ALL ARRANGEMENTS have been made for the Mahakumbabhishekam of the Sri Arunachaleswara Temple, Tiruvannamalai, on June 27, after a gap of 26 years. All the four gopurams one each on the four sides of the temple the Ayirangal Mandapam (1,000-pillared Mandapam), the Sivaganga PunniyaTheertham and the Brahma Theertham look splendid after renovation and the two Dwajasthambams have been replaced by new ones, all at a total cost of Rs.4.5 crores, the amount obtained mainly through donations from philanthropists and devotees and grant from the State Government. The Dwajasthambam before the Lord's shrine is made of teak, according to Agama Sastra. About 70 kg of gold used for the purpose was sponsored by Venu Srinivasan who has donated Rs. 70 lakhs on behalf of the TVS group. The Dwajasthambam for the Amman shrine has been done up at a cost of Rs. 20 lakhs using 3.25 kg of gold. The sponsor in this case was Udayakumar of Chennai. The eastern Rajagopuram and the Thirumanjana Gopuram in the south have been refurbished at a cost of Rs. 15 lakhs each, the Peygopuram in the west at a cost of Rs.11 lakhs and the Ammaniamman Gopuram in the north at Rs. 12 lakhs.
The 1000-pillared Mandapam wears a new look with granite flooring, weathering course, new electrification and Sudhai work (ornamental works) done at a total cost of Rs. 30 lakhs, the amount being donated by Ugo Mayer, German founder of Shanthimalai Trust, Tiruvannamalai.
The Sivaganga Punniya Theertham has been renovated at a cost of Rs. 4 lakhs while the Brahma Theertham has been spruced up at a cost of Rs. 1.5 lakhs. The 44-pillared Mandapam in the place of the Padhinarukal Mandapam (16-pillared Mandapam) which was destroyed in a fire about five years ago has been constructed at a cost of Rs.1.07 crores.
P. V. V. MURTHI
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