August 19, 2019

Shakti Vinayaka Temple - Chennai

It is rare to find the temple of Lord Ganesha with Rajagopuram (tower) in Chennai city. Few exceptions are the temples in Besant Nagar and George Town. There is one more temple in Medavakkam, which has a tower at the entrance. It is named as Shakti Vinayaka temple.

The east facing temple has Shakti Vinayaka in the sitting posture as the presiding deity. At the entrance, there is a two tiered tower. There are a lot of Parivara deities in this temple.

Shiv Linga, Shakti, Murugan-Valli-Devasena and Chandikeswara are all kept together in a particular place, where there is no enclosed shrine.

Bala Murugan, Bhairva, Durga, Hanuman and Navagraha are found in small separate sub-shrines. The stone image of Ayyappan is found in a shrine (generally only the metal image of Ayyappan is found in most of the temple in Tamil Nadu).

The metal image of Ramanuja is found in a small shrine. Dhanvantri with Arogya Lakshmi, Kubera with Lakshmi (Lakshmi is not the consort of Kubera; the depiction in this temple is incorrect) and Hayagriva with Lakshmi on his left lap are together found in a separate sub-shrine.

The temple is very popular in this locality. The streets around the temple are busy selling the pooja products and flowers.

Happy travelling.

August 18, 2019

Sivaji Ganesan Memorial

The memorial for the popular and veteran Tamil cine actor, Sivaji Ganesan, is located in Durgabai Deshmukh Road in Adyar, Chennai.

Although the memorial is spread over 28,300 sq feet of massive area, almost three fourth of the area is open space and is used for the parking facilities. The memorial merely has a hall with the statue of Sivaji Ganesan in the center surrounded by around one hundred photographs on all sides of the wall.

The bronze statue of the actor was originally erected on Marina Beach Road. As it was blocking the traffic, there were controversies over the statue. It was moved to this memorial, which was built in 2017.

Most of the photographs displayed here are easily available in public domain. None of them seems to be rare or unseen photograph. Many of the important cinemas of the actor and some of the memorable moments in his life are not depicted. It appears as if the photographs were selected and arranged in haste.

Hardly ten people visit this memorial everyday. Located in the prime location of the city, this memorial, though maintained well, does not attract the visitors.

Happy travelling.  

August 17, 2019

Mookambika Temple - Chennai

When I say Mookambika, you would definitely think about the famous Mookambika temple at Kollur. But, there is a Mookambika temple in the outskirts of Chennai city, about which this article talks about.

Mookambika's temple is located in a very peaceful locality in Santhosapuram near Tambaram. As the vehicles are not allowed inside the complex and as the temple is surrounded by trees, the atmosphere is very calm and serene. This private temple is maintained very neat and gives us good vibration.

The east facing temple has a two tiered gopuram. The sanctum enshrines Mookambika, the supreme Goddess. She is seated in Padmasana. Her two upper arms hold conch and discus. This is a very big metal icon and not a stone image. The iconography is similar to that of Kollur temple.

There are two other metal icons of Mookambika in the standing posture, which are found in the sanctum. They are processional images. Shiv Linga is also found along with these three images.

The outside walls of the sanctum has the niche images of Ganesha, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu and Durga. The maha mandapam is very long.

There is a separate south facing shrine for Vishnu Durga or Padmalochana. Her image is as per Kerala style iconography.

There are other sub-shrines such as Ganesha, Adi Shankaracharya, Veerabhadra, Navagraha, Lakshmi and Saraswati found in this temple. Adi Shankara, Lakshmi and Saraswati are marble idols.

Happy travelling.