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Friday, April 9, 2010


Dear Swamin

From ancient times, our lives are intrinsically mingled with temples which are the torch bearers of our glorious heritage – the hindu way of life. Obeisance to God, Acharyas and those involved in temple work is our primordial duty.  Kanchipuram has been the repository of many magnificent temples. There are several big temples and for Vaishnavaites “Perumal Kovil” would mean the temple of Lord Devarajar – Athigiri Arulalar.

Temples in kanchipuram are torchbearers of the glorious heritage of the Kanchipuram District and are repositories of the magnificient art forms that evolved over several centuries. The city famous for silk sarees is called as "City of 1000 Temples" and a famous Sanskrit poem ascribes it as ‘nagareshu kanchi’ – the best of the cities. One of the oldest cities in South India, this has been a learning centre for linguists. It reached its pinnacle of glory during the regime of Pallava dynasty and served as its capital. This area is also known as thondai mandalam in tune with Thondaimans who ruled this land and have had constructed many temples of yore.

There are many important places in and around Kanchipuram and as you travel from Kanchi to Vandavasi / Cheyyar, you would cross the Salai Kinaru (from where thirumanjana theertham for Devarajar was brought), Iyengar kulam, Palar bridge, Dhoosi, you would come to the hamlet ‘Mamandur’ – known as Dhoosi Mamandur due to its proximity to Dusi. This village has a big reservoir and is about 3 km away from Palar and about 8-9 km away from Kanchipuram. Legend has it that Lord Varadharaja Perumal used to visit this place on every Chitra Pournami day.  Though not much of water could be found in Palar these days, it is a river which rises in Kolar and flows through Andhra and enters Tamilnadu before confluencing into Bay of Bengal at Vayalur. One of its main tributaries is Cheyyar river.

                                                                 the kovil vimanam

IIn the Mamandur village stands the majestic grandeur Lord Arulmigu Sundaravalli Thayar samedha Lakshmi Narayana Perumal. This is a temple of more than 300 years old and has rich history with many vidhwans hailing from this place. Many Sampradhaya periyavars have told that many of the Nalayira Divyaprabandha adhikaris hailed from this hamlet of Dhusi Manandur. The temple is not big and during my visit few years back, it certainly was craving for immediate renovation.

The temple though was maintained very well and the Idols were decorated beautifully, thanks to the efforts of Battar. It is apparent that this village which should have shone in splendour had lost its sheen over the years as many had sought greener pastures and shifted to Chennai and thence to various other cities. Probably not many maintain their links to their ancestral roots.

The temple houses Lord Lakshmi Narayanar who is in sitting posture with Lakshmi devi on his lap. The Thayar thirunamam is ‘Sundara valli Thayar’ and has an individual sannadhi. There are beautiful idols of Sadagopar (Nammalwar), Kaliyan (Thirumangai Azhwar), Udayavar (Ramanujar) and Varavaramuni (Swami Manavala mamunigal). It is learnt that ‘samprokshanam’ was conducted way back in 1950 and not much renovation has taken place thereafter.

(Arulmigu Lakshmi Narayanar - Moolavar)

(Arulmigu Sundaravalli thayar)

(Arulmaran, Kaliyan, Udayavar)

(Num Acharyar Manavalamamunigal)

I also have the lineage to this village though our ancestors had left the village quite few years back and do not own any land or house here.

It is a matter of great rejoice that some individuals have taken great efforts to renovate this temple and have involved themselves in a big way. Mr Kidambi Narasimhan deserves great appreciation for the involvement and the measures taken to start this project of renovation. He has met Govt. officials and did all the spade work that is required for initiating the process. Fortunately the villagers are also cooperating.

(Balalayathil Uthsava thirumoorthigal)

The Balalayam (vedic initiation of the renovation work) was conducted recently on 25th March 2010. They have identified a sthapathi and the cost is estimated to be close to Rs.4,50,000/- The renovation work to be done would include repairs to the surrounding boundary walls, renovating the main Vimana, the Gopuram, the front Mandapam and the Main entrance door work. Once these are complete, there could be expenses in resurrecting and conducting ‘samprokshanam’.

Being a native of this village, I am keen to partake in a small level atleast and this is an effort to place on record about the Balalayam and some the individuals involved in the renovation. This is only an humble effort in making this reach general public more and if I have left out any individual or have not mentioned the work of individuals appropriately, I request the Periyavars to pardon me and provide me the details so that I will correct them in my way.

Wish to place on record the efforts of the following persons who may be contacted for further details and for partaking in the renovation work.

Sarvashri :

Kidambi Narasimhan (Retd. HVF) M : 94451 66247
Kidambi MR Badrinarayanan (grandson of Late MK Kannapiran, who was the dharmakarta in 1950) M :98409 66155 / 98409 27416
Raja (Retired School Headmaster now residing in the village)
K Bashyam
V Govindarajan & Mrs Padmavathi Govindarajan (Manager, Bank of India – 94439 85189; 97890 38252)

Request all those who have a lineage to this village to :
• Actively involve themselves in the Thirupani physically and financially
• Print the photos of Sundaravalli thayar and Lakshmi Narayana perumal when we print invitation for good things in our family
• Obtain the Temple prasadam for such occasions and do something whenever something good happens in our family.
• Visit the temple and have darshan of Perumal atleast once a year
• Patronise the temple taking care of the maintenance and for providing reasonable salary and other amenities to Bhattar and other kainkaryabharars
• Do something to the village (sponsor some children in their studies) Institute some awards for the children who perform well in their studies
• Adopt the village and provide better amenities to this village
• Collect and make available details of Friends and relatives who have lineage / affection to this village
• Propagate amongst our friends and relatives of the glory of this temple and make them aware of the renovation work.

If I have missed out any correct information or have stated something not so correctly, please pardon me

Adiyen Veeravalli Srinivasa dhasan.
(Mamandur Srinivasan Sampathkumar)

1 comment:

  1. M S Sethuraman’s reference to ‘excommunication’ of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Swaminadhan had D R Santhanam recalling another such incident. He recounts how his paternal grandfather, Anni Seitlur Venkatachari, Village Munsiff of Dusi Mamundur near Kancheepuram and head of 24 families belonging to the Ahobila Mutt, ‘excommunicated’ the family of his younger brother, a District Judge, because he sent his daughter to the UK for higher studies in 1928-29. There, after post graduation, she became private secretary to Lord Louis Mountbatten and came out to India with him when he was appointed Viceroy. After World War II he sent her with the team that went to Japan to facilitate the release of Indian prisoners-of-war. When she eventually returned to Madras as a spinster she wished to adopt one of my correspondent’s brothers but their father said ‘no’, adhering to the ostracism of the past. She then adopted a boy called Narasimhan, who fared well in life and when Dr. D S Rajalakshmi died, he respected her wishes and founded a women’s college in her name in Tiruvallur. The college flourishes, but how many know the background of the person after whom it is named?