Madurai: A major fire broke out inside the premises of the famous Meenakshi temple in Madurai, in which at least 40 shops were gutted on Friday, police said. However no one was injured, they said.
Temple authorities ruled out any sabotage and said electrical short circuit in one of the shops selling pooja articles caused the fire late on Friday night.
The blaze did not cause any damage to the sculptures inside the temple though many of it was covered in soot, police said. Fortunately all the sculptures in the 1,000-pillared hall were saved by the timely intervention of the temple officials, workers and the fire and rescue service personnel.
A team of fire extinguishers battled past midnight to put out the fire and bring the situation under control. Poojas would be held as per schedule, and cleaning up of the eastern side of the temple would be done in three days, officials said.
Various organisations including Hindu Baktha Jana Sabha, VHP and Hindu Munnani had been demanding the shops be vacated from the temple premises to keep the premises clean.
Meanwhile, devotees were allowed to offer worship in the temple on Saturday. District collector Veera Raghava Rao, who was at the temple, told reporters that there was no need for panic, and devotees could offer worship as usual.
About 300 police personnel have been deployed in and around the temple for security.
Updated Date: Feb 03, 2018 12:26 PM