Mandya, June 7 (SH)- The 65-foot tower of the ancient temple of Sri Ranganathaswamy at Srirangapatna in the district has developed cracks, causing anxious moments in the devotees.

The temple tower (Rajagopura), built in 894 AD during the rule of Gangarasas, experienced cracks two or three years ago following a hit by lightning driving the devout who worship at the temple to anxious moments. It may be recalled the more than 140-feet tall tower of Sri Kalahasti temple in Andhra Pradesh too was recently found to have developed a vertical crack making the tower unsafe being on the verge of collapsing.

The temple in Srirangapatna was built when Tirumalaraya was the Prime Minister during the Gangarasa rule in the 9th century AD. The Rajagopura was built in 1117 AD. The temple witnessed improvements during the rule of Vijayanagar kings, Hyder Ali and Wadiyars of Mysore.

The five-storey tower of the temple was recently found to have developed cracks at a height of about 15 feet on its left side. The crack is found to be steadily widening creating scare in the devotees who are fearing the fall of the tower anytime.

The masonry of the tower is falling off at several points. The matter has already been brought to the notice of Department of Archaeology and a team from that organisation has also carried out an inspection of the tower.

Officials of the Archaeology Department were quoted as saying the work of renovating the temple's tower would start soon.

Sri Ranganathaswamy is worshipped at three famous shrines identified as Adiranga, Madhyaranga and Antyaranga. The shrine at Srirangapatna is identified as Adiranga while Shimsha hosts Madhyaranga and Srirangam in TN hosts Antyaranga. It is a special feature that all the three famous shrines are localed on the banks of River Cauvery.

The belief is strong in the devotees who worship at the deity that moksha is certain to those who worship at all the three shrines on the same day between sunrise and sunset on auspicious days prescribed by the ancient sages.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore