Centuries old granaries, Ranganathar temple, Srirangam

Ranganathar temple, srirangam.renovation of ive granaries .www.thehindu.com
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Ranganathar temple, Srirangam granaries,archeolog.newsaround.blogspot.com
Granaries are built in villages and small towns in those days by the local rulers to store vast quantity of grains safely from rodent 
 attack, rain, etc for future needs  that might arise as a result of drought, flooding, storms and other natural disasters.  It is rare to see huge granaries in the precincts of Hindu temples. Such granaries exit in the huge complex of 8th century Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple, Srirangam, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, S.India. The other temples, that have granaries  within the confines of temple, are Thiruvanaikovil Jambukeswarar Akilandeswari Temple and at  Thiruppalathurai  near Kumbakonam  and at the Adi Rangam Temple near Jambai in Tiruvannamalai district. Such granaries were built to store grains donated by devotees and paddy collected from temple lands.

Ranganathar temple, Srirangam old granaries before restoration.www.thehindu.com
The Kottaram, located in the second prakara of Srirangam temple, has huge granaries 
built during different periods by the Thanjavur Naiks  about six centuries ago. Close to the shrine dedicated to Goddess Sri Mahalakshmi  are the five brick  granaries,  standing over 40 feet in height called ''Thrukottaram.'' They were in a state of neglect for a long time - for decades, to the dismay of historians and local residents, who are keen to preserve such huge  ancient structures of antiquity. Careless negligence and lack of action for several decades gradually led to the thick growth of vegetation all around and  weakening of the structure with outer plaster coming off. The granaries were built o the temple premises, apparently for storing spices, rice  and other food material for contingency purposes to be used  for temple needs - naivaidhyam - preparation of divine food, Annadhanam (fre feeding) in the event  of scarcity after natural disasters and unexpected  foreign invasions.  Though  no direct reference was made to the granaries in the inscriptions, there are several other inscriptions in the temple which record the donations (of food grains) made by farmers and devotees to the temple.

HRCE, a government department managing Hindu temples in the state of Tamil Nadu,  took restoration and renovation work in the last two years after conducting a detailed survey in 2013 along with expert Archaeologists. For the renovation work, the team followed the age old method of mixing lime and Gall-nut in right proportion, thus bringing the old glory back. Bonding produced by the mortar following the above method will hold the bricks tightly together and can withstand all kinds of weather and climate.

The first granary is circular in shape,  while the rest are octagonal in their first tier and circular above. Normally granaries have three tiers. All granaries have decorative roof cover (Valhabi) or sunshade (Kapota)  to protect against rain and sunshine. Like modern granaries made of wood,  these centuries old  granaries have opening at top to pour grains into the storage and  small square shaped opening at the bottom to collect grains when needed.

Glad as part of recent renovation of  Sri Ranganathar temple complex on 18th November, 2015, renovation work was undertaken to preserve the age old granaries, so that the future generation will appreciate the temple's past glory and  rich legacy and th ingenuity of early rulers.