Long-neglected Kannagi temple set to get new look
Neglected for long, leaving the local people and the enthusiasts in tears, the historic Mangaladevi Kannagi Temple, located atop a peak in between Cumbum in Theni district of Tamil Nadu and Thekkadi i
Published: 07th February 2017 02:34 AM | Last Updated: 07th February 2017 03:19 AM | A+A A-
CHENNAI: Neglected for long, leaving the local people and the enthusiasts in tears, the historic Mangaladevi Kannagi Temple, located atop a peak in between Cumbum in Theni district of Tamil Nadu and Thekkadi in Kerala, is set to get a facelift soon by the Archaeological Department of Kerala at a cost of `39.33 lakh.
The Archaeological Department of Kerala has handed tenders to take up special repair and scientific conservation of Gopura of Mangaladevi Kannagi Temple following a winding legal battle waged by the untiring Mangaladevi Kannagi Trust based at Cumbum.
“The Kerala High Court passed an order on April 5, 2016, directing the Archaeological Department to take up renovation/restoration works. But the Archaeological Department did not obey the order prompting us to approach the court again. When the case came up on January 6, 2017, the authorities submitted that they had already been on it,” PSM Murugan, treasurer of the Trust, told Express.
The Archaeological Department also informed the court that e tender was floated on January 5 to hand the works to a competent firm. Subsequently, it was opened on January 31 paving the way for carrying out renovation and scientific conservation works which are expected to get underway next month.
The temple assumes significance as Kannagi, who epitomises chastity, trekked to the peak before attaining eternity following her ordeal to seek remedy to the gross injustice meted out to her husband and trader Kovalan by the Pandya king Nedunchezhian, according to Tamil epic Silappathikaram.
The local tribal folks believe that she had embarked on an extra-terrestrial vehicle from the peak to join her husband who was killed after wrongly framed for stealing an anklet belonging to the Queen.
The ancient Mangaladevi Kannagi Temple, falling under the control of the Archaeological Department of Kerala, is opened for public worship only once in a year, on the occasion of Chitra Pournami. This year the event occurs on May 10.
Explaining the ordeal to make the dream come true for the local people, Murugan recalled that the Trust had to move the Kerala High Court after their plea made to the authorities concerned seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.
“We have been knocking the doors of the authorities with several representations but nothing could materialise. Finally, we approached the Kerala High Court with a petition on June, 2014. Two years later, the High Court issued the order directing the Archaeological Department to carry out renovation/restoration works,” he recalled. Murugan, treasurer, and Rajaganesan, secretary of the Trust, are the petitioners. They hope to see the temple in new light before the next year’s Chitra Pournami celebrations.