PIL against proposed alterations to Yanaimalai

February 12, 2010 12:29 am | Updated 12:29 am IST - MADURAI

A public interest litigation petition has been filed in the Madras High Court Bench here on Wednesday against the constitution of a high level committee by the State Government to mull over the feasibility of establishing a Sculpture Park by cracking the Yanaimalai, a hillock in the shape of an elephant, near here.

The petitioner, A. Mahaboob Batcha, Managing Trustee of Society for Community Organisation (SOCO) Trust, a voluntary organisation here, also sought for a direction to the Union Government to acquire the hillock and ensure its proper protection without disturbing its original character.

According to him, the hillock was a solid block of gneiss almost three kilometres in length and about 90 metres in height. It derived its name from its resemblance to a massive figure of a reclining elephant.

It was also declared as a protected monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.

The hillock contains sites of archaeological importance such as a Jain cavern with Bas Reliefs of Mahavir, Parsuvanath and others. Ancient Tamil Brahmi scripts on the hillock describe it as ‘Ivakunram’ meaning elephant hills. A Narasingaperum temple in the hill also contains ancient Tamil Vattalethu inscriptions.

The hillock was almost identical in appearance to the Australia’s popular Ayers Rock. It was being protected without any disturbance by the Australians.

Similarly, the Yanamalai too needs to be preserved in its original form, the petitioner said and sought to quash a Government Order issued on December 30 constituting the high level committee.

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