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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Thirumayilai Sri Madhava Perumal Thiruther 2018

Thirumayilai Sri Madhava Perumal Thiruther 2018

It is a place that predates British rule by several centuries; it was occupied by the Portuguese in 1523, which  lasted until 1749, later falling  into the hands of the British East India Company.   It is “Mylapore” [Thiru Mayilai],  a cultural hub; one of the oldest residential parts of the city, also known as VEdapuri and Mayurapuri ~ today it was a grand Thiruther purappadu for Thirumayilai Sri Madhava Perumal.

Thirumayilai has the avathara sthalam of Sri Peyalwar at Arundale Street – nearer is Sri Madhava Perumal thirukovil.  Mylai is famous for Sri Kapaleeswarar temple which is connected with the S'aivite Nayanmars.   The famous Saivaite trio - Appar, Sambandar and Sundarar, who lived in the 7th & 8th centuries have sung above Mylapore.  Appar, the eldest of the three and a contemporary of Mahendravarman I (600-630 A. D.) & Sambandar calls it as ‘Madamayilai*, in his famous Poompavai Padikam.  Besides this, he mentions a number of festivals that were held in the temple on  various occasions. There are some who try to connect Thirumylai with Christianity.  However, many scholars like Dr. Burnell, W. K. Phillips,  James Hough, have questioned the authenticity as according to them the story of Saint Thomas’  visit to Mylapore, and in fact, to South India, has no historical basis, whatsoever. Thus Lev. James Hough, the historian of Christianity in India, wrote that the visit of Saint Thomas to South India is ‘most improbable* and ‘is unsupported by the faintest vestige of authentic history.’ The critics of the tradition maintain that it was  a late invention of the local Christians to show it as a proof of their orthodox descent.  (** The early history of Madras Region ~ Dr KV Raman)

One would be surprised to find so many temples in small lanes and bylanes of Thirumayilapuri.  As one crosses, the Hamilton Bridge, is the famous  ‘Sri Mylai Madhava Perumal Thirukovil’   and behind this is ‘ Mundagakanni Amman temple’.  At Madhava Perumal temple, the Presiding deity is in a sitting posture hailed as Sri Madhavar and His consort is Amirthavalli.  The Uthsavar idol is extremely beautiful.  

The annual brahmothsavam at Mylai Madhava Perumal Temple is on and today [13th May 2018 ] is day 7 and Thiruther. ……  one could imagine smaller cars struggling in the bylanes here…. Yet the majestic thiruther   grandly wound its way in the streets.  Here are some photos taken this morning at Thirumayilai during the purappadu.

Adiyen Srinivasadhasan 
13th May 2018.

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