Madurai

Tourist-friendly boards to be installed at Meenakshi temple

The museum at the temple receives between 400 and 700 visitors each day.

The museum at the temple receives between 400 and 700 visitors each day.   | Photo Credit: S_James

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JC says audio guides did not find favour with visitors

MADURAI

Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple is soon going to place boards outside major mandapams and iconic spots on the premises to make tourists, pilgrims and students understand the temple’s history and significance better. This is parts of the efforts initiated to make the temple an international tourist-friendly site.

Senior officials from the temple administration say they begun the process of documenting inscriptions on the temple walls on September 24. “To ensure that the process of learning is also facilitated at the temple, we are planning to assess historically significant spots. The boards are expected to have details of the importance of spots, when it was built and who contributed towards building it,” the official said.

Currently, the temple does not have a fully functional information centre. The museum at the temple, which receives between 400 and 700 visitors each day, does not provide enough information for understanding the cultural value of artefacts and the spiritual importance of the site.

Stone sculptures, bronze images, painted wooden panels, ivory objects, coins, wooden sculptures and scaled models of the temple and some chariots are on display now. The paintings on the wooden panels depicting ‘Tiruvilayadal’ are barely understood by tourists, says N. Ravikumar, a guide.

“Every single museum, fort or palace in Rajasthan has an audio guide. Why can’t the same be replicated here?,” asks H. Ananthakrishnan, a regular temple-goer.

Joint Commissioner of the temple N. Natarajan says the administration experimented with the process of providing audio guides on a trial basis in October with two machines. “We are looking for alternative options as people did not prefer carrying the devices we provided, “ he said.

Until the fire accident, the temple, in collaboration with a private organisation, had curated a free-to-download mobile App called Pinakin. The app provided details of 23 spots in the temple complex in English, Hindi and Tamil. This, however, had to be stopped after the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court disallowed the use of mobile phones inside the temple.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 12:58:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/tourist-friendly-boards-to-be-installed-at-meenakshi-temple-madurai/article30126432.ece

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