|Chaotic Yezhu Kadal st. leading to Roya Gopura (tower). Madurai thehindu.com|
the early stage. Later rulers did not touch the work left behind by Thiumalai Nayak. Though the incomplete work was in the earliest stage, it is a good example of nayak rulers' architectural and sculptural splendor, a symphony in stone. This place is known
as the arena for two of the 64 divine sports (in Tamil Thiruvilayadalkal) of Lord Siva.
|Street view from Roya Gopura, Madurai Commons wikipedia.prg|
|Unfinished Roya Gopuram (1858), Madurai, pinrest. comAdd caption|
This street comes alive during the major temple festival event and it is on this street Goddess Meenakshi fights kings on her ‘dik vijayam’and finally meets Lord Shiva during the Chitirai festival, held in the month of April to May. The Tirukalyanam (wedding) of Goddess Meenakshi with Lord Sundareswarar takes place following day. On this famous festive occasion this street that is decorated with lights is crowded with devotees who enjoy watching the procession of deities.
|Roya Gopura, Madurai. encroachments. Commons wikipedia.prg.|
Yet another grievance expressed by shop owners and others is the conservationists whose priority is to clean the big streets around the temple, should also focus on the narrow one-way street - Yezhu Kadal street and others around the Roya Gopura that need elaborate cleaning. They are full of shops and the traffic is chaotic with no proper regulation.
The Ezhu Kadal street is an important part of not only history associated with the Roya gopura, a great Nayak monument. The shops near and along the entrance walls literally spoil the heritage value of such wonderful creation, blocking their view. Normally, the Government should restrict human activities as mush as possible close to the heritage structures/ monuments. In Tamil Nadu and elsewhere, the temples and monuments are encroached upon by shop keepers and hawkers and at stake is the historical values of the monuments. The government should keep the surrounding areas clean and free from shops, etc. The monuments that carry the frozen history need to be accessed without any hindrance by the tourists and others. Local bodies should get the opinion of the people who are part of the society and, being stake holders, they deserve to be heard.