Kashi Vishwanath Temple's original nature to be restored

Kashi Vishwanath Temple's original nature to be restored

A team of the National Research Laboratory for Conservation of Cultural Property (NRLCCP) will be arriving in the holy city of Varanasi shortly to assess the damage caused to the temple by the “chemical enamel paint” and prepare a work plan to restore its originality.

The sandstone temple, which houses one of the 12 “jyotirlingas”, had been built by the queen of Indore Ahilyabai Holker way back in 1780. The temple, which is flocked by millions of devotees from across the country, is situated on the western ghat of the holy Ganges.

The management of the temple was taken over by the state government in 1983 with a view to provide better facilities to the devotees and also to ensure the protection of the building.

According Shatrud Prakash, general secretary of Citizens’ Forum, a Varanasi-based NGO, the government has failed to take necessary measures to protect the building from decay.

To top it, the then commissioner of Varanasi C M Dubey had got the building painted with enamel paint, which was a “foolish decision” considering the fact that the temple had been built with sand stones, he said. Cultural activists and devotees alike vehemently protested the use of enamel paint on the sand stone as they felt it would damage the building. Director of the State Archaeology Department Dr Rakesh Pandey said the sand stones were porus allowing the air to pass into them. “The enamel paint closes the holes in the stones and may cause danger to the stones,” he said.

Taking note of the concerns of experts, NRLCCP has decided to send a team of experts to study the effect of the enamel paint on the building and prepare a work plan. The sample of the stones would be tested in the laboratory to assess the damage and chalk out a strategy to repair them. “The enamel paint will be removed, and necessary steps will be taken to restore the original form of the building,” said an office-bearer of the temple trust.

DH News Service

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