May 18, 2017

The Gigantic Muneeswara

You could probably count all the Vedic and Puranic deities of Hinduism, but it is impossible to count the Grama devtas (village deities). The tradition of depicting the ancestors as the deity is very old. Although it is said that the village deities are present only in South India,  it is a misconception. All over India, we can find village deities. No scholar has analyzed this tradition completely so far. That is the truth.

In Tamil Nadu, after Mari Amman and Ayyanar, Muneeswaran appears to be the popular and widely spread grama devta. If we can call Madurai Veeran as the boundary guard deity or grama devta of Madurai and Mada Swami as the one for Tirunelveli, we can similarly consider Muneeswaran as the grama devta for Chennai and its surroundings. Although Muneeswaran is worshiped all over Tamil Nadu and even in some foreign countries, the only male village deity who is found in every village of Chennai region (Tondai Nadu) is Muneeswaran.

Muneeswaran is considered as the Avatar of Shiva. Some believe he himself is Lord Shiva. In the last 20-30 years, the practice of installing gigantic images of village deities is followed in Tamil Nadu.
In Burma Colony of Ekkattuthangal area in Chennai, one such gigantic image of Muneeswaran is found. The idol is 48 feet high. It is located in the complex of Angaleswari Temple. The temple is located right on the banks of the river Adyar. Had the river been clean, the location would have been a treat to our eyes. You can reach this temple easily from Nandampakkam area.

This idol is the second tallest idol of Muneeswaran in and around Chennai. He is found seated and holds sickle (which is about 9-10 feet tall) in his arm. In front of this big idol, Muneeswaran is found in the form of Mukha Linga.

Karuppanna Swami is also found in this temple.

Happy travelling.

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