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Updated: August 4, 2011 12:45 IST

Stone elephant to stand tall

  • Special Correspondent
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GOOD DAYS BECKON: The stone elephant in front of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple, believed to be as old as the temple itself, will be restored by the ruling family of erstwhile Travancore. Photo: S. Gopakumar
GOOD DAYS BECKON: The stone elephant in front of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple, believed to be as old as the temple itself, will be restored by the ruling family of erstwhile Travancore. Photo: S. Gopakumar

Sculpture, believed to be as old as Padmanabhaswamy temple, to be restored

Sculpture, whetting stone, platform for street vendors, seat for tired pedestrians — the stone elephant by the side of the road on the eastern bank of the Padmatheertham temple tank before the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple has assumed many roles over the years.

Neglected, abused and vandalised, with only half of its body visible above ground, the granite sculpture seems to be sinking into a quicksand.

Few would care to cast a second look at the worn figure beneath the canopy of a banyan tree. But finally, bad times seem to have ended for the sculpture.

The ruling family of erstwhile Travancore has now decided to restore the stone elephant. Mayor K. Chandrika told reporters here on Wednesday that she had talked to the royal family after Palkulangara ward councillor P.Ashok Kumar moved a resolution in the Corporation Council last week seeking restoration and preservation of the granite sculpture.

For temple's protection

Mr. Kumar said the stone elephant could be as old as the temple. “It is believed that the elephant was installed as a protection for the temple,” he said. “It is saddening to watch it being used by vendors to sharpen their knives or as a seat.”

The Mayor said the ruling family had agreed to take up the restoration of the sculpture in consultation with the Department of Archaeology.

“All they have asked for is consent from the City Corporation to carry out the work since it is located in a public place.”