Mahabaleshwara temple atop hill in neglect

Mahabaleshwara temple atop hill in neglect

The collapsed compound wall of Sri Mahabaleshwara temple atop Chamundi hill. DH PHOTO

The historic Mahabaleshwara temple atop Chamundi hill is facing neglect. Though, more than a year after a portion of the compound of Eshwara temple collapsed, neither the debris has been cleared from the site nor the damaged wall been restored, thanks to the apathy of the Muzrai department and the department of Archaeology and Museums.

At a time when the Dravidian style temple is eclipsed by the fabled Chamundeshwari temple, the negligence of the authorities in maintenance of Mahabaleshwara temple has irked many devotees. Not many people know that there exist two major temples besides  Chamundeshwari temple- Mahabaleshwara temple and Narayana Swamy temple. Except for Chamundeshwari temple, two other temples have always been under neglect and off the limelight, the reason why the devotees and villagers believe the infrastructure of these temples crumbled.

The debris of the compound has become an eyesore. When the dasara season begins in less than a month now and tourists arrive, the debris will present the famous hill shrine in poor light.

 “It is a very sorry state of affairs. Muzrai department earns huge money and valuables through offerings made by devotees. The government grabs the money and spends it on wasteful expenditure. Authorities are little conscious about maintaining temples that generates wealth,” says a devotee.

N Sridhar Dixith, president of Sri Chamundeshwari and Palace Temple Employees’ Association and a resident of the Chamundi hill village blamed the officials for the status.

“The government released the money for the reconstruction of the wall six months ago. However, the authorities have not been able to restore the compound wall to its original style,” he told Deccan Herald on Tuesday.

Official sources told this newspaper that when Muzrai department sought an opinion of Archaeology department to restore the wall, Archaeology department officials wanted the job to be executed by them. However, the department sat on the file and Rs 48 lakh released for the job for nearly a year now.

As TVS company is working on restoring the Narayana Swamy temple, the authorities struck a deal with the company to delegate the work to it for want of technical expertise in both Muzrai and Archaeological department, giving them Rs 48 lakh.

Though, TVS company has come forward to take up the project, it has told officials that the work can only be started after the restoration work on Narayana Swamy temple – a result of unwarranted delay by officials concerned.

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