R. Vimal Kumar
Action plan soon to improve facilities at the temple, says Collector
Tirupur: Though rich in heritage, the 10th century-built Sukreeswarar temple situated at S. Periyapalayam in the outskirts of Tirupur city is remaining unknown to many a pilgrim tourists.
The premise of this elegantly constructed shrine, which was built by Pandya rulers, wears a deserted look on almost every day except during the occasional visits of a handful of people from the vicinity.
The temple area, located a bit off Tirupur-Erode highway, presently lacks hygienic sanitation and commuting facilities which is also a deterrent for tourists even though it is already a protected monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958. Collector C. Samayamoorthy told The Hindu that the district administration would soon chalk out an action plan alongwith the Department of Tourism and the Archeological Survey of India to exploit the tourism potential of the site and make it a ‘preferred’ pilgrimage destination, at the earliest.
“As part of the project, approach roads and drinking water and sanitation facilities will be improved besides setting up a recreation park with the help of ASI,” he said.
District Tourism Officer R. Pushapraj said that pamphlets on the importance of the temple would be published to attract tourists.
The temple, which is considered one of the four ‘Sirpa Sthalangal’ in Kongu region, will also find a mention in the proposed web site of Tirupur district.
With ‘Kurakuthali Nayanar’ (Shiva) as the main deity, the shrine is an architectural delight made of neatly carved long stones reminiscing the epoch of Pandya period.
M. Ganesan, an epigraphist and former emeritus professor of Indian Council of Historic Research at Bharatiar University, who conducted studies at the temple, said that though the temple was built by Pandyas, different inscriptions state that the place was used by tribals to offer poojas to ‘Shivalingam’ as early as 5th century.