Sep 26, 2012 at 10:53am IST

New lease of life for ancient temple, Choultry

Two of state’s richest temples Sri Chamundeshwari in the city and Srikanteshwara in Nanjangud of the district have adopted the Sri Lakshmikanthaswamy Temple in Kalale village, which is about 800 years old, and the over 200-year-old Bommaiah Choultry in the city, respectively.

Though the idea of adopting temples and choultries is not new it is gaining importance only now. The rich temples would support the adopted temples or buildings belonging to the Department of Hindu Religions Institutions and Endowment that are dilapidated for five years or till they become economically self-reliant.

About 25 lakh devotees and tourists visit Sri Chamundeshwari Temple annually. Its annual earnings is estimated to be around Rs 16 crore and comes from offerings, sevas, rents from shops, parking fee among others. A proposal on the Sri Chamundeshwari Temple adopting Bommaiah Choultry in Hale Santhe Pet in the city for five years was accepted by B G Nandaklumar, secretary of the state Dharmika Parishat on August 9.

According to a copy of the temple adoption programme available with the Express, the choultry, which is in a dilapidated condition, belonged to the ‘C’ category and was unable to generate revenue required for its maintainance.

It was constructed by erstwhile Maharaja for travellers, coming to city from rural areas, to rest as there was proper transport facilities at that time. As the land was donated by Bommaiah, the choultry was named after him. According to the Public Works Department (PWD) officials Rs 2.40 crore would be required to restore the choultry.

According to the present plan the new building will have a cellar parking, commercial hall, dining hall and marriage hall.

Similarly, Sri Lakshmikathaswamy Temple, which falls under ‘C’ category as its earnings is below Rs 5 lakh annually would be adopted by Sri Srikanteshwara Swamy temple for five years. The PWD officials have estimated that Rs 40.32 lakh would be needed to reconstruct the temple. The annual earnings of Sri Srikanteshwara Temple is about Rs 13 crore. More than 20 lakh devotees visit the temple annually and the revenue comes in the form of offerings, sevas and rent of shops.