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Devotee offered 526 crores to a Kerala temple for reconstruction

KOCHI: A prominent business group in Karnataka is preparing to offer Rs 526 crore to Chottanikkara Bhagavathi Temple. The aim is to reconstruct the temple with architectural brilliance as well as develop the surroundings into a temple city. The devotee who heads the business group wishes to complete the works directly rather than giving the cash.

Considering the size of the project, the Devaswom board forwarded the suggestion to the government. The board is taking procedures to seek the permission of the high court bench as per legal advice. The preliminary project was prepared by BR Ajith Associates, Ernakulam. The thought is to implement the project under the supervision of a committee consisting of three representatives of the devotee, three Devaswom board officials, and the architect. The board is preparing an agreement for this. The board is mulling to ask for Rs 5 crore to start the works and then a deposit of Rs 250 crores in the bank in the name of the committee. The project includes a ring road around the temple, east, and west-facing gopurams, a sewage treatment plant, renovation of parking grounds, new anna dana mandapam (feeding hall), renovation of Onakuttichira Temple, and construction of a guest house. Rs 300 crore will be set aside for this, and Rs 200 crores will be utilized for city development.

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