Press Esc to close
Sunday 26 October 2014
News updated at 11:44 AM IST
Weather
Max: 22°C
Min : 21°C
In Bangalore
Partially cloudy
Breaking News

Kalahasthi temple tower collapses

Last updated: 27 May, 2010
R Akhileshwari and M R Venkatesh, Hyderabad/Chennai, May 26, DHNS:

Yawning crack across seven tiers of the ancient shrine; area declared danger zone

The ''gopuram'' of the centuries- old Siva temple at Srikalahasti in Chittoor district built by Srikrishnadevaraya collapsed on Wednesday night. A massive tragedy was averted as the temple authorities had evacuated people from the shrine precincts anticipating the collapse of the gopuram.

Damaged: The raja gopuram at the Srikalahasthi temple in Andhra Pradesh which collapsed after developing a huge crack through its seven tiers on Wednesday. Pic DInakaran

The authorities had also barred the entry of devotees into the shrine.

A 150-metre radius around the temple was declared  a “red” or danger zone by the authorities as pieces of debris had begun to fall from a crack that was noticed more than ten years ago. The crack had widened dangerously after the recent torrential rain and Laila cyclone which lashed Andhra Pradesh last week. The 135-metre-high structure, consisting of  seven storeys, collapsed around 8.30 pm on Wednesday.

No casualties have been reported. However, it is feared that some security personnel posted at the temple might have been buried under the debris. Two women are reported to be missing. According to temple officials, a few hundred monkeys that had made the temple their home might have been killed.


Even as the Endowments Department and the Andhra Pradesh Government came under severe criticism for neglecting the temple, the state government ordered a high-level inquiry into the “gopuram” collapse. Endowments Minister Gade Venkat Reddy dismissed allegations of neglect by the temple authorities in repairing the crumbling structure. In fact, he said, the timely action of the temple authorities and the government in evacuating people from the area had averted a major tragedy.

He ruled out action against any officials concerned. He also declined to resign as demanded by some organisations. Reddy pointed out that a team of Archaeology Department visited the temple on Tuesday to study the crack that had developed in the “gopuram” and had taken the advice of a team of experts from Indian Institute of Technology Madras on repairing the structure.

Kailash of the South

The huge crack in the Srikalahasthi temple was noticed recently.  People had seen pieces of stone falling from the gopuram’s first and second tiers in the last few days, after Laila cyclone passed through the area, which is believed to have widened the crack. The first and second storeys of the tower were built with granite and the remaining five with bricks and lime mortar.

Temple Executive Officer E Ramachandramurthy told Deccan Herald over the phone that as a precautionary measure all people living near the precincts of the gopuram were evacuated on Tuesday itself.

The temple, revered as “Kailash of the South,” is considered one of the “Panchabootha Sthalams” in South India. The presiding deity is Vayulingeshwara, Lord Shiva symbolising air—one of the five basic elements of nature.

The other four major Shiva temples symbolising the other four elements are in Tiruvannamalai (“Tejo Lingam” or fire), Chidambaram (“Akasha Lingam” or ether), Thiruvanaikkaval (“Appu Lingam” or water)and Kancheepuram (“Prithvi Lingam” or earth), all in Tamil Nadu.

Older inner structure

Situated on the banks of the Swarnamukhi river in Andhra’s Chittoor district, Srikalahasthi is a compound name of “Sri” meaning spider, “kala” (serpent) and “hasthi” (elephant) and is known so as Lord Shiva is believed to have liberated all three of them there. The old inner shrine is said to date back to the third century BC.  Thousands of pilgrims visit the temple every day and recently for the Rahu-Ketu Parihara Poojas. Former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalitha visited it last week.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Mrs. Komal Kalra Pagarani who is all set to represent India...

Mrs. Komal Kalra Pagarani who is all set to represent India...

Fire at Balaji Studio Killick Nixon Studios in Mumbai...

Fire at Balaji Studio Killick Nixon Studios in Mumbai...

Sikh religious warriors, display their horse-riding skills at an event organized to celebrate...

Sikh religious warriors, display their horse-riding skills at an event organized to celebrate...

Bollywood actor Shatrughan Sinha with his family during Amitabh Bachchan's Diwali party in Mumbai..

Bollywood actor Shatrughan Sinha with his family during Amitabh Bachchan's Diwali party in Mumbai..

Sachin Tendulkar and his wife Anjali with Abhishek Bachchan during Bachchans' Diwali party...

Sachin Tendulkar and his wife Anjali with Abhishek Bachchan during Bachchans' Diwali party...

Narendra Modi clicks photographs during the Diwali Mangal Milan programme at BJP headquarters...

Narendra Modi clicks photographs during the Diwali Mangal Milan programme at BJP headquarters...

Nitin Gadkari leaves after meeting RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat at RSS headquarters in Nagpur...

Nitin Gadkari leaves after meeting RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat at RSS headquarters in Nagpur...

Brother & Sister take holy dip in river Yamuna on the occasion of Bhai Dooj...

Brother & Sister take holy dip in river Yamuna on the occasion of Bhai Dooj...

Dhoni talks to Hockey India player Ashunta Lakra during launch of hockey team in Ranchi...

Dhoni talks to Hockey India player Ashunta Lakra during launch of hockey team in Ranchi...

Brother of Thailand's Prime Minister Payap Shinawatra takes part in Robe...

Brother of Thailand's Prime Minister Payap Shinawatra takes part in Robe...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523