Thiruvananthapuram: A little known temple in the sleepy hamlet of Muthavazhy in Alappuzha district of Kerala has shot into limelight following speculation that its dome may contain iridium, a metal costlier than gold.
The 'power' of the dome became an object of curiosity and discussion as people found that the cells of their torches 'burnt out' and batteries of mobile phones 'damaged' when kept close to it.
The possible presence of iridium made several people even to make enquiries whether they could buy it.
According to M V Gopakumar, president of Muthavazhi Subramanian (Lord Murugan) temple, the managing committee of the shrine had of late been getting inquiries from several quarters about the 'power' of the dome. Some people had even approached them, offering a hefty sum if the temple was willing to sell it.
This made the temple committee approach the authorities for protection of the shrine, which prompted the State Archaeological Department to conduct an inspection of the temple. After that, the matter was referred to Bhaba Atomic Research Centre and National Research Laboratory for Conservation of Cultural Properties for a detailed study of the ancient structure, believed to be over 2,000 years old.
Though no hypothesis has been drawn on the matter, the department has decided to ask the government to include the temple in the list of protected memorials, considering its antiquity.
"We are not sure if the dome of the temple contains iridium or some reactive metals. That is for the scientific institutions to prove. But we are convinced of the antiquity of the temple and we want it to be protected and preserved", G Ramachandran, director of Archeological Department said.