SRIRANGAM: While undertaking the present extensive Rs 20 crore renovation of the Sri Ranganagaswamy temple here, considered to be the “largest functioning temple in the world”, dedicated to Lord Vishnu and among the 108 ‘Divya Desams’ in the Vaishnava stream of Hinduism, elaborate care has been taken to restore the complex to its original grandeur with very minimal changes in the structure.
This is to ensure that the massive temple complex, spread over 156 acres including a township and revered as ‘Bhoologa Vaikuntam (heaven on earth)’ got due UNESCO recognition as a ‘World heritage site’, said Mr R Kannan, secretary of the State Hindu religious and charitable endowments (HR & CE) department, Tamil Nadu.
Kannan told newsmen here that the temple complex had a number of heritage-value structures including five granaries and all these have been restored to their original shape, keeping their structural integrity intact.
Sri Ranganathaswamy temple is among the properties from India submitted on the ‘tentative list’ in 2014, for inclusion in the UNESCO’s ‘World heritage list’, says the UN body’s website. The HR & CE joint commissioner P. Jayaraman said that the entire renovation was done with devotees’ funds.