The space around it was cleared and desilted recently
The efforts of authorities in clearing the precincts of the 1,000-pillar ‘mandapam' of Srirangam Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple have gone down well with devotees as the summer showers experienced for the past couple of days being have been properly realised all around the structure.
The 1,000-pillar mandapam, built by Tirumangai Mannan, is not quite frequented by devotees and pilgrims. Except during the annual festival of Vaikunta Ekadasi and certain other temple functions, the ‘mandapam,' located at a farther end of the Azhinadan Tiruchutru, does not attract devotees. Whenever some maintenance or repair works is taken up at the temple, sand, bricks and other building materials are dumped in the ‘mandapam' area.
Because of this, the space between the ‘mandapam' and the ‘manalveli' on its southern side and the entire area between the ‘mandapam' and the fourth ‘praharam' wall on the western side got silted up.
The temple authorities took up the work of clearing the sand, which has given a new look to the entire ‘mandapam.'
“The space around the mandapam was cleared to a length of 240 feet and breadth of 80 feet,” says S. Jayaraman, Executive Officer of the temple. The work on clearing the sand was taken up during November last year, when the flight of steps leading to the ‘mandapam' was restored. The holy feet of Sri Perumal were also noticed. The work was suspended following sharp showers and also in the wake of the Vaikunta Ekadasi festival.
The summer showers have added beauty to the splendour of the structure. Legend has it that the water was stagnant around the ‘mandapam' through out the year and the clearing of silt and recent showers has restored its original view. Mr. Jayaraman said that steps would be taken to ensure permanent storage of water around the structure in consultation with higher officials.