The Northern Malika attached to the Chuttambalom of the 10-century old Devi Temple at Edanattidom near Aranmula has been gutted in a fire that reportedly broke out in the wee hours of Thursday.

The wooden structure that housed the store room and strong room of the temple has been completely burnt, said Mr K.S.Sudarshanan Pillai, temple devaswom committee president.

Mr Pillai told The Hindu that the silver idol, bronze lamps and vessels have also been melted in the heat.

The fire was first sighted around 1.30 am by a priest staying nearby the temple who had informed the devaswom authorities over phone. The temple authorities and the local people rushed to the spot in the next

few minutes.

Fire and Rescue Force teams from Thiruvalla and Chenganur reached the temple in the next 20 minutes. It took one-and-a-half hours for the Fire and Rescue Force personnel and the local people to put out the fire, leaving the rest of the Nalambalom as well as the sanctum sanctorum safe, says Mr Pillai.

The temple authorities have ruled out the possibility of a short circuit saying that the wooden portion of the Nalambalom did not have any electric wiring on it.

The temple belongs to the Kerala Kshetra Samrakshana Samiti.

According to Mr Pillai, the loss in the fire outbreak has been estimated at not less than Rs 25 lakhs and the temple devaswom has already called for a detailed inquiry into the incident.

SP visits the spot

Meanwhile, the District Superintendent of Police, K.Sanjaykumar, inspected the site in the forenoon.

The Forensic experts as well as the police investigation team have also inspected the fire-hit temple Malika and its surrounding areas on Thursday.

The Aranmula police have registered a case in connection with the incident.

Temple rituals not affected

The temple authorities said the fire outbreak has not affected the daily ritualistic practices at the temple.

Keywords: KeralaAncient TempleFireAranmula