Giant pillar finally put up at Bhojpur temple
EXACTLY A year after the giant crafted pillar was placed atop the platform of historic Bhojpur Temple, it was hoisted into the slot on the left side of the main entrance of the temple on Monday - completing a truly gigantic work that tested the patience as well as technical competence of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officials here.india Updated: Nov 21, 2006 17:18 IST
EXACTLY A year after the giant crafted pillar was placed atop the platform of historic Bhojpur Temple, it was hoisted into the slot on the left side of the main entrance of the temple on Monday - completing a truly gigantic work that tested the patience as well as technical competence of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officials here.
The time-tested method of chain pulleys and supporting iron pillars (truss) was used by a special technical team from Agra to hoist the 12-tonne single piece rock pillar into the entrance slot of the temple. The main work took two days and was completed on Monday afternoon.
A number of efforts by the ASI Bhopal office to get a crane big enough to put the pillar in place failed during the past year. “We tried all the prominent crane companies and finally concluded that the boom of the crane could not reach the pillar slot from ground level, owing to the huge wide platform of the temple,’’ ASI superintendent archaeologist Mohammad K K told Hindustan Times. Steel rods, araldite and lead have been used to hold the pillar in place.
Expressing satisfaction that finally the work could be completed successfully without any harm to the temple or the newly carved pillar, Mohammad said the problem faced by the ASI in this task emphasises the importance of the work undertaken by ancient architects and civil engineers who could put up much heavier beams and pillars in the temple during its original construction in 11th century.
The technical team of GM Stones, Banmora (Agra) that actually hoisted up the pillar included Goverdhan Singh, Sushil Kumar, Hakim Singh, Bankelal, Neeraj Kumar and Nawab Singh. This team has undertaken similar projects at various heritage sites including the Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri.
The work was supervised by Assistant superintendent archaeological engineer Narendra Bharadwaj, senior conservator assistant of the ASI Bhopal circle and in-charge of the conservation work of the temple S N Shrivastava apart from Mohammad.
The ASI field team inclusive of mason Kanhaiyyalal, Ashok Dixit, Lal Singh, Badan Singh, Feran Singh, Keshav Prasad, Chandra Bahadur and Kishanlal played important role through the entire project of putting up the pillar.
The 3.52 metre tall pillar will not only improve the look of the temple aesthetically as it matches the original pillar on the right hand side of the entrance of the temple, but it will also help in creating a better balance in the temple structure, that was famously left incomplete owing to the problems of weight distribution of the stones in the upper part of the structure.
The temple was constructed in 11th century by Raja Bhoj and houses the largest Shivlinga in country, a mammoth 26 feet tall from the base.
Specially invited artistes from Jirapur in Dhar district carved the rock pillar over a period of eight months before it was taken up on the platform of the temple last November. Some finishing touches were given after it being placed on the platform. Mohammad said that conservation work on the incomplete temple would continue in accordance with the ancient plan of the temple.