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).

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