Vasantharayar mandapam to be renovated soon: HR and CE Minister

The restoration works in the damaged portion of Veera Vasantharayar mandapam inside Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple in Madurai are under way. Fire accident, which occurred in February 2018, caused damage to the mandapam.
PK Sekarbabu inspecting restoration works under way at Veera Vasantharayar Mandapam
PK Sekarbabu inspecting restoration works under way at Veera Vasantharayar Mandapam

Madurai

PK Sekarbabu, Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments along with Finance Minister PTR Palanivel Thiagarajan and Commercial Taxes Minister P Moorthy inspected the works underway in the temple on Saturday. 
After inspecting, the HR&CE Minister said the works are expected to be completed in three years. Stone structures are being readied in Namakkal and currently eight stone pillars have come up in the mandapam for restoration works. Stone pillars are being shaped up accordingly to ensure archaeological remains are protected and hence works are being done as per the guidance of the Archaeological Department. Further talking to reporters, Sekarbabu said six applicants have joined the newly inaugurated ‘Othuvar training school’ of the temple. The access road to Alagarkovil temple in Madurai would be strengthened and widened in the interest of devotees. Moreover, he said development works would also be carried out at Ramanathaswamy temple in Rameswaram, a famous pilgrimage centre, after conducting inspection. To a query, he said the HR&CE Department is contemplating on performing kumbabishekam at Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple soon according to rites and rituals (Aagama Vithigal) without any disturbance to ongoing works at the mandapam. 
Rope car facilities in Sholingur and Ayyarmalai temples would soon be dedicated to the devotees. The erstwhile government even before completing the works, announced that the project was dedicated to the devotees. For the rope car facility in these temples, Government order was issued by former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi in 2010 and further announcements were made for bringing five more rope cars in temples. Of the 188 encroached portions of the HR&CE lands, about 60 to 65 portions are yet to be removed in the state. He then said an advisory committee would be formed to fix fair rents for shops under the HR&CE control. Further, the Minister said gold jewellery donated in temples (Thirukovil) would be sent to Mumbai and converted into bars, which could be deposited in banks for generating revenue for the development of temples. All temples in Tamil Nadu would be categorised into three zones and retired Judges employed to segregate the jewels for the conversion.

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