Nashik: The state cultural ministry has approved Rs 12.5 crore for the structural conservation of Sundarnarayan temple.A team of chemology department from Aurangabad had visited the temple while working on temples in Nashik before the Kumbh Mela and noticed cracks in the stone structure. Moreover, there were shoots and vegetation which the department removed. However, noticing that cracks in the stones may loosen or give away in a couple of years, the team had written to the district collector and the state archaeological department (Nashik branch) about the need for the temple’s structural conservation.

The archaeology department in Nashik then wrote to its head office in September last year about the structural conservation, along with rough estimates for the works.

“We had already sent a proposal of Rs 12.5 crore to the director. We have learnt that the approval has been given, but we are yet to get anything in writing,” said Shrikant Gharpure, assistant director, state archaeology department.

The temple was constructed in 1756 by Sardar of Peshwas, Gangadhar Yashwant Chandrachud. The height of the temple’s dome is 50-55ft and has to be restored to its original form. It is made of basalt and black stone like that of Ramshej fort and faces the Godavari river. In its sanctum sanctorum, there are idols of deities such as Vishnu, Laxmi and Vrinda. Besides, it also house idols of other gods and goddesses. On July 3, Nashik MP Hemant Godse visited the temple with director of the heritage department, Rajan Krishnaji.

“The temple is at the centre of the city near Raviwar Karanja. We noticed that it had become dangerous and had to be restored to its original form immediately. In July last year, I met state cultural minister Vinod Tawde and told him about the situation. I have been following up the issue. We got the administrative approval for Rs 4.51 crore on July 13 and financial nod of Rs 2.5 crore,” Godse said.