Thanjavur: An interesting feature in the Vikravandi-Thanjavur national highway (NH) project to Chennai is the sparing of portions of a 1,000-year old Lord Shiva temple at Manampadi near Kumbakonam from demolition.
When the widening of the road was conceived by NHAI as a four-way lane up to Jayamkondam and then ten-metre wide road like east coast road after that in 2013, the NHAI marked some portions of the 1,000-year-old Naganathaswamy temple at Manampadi for demolition.
The temple built by King Rajendra Cholan (1012 to 1044 A.D), (son of King Raja Raja Cholan), has been declared as a monument by state archaeology department.
The portions marked by NHAI for demolition were compound wall of the temple, Amman and Chandikeswarar shrines. People of the village, historians and archaeologists appealed to the government and the NHAI to ensure that no part of the temple is touched.
A forum ‘Kudanthai Jyothirmani Iraippani Thirukoottam’ from Kumbakonam and Kudavayil Balasubramanian, temple researcher and epigraphist, wrote to the then Chief Minister to spare the temple as it is an ancient monument. The NHAI then decided to leave the temple alone and submitted three alternate proposals for road project skirting the temple.People welcomed the NHAI's move. Now the Vikravandi-Thanjavur national highway will run adjacent to the temple without any damage to the shrine.
The temple has a Nandavanam and rare sculptures like Rajendra Cholan with his family, Dakshinamurtrhy, beautiful Nandhi, Lord Shiva in smiling posture and beautiful Shiva-Parvathi sculptures....