RENOVATION Of the Sri Thanthondrieswarar and Sri Ashta Bhuja Bala Madana Venugopala Swamy Temples near Salem is underway.

The majestic Sri Thanthondrieswarar and Sri Ashta Bhuja Bala Madana Venugopala Swamy Temples at Belur in Valapady, 26 km from Salem, stand for architectural excellence that are typical of Dravidian culture.

The twin temples, believed to be 5,000 years old, are a storehouse of exquisitely carved stone sculptures that reflect the rich cultural heritage of the time. They were built and expanded over a period by kings of various dynasties.

Aesthetic appeal

The temples, located on the banks of the River Vasishta and surrounded by beautiful hillocks, boast of stately towers and have an aesthetic appeal.

Maintained by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Board, the temples' sthlapurana says Arjuna came here 73 years before his entry into Swarga.

In the 130th chapter of the Bramhanda Purana, one of the 18 Puranas, Sudamuni tells his disciples about the glory of the Lord here.

The deity is believed to remove all obstacles and bestow one with good family ties. The temple attracts devotees from all over.

According to the renovation committee, donations from industrialists and the public have helped undertake repair works and in building a new Rajagopuram 10 years ago.

Two new wooden temple cars were also commissioned in 2010. An intricately carved rath made of teak wood and covered with copper sheet was completed in 2011. The repair of leaking roofs, installation of 12 Jothir Lingams and the construction of a kitchen are under progress. The Maha Kumbabishekam is expected to be performed in 2014. Work is on to make a two-tonne golden chariot for the deity. The committee seeks contributions from devotees for this. For details and contributions, contact P. Palanisamy at 99767 28097 or G. Manickam at 94861-58957.