about Rs.20 lakh from the show,” he adds.