27 October, 2020

People’s Shrine

Rebuilding an old Siva temple provides new tales of amity

People’s Shrine

It’s the true confluence of faiths. In a unique endeavour, people of all religions have got together in a remote village in Kerala’s Kozhikode district to resurrect an ancient shrine that had fallen into ruin.

The centuries-old Chonamkunnu Siva temple at Pantheerankavu near Kozhikode has found new life, as a vibrant symbol of religious harmony. When Vishwanath Swamy, a reputed local herbalist, urged those who had benefited from his treatment to visit the decrepit shrine and light a lamp, little did he realise that his innocent prompting would trigger a spontaneous movement for the temple’s restoration. An overwhelming response to the restoration drive came from the predominantly Muslim residents of the area.

Members of the temple restoration committee recall that the first bags of cement used for reconstruction, after the site was cleared of wild shrubbery, were donated by Mammu Koya, a local Muslim businessman. "Many Hindus were hesitant when we approached them for contributions," a committee member recalls....



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