VIJAYAWADA: The repair and renovation works at Malleswara Swamy temple atop the Indrakeeladri started with Kalaapakarshana and Jeernoddharana seva at the Lord Shiva temple’s sanctum sanctorum, here on Sunday.

Temple officials stopped the darshan around 10 am and requested the devotees to go to Balalayam near Nataraj Mandapam where priests performed ceremonies to install the Khumbh and Spatika (crystal) lingams.

Officials said the development works at the temple were proposed a few years ago, under the ‘temple master plan’. The works gained steam after chief minister Chandrababu Naidu pressed for the works to be taken up. They said the modernisation activities would be completed at a budget of Rs 10 crore. It may be recalled that a little more than a year ago temple officials called for donations from the devotees to collect funds for the development works.

The renovation works include construction of individual mandapams near temples, gold-plated Sikharam for the main temple, a separate exit on to Brahmin Street and open space for devotees. The lord Shiva temple will be constructed with stone and then gold-plated. In order to take up all the works, the temple acquired land from the surrounding areas under the land acquisition scheme. All land owners have already been compensated. According to reports, the temple spent around Rs 45 crore for compensation, which was taken from its fixed deposits.

 “These works are being taken up under the temple master plan. The open space will be utilised to create facilities for the devotees. The works will be completed in six months and devotees can have hassle free darshan,” said temple executive officer A Surya Kumari.