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In Ruins:The 100-pillar mandapam at Sri Parvathagiriswarar Temple at Kundrandarkovil in Pudukottai district.— Photo: B. Velankanni Raj

In Ruins:The 100-pillar mandapam at Sri Parvathagiriswarar Temple at Kundrandarkovil in Pudukottai district.— Photo: B. Velankanni Raj

The 100-pillar mandapam of Sri Parvathigiriswarar Temple under the maintenance of the Archaeological Survey of India in Kundrandarkovil in Pudukottai district has been developing a number of cracks as the renovation work remains unfinished.

The rock-cut temple dedicated to Sri Umayambikai – Sri Parvathagiriswarar is a marvel of engineering. The ASI took up renovation of the ‘vagana mandapam’ as early as 1999 and the work was completed three years later.

Subsequently, the ASI took up renovation of the 100-pillar mandapam. Although the stones were separated from a part of the ceiling and numbered, the renovation work is yet to be completed.

The stones of the mandapam are strewn in front of the mandapam and the prakaram outside the temple.

According to the villagers, though the matter was taken up with the district administration, no action was taken.

V. Singaravelu, former headmaster of Panchayat Union Middle School of the village, said that he took the matter to the notice of various officials and the elected representatives but to no avail.

When contacted, ASI sources said that the work would be resumed in due course of time.

The project required meticulous work and it would be completed within the next three years.

The official conceded that the work was suspended about a decade ago.

Priority would be accorded to the temple once funds were sanctioned.

K.L. Kumarasamy, the temple priest, said that the mandapam testified to the architectural skill of the ancient rulers. It was designed on the model of Vijayanagar dynasty and the temple attracted a large number of foreign tourists.

“Kundrandarkovil is a fascinating monument for study,” observes J. Raja Mohamed, former Curator of the Government Museum and a noted epigraphist.

He said that the temple was similar to the structure of the Sri Gokarneswarar Temple in Tirugokarnam.

The ‘kumbabhishekam’ of the temple was performed in 2009, after the ASI completed the renovation of the ‘rajagopuram’ and ‘vahana mandapam.’