Temple relocation for Highway expansion
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Temple relocation for Highway expansion

September 11, 2020
  • 15th Century Temple on Mysuru-Bengaluru Highway near Srirangapatna to be shifted pillar-by-pillar 
  • MP Pratap Simha inspects ongoing road works; three new bridges to come up on River Cauvery

Mysore/Mysuru: After the 12th Century Venugopalaswamy Temple at Kannambadi village was relocated to Hosa Kannambadi near Krishna Raja Sagara (KRS) Dam following its submersion under Dam waters, now it is the turn of 15th Century Gadde Ranganathaswamy Temple on the Mysuru-Bengaluru 10-lane Highway to be relocated to a safer place.  

Gadde Ranganathaswamy Temple is located on the banks of Cauvery at Brahmapura near Srirangapatna on Mysuru-Bengaluru Road and was on the verge of losing its identity as it faced the threat of getting covered up due to the expansion works of Mysuru-Bengaluru Highway. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has taken up the conversion of Mysuru-Bengaluru Highway into a 10-lane Highway (including two Service Roads). 

The 500-year-old Temple, built in 15th or 16th Century has 12 large stone pillars. While the pillars in the front portion are round shaped, the rest are square shaped. The idol of the presiding deity Gadde Ranganathaswamy is installed in the sanctum sanctorum at a height of about 3½ feet.

Archaeology report: The Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage had recently submitted a report to the Mandya District Administration stating that the precincts surrounding the Gadde Ranganathaswamy Temple was being used as dumping yard for debris. The report stated that though the Temple was not among the list of protected monuments, it was a remarkable structure with a rich heritage and needs to be conserved.

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Following the report, the Mandya District Administration has come forward to relocate the temple pillar-by-pillar or stone-by-stone like it was done with Venugopalaswamy Temple at Kannambadi village. The Venugopalaswamy Temple was relocated to Hosa Kannambadi near KRS Dam after it was submerged under KRS Dam waters. 

The Temple had resurfaced when the Dam water receded drastically and seeing the architectural beauty of the temple, Khoday Foundation relocated the building block-by-block at a cost of Rs. 2.5 crore. 

More than 200 workers and machines removed the carved stones and pillars of the temple, after marking each one of them.  

Conservation efforts: According to officials from the Dept. of Archaeology, the Gadde Ranganathaswamy Temple could easily be relocated as it was made of stones and pillars. The stones and pillars can be dismantled and shifted elsewhere. 

The Mandya District Administration is coordinating with NHAI and officials from the Department of Archaeology to relocate the heritage structure to conserve it for future generations. 

Officials said that the Temple relocation works will not delay the Highway works. The relocation will be supervised by Archaeology officials. 

It may be recalled here that the 18th century Tipu Armoury weighing 1,050-tonnes, also in Srirangapatna, was translocated in 2017 to pave way for the double-tracking work of the Mysuru-Bengaluru Railway line. 

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