Costing Rs. 22 lakh, this complicated work has been taken up under expert supervision

Renovation of the 500-year-old ‘kal mandapam’ and a 66-feet portion of the wall adjoining the East Tower of the Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in Madurai has been taken up under expert supervision.

This Rs. 22-lakh project will be executed in two phases and is expected to be completed in four months. It is being taken up by the same personnel who worked at the second ‘prakaram’ of the ‘Amman Sannidhi,’ K. Rajanayagam, Executive Officer of Temple, told The Hindu in Madurai.

The project will see the complete dismantling of the ‘kal mandapam’, which adjoins the ‘annadana mandapam,’ stone by stone. The unique aspect of this work is that the same stones will be re-used to build back the structures, he said.

Immense care was being taken to ensure that the stones were carefully removed. They were also being numbered so that they could be fitted back to their original positions. Initially, one half of the 66-feet stretch wall is being dismantled and would be re-built, after which the second half will be taken up.

Dismantling work was underway in the first half now and will be completed in a month's time. To reduce the workload on the structures, a warehouse on the terrace above the ‘kal mandapam’ is being removed permanently, he said.

According to P. Kumaran, Assistant Divisional Engineer, the works were necessitated following the collapse of the portion of the wall in May due to age. The wall being dismantled now has two layers with a small gap between them. While they were filled with limestone earlier, now they would be filled with concrete, he added.

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