Vaikuntha Perumal temple turns a den for bats

State of ASI-maintained temple leaves much to be desired

September 06, 2017 01:01 am | Updated 07:42 am IST - Kancheepuram

CHENNAI, 04/09/2017 : Bats seen roosted on the roof of the inner cloister of the ASI maintained Vaikuntha Perumal temple, Kancheepuram. Photo : V.Venkatasubramanian

CHENNAI, 04/09/2017 : Bats seen roosted on the roof of the inner cloister of the ASI maintained Vaikuntha Perumal temple, Kancheepuram. Photo : V.Venkatasubramanian

If you visit the Vaikuntha Perumal temple at Kancheepuram hoping to see a heritage structure that has been given the respect and solemnity it richly deserves, you will be utterly disappointed. For one, as dusk falls, the temple -- maintained by the Archaelogical Survey of India -- is taken over by the bats.

Though regular pujas and other rituals are being carried out at the temple as per the ‘agamas’ and chemical water wash treatment is given for the sand stone by the ASI once in two or three years, much more needs to be done at the temple.

In the recent months, bats seem to have made the northern wing of the cloister their den and the stench from their droppings on the floor assault the visitors. In addition, broken wooden pieces and other materials strewn around the inner ‘mandapam’ where the ‘thayar sannadhi’ is located remain an eyesore.

The temple’s impressive sanctum sanctorum was built using sandstone. The walls of the inner cloister depicting the historical events that led to the ascending of the throne by Pallava King Nandivarman II (736 – 796 A.D) remain the main attraction for the visitors, especially foreign tourists. The main portion of the temple has Lord Vishnu in three forms in a three-storey structure. However, the temple could lose its charm if the current state of affairs persists.

Similarly, at the Kailasanathar temple, considered to be the biggest standstone temple built during the reign of Narasimhavarman II (700 – 728 A.D) plunges into darkness after dusk due to poor lighting. The irony is that a massive development work costing about ₹40 lakh was carried out at this complex only during 2003-04.

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