Shiva Krupa

Temples of India signify the very root of Hinduism and its culture. To be worth of the trust reposed by our ancestors, it becomes our primary responsibility to sustain our heritage for generations to come.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Save Heritage

People simply cry foul when they see dilapidated Temples. Many villagers do not even shed a tear for the gross neglect of structures that tell stories of the past. Very few of them feel sad about itand express their inability to do anything. Outsiders are keen in taking photographs and get them published. Executive officers seldom turn to those Temples where there is no revenue. It is now upto the well wishers to take up the renovation on their shoulders and initiate awareness among villagers and offer some assistance. There are some service oriented groups who voluntarily come forward and do their best. Some are engaged in cleaning the premises and painting the walls. Some others take additional efforts to bring aid from outside. They identify the philanthropists who offer flowers/ ashtabandhana/kalasams/ Electrical repairs/ Clothes/Invitation/food etc  and collect them in the form of kind or cash. It is a remarkable and selfless job for which one has to travel a lot ,spend their time in meeting people and organising them properly.

When our attention was drawn towards the Siva Temple at Mangudi, the very presence of encroached houses presented an eyesore. Even the local Panchayat has not spared the Temple land. They have built a small building for some social purpose. However,it is always kept locked whenever we visit the place. Saving the Temple was considered as important and any delay might cause complete destruction as happened in the case of Ambal shrine.

The renovation was estimated to cost Rs one Lakh as the old structure of Ambal shrine could not be saved. To start with, plastering work of Ekambareswara sannidhi was taken up and completed within a month. As there was no support from the village upto this stage, our Sabha had to rely on our own members to start work at Ambal shrine. Two members came forward with liberal contribution which alone made the work move forward.

 The latest update is that the new shrine has taken shape with a Vimanam and "Varga" work will commence next week and expected to be completed before the onset of the monsoon. A new Idol of Goddess Kamakshi has to be installed as the original one is missing. In addtion to this, new idols of Ganapathi, Subramanya and Chandikeswara are also to be made and installed. Once the occupants leave the premises, the urgent need for the Temple is a compound wall. It is only after completing the above jobs, consecration can be planned .  Those who wish to join the Holy cause may send their contributions to " Mangudi Ekambar Thiruppani Sabha", A/c No: 1677716, City Union Bank, Thirunageswaram.

Our attention was also drawn towards another dilapidated Temple at Achuthamangalam, near Srivanchiam, Nannilam Taluk. The west facing Dharmeeswarar Temple, worshipped by Yudhishtira and other Pandavas is in a pathetic state. with lot of encroachments all around. Like in Mangudi, the Ambal shrine has fallen down and the Deity is kept in the Ardhamandapam of Swami sannidhi. Bricks are missing at many palces in the structure which is already plagued by the presence of weeds. Our Sabha has sent the first instalment to save Swami Sannidhi from further damage and the plastering work will start shortly.

Two devotees, one at Achuthamangalam and the other at Pudukottai have taken tremendous efforts to save badly damaged Temples of their places. In order to support their efforts, our Sabha has arranged for paints for the new structures at Kasi Viswanatha Temple at Achuthamangalam and Chidambareswara Temple at Thondaiman Nallur.

Under the present circumstances, lot of volunteers need to take part in field work. The task before us is huge and at the present rate it may take long time to attend every Temple. It is with this view we appeal to like minded people to do service in their region, invite funds from people whom they know and set time frame for the completion of each project. May we also appeal to everybody to contribute atleast one per cent of their income in preserving our Heritage?