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Conserving an ancient temple Mandapam

With the timely assistance of our benefactors, Arpo was able to restore the magnificence of a centuries old Karnikara Mandapam at a temple in northern Kerala

With its 16 wooden pillars made entirely of teak, the Mandapam of the Kunnamangalam Bhagawati temple was once a majestic structure. Over the years, however, it had fallen into disrepair and when Arpo volunteers spotted it in 2022, the structure of the Bhadrakali temple was in ruins.

Termites had almost entirely chewed through the wood base of the pillars. It was on the verge of collapse and the temple committee was using trunks of areca nut palms to keep it stable. What was at stake was not just the invaluable history that the Mandapam was safeguarding but also the cultural lifeline of the people who lived in the village around it.

The villagers say that the temple is around 600 years old. They believe that the seven hills in the village and the streams around them are under the protection of the goddess and something happening to the temple was unimaginable for them. The villagers were even toying with the idea of replacing the structure with a concrete replacement and thereby letting go of its heritage, when Arpo intervened, with the support of Mr Vivek Sahni, founder and Chairman, Kama Ayurveda.

Arpo not only facilitated a considerable portion of the cost of the restoration through our patron Mr Sahni but also ensured that the essence of the structure remained unaffected. Traditional techniques like Vriksha Ayurveda were used for the conservation and it was completed in less than three months.

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