17 March 2007


During the recent visit of a team from Chennai to Arunachaleswarar Temple in regard to the setting up of a Temple Museum, the specialist group saw first hand damage caused to Temple artifacts due to the sand blasting of sculptures and bas-reliefs.

In the above photograph you can see evidence of the bad results of sandblasting, which in this picture has resulted in a cracked pillar (and then cemented) in the Arunachaleswarar Temple's Thousand Pillared Hall. Also included in spoiled artifacts are: a badly damaged bas-relief sculpture (in front of the Big Nandi) in the Mandapam, a granite stone in the base of the Gopuram on the North Side of the Temple and also damaged inscriptions.

The Chennai team have since learnt that the ban on sandblasting Temple artifacts has been re-imposed and the preferred method of cleaning with liquid ammonia, which is amenable to mechanisation and reasonably priced has been reintroduced.


Divyakka said...

What is meant by sandblasting?

Arunachala Living said...

Intended to remove oily substance or whitewash, sandblasting is a process of spraying sand at high air pressure on sculptures, walls and pillars. It is now banned in many Temples in India. I will make a separate posting about this process.