Sri Durga Malleswara Swamyvarla Devasthanam, popularly known as Kanaka Durga temple, added another feather in its cap. The temple authorities covered the doors and inner walls of sanctum sanctorum with gold plating.
A devotee from Visakhapatnam, who did not want to be identified, donated ornaments and gold plating (bronze sheets with gold malaam) worth Rs. 1 crore to the temple — moulded plates bearing the idols of deities which were made in Tamil Nadu.
The all-new look surprised the devotees on Sunday.
The idols of goddess Lakshmi and Saraswathi which hitherto were covered with silver plating got a new look. The Lakshmi on the mukha dwaaram etc were also gold plated.
The devotee also donated pancha loha idols of Ganga, Parvathi, and Malleswara Swamyvarlu and 11 silk saris for Dasara festivities. The vimana gopuram of the temple was gold plated in 2009 with about 80 kg of gold.
It was in early 2000 that the temple authorities proposed that the ‘vimana gopuram’ be decorated with gold plates on the lines of the one existing in Tirumala.
The authorities issued a notification in February 2002 inviting ‘expression of interest’ from contractors, who could undertake the task. Though the works commenced in 2003, they were stopped abruptly following legal problems.
The works resumed in August 2008. Later, the temple authorities took up silver plating of the temple and the Sivalayam. It was estimated that about 100 kg silver was required to cover the walls of both temples.
The temple has gold ornaments and jewellery weighing more than 55 kg. Devotees have been presenting various gifts to the goddess. Some time ago, city-based industrialists Kankanala Ramesh and Koganti Satyam presented a golden veena for which 2 kg gold was used. The veena is being used for Saraswati Alankaram on Moola Nakshatram during Dasara.
The devotee also donated ‘pancha loha’ idols of Ganga, Parvathi, Malleswara Swamyvarlu.