Ramanathaswamy temple set to get two new Rajagopurams by early 2015
The Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, in this island is all set to get a new facelift with two Rajagopurams being raised at the southern and northern entrances.
The ancient temple, famous for its long corridors and towering Rajagopurams on the eastern and western sides, would look grand once the two more Rajagopurams are completed.
A large number of pilgrims and tourists from all over the country and foreign countries visit the temple throughout the year, and it was felt that the temple structure was incomplete without two more Rajagopurams.
The kalkarams (base-level structure), found on both sides when the foundations for new kalkarams were laid, indicated that attempts were made in the past to raise the towers.
After an aborted attempt to raise the tower at the southern entrance in 2003, the Sringeri Mutt came forward to complete work on the southern Gopuram and Kovai Raja Vasantha Kumar, chairman of Karpagam Arts College, on the northern Gopuram.
“We have completed the kalkarams on both sides, and brick work above the base level is going on in full swing,” C.Selvaraj, Joint Commissioner of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Department, said. He added that the kalkarams were built at a cost of Rs.1 crore each, using granite stones.
The two new Rajagopurams would be ready for consecration by the end of next year or early 2015.
The Rajagopurams at the eastern and western entrances would be renovated for kumbabhishekam, scheduled for next year, he noted.
K.Mayilvakanan, Assistance Divisional Engineer, said the southern tower would be 91 feet high and have five tiers. The construction would cost Rs.1.92 crore. The northern tower would be 90 feet high, also with five tiers, and the cost would be Rs.1.80 crore.
He said the renovation of 126-ft-high nine-tier east tower and the 76-ft-high five-tier west tower would be taken up shortly.
The renovation work included repainting and repairing of sudhai vikraghams in the tower, he added.
The first consecration was performed in 1948. After a long gap, the second kumbabishekam was performed in 1975 and the third in 2001. Mr.Selvaraj said next year’s kumbabhishekam would be the fourth.
After the 2001 kumbabhishekam, the eastern tower suffered a damage in lightning and it was consecrated in July 2009, he added.