Restoration of an ancient temple at Parvathamalai in Tamil Nadu to preserve cultural heritage
Department of Civil Engineering, SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Kattankulathur, Chengalpattu District, Tamil Nadu, India
Accepted: 19 April 2022
Published online: 4 May 2022
In the present study, lime-based mortars were analysed to restore an ancient temple situated near the town of Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu, India. Samples were taken from four different locations at the temple. Various techniques such as acid loss analysis, particle size distribution, XRD, XRF, SEM, FTIR, and TGA were employed to characterise ancient mortars and plasters. The binder-to-aggregate ratio was found to be in the range of 1:2.9 to 1:3.2 by acid loss analysis. The presence of organic additives (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) identified in the analysis of organics was confirmed by FTIR analysis and TGA. Organic additives were added to strengthen the mortar against environmental degradation. The objectives of this study are to investigate the characteristics of traditional materials and techniques employed in the construction of the ancient temple for effective simulation of the conservation process and protection of the temple. The composition of mortars employed in the construction of the temple and the chemical and mineral composition of the binding ingredients used as organic additives were analysed in this study. The optimum binder-to-aggregate ratio for construction was determined to be 1:3. Restoration lime mortar samples matching the ancient mortars were prepared and the chemical and mineralogical properties of fresh and hardened samples, and their durability properties were also studied. It can be concluded that restoration of the temple can be accomplished by preparing suitable lime mortars but with different organic additives.
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2022