Does the Tanjore Big Temple Vimana cast a shadow?

After reading the previous post on the Big temple Vimana Nandhi, lot of friends wrote in on the very popular `myth’ of the big temple vimana shadow not falling on the ground. The cholas are known for their meikeerthi – in tamil – mei – true, keerthi – fame, kind of invocation address ( prasithi in sanskrit) – so lets look at the Big temple – its needs no Poi Keerthi ( Poi – lie) to keep its fame. Its by itself a marvel of construction and ingenuity. So for good order sake I am using more of Sri Kudavoil Balasurbramaniam sir’s pictures to put to rest this popular misconception.

There are many versions of this myth, from the shadow of the whole Vimana doesn’t fall, shadow of the top copola doesn’t fall, the top Kalasam ( pot/spire) doesn’t fall etc.

It does fall.

For further reading below newspaper articles.

25 thoughts on “Does the Tanjore Big Temple Vimana cast a shadow?

  1. இரண்டு வாரங்களுக்கு முன் நான் தஞ்சை சென்றபொழுது கூட அங்கிருந்த Guide விமான நிழல் தரையில் விழாது என்பது உள்பட பல கதைகளை விட்டுக்கொண்டிருந்தார் வெளிநாட்டு பயணிகளிடம். அது மட்டுமல்லாமல் ஆலயத்திற்கு வரும் அனைவருமே நிழல் விழாது என்றுதான் கூறுவர், சிலரைத் தவிர. நல்லதொரு பதிவு, ஆனால் விமான நிழல் விழாது என்று சொல்வது கட்டுக்கதை என்று ஒதுக்கிவிடாமல் இதற்கு வேறு ஏதேனும் தொடர்பு இருக்கிறதா என்று ஆராய வேண்டும்.

  2. I remember the first time I went to the temple, I had a huge argument with my Sister that Shadow of Vimana does not fall. I was told that, the shadow will fall on its own structure or in the other inaccessible structures around. After the argument, my sister took me around the pragaram and proved clearly that the shadow does falls on the ground. I won’t forget that incident.

  3. தஞ்சாவூரில் பிறந்து வளர்ந்த என் நண்பர்கள் சிலர் இந்த விஷயத்தை பல முறை நம்ப மறுத்து விட்டனர். விமானத்தின் நிழல் விழும் / விழாது என்ற பயனற்ற சிறு விவாதத்தை தவிர்த்து, கட்டுமானக் கலையில் தலை சிறந்து விளங்கும் தஞ்சை பெரிய கோயிலின் பல்வேறு பெருமைகளை உள்ளூர் வாசிகள் முன்வைக்கலாம்.
    “தக்ஷின மேரு” என்று அழைக்கப்படும் இக்கோயிலின் சிற்பக்கலை சிறப்புக்களைப் பற்றி பக்கம் பக்கமாக எழுதலாம். எண்ணிலடங்கா அற்புதங்களை தன்னுள் அடக்கி வைத்திருக்கும் “ராஜ ராஜீச்வரம்” தமிழர்களின் தொன்று தொட்ட பாரம்பரியம் மற்றும் அறிவியல் திறனை பறை சாற்றும் அற்புதச் சான்று. கரணச் சிற்பங்களும், கலையம்சமும் நிறைந்துள்ள இக்கோயிலின் புகழை குன்றின் மேலிட்ட விளக்காகக் காண்பிப்பதே நம் தலையாய கடமை. இது பற்றி மேலும் பல கட்டுரைகள் வெளிவர வாழ்த்துகிறேன்.

  4. Thoughtful Discovery.
    I appreciate your Discovery.
    The Great Cholas never deserve a false praise on them. Somebody had a very long time kept their lie, intact.
    Many thanks for proving a fallacy.
    Regards to you,all.

  5. Hi Rathinavel

    I wouldn’t want to call it a discovery. Its been happening day in day out. We choose to be led by those who spread this. meaning its not something that had to be researched on. As shiva said a walk around would have ended this myth then and there. Shows how gullible our people are.


  6. When I went seeing the shadow of the Gopuram, we were discussing among us. One of the vistor told us during noon the doom shadow will not fall. Reason is the basement of doom is big enough to hold the shadow of the doom on its base itself. Thats why it wont fall in the ground. That seems reasonable. What do you say?

  7. actually my friend told me that the vimana doesnt cast shadow…but after reading these contents i am going for an argue with her

  8. What they actually meant is that the shoadow of the temple falls within the temple are.. not on the ground which is outside of temple…

  9. Hi all,
    The sun rises and sets. So, shadows will be cast anywhere at all around the temple. Thus, how can people not see it all?

  10. Dear Vijay ,
    Thanks for a nice and informative blog.
    About the temple however , the statement is
    The Vimana does not cast a shadow on the ground at noon any time of the year . It is constructed in such a way that the shadow falls on itself . The important part is any time of the year . As the Sun goes through the Dakshinayan and Uttarayan , the position of the overhead Sun at noon changes and so the shadow will be cast in different directions , and still it will not fall on the ground . This kind of calculations to have been done at that time is marvelous . All the pictures you are showing are in the afternoon or evening time . As per todays times noon time at Tanjavur will be 12.15 Indian Standard Time

  11. hey guys above pictures are taken from gangaikonda chola buram resemblance as like periya kovil. shadow wil not fall in tanjore temple…

  12. I went to Tanjore to see this amazing temple. You would be mesmerized on your first visit. Most importantly, please read about it and do your research before you visit. You would truly appreciate the legacy we have been left with.
    It is sad that “no shadow” kind of myths are attached to such a majestic & historical structure.
    You just want to be there and look at the art work, forget about the shadow. Anything that stands, will have a shadow.

  13. at noon no shadow on north or south.the earth is on 23 degree.vimana also at 23 degree.this is the secret of no shadow of vimana at noon only.At other time shadow of vimana falls on ground on east or west shadow on north or south side of vimana.this is the natural with earth 23 degree downward rotation.

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