At least 40 shops were destroyed after a massive fire broke out in the complex of the famed Meenakshi Amman temple in Tamil Nadu's Madurai on Friday night. No casualty has been reported yet.
As per sources, the fire, that occurred outside the museum located on the temple premises near the eastern tower, erupted after the temple was closed for the day. More than five fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse the blaze.
Temple authorities ruled out any sabotage and said electrical short circuit in one of the shops selling pooja articles caused the fire late last night. The blaze did not cause any damage to the sculptures inside the temple though many of it was covered in soot, police said.
"We got information about the fire in shops near the 1,000 pillar mandapam in the temple. We rushed five fire tenders and controlled the fire from spreading," the senior fire service official.
"There is no damage for the temple. The old wooden door was saved by preventive action. The fire is now under control," he said.
Meanwhile, devotees were allowed to offer worship in the temple this morning. 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.