Friday, June 27, 2014


Kidangarai Pallava temple springs back to life again -The potter and the clay story!

Hope patrons remember the Kidangarai Runa Hara Iswarar temple - which was pulled our from no where beneath 2 huge Tamarind trees. The whole Pallava foundation got excavated some 3 years ago.

Kidangarai - now we understand is literally Kadan Karai (absolve or dissolve your debts! - in Tamil) has become Kidangarai due to long usage of name by localsin a different slang. But the deiva prasnam revealed this Shiva as KAdan Karai Iswarar- Runa Hara Iswarar! The ponds beside and the Amman's name all were revealed. Chandra turned as priest to start the Bhoomi puja for this temple, when nobody turned up! Amman sculpture yet to be found, but the Swayambu Shiva Linga was kept in a make shift temple below asbestos roofing all these years.

Thanks to the sudden funding this year we got from our Epigraphy student Gayatri Anandapadmanabhan, in remembrance of her father, and a dream she had, her seeing a Shiva temple amidst green lush grass and dilapidated. With our data base, we could zero in Two temples, the Poigainallur Iswarar temple in Bangalore Kanchipuram Highway and this one- Kidangarai Runahara Iswarar temple

The PRO/Secretary of REACH, Shri J. Chandrasekaran strangely started a nano-clay based water filter unit in the nearby abandoned rice mill at Kidangarai, belonging to a farmer who is struggling to meet his financial ends, as water table is dwindling and labour force becoming rare. Chandra's first attempt in Tiruttani failed and he was then looking for some place to restart the nano-clay candle electricity free water filter making unit. (www.terafilwater.in).

It seems that the Lord bestowed him this site, both the temple as well as the rice mill to make his destiny. Chandra took a vow that for each candle he makes, he would partake a fee for rebuilding the temple. After all toil and struggle the basement was completed almost a year agao and the candle unit was also stopped owing to labour problems. Chandra decided to give a deep dig, automating the whole plant to ward off labour problem and rejunuvate the temple activity. With Partial funding of what Gayathri Anantapadmanabhan gave and his own savings again in a year, the temple today has been built till the roof.

There are now some hiccups, for purchase of stone lintels and vimana, some shortage in funds, but hopefully we wish we can bring back a brick lime mortar built Pallava temple back to glory before the rains come down this year in 2014!

....And Runa Hara Iswarar is again smiling, Chandra has got some labours the same day when he started the renovation work just a fortnight ago and candles have started being made in the rice mill premises. Slowly debts are getting warded off! Is it monetary or the debt of birth? (பணக்கடன் அல்லது பிறவிக்கடன் ?) Only he knows!

Again the riddle why Chandra got into clay candle making was also solved now.

The Veppathur Veetrirunda Perumal temple near Kumbakonam is also seeing flurry of activity again, plans to restore the temple is now stronger, thanks to the liberal donation of our beloved REACH members, two great sisters, Rohini and Shribala, again two saviours who have planned to garner support from their family to see the temple back in glory.

The biggest challenge was to make stronger bricks matching to the Pallava Era bricks, bigger in length and width, just an inch tall! Having learnt the nitty gritties of clay malleability and their properties for all these 6 years, Chandra is now ready to take the plunge - make the 2 lakh bricks which are needed for the Veppathur project using modern technology and making them faster and stronger to satisfy the huge demand of the sthapathis. The Lord has master plans - it is we who are kneaded and moulded under his arms!? Who knows, we just go by his call! What say?

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