Preliminary work on restoring the structural stability of an ornamental pillar located in the first tier of the Rajagopuram of Lord Kallazhagar Temple at Alagarkoil near here began on Monday.

The Commissioner of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) Department, R. Shampath, commissioned a study following reports that the ornamental pillar had tilted. A team of academics, experts and structural engineers, which recently inspected the Rajagopuram, estimated to be more than 500 years old, conducted several rounds of inspection.

Based on the study, work was taken up and would be completed within two months, R. Sudarshan, Joint Commissioner (Madurai Region), HR and CE Department, told The Hindu here on Tuesday.

Wall reconstruction

Mr. Shampath, who was in the city on Saturday, also enquired about the reconstruction of the 1,100-year-old temple wall, a portion of which collapsed in December following heavy rain. A Rs.80-lakh estimate has been drawn up for reconstructing the wall and work was likely to commence in a week.

He also suggested that the kumbabhishekam of Subramaniaswamy Temple at Tirupparankundram near here be conducted within this year. During his visit for a function in Madurai district on Saturday, Minister for HR and CE Department, K.R. Periakaruppan, had announced that the Mahasamprokshanam of the Lord Kallazhagar Temple would be performed during July.

The preliminary work that began on Monday was overseen by a team from the Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai, comprising K. Arunachalam, head, department of civil engineering and K. Sudalaimani, professor, civil engineering department, besides S.P. Srinivasan, an eminent structural engineer, P.K.M. Chelliah, temple trustee, K. Ramanathan, Executive Engineer, (Southern Region), HR and CE Department, and Executive Officer of Kallazhagar Temple, S. Kalyani.

The estimate for the stabilising work has been put at Rs.7.90 lakh. The works include replacing the wooden façade on the stone ornamental pillar in the first tier of the Rajagopuram. Full fledged restoration work was likely to begin in a week or so.

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