Indiscriminate dumping of garbage on the road leading to the Swastik Well, a protected monument, at Thiruvellarai near Tiruchi has been a big put off for visitors eager to catch a glimpse of the ancient structure.
The well, situated adjacent to the Sri Pundarikaksha Perumal Temple, one of the 108 Vaishnavite Divyadesams, is under the maintenance of the State Archaeology Department. The Department has carried out conservation works, including landscaping around the well, recently. A micro irrigation system has also been established to water the grass.
A grilled fence has been erected around the well to protect it from vandals and anti-social elements as it is situated in a secluded location. A children’s park with amusement equipment established several years ago lies in ruin.
Concrete roads have been laid with signboards to guide visitors to the well. However, the last leg of the cement road leading to the well from the Thiruvellarai Temple is littered heavily. A mound of garbage can be seen as one takes a turn towards the well. A putrid smell hangs over the air as garbage lies strewn around on the road. Apparently residents have been dumping their garbage at the spot, regularly.
“Not many people are aware of the existence of the Swastik Well and the structure is well maintained. There should be a prominent signboard indicating its presence in front the temple, so that visitors to the temple can also go and take a look at the well. The road leading to the well should be cleared of garbage,” said a devotee.
According to an inscription engraved on the parapet, the well was dug by Kamban Araiyan during the reign of Pallava King Dantivarman in 800 AD. “The well was known as Marpidugu Perunginaru after one of the title of Dantivarman. Due its Swastik shape, it was also called Naalu moolai kinaru [four cornered well],” reads a signboard put up by the Archaeological Department at the site.
The inscription in verse form also narrates the unstable life of human beings and exhorts people to do good deeds, says another tablet found at the site.