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Madras High Court halts renovation of two ancient temples

PTI 06 Nov 2014, 6:49:02 AM IST

Chennai: The Madras High Court yesterday restrained Tamil Nadu government from renovating two ancient temples near here, observing that any such work should be carefully undertaken as these were stated to be monuments.

The court in its direction restrained the Commissioner of Hindu Religious Charitable Endowments Department (HR and CE) from renovating the Adi Narayana Perumal Temple and Samaya Eswarar Temple at Pazhaverkadu, which were built with laterite stones which are not available in and around the vicinity Tamil Nadu or nearby states.

Passing interim orders on a petition by one Srikumar, a heritage enthusiast, Justice V.Ramasubramanian said “since the temples in question are stated to be ancient monuments, any work of renovation should be carefully undertaken. Therefore, there will be an order of interim injunction restraining the HR&CE from proceeding with renovation work for present.”

The petitioner, relying upon articles published in two English dailies, said the HR & CE had taken up the renovation of the temples located in Pazhaverkadu, also known as Pulicat, 60 km from here, without meeting mandatory requirement such as obtaining the opinion of Archeological Department.

The two temples were built using laterite stone which is not common to South Indian temples and available only in Kerala, Karnataka and Goa in the Western Coast.

Buildings constructed using these stones when exposed to air and sun become hard.

The petitioner alleged that the HR&CE, which had taken over the administration of these temples ten years ago under the guise of renovation, had brought down the temple compound wall and broken the footsteps and replaced the laterite stones.

Hence, he prayed to the court to restrain the HR&CE from carrying out renovation of above temples.