Tamil Nadu

Kalasam on Big Temple's ‘Rajarajan Thiruvayil' damaged in lightning strike

One of the five Kalasams at the entrance of the Big temple was broken as lightning struck during heavy rains in Thanjavur on Sunday. Photo: M.Srinath

One of the five Kalasams at the entrance of the Big temple was broken as lightning struck during heavy rains in Thanjavur on Sunday. Photo: M.Srinath  

One of the five kalasams on ‘Rajarajan Thiruvayil', the third gopuram at the entrance of the Big Temple, was damaged following a lightning strike during the heavy rain on Sunday.

The kalasam made of brick and lime mortar fell into pieces.

The temple, built by King Rajaraja Cholan, has three gopurams leading to the main temple which has a soaring vimana on the sanctum sanctorum.

The first gopuram was built during Maratha period. The second one is known as ‘Keralandhagan Vayil.' The third one ‘Rajarajan Thiruvayil,' the one struck by lightning, was built during the Chola period.

Archaeological Survey of India sources said lighting conductors have been fitted on ‘Keralandhagan Vayil' and the main vimana of the temple.

‘Keralandhagan Vayil' is 25 metres high while the main vimana on the sanctum sanctorum is 65 metres high.

While the main vimanas are made of stone (all stone structure), ‘Keralandhagan Vayil' and ‘Rajarajan Thiruvayil' are made of brick and lime mortar.

No separate lightning conductor

“As ‘Rajarajan Thiruvayil' was smaller in height, a separate lightning conductor was not fitted on it. The one on ‘Keralandhagan Vayil' can take the shock for 100 metres radius and could protect ‘Rajarajan Vayil' also. Because of its presence only, the lightning could not cause much damage to ‘Rajarajan Vayil' except smashing one kalasam,” ASI sources explained.

A temporary kalasam will be put up in the place of damaged one.

As kumbabishekam is to be performed to the temple next year (2011), the kalsam will be newly fitted then, ASI sources said.

M.S. Shanmugam, Collector, and K.A. Senthilvelan, Superintendent of police, visited the temple to inspect the damage.

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Aug 7, 2020 1:16:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/Kalasam-on-Big-Temples-lsquoRajarajan-Thiruvayil-damaged-in-lightning-strike/article15719847.ece

Next Story