Tuesday, 20 February 2018

THE ELLAI AMMAN TEMPLES OF MADUVANKARAI & GUINDY MANGULAM – IN SEARCH OF ELLAI AMMAN TEMPLES OF MAMBALAM.

19th Feb 2018.
ELLAI AMMAN TEMPLE,  MADUVANKARAI ( GUINDY )
After a gap of about 2 months started my search for the Ellai Amman / Kaval Theivangal – Guarding deities -  Temples  of Mambalam.  When I was trying to  cross the newly constructed bridge from Guindy race course to Alandur, happened to see  a board written as Ellai Amman Temple.  The Temple is under the bridge covered with grill arrangement. It was told that this Ellai Amman is for the Maduvankarai, a part of Guindy.  The temple is facing east  with a soolam in front of the deity. Deity is made of stucco and  regular poojas are conducted.



ELLAI AMMAN TEMPLE, GUINDY MANGULAM.
The flower vendor, told me that there is also a Ellai Amman temple near Guindy Bus stop after the bridge, behind Anjaneyar Temple on the MKN Road, Guindy.  It was told that there was a water body – kulam, in front of this temple, latter converted as an industrial area.  I suspect that this temple may be one of the Ellai Amman Temple of Guindy Mambalam. But is it true?, readers may throw some light on this point.

There is no deity in the sanctum, instead a photo is there under the peepal tree. It was told that regular poojas are also conducted, by whom, do not know. To be explored further.

LOCATION : CLICK HERE


---OM SHIVAYA NAMA---

Thursday, 8 February 2018

BAGAVAN SRI PARSWANATH THEERTHANGARAR JEENALAYAM AT THIRUNARUNGUNDRAM - THE REMAINS OF JAINISM IN THONDAI NADU - GOLDEN JUBILEE AHIMSA WALK.

05th February 2018.
After the 50th Ahimsa walk at Ongur, our planning was to go to Thirunarungundram Sri Parswanath  also called as  Sri Appaandainathar Jeenalayam on a small hill. The Thirunarungundram was mentioned as Thirunarunkondai in the inscriptions and hymns sung by Appar and Sambandar (  both are not the Saiva Nayanmars ). This Jeenalayam and the pond or the reservoir has the connection of Chozha kingdom.

Moolavar : A Bas-relief of Sri Parswanathar

Some of the important details are as follows...
Sri Parswanathar is also called as Appar, Appaandaar, Appaandai nathar. Devotees also called as Appa, Aandai, Nathaa ( அப்பரை ஆண்ட நாதர் ).

At the beginning of steps on the right is the Virusha theerthangarar, which was brought from a village called Pavandoor. Alter and Dwajasthambam are at the entrance of the front mandapam. In the inside mandapam sannadhi for Sri Chandrapraba.

The main deity is a bas-relief of Sri Parswanathar in standing posture between two boulders. Hands are in hanging position. A 5 hooded snake is above the head of Sri Parswanathar. On the left, Urchavars are kept under lock and key.  Vimanam was built above the boulder. There is a separate sannadhi for Saraswathi.

As per the legend, the trees were grown between the two boulders and Parswanathar was not visible. A Hunter and his wife came to the hill in search of Kabilai root and they found between the two boulders. While the hunter digging the Kabilai root the crowbar hits Sri Parswanathar feet and blood was oozing out at the same time he lost his eye sight. His wife cleared the area and found Sri Parswanath. Both  worshipped and the hunter got back his eyesight. While sleeping at home Sri Padmavathi Amman came in their dream and advised them to inform to Sri Kundthavai, the sister of Sri Rajaraja. Kundhavai also visited the hill and worshipped Sri Parswanath and built this temple.

There is also a cave before the Jeenalayam with beds for Jain monks. It is a evidence that Jain monks stayed in this cave and they taught and extended medicinal services also to the local villagers.

The temple was maintained during the three rulers and their officers of Chozha, Pandiya and Vijayanagara periods. Rajarajan-I, Rajendran-I, Kulothunga-I, gave donations to this jeenalayam for burning perpetual lamps. During Rajaraja’s 9th year rule his officer Malaiyaman Athi Chokkan Rajakambeera Sethirayan of Kiliyur  gave donation   to this temple for neivedhyam.

One day festival of Narkatchi is celebrated in the month of Tamil Thai and 7 days festival also celebrated during the month of April - May.  In addition to the festivals devotees used to Circumambulate the hill and pray Sri Parswanath for fulfilling their wishes.

HOW TO REACH:
Nearest city is the Ulundurpet and Thirunarungundram is about 10 KM distance   towards Thiruvennai Nallur.
Town bus is available from Ulundoorpet.

LOCATION:CLICK HERE






 Moolavar Sri Appaandainathar 

 Pandya’s inscription


A painting of Sthalapurana

The entrance arch with first and 24th theerthangara's vahana
---OM SHIVAYA NAMA--- 

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

BAGAVAN SRI 1008 ADHINATHAR DIGAMBARAR JAIN TEMPLE AT KOLIYANUR - THE REMAINS OF JAINISM IN THONDAI NADU - GOLDEN JUBILEE AHIMSA WALK .

05th February 2018.
After visiting the Thirunarungundram Sri Parswanathar Hill cave temple, many people wished to go to this Jeenalayam, since this place Koliyanur , is on the way to Chennai. I was little hesitant to visit this temple, since it is a newly constructed Jeenalayam. Since I was an odd person and do not have any choice, so went along with them. After visiting this Jeenalayam, I was very happy to know that the Jeenalayam has got a historical value.

Deity : Sri Adhinathar
Some of the details are as follows...

It was told that Mr Ananda Kumar, BDO of this area belongs to Jain community identified on this place / land,  once existed  a Jeenalayam. Portion of the land was recovered from the encroachers and this new Jeenalayam was built under the head of Sri Vishveshvar Maharaj.

During the earth excavation fragments of old Jeenalayams pillars, inscription tablets, statues were unearthed and installed.  Manasthambam and alter are at the front. The Jeenalayam was constructed  with sanctum, antarala and mahamandapam.  It was told that the Adhinathar was similar to Mel Sithamur  jeenalayam moolavar. Since size was big, sanctum was built after positioning Moolavar sri Adhinathar. 24 Theerthangarars marble statues are installed in the mandapam.

Sannadhi for Kashta Nivaran Shethrabalakar, Sri Adhinathar ( this statue is of 1500 years old and the same was unearthed during expansion of Chennai meenambakkam airport) and Sri Padmavathy.

It was surprised to note that the devotees believes  like hindus worshiping Kashta Nivarana Shethrabalakar to relieve from problems in life and to get rid of those problems, special poojas are offered on Ashtami thithi day which occurs during descending moon.

HOW TO REACH:
Koliyanur is on the way from Villupuram to Pondichery, about 10 KM from Villupuram
Koliyanur is also on the route From Chennai to Panruti.

LOCATION: CLICK HERE

 This statue is of 1500 years old and the same was unearthed during expansion of Chennai Meenambakkam airport

 An unearthed Statue

 An unearthed Statues

 Sri Padmavathy amman





 An unearthed inscription Tablet.

Kashta Nivarana shethra balakar 

---OM SHIVAYA NAMA---

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

THE REMAINS OF JAINISM IN THONDAI NADU ( தொண்டை நாடு ) - THEERTHANGARARS ( TIRTHANKARA ) AT NERKUNAM AND ONGUR – THE GOLDEN JUBILEE AHIMSA WALK .

05th February, 2018.
When I reminded for the details of this February 2018, month’s Ahimsa Walk, Mrs Sasikala had sent the invitation to these  two places. She also told that the walk will be  over around 11.00 hrs and group will be proceeding to Thirunarungundram, Sri Parswanathar cave temple  for Narpali thiruvizha.  Wanted to learn more about Jainism, so decided to continue the journey with the group, even-though I had some important work to attend in the Evening.   

As usual started our journey from Adambakkam Jain Temple, around 06.00 hrs through a van. Reached our first destination Narkunam, which is on the way to Sunambedu from Thozhupedu (bridge ). The devotees who are proceeding to Thorunarungundram also joined with us.

தொண்டை நாட்டின் சமனத்தடையங்களைத்தேடி ... 50வது மரபு நடை...

NERKUNAM.
The Golden jubilee Ahimsa walk was lead by Mr Thanajayan. The walk went through two streets of the Village with slogans praising of Jainism and the people of the Village for protecting the Theerthangarar.  Finally Mr Thanajayan explained the importance of preserving the heritage monuments and sculptures.

The Theerthangarar sculpture was unearthed under a tamarind tree. Now the Theerthangarar is kept near a compound wall of a private house. Except face the other portions of the sculpture is found in good Condition including squatting lions on the base.  The sculpture has both samaratharis and Yakshan & Yakshi, which are the unique features of this sculpture. The identification of the Theethangarar could not be done, Since the lanchanam / symbol  is not clear.
LOCATION : CLICK HERE




 The place, where the sculpture was unearthed

 Ahimsa walk 


ONGUR ( KARIKAMPATTU )
The second destination to Ongur ( Karikkam pattu, a Village on the way to Tindivanam ). This Theerthangarar  sculpture is installed  in front of a Shiva temple by the side of the National Highway, before Thindivanam. Hope this sculpture is unfinished  and there is no proportion to the mukkudai and the theerthangarar. There is no samaratharis, even The base is not visible due to concreting of the floor.
LOCATION: CLICK HERE

--- OM SHIVAYA NAMA---

Thursday, 11 January 2018

THE REMAINS OF JAINISAM AT ENATHUR, ASANELLIKUPPAM, UPPUKULAM ( ARAKONAM), ARUMPAKKAM AND KAVANUR – AN AHIMSA WALK.

07th January 2018.
I was fortunate to join with the Jain community Ahimsa walk scheduled on 7th January 2018.  The places visited are  on the route from Kanchipuram to Arakonam in Vellore District. The Ahimsa walk was planned to visit the heritage sites related to Jainism, where Theerthangarar statues  are un earthed and installed. We know that in and around Kanchipuram Jainisam was flourished once.  Many Jain temples were constructed, when it was in peak. After 9th century Jainisam started diminishing due to raise of Saivam.

Started our journey from Chennai Adambakkam around 06.00 hrs through a van. Picked up friends on the way and reached our first stop of Enathur near Kanchipuram. In addition to us Heritage enthusiastic Jains also joined in 4 cars. Though this visit to Enathur Mahaveer temple was not planned, covered on the way to Asa Nellikuppam.

ENATHUR
This Mahaveer was unearthed near this place. Originally it was a theerthangarar  and reworked on face and mukkudai. The Simha also added at the base of the statue. The Statue was little eroded condition. On the top both side only samaram was carved without samaratharis. After rework the Mahaveer was installed in a newly constructed temple and Kumbhabhishekam was also performed. We are happy to worship on the 48th day ..ie final day of mandala pooja.




ASANELLIKUPPAM.
It was told that this theerthangarar was found in a thorny bush & knee deep sludge. It was brought to the Vinayagar temple  of the village, on the previous day of our visit. After breakfast, Started our Ahimsa Walk up to the temple. Villagers also joined in the walk and Children joined at the temple. The purpose of the walk was explained to the Villagers and a interactive story was told  by our Nivedita Louis, the writer and blogger.  Note books were also distributed to the students.

The theerthangarar’s mukkudai, legs and hands are found damaged. In this statue samaratharis are also shown on the top of the statue, both are also damaged to some extend. It was told that the statue  may be of 1000 years old.





ARUMPAKKAM.
After the visit to Asanellikuppam we headed to wards Arakonam. In the mean time, it was came to know that a Jain sculpture is kept in a Shiva Temple at Arumpakkam. After making confirmation we reached the Arumpakkam Shiva Temple.

The theerthangarar is kept under the Bhodhi tree along with Nagar and Vinayagar. The theerthangarar statue is in a very good condition. The Mukkudai, Thorana, Samaratharis with their ornaments , hair style & dresses are clearly shown. It was learnt that efforts are on to construct a separate sannadhi exclusively for this theerthangarar.


UPPUKUKAM ( ARAKONAM)
This place uppukulam is part of Arakonam Town. The Theerthangarar statue is behind a Perumal temple with a narrow access from the main road. This theerthangarar is under open sky and it was learned that Arakonam Jains worship this theerthangarar. The statue is slightly eroded condition.  This statue also has the Mukkudai and samaratharis. 3 Squatting lions are shown on the base of the statue.

In front of Theerthangarar a manthira kal is also installed. This manthira kal is engraved with symbols on both side. Also it has some epigraphic inscriptions, which we could not read. The purpose is not known.

KAVANUR
Reached our final stop of our Ahimsa Walk. A Parsuvanathar  statue is kept in the Kava Narayana Perumal Temple. This statue was taken from a dilapidated temple, which is in the midst of ground nut field. ( encroached ) The statue is in excellent condition. Parsuvanathar is in standing posture with 5 headed snake hood. The attendants are on both side. Visited the dilapidated temple site also. In a brief meeting at the temple, new participants were introduced  and  a book on Jain temples in Nadu Nadu was also presented.

It was learnt that this statue was stolen and was waiting in a ship to export. Three days the ship was stranded  in the port with a huge sum as demurrage   and moved after the Statue was taken out of the ship.   






Had our lunch hosted by the owner of the Balaji bus service.  After our lunch  started out return journey to Chennai. I sincerely extend my thanks to Sasikala devi who organised this wonderful Ahimsa Walk and the participants.
---OM SHIVAYA NAMA---