A portion of ‘kodungai ‘ (sun shade) on the eastern gopuram (entrance tower) of Srirangam Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple fell down on Saturday. None was injured as the incident took place in the early hours of the day.
The 131-foot-tall nine-tier temple tower situated between East Chithirai Street and East Adayavalanjan Street has kodungais on the first two tiers. Minor cracks were observed on the kodungai with intricate patterns made of lime mortar on the first tier above the Dwarapalakar statues on the western side of the gopuram facing East Chithirai Street.
Around 2 a.m. on Saturday, the cracked portion of the facade was found broken and the debris had fallen to the ground. The temple is administered and maintained by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department.
It was on the same tier that the temple administration had carried out repair works in May 2021 following a crack. After the Saturday’s incident, devotees thronged the area. The City Police took installed barricades around the temple tower to restrict the movement of pedestrians and vehicles.
S. Sivaramkumar, Joint Commissioner of the temple, told The Hindu that the damaged portion of the kodungai would roughly measure 15 ft in length and two ft in height. The HR & CE department commenced repairs and started strengthening the wooden rafters on the tower.
Based on the inputs from an expert committee that had already visited the temple to take stock of the cracks in the gopuram, the department had prepared a detailed proposal to repair and renovate a few tiers at a cost of ₹98 lakh. Tenders for executing the work would be called within a week. The repairs were likely to be completed within seven months, he added.
Suresh Venkatachalam, president of Srirangam Nagara Nala Sangam, alleged that even after noticing the crack on the gopuram, the temple administration failed to repair it on time. “In a few places, the temple walls were also damaged because of poor maintenance,” he alleged.s