om sree maha ganadhipathaye namaha
Myself, an engineer likes to share my unexpected journeys to the holy land of Tamil nadu. An expected counselling in pondicherry gave me an unexpected life turning electrical Eng. seat in Sri manakula vinayagar Eng. college and raised a desire to explore tamilnadu and its cultural traditions from its roots. this holy land is blessed with many temples with powerful gods.you dont need to go to himalayas alone for self realization,any part of land in India is enough to understand ourselves and our mother lands traditions. god gave this beautiful opportunity to stay in tamilnadu and gave me enough resources through my parents to explore his land.our whole hindu culture bestows here.our ancient civilisation and methods are still followed here.it is a land of preservence. it preserved our culture better than pyramids preserve mummies.I stayed here for six and half years and still staying untill my course gets over, and m praying to god that he should give me a job here so that i can explore this state to my best.i stayed in hostel so i can claim that i studied this states culture and traditions to my best because in hostel my friends are from different parts of this land.i am going to share about my journey with my friends in next blog.this story is dedicated to the temples i went. the temples and their construction,the art on the pillars and walls,the height of gopurams and the most powerful gods are the treasure of tamilnadu which no other state had.the kings of this land constructed magnificent temples which stood majestic even today telling the tales of forgotten past.i have studied my btech in pondicherry and one year job in chennai, then came to thanjavuru to pursue my M.tech. i roamed over many places which are landmarks for huge and powerful temples and m going to present them infront of you through this blog.
SRI MANAKULA VINAYAKAR TEMPLE,PONDICHERRY.
today i will tell u about my exploration of temples in pondicherry, where i completed my UG. pondicherry is french gem in the indian chain.the french buildings remind us the past.we feel that we are not in india if we visit the white town area. it is paradise for the tourists. all of its fame is due to sri aurobindo ashram. the credit goes to sri aurobindo who made the city world famous and now it attracts all foreign nationals to visit this ashram which provides main revenue for pondy. always starts with vinayaka, so we start our temple exploration from manakula vinayagar, the lord of pondicherry. this is a small but one of the very powerful vinayaka temples in south india.he is said to give relief his devotees from all burdens and gives them all types of auspiscious blessings. this temple is older than the french invasion i.e before 1666 A.D.This temple is called as Manakula Vinyagar, as that time there was pond (Kulam in tamil) on the western side of this temple and due to proximity of Sea, pond was full of sand (Manal in tamil), hence it was called as “Manakulam”.at the time of Duplex,a french general, they tied to remove the temple.they made many efforts to remove this temple and construct a church. but all their efforts went invain.they even tried to throw the ganapathy idol in the bay of bengal, every time they throw the idol, it mysteriously come and sit inside temple in the same spot the next day morning.and also due to british and maratha invasions of tamilnadu,the french are busy and they forgot this issue.Later the temple was built near the Bay of Bengal shores as per the Ganapathy Agamam and was named Bhuvanesa Vinayagar Temple/bhuvaneswara ganapathy. once the mother of sri aurobindo ashram told her devotees that lord ganesha came in her inner consciuos and spoke “You see I am a living being quite real and concrete – and to give you a concrete proof of my reality I shall send to you henceforth, all the money you will need”. And on this Promise he disappeared. He has kept his promise for years and the money was coming abundantly.”
The golden chariot was made purely on the basis of collection of donations from the devotees. The total weight of the gold used in this chariot is 7.5kg with the estimate of around Rs.35 lakhs. The height & breadth of the chariot is 10ft & 6ft. The chariot was fully made up in teakwood covered by copper plates duly engraved with beautiful art works and the plates duly attached with golden rakes. At first the running of the said Golden Chariot was held on 05-10-2003 in a grand manner. At present most of the devotees are very much interested to fulfill their prayer by pulling the Golden chariot inside the temple on payment of fixed fees. Once in year i.e. on Vijayadhasami day the said Golden Chariot run outside of the temple i.e. only in the maada veedhis.
Nearly 300 years before a saint standing 6ft tall, broad forehead, glittering blissful eyes, big hole bearing ear, small pot bellied with hand extending up to knee cap and hands with lotus regai, guru medu and sanimedu at a height showing arul gnana ragai. He got enlightenment from this deity and attained Samadhi in this temple. From then on people bring their new born here for worship before going to any other temple.
There are two other temples in pondicherry, they are vedhapureeshwarar temple and varadaraja perumal temple. these temples are considered oldest temples in pondicherry. varadaraja perumal temple lies next to vedapureeswarar temple. lord shiva in vedapureeswarar temple is “swayambhu”. the temple atmosphere itself creates a devotion in our minds. in times, when french ruling pondy, governor duplex demolished the temple, then a man named anandaranga pillai took the idols and stored in varadaraja perumal temple later a mudaliar constructed temple for shiva with public support. the varadaraja temple in pondy is a well known vaishnava temple. venkatachalapathy is the presiding diety and lord narasimha is placed behind venkatachalapthy. goddess laxmi is worshipped as thayar. It is believed that the idol currently placed in the temple was found buried in earth. The 5ft tall idol depicts Lord Vishnu standing tall. It is extremely beautiful and his smile ever so enchanting. Legend has it that the temple was originally built for Lord Ram, another avatar of Lord Vishnu and his wife Sita, his brother Lakshman and Lord Hanuman whose statues were being brought via sea. This is corroborated by the findings of these idols in neighbouring Vaithikuppam – a fishing hamlet back in 1902.
thus the temples of pondy are explained 🙂
my second journey in tamilnadu is with my father to chidambaram. tat day my father came from yanam to my hostel to see me.i took my hod permission and went to chidambaram with my father.
The story of Chidambaram begins with Lord Shiva strolling into the Thillai Vanam (vanam meaning forest and thillai trees -a species of mangrove trees – which currently grows in the Pichavaram wetlands near Chidambaram). In the Thillai forests resided a group of sages or ‘rishis’ who believed in the supremacy of magic and that God can be controlled by rituals and mantras or magical words.Lord Shiva strolled in the forest with resplendent beauty and brilliance, assuming the form of Bhikshatana, a simple mendicant seeking alms. He was followed by His consort, Vishnu as Mohini. The sages and their wives were enchanted by the brilliance and the beauty of The handsome shiva and His consort. On seeing their womenfolk enchanted, the rishis got enraged and invoked scores of serpents (nāgas) by performing magical rituals. Lord Shiva lifted the serpents and donned them as ornaments on His matted locks, neck and waist. Further enraged, the sages invoked a fierce tiger, whose skins and dons were used by Lord Shiva as a shawl around His waist and then followed by a fierce elephant, which was devoured and ripped to death by Lord Shiva (Gajasamharamurthy). The rishis gathered all their spiritual strength and invoked a powerful demon Muyalakan – a symbol of complete arrogance and ignorance. Lord Shiva wore a gentle smile, stepped on the demon’s back, immobilized him and performed the Ánanda Tandava (the dance of eternal bliss) and disclosed his true form. The sages surrender, realizing that Lord Shiva is the truth and He is beyond magic and rituals.
the architecture of chidambaram is must seen in life time. the temple complex is so huge tat it will take hours to see the whole temple. men must remove their shirts to see the moola murthy. as chidambara lingam is called AKASA LINGAM, here the god is unseen as akasa. a space covered with bilva garland wil be there. we should imagine this space as linga. the priests explains the history if we ask. this temple is main for saivites in tamilnadu. once, chidambaram acted as cultural capital for whole tamil state. the govindaraja swamy idol of todays tirupathy is from chidambaram only, it is shifted from chidambaram to tirupathy to save the swamy from muslin invasions. visit this temple and u will get divine blessings from lord shiva.