Repairs needed after lightning damages temple domes
Officials scurry to prepare for Kavady
OFFICIALS at two historic temples are seeking to have their domes repaired before Thai Poosam Kavady this month, after lightning recently damaged the structures.
The chairperson at the Springfield Siva Subramaniar Temple in Foxglove Place, Tony Raju, said that at about 9.30pm on December 27, devotees who lived nearby heard a loud noise.
“The following morning, debris was found everywhere. From what we could ascertain, a lightning bolt struck the tip of the dome, resulting in it exploding.”
Raju said the temple, initially built by a farming community using mud and iron, was 70 years ago.
“They managed to acquire a plot of land on Foxglove Place a decade later and built the current structure.”
He said more than 1 000 devotees flocked to the temple to prepare for the annual kavady procession and to offer prayers.
It would cost about R70 000 to fix the damage, he said.
“With the help of donations from devotees, we are hoping to have it repaired before kavady.”
The spokesperson for the Magazine Barracks Temple in Westcliff, Chatsworth, Mala Lutchmanan, said the Vimanam, the dome above the main sanctum sanctorum, sustained structural damage.
“While the engineers are assessing the extent of the damage and mapping a way forward, the forthcoming Thai Poosam Kavady will take place as scheduled, but the committee has decided, on the advice of the presiding guru, that since the sanctum sanctorum has been affected and is under construction, there will be no flag-hoisting.”
Lutchmanan said all other rituals associated with the kavady observances – the tying of the kaapu, daily obayams and abhihegams, and yegams – will be conducted.
She said the temple, established in the 1930s at the Magazine Barracks in Somtseu Road, moved to Chatsworth in 1964 after the community that lived there were forcefully evicted.
To assist the temple in Springfield, call Raju at 081 817 6954.
Damage to the dome of the Magazine Barracks Temple in Chatsworth is clearly visible.
Examination of where the lightning struck the Springfield Siva Subramaniar Temple revealed extensive damage (above and left).