The trial run of the 52 tonne wooden car is expected around March-April
Temple Work on building a new chariot for the Big Temple has been taken up in full swing. The State government recently allocated Rs. 50 lakh for the work.
The work is going on at Konganeswarar temple situated on West Main Street. Wood has been sourced from Veppanthattai in Perambalur district and a team led by Sthapathi Varadarajan from Arumbavur in Perambalur district are involved in carving woods for the car.
A trial run is expected in Tamil month of Panguni (March-April) and car festival will be held in Chithirai Brahmotsavam (April-May). Totally, 1,175 cubic ft of wood and around 1.5 tonnes of iron will be used for construction of the car, Mr. Varadarajan said. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL), Tiruchi, will cast the four iron wheels.
The car will be 16.75 ft high and will weigh 52 tonnes. Nearly, 400 sculptures will be engraved in the car. “They are carved as per agama sastra,” said the sthapathi.
There are documents which indicate that the car festival was held in temple and car stands in the four raja veedhis indicating the presence of temple cars. It is said that there were five cars in Thanjavur and car festival was held till 19th Century.
A total of 27,394 persons were used for pulling the car.
The Big Temple, built by King Raja Raja Cholan, is an all-stone temple that has been declared as world heritage monument by UNESCO.
The vimana on the sanctum sanctorum of the temple is 212 ft high and an eighty tonnes cupbolic doom is on top the vimana. A Kalasam is there on top of the Viamana.
The temple has two gopurams at the entrance and a sprawling inner prahara.
The inside walls of the Vimana on the sanctum sanctorum has rare sculptures.
The wooden car is constructed according to the Agama Sastra.Sthapathi Varadarajan,Construction team leader
Temple car Specifications
Wood from Veppanthattai in Perambalur
1,175 cubic feet of wood
1.5 tonnes of iron
Iron Wheels from BHEL Tiruchi
Car will be 16.75 feet high
Will weigh 52 tonnes
400 sculptures will be engraved