Iconic temple(1163 AD) to be restored to its former glory and the story goes like this…
The commissioning of the temple’s ‘kalyana mandapam’ may only be six months away
For those who have been waiting to see the Thousand Pillar temple ‘kalyana mandapam’ restored to its old glory, here is some good news – its commissioning may only be six months away. Sculptors and experts entrusted with the restoration of this ancient monument have so far completed the pradikshinapada , consisting of seven layers – kakshashana with four layers, and the floor-level. The cavity walls have been completed and some columns have also been erected.
“Out of the 132 coloumns, 90 load bearing columns have been erected,” explained INTACH convenor Prof. M. Panduranga Rao, who is closely associated with the restoration work.
According to him, 13 columns were missing.
The remaining work includes erection of floor beams, roof beams and the roof. “It will take another six months to complete the project,” explained Mr. Rao.
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which considers the work to be the biggest project in south India, has embarked on the stupendous task of trying to restore the glory of this magnificent structure belonging to 1163 AD when Rudra Deva was ruling the Kakatiya kingdom.
Noted Sthapathi M. Siva Kumar of Tamil Nadu assisted by 45 sculptors has been working day and night to restore its splendour.
The ‘kalyana mandapam’ which crumbled due to the vagaries of nature was pulled down in 2005. After numerous debates and studies, it was decided to avoid using Reinforced Cement Concrete, steel and cement in restoration works. Now, a paste made of gal nut, black jaggery and lime is being used.
“A total of about 3,000 pieces were removed and indented. Of the 160 beams, 28 are missing and 13 out of 132 pillars are missing. We are getting them carved by Sthapathi and his team,” Prof. Rao explains.
The temple, popularly known as the Thousand Pillar temple, has an awe-inspiring beauty with scores of pillars put together to make a magnificent structure. It is a complex of three shrines – Rudreswara, Vasudeva and Surya. Opposite this, the exquisite ‘kalyana mandapam’ is situated. In between, there is a huge Nandi statue looking towards the presiding deities. The mandapam was meant for dancers.