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.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Calling Philanthropists

The purpose of writing blogs on Dilapidated Temples is to inspire the people and focus their attention towards early rebuilding of the Heritage structures. Most of us know very well that these posts carry serious message of concern on the utter neglect shown and the failure to preserve the ancient structures. It is therefore sincerely hoped to find philanthropists who can help preserve the historic Temples. At the same time an equal amount of involvement is expected from the locals who can maintain the Temples after restoration.

If we  take a semicircular tour from Thiruvidaimarudur to Aduthurai, we come across many Temples which cry for immediate attention in  small villages en route. To start the tour, a 3 km drive towards north of Thiruvidaimarudur takes us to a place called Thirukkudiththittai also known as Thirukuzhithattai where we find the Temple of Chola period. Sri Vedhanayaki Sametha Sri Vedhapureeswara swami Temple , not a very big Temple though, was in ruins sometime back. The villagers began the restoration work and removed the wild growth from all vimanams. During this process, they had to dismantle the structure and reassemble it stone by stone by carefully numbering them.

The Temple carries Chola inscriptions on the walls and it is believed to be of Raja Raja's period. On the outer walls we notice devakoshtams for Ganapathi, Dhakshinamurthi, Mahavishnu, Brahma and Durga. The Mahamandapam is common for both Swami and Ambal Sannadhis.

A broken idol of Sage Agasthya is found in the Mahamandapam. Sun's rays fall on the Main Deity in the Tamil month of Chithirai ( from 3rd -13th) and again in the month of Avani (from 1st to 10th). at 6 o'clock in the morning.

A sculpture showing  Shiva Linga worship of a devotee (a King ?) with his family is seen on the outer wall. It is possible that he is closely associated with the Temple.

It is pretty hard to find the Temple tank though it is right behind the sanctum. It is due to the presence of thick growth of plants surrounding the water body. The villagers are taking steps to remove the plants and make the area usable.

Since the painting of the structure is the only major work pending as of now, one can expect that the Temple will be consecrated in the next couple of months.The villagers expect help from outside the village to meet the Kumbabhishekam expenses.

We need to return to Thiruvidaimarudur to proceed towards South wherein we find row of Temples in seven places which were sponsored by Kings and Philanthropists . These endowments were called "Kattalais" and the places themselves were called as "Mudhal Kattalai, Irandaam Kattalai"and so on. They extend upto Eravancheri and Thiruveezhimizhalai.

Of the seven places, only few are in good condition. Others are either dilapidated or partly renovated. The Temples of those places which are under the grip of other religions are worst affected as there are nobody to take care of them.

A visit to "Mudhal Kattalai"makes us painful. As the Ambal Sannadhi is not there, it is being built . Foundation work is over and it has come upto the ground level. The compound wall is yet to be built. The idols are kept inside the thatched shed and the Puja is held there. The villagers pray for early completion of work and leave it to God Himself.

"Irandaam Kattalai " must be hardly 2 km from Mudhal kattalai. Big cracks are found on the walls of the Temple here. The Temple Sri Kamakshi Sametha Sri Kailasa natha swami Temple of Irandaam Kattalai was under the maintainence of Agraharam which was located close to the shrine. As the migration of people from this village started, the downslide started for the Temple for want of caretakers. Had those migrated persons continue to contribute for the maintainance of the Temple, such damage might have been prevented. May good sense prevail atleast from now onwards, so that the natives of the place visit their ancestral village and take care of the Temple.

Aaraam Kattalai is now known as Ammankudi, a famous shrine for Goddess Durga. Kailasanatha Swami Temple of Ammankudi is maintained well as people come here in good numbers.  
All these Temples have agricultural lands gifted by Emperors and well wishers. Though they come under HR&CE department of the Government no effort has been made to renovate them. Those who are still living in these villages are helpless and remain as mere witnesses. But they are ready to contribute whatever they can. Hence the arrival of Philanthropists to these Temples becomes the need of the hour. It becomes the way of the world to see that some Philanthropists are busy in building Temples abroad and being appreciated by one and all. Gone are the days  when special focus was given to rural Temples sung in Thevaram Hymns. It is not known why their successors fail to continue the great job done by their ancestors.

We once again appeal to the natives of the respective villages to compensate the loss caused due to their migration. It is meaningless to build a new Temple in the colonies where they reside in urban areas and ignore the place where they were brought up. Let them remember that these old Temples carry forward the power generated due to worship made in many centuries. Let them also remember that many of these shrines were built by great souls who never expected anything in return. The Temples do carry forward their glory through Sthala Puranams, the age old Sthala Vrikshams and the Holy Tanks apart from the deities  which are housed. This aspect is totally absent in Modern Temples. Despite these missing factors, people stand in long queues , buy special dharshan tickets ,purchase "Prasadams "from stalls and offer generously in the Hundis. It becomes our moral responsibility to appeal to the Philanthropists to come forward in rebuilding the old Temples of the land. We as ordinary citizens can also contribute to the Holy cause by offering atleast 2% of our income and support the affordable persons who may contribute liberally.   

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Renovating Dilapidated Temples

It is only God's grace that makes wonders. The first look at the dilapidated Temple at Karuppur near Aduthurai made us to think that very little could be done to save the old structure as the entire shrine was facing collapse at any time especially after a monsoon. It was firmly under the grip of very thick roots of huge trees and it was impossible to save even a small part of it. Moreover the temple was built with bricks right from the foundation. The bricks had become too old to withstand the load over the weak foundation. It was too dangerous to cut a part of the tree as the bricks would give way leading to the collapse of the sanctum and it was also too risky to do the job which could cause serious injuries to the artisans. However, the pulling down of the trees along with the old structure was done very carefully and a new foundation was laid with granite stones.  The sanctum  is raised over the raised platform and the job is expected to be completed before the end of the month. As the Ambal shrine had crumbled and only the debris could be seen, we had to build a new sannadhi for the Goddess in the same place after laying a new foundation. New sannadhis are to be built for Ganapathi,Subramanya & Chandikeswara. A compound wall has to be built around the Temple complex.
Sikanatha swami Temple at Kottur is being renovated without losing its old splendour. Terracotta figures on the vimanam are carefully renewed. The granite slabs of the front mandapam gad to be numbered and dismantled to remove the roots of the trees that had gone deep and developed cracks. Now the slabs are reassembled properly and the whole structure presents the original look. Work on Ambal sannadhi has just started.  A wall has to be constructed around the Temple and the locals are looking for donors for the same. Interested persons may contact 09585160960 for more details.

The locals at Enangudi term it as a miracle as it was unbelievable before three months that such a ruined temple would be restored back so soon. Lord Shiva has answered our prayers and the Kumbabishekam was conducted on 9th July after undergoing a marathon renovation work in a record time. Each part of the Temple had to be renovated and that was the reason why we thought it was nothing but God's grace that made it happen.

As we were on the way to visit two more dilapidated temples near Karaikal, we had to pass through a recently renovated Shiva temple at P. Kondhagai near Thittacheri. A brilliant job has been done over there and all those involved deserve praise. Lord Panchavaneswarar in huge Linga form gives dharshan in the sanctum.

Panangattur got the name as we still see numerous palm trees around the place.  A big Lingam under a thatched shed is seen near a cluster of palm trees. A shrine for Him is being planned. 

The ruins of the Shiva Temple in Panangattur is  similar to what we have seen in Karuppur. The brick structure has too many cracks and the roots of the tall trees have penetrated through the gaps. A new sannadhi in the same place is being planned after pulling down the ruined sanctum. The Balalayam ceremony has been conducted some 10 days back in order to start the renovation work.

The Shiva  Temple  at Kuthalam near Narimanam has many cracks on the roof of the front mandapam. It has to be repaired first and finishing touches are to be given for the terracotta figures before painting them. Compound wall has gone at some places and immediate attention is required to arrest further damage.    Since CPCL and ONGC are closely located, their employees can lend support in rebuilding the Chola Temple and consecrate it at an early date. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Vaippu sthalams under renovation

There are times when we are blessed to have dharshan of Temples whose whereabouts were not known earlier.  Many such things do happen even though we never attempt to see the details associated with them. They just come on the way to prove the point that we must be extremely lucky to be blessed. Our recent visits to Cauvery Delta were an eye opener to understand the Grace of God in this way.

When we were involved in the renovation work at Peravur, we were shown the dilapidated Temple at Karuppur ,located nearby. Kaanchivaai is another place where there is a Shiva Temple that can be reached from Karuppur. A thought struck my mind when I recalled the Hymn of Sundarar sung at Nannilam which is not far away from this location.

" கச்சியன் இன் கருப்பூர் விருப்பன் கருதிக் கசிவார் உச்சியன்...."  This is how the Hymn goes. The term Kachchi is another form of referring Kanchi. Instead of assuming that this term refers to Kanchipuram, it looks apt if we consider Kaanchivaai as the real meaning of it. It is also supported by the fact that Karuppoor is hardly 3 km from it. So it is not wrong to assume that both Kanchivaai and Karuppur of this region are Thevara vaippu sthalams. At present many authors believe that Karuppur is the one which is on Kumbakonam- Anaikarai road.

Similarly there is no explanation available for the whereabouts of a place called Kooroor mentioned by Thirugnanasambandhar. When we were travelling from Nachiyarkoil to Nannilam, we saw a tall Raja Gopuram close to the road. We stopped the car when we saw the name board as "Koogoor" . I suddenly remembered the Hymn of Sambandhar and went straight to the Temple with the hope that it could be "Kooroor"referred in Thevaram. Our assumption was right when we entered the Temple where we could see many inscriptions of Chola period.

This place finds a place in the first Hymn of Gnanasambandhar's "Kshetra kovai"
" ஆரூர் தில்லை அம்பலம் வல்லம் நல்லம் வட கச்சியும் அச்சிறுபாக்கம் நல்ல  கூரூர்  குடவாயில்....."
It is nice to see that the renovation work is under progress at this Temple.

The dilapidated Temple at Karuppur was in a neglected state and required immediate attention as most of the sannadhis and murthis were missing. Hence it became imperative to build a new Temple at the same place as the old structure had completely collapsed. Work was started about a month ago and the foundation for Swami and Ambal sannadhis were constructed . Lot more work remains to be carried out to finish the project.

An almost similar situation prevailed at Pazhi Anjiya Nallur near Thiruneelakkudi,off Aduthurai. Ambal sannadhi was not there and a new one had to be constructed. Foundation was laid and the sannadhi is exected to be ready in a month.

Work at Enangudi is in full swing as the consecration ceremony is fixed for 9th July. After renovating the vimanams of the Temple, we had to rebuild the compound wall at many places after removing the deeply penetrated trees. New bricks are to be laid over the roof of the Mahamandapam to prevent leakage of rain water. The small Gopuram at the entrance has to be plastered and painted within a month.

Swami sannadhi vimanam was taken up for renovation at Sikanathaswami Temple, Kottur, near Thirukkannapuram. Gopuja and Rudra Homam were organised recently by the locals to seek the blessings of the Lord.

It is really pleasant when we are blessed to serve those places which were not known to us earlier. The unparalleled support of the locals makes us more enthusiastic and drive us vigorously. There are many vaippu sthalams which are still left uncared. Philanthropists should renovate them before it is too late.  That is the reason why we have been insisting on field work rather than simply talking about Heritage and glory of the past. If we fail to save the remaining Temples from ruin, we will be left with nothing except the recorded History. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Save Temples from Destruction

The Cauvery delta seems to have too many Temples in dilapidated state. The present condition is the outcome of  not less than a century year old neglect. The structures would not have suffered to this extent had the locals paid enough attention at appropriate time. It is quite common that the growth of plants take place more during the  monsoon. The newly formed plants, held between the stones and nourished by the monsoon are either not noticed or left unattended as there is no accountability for the maintenance of the structures. Even the presence of few service oriented guys in a village could have made the difference and saved them from destruction.

Removal of the ""python like "roots from the Vimanams, Gopurams and Mandapams has become a big challenge now. The thick roots can be removed only when the old structure is removed stone by stone. Reassembling these numbered stones is also a tough job which is normally carried out by using cranes. Thus it requires huge amount of money to do the entire job. That's not enough. The gaps created by reassembling the stones must be plugged well to avoid the repetition of the old story.

There are many places where there are no signs of the old sannadhi built in the past. In such places, we need to build a new one as part of the Temple. But we can still save the existing sannadhis however bad the condition is. Temples constructed out of bricks and lime are the worst affected as the roots penetrate deeply and cause extensive damage and in such cases restoration of old structure becomes impossible.

As the situation demands immediate action, we appeal through these columns to act swiftly and save as many old Temples as we can. Though it is a welcome change that many people identify the Temples that are neglected and call for renovation, very few of them involve themselves to do the ground work. Those who are supposed to indulge more are interested in doing other activities that will fetch them money and fame.
When the Temple at Peravur was visited some two years back, the need for renovation was felt as the shine was facing a situation of now or never. The Ambal sannadhi had gone probably a century ago and the only sannadhi of Adhitheswara was under threat. The locals also shouldered the responsibility and came forward to renovate the Vimanam of the Sanctum. We built a new sannadhi for Ambal and the consecration was held on 9th April,2014. The Temple now presents a new look but the old face was left untouched. Thevaram Hymns related to this place were inscribed on a Tablet and fixed at the mahamandapam.

Not far away from Peravur is a place called Karuppur where another dilapidated Temple was identified for immediate renovation. Among the idols, only Ganapathi and  Linga Murthi are there. All other idols are lost and a heap of sand where the Ambal sannadhi was once present is no longer there! The Sanctum has a good vimanam over it but the walls that hold the vimanam are threatened by many trees which are deep rooted. So the entire structure is beyond repair. The walls made of bricks and lime are almost crumbled and wait for the inevitable to happen. Hence it has become necessary to rebuild the whole structure to house the moola moorthi back. Bala sthapanam ceremony was held recently to pave way for the construction work. The Temple complex was levelled and the work will start on 13th April.

Another Temple at Enangudi near Nannilam was visited where the locals showed interest in retaining the Temple. Work on Swami Vimanam was in progress and all that they wanted was to speed up the work with external help. We assured all cooperation and the work on  vimanams of other sannadhis were started next week and we expect it to be over by next week. The consecration is planned for June 2014. The roof and outer walls are to be repaired before that and the villagers look for help from philanthropists.

As assured by us, a new sannadhi was constructed for Subamanya within a month at Korkai, near Kumbakonam. The locals are engaged in building a sannadhi for Vinayaka in the outer prakaram and the only work remaining would be the construction of a compound wall around the Temple complex.
The fact remains that even affordable people do not come forward to take up the Holy task of restoring our Heritage structures. Those who earn in lakhs and crores seldom think about this! Amazing wealth seems to be the way of life for them. Regardless of the amount of wealth we possess , it is commonly forgotten that the real master of all wealth on earth is The Almighty and we are blessed to enjoy whatever is given by Him. At the same time we should not forget to pay back to Him and the Society and the failure of which will lead us to Hell. This is how Saint Appar has warned us in his Hymn on Thiruvaiyaru:

"இரப்பவர்க்கு ஈய வைத்தார் ஈபவர்க்கு அருளும் வைத்தார்
கரப்பவர் தங்கட்கு எல்லாம் கடு நரகங்கள் வைத்தார்..."

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Dilapidated Temples near Nannilam

Most of the villages in Chola Kingdom had Shiva Temples. The Emperors had shown keen interest in preserving them . Their efforts to bring granite stones from far away places is commendable. More interesting aspect is the usage of these granite slabs when there was no devices to cut /grind or lift the stones. By creating endowments to maintain the Temples, the Kings themselves set examples to the future generations the need to preserve our Heritage. Is it not betrayal of trust when many Temples are left uncared ? As expressed through many blogs, it is worth reiterating the urgent need to renovate and restore the dilapidated temples rather than publishing photos, collecting database/directory  etc. That does n't mean that these activities are not important. The all the more important job in front of us is to take up field work.
The recent visit to two villages near Nannilam had revealed how badly the Heritage structures are neglected both by Govt and people. Of course ,the names of these places are unheard for many. The first one was at Enangudi. It was an wonderful opportunity to visit Adhalaiyur on the way. Since most natives of the village have migrated to other places, their houses were bought by  the other religious community. When the Hindus have become minority, it was still more difficult to renovate the Temple. The untiring efforts of some people of this place in getting support from outside must be appreciated. Finally the Temple at Aadhalaiyur was consecrated in June 2013.

Located some 2 km from the Nannilam- Nagapattinam  main road, Anandhanayaki sametha Bheemeswara Swami Temple can best be accessed from Sannanallur( 4 km). The Swambu Lingam is said to have been worshipped by Bhima, the Pandava. Hence the Deity is called Bhimeswara, though it may also be assumed that the name Bhima is mentioned in Sri Rudram ( " Namo Bhimaa ya cha.." ) , hence the name. Ganapathi at the entrance is big and rightly named as Sundhara Ganapathi ( Azhagu Vinayakar).

When enquired about the nearby Shiva Temples of the region, we were  blessed to know about a less known Temple at Enangudi. A 15 min drive from Aadhalayur took us to Enangudi where the Temple was found at the end of the village. Only paddy fields were seen in front of the temple although there is a road right upto the Temple. When asked about the reason why the place was called Enangudi, the locals said that it was otherwise known as Gnanmkudi and it attained the present name later. I was not convinced as the tamil word " Ënam"meant  pig and there could be some relation between Varahavathar of Mahavishnu. Upon reaching the Temple I was in tears when I saw the Murthi of Varahar in the Mahamandapam.

The Moolavar, Aalandhuaiyaar could have been called as Varageswarar and the name got changed later. At the same time, there was no banyan tree to justify the name of the Deity as Aalandhuraiyar. The sthala Vruksham is said to be " Maghizha maram"   which is seen near Navagrahas which are unusually facing the same direction. But an old tree of Vilvam is seen opposite to Dhakshinamurthi on the Prakaram which could be the Holy Tree of this temple.

Renovation of Swami Vimanam and those of Ganapathi and Vishnu were on the way and it appeared as if it would take a long time to complete it. Strangely the Vishnu shrine accommodates Panduranga with His consort. It will be apt if Panduranga Bhakthas take up the renovation of this sannadhi.

The locals were informed that we would consider renovating the shrines of Ambal, Subramanya, Gajalakshmi and Chandikeswara so that the only left over job will be to repair the compound wall which has developed cracks at some places. The roof of the Mahamandapam is damaged badly due to the deeply rooted trees. It was told clearly that the jobs in progress must be completed by April to enable us to do our part.

As originally planned, we proceeded to Kottur , about 3 km from Enangudi. It was a heart- breaking  scene to watch the dilapidated Temple of Munkudumi eesar ( The Shiva Lingam has "Munkudumi "on top as practised by Chidambaram Dhikshidars.) The Mahamandapams of both Swami and Ambal are in ruins. In the absence of compound wall, the Devakoshta murthis are either mutilated or stolen. Even the Ambal (Moolavar) is not spared).Anti socials have used the prakaram and liquor bottles are found scattered there. Though the locals are keen to start the renovation work, nothing has materialised so far. Since the Temple belongs to Chola period, people  took notes of the inscriptions but never turned back.

Look at the exquisite sculpture of Ambal made of terracotta. The multi folded dress and Her jatabharam(hair style) are extremely beautiful. Can we afford to lose such outstanding contributions of our ancestors? We took it seriously at the back of our mind that something should be done urgently to save the temple from extinction.

An appeal through this column is not just to bring sympathy but an emergency call. If 100 persons in a village can contribute Rs 100 for ten years in an RD account maintained for the Temple of their village, the proceeds of this account will be more than Rs 12 Lakhs. Can't each village do the renovation work from this account and maintain the Temple in good condition?  It looks simple! Where are the takers?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Dilapidated Temples near Aduthurai - Part II

Sivapurani Temple 
Someone rightly said that Culture was deep seated and civilisation was only skin deep. By saying Culture , we mean tradition, customs, beliefs, and character. The Vedic Culture was evolved further by spiritual leaders who traveled by foot across the length and breadth of the country many times . Though the country was ruled by independent kings in different parts of the nation, they were united by a common bond of culture and religion. The saints who were the torch bearers of Vedic culture were respected everywhere by the ruling dynasties. Although the post vedic age witnessed a rebellion against the old at the advent of Jainism and Budhism , it only resulted in the affirmation of the core vedic values through Puranas, Agamas and Dhamashastras.

Even though the emperors fought with each other, they never damaged the temples of the conquered territory. It was only when foreigners invaded the nation, many Heritage sites were damaged. Ruins of the Temples at places like Hampi stand as testimony to the damage caused by the invaders. Over the past five decades, dramatic things have happened which made people to wander from place to place. It made a big dent in our Heritage and cultural values. Dilapidation followed soon as there were no caretakers. Most of them stand as symbols of neglect.

The Cauvery delta, once considered as the rice bowl of south is slowly getting converted into a concrete jungle. Nobody seems to shed tears at the sorry state of affairs prevailing over there. People lose faith in agriculture as there is practically no water in Cauvery. Even the dry beds are not spared. Sand mining activity at various places poses great threat to the river system. It is under this context, dilapidated Temples wait for philanthropists to renovate them.

Many people are busy in collecting data, writing stories and looking at inscriptions but very few of them take steps to rebuild the literally lost Temples. Unless field work is given priority, no amount of fact finding work will be useful. Writing blogs and publishing pictures of the Temples can only draw sympathy but very rarely inspire to contribute and do some field activity.

It is a known fact that Temples cannot be renovated overnight. But there cannot be a second opinion that spade work for the activity need not wait for years. We need to ask ourselves whether we have played a role, however small it may be to start the work. We may visit numerous Temples and write about them ; have the Temples benefited out of our visits?

The first part of our post on the dilapidated Temples near Aduthurai was published last year in this blog. This part continues to focus on the neglected Temples of this region.

Maha Mandapam - Sivapurani
Sri Aadhitheswara Swami Temple was in bad shape and our efforts to renovate the Temple paid dividends. The Main Sanctum was renovated and the “Parivaara Sannadhis” were built with the help of donors. As the old shrine of Gnanambikai was totally lost, Ardhra Foundation involved itself in building a new shrine for the Goddess inside the Temple complex with the help of philanthropists. The work was completed and the consecration will take place on 9th April.

Sri Agastheeswara Temple at Karuppur is yet another example for total neglect over many decades. After inspiring the locals to clean the premises and renovate Nandhi Mandapam and Chandikeswara shrine , the Foundation will take up the renovation and rebuilding work of Swami & Ambal Sannadhis.

The historic Temple at Keezha Korkai near Patteeswaram off Kumbakonam was once covered with wild growth of trees which penetrated through granite walls and vimanams. The renovation committee tried hard and found donors for renovating the shrine without altering the original glory. They numbered each stone of the stone and the Mahamandapam and dismantled the structure. The stones were replaced in their original places with the help of cranes after completely removing the giant roots of the plants. Since the sannadhis of Ganapathi and Subramanya were lost long back, the idols were kept in the Mahamandapam. A local person has come forward to construct a new shrine for Ganesa and AF has accepted to build a new sannadhi for Subramanya. The work is likely to be completed by March.

It was shocking to see more dilapidated Temples near Aduthurai. The first one we visited was at Manalur where the Temples of Shiva and Vishnu face each other. The front Mandapam is in very bad shape. It is dangerously hanging as the roots of big trees try to uproot it at any time. Swami sannadhi faces west and that of Ambal looks towards South. The condition is so bad and renovation work, if started now can save the Temple from extinction.

The very first sight at Sri Manikeswara Swami Temple at Sivapurani (Probably named after the Goddess Sivapoorani who is also called as Maragathambikai), a village near Thirulokki, off Thirupanandal was horrible. As there was no compound wall in the front, some anti- social persons have illegally dug sand around Nandhi Mandapam , as a result of which the Mandapam is precariously hanging with the help of some bricks.

The Sanctum of Swami and Ambal are also breached near the bottom. Tall trees pierce through the strong walls and the Mahamandapam is open to sky at one place. The roof of ardhamandapam has fallen down. Some idols have been defaced by vandals. Some locals are still anxious to see their Temple back. It needs well -wishers not just to pay sympathy but to contribute their might. Our Foundation is working to arrive at the final cost of the restoration work to decide how best we can join in this noble cause. We sincerely request devotees to see the Temples like this and help whatever is possible. It is our hope that this appeal will reach the bottom of the hearts of all those who have faith in our cultural Heritage.     

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Peravur awaits consecration

Temples flourished when people preferred to stay in those places where there was abundant supply of water for irrigation and drinking. In that way, Chola Kingdom was blessed by the river Cauvery and its branches. Numerous Temples were built and renovated by the Cholas and endowments were created to take care of the places of worship. Queen Sembian Madhevi started replacing the brick structures with granite as this move would not only make the Temple strong but involved less maintenance cost if properly maintained. Little did they anticipate that the following generations would allow wild growth of plants over the structures and destabilise them. The negligence on the part of the locals has resulted into the loss of many ancient structures fully or partly. It is sad that many such Temples come under the control of HR&CE dept of the Government.

Rebuilding /Renovating becomes too expensive in these days. Even the Government prefers the work to be undertaken by the donors by mobilizing major part of the expenditure. Unless the locals find donors who come in a big way, the Temple is  abandoned and left to the mercy of the Nature to take the toll slowly. Identifying these structures , creating a database , writing columns , publishing photographs do not bring adequate relief to the dilapidated Temples. It requires the direct involvement and attention of someone who can talk to the villagers and create awareness. Of late, people have started realising that the rural Temples needed immediate attention. As they are not financially sound to extend monetary help, they prefer to give help physically at the time of construction and consecration. Philanthropists should make use of this situation and try to help them so that the Heritage is preserved.

Peravur, a "Thevara Vaippu sthalam" is a sleepy hamlet which depends mostly on agricultural income. As people started migrating to other green pastures, the Shiva Temple that belong to the Chola period was left uncared. It had lost its compound wall. What's more! Even the shrine of the Goddess remains untraceable as it would have fallen down completely many decades ago. No attempt was made to reconstruct it during the last consecration some fifty years back. The situation was more disturbing few years ago as the Mahamandapam in front of Sri Adhitheswara was open to sky at many places. One could see parts of the broken bricks that fell over a Shiva Lingam beneath the roof. The idol of the Goddess was seen inside the Ardhamandapam. However ,Puja was conducted once in a day though there were very few patrons.

It was understood that the HR&CE dept granted some amount which could be utilised only to build the compound wall on two sides and the remaining sides were yet to be completed. Hence it was left to the donors to take the construction /renovation work before going for consecration. It was under this scenario, Ardhra Foundation came forward to build a new sannadhi for Goddess Gnanambika. The generous contribution of the donors helped to build the structure in a month's time. Only painting work remains to be done. It is also initiated to conduct the consecration on Wednesday,April 9th and the locals are eager to conduct the function as per the tradition. The Temple can be reached from Aduthuai ( ~ 6 km ) , a place between Mayiladuthurai and Kumbakonam. Further details may be had from 09840744337 and 09445188830.

Karuppur is 2 km away from Peravur. The situation is similar to that of Peravur ; the Ambal Sannadhi is no longer there. The sannadhis of Ganesa and Subramanya are in shambles. The only remaining sannadhi is that of Lord Shiva   which is cracked at many places due to the growth of deep rooted trees. Even this sannadhi may fall down at any time if ignored. The Temple Tank, "Thiruvaasaga Kulam" (the reason for naming it after Saint Manikkavasagar's "Thiruvasagam" is not known even to the elders of the village). There is a reference about Karuppur in 7th Thirumurai by Sundharamurthi Nayanar. As there are many places by this name, it is difficult to fix which place was referred by Sundharar. There is also a Shiva Temple nearby at a place called Kanchivaai. Kanchi is also called Kachi in Tamil Literature. As Sundhaar's Thevaram Hymn says, " kachchiyan in Karuppur Viruppan.." we may link these places as "Thevara Vaippu Sthalams" However ,it has to be studied in detail .The locals are very eager to see the Temple back to its original glory. May their dream  come true.