A pilot project on renovation of ramparts of Srirangam Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple has been taken up with an inter-departmental coordination among the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment department, Tiruchirapalli City Corporation, and other agencies. The ramparts, built centuries ago, had got weakened especially in the V, VI and VII ‘prakaram’ of the temple due to age, bad weather, thick growth of vegetation, and above all, vandalism. The ‘prakaram’ would be renovated without altering the architectural glory of ancient rulers, said V.T. Narasimhan, consultant archaeologist/conservationist, Department of HR and CE, Museum and Tourism.

Addressing presspersons after visiting the site of the project, Mr. Narasimhan said that to start with a preliminary study on renovation would be taken up to a length of 50 metres on South Uthira street and West Uthira Street. While five metres would be covered on south, the balance 45 metres would be taken up on the western side. “The ‘L’-shaped junction on Uthira street has been identified for the pilot project for two reasons – firstly for arriving at the nature and extent of damage and secondly for estimating the exact expenditure needed for renovation - together with the quantum of materials needed for renovation process,” he said. The data collected through the pilot project would form the base for the renovation of the damaged structures on the V, VI and VII enclosures of the temple.

Mortar for grandeur

Explaining the architectural capability of the ancient rulers, Mr. Narasimhan said that the ramparts had been constructed using granite stones. A special mortar called ‘combination mortar’ made of lime, sand, and a little quantity of cement would be utilised for the restoration of the beauty of the ramparts. “The original grandeur will be restored to ramparts using the mortar,” he said adding that this was the first time that the HR and CE would take up the work. The clearing of the thick vegetation would be taken up wherever needed.

Forming the backyard of houses, inaccessibility has been a major problem resulting in the poor maintenance for decades. Officials do have to enter private houses to have a glimpse of the ramparts. “The discovery of a small stone entrance between Uthira and Chithra streets will be utilised for moving the building materials,” he hoped.

Jayashree Muralidharan, Collector, said that the HR and CE would, as a first step, clear the boulders which had crumbled. The corporation would set up drainage channel which would be followed by renovation by Mr. Narasimhan.

V.P. Thandapani, Corporation Commissioner, said that the V, VI and VII enclosures had not been brought under the underground drainage scheme so far. Sewage pipes, box-type walls, and manholes would be set up for ensuring free flow of sewage waters.