With just three days left for organising the three-day celebrations of 500th year of coronation of Sri Krishnadevaraya here, the Ekaratra Mallikharjuna Prasanna temple of lord Siva here stands testimony to utter neglect by the authorities.

The temple, including its ‘garbhalaya' (sanctum sanctorum), lies inundated in rainwater and sullage. Even the presiding deity, Mallikharjuna Swamy, is suffused with sullage, as there is no outlet for filthy water stagnated in the temple premises to drain out. The sludge in front of Rajagopuram, slush in temple complex and strong stench emanating from the stagnated water welcome the devotees.

Incidentally, the Siva temple is situated right next to the Srikakuleswara Swamy temple, where the district administration has taken up temporary restoration works for the Sri Krishnadevaraya celebrations. More than Rs. 20 lakh is being spent for painting and temporary restoration of Srikakuleswara Swamy temple. There is apparently no move to give a face lift to the Siva temple.

The staff present there have no specific reasons to offer for this neglect, but say that both temples are not under the control of one executive officer. The villagers, nevertheless, are bemused. They ask whether the people attending the celebrations would not pay a visit to the Siva temple, which has equal historical importance as Srikakuleswara Swamy temple. One could find symbols of Kakatiya rulers on the premises of Siva temple, indicating that it was patronised by them.

The recent heavy rains have left the temple in knee-deep water until two days ago. The rain water choked all the drains and the authorities' attempt to flush out the water did not yield much result at the temple. It was marooned a couple of days ago as the temple lies at a lower level than the road. The authorities raised the floor about four years ago as the temple used to be flooded during every monsoon. But the problem continues to persist. The devotees face inconvenience as they have to walk on the premises of the temple in ankle deep water.

More In: Vijayawada