TheKasba Ganapati temple of Pune,  is being restored to the way it looked some 450 years ago when it was developed by Jijabai and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), which started the restoration of this grade I heritage structure a year ago, has completed more than half the work.

Apart from strengthening the original structure, restoration work such as re-establishing the structure’s original elevation, reducing dead load and removing unwanted alterations that took place during the last few centuries, have been undertaken in compliance with heritage norms.

Though a private property, the temple had received state funding of Rs 40 lakh for restoration.

Deputy city engineer Shyaam Dhavalaey of the heritage cell of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), said, “The stone temple dates back to the Yadava dynasty, and has some elements of its architecture. It has also seen the Peshwa dynasty, as the wooden ‘sabha mandap’ exudes typical Maratha architectural traces. The temple has undergone numerous developments over a period of time. The structure had become weak, leading to its devaluation. Hence the restorations work.”

The civic body wants to re-establish the structure’s heritage value and restore it to its original form, he said.

Dhavalaey said Kasba Peth it was MLA Girish Bapat’s keen interest in getting the restoration work done that helped get the fund for the project.

The structure was surveyed during the first phase, followed by structural auditing. “Stone, traditional brickwork and a wooden ‘sabha mandap’ were the structural components that were found. It underwent non-destructive testing (NDT), a wide group of analyses techniques used to evaluate its properties without damaging its woodwork,” Dhavalaey said.

The original elevation or the front portion of the structure was restored after these procedures. “The elevation wall was plastered. We removed the plaster through the processes of grinding and pointing, so that the original brick work could be exposed. The roof of the temple has also been strengthened. The galvanised iron sheets, which had been put during earlier periods, were replaced by specially-manufactured half-round tiles, the original roof,” Dhavalaey said.

Source: Times of India