THRISSUR: A fire broke out in the sanctum sanctorum of Sree Vadakkunathan Temple here on Sunday.
Cochin Devaswom Board president M. A. Krishnanunni said the "Neymala" (mound of sacred ghee) caught fire.
"Temple workers heard crackling sounds inside the sanctum sanctorum after the morning rites, around 11.30 a.m., opened the door and found that the `Neymala' had caught fire,'' he said.
The police said temple workers tried to douse the blaze by covering it with wet jute bags, and this aggravated the situation.
Fifteen firemen fought the fire for three-and-a-half-hours before it was put out.
"About 28,000 litres of water was pumped from five fire engines parked at the Thekkinkad Maidan, 165 metre away from the sanctum sanctorum, to put out the fire,'' said C.A. Najeeb, Station Officer, Kerala Fire and Rescue Services.