A temple mandapam belonging to Nayak period in Virudhunagar district too will be declared an ancient monument

The 1,000-year-old Naganathaswamy temple in Thanjaur district and a temple mandapam belonging to the Nayak period in Virudhunagar district are likely to get a new lease of life as the Tourism, Culture and Religious Endowment department has decided to declare them ancient monuments.

On May 16, this year, The Hindu, carried a report on the Naganathaswamy temple in Manampadi village near Kumbakonam which is facing the threat of demolition for expansion of a road under the Thanjavur-Vikkiravandi four-way project of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

“A lot of people have read the report and our office is flooded with mails from the U.K. and the U.S. asking us to step in to protect the temple. So we have published in the gazette the department’s decision to declare it as a monument so that objections and suggestions in this regard can be sent to us,” said a senior official of the department.

Constructed by Rajendra Chola (1012-1044 AD), the temple today presents a picture of neglect and temple’s vimana covered by creepers is in a dilapidated condition. Now, the temple is under the control of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department (HR&CE).

“We will put up a notice on the temple wall and main places in the village eliciting public views. We will go ahead with declaring it as a monument under the Tamil Nadu Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1966,” the officer said.

The temple mandapam that is going to be declared as a monument is in Pappanam village in Kariyapatti taluk in Virudhunagar district.

“It is situated in front of a Siva temple, which disappeared with time. When I was the Minister of School Education and covering subjects like Archaeology I made a proposal to declare it as a monument,” said former Minister Thangam Thennarasu, who is from the district.

Mr Thennarasu said the granite mandapam is embellished with sculptures including that of Pathanchali and Yazhi and they bore resemblance to Nayak period architecture.