INDIA, December 8, 2013 (The Hindu): (HPI Note: We include this and the next item to show what is at stake in Tamil Nadu Government plan to take over management of Chidambaram.)
Even as the appointment of Executive Officer by the State government to the Chidambaram Natarajar Temple is locked in a legal battle, the officer concerned has a sent a notice to the Podhu Diskshithars' Sabha seeking clarification on a highly priced coral necklace donated recently by devotees.
Last November, Chidambaram Sahari Ammal--Viswanatha Iyer family donated the Italian red coral necklace set in 20 sovereigns of gold to the temple. The value of the ornament is said to be US$563,000. The jewel is scheduled to adorn the main Deity during the Ardhra Darshan festival that falls on December 18.
Meanwhile, Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR & CE) Department- appointed Executive Officer of the temple K.Murugan has sent a communication to Kasiraja Dikshithar, Sabha secretary, seeking clarification on the necklace. It is customary in the HR & CE Department-run temples that whenever valuables are donated to the temples they must be handed over to the Executive Officer concerned and the full description of the donated articles duly recorded. Once these formalities are completed the articles would become the property of the temples.