A leak has been discovered in the gold-plated roof of the sanctum sanctorum of the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple. The gold plating was an offer from exiled industrialist Vijay Mallya, who sponsored the venture at a cost of around Rs 18 crore.
According to the Travancore Devaswom council which runs the hill shrine, located about 170 km from here, the leak was detected when the temple was opened for monthly poojas this month. It was discovered that water was leaking through the left corner of the roof.
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Chairman of the board of Travancore Devaswom, K Ananthagopan, said the gold plating would be removed on August 3 to examine the extent of the leak. The repair work, whose permission has been obtained from the “tantri” (traditional chief priest) of the temple, will be completed in 45 days.
The council will bear all repair expenses and the work will be carried out under the supervision of high officials and priests.
Meanwhile, work to install a water roof, worth Rs 70 lakh, over the 18 gold-plated holy steps was underway. The cost of this was borne by a Hyderabad-based company as a tender.
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The collapsible roof is intended for use during rains.
All development works of the temple were in progress with the permission of the High Court of Kerala.