Visit to some little known Temples around Chenglepat
It’s almost a year since I wrote a temple travelogue and am happy to be back and reconnect with you all.. There is nothing more satisfying than doing this. I heard about one Sundara Mahalakshmi Temple at Arasar koil through one of the Blog friends, Sri Anantha Krishnan (He lives next street and became friends through this blog. We are chatting over phone for the past 6 months and yet to meet up!!) about 2 months back and I wanted to go there ever since I heard about it. Again on Sunday, another friend called up and told me about the same temple. So I thought the God is waking me up and it is the right time to pack off. So I called up Sri Vadapalani Ramammoorthy who also wanted to cover some temples in that area. Immediately, we started off in an hour by noon.
We first planned to go to a place called Edamachi near Salavakkam near Chenglepat. After the Chenglepat bypass, the stinking brewery and the palar bridge (before Vijaykanth’s college), there is road to the right side to Meyyur. You have to be extremely cautious in crossing the road since you have to go across perpendicularly to the (one way) Highway and so be patient. On the way, we stopped at Meyyur where Sri Rammamoorthy tried initiating the renovation of a dilapidated Shiva temple a few years ago through somebody. On that day, we found that not an inch has moved since then and we stood as mute spectators. The Nandhi had the Sani pradhosha abhisheham just the previous day and so was very beautiful and fresh with flowers, prasads, vasthram and the garlands. Unfortunately my camera didn’t work and kept on saying ‘There is a problem in staring up the lens – restart the camera’. Any amount of restarting didn’t work and I thought it was His decision that no photo should be taken on that day (maybe He got angry that I didn’t write for the past one year?).
The google map location is here
From Meyyur we then went through Salavakkam to Edamachi, a small village. The temple is on the main road itself in the Salavakkam – Thirumukkoodal main road. Ramesh, a friend of Sri Rammamoorthy introduced a 24 year old girl called Sathya just the previous day (Saturday), informing that she is bringing up a few centuries old dilapidated Shiva temple at Eadamachi putting all her (small) wealth. I can’t imagine a girl of that age doing this kind of a work and so we were a little curious to meet her. We were given a very warm welcome by Ramesh, Sathya and others at the entrance itself. Just when I stepped at the entrance of the temple, I tried the camera again and hooray…. it worked. You can imagine the mood of a travelogue (Blog) writer when his Camera doesn’t work. So I entered the temple with a very happy mood indeed. It’s about 1.5 acre temple and the inside of the temple was somehow very neat and beautiful in spite of the renovation work going on.
The Lord here is Muktheeswarar and the lingam is a big and beautiful Bana lingam with all the mudhras on it. The Ambal is Kamakshi amman. There are separate shrines of Vinayagar, Subramanyar and Navagrahas. The Ambal shrine is within the main shrine itself. Koshta Gods, Bairavars and Chandikeswarar are all there. There is a temple tank attached to it. There are inscriptions around the sanctum in ‘not so difficult’ Tamil and even we could read. So it is not an ancient one and should be just a few centuries old.
After going around the temple, we asked Sathya what inspired her to go for this renovation. She was very hesitant and was not ready to give a prepared account of her experiences but started talking after seeing our determination!. So after brief stops and our persistent ‘what next, what next..’, we got her experiences as below:
Apparently she has not yet realised what a holy work she is doing and she doesn’t consider this as anything big as well. She is a very innocent, 24 years old, completed some arts degree in correspondence and pursuing masters, also in correspondence. She worked for a company at Guindy, staying at Thiruvanmiyur and about one and half years back, she had a dream of Lord Shiva saying something personal to her and asking not to reveal it to anyone. Since then, the Lord dominated her mind and she could not concentrate on anything. Due to some reasons, she had to leave her job and return to her village. She started doing all possible services to the temple like cleaning up, lighting up, putting up kolams etc., and then started doing the pujas also, all alone. She became very intimate with the Lord, considering Him as her father, talking, fighting, loving (as father), questioning Him. There were lot of resistances from the family as well as the village saying that they are heading to the doomsday, since she is an unmarried girl, does not know sanskrit or any other Sastra etc.,, She didn’t care anything but just continued. On one fine day, some people came and snatched the keys from her and went. She was in great pains, weeping, crying and scolding her divine father since she was unable to do any puja to Him. All she could do was just to peep through the Salaram (stone grilled window) from outside between the Lord and the Nandhi and …….. and …….. the Lord appeared as linga swaroopam on top and a bright light at the bottom in full bliss, in full light!!!. She couldn’t believe, didn’t believe, rejecting it as an illusion since her eyes were chocked in tears. But, indeed, she had that blissful dharshan of her divine father through her unfathomable and innocent love. She had many more mystic experiences since then and also got back keys. On another day, when somebody was opposing her decisions about the temple, a nagam crossed by and looked up straight at the person as if “Be careful, I am behind her”. On one pradhosha day, when she was doing the pooja all alone, she was little sad that there was nobody else to participate in the pooja. From nowhere, a few sivan adiars in saffron, landed by and enquired the details about herself and her puja methods. On another day, the nalvars (Appar, Sundarar…) appeared in her dream inviting her somewhere. What a humility in describing all these events in spite of her capacity to talk/treat the divine as another one of us. Now, her breath and every cell of her body is chanting ‘Na-ma-shi-va-ya’. She is filled with dreams of Shiva everyday. Last month she discussed the plan of renovating the temple with her relative, got some moral support and so jumped into it straightaway. The balalayam took place just on this March 1st week and it was very nice to see the way the temple is coming up so fast.
It’s quite natural that when so many bogus people are roaming around by taking the spiritual path as a money spinning avenue, we tend to suspect them. But Sri Ramamoorthy doing more than 3 decades of temple services has seen so many different kinds of people and he thoroughly admired and admitted Sathya’s divine love and so also, we. Her innocence is visible, her every breath in and out chanting Shiva is very visible. Ramesh told me that when the guests come to her house with flowers for her, she will straightaway go and offer them to her divine father. I also remind that all these experiences were pulled out from her mouth one by one and she didn’t give this as a readymade prepared sequence.
For us, there were some good signs regarding this temple and it appeared to us that the Lord wants this temple to come up very fast. The girl met Rammoorthy only on Saturday; on Sunday around 12 noon I decide to go to Arasar koil and called up Ramamoorthy; he readily said ‘yes’ in spite of going through angio just a few weeks back and we started in an hour; on Tuesday, I am posting this travelogue after a gap of nearly an year; my camera which didn’t work all the way, started working when I just stepped into the temple.
Without any hesitation I decided to take up a major work here and already started working towards that. I wish that the readers also visit the temple, participate in the Pradhosha / other poojas, contribute, …… at the least, call up Sathya, encourage and wish her. When the Sanathana Dharma is facing all obstacles in this Kali yuga, these kind of incidents are very rare and so let’s utilise the chance of participating in these rare movements and be a little part.
Contributions can be sent to Sathya directly to the following address:
Kamakshi amman sametha Muktheeswarar Temple,
Bank account details:
Savings Bank a/c no: 82198 5198
Indian Bank, Salavakkam (Post)
Mobile: 90030 25223
The photos below are a mix of some taken by me and some as given by them as (hard copy) photos.
The deities before balalayam (photos given by them):
The google map location is here:
Well, our surprise didn’t stop here. As if this Sathya is no big surprise, we were taken to another spot nearby, where, about a 12 years old girl by name Thilagavathy is doing the daily pooja to a Shiv lingam. The place is called Gidankarai on the way from Edamachi to Salavakkam, about 2 kms from Edamachi. Once upon a time, there should have been a temple here and two tamarind trees had grown around the lingam in such a way that the lingam is now just peeping through from the bottom between these two massive trees. The remains of the compound walls are seen. The Nandhi and the Chandikeswar were lying around, half-buried under the earth and now they are put in proper places and daily poojas / pradhosha abhishehams have been started by none other than this 12 year old girl. Here she didn’t talk much, only answers to our questions. I was a little puzzled over her look – whether she was little frightened or fully matured as a typical sacred soul getting disturbed in the middle of the pooja.
The location is very beautiful and the place was kept very neat. It was amazing to hear the conversation between the two girls like “when are you going to start the prdhosha pooja next time? …call me before you start, I will finish mine and then join you.. Ramamoorthy Sir has told some methods to do the pooja and we both will do like that..”. It was simply amazing to see these girls doing these kind of works at such an young age, most importantly with all their little wealth.
Again, I appeal to the readers to visit these places, participate, contribute, at the least……, call up the girls, encourage and wish them.
Phone: Thilagavathy – 97515 22168
We then took the same road again through Salavakkam, then the Trichy Highway and proceeded to Arasar koil.
Details of the visit to Arasar koil here.
After the visit to Arasar koil, we returned back home by 10:30 PM and to look back, what a wonderful afternoon it was!!
On our next visit to Edamachi, we saw this beautiful idol on the road side just 2-3 kms before Edamachi. We initially thought it was Bala Dhandayudhapani but later told by Dr Satyamurthy of REACH foundation that it may be a warrior who sacrificed his life for some great work or saving the village, or war fare whose statue is kept on the Samadhi. Chenna Veera and Vel are missing but only a cross held club can be seen as well as the hillock temple behind, which made us think the statue was that of Bala Dhandayudha pani.
See also a report by REACH foundation: