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The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Department has taken up renovation of the Sri Lokanayakan-Sri Lokanayaki temple, also known as Sri Damodara Narayana Perumal temple, one of the 108 Divya Desams, at Tirukannankudi near Keezh Velur in the district.

The work involves a great challenge, as the temple, glorified by Tirumangai Alwar, has been neglected.

Located in an interior village about four km from the Tiruvarur-Nagapattinam National Highway amidst fields, the temple ranks 26th among the Divya Desams.

According to official sources, the works should be executed with utmost care. It has been planned to renovate the old and weak ceilings and walls, wherever needed, so that the new stone structure could extend structural stability for a longer period.

Ammulu, Executive Officer of the temple told The Hindu that the HR and CE had sanctioned Rs.50 lakh for the first phase of renovation.

“We have planned to execute a large number of works through a series of packages that included beautification of the Sri Thaayar sannidhi, the temple tank, the circular platform around ‘Magizhamaram’ – the temple tree which Sri Tirumangai Alwar is said to have used quite often.

The ‘vimanams’ of other minor shrines would also be renovated. Doors would also be provided wherever needed. Sri Ramanjur shrine right near the ‘Rajagopuram’ and the floors in front of the sanctum sanctorum of Sri Perumal would also be renovated.

A large number of donors and devotees have come forward to contribute to the renovation. “We have planned to choose the donors in consultation with the higher officials,” the source said.

The renovation would ensure proper retention of the old architecture. “We shall not alter the original beauty of the temple,” the source said. Those interested can contact the official by dialling 99620 – 28704.

Although some stone slabs had been brought and kept piled up at the prakaram of the temple, the work should be expedited without delay, says a cross section of pilgrims who visited the temple on Tuesday.

They said that the work on renovation commenced only after a couple of years after the ‘balalayam’ was performed, indicating that the work was being executed slowly.

The Mylapore-based Kinchitkaram Trust has taken up the responsibility of forming and developing the ‘nandavanam’ as part of its ‘Ramanujar 1000 Nandavana kainkaryam’.

The work involves a great challenge, as the temple, glorified by Tirumangai Alwar, was neglected