Tamil Nadu

Restoration work under way in temples ahead of Mahamaham

Pillars get water spray treatment in Sri Ramaswamy temple in Kumbakonam.  

Working at a feverish pace, the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department is racing against time to complete renovation and restoration of major shrines in the Kumbakonam region ahead of Mahamaham slated for February next.

The focus is on preserving the originality of the structure without causing damage its features. Avoiding the much-loathed sand blasting technique that cause damage to an ancient structure much than any invader did, the HR & CE authorities are employing advanced techniques to clear the structures of sediments and deposits on the surface.

The HR&CE has taken up renovation and restoration work in 17 major temples related to Mahamaham, while 52 other shrines in the vicinity of Kumbakonam are being given a facelift at a total cost of Rs. 12.81 crore.

While four temples have already been consecrated, two major shrines will be consecrated on September 9 and the rest will be through before November-end.

Explaining the measures being taken to scientifically restore the structures to their original self, HR & CE Joint Commissioner T. Gajendran and Heritage Conservator V.R. Gunasekaran gave details of the delicate process as involving several steps.

First, the strength of the structure is assessed, then a thorough study on the nature of the problem like application of enamel paint, lime, red kaavi, oil stain, carbon sediment or dust deposits is undertaken.

Depending on the intensity of the problem, suitable corrective step is taken using liquid ammonia, sodium carbonate and non ionic detergents on the affected surface.

After a few days of exposure to the chemical treatment, water under calibrated pressure is showered on the surface. While some problems require just a couple of applications, many others need repetition of the procedure several times over.

Officials maintain that nowhere in the temple sand blasting practice is being resorted to and only the scientifically-proven chemical application process approved by the Archaeological Survey of India has been adopted.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 3:45:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/restoration-work-under-way-in-temples-ahead-of-mahamaham/article7593339.ece

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