Temples in Mysuru palace are getting a facelift

The Department of Archaeology Museums and Heritage has taken up repairs on nearly half a dozen major temples in the Mysuru palace complex. The work is to be completed by the end of the current financial year and constitutes the second phase of a project being executed at a cost of nearly ₹80 lakh.

Sources in the Archaeology Department told The Hindu that the work would be completed by March 2020 and includes resetting of stones, repairing the temple towers and sprucing up the precincts.

The temples identified under the project and where works are under way include the Bhuvaneshwari, Shwetha Varahaswamy, Vinayaka, Trinayaneshwaraswamy, Sri Chandramouleshwara, and Sri Prasanna Krishnaswamy temples.

The major chunk of the amount has been allotted to Bhuvaneshwari temple, whose restoration will cost ₹17 lakh, while ₹21 lakh has been earmarked for Trinayaneshwaraswamy temple. Shwetha Varahaswamy temple has been sanctioned ₹11.25 lakh.

However, work on Sri Prasanna Krishnaswamy temple — one of the biggest temples in the palace complex — is yet to commence, and sources say the tender works were being processed. This temple’s construction was initiated by Krishnaraja Wadiyar III in 1825 A.D and it is significant as it gives an elaborate inscription of the achievements of the kings.

Some of the temples predate the existing palace by a few centuries.

While Bhuvaneshwari temple is relatively new and was constructed in 1953 by the last Maharaja, Jayachamaraja Wadiyar, Trinayaneshwaraswamy temple existed in some form or the other even during the period of Raja Waidyar, who ascended the throne at Srirangapatana in 1610 A.D. The temple was then located outside the present fort complex. When the complex was extended, the temple was brought within the ambit of the fort by Kanthirava Narasaraja I (1615-1659) as per the Mysore Gazetteer. Shwetha Varahaswamy temple was built by Diwan Purnaiah in 1809 using the ruined materials of a few Hoysala-period temples.

The department has completed restoring Pandurangaswamy temple and Khille Venkatramanaswamy temple within the palace complex under the project.

The Mysuru palace complex has nearly a dozen temples, and though the palace receives more than 3.5 million tourists every year, there is little by way of promoting the temples. But for Trinayaneshwaraswamy temple, which draws thousands of devotees on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri every year, the temples are rarely patronised by devotees or tourists.

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