Tamil Nadu maps temples crossing a century

HR & CE and tourism depts take up work to improve amenities.

Chennai: If Tamil Nadu’s rich contribution to heritage could be showcased, then the state Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department will have its way. The department, with 38,615 temples across the state under its control, has identified about 3,470 shrines that are more than a century-old.

Chennai, which also has the ancient Sri Kapaleeswar temple, built about 350 years ago and the equally very old Sri Parthasarathy Swamy temple, has 108 temples that are more than 100 years old while Tirunelveli, a southern district, accounts for a maximum of 704. “Tamil Nadu also abounds with many temples which are over 400 years old. They are all matchless magnificent structures which can’t be replicated. These are part of our ancient heritage and historically significant,” a senior HR & CE official said.

The temples that have been mapped by the department may get the heritage tag. Vellore district, near here, has 311 such temples, while Villupuram has 420, Thanjavur 457, Tiruchy 492 and Sivagangai 257. The district, from out of 11 that have been compiled, having the least number of temples aged 100 or above is Salem – 77 temples.

Besides being seeped in religion, as the temples are major tourist attraction all through the year luring even the foreign nationals, the HR & CE department and tourism department jointly took up work to improve the amenities, provide rest houses, information centres, and highmast lights.

During the previous fiscal, Rs 25 lakh was spent on the development of Arulmighu Ranganatha Perumal temple, Thiruparkadal, Vellore district, alone. According to sources, the state has created a corpus fund of Rs 8 crore from out of the surplus funds of affluent temples for the development of temples.

From the interest accruing from this corpus, financial aid is extended for renovating ancient temples of historical significance. Since the last two years, Rs 50 lakh was given to five temples under this scheme.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story