Tamil Nadu

Historic mandapam with 16 pillars in ruins

The 13th century mandapam near Dharapuram in Tirupur district.  

A 13th century mandapam with 16 stone pillars situated near Dharapuram is in ruins with trees grown wild around as well as atop the structure. Pillars and roof are in a dilapidated condition due to neglect.

An interesting aspect of the pillars is that four of them at the corners are ‘musical pillars’ producing pleasant musical notes when one tap on them. “Studies denote that this mandapam, erected during the ‘Later Pandyas’ and ‘Hoysala’ period, was used to keep Lord Shiva’s idol before being taken out on processions during the festivals in nearby temples. Besides, the structure was also used by people to discuss development and cultural activities of the village,” R. Poongundran, a retired assistant of Archaeology Department, told The Hindu .

A close observation of the stone pillars will show the neatly carved out sculptures of a girl playing musical instrument, Kannappa Nayanar performing puja to Lord Shiva, a cow (nandhi), a fish and a girl holding a tree branch, and some inscriptions.

“It is indeed pathetic to see such a historical mandapam on the verge of disintegration due to lack of proper maintenance. Roof can collapse any moment. Authorities should take steps to restore and preserve such monuments that by itself are the torch-bearers of history to the future generations,” pointed out S. Ravikumar, an archaeologist attached to Virarajendran Historical Research Centre.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2020 11:27:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/historic-mandapam-with-16-pillars-in-ruins/article8177316.ece

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