Udupi: The devotees of Krishna Mutt will soon get an opportunity to get the quality of and being used to adorn the ‘swarna gopura’ tested from the National Institute of Technology, Surathkal. The decision to allow devotees hold a purity test on the materials was taken by pontiff of Mutt, Shri Vidyadheesha Teertha Swami.
The pontiff believes that the 100kg gold and 800 kg silver being used in the ‘swarna gopura’ work belong to the devotees. Hence the devotees have a right to know that the work is done with utmost transparency. Once the work for embossing 5,000 silver sheets with gold is completed, devotees will be asked to randomly pick up the sheets, which will be send to the NIT for a purity test. Currently, the sheets are picked up by swamiji himself and sent for tests in local labs. These labs check how many grams and carats are used in a sheet.
Speaking to TOI, quality observer of the mutt Sadhashiva Rao said: “The construction is on a 2,500 sq feet area and we have already finished 45% of work. It will be completed in three stages—sheet-making, wooden work and finally bending the completed sheets using fold system to lock it. It will be done by people from Bengaluru. In such work, people generally adopt lacquer system, but we have used silver and gold rolling system with overfeed technology so that the gold wastage is nil. Every day, we complete work on 70 to 100 sheets. The copper will be used as reaps, which will have the Madhva philosophy and other thoughts embossed in it. The wooden work is taking place at Hiriyadka using teakwood. Granite work is already done.”
According to sources, 12 known local goldsmiths are providing their services for the project. The swamiji is very particular that the work should be transparent and more opportunity be given to local workers. The workshop, located inside the temple, has three machines doing the embossing and finishing work. The area is also under CCTV surveillance.
A model of the ‘swarna gopura’ is kept in front of Subrahmanya temple inside the temple corridor so that devotees could get an idea about the work being done. After completion of the project, the model will be taken to different parts of the state in a vehicle.
A proposal has also been made to construct a platform to get a clear view of the entire temple from outside, near the wood chariot. Currently, devotees who enter the temple cannot see its top from the ground.
Another proposal is being made to make a seating arrangement at the corridor of Bhojanashala so that visitors could sit and view the temple in its entire glory. However, it is not clear whether this project would be taken up due to shortage of time.