Hyderabad sculptor to ready vehicle by Feb. for Kalyanotsavam

The State government on Saturday selected the teak wood grown in the Bastar forests in Chhattisgarh for the making of the 40-foot-tall new chariot of Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swami temple at Antarvedi in East Godavari district.

The century-old chariot of the temple was destroyed in a fire in the early hours of September 6.

Backward Classes Minister Ch. Venu Gopala Krishna has led a team of officials that selected the wood grown in the Bastar region in the Eastern Ghats, at a depot in Ravulapalem in East Godavari district.

“We have ordered 1,250 cubic feet of the teak wood which has been dried for nearly one year and found suitable for making the chariot,” Mr. Venu Gopala Krishna told The Hindu.

Experienced artisan

A Hyderabad-based sculptor, Ganapathi Acharyulu, has been entrusted with the task of making the new vehicle by February for the annual Kalyanotsavam.

Mr. Ganapathi is credited with the making of nearly 80 temple chariots. It usually takes at least four months to make a chariot.

“The State government is determined to provide the new chariot by February. Special teams have been put on the task within a week of the fire,” said Mr. Venu Gopala Krishna.

The State government is spending nearly ₹95 lakh on the new chariot. The earlier one was insured for ₹84 lakh against damage due to fire or earthquake.

According to East Godavari Collector D. Muralidhar Reddy, the insurance company is appraising the damage done to the chariot to arrive at the compensation amount.

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