Interesting Facts about the Museum & Temple Chariot at which Shashi Tharoor Visited 12-10- 2021

On 12th October 2021, Dr Shashi Tharoor visited the Napier Museum in Kerala. and Tweeted few Magnificent Pictures which are going viral, and Netizens are loving more of the Colour of Kurtha, The museum houses a rare collection of archaeological and historic artefacts, bronze idols, ancient ornaments, a temple chariot and ivory carvings. Indian epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana are depicted in the museum, using Japanese shadow-play leather. Visiting Hours of the Napier Museum: Open 10.00 – 16.45 hrs. Closed on Mondays, Wednesday forenoons, 26 January, 15 August, Thiruvonam and Mahanavami.

Interesting Facts about the Museum & Temple Chariot at which Shashi Tharoor Visited 12-10- 2021

the Tweet is " At Thiruvananthapuram magnificent Napier Museum again today — urging all tourists to visit & see its wonderful but undeservingly unknown collection! "  The Napier Museum is an art and natural history museum situated in Thiruvananthapuram, India. The Museum is grounds for the Trivandrum Zoo, one of the oldest zoological gardens in India. The zoo was established in 1857 over 55 acres (220,000 m2) of land. It also contains the Sree Chitra Art Gallery, a separate art gallery established in 1935. The set of museums, along with the zoo, are managed by the Department of Museums and Zoos, a branch of the Department of Cultural Affairs of Kerala.

A building was constructed in 1857 during the reign of Uthram Thirunal Marthanda Varma and later demolished in 1874 to lay the foundation for a new building, during the reign of Ayilyam Thirunal. The Governor of Madras in 1872 appointed Robert Chisholm, a consulting architect of the Madras Government to design a new museum. In 1880, construction finished and the museum opened to the public, bearing the namesake of its governor, Francis Napier, 10th Lord Napier. The Indo-Saracenic structure lacks an air conditioning system. Although it has never been an issue due to suitable natural ventilation, an annexe built in 2016 was noted for various problems such as mould, insects and corrosion owing to the lack of windows and openings. Since 2017, the annexed museum depot has been under review and is being rebuilt. Furthermore, the Napier Museum itself is being renovated.

The Museum is named after Lord Napier, the then Governor-General of Madras. Impressed by the traditional Kerala style architecture, Lord Napier in 1872 CE assigned, the architect of the Government of Madras, Robert Fellowes Chisholm, to build this royal structure. Chisholm attempted to promote native art in the design of the structure. He designed it after making a detailed study of Kerala architecture.

He found himself in the bizarre position of having to educate and teach the Travancore elite on how best to promote and widen their own art. Within a short span of time, Chisholm came up with an idiosyncratic design, collaborating the native and the foreign. He thereby introduced the Indo-Saracenic structure to the people of Kerala. On 20/03/1873, laid the foundation stone for the new building was and in 1880, the then King of Travancore, Ayilyam Thirunal opened the museum to the public.

Some of the building features include a gothic roof and minarets. The Napier Museum, a landmark of the city, is noted for its unique ornamentation and architectural style, which is influenced by Indian, Chinese, Kerala and Mughal Schools of Architecture.

The museum has a bandstand with concealed speakers and special acoustics. In the old days, the band of the Travancore Nair Brigade would play there every Friday. Later, the police band would play on Saturdays.

The museum owns a garden that has many varieties of flowers and trees. It also shelters the oldest living rubber tree in Kerala. It was brought there in 1876 from Ceylon and planted in the museum grounds by Visakham Thirunal. 

About The Temple Car:

Temple cars or chariots are used to carry representations of Hindu Gods on annual festival days. Many people gather at the temple premises and pull it manually by using a rope. It will be accompanied by the chanting of mantras, hymns, shlokas and bhajans. The mighty car won’t move until thousands of people pull it at the same time.

The displayed chariot, even though it is comparatively small, has the usual five layers. These displayed layers are small but are perfect examples of carvings that can be classified as images, narrative scenes from Ramayana, Bhagavatha, Sivapurana and symbolic decorations. Images of Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Goddess Durga and incarnations of Vishnu and aspects of Shiva are all represented.

The temple car is something that is never to be missed in the Museum. It is exceptionally beautiful and royal. This massive structure decked with elaborate figures carved intricately is really an astonishing sight. Measurement: 400 cm (height) - 17th Century CE - Padamanabhapuram.

The chariots or sacred Car is usually used on festival days when many people pull the cart. The size of the largest temple cars inspired the Anglo-Indian term Juggernaut (from Jagannath), signifying a tremendous, virtually unstoppable force or phenomenon. The procession of Asia's largest and greatest temple car of Thiruvarur Thiyagarajar Temple in Tamil Nadu features prominently in an ancient festival held in the town.

The annual chariot festival of the Thygarajaswamy temple is celebrated during April – May, corresponding to the Tamil month of Chitrai. The chariot is the largest of its kind in Asia and India weighing 300 tonnes with a height of 90 feet. The chariot comes around the four main streets surrounding the temple during the festival. The event is attended by lakhs of people from all over Tamil Nadu.

The Aazhi Ther is the biggest temple chariot in Tamil Nadu. The 30-foot tall temple car, which originally weighed 220 tons, is raised to 96 feet with bamboo sticks and decorative clothes, taking its total weight to 350 tons. Mounted on the fully decorated temple car, the presiding deity – Lord Shiva – went around the four streets with the devotees pulling it using huge ropes. Two bulldozers were engaged to provide the required thrust so that devotees could move the chariot.

As of 2004, Tamil Nadu had 515 wooden carts, 79 of which needed repairs. Annamalaiyar Temple, Tiruvannamalai, Chidambaram Natarajar Temple are among the temples that possess these huge wooden chariots for regular processions.

The Natarajar Temple celebrates the chariot festival twice a year; once in the summer (Aani Thirumanjanam, which takes place between June and July) and another in winter (Marghazhi Thiruvaadhirai, which takes place between December and January). Lord Krishna of Udupi has five temple cars, namely Brahma Ratha (the largest), Madya Ratha (medium), kinyo (small), and the silver and gold Ratha s.