Madurai

8th century structure to get a new lease of life

Collector V. Vishnu and Corporation Commissioner B. Vishnu Chandran inspect ‘Medai police station’ building in Tirunelveli.  

Collector V. Vishnu has initiated steps to renovate ‘Medai police station,’ an 8th century structure built during Pandya kingdom.

According to writers and Tamil scholars of Tirunelveli, this structure was the western entrance of a sprawling fort built by the Pandya kings in the 8th century for housing a minimum of 1,000 soldiers at any given time. After falling into the hands of ‘Palayakkarar,’ the badly- maintained fort came under the control of the British.

Writer Naarumpoonathan and Tamil teacher G. Ganapathi Subramanian said, “The fort’s eastern entrance is the structure that now houses the government museum near District Police Office. It was in this structure that Kattabomman’s younger brother Oomaithurai was imprisoned. The western entrance was used later by the British as an armoury. After independence, it became a police station. Since the police station was sitting atop the western entrance compound wall which was 30 feet wide, it was called ‘medai police station.’ It is near Mela Vaasal Subramaniya Swamy Temple.”

After being used by several wings of the Tamil Nadu Police, including the office of the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, due to lack of maintenance, the edifice has started crumbling. The two rooms used by the police, the granite steps leading to the erstwhile police station and the terrace are in a bad shape.

When it was brought to the Collector’s notice, Mr. Vishnu discussed with Corporation Commissioner B. Vishnu Chandran on renovating it without affecting its ancient look.

Accompanied by Mr. Vishnu Chandran, the Collector inspected the structure on Saturday and the work on cleaning the building and its surroundings started the next day.

“We’ll revive this lost glory… We’ve planned to tell the younger generation about the ancientness of this town by displaying digital paintings in the renovated remnant of this fort in near future,” says Mr. Vishnu.


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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 5:07:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/8th-century-structure-to-get-a-new-lease-of-life/article34891852.ece

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