In an effort to bring back the glory of the famous hill temple of Lord Venkateswara, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams has invited the much-awaited tenders for the re-construction of the ancient thousand pillar mandapam that was razed to the ground in the initial years of this century.
The ancient structure that once stood majestically opposite the main temple complex was pulled down by the TTD as part of implementing its ambitious master plan aimed at de-congesting the area. In the changed scenario, the TTD now wants to re-construct the structure at the sprawling Narayanagiri gardens. The estimated cost of the project is put around Rs.18 crore and work is expected to be completed in one year.
The structure, which is expected to come up in a total of 88,245 sq feet, is being designed in such a way that it meets both the present and future requirements of the management. Broadly, the quadrilateral structure will be constructed with four rows of pillars with abundant open space in the middle that will serve as a cushion to meet the future requirements. According to one opinion, the open space of about 20,000 sq ft available at the centre of the mandapam is ideally suited for the construction of a massive hall sufficient enough to accommodate more than 3,000 pilgrims at any point of time.
The structure, which is being developed on the lines of multi-purpose utility, will serve as a resting platform during the lean period and as an absorbent during the days of heavy crowds. Even though it was earlier thought to use all the extracted pillars of the erstwhile mandapam, the TTD is rather constrained to use only 384 pillars given the variation in the height of the new structure.
March 1 is being fixed as the last date for the receipt of tenders and the financial bids are likely to be opened only after examining the eligibility criteria wherein the bidders are required to fulfil all the stipulations mentioned in the tender schedule. Given the unique nature of the construction which demands both civil and Sthapati works laced with that of ornamentation, the TTD has allowed participation of both civil contractors and sculptors in the bidding.
Estimated cost put at Rs. 18 crore
March 1 is last date for receipt of tenders
Both civil contractors and sculptors to be allowed to bid
The structure will come up in 88,245 sq ft
About 20,000 sq ft open space will be available at the centre
More than 3,000 pilgrims will be accommodated at any point of time