Excavation begins near Padmanabhaswamy temple

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The State Archaeology Department on Monday began excavations near the spot where a flight of underground stairs were discovered in front of the northern entrance of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple last week.

According to B. Mohanachandran, In-charge, Excavations Wing, State Archaeology Department, the process had just begun with the tarred portions near the steps being drilled and removed. There was nothing new that was discovered on Monday and any more information on the steps and the parts of the structure that were visible so far was likely to emerge only after further excavations on Tuesday.

The excavations by the Archaeology Department were launched after the unearthing of a set of three steps and a nearby structure that is suspected to be a passageway or drain filled up with mud and sand about 100 metres from the northern entrance of the temple on Thursday. The discoveries were made when workers began digging a trench, which is now about five feet deep, for the installation of electro-hydraulic bollards and other security apparatus by the police on the road leading to the temple.

Apart from the steps, red bricks and slab-like blocks of laterite, which Mr. Mohanachandran said were plastered, indicating that it was part of a proper structure which could be part of a building or a wall, too were found just below the tarred surface on the other end of the trench, adjacent to the office of the State Archaeology Department towards the west side of the road.

The excavation, unless rain plays spoilsport, will resume on Tuesday after it was wound up by 6 p.m. on Monday.

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