GUWAHATI: All that glitters is literally gold when it comes to Kamakhya temple. The dome of the shakti shrine, Kamakhya temple which was being wrapped in 19kg of gold by Reliance Industries Limited was unveiled on Thursday.
The project was initiated at special interest of RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani. Officials of the Kamakhya Temple Trust Board said the renewed main dome was open for public at a low-key ceremony where few officials from Reliance had come to the Nilachal hilltop following Covid-19 protocols.
The doloi (president) of the board, Mohit Chandra Sarma, said, “The officials performed Devi puja, yagna and then Kumari puja here before unveiling the main dome of the temple.”
Around 12 artisans, who had arrived in the city from Mumbai, had been working tirelessly to complete the wrapping. Previously, the copper artisans’ team of 10 members returned to Mumbai just before Durga puja, as they had readied the copper frame design on three kalash that forms the dome structure. Another three smaller kalash are also wrapped in gold which were donated by other people earlier. Work to renovate the main dome of the temple started in mid-September.
Temple sources said cabinet minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is an ardent devotee of Goddess Kamakhya, played a vital role in drawing the attention of Mukesh Ambani to give a golden look to the temple, following which RIL made its proposal.
Even though the gold-leafing work of the main dome drew criticism from certain sections of people who took to social media accusing it to be a “distortion” of a heritage structure, the temple authorities rubbished such comments.
“Kamakhya temple is a jaagrata peetha where puja is performed continuously since time immemorial. Devotees have been contributing as per their will from time to time. In the 1950s, too, the Birlas were involved in repairing the main dome of the Kamakhya temple. No structural changes have been made to the original temple and hence, there is nothing to oppose,” Mohit Chandra Sarma said.
RIL officials did not divulge the cost of the project, but as per market estimates, it must have cost the company around Rs 10 crore to complete the wrapping.