04-11-2017 10:00 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
Temple bags Unesco’s Award of Merit
The protection and conservation efforts of the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple at Srirangam has borne fruits as it has bagged the Award of Merit from Unesco, thus becoming the first temple in Tami Nadu to get the prestigious honour from the UN body.
The key parameters that earned the temple the award are the traditional method of renovating the temple and re-establishment of rainwater harvesting and the historic drainage system that prevents flooding.
The Unesco-Asia-Pacific awards for cultural heritage conservation programme was launched in 2000 to acknowledge the efforts taken in 48 countries to restore and conserve historic structures without affecting their heritage value.
When Unesco invited applications for the awards, the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR&CE) department of Srirangam temple applied for the awards in May. The results were disclosed by Unesco Aia-OAcific on Wednesday and Srirangam temple was the only religious centre from south India to find a mention under 'Award of Merit' category.
According to HR&CE sources, the temple had undertaken a Rs 20 crore renovation project prior to a consecration ceremony in November 2015, especially without affecting its centuries' old architectural design. restoration work was carried out in the entire temple complex by craftsmen who had in-depth knowledge in traditional architecture involving the usage of limestone and chemical-free construction practices.
P Jayaraman, joint commissioner of the temple said, "The communique received by us cited the traditional construction method involved in reworks and re-establishment of the historical sewage system as parameters for receiving the international award."
Mumbai's Christ Church and Royal Bombay Opera House were the other monuments in India that received the Award of Merit this year.