Tamil Nadu

Jalakanteshwara temple restoration nearing completion

Restoration work at the Vijayanagara-era Jalakanteshwara temple in the Fort complex here is nearing completion. Conservationists from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Chennai circle, were removing fungus formation from the outer surface in the last leg of restoration.

Along with the mosque and the parapet wall of the Fort, the Siva temple is a protected monument in the Fort complex. “With the reopening of tourist spots, the restoration will attract more visitors to the ancient temple,” said M. Varadaraj Suresh, archaeological officer, ASI (Vellore).

Water seepage

Removal of vegetation and fungus is a major part of the work. Most of the structures, especially granite pillars and walls, have developed cracks due to the growth of plants. The sculptures on the walls have been disfigured by fungus. Water seepage and weathering are the major reasons for the damage.

A 25-member team, comprising chemical conservationists, archaeologists, draftsmen and helpers, have been working on the monument for the past few months. Herbicides and water repellents are being used in the work.

Built during the reign of Vijayanagara King Sadasivadeva Maharaya (1540-1572 CE), the temple has the typical style of 16th century architecture in the Arcot region, with its large wooden gates, sculptures, carved granite pillars and towers.

After the Vijayanagara empire, the temple and the Fort complex came under various rulers, including the Bijapur sultans (1656-1678), the Marathas (1678–1707), the Mughals (1707–1760) and finally the British (1760–1947).

During British rule, the Fort complex was taken over by the ASI in 1921. Most rulers used the temple as an arsenal. Worship resumed four decades ago, prompting the ASI to term the temple a ‘living monument’.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 7:43:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/jalakanteshwara-temple-restoration-nearing-completion/article37047819.ece

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