A structure resembling a passageway or a drain filled with mud and sand also found

The unexpected unearthing of what appears to be a set of three steps and a nearby structure that resembles a passageway or a drain filled up with mud and sand near the northern entrance to Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple here on Thursday has added to the buzz around the temple.

The discoveries were made around noon by workers digging a five-foot deep trench for the installation of electro-hydraulic bollards and other security apparatus on the road leading to the northern entrance to the temple as part of the efforts to step up security around the temple.

The workers, who first found red bricks and slab-like blocks of laterite just below the tarred surface on one side of the trench, adjacent to the office of the State Archaeology Department towards the west side of the road, alerted the authorities, after which the trench was deepened a few more feet.

G. Prem Kumar, Director, State Archaeology Department, said the subsequent discovery of a set of three steps and the drain-like structure towards the eastern side of the road brought the digging to a stop, and the Archaeology Department was called in.

Excavations needed

“The initial impression is that it could be the remains of some old building or even steps that could have once led to the temple. But we cannot say anything conclusively at this juncture. We will have to carry out excavations and go deeper, perhaps,” Mr. Prem Kumar said.

He said he had written to the State government requesting permission for the excavation, and the proceedings would be as per instructions that would come from the government. If the permission came on Friday, the excavation would likely be launched the same day, or on Saturday, Mr. Prem Kumar told The Hindu.