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Historic Dwarkadheesh Temple to get protection from nature's elements

Historic Dwarkadheesh Temple to get protection from nature's elements

Author: Hiral Dave
Publication: Expressindia.com
Date: February 6, 2009
URL: http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/historic-dwarkadheesh-temple-to-get-protection-from-natures-elements/419884/

The historic Dwarkadheesh Temple, situated in the ancient town of Dwarka on the banks of the Gomti, will soon have protection from the vagaries of weather, age and bio-degradation. The Archaeological Survey of India is carrying out chemical treatment on the 1,400-year-old nij mandir, the main temple structure.

A chemical coating of the outer walls was first done in 2005. Now, the inner walls and the inside will also be covered with a chemical coat. Besides, old stones with decayed or damaged edges are also being replaced with new ones. The two processes are expected to strengthen the structure, which is a centre of worship to Lord Krishna for crores of devotees.

The ASI had given a chemical treatment to the medieval structure's five smaller shrines and a part of the temple complex earlier too, but this is the first time that the main temple is being taken up for preservation.

"This is for the first time that chemical treatment on the inside walls are been carried out," said S Shivanand, the Superintendent of Archaeological Survey of India (Gujarat).

The preservation, which will be carried out in various phases, began in late January, and by March-end, the entire complex is expected to get a chemical coat. ASI officials said the coating will protect the temple from saline water, rain and fungus. "We have begun scrubbing the temple walls to remove dust and other chemical deposition. This will be followed by fungicide and paper-pulp treatment, to be followed by a final coat," said an official.

The ASI had been carrying out laboratory tests in the past to decide the right chemicals for use. Chemical compositions of various solutions vary as per the geographical situation of the monument as well as for the outer and inner walls. Here, chemicals, which will protect the temple especially from saline water, are being used. But this composition is different from what was used earlier for the outer walls.

Several skilled labourers under the guidance of expert chemists from the ASI have been working at the site for a couple of days now. The job is a bit challenging as the temple is located 40 feet from the sea and is 157 feet high. The idol of Dwarkadheesh is placed in the five-storeyed shikhar.

Other shrines have an average height of 50 feet. The ASI has ensured that the preservation work does not disrupt the temple activities.

An architectural marvel

The 1,400-year-old Dwarkadheesh Temple is an architectural marvel showcasing the rule of various dynasties like the Guptas, Pallavas, Chavdas, Martraks and the Chanakyas.

The temple has 60 intricately carved pillars, which display hint of Greek influence. The pillars have been carved from a single rock.

The temple, spread 90 feet across in the east-west direction and 70 feet in the north-south direction, has no arches. According to mythology, Lord Vishwakarma built the temple in a single night.

According to recent history, Maharaja Gaekwad had arranged to keep the golden pitcher on the temple's summit, and the Shankaracharya had renovated the temple in 1958.

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