Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Chandrasekareswara Temple-Pudhu Gummidipoondi
The day started of with a roaring Chandra Travels van, which took us to the spot at around 8 AM. Courtesy the archaka, the temple was kept open. The Village President had promised at least 50 persons- man power but none were in sight. When called, he cited an excuse that he had a family function that day and so all village folks had gone there! What a start! Undaunted by the work, the enthusiastic bunch of volunteers, totaling 18 members, mostly the 'Samarpanam' volunteers, who are all software engineers, tried to test their hands with 'hardware' that day! Yes, by the word hardware, I mean sickles, crowbars, axes etc.! Cutting and chopping the compound of approx 10.000 square feet was almost cleaned within a span of 5 hours!! Half the work done, when we were wondering how the whole periphery would be covered before noon, there appeared a guy called 'Murugan' claiming to be a worker in a nearby factory and a friend of the Village President himself! He voluntarily took a sickle, started cutting off with gusto and his speed was such that the rear left half of the temple premises was cleaned by him single handedly!
He also helped members climb atop the roof of the temple and cut off deep rooted trees which were piercing into the limestone roof. Seeing him, our energy soared to greater height and the premises was cleaned as scheduled. Senior member V Sekar came with his friends and added luster to the idols available in the outside mandapam. Adding luster? Ya, yes, he applied til oil on all the vigrahas! He also tried to sort out all the flowering plants apart from the thorny weeds and bushes. He helped volunteers identify such plants add raise earthern bund around each plant.
As a dosha parihara for cutting trees, members were asked to water those flowering plants. The dry leaves and bushes were set fire and removed off. But after the pooja, our wait turned to agony- for a darshan of the deities. The pundit in charge of the temple was busy in handling the jostling village crowd, who have come from far off villages like Ponneri, for what? Do you think it is for the temple darshan? No, it is for soothsaying and dosha parihara, horoscope seeking etc. The pundit hardly entered the temple, even for a glimpse of the cleaning work going on!
When we forced him to spare a 10 minute break, he was in his best of moods scolding the officials, one of our volunteer and also the system, for keeping him like this, more like a beggar; he claimed his salary is due from 1990 and also the village EO hardly gives any money for the temple. HE also claimed that precious statues, around 38 in numbers are inside the sanctum sanctorum but most Sthri idols were devoid of a piece of cloth. There was a theft attempt also, we believe. So, the pundit hardly opens the main door! The 'forced' pooja was conducted to the beautiful Valli Devasena Sametha Subramaniya Swamy and to the Ambal at the outer mandap. Member PN Subramaniam, almost donated most of the tools cost, which has now become the property of our trust. The balance was shared by the members. Member V Sekar brought all pooja items and Vastrams for the deities. The next follow up would be with the E.O.of the said temple, along with the Village President. Our Author and President of the trust Dr.T.Satyamurthy had promised that he will chalk out a plan to face the officials and spell out the plan for permanent opening of this temple in near future.
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Sukra Sthala (Venus) :- Vellieeswarar Temple at Maangadu.
Location: Near the famous Maangadu Amman Temple
For ages the temple was in ruins, but now the current Trust of the nearby famous Maangadu Mariamman Temple, have understood that the Shiva Linga (Vellieeswarar) here was worshipped by the Parvathi in penance seen at Maangadu Amman temple itself.
Aftermath, the story goes beyond as Vishnu who solemnized the marriage of Shiva-Parvathi thereafter, also has a near by temple here. This Vishnu carries the jewels for the marriage in his hands!
All the three temples are near by (Vellieeswarar, Maangadu Amman, Vishnu).
It is said that Sukra worshipped the Lingam here.
It is believed that those who have eye ailments will surely get cured by worshipping the lord here.
The temple is undergoing major face-lift now but the Poojas continue. The temple will be opened to common public by October this year.
This temple has the unique Maha Vilvam as its Sthala Vruksham. (Sacred tree in the temple) which has bunch of 27 leaves in one single stalk!!!
This is the place where Saint Thyagaraja sang the Kovur Panchartanam on Shiva.
This temple tank also needs to be cleaned.
Guru sthala-(Jupiter) - Porur Ramanadeswarar Koil,
This temple is the situated in Eswaran Koil Street. This is also called as Uthara Rameswaram, and is being maintained beautifully. Well lit, the main Shiva Linga well decorated and taken care off. What is missed is the history and the stones bearing the inscriptions! We saw few stone carvings scattered near the temple well and it took some time for us to clean the mud covering the scriptures.
A guy who popped in said “ Many such stones were there. When the front Mandap was rebuilt using Mosaic, such stones ended up as base stones for it!" What an end to these scriptures!
The alternate to this Gurusthalam, is the Shiva Temple at Kundrathur.
6. GERUGAMBAKKAM - KETHU
Location : At the left side of the road in the Kovur- Kundrathur Road.
At the left hand of the entrance we see a separate Snake idol worshipped as the Kethu shrine.
The Amman strikes your sight as it is facing the entrance. So, big, majestic,beautiful!
The Goddess attracts your concentration and attention. Only those who see it will believe it!! So, powerful is this Adi Kamakshi Amman and the Shiva here is Neelakandeswarar.
The presiding Goddess is Anandavalli Thayar and the Lord is Agastheeswarar . This temple is also called as Vada Thirunallaru, and is a renowned Nadi Pariharashthalam.
People around say that foreigners, North Indians throng this temple to do parihaara for their Dosha if informed through Naadi Josyam!
The temple is a 12th century architecture. It is said that the Sivalingam appeared when the native Mudaliars ploughed the land.
4. KUNDRATHUR-RAAGHU (Thirunageswaram)
This temple is believed to be built by Sekkizhaar ( who wrote Periya Puranam) Clan.
Here the Nagabharanam around the linga is supposed to be the Rahu for worship. The temple and its tank are clean and well maintained.
This place is also called as VADA THIRUNAGESWARAM
Thayal Nayagi Udanurai Vaitheesaran Koil ( Goddess named as Thayal Nayagi and the Shiva called as Vaideeswaran, is the Sevvai @ Angaraka Kshetram – (Mars) .
The temple is lavish, big and well maintained. Here the temple has a separate Sevvai Padam (legs) and a statue of the Sthala Vruksha Thaazhi Panai Maram (Thazhi Palm) and also 3 Chakrams which were established here by the Adi Shankara (Sri Chakram, Subramania Chakram, Shanmuga Chakram) near the Subramania Swami Sannidhi.
The munmandapam near the Shiva Shrine has beautiful carvings on the roof. The South entrance has some interesting sculptures on either side.
The temple tank needs to be cleaned.
2. SOMANGALAM- CHANDRA-MOON
Location: Sandwiched in a place between the road from Kundrathur to Sriperumbudur.
This has Somanatheeswarar as the main deity. The Chandra adorning Shiva is worshipped.
A legend says that the Nandi was cursed to look the opposite side, as it got over confident and thought that it was better than the Lord Himself on winning a war against invaders!!
Karthikeya asked the meaning for Aum (pronounced as OM). Brahma could not decipher the meaning of this Pranava Mantra.
To condemn his ignorance and arrogance, Brahma was imprisoned and Karthikeya took the mantle of a creator for a while!
The priest here is for the 11th generation FROM THE SAME FAMILY which is doing Pooja for ages! There were few idols sctattered around the temple.
The sthala vriksha here is “Sarakondrai”.
Location: This lies sandwiched in the link road between the Kundrathur and Mount Poonamallee High Road.
The unique feature is that the three main deities The Sun God, Bairava Idol and the Shivalingam (to be seen through Salaram (window) all at the same time. Many stone scriptures are seen scattered all around the temple. The landscape and garden around this temple is maintained excellently well.
Local folk say that due to the power of Surya (Sun God) here, most of the inhabitants have secured Government jobs!
A beautiful water pond is in front of the temple.
NAVAGRAHA STHALAAS NEAR CHENNAI !!!
When one of our members was challenged by an anonymous mailer that we "ignored" to see real ruined temples, and not taking effort to revive them, we felt stumped!The writer nick namd himself as 'Kundrathooran' and claimed that there were 9 navagrahasthalas, within 10 km radius of Kndrathur, we wanted to trace those temples. Luckily the writer had listed those temples, but without locations! Members Chandrasekaran, Madan, Sethil Raja and Ram Sunder decided to take a trip and were on real hunt. The striking similarities were which we could not resist to inform:-
1. Most temples are Chola Period temples,
2. All had GAja Brushta Vimaanas and sanctum sanctorums (semicircular with the face flat- meaning that looked like the back of an elephant), and we were told that some 108 temples were built simultaneously by the Chola Clan, almost with the same set of artisans, who built similar temples in the Tanjore belt.
We were happy to see that most temples were in excellent condition and were well maintained, except for a few:-
The Porur Ramanadeswar Temple, even though claimed as Guru Sthala, did not have any uniqueness, but few opined that the Kundrathur Shiva temple (see our earlier blogs), had a huge Dakshina Murthy, which fits the bill to be named as Guru - Kshetra or Sthalam.Some stone scriptures were lying aside in the Porur temple and a person told us that most such stones were buried beneath the newly built marble plaform of the front mandap!
The Gerugambakkam Temple was devoid of all Vimaanaas, and the temple needs immediate cleaning and a boundary wall is a must to avoid encroachment.
Otherwise, the anonymous writer was false in his observation, that those temple were in ruins; but it was a boon in disguise that we could reveal to our readers that there existed the Navagraha temples well within the periphery of Chennai and one need not go all the way to Tanjore district for Dosha Parihara or for worshipping the 9 constenants!!