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Heritage temple in ruins; govt unmoved

DNBAN36379 | 1/16/2011 | Author : MK Madhusoodan | WC :352 | Art & Culture

The 800-year-old Kaalikaamba Kamatheshwara Temple on Nagarathpet Main Road is in shambles and the government is neglecting it, feel residents of the area. The temple, which houses the five-feet tall monolithic structure of Nandi (bull), and is the second biggest in the city after the one at the Bull Temple in Basavanagudi, is managed by the religious endowments department. Unfortunately, there is no one to take care of it.
"The government collects the money that is offered by the people in the hundi, but nothing comes in return. The temple is nearly 800 years old and was reportedly built by the Chola Dynasty," said an old-timer, M Chandrshekhar. He said his forefathers used to narrate stories of how the Mysore royal family used to come to offer pujas in the temple, and the pomp and pageantry that followed the royal visit.
"Though the government had been giving huge amounts for the upkeep of other temples, this heritage structure is neglected without rhyme or reason. This is one of the oldest temples in the city which had a hoary past," S Krishnamachary, another resident said. He said that part of the temple is already on the verge of collapsing as no renovation to strengthen its roof and walls has taken place till now. Another resident, K Kashiram, said that the temple was built on the lines of Pashupathinath temple in Nepal and the common belief among the people is that the entire temple complex on a 1500 sq feet land is unique.
"The roof is made of stone slabs as old as the Chola period. The walls have developed cracks and nobody knows how many more months or days it will survive the ravages of the weather," he said.
H Shivaram, another resident, said that the government was least bothered about the Kamatheshwara Temple and another dedicated to Chamundeshwari across the busy road, now cramped with commercial complexes.
"The cooking quarters (paakashala) of the Chamundeshwari temple has collapsed and there is no space to keep the main idol there. We have now placed the idol at the already cramped Kaalikaamba temple," he said.

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