OTHERS

Work on `gopuram' to begin on Thursday

UDUPI, AUG. 14. Vishwapriya Tirtha Swamiji of Paryaya Admar Math on Saturday said the foundation stone laying ceremony for the new "gopuram" would be held on the Sri Krishna Temple premises on Thursday.

He told presspersons here that the construction of the new Rajagopuram would in no way affect the "Kanakana Kindi." He knew the importance of Kanakana Kindi and would not permit anything that would harm the shrine, he said.

Pained

The seer said he was pained by the move by some intellectuals in opposing the work on the gopuram. The old gopuram, which was constructed during the second Paryaya period of Vidyapurna Tirtha Swamiji of Krishnapur Math in 1910-12, was in a bad shape, he added.

Some people had claimed that the gopuram was 500 years old and had traced it back to the time of Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagar empire without providing any tangible proof to support their argument.

By this act, they were trying to mislead the devotees, he added.

The swamiji said the Kindi (window) was connected to the saint, Kanakadasa, and not the gopuram.

The gopuram had been wrongly depicted as "Kanaka Gopuram" in certain sections of the media. Only the Kindi was called "Kanakana Kindi" and not the "gopuram."

He said that many swamijis during their Paryaya period had undertaken repair and renovation work in many places in the Sri Krishna Temple such as the Bhojanashala, the Rajangana, the Goshala, and the Vasanth Mantapa. Undertaking repair and renovation on the temple premises was not something new.

Repair

He said there was no way the old gopuram could be repaired. Hence, he had thought of constructing a new one in its place. The new gopuram would have five storeys and was likely to be 65 ft to 70 ft tall, he said. As many as 45 gods would be depicted on the new gopuram.

The seer said a small gopuram of 18 ft would also be built near the Sanskrit College.

The construction of the gopurams would be completed by December 2004 or January 2005. He stressed that there would no change or modification to the Kanakana Kindi.

He said the foundation stone laying ceremony would be held at 7.13 a.m. on Thursday.

The pontiff of Krishnapur Math, Vidyasagara Tirtha, would preside over the inaugural function. The Union Minister for Surface Transport and Highways, H. Muniyappa; V.S. Acharya, MLC; K. Raghupati Bhat, MLA; and G. Shankar, businessman; would participate as chief guests, the swamiji added.

Assurance

In a press release issued here, the Deputy Commissioner, S.R. Umashankar, said he had a discussion with the representatives of the math today on the issue of the construction of the gopuram.

The math authorities had assured him that the construction of the gopuram would in no way disturb the Kanakana Kindi, he said and added that they had promised him to take precautionary measures to protect the Kanakana Kindi.

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