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Monday, October 22, 2018

Sri Peyalwar Gandhapodi Uthsavam #Thiruvallikkeni - 2018


Among the 12 Azhwaars of Srivaishanva Tradition, Poigai Azhwar, Boothath Azhwar and Peyazhwar – were the ones to have descended on this Earth earlier.  They were contemporaries and are praised as “Muthal Azhwars (the first among the Azhwars).  They were born in the month of “Aippasi: in the thirunakshathirams of ‘Thiruvonam, Avittam, Sathayam’ respectively.  Though necessarily in that order – most years, it would be ‘Poigai azhvar sarrumurai (also of Acaryar Pillai Ulagariyar); next day that of Boothath Azhwar and thence Sri Peyalwar.

This year 2018 it is different – Thiruvonam & Avittam occur twice in the month of Aippaisi ~ Poigaiyar sarrumurai would be on Nov 14th; Sri Boothathazhwar’s would be on Nov. 16th (3oth of Aippaisi).


The Uthsavams and the celebrations commemorating birth of Azhwars are for 10 days – for Sri Peyalwar, after Sarrumurai – on 21st Oct 2018 is was ‘Gandhapodi uthsavam’ – when Peyalwar did mangalasasanam for all Emperumans inside Sri Parthasarathi temple.  Around 08.45 am, there was chinna mada veethi purappadu of Alwar back to his temple.. .. 


பேயாழ்வாரின் பக்தி சுரக்கும் வார்த்தைகளில் இங்கே இன்னொரு பாசுரம் :
பொலிந்திருண்ட கார்வானில் மின்னேபோல் தோன்றி,*
மலிந்து திருவிருந்த மார்வன், - பொலிந்த*
கருடன்மேல் கொண்ட கரியான் கழலே, *
தெருடன்மேல் கண்டாய் தெளி.*

Azhwar likens the lightning appearing clear on dark rain cloud – with the appearance of Sriman Narayana with Sri Lakshmi on His chest, seated resplendently on Garuda as mount.  Having seen the lotus feet through knowledge Alwar directs our hearts to fall and follow those divine feet, which alone can lead us to salvation. 

 ~ adiyen Srinivasa dhasan










Sunday, October 21, 2018

Sri Peyalwar Sarrumurai 2018 : தமிழ் தலைவன் ஸ்ரீ பேயாழ்வார் அவதாரஸ்தலம்


நாந்தகம் என்ற வார்த்தைதனை  கேள்வியுற்று இருக்கிறீர்களா ?  :    சிந்தாமணி நிகண்டில் வாள் (Sword)  என்ற சொல்லிற்கு நிகரான 8 சொற்கள் காணப்படுகின்றன.:  அவை :  ~  உவணி, கட்கம், கடுத்தலை, கிருபாணம், தூவத்தி, பத்திராத்துமசம், பாரோகம்,மற்றும் நாந்தகம்.. நாந்தகம் என்பது ஸ்ரீமன் நாராயணின் வாள்.
Sri Peyalwar ~ Thiruvallikkeni divaydesam

Mayurapuri Mahadhmiyam in the Brahmandapuranam states :  when Sage Vyasa requested the Lord to show him the holiest of places where he could do penance, He pointed out to Madhavapuram (Mylapore) where Sage Bhrigu had earlier set up a hermitage and did penance.  It was very near the holy water source known as Santhana Pushkarani where all holy rivers merged on the Masi Makam day. Those who bathed in it on that day would get all their wishes fulfilled, the Lord said. To add to the holiness of the place was the fact that Peyazhwar, the last of the three saintly men hailed as "Mudhalazhwargal," was born in a 60-feet deep well


During this period Chennai and many parts of Tamil Nadu should be  experiencing heavy rains ~ not much this season as we fear how bad water crisis could become. Yet, there are days, when rains are not exactly welcome to us – one such day is Azhwar Acaryar Sarrumurai day.  
 Sri Peyalwar ~ Thirumayilai Sri Adhikesava perumal kovil

Mylapore has been a shoppers’ paradise ~  the  historical place has two MRTS railway stations : Thirumayilai and Sri Mundakakanni amman temple.  In between runs Kutchery road, linking Beach Road with Luz Junction and you would have travelled many a times on this – do you know that one of the bylanes leads to a famous landmark with divine connection !  - the Arundale Street .. ..  next time, for sure when you travel on Kutchery road towards beach, you might take a turn and reach this place, if you have not visited this earlier…. at Arundale Street  – otherwise not so noticeable one… that winds its way towards Sri Madhava Perumal Kovil ~ and just a couple of yards in to the Street, lies this famous place with divine connection.

Among the 12 Azhwaars of Srivaishanva Tradition, Poigai Azhwar, Boothath Azhwar and Peyazhwar – were the ones to have descended on this Earth earlier.  They were contemporaries and are praised as “Muthal Azhwars (the first among the Azhwars).  They were born in the month of “Aippasi: in the thirunakshathirams of ‘Thiruvonam, Avittam, Sathayam’ respectively. This divine trio met on a rainy day at Thirukkovalur – when they sang 100 verses each which now form part of Moonravathu Ayiram (Iyarpa) in Naalayira Divyaprabandham. 


ஐப்பசி மாதம் ‘சதயம்’ திருநட்சத்திரத்தில் பேயாழ்வார் திருமயிலையில் அவதரித்தார்.  ஒரு காலத்தில் திருவல்லிக்கேணி பிருந்தாரண்யம் என துளசிகாடாக இருந்ததைப் போலவே, திருமயிலை புதர்கள் மண்டி, மரங்கள் அடர்ந்து காடாக இருந்திருக்கிறது.  சிறப்பு வாய்ந்த இந்தத்தலத்தில் திருமாதவப் பெருமாள் திருக்கோயில் அருகில் உள்ள ஒரு குளத்தில் (கிணற்றில்)அதிசயமான செவ்வல்லி மலரிலே மஹாவிஷ்ணுவின் ஐம்படைகளில் ஒன்றாகிய நாந்தகம் எனும் வாளின் அம்சமாக பேயாழ்வார் அவதரித்தார்.  இவர்  அயோநிஜர்.  இந்த அவதாரஸ்தலம் - இன்று அருண்டேல் தெரு என அழைக்கப்படும் வீதியில் உள்ளது.





ஆழ்வார் அவதரித்த கிணறு


அருண்டேல் தெருவில் உள்ள ஸ்ரீ பேயாழ்வார் அவதாரஸ்தலம்

Sri Peyalwar was born in a well in Mylapore (thence known as Mylai Thiruvallikkeni).  His birthplace is in the present day Arundel Street [described in the first para of this post]  in Mylapore closer to Mylai Sri Madhaava Perumal Kovil.  At Thiruvallikkeni, the road adjacent to Sri Parthasarathi Kovil houses a separate sannathi (temple by itself) for Sri Peyalwar and this street is named after the Azhwar and is known as ‘Peyazhwar kovil Street’.




முதல் ஆழ்வார்கள் மூவரும் ஒரு நல்ல மழைநாளில் திருக்கோவலுரில் ஒரு இடைகழியில் சந்தித்தனர். முதலில் பொய்கை ஆழ்வார் அங்கே இருந்தார்; பூதத்தாழ்வார் அவ்விடம் வந்தபோது, 'ஒருவர் படுக்கலாம்,இருவர் இருக்கலாம்' என இடமளித்தார். பிறகு பேயாழ்வாரும் அங்கே வரவே "ஒருவர் படுக்கலாம், இருவர் இருக்கலாம், மூவர் நிற்கலாம்' என அவரை இருவரும் வரவேற்றனர். ஸ்ரீமன்நாராயணன் அவர்களை சோதிக்க எண்ணி தானும் உட்புகுந்தபோது, முதலில் பொய்கைஆழ்வார் "வையம் தகளியா, வார்கடலே நெய்யாகக் கொண்டு  (உலகத்தையே விளக்காகவும் பெரியகடலை நெய்யாகவும்) நூறு பாடல்கள் பாடினார்.  பிறகு, பூதத்தாழ்வார், 'அன்பேதகளியா ஆர்வமே நெய்யாக'க் கொண்டு (அன்பை விளக்காகவும் ஆர்வமான எண்ணங்களை நெய்யாகவும்) நூறு பாடல்கள் பாடினார்.

பொய்கை ஆழ்வார், பூதத்தாழ்வார் இவர்களது அருளால் இவ்வாறான விளக்குகளில் ரத்னாகரமான கடலை கண்டது போல எம்பெருமானுடைய நிர்ஹேதுககடாக்ஷம் பெற்று,பேயாழ்வார்,  திருமகள் கேள்வனான எம்பெருமானை முழுவதுமாக அனுபவித்து

"திருக்கண்டேன், பொன்மேனி கண்டேன், *திகழும்
அருக்கன் அணி நிறமும் கண்டேன்;* செருக்கிளரும்
பொன்னாழி கண்டேன், புரிசங்கம் கைக்கண்டேன்,*
என்னாழி வண்ணன் பால் இன்று"
- என "மூன்றாம்திருவந்தாதி"  நூறு பாடல்கள் அருளிச் செய்தார்.






Today 20th Oct 2018  happens to be ‘Sadhayam in the month of Aippasi’ ~ the sarrumurai of Sri Peyalwar.   .. .. some photos of  Sri Peyalwar from Sri Adhi Kesavaperumal thirukovil purappadu and Alwar avatharasthalam at Arundale street, Mylapore.

adiyen Srinivasa dhasan.

PS  :  in the avathara sthalam there is another mantap at entrance to which Sri Peyalwar from Sri Mylai Madhava Perumal kovil visits.

Sri Peyalwar ~ Mylai Madhava Perumal Kovil




Friday, October 19, 2018

Thiruvallikkeni Vijayadasami Paarvettai purappadu 2018


Vijayadasami Paarvettai purappadu at Thiruvallikkeni  2018  :    
திருவல்லிக்கேணி  "விஜயதசமி" புறப்பாடு. 

Regulars to Thiruvallikkeni Sri Parthasarathi Temple would have wondered about a sudden tree in the middle of their way at the 36 pillared mantap.  That was significant !


A couple of days back, the Hindu reported of a huge more-than-a-century-old Jammi tree that stood  in the middle of the road in the non-descript Khambampadu village. The tree was fortunate enough not to face the axe during road widening, as the residents are sentimentally attached to it. Nobody in this environment-conscious village, about 75 km from the district headquarters, considers it as hindrance in their path. “We understand the impact of global warming and the severe biodiversity loss on our lives,” says a group of people in the village in the drought-prone Prakasam district in Andhra Pradesh. The residents nurture the tree, which faced several testing times, including the devastating Diviseema cyclone that caused havoc in 1977.  Several avenue trees elsewhere faced the axe be it for the expansion of the Chennai-Kolkata highway or for the four-laning of the Ongole-Chirala highway.

A few months ago, when Google India marked the 45th  anniversary of the Chipko movement with a doodle, it was a refreshing flashback to forest communities sacrificing their lives to protect trees from being felled for timber use. One of the first such recorded community protests was at Khejarli village in present-day Rajasthan. In this village, around the year 1730, about 300 Bishnois led by Amrita Devi are said to have sacrificed their lives to protect Khejri trees. The Bishnois, particularly the women in the community, considered Khejri trees (Prosopis cineraria) sacred because of their multi-use benefits.

Sikar, situated in Shekhawati region of Rajasthan,  has been a haven of peasants.  In Udaipur and Dungarpur, adivasis  have struggled for land rights.  Like many other regions, this place too suffers from severe water scarcity.  Growth of agricultural production in the region has been led by an increase in yields of wheat and rapeseed. Landscape of Shekhawati region is dotted with khejri (Prosopis cineraria) trees, which can survive in the worst of the droughts and are an important source of fodder for camel and goats.  “Banni Kodtine, Bangara haagali” — is a popular greeting during Dussehra in Karnataka, meaning “Let me give you leaves of Banni tree, and let them bring gold to you”.   Banni tree, considered a symbol of courage, peace and prosperity, is the State Tree of Rajasthan and newly formed Telangana. The bark of vanni  tree is useful in treating piles, worm infestation, muscular and joint pains. Used as antidote for snake or scorpion-bite poisoning. Paste of flowers with sugar is given to prevent unexpected abortions. The leaves and fruits are used to cure nervous disorders. The smoke by burning leaves exposed in case of eye complaints ~ and that tree symbolically planted in the mantap at Thiruvallikkeni was ‘vanni tree’.


In the month of Purattasi is celebrated the nine day festival of Navarathri.  In all these days, there occurs  grand purappadu of Vedavalli Thayar inside the temple premises.  ‘Siriya Thirumadal’ is recited  during the purappadu.  The last day is celebrated as Saraswathi Pooja, the day of reverence to the Lord of Learning.  The next day is Vijayadasami ~ the day considered most auspicious for starting learning.  Children are put in schools and taught the first syllable known as “Aksharabyasam”. Today  19th Oct 2018   is * Vijayadasami *.   On Vijayadasami day, takes place  ‘paarvettai purappadu’  of Lord Parthasarathi on ‘kuthirai vahanam’.


இந்தியப் பாலைவனங்களின் தங்க மரம்’ எனச் சிறப்பிக்கப்படுவது வன்னி மரம். வன்னி மரம், பல்வேறு சிறப்புகளை உடைய மரம். பாலைவனங்களிலும் வானிலை அதிகம் வறண்டிருக்கும் பகுதியிலும் தாக்குப்பிடித்து வளரக் கூடிய பசுமை மாறாத மரம் வன்னி. இதன் அனைத்துப் பகுதிகளுமே பயன்படுவதால், ‘கற்பகதரு’ என்றும் சொல்வார்கள்.  வன்னி மரம்  சோழ மன்னர்களின் குல மரம் எனும் சிறப்பு உடையது.

‘Prosopis cineraria’  is a species of flowering tree in the pea family, Fabaceae. Common names include Khejri or "Loong Tree"; Janty; Vanni (Tamil); Jammi (Telugu); and Sami.  A large and well-known example of the species is the Tree of Life in Bahrain – approximately 400 years old and growing in a desert devoid of any obvious sources of water.

In the epic Mahabaratha, during their exile Pandavas had to spend a year without revealing their identities.  This period was spent on Virada desam.  This is explained in detail in Virada parvam of Mahabaratha.  On Vijayadasami day which coincided with completion of their one year in exile,  in the war to protect Virada kingdom, Arjuna took back his bows and arrows hitherto hidden in a ‘vanni tree’. On Vijaya Dasami day at Thiruvallikkeni, ‘vanni mara parvettai’ is enacted every year.   This now-a-days  is symbolically celebrated at the entrance of the temple itself ; in olden days [till two decades ago]  this significant event  called ‘paarvettai’ took place in Vasantha bungalow situate in Venkatrangam Street.  Now that picturesque bungalow and the mantap are no longer there. At the entrance of the temple, leaves of vanni  are  symbolically placed and the Lord comes near the tree ~ after aarathi, couple of  leaves get plucked by the battar representing the Perumal.  In the purappadu, it is  ‘Sthothra Padam’ goshti ~ Thadi Panchakam [Dhati panchagam] and Sthothra Rathnam  rendering in goshti.  Perumal had kulakkarai purappadu – TP kovil 2nd street, Bandala Venugopala Street and then from South Mada St Junction and periya mada veethi.


There are only a handful of occasions, when Perumal has purappadu beyond the boundaries of maada veethi – that include : Eekkattu Thangal thiruvooral uthsavam, Masi maham,  Thai poosam, Kodai Uthsava sarrumurai and Vijaya dasami.  In olden days, when Emperor was on the move, his subjects too would accompany.  Have heard that traditional Srivaishnava scholars when they have darshan of Emperuman in purappadu, would move along with the Perumal couple of houses at least.  Hundreds accompany Sri Parthasarathi when He visits Ekkadu ~ hundreds walk alongwith Deva Perumal in His sojourn during Chitra Pournami, Rajakula theppam, Seevaram paarvettai and the like.  Here are some photos of today’s purappadu.

"பார் எல்லாம் புகழ்ந்திடும் ஓர் சாரதி,
அவர் பார்த்தனுக்கு தேர் ஓட்டும் சாரதி,
எங்கள் சாரதிபார்த்தசாரதி எங்கள் சாரதி !! பார்த்த சாரதி" ……

என ஸ்ரீ பார்த்தசாரதிப் பெருமாளை புகழ்ந்து பாராட்டிதிருவல்லிக்கேணி திருக்கோவிலில் நடக்கும் வருடாந்தர உத்சவங்கள் எல்லாவற்றையும் பற்றிய பாடல் மிக பிரபலமானது. மறைந்த திரு கே வீரமணி அவர்கள் கணீர் குரலில் பாடிய அந்த பாடல் கேட்கும் போதெல்லாம் உத்சாகமும் தைரியமும் தரவல்லது. அதில் புரட்டாசி மாத உத்சவங்கள் பற்றி சில வரிகள் இங்கே :

வன்னி மர பார்வேட்டை கண்டு அருள வலம் வரவே !
மன்னவனும் எழுந்து அருள்வான் புரட்டாசி மாதம் தன்னில்;

விஜயதசமி அன்று ஸ்ரீ பார்த்தசாரதி பெருமாள் பார்வேட்டை புறப்பாடு கண்டு அருள்கிறார். பெருமாள் குதிரை வாகனத்தில் எழுந்து அருளி வன்னி மரத்தில் அம்பு எய்யும் வைபவம் நடக்கிறது. சில வருடங்கள் முன்பு வரை பெருமாள் வெங்கடரங்கம் தெருவில் உள்ள வசந்த பங்களாவிற்கு புறப்பாடு கண்டு அங்கே பார்வேட்டை நடக்கும். பிறகு பெருமாள் பெசன்ட் ரோடு வழியாக சாத்தானி தெரு எனப்படும் துளசிங்க பெருமாள் கோவில் தெரு பக்கம் வழியாக பெரிய மாட வீதி புறப்பாடு கண்டு அருள்வார். இப்போது இந்த பங்களா இல்லாதபடியால் பார்வேட்டை வைபவம் கோவில் வாசலிலேயே நடக்கிறது. புறப்பாட்டில் தாடி பஞ்சகம் மற்றும் ஆளவந்தார் அருளிச்செய்த ஸ்தோத்ர ரத்னம் சேவிக்கபடுகிறது. திருவல்லிகேணியில் இன்று 19.10.2018   நடந்த புறப்பாட்டின் போது எடுக்கப்பட்ட சில புகைப்படங்கள் இங்கே :


adiyen Srinivasa dhasan

PS :  in  a bid to distinguish itself from its newly formed neighbour, the Andhra Pradesh government  declared new state symbols to replace the ones held by Telangana after it was created. The rose-ringed parrot has been chosen as the state bird and the jasmine is the new state flower.  Neem is declared as the State tree.   Telengana, as a geographical and political entity was born on June 2, 2014 as the 29th  and the youngest state in Union of India.  It has a long history as  Asmaka Janapada, part of present Telangana, was one of the 16 Janapadas in ancient India.  The four icons of the State are :
•          State Bird - Palapitta (Indian Roller or Blue Jay).
•          State Animal - Jinka (Deer).
•          State Tree - Jammi Chettu (Prosopis Cineraria).
•          State Flower - Tangedu (Tanner’s Cassia).













Crow's nest atop boat mast.......'வங்கத்தின் கூம்பேறும் மாப்பறவை'


Kulasekara Azhwar was a King who renounced things in his passionate zeal to serve the Lord Rama.  His Perumal Thirumozhi is a glorious collection wherein he  excels with analogies.  The 5th of his, ‘Tharuthuyram Thadayael’ – are  those hymns in praise of Lord at Thiruvithuvakodu.  In this pathigam, Azhwar explains the concept known as ‘Ananyarha Seshathvam’ i.e., total servitude to the Lord Himself and none else.  The Jivathma that has fallen in the earth, is the property of Paramathma and has to serve Sriman Narayanan and Him Only.  

One of the hymns is reproduced here :
வெங்கண்திண் களிறடர்த்தாய் விற்றுவக்கோட் டம்மானே
எங்குப்போயுய்கேனுன்னிணையடியே யடையலல்லால்
எங்கும்போய்க் கரைகாணா தெறிகடல்வாய் மீண்டேயும்
வங்கத்தின் கூம்பேறும் மாப்பறவை போன்றேனே

 Azhwar praises the Lord at Vithuvakkode [addressing Him Vithuvakkottamma] ~ the one who killed the furious and powerful elephant called ‘kuvalayapeedam’ and says that His Lotus feet is the only destination.  Azhwar compares the listlessness of a small bird which sits on the mast-head of the ship; in the mighty ocean, it tries to fly but could not find the path or destination and after a brief while comes back to the same mast-head, not knowing where to go !

Away, there is the nautical term called ‘crow’s nest’…..  read this newsitem in Daily Mail UK [17th April 13] to which I could relate ‘வங்கத்தின் கூம்பேறும் மாப்பறவை

It hardly looks like the most comfortable of places to build a home, but two crows decided to build their nest on top of a yacht's mast. The pair of feathered home-makers obviously took the nautical term quite literally when they decided to make good use of the 'crow's nest' of a vessel moored at Aberystwyth harbour, in mid-Wales. Staff at the marina said it is the first time they have seen an actual crow's nest built on the top of a yacht's mast. The crows are understood to have built the nest about two weeks ago, but have only just started sitting in it this week indicating the possibility of eggs. As it looks to be a breeding pair, the crows may not yet number enough to be described by their collective name of 'a murder of crows' but should the eggs hatch, the yacht could quickly become an aviary.

Bird's-eye view: Staff at Aberystwyth marina have said it is the first time they have seen an actual crow's nest built on the top of a yacht's mast.  The yacht in question is the 'Scorpio', which belongs to Tal-y-bont couple Mick and Jenny Fothergill.  The couple suffered from the devastating effects of last June's flooding and as a result haven't used their yacht because they have been tied up with repairs at their home. Russell Jones, from RSPB Ynys-hir nature reserve near Machynlleth, said: 'This is a very unusual nesting site in such an open location. Crows usually nest in trees and bushes which give them some cover and protection. 'Although this site is high enough away from predators, another reason for choosing this spot could be because of easy access to food sources.

Crow’s Nest : A crow's nest in a ship is built in the upper part of the main mast and is used as a lookout point as it provides the best view of approaching land, other ships or approaching hazards. Early versions consisted of merely a barrel or a basket attached to the tallest mast, but they later became specially designed platforms, including protective railings. According to naval legend, the term originated in the practice of Viking sailors who carried crows or ravens in a cage at the top of the mast which would be released during times of poor visibility. The ship would then follow the crow as it would usually head towards the nearest land.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
23rd April 2013.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Perumal idols stolen from Kuruvithurai recovered !


In this famed land of ours, there are thousands of Temple –  it is our religious duty to visit Temple and do kainkaryam unto Him.  The temples in Tamil Nadu are administered by HR&CE department.  While all the revenue that is received in Temples goes to the Govt and used for purposes far different than intended, many temples are very poorly maintained.

சோழவந்தானை அடுத்த குருவித்துறை வைகையாற்றங் கரையோரம் வரலாற்று சிறப்புமிக்க சித்திர ரத வல்லப பெருமாள் திருக்கோவில் அமைந்துள்ளது. இந்த கோவில் முன்பு தவக்கோலத்தில் குருபகவான் தனிச்சன்னதியில் வீற்றிருக்கிறார். இங்கு ஆண்டுதோறும் குருபெயர்ச்சி விழா வெகு சிறப்பாக நடைபெறுவது வழக்கம்.

In Madurai near Cholavandhan is the temple : - Sri Chitraradha Perumal Temple, in Kuruvithurai – 625 207, Vadipatti Taluk,  Madurai district.  This temple attracts huge crowds on the transition of zodiac specifically Guru.  This is the sthalam where Guru penance Sriman Narayana.  Sri Chakkarathalwar) also is a swayambumurthy in the temple.  

The temple website which has info in anglicized form states that Chitra starrers pray to Lord of the temple for relief from adverse planetary aspects, especially those facing adverse Jupiter aspects and take up remedial pujas. According to astrology, favourable Jupiter aspect alone would help settling happy marriages and offer child boon. Practical experiences also confirm this theory. his temple is administrated by The Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments Department Tamilnadu.

You don’t get to see a better hero on screen even – the man on mission, the most respected   Inspector General of Police (Idol Wing) Pon Manickavel has been engaging in the recovery of idols and other artefacts that were stolen from the State.

Not many would have read or felt for the news item that appeared in Indian Express and some other idea of four panchaloga idols getting stolen from  Chitra Ratha Valabha Perumal Temple, famously known as Kuruvithurai Gurubhagavan Temple, on Saturday night.  The missing ‘Ucharva’ idols of Perumal, Panchamurthi, Sridevi and Boodevi were centuries old and have been placed in front of the main deity of Chitra Ratha Valabha Perumal.  Sources said that the idol of Perumal weighed around 8.36 kg and was about 45 cm in height and 17 cm in breadth. It was reported that the  miscreants gained entry into the temple by climbing over the 20-feet-tall boundary wall and later entered the ‘Karpagraha’ by breaking open a grill gate.

Police said that it was a well-executed plan and that a few persons might have hidden inside the temple in the night hours itself. However, the modus operandi is not yet clear.  “The incident happened between 12.20 and 1.10 am. The CCTV footage reveals the presence of two miscreants. A few more persons might also be involved in the looting,” they said.  Meanwhile, the security guards of the temple, on condition of anonymity, said that when they were sleeping outside the temple they heard the alarm blaring between 12 and 1 am. “We thought the alarm was set off by the monkeys and did not take it seriously,” said a security personnel. Later in the morning upon seeing the cotton clothes near the compound wall along the bank of Vaigai river, they alerted the temple authorities.

Both fingerprint experts and dog squad immediately rushed to the spot. Superintendent of Police N Manivannan directed to form special teams to nab the miscreants. Idol Wing personnel also inspected the spot. Suspecting that the thieves might have hidden the idols in nearby wells, the police along with fire service personnel  checked  the wells in the area.

Not sure how worried were the Officials who administer nor is their action detailed anywhere – but today comes the happy news  (Times of India, Chennai edition) that Police have recovered four panchaloha idols which were stolen from the Kuruvithurai Chitraradha Vallaba Perumal temple. The idols were recovered from a village near Uthappanaickanur on Monday night, after a villager, who found them abandoned on the roadside, alerted the police. The Madurai district police had formed 10 teams to trace gang that had stolen the idols, said south zone inspector general of police K P Shanmuga Rajeswaran. Rajeswaran along with idol wing IG Pon Manickavel inspected the temple, located in a village near Sholavandan. Madurai district superintendent of police N Manivannan was also present.

Addressing reporters here, Rajeswaran while lauding the police said they have received crucial information about the thieves. “They would be arrested soon,” he said adding that the idols were abandoned since police had closed in on them.  However, one part of the report reads that the Perumal idol was damaged by the thieves. 

Mr Pon Manickavel said the worth of each of the four idols could be around Rs 1 crore in international market. He said there had not been enough security for the idols in the temple. In the absence of strong room, only a pad lock worth a few hundred rupees was used to keep the idols locked. Moreover, CCTV cameras installed on the premises were outdated ones and did not prove to be of much use in this case, he said. Manickavel said he would recommend a reward of Rs 1 lakh for Ganesan, the villager who alerted police.

Perumal is back ~ hopefully, authorities, administrators and local devotees would do all that is necessary for redoing any damage and conduct pujas .. .. .. fact remains, that little care is taken to prevent thefts, little less action when any crime happens .. .. sad is the state of affairs and devotees can only express their anguish.

~ devotee with grief
17th Oct 2018