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article imageNocturnal bats invade Indian Sun Temple

By Sravanth Verma     Sep 13, 2014 in Odd News
Of the many things that could possibly wreck havoc in a Sun Temple, nocturnal bats would probably be last on the list. But that's precisely what is happening in Modhera Sun Temple in India.
The temple is situated in Gujarat, the state from which the current Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, hails! Having taken up residence in the interiors of the temple that was built in the 11th century, the bats have messed up the temple floors with their droppings and the acrid odor is giving tourists a tough time.
The temple is not in active worship and is more of a tourist destination, though most tourists seem to be reluctant to wander in an admire the quite fantastic architecture within the temple. The exact number of bats is yet to be assessed but they number in the thousands, the Times of India reported.
"Who would believe that this temple hosts the magnificent Modhera cultural festival. One now has to cover up well before venturing into this 11th century monument," Dipesh Shah, a researcher and tourist at the temple, said. "Can't the district administration step in for pest control if the archaeology department is cash strapped?," he wonders. The temple is managed by the Archaelogical Survey of India (ASI).
The bat have steadily made inroads over the previous five months and the ASI hasn't much of an idea as to what to do about the trouble. The bats pose a serious health risk because they can transmit rabies. What's more, their droppings or guano can possibly harbor Histoplasma capsulatum, a fungus that infects the lungs when inhaled as spores.
The ASI will have to conduct an investigation of the bat numbers, and figure out how to get thm out of the temple. An ASI official stated, "This inspection will reveal their preferred exit point from the temple. We have experimented with bright lights such as flashlights and work lights that may scare off the bats and cause them to change their habits. Such measures are available to us. Also covering the entry and exit points of the temple at the appropriate time can prevent roosting of the bats."
The temple was constructed in 1026 AD by King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty. The temple has a a large 53 by 36 meter "kund" or artificially constructed pond, that was used by worshipers to take a dip before entering the temple. The temple's architecture also consists of intricate work detailing the positioning of the chakras, or energy centers, as mentioned in yogic texts.
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