BJP and the far-right falsely claims TN Govt is building a shopping complex to hide Rajagopuram of Tiruvannamalai Temple.

The height of the Gopuram is 217 feet. The proposed complex tops at 27 feet.

Claim

Just got to know that there might be an ugly shopping complex coming up right next to the East Gopuram of the Thiruvannamalai temple on the temple land, thanks to @tnhrcedept official’s greed! If true, this is a neglect of TN temples taken to another level! The visuals are shocking. How can something be allowed to come up so close to a heritage structure? The construction activity alone could damage the gopuram.

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Explanation

Thiruvannamalai is a famous temple town in Tamil Nadu.‘Arulmigu Arunachaleshwarar Temple’ devoted to Lord Shiva is the one of the most famous pilgrim sites in South India and is situated at the foothills of the Arunachala Hill. Every year, millions of devotees walk around the Arunachala Hill barefoot and the event is called Girivalam, a 14-km walk around the hill. The temple is one of the 5 temples of the ‘Pancha Bootha Shthalam’ that are devoted Lord Shiva.

Now, several BJP members and right-wing ideologues are claiming that the Tamil Nadu Government is building Shopping Complex near the famous Arunachaleshwarar Temple at a cost of Rs.6.4 crores with some alleging that it is constructed to hide the Temple’s Gopuram and some claimed that it would damage the tower structure as it is built close to the tower. Some of the right-wing personalities such as Anand Ranganathan, Shefali Vaidya, T.R.Ramesh have made similar allegations in addition to posts like this, this and this.

What’s the truth?

In our search, we first came across a news article from ‘Malai Malar’ regarding the consturction of shops near the East Gopuram of the Arunachala Temple in Tiruvannamalai at a cost of Rs.6.40 crores. The news report suggests that the foundation stone was laid by E.V.Velu, Minister for Public Works (Buildings, Highways and Minor Ports) and the construction is done on behalf of the Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments Department.