AMRITSAR: State government's department of cultural affairs, archaeology and museums has given approval to protect the 180-year-old Panj (five) temple situated at Fatehgarh Churian in Gurdaspur district.
An archaeological survey of India's team comprising two assistant archaeologists visited the temple on Sunday to study the damage done to the frescos, idols and the unique architecture of the temple which was constructed by daughter-in-law of Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Chand Kaur, of Kanahaiya Misil. Chand Kaur was an ardent worshipper of Hindu deities and visited the temple everyday for performing religious rituals.
Secretary department of cultural affairs, archaeology and museums, Hussan Lal, said the department had taken the decision in principal to protect the historical temple. "We have issued a preliminary notification seeking objections from people," he said.
TOI on September 25 had highlighted damage being done to the paintings and architecture of the temple following which, the department swung into action. The custodians of temple had even whitewashed many frescos. Department's sources seeking anonymity said they sought revenue record from revenue department of Gurdaspur district. "We have to see how much land is in the name of the temple and how much is encroached upon," sources said.
The temple has marble idols of Hindu deities but unfortunately, 14 metal idols which were certified antiquities by the department had gone missing in the past 11 years due to family conflict among the temple custodians.
Conservator Rajneesh Khosla who had alerted the government about existence of historical temple and its decaying heritage expressed hope that the government's initiative would give a new lease of life to the temple that houses rich heritage of country.
* The temple also has paintings of Guru Nanak Dev with his two disciples Bala and Mardana.
* The sanctum sanctorum of the temple has idols of Lord Krishna and Goddess Vaishno Devi while the four other shrines constructed on all four corners have idols of Lord Ganesh, Lord Shiva, Lord Kartikae and Surya Dev on a common floor made of Nanakshahi bricks.
Yudhvir Rana, TNN Oct 11, 2011.
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