Harsh weather taking toll on Aihole temple

Art & Culture Governance National Rural Karnataka

ASI says it is taking steps to protect the place

Shivani Priyam

Monuments in the ancient town of Aihole, Bagalkot district are bearing the brunt of harsh weather.

Rainwater accumulates up to 2 feet inside the garbha-griha (sanctum sanctorum). The roof is getting damaged and water seeps in. Restoration work by the Archaeological Survey of India has helped the monument survive to some extent. However, the monuments are suffering the ravages of time. Floors and walls are dampened due to accumulated water, robbing the lustre of the monuments.

Reema Singh, a school teacher who was visiting Aihole, informed The Observer: “I came to visit the place last year, but the structure seemed fit. Now, the cracks appear more prominent. As the monument is old, it is reflective of time, but the rate at which it is suffering damage is worrisome. Authorities must take measures.”

Ramesh Bhajantri, a researcher and travel guide at Aihole, said: “The ASI is taking steps to protect the temple complex by repairing and rebuilding damaged walls. One can see the numbered bricks on the walls of temples which are marked by ASI as old or new layers. The reason is mainly weather conditions. The sandstone structure is old and is coming off in layers. It is not feasible to drain out accumulated water from the leaking roof as there is no safe passage for the flow of water.”

As per a Deccan Herald report on October 22, 2019, heavy rain in the catchments of the Krishna and its tributaries in Karnataka and Maharashtra increased flow into the river. Five low-lying bridges in Chikkodi taluk and Kuduchi bridge in Raibag taluk which provide a vital link to the neighbouring state had submerged.

The maintenance of one of the world’s famous historic sites of cultural and religious significance is a big task for ASI and the state government.

Aali Kumar, a research scholar and professor of history at JNU, said: “The chemical reactions within the rock sculptures, and the oxygen present in the atmosphere, are the chief causes of damage. Pollution and particulate matter deposition are other factors responsible for the same. As we cannot control the weather, stringent measures need to be taken to protect our ancient landscape.”


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