History & Culture

Work in progress

Sculptures at 100 pillars mandapam at Sri Devaraja Swamy Temple, Kancheepuram. Photo: K.V.Srinivasan

Sculptures at 100 pillars mandapam at Sri Devaraja Swamy Temple, Kancheepuram. Photo: K.V.Srinivasan  


Step by step, the entire Devarajaswamy temple will be renovated.

The wish of thousands of devotees was fulfilled when samprokshanam took place at the 1000-year-old Sri Devarajaswamy temple (popularly known as Varadharajaswamy temple), one of the 108 Divyadesams, in Kancheepuram. The shrine of Perundevi Thayar, which was in bad shape had been closed for a long time. The yagasala puja and the consecration on July 5 were witnessed by lakhs of devotees.

The magnificent Devarajaswamy temple is a wonderful combination of several styles of architecture. From Krishnadevaraya, who built the West Rajagopuram, and Achuta Devaraya to the Thathacharyas, the list includes several patrons including the Chozha and Pallava rulers. Renovation at a cost of Rs. 12 crores was envisaged at seven places in the temple that stands on 24 acres and this included those of the main deity and His consort. Work commenced in 2005.

The State Government pumped in several crores to renew (apart from the shrines of the main deity and Consort) the East and West Rajagopurams, towers of Thondaradipodi Azhwar and Azhagiya Singar, Chakarathazhwar shrine and the wall around the shrine of Devarajaswamy.

The vimanam of Thayar shrine (work started in 2010) shines thanks to gold dipping executed at a cost of Rs. 10 crores. Work will be taken up in stages to cover the entire temple. INTACH and archaeology experts will be consulted to preserve the sculptural and mural treasures.

When will wooden doors be fixed to the East Rajagopuram (closed for 100 years)? It was scheduled but work could not be taken up. “Soon,” reassure sources. “Wood is ready for the doors that should replace the dilapidated ones. Work will begin anytime.”

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 8:23:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/history-and-culture/work-in-progress/article3657080.ece

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