Thousands of devotees on Wednesday witnessed the consecration of the 11th century Chola temple which is popularly known as the Thanjavur Big Temple. The consecration ceremony was performed at the temple after a long gap of 23 years.
The temple is being maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and has been renovated with fresh paint and other restructuring work. The temple caught fire in 1997, leading to a number of deaths.
The grand celebrations began early in the morning at 4:30 am and the mantras were recited in both Tamil and Sanskrit. Food for the devotees has been arranged at the Raja Raja Samaya Sanga marriage hall.
Around 9.21 am, holy water was poured over the Kalasam (Pinnacle) of the Perivudayar, Periyanaki and other shrines in the temple. The thousands who had gathered to witness the ceremonies chanted 'Om Namasivaya'.
Later the devotees were also allowed to enter Perivudayar shrine where Maha Deeparadhana was performed to the main deity, the 13 feet high Shivalingam.
In order to control the crowds, a reported 5000 police personnel were deployed in and around the temple.
(Image credits: PTI)