The ‘Rajagopuram’ or the towering entrance to the ancient Srikalahasti temple in Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district collapsed Wednesday night, police said. No one was injured.
The temple’s 136-feet-tall Rajagopuram, which had developed cracks recently, caved in. Police said there was no loss of human life as all shops located near the structure had already been shifted. However, over 100 monkeys are feared dead in the incident.
A large number of devotees gathered near the collapsed structure and expressed their anguish over the negligence by the authorities in protecting the Rajagopuram constructed in 1516 by Srikrishna Devaraya, the ruler of Vijayanagara empire.
On Tuesday, engineers, after an inspection of the seven-storeyed structure, had declared the 150-metre area around it as a danger zone. All shops in the area were then shifted.
Chief Minister K Rosaiah expressed shock over the incident and asked the endowment department to take steps to rebuild the Rajagopuram.
Srikalahasti temple is one among the most visited temples in Andhra Pradesh, and it is considered almost a must visit for anyone who visits the famed Tirupati temple.
Sri Kalahasthi (Telugu: శ్రీ కాళహస్తి, Tamil: திரு காளஹஸ்தி) is a temple town in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. Located here is one of the famous Shiva temples in South India, and is said to be the site where Kannappa, one of the 63 Saivite Nayanars, was ready to offer both his eyes to cover blood flowing from the Siva linga before the Lord Siva stopped him and granted him mukti.
Sri Kalahasti temple, situated 36 km away from Tirupati is famous for its Vayu deva temple, which is the only shrine for the God of Wind in India. Constructed in the 12th century by the Chola king, Rajendra Chola, Vayu is incarnated as Lord Shiva and worshipped as Kalahasteeswara.