The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department has taken up work on conservation of an ancient temple dedicated to Sri Abathsahayeswarar at Thukkasi, an interior village located amid fields near Tirunageswaram.

Thick growth of vegetation and bushes all over the Rajagopuram and vimanams of various shrines of the temple had been an eyesore for devotees, as the history of this temple dates back to the Chola era. According to HR and CE officials, the renovation of the temple would be taken up in consultation with the State Archaeological Department. Each and every stone slab was being numbered so that the re-structured temple walls would have the original charter and identity.

“Every row and column of the wall at all the prakarams have been numbered, as a precautionary measure,” an official told The Hindu at the temple on Thursday.

The HR and CE Department first wanted to clear the thick bushes which had grown all around the temple. Work on application of chemicals to the roots started on Thursday. “We want to ensure total facelift to the temple, which has a sprawling area all around. The temple has fine architecture and a special mandapam dedicated to Sri Durga. The renovation will be taken up in a phased manner,” the official said.

It has been planned to renovate the sanctum sanctorum first, followed by other shrines. The growth of vegetation was so thick that the entire vimanam of the Sri Durga shrine had been totally covered with trees and bushes and their branches. The work would be completed in three to four years, sources said.

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