The Welding Research Institute (WRI) of the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Tiruchi, has repaired and handed over a vintage temple bell belonging to Sathuranganathar Temple at Poovanur in Thiruvarur district. The bell has not been in use for the last 70 years.

At a function held at WRI on Monday, A.V. Krishnan, Executive Director, BHEL, handed over the bell to the temple trustees led by S. Panchanathan.

The vintage bell was put back into operation, after a puja was performed at WRI by the temple archakar V. Gowrishankar in the presence of Krishnan, Poovanur village representatives, V. Vasudevan, General Manager, Planning and Development and Modernization, R. Easwaran, General Manager, WRI and Labs, R. Mathiannal, Additional General Manager, Civil and HSE (Health, Safety and Environment) and other senior officials from WRI. The reverberations of the bell could be heard for some distance.

Mr. Krishnan said WRI had mastered the technology for re-conditioning cracked ancient temple and church bells of Tamil Nadu. So far, about 40 such bells had been re-conditioned by WRI, including one at the Rockfort temple.

Briefing about the complex repair welding process, Mr. Easwaran said: “The alloy bell which weighs about 800 kg is essentially made of brass with a thickness of 80 mm and a height of 750 mm and had developed a crack of 350 mm long and 25 mm wide from the bottom because of continuous usage. A special fixture and heating burner were developed and the bell was welded at a controlled temperature using special consumables and flux.”

“The nadam of the bell reminds me of my childhood days when I heard this bell ringing. I had missed this for the last 70 years,” said S. Panchanatham, an 81-year-old Poovanur resident and the temple Pradosha Committee Chairman. .