News Excerpt
The ‘kumbhabhishekam’ (consecration) of the 1,010-year-old Brihadeshwar Temple was held after 23 years. This event was preceded by a dispute over the language to be used to conduct this auspicious ceremony which was settled by the Madras High Court. Consecration ceremony is generally performed when new idols are installed in a Temple. The kumbhabhishekam or sprinkling of holy water, marks the end of the ritual.
Chronology of the Great Living Chola Temples

Brihadeshwar Temple at Thanjavur
(By Chola King Rajaraja I (985 – 1020 CE))

The Brihadisvara temple at Gangaikondacholapuram
(By Rajendra I (1012-1044 CE))


The Airavatesvara temple at Tanjavur
(by the Chola king Rajaraja II (1143-1173 CE.))

Pre-Connect
•    The Great Living Chola Temples were built by kings of the Chola Empire. The UNESCO site includes three great 11th and 12thcentury Temples: the Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur, the Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikondacholisvaram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram.
•    The most impressive aspect of the Brihadeshwara temple is its vimana,which reaches to a height of sixty meters. The huge shikhara top the vimana is believed to weigh more than eighty tons.
•    The Temple of Gangaikondacholisvaram, is famous for its bronze sculptures including that of Bhogasakti and Subhramanya.
•    The Airavatesvara temple complex at Darasuram features a 24-m vimana and a stone image of Shiva. The front mandapa known in the inscriptions as Rajagambhiran tirumandapam, is unique as it was conceptualized as a chariot with wheel.

About Bhrihadeshwar temple at Thanjavur
    Known in the inscriptions as Dakshina Meru, the construction of this temple was inaugurated by the Chola King, Rajaraja I (985-1012 CE).
    The temple walls are embellished with exquisite mural paintings. Eighty-one of the one hundred and eight karanas, poses in Baharatanatya, are carved on the walls of the temple.
    There is a shrine dedicated to Amman dating to 13th century. Shrines were also added by Nayak and Maratha rulers.
    The temple is completely made of granite.

Analytica
    The struggle for supremacy between the Sanskrit and Tamil traditions over the use of language to chant mantras during the ceremony ultimately took the matter to the court.
    A section of society had earlier demanded that it be held in Tamil, while ‘Hindu Temple Protection Committee’ insisted on continuance in Sanskrit as per existing practice.
    After a representation from Tamil groups, Government wanted that the ceremony be held in both Sanskrit and Tamil.
    ‘Hindu Temple Protection Committee’ moved a writ petition in Madras High Court to check “government interference” in traditional rituals. They argued that this will amount to taking away the right to profess religion guaranteed under Article 25 of the Constitution of India.
    The Madras High Court agreed with the state government’s affidavit that the ceremony should be in both Sanskrit and Tamil.

Conclusion
For flourishing of one culture, perishing of another is not necessary.  As the court judgments shows, peaceful coexistence of multiple cultures in a diverse society like ours is possible if they respect each other and equal opportunity is given to all to flourish.

Chronology of the Great Living Chola Temples

Brihadeshwar Temple at Thanjavur
(By Chola King Rajaraja I (985 – 1020 CE))

The Brihadisvara temple at Gangaikondacholapuram
(By Rajendra I (1012-1044 CE))

PEPPER IT WITH
Article 25, Dravidian temple architecture, Essential Religious practices doctrine, Indian Young Lawyers' Association v. State of Kerala case;