Four main streets to be widened by clearing encroachment

Devotees, art lovers and historians have welcomed the announcement made by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa that a sum of Rs. 50 lakh will be spent on making a new car for Big Temple in Thanjavur.

Marathi Modi script documents at Saraswathi Mahal Library here reveal that a massive car had existed for the temple, but was ruined because of lack of maintenance towards the end of 19{+t}{+h}century and the beginning of twentieth century.

Now only rathotsavam is held with makeshift car and hence the car festival of Big Temple has lost charm. Creation of the car and revival of the festival will bring glory and happiness to the town, people feel.

Brick-made car stands, in ruined condition, at the corners of west main street and south main street, and north main street and west main street near Moola Hanumar temple and near St Peters School, bearing testimony to the grand car festival that were conducted in the past.

Kudavayil Balasubramanian, epigraphist and former researcher of Saraswathi Mahal Library, said that Modi documents at the library reveal the grandeur with which car festivals were held in the past.

Modi documents reveal that in 1776 AD, the Maratta King who ruled Thanjavur brought 20,200 people from the composite Thanjavur district to pull the car of Big Temple, Mr. Balasubramanian said.

In 1818 A.D, Maratta King Serfoji brought 27,394 people to pull the car. “The people, who were brought to pull the car, include 1,900 from Thiruvaiyaru taluk, 2,800 from Papanasam taluk, 2,920 from Tiruvarur taluk, 3,494 from Kumbakonam taluk, 3,480 from Mayiladuthurai taluk, and 4,200 from Mannargudi taluk, besides 900 from various places for doing other works," Mr. Balasubramanian said citing Modi documents.

Kings spent a lot of gold coins for repairing and keeping the car in tact, he said. Nearly 30,150 gold coins were spent on repairing the car in 1811.

Babaji Rajah Bhonsle, senior prince and hereditary trustee of palace Devasthanam, welcomed the announcement of the Chief Minister and thanked her.

S.Muthukumar, secretary of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (Thanjavur unit), said that car stands in ruined conditions should be renovated so that the festive look of the town was enhanced and heritage protected.

Savithiri Gopal, chairperson of Thanjavur municipality, welcomed the gesture by the Chief Minister, and said that the four main streets would be widened by removing encroachment for the movement of the car.

  • A car had existed for the temple, but was ruined because of lack of maintenance: Modi script

  • In 1776 AD, Maratta King brought 20,200 people from the composite Thanjavur district to pull car