The residents of Karumadi, near Ambalappuzha, have a reason to celebrate. With the inauguration of renovated facilities at the premises of Karumadikuttan, the ancient statue of Lord Buddha, their efforts have paid off.
The 3-ft tall statue, made of black granite, remained neglected until a year ago, despite being declared a protected monument by the Archaeology Department under the Kerala Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1968. A large number of historians and travellers, passing along the National Highway, usually visit the historical monument.
The lack of attention by the authorities was brought to the fore when the left hand portion of the statue went missing, only to be later found at a compound of a house nearby. The portion has been preserved at the museum at the Krishnapuram Palace in Kayamkulam.
The issue was taken up by ‘Karumadikuttans’, a cultural forum, following which the Archaeology Department sanctioned Rs. 15.67 lakh for the renovation of the premises. The work was undertaken under the supervision of an advisory committee, constituted by the Culture Department and led by Karumadi Murali.
The renovation work, which included the construction of a resting shed for visitors, granite footpath, security cabin, compound wall, landscaping and information counter, was completed within six months. Electricity connection was also obtained for lighting within the premises.
Inaugurating the renovated facilities on Sunday, K.C. Venugopal, MP, said discussions would be held with the Tourism Department to bring the monument under the tourism map of the State. A host of attractive facilities would be established as part of the proposed project, he said.
G. Sudhakaran, MLA, presided over the function. Archaeology Department director G. Premkumar spoke on the occasion.