A Unesco fact-finding mission has told the Madras High Court that a lacuna in the conservation process by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment department has severely damaged some of the most historic temples in Tamil Nadu, including Madurai’s Meenakshi Amman temple (pictured above).

The study of 10 temples in the state was conducted in May and June to understand the conservation process uhdertaken by the department. The study was conducted at Meenakshi Amman temple in Madurai, Nellaiyappar temple and Vanamamalai Perumal temple in Tirunelveli, Marudhakali Amman temple in Namakkal, Nageswara Swamy temple in Kumbakonam, Naganadha Swamy temple in Manambadi, Aadhi Narayana Perumal temple in Pazhaverkadu near Chennai, Arunachaleswarar temple in Tiruvannamalai, Ranganathaswami temple in Srirangam, Trichy, and Kamatchi Amman temple in Kancheepuram.

Unesco could now hold a demonstration in one temple and use it for establishing general guidelines for each state of conservation, the report added, according to The Times of India.