CHENNAI: The seventh century Sri Kapaleeswarar temple in Mylapore, which has been renovated at a cost of around `9 crore, is getting ready for kumbhabishekam (consecration) on April 3. Rituals for performing the consecration are expected to begin in the last week of March.
As a prelude to this grand event, the temple of ‘grama devata’ of Mylapore, Kolavizhi Amman, would be consecrated on March 11. This temple has been renovated at a cost of `60 lakh.
Official sources said the renovation works in Kapaleeswarar temple commenced on September 11 last year under the supervision of archaeological experts and in accordance with the ‘aagama sastras’. So far, 90 per cent of the works have been completed. In every aspect of renovation, traditional methods have been used. The granite and mosaic tiles laid over the original stone stone slabs (‘karungal’) in the inner ‘prahara’ have been removed with a view to restoring the traditional ambience of the temple.
KT Narasimhan, former Superintending Archaeologist of ASI, Chennai Circle, suggested the repair works to be carried out.
Water-based eco-friendly herbal mixture has been applied to give ‘panchavarnam’ (five colour) coating to the ‘suthais’ (small images of gods and goddesses) on the temple towers. No oil paint was used, as was done in the past. Besides, as per the instructions from archaeological experts, certain portions in the ground floor of the Raja Gopuram (at the eastern entrance of the temple) which were ‘added’ recently would be removed shortly.
The last consecration was held in August 2004 and later, in 2005, consecration was performed to Raja Gopuram alone after it was struck by thunder. Before starting renovation works on the temple towers, ‘balalayam’ for two gopurams was performed. Similar ritual for the sanctum sanctorum of the presiding deities Lord Kapaleeswarar and Goddess Karpagambal would be performed a few days ahead.
All ‘vahanas’ for the deities have already been renovated and painted in accordance with the suggestions made by experts. Repair works in the five wooden chariots (temple cars) including the big one that is taken out in processions during the Panguni Peruvizha have been completed after a gap of 30 years.