Janardhana temple was built between 12th and 14th centuries

A portion of the Gopuram of the ancient Vishnu temple at Punchavayal, near Panamaram, in Wayanad was collapsed in rain on Sunday night.

It was suspected that many precious sculptors on the stone walls and pillars of the temple had been destroyed.

Though Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V. Narayanasamy, then in charge of the Culture Ministry, had announced in the Lok Sabha in 2009 that the ancient Janardhana and Vishnu temples at Punchavayal, along with 25 such monuments in the country, would be declared as national monuments, the government was yet to take any measures to conserve them properly.

“The incident was quite unfortunate and it shows the inefficiency of the Archaeology Department,” M.R. Raghava Varier, historian who studied the sculptures, told The Hindu .

The style of the sculptures and a stone edict in old Kannada script on the wall of the Janardhana temple show that the temples might have been built during the reign of the Hoysala or the Vijayanagara dynasties from the 12th to the 14th centuries.

The huge stone pillars were brought from Karnataka. The ‘Jaladhara’ inscriptions on a copper plate in a Jain temple at nearby Varadoor confirmed it, Dr. Varier said.

The temples were built in Jain style with Garbhagudi (sanctum sanctorum), Navarangam (a place for sub-deities), Kalasa Mandapam and Gopuram.

T. Sreelakshmi, superintending archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India, Thrissur circle, said the procedures to declare the temples as national monuments were nearing completion and the announcement was expected to be made in 10 days.

ASI team coming

The ASI would send a team to study the condition of the monuments soon, she added.

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