Why Sir Arthur Cotton donated bronze bell to Siddi Vinayaka temple?

There is a story behind Cotton offering the bronze bell to the temple.

Published: 31st August 2022 04:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st August 2022 04:03 AM   |  A+A-

‘Cotton Bell’ donated by Sir Arthur Cotton

‘Cotton Bell’ donated by Sir Arthur Cotton

Express News Service

RAJAMAHENDRAVARAM: Sir Arthur Cotton was the architect of the Dowleswaram barrage built between 1842-1852 across the river Godavari. He had visited Sri Siddi Lakxmi Ganapathi temple in Rajamahendravaram several times and donated a bell during the construction of the barrage. Scores of devotees visit the temple to offer prayers and ring the ‘Cotton Bell’.

Sir Arthur Cotton (Photo | Wikipedia)

There is a story behind Cotton offering the bronze bell to the temple. The British engineer, who was a Christian by faith, offered prayers at the temple in the early 1850s, when the Dowleswaram barrage project faced hurdles during construction. According to temple executive officer Kotipalli Naga Suresh, when the barrage construction reached up to nine feet, construction (anicut) at a length of nearly 100 feet was washed away during the floods.

Local Vedic scholars reportedly approached Sir Arthur Cotton and appealed to him to visit the temple and offer prayers to clear hurdles to the construction. As per their advice, Arthur Cotton visited the temple and offered prayers. He removed his shoes and hat before entering the temple as per ritual and offered prayers.

He reportedly vowed to offer a bell to the temple if the anicut construction is completed successfully.  The project work was resumed and completed successfully.

In 1858, Arthur Cotton fulfilled his vow by donating a bronze bell to the temple. The bell was built by a company called Samudra in London in 1858. The bell has the inscription ‘Samuda Brothers Builders’. The bell is still in use and priests narrate its historical significance to the devotees. Priests said the temple construction and idol installation took place around 200 years ago.


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