Thanjavur: The ‘Theerthavari’ ceremony of ‘Chithirai Peruvizha’ of Big temple was held on April 29, Sunday. The deity of Ashtiradevar of the temple was taken in procession with the playing of ‘Nadaswaram’ and ‘tavil’ to Sivaganga tank near the temple for Theerthavari at 10 am.
As the procession has to pass through Swartz church, a monument in the little fort area under the control of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), church authorities allegedly wanted the procession to wait for sometime as a mass was going on in the church.
However, Jai Satheesh, BJP district secretary of BJP and Vinayagam, city corporation secretary alleged that people belonging to a particular community objected to the procession being taken along the route. They allegedly argued with those people that the procession is normally taken in that route only and it has to pass through that route.
The police on duty intervened and the procession passed off peacefully. ‘Theerthavari’ was held at Sivaganga tank at 11 am that day.
Sri Bababji Rajah Bhonsle, erstwhile senior prince and hereditary trustee of Palace Devasthanam (trustee of the Big temple) said that ‘Theerthavari’ will be held at Sivaganga tank. “But due to unhygienic conditions in the tank, we stopped it for many years and did it inside the temple itself. This year we thought of doing it at the tank.”
He said that the approach to the tank is through Swartz Church which is under the control of the ASI and also in the fort and little fort area where Big temple, Swartz church and Sivaganga tank and park are located.
On Sunday, he said when ‘Theerthavari’ procession reached Swartz church, mass was going on and hence they asked to wait for some time. Later, the procession was taken out and ‘Theerthavari’ held (after the mass was over) without any problem. “On Sunday also we cleaned the tank bund with nearly 100 sanitary workers, the erstwhile prince, who was part of the ‘Theerthavari’ procession, said. Both the Big temple and the Swartz church are in the protected area under the control of the ASI, the erstwhile prince underscored....