A facelift is being given to the thousand pillar mandapam of the historical Sri Jambukeswarar Akilandeswari temple at Thiruvanaikaval here.

The renovation work, which commenced a few days ago, has been taken up with funds provided by the Union Ministry of Tourism for the development of this world renowned Lord Shiva temple, a panchabootha sthalam representing water, one of the five elements of nature.

The work has begun on the front portion of the expansive structure that has beautiful engravings of deities. The tall stone pillars inside the mandapam are being given water wash at first followed by application of stone varnish. The high ceilings are given water wash using water jets to make it look clean.

Alongside water wash and stone varnishing on stone pillars, is the flooring work that is under way in the damaged portions. Work of pointing the cut stone joints are being executed simultaneously as part of the facelift work.

The facelift to the mandapam is being done out at a cost of Rs. 36.22 lakh out of the Rs. 3.58 crore funds sanctioned by the Union Ministry of Tourism under the Destination Development Scheme, say temple authorities.

Lighting facility would be provided inside the 1,000 pillar mandapam whose area is over one lakh square feet and situated on the left side upon entry from the western gopuram.

Built by Kochengot Cholan, a Chola king, the temple is one of the Padal Petra Sthalam with the lingam in the sanctum sanctorum known as Appu lingam. There is a separate shrine for Goddess Akilandeswari in the temple that is situated between the Cauvery and the Coleroon river.

The authorities say the grill gate at the mandapam would be given a fresh coat of paint as part of the renovation work.

Tank beautification

The ‘Adi Theertha Teppakulam’ (temple tank) situated in front of the thousand pillar mandapam would be cleaned up, beautified, and provided with ornamental lightings around. The ‘maiya mandapam’ situated in the tank’s central portion would also be renovated. These works would be carried out at a cost of Rs. 15.60 lakh. Both works are expected to be completed within a year, say the authorities.