The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is exploring ways to find a permanent solution to prevent flooding in the Airavatesvara temple in Darasuram near Kumbakonam in Thanjavur district.
“This is not happening for the first time. Flooding is a perennial problem and we are planning a brainstorming session with experts in the field of civil engineering to find a permanent solution,” said T. Arun Raj, the Superintending Archaeologist of the newly-created Tiruchi circle of the ASI.
The ASI is pumping out the water from the temple which was constructed by Chola king Rajaraja II. Additions were made by Kulotunga III also. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Mr. Arun Raj said the help of the district administration was vital in achieving a solution as there was a need to restore the channels which have been encroached upon. There is also a tank which will receive water through the channel from the temple. “When the town around the temple grew in size, construction activities increased. The development rendered the temple complex a low-lying area and it is inundated during monsoon,” he further explained.
Mr. Arun Raj said there was plenty of fish in the water and it was a clear indication of a link to waterbodies outside which were in bad shape because of encroachments. Collector N. Subbaiyan, who visited the temple on Saturday, said there was an outlet reaching up to a tank. “But it is not adequate. Moreover, the temple is in a low-lying area. We will work out a solution,” he said.