Thanjavur Big ''temple Chariot'' 2024 - why did the chariot get entangled with electric overhead wire this year?

During The therottam or Rath Yatra on the 20th  of April, 2024 - one day after the Parliament election as part of the 18 day annual Chithirai festival - Brahmotsavam, a major mishap had been avoided owing to power shit down all along the four main Raja veethis (streets) through which the 40 plus ton well decorated chariot (ther) was pulled by thousand o devotees .The main chariot was carrying the processional idol of God Shiva -Brihadeeswarar.

Thanjavur, TN big temple ratha 40 to 43 ton.

Thanjavur temple chariot, wooden base.

Above image: The Thanjavur big temple gets face lift once a year during  therrotam, rest of the year  Aranmani temple Devasthanam and HR & CE do not maintain it periodically. It is covered in a glass covered shed on the West Main street. One could  see heaps of trash  near the wheels and layers of dust on the outer part of the Ther. The chariot (made of Eluppa wood;  ht 16 ft; W.13 ft) carries a few  hundred intricately carved images of Hindu deities, etc. The chariot (made in 2015) has to be taken care of periodically, if not the carved images will lose its shine and grandeur.........

entrance to the main shrine, 1000 year old Thanjavur Big temple, TN.

As part of the custom, the processional  idol brought from the temple was mounted  on the chariot at 7 am with prescribed rituals by temple Sivacharyas. At 7. 15 am,  no sooner had the chariot begun to roll down the West Main street clock-wise than  a brief period later, the top side of chariot on one side got entangled with the overhead power line.  The power supply was stopped long before  the chariot run.

April 2022 fire mishap, Kalimedu, Thanjavuir,

The electricity department did not want the reoccurrence of fire mishap that had happened at the annual chariot festival of Appar Swamy Mutt at Kalimedu in Thanjavur. In the last week of April 2022, the top of the canopy over the chariot  touched the live overhead power supply line which resulted in 11 deaths, including 3 boys. Several people received severe burns. The Electricity department did not switch off the power grid in that area during the Therrotam. Since then it has become mandatory to stop the power supply all the chariot route. 

This year the chariot run got delayed by 15 to 20 minutes on the busy West main street near  Sri Konganeswarar temple, Thanjavur  due to overhead power supply line that got entangled with top of the decorated canopy on the wooden chariot. The main reason was the size of the decorated part of the canopy on the chariot was poorly planned.   The width and height of the canopy is to  be preplanned and ascertained both by the Chariot committee and the Aranmanai Devasthanam  along with the HR & CE of the TN government. Because of pre-parliament election works and the visits of  prominent  netas to the city for election campaign, the temple officials and others  were busy. 

This year the  size of the chariot decoration was pre planned arbitrarily without  involvement of the HR & CE, civil officials and others. A part of the canopy was refixed to  free the entanglement by the workers along the electricity department  officials. Then the therrotam all along the other Raja Veethis was successfully held, witnessed by thousands of people with devotion.  By noon the chariot was back to the same spot on the West main street just across Kanchi Mutt branch.  

The 18-day exciting and colorful festival that had begun with the hosting of the holy flag on April 6, culminated on the evening of April 23 with the lowering of the flag on the temple premises after customary rituals. The hot sun never hampered the bhakti and the spirit of the people whose trust in the edit of god is quite amazing and unshakable. .