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Resurrecting and Restoring Ancient Hindu Temples and Murtis for Future –Mission by Sthapati R. Selvanathan

Sthapati is the official name of a Hindu temple architect and there is great demand for experienced Sthapatis as Hindus are today building temples around the world. Sthapati R. Selvanathan too has built many temples around the world but what makes him different is his efforts to protect ancient temples and murtis – His mission is resurrecting and restoring the old Hindu temples as they are our heritage, important reference points and each temple is a store house of knowledge.
The Hindu writes about Sthapati R. Selvanathan’s efforts
Selvanathan’s heart lies in restoring ancient temples on the verge of collapse. “These temples represent our heritage, a testimony to the expertise of our ancestors. Besides, they are reference points. It is fine to build a new temple but in Tamil Nadu, a place of over 40,000 temples, resurrecting and renovating old ones would be more appropriate,” says the master craftsman. Wife Ponni helps her husband with research and has facts on her finger tips. 
It is the Palani Baladandayuthapani idol of which the sthapati makes special mention in the context of restoration. Made of navapashanam, a concoction of nine herbs by siddhars, the statue was coming apart due to erosion and handling. “What with the controversy surrounding it, I was all nerves when I started on the project,” recalls Selvanathan. He stayed at the temple with his team of architects and they succeeded in repairing the damage done. “It was an unforgettable experience, as though a divine hand guided us through the work,” he observes. 
The energy in space converges inside the sanctum sanctorum with the gopuram and the kalasam acting as the medium. Location and direction are vital factors here. Today, temples sprout a la mushrooms, on the pavement, abutting a canal, even a sewage. This is not correct. As Paramacharya said, there are thousands of ancient temples waiting to be resurrected, saved and maintained. Let’s protect them, our heritage,” concludes Selvanathan, who has been showered with awards and titles here and abroad.

You can read more about Sthapati R. Selvanathan and his efforts here at the Hindu article titled – Saga in Stone



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