Tamil Nadu

Rajaraja Chola’s statue stays outside the Big Temple he built

King Raja Raja Cholan Statue near Big Temple at Thanjavur.

King Raja Raja Cholan Statue near Big Temple at Thanjavur.   | Photo Credit: M. Srinath

Fifty years ago, the State witnessed a controversy over the installation of the statue of Rajaraja Chola I, who built the Brihadeeswara temple.

The then DMK government and a committee, headed by Kundrakudi Adigal, wanted the statue to be kept within the premises of the temple, which became a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India in the late 1940s. But, the Central government was firm that nothing should be done to disturb the original character of the temple.

In January 1970, the Archaeological Survey of India sent a communication to the Palace Devasthanam, intimating the refusal of the permission [Even now, the temple is managed by the Palace Devasthanam, under the supervision of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department].


In April 1970, the then Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi unveiled the statue, which is now kept in a park close to the Maratha gateway.

Fourteen years later, in September 1984, in connection with the 1000th anniversary celebration of Rajaraja’s accession to the throne, the AIADMK Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran revived the demand by appealing to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to grant permission to the State government for the installation of a statue of Rajaraja Chola inside the temple.

Even though The Hindu, in its edition on September 15, 1984, carried a report from New Delhi about the Prime Minister’s approval, nothing on the matter was heard later.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 9:32:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/rajaraja-cholas-statue-stays-outside-the-big-temple-he-built/article30773339.ece

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