After my visit to Du(R)gachi,I went to Cholapuram,about 8km from Kumbakonam on the way to Thiruppanandal.Sri Lakshminarayan took me in his vehicle to show me three ancient Shiva temples of Chola period.We went straight to Sri Kailasanatha temple which is under renovation.Then we went to Sri Bhairaveeswaram,a marvellous Chola structure under ruin. Renovation work is under way but too slow.No work was in progress when we visited the shrine.We could see the sanctum through the gate.The dwarabalakas at the entrance are huge and stunning. We walked around the temple only to find some defaced idols surrounded by bushes.The sculptures on the walls of the sanctum are remarkable.The brackets were adorned by the idols of Ganapathi,Nataraja,Bhikshadana and Subramanya.A Shivalingam is seen among the bushes at the corner of the inner praakaram.Unfortunately we could not see any responsible person over there to know the progress of the work.
Our next visit was to another dilapidated temple in the same village.People call it as Kasi Viswanatha Temple.Many idols including the Moolavar are damaged and that of Parvathi is missing.The vimanams are literally taken over by deep rooted trees and pose danger to the structure.The ardha mandapam had already collapsed and open to sky.The domes are badly damaged at many places.Chandikeswara shrine is so pathetic that the idol is trapped inside in a tilted position.Unless the structure is carefully dismantled, it will be really difficult to save the idol trapped inside.Idols of Ganapathi and Dhakshinamurthi are saved by locals and kept in front of the sanctum.
The local people are willing to start regular poojas in the temple and looking for suitable aid from outside.At present they adorn the Moola Linga with flowers and clothes. Since it was Pradosham on that day,I volunteered to do pooja on my own for which the locals agreed and assisted happily.The pooja went for about 30 minutes and I could notice satisfaction and smile in their faces.
Now it becomes important to clean the bushes and take out Chandikeswara from the ruins. A renovation committee has to be formed with the help of the locals and officials and then look for donors to carry out the restructuring work.An idol of Ambal need be carved and installed after renovating Her shrine.
Another visit is therefore necessary to initiate the work and I am planning to take up the same with the help of Sri Lakshminarayanan and other well wishers.