The Union Ministry of Culture has planned to give a facelift to the Mundeshwari temple atop Paura hill in Kaimur district.
Believed to be the earliest Hindu temple in the state, the Mundeshwari continues to be a living heritage, visited by a large number of pilgrims each year. The Union Ministry has asked the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Patna circle to chemically treat the interiors of the temple near the sanctum sanctorum. The process would begin in a couple of days.
A meeting between NG Nikoshey, the acting superintending archaeologist of ASI, Patna circle and the Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism, Kanti Singh in this connection was held in Delhi recently.
“The interiors of the temple, specially the sanctum sanctorum has blackened over the years due to burning of lamps, incense sticks and candles. Even the smearing of vermilion on the deity, a part of the ritual, has left deep marks. The ASI will start the chemical treatment of the temple in the next two days to get rid of the dark patches,” Nikoshey said.
Though a nationally protected monument of the ASI since 1915, a major portion of this 7th century stone structure stands damaged with fragments strewn all around, uncared and without any record. Documentation of those pieces too would begin shortly.
“These fragments will be of great help in the temple restoration work. There is the need to ascertain the exact shape and height of the building before initiating any restoration work,” he said.
Other development works include light arrangements at the protected monument site, installation of solar light system, construction of heritage sheds to display the scattered antiquities, water tap, public toilette and resting places, he added.