Heritage Restoration Visits

heritagerestore1Team of 21 REACH members including some eminent media persons like Shri. T.S. Subramanian and Shri. D. Krishnan from THE HINDU visited the Hampi, Badami, Aihole, Pattadakkal, Heritage sites for having a brief idea of the magnanimously spread sites and also the Palace of the incumbent descendant Raja Krishna Deva Raya in Anegudi, which is being renovated the traditional way. The team also visited Nava Brindavan which lies in a picturesque island where all the Jeeva Samadhis of all the Gurus who held posts in the Madva Mutt established by Shri Guru Raghavendrar.

heritagerestore2During this trip, the restoration team of ASI in Hampi sought the help of our PRO Chandrasekaran, to teach their staff on cleaning various types of lime applied over years on the pillars of the mandapas which were recently cleared off at the entrance of the Virupaksha Temple from encroachment and were restored. He taught their helpers to clean a Pillar Panel. The team could successfully learn the cleaning techniques and the need and use of certain chemicals which would only react with the lime and not spoil the core or the substrate granite stone. The pictures before and after cleaning are here to see.

Thiruvoor has a Vishnu temple belonging to the Vijayanagar Period 16th Century fully made of bricks with the foundation made from Laterite stones, seen common in the Thiruvallur District, as in the Adinarayana Perumal seen in Pazhaverkadu. Some renovation has happened, but the vimana is yet to be restored. A retired teacher, Shri. M.S. Subramanian inhabitant of the village is trying his best to restore the temple. (Contact: 044- 27620215, 9444326862). REACH team visited to take stock of the situation and has promised to get in help to restore the Vimana using conventional restoration techniques and man power.

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Close to the Thiruvoor temple, in Aranvoil lies a magnificent Shiva temple which has changed its antiquity in bits and pieces. Even though the local care taker Boopalan tries his best for the renovation, patches of loss are visible as the Pallava Pillars are lying strewn, a rare Pallava Vishnu with his consort (Sridevi, Bhoodevi, but one missing…) and a real life like looking Nandi sculptures, all rare pride of the temple and looking vulnerable.

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An ancient Shiva temple in the village Kannigaiper in the Periapalayam Road, off. Nellore Gummidipoondi Highway has some nice Chola inscriptions and the temple needs some repairs and restoration. The Chola inscriptions were copied for further reading. REACH executive committee Rajendran Ganesan visited the site along with PRO Chandrasekaran.

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heritagerestore10The Epigraphy courses conducted by the Academy Wing AASI held a twin function at Vinobha Hall, Thakkar Baba Vidyalaya, Chennai last 19th of August 2012. The outgoing 3rd batch of students who completed their Tamil epigraphy course and the 1st batch of students who completed their Grantham course were given certificates and the 4th batch of Tamil epigraphy classes was started. Dr C V Vaidyanathan the Vice Chancellor of Shri Chandrasekara Swamigal Viswa Maha Vidyalaya, Enathur, Kanchipuram, gave away the certificates and Shri Rajendran IAS, the Commissioner of Backward Classes presided the function. It is well known that Dr Rajendran IAS holds a PhD in his research work in Chola copper plates and was instrumental in retrieving many heritage sites in Tiruvannamalai when he was the collector there.

T Satyamurthy visited the Thanjavur Palace and the end of August after completing a meeting conveyed by Smt. Shri Bala to start again the excavation and restoration of the Vepathur Veetrirunda Perumal Temple, at Kumbakonam. In Thanjavur the Raja of Thanjavur Shri Babaji Bhonsle received the team and discussed on the syllabus proposed for the addition of Heritage Architecture as a paper in the BE (Civil) curriculum. Later he left for the Big temple to accompany the Directors of THE HINDU news paper and explain them on the mural paintings on the first floor of the temple Vimana.

heritagerestore11On the invitation received from the Zamindar Family of Kattuputhur he proceeded to their village and examined the palatial heritage Bungalow to examine the leakages and cracks it had developed due to weathering. he along with members Rajamanickam Veera and Chandrasekaran, listed out the main issues to be addressed, which were later posted to the Zamindar Family.

heritagerestore12Kattuputhur also has an interesting site to be excavated, called the Nathan, where splinters of pottery ware were seen establishing clues of a prehistoric settlement. The family of member Swarnamalya is behind this effort and REACH had already applied for the license to conduct excavations.




heritagerestore14The Meeting of all the executives of REACH was conducted on 21st September 2012 to discuss various issues of work to be handled. It was decided to have various wings of activity like the Heritage Mapping and documentation wing, web site wing, restoration team, e-digitization and magazine wing and so on… to take the activities which REACH is conducting in a planned manner.

heritagerestore13A heritage trip was conducted on 10-11-12 by 8 member team of REACH to Vallimalai, Melpadi, Tiruvallam and two dilapidated temples at Thirumalaicheri and Puliyankannu villages. The Puliyan Kannu temple which lies in a barren land with all stone strewn all over is taken care by some true devotees of the Lord, Shri Vijayan and Shri Kumar both dedicating their time and money to upkeep the daily Pujas. They sing with full devotion the Devaram songs and perform Pooja there. The temple surely looks like the Rashtrakooda styled one, which needs proper excavation and unearthing of pillars and sculptures.



heritagerestore15It was too late in night when the team reached the Thirumalaicheri temple, but the temple proliferates pain in one’s mind when they see the ruins visible all around. The broken naradana Vinayaka, hanging lintels, Chola and Telugu Inscriptions glare at you and the ghostly temple stayed back in our minds forever. Sure cases which need help from philanthropists and donors to renovate.