The ravages of time are beginning to show in the Meenakshi Amman temple with the pillars, embossed with intricate carvings and sculptures, set to get a makeover. The pillars on the southern and eastern corridor around the Golden Lotus Tank with carvings dating back to the rule of Tirumalai Naickar (1623-59) are misaligned.
“The pillars there aren’t aligned and are of a different height as well. This has impacted the structure with cracks developing at the top. The pillars are also affected by corrosion,” said an engineer at the temple.
The problem was spotted in the course of an inspection of the pillars by a special team consisting of PWD officials, archaeologists and academics from IIT Madras and Anna University conducted in May last year.
“We took the decision to restore and renovate the pillars based on the inspection report,” said P Jayaraman, Joint Commissioner, Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department.
He said steps would be taken to replicate the original designs on the pillars. “We are not looking to destroy the historical significance of the structures. The same designs will be carved. We have sourced natural granite blocks from Koira Village in Karnataka (for this purpose),” he explained.
While the pillars on the southern side will be renovated at a cost of Rs 47 lakh, the pillars on the eastern part will be restored at an estimated cost of Rs.41 lakh.
“The work will be completed within a year. Similar restoration work will also be carried out at the Veera Vasantha Rayar Mandapam,” said a temple official.