Renovation of an architectural wonder

PATHANAMTHITTA, JULY 24. The renovation work on the 10-century-old Eastern Gopuram of the Lord Parthasarathy Temple at Aranmula, one of the 108 Vaishnavite pilgrim centres in the country mentioned in the Nammalvar scriptures, is progressing fast so as to facilitate its inauguration by the Onam festival.

The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) has entrusted the work to the Nirmithi Kendra at an estimated cost of Rs.26,75,300 on the basis of a High Court order following press reports on the state of affairs of the architectural wonder.

The TDB divisional engineer, Dharmaprakash, told The Hindu that the renovation work, which began two years ago, was in its last phase.

The elegant gopuram is a two-storeyed structure in granite and wood. It houses an open space for conducting bhajans and religious discourses and has two wooden ceilings on the ground floor. The ceiling of the ground floor has on it carved images of gods and goddesses. The pillars on the ground floor are made of granite. The roof of the first floor rests fully on wooden pillars.

The main roof structure of the first floor rests on wall plates and is in the north-south direction. This along with the two extensions towards the east and the west from the centre makes up the marvellous ancient gopuram.

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