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Thiruchengattankudi temple car may get a new lease of life

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In ruins: This is what is left of the car of the Uthrapatheeswarar temple at Thiruchengattankudi in Nagapattinam district.
In ruins: This is what is left of the car of the Uthrapatheeswarar temple at Thiruchengattankudi in Nagapattinam district.

B. Kolappan

Rs.10 lakh allocated from renovation fund

CHENNAI: A pile of wood, covered with shrubs and bushes, greets visitors to Thiruchengattankudi, an ancient village, in Nagapattinam district.

It is the temple car of the Uthrapatheeswarar temple lying there for 200 years.

But now, it is likely to come back to life, thanks to Rs.10 lakh allotted by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department (HR&CE) from the temple car renovation fund.

“We have allotted the money and are awaiting the proposal from the Velakurichi Aadheenam that manages the temple. The fund will be released once the proposal reaches us,” HR&CE officials told The Hindu.

“Not enough”

The head of the Velakurichi Aadheenam said the amount was not adequate since the estimate for the new car had been fixed at Rs.15 lakh.

“Besides the sum allotted by the department, we are looking for sponsors. We will call for tenders only after that,” he said.

The Aadheenam, 18th head of the mutt, said that according to the mutt records, the car festival was last held 200 years ago, when the 16th head of the mutt came to occupy the seat.

The temple has been renovated at a cost of Rs.21 lakh allotted by the 12th Finance Commission.

“Besides laying granite stones, we have decided to give the mandapam of the temple a polyurethane coat that would preserve the stones for hundreds of years. If everything goes off well, we can perform the ‘Kumbabishekam’ in Thai [January],” the Aadheenam said.

Paranjothi, the chieftain of the Pallava Kingdom, was born at Thiruchengattkankudi.After conquering Vathapi, capital of the Chalukya kings, he brought the Ganapathi idol and installed it on the temple premises.

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