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Tarangampadi shore temple awaits renovation

Special Correspondent

Plan ready with HR & CE Department



Renewed vigour: The Masilamaninathar temple on Tarangampadi shore in Nagapattinam district.

NAGAPATTINAM: The famous 13th century Masilamaninathar (Lord Siva) shore temple on the Tarangampadi (Tranquebar) coast in the district that was partially swallowed by the sea due to erosion a few decades ago, is now awaiting renovation with its original structure.

The Government has included the temple for renovation along with 48 other ancient temples in the State at an estimated cost of Rs.9.87 crore.

Official sources told The Hindu on Tuesday, the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department had prepared a plan for the renovation of the temple and would take up the work soon as suggested by Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi recently.

However, a philanthropist is now carrying out minor repairs, including plastering of the towers of small shrines and providing pathway to the temple after the tsunami ruined the temple further and remained inaccessible for many days.

Manivanneswaram

The temple, called Manivanneswaram, was built by the Pandya ruler Maravarman Kulasekara in 1305 AD with Chinese architecture and historians believed that the Pandya King built the temple combining Chinese and Tamil architecture to attract the Chinese merchants visiting Tranquebar.

The sea swallowed the main temple with five-tier Rajagopuram, the front entrance with exquisitely carved granite pillars, a few decades ago and a part of the temple, facing east that now exists is also being engulfed by the sea.

The temple that was said to have been endowed with huge landed property of 1,500 acres is not getting any rent for its maintenance and the tenants of the lands are not known. Although the temple is not under regular worship now some fishermen families and local people of Porayar visit it and offer prayers on auspicious days and on the Maha Sivarathri day.

According to archaeologists, there was a fort near the temple guarded by soldiers during the period of Achuthappa Nayak, the then Nayak ruler of Thanjavur in 16th century.

The shrine resembles the famous Tiruchendur Lord Subrahmanya temple and the huge ‘lingam’, the presiding deity of Lord Siva, made of polished granite stone, is said to be the biggest in the district.

Saivaite Nayanmars like Appar and Sundarar sung hymns in praise of the Lord. Some deities in the temple were removed and kept safely in a nearby house when a part of the temple collapsed in 1995.

However, the main deity of ‘Siva Lingam’ is still safe and intact even after the tsunami hit the temple.

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