SABARIMALA: The gold-plated roof of the sanctum sanctorum at Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa Temple has been found leaking and the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) has decided to
conduct repair works immediately.
Water has been found seeping through the outer wall of the sanctum sanctorum on the left side of the entrance. Water was seen dripping on the idol of Dwarapalaka when the temple opened for monthly poojas on July 16. The Devaswom Board authorities met Tantri Kandararu Rajeevaru who has granted permission to conduct the repair works. A team of experts in temple architecture will inspect the roofing on August 3 and repair works will be conducted following their advise.
“The leak has been detected on the front left corner of the sanctum sanctorum. The leak is not a major one and we suspect the water is leaking through the gap of a screw used to fix the gold plate. I have given instruction to conduct the repair works immediately. The expense of the repair works will be borne by the TDB and we will accept if some devotees come forward to donate the gold for the repair works,” said TDB president K Ananthagopan.
He said a portion of the gold-plated roof will be opened on August 3 to inspect the leakage and prepare an estimate for the repair works. “The roof will be opened on the presence of Tantri and senior officials from the TDB and vigilance wing. We can conduct the repair works only when the temple is closed. However, we have decided to complete the works within 45 days. We have obtained permission from the Tantri to conduct the works,” said Ananthagopan.
Liquor baron Vijay Mallya had sponsored the gold plating of the roof of the sanctum sanctorum of Sabarimala Temple in 1998. He had donated 31 kg of gold and 1,900 kg of copper for the purpose. It reportedly cost him Rs 18 crore.