Shiva Krupa

Temples of India signify the very root of Hinduism and its culture. To be worth of the trust reposed by our ancestors, it becomes our primary responsibility to sustain our heritage for generations to come.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Temples of Pakkam Kottur and Panangattur Restored

Pakkam Kottur as seen in last year
It has always been a matter of concern when we look around and see the disinterest shown towards Historical monuments and Heritage structures. We turn our face shamelessly by not caring  for those priceless treasures left by our ancestors. The neglect is not caused overnight. In most of the cases, the damage has been done slowly over many centuries. As the Monarchy is no longer there, it is left to the Governments at the centre and states to take care of these cultural centres. We admit that there are some dedicated departments framed only to preserve the Heritage sites. The Archaeological Survey is managing many heritage sites but then the question is whether they are  protected well. Displaying blue boards and developing garden around the place alone is not enough. Good governance and follow up are extended only to those sites where people visit in large numbers. Other sites cry for adequate security
Pakkam Kottur in neglected state
The state Governments do have a ministry to look after the affairs of the Temples. Of late,it is fired by enthusiasts for neglecting ancient Temples which do not have income. The officers appointed for the administration of the temples seldom visit the places of poor income. It is therefore left to the locals and outsiders to  rebuild the dilapidated temples. As the cost of restoration has gone up,  the work gets postponed only to weaken the structure further.

Pakkam Kottur-Neglected state-Another view
With limitations soaring high, philanthropists need to face the challenges to restore the old glory.  We have been repeating the need to act instead of just visiting and publishing the pictures dilapidated structures. We need to mobilise support to act as fast as we can.  It is our experience that joint action of philanthropists and individuals have saved many Temples from ruin. We had been fortunate to participate in the reconstruction and renovation of ancient Temples without altering the  originality.
When we came across a Temple at Pakkam Kottur , a very small village some 20 km from Thiruvarur,we were shocked to find that the locals have practically given up the shine for several decades resulting into the collapse of granite structures in the front. As there was no compound wall, the vandals had freely entered and caused extensive damage to the sculptures that belong to Chola period. Chola inscriptions are still there on the walls.

It was a heart breaking scene to see the idol of the Goddess inside the sanctum in broken condition. The HR &CE department of the Govt of Tamilnadu should be held responsible for the neglect. If someone comes across to take up the renovation work the dept wants them to get permission. When the work  is on progress no officer of the department cares to see what is happening. But they are ready to dictate the date on which the Kumbabishekam can be performed.

Renovation in progress
The donors had to carry out the entire work on their shoulders without getting any support from the department which "runs" the Temple. The granite stones of the front mandapam were numbered and dismantled to remove deep rooted trees and aligned exactly as before based on the numbering done. Nataraja Sabha was also renovated on the same lines.

The renovated look
 The locals had arranged to get the new idols made through donors. Gates were provided for all Sannadhis to ensure security. The consecration was held on 8th November 2015 with the help of Philanthropists. But the Temple still lacks a compound wall around it and the locals are  on the look out for a donor who can complete the  unfinished job.

Panangattur- Then
Panangattur is another tiny village on the border of Tamilnadu with Karaikal. The Shiva Temple at this place was badly in need of donors who could renovate the ancient Temple. We joined the Holy cause by renovating the shrines of Swami, Ambal and building the compound wall with the support of the locals. The consecration was held recently and the Temple is under daily pujas.

Panangattur- Now
Sri Soundhareswarar Temple at Thurayur near Thirumarugal was one more Temple facing extinction. We were blessed to join the locals in rebuilding the shrine which needed urgent attention. The consecration of the Temple was held on 25.10.2015 to the delight of the villagers.
Thurayur- Work in progress 

We earnestly appeal to all like minded people to contribute their might to the Temples which are in negleted state. In the absence of regular income the Temples are in need of external support. We should not remain calm when the Heritage structures are lost one by one. It is high time to act fast and share the message among the like minded generous persons.