It is centuries older than the city that houses it. Located in the heart of Bengaluru, the 1,250-year-oldSri Someshwara Swamy Templeboasts of a rich heritage - it was built by the Chola dynasty and revamped by the Vijayanagara kings and Bengaluru founderKempe Gowda. But instead of being preserved, the architectural marvel is being damaged in the name of renovation, claim historians and conservationists.

The temple in Ulsoor, east Bengaluru, is being cemented and concretized, which experts say is marring its aesthetic beauty.

When TOI visited the temple on Monday, construction work was in progress, and the walls and pillars were being raised. "We are constructing two new temples and a shelter for various chariots. We have taken up the work following clearance from the government," said Selvamani T, executive officer of the temple, which is under the Muzrai department.

Many corners of the temple's inner walls and the roof have been cemented and painted. Additional structures have been erected on old walls. Asked whether the modifications are spoiling the ancient temple's architectural grandeur, Selvamani said the cementing and painting work wasn't done during his tenure.

Heritage enthusiast Swaminathan Natarajan has penned several letters to people in power, asking them to save the temple's originality. He has blamed unscientic renovation for its present condition.