Raja Raja Cholan's '''Sathaya Vizha'' 2020 is again a simple event due to COVID -19

Brihadishvara Temple, Thanjavur, TN  upload.wikimedia.org
Every year the ‘Sathaya Vizha’  has been organized by the  Sathaya Vizha Committee, Thanjavur big temple   with a view to marking  the birth anniversary of  one of the greatest Chola rulers ever lived in this part of South India.  Sri Raja Raja Chola  was not only a great ruler but also an excellent administrator and builder of Hindu temples.  Last year his  birth anniversary  celebrations were cut short  as a single-day event on 26 October and it was held within the  premises of the Big Temple which he built.  It meant there was no colorful  procession of images along the four  main  Raja Veedhis. Not even   special anointment of the deities at the Big Temple and recitation of Tamil hymns like thevaram, etc on the `Sathaya Nakshatram’ day

As the the COVID-19 pandemic situation had not improved then, the  temple authorities, on instruction from the government, did not want to take any risk as the people  would gather in large number in one place. Normally, a gala event with colorful procession, cultural programs and the district collector inaugurating the birthday of the emperor (on the Sathayam Nakshatram day), it turned to be a simple event. 

Sathaya Vizha, pandhakkal installation, big temple, thehindu.com. 

This year the 1,036th Sathaya Vizha  is scheduled to take place today 13 November and on Monday itself  the pandhakkal installation ceremony was held in the presence of prominent people from the local area. 

A decision was made to celebrate the  annual Sathaya Vizha as a single day event just like 26 October 2020 on account of COVID -19 Pandemic second wave threats.

.11th C stolen idols of  king raja Raja and his queen.newindianexpress.com

Above image: The two 11th century bronzes of Rajaraja Chola and his queen Lokmadevi, stolen from the Peruvudayar temple more than 50 years ago and were  recovered from a museum in Ahmedabad in June 2018 and later they were brought back to the big temple. Upon Kumbakonam Sub court orders, the idols  were to be installed in the temple.......................  

The early event in the morning will include garlanding of the statue of Raja Raja Cholan installed outside the temple in the Cholan park.  Special  abhishekams will be performed for Lord Peruvudaiyar (God Shiva in the form of Lingam) and this  will be followed by Perundheepa vazhipaadu in the afternoon and Swami purappadu (holy procession) within the temple in the evening. The procession of deities will be confined to the temple premises and will not be taken out on the four main streets. Further, visitors to the temple will be very much restricted as part of precaution against the pandemic. 


Brihadishvara Temple (originally known as Peruvudaiyar Kovil) locally known as Thanjai Periya Kovil, and also called Rajarajeswaram, is  one of the largest Hindu temples and is fine  example of Dravidian  architecture. It is  often referred to as  Dakshina Meru (Meru of south)Built by Rajaraja between 1003 and 1010  it is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Great Living Chola Temples." The temple complex that is entirely made of hard rocks- granite related verities  includes  a large pillared and covered veranda (prakara) in its spacious courtyard, with a perimeter of about 450 meters (1,480 ft) for circumambulation. Normally,  devotees use the open court yard as the pradhashnapath. This temple has one of the largest cupola atop the tower and also one of the largest nandis (bulls) made of a single stone.