VELLORE: A breathtaking spectacle beckoned thousands to an otherwise sleepy village near Vandavasi on Saturday. Gasping in surprise, they struggled to believe their eyes. Two single rocks - one 64-feet long weighing about 380 metric tonnes and the other 24-feet long weighing about 230 metric tonnes - cut from a mini-hill located in Korakottai village in Chettikulam were being loaded onto two mega cargo trucks.
The people behind the spectacle were members of Sri Kothandaramaswamy Charitable Trust in Bengaluru and the rocks are to be used to build a 108-feet statue of Kothandaramaswamy on the compound of the temple, run by the trust, in Ejipura. The temple was built more than 60 years ago.
The idol will have 22 hands, 11 faces and another statue of seven-headed Aadisesha (serpent) will be attached to it. There are also plans to construct a 27-feet peedam. The trust began its work to cut the rocks in October 2014, which could be only completed a week ago.
A special pooja was performed before the rocks were loaded. Laxmanan, who was in-charge of monitoring the work at the trust’s behest, said the rocks were cut by using latest technologies.
“One face, two hands and two chakras were carved out of one rock, while the other is being transported without any work on it.” The transportation was delayed as the cargo trucks failed to fully accommodate the rocks.
“The rocks will be transported using two mega cargo trucks having 160 and 90 wheels. The width of truck chasis will have to be slightly widened,” added Laxmanan.
Temple priest Srinivasa Venkatesan said the statue is being built by a team of sthapathis headed by Rajendra Acharya from Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam and the remaining works will be completed in Bengaluru.
Temple sources also added that a few houses will have to be demolished, at least partially, to make way for the rocks. “They will be re-constructed by the temple trust.”
Many devotees offered their prayers in front of the rocks and some of them were also seen applying saffron and turmeric on them, while the young preferred to take selfies with giant rocks in the background. S Komathinayagam, a farmer from Tellar, said he felt blessed as the trust members preferred to take rocks from Korakottai. “We believe the rocks will stay here, so that we can build a temple here.”
In October 2014, the geology and mining department granted permission to S Sadananda of Temple Trust to quarry 420 cubic metres of charnokite rock from the village.