Connecting with the saints of yore in modern-day Chennai

Teams of lovers discover Tiruvottiyur and Mylapore, two localities that also retain their quaint appeal and have many spiritual areas

Teams of lovers discover Tiruvottiyur and Mylapore, two localities that also retain their quaint appeal and have many spiritual areas

Tiruvottiyur within the north and Mylapore within the south are two historic settlements by the ocean which have witnessed the town develop and develop. Even in the present day, they keep a quaint appeal and have managed to safeguard temples, church buildings, mosques and samadhis of saints round which the villages of yore thrived. Two walks that explored the saints who patronised these locations of worship had been held just lately.

Writer and temple chronicler Padmapriya Baskaran and a bunch of lovers from the Nice Cholas Heritage Analysis Group went on a stroll round Mylapore final week, visiting a number of locations worship devoted to saints of every faith with fascinating tales surrounding them.

“The Dargah of Hazrath Syed Badruddin Shaheed in Pallavaram has a hook up with Mylapore and Santhome. The saint was a soldier, who had volunteered to be a part of the Golconda forces as a horseman within the battle to conquer the Portuguese at Santhome in 1646. He managed to switch the Portuguese flag with that of the Golconda flag. However a Portuguese soldier is claimed to have severely injured him when he was climbing down. One legend says his head was virtually severed by the enemy. However he managed to get on his horse and attain Pallavaram, the place he lastly collapsed. A dargah was constructed on the place the place he was buried. Right now the dargah is sort of common among the many religious,” Ms. Baskaran defined.

The tank of the Kapaleeswarar temple, has a join with Badruddin Saheb. Although it was stated to have been constructed by one Muthaiappa Mudaliar within the 16 th Century, a legend says the place belonged to some fakirs.The Nawab of Arcot decreed that each the Hindus and the Muslims might use it. To this present day, Muslims use the tank on the tenth day of Muharram.

Walkers additionally acquired an outline of the scene from the story of how Saint Thirugnanasambandar introduced again Poompavai, the daughter of Sivanesan Chettiyar, to life from ashes and bones. The Chettiar constructed the attractive temple of Virupaksheeswarar as a token of gratitude. A statue of Sivanesan stands knee-deep in granite contained in the temple for Lord Poompavai Nayanar and Goddess Visalakshi, who has a Nandhi in entrance. This quaint temple with a gopuram, has a tank of its personal and two entrances.

Ms. Baskaran had charted a complete of 15 spots, together with the Swethambara Jain temple devoted to Vasupujya Swamy, the Dargah close to the Jumma Mosque and the Santhome Cathedral the place the tomb of Saint Thomas lay. Vasupujya Swamy was the 12 th Jain Tirthankara and was born to King Vasupujya and Queen Jaya Devi within the Ikshvaku dynasty. In historic instances, Mylapore can also be stated to have had a temple for Neminatha, the 22 nd Jain Tirthankara. This temple has been described in at the very least two works together with one known as Thirunootrandhadhi by the Avirodhi Alwar.

When Muslims taken care of the tomb of St. Thomas

Ms. Baskaran, who has documented the temples alongside River Cooum, defined that the presence of the tomb of St. Thomas in Santhome was first revealed by Arab chroniclers within the 8 th Century. Subsequently, Marco Polo and Portugese traveler Duarte Barboza, the brother-in-law of Ferdinand Magellan, wrote a couple of Muslim who used to gentle a lamp on the tomb.

The group visited extra areas together with the beginning place of Peiyalwar on Arundale Avenue. The Alwar, one of many three Mudhal Alwars of Lord Vishnu, was stated to have been born on a pink lotus within the Manikairavam tank, which is now a effectively. A shrine for the saint, who had a imaginative and prescient of the Lord at Thirukoilur on a wet night time, stands on the stunning silent spot in the course of the town.

Historical temple within the north

A number of kilometers north of Mylapore, within the Thyagarajaswamy temple, scholar P. Thiruchitrambalam defined to his group of walkers that Tiruvottiyur or Thiruvottriyur was the oldest city related to the town. This temple was very particular as solely right here, the three Saivite saints – Sundarar, Thirunavukarasar and Sambandar – have sung verses.

To recollect them, the temple has a separate precinct known as ‘Naalvar Sannathi’, housing Sundarar and considered one of his two consorts. The temple has three tales to inform on its ancientness, girls empowerment, and safeguarding the Tamil language.

The heritage walk in progress at the Thyagarajaswamy temple in Tiruvottiyur.

The heritage stroll in progress on the Thyagarajaswamy temple in Tiruvottiyur.
| Photograph Credit score: B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM

Although the temple was stated to be over 1,300 years previous as per the information, Mr. Thiruchitrambalam stated its historic historical past may very well be traced again to a number of hundreds of years. He went on to explain the immense contributions made by the Chola and Pallava kings within the development of the temple, together with the development of the sanctum sanctorum, which housed the primary deity Lord Shiva known as ‘Padam Pakkanaathar’. The precinct housing the primary deity was constructed by King Rajendra Chola as per the Agamas, with Tamil Grantham inscriptions, he added.

Girls Odhuvaars

Mr. Thiruchitrambalam, a professor on the Thiruvavaduthurai Aadheenam, stated: “The temple had a historical past of appointing a line of ladies Odhuvaars, completely 16, for singing the verses (Pathigams).” Heritage fanatic Sreemathy Mohan, who put collectively the stroll, stated because the title of the stroll Tiruvottiyurum Thiruppattum urged, songs from the Thirumurai had been sung by the Odhuvaars proper from the time the deity awakened until the tip of worship for the day.

He additionally stated that the singing of pathigams by Odhuvaars helped in retaining Tamil language and traditions alive and safeguarding it from Sanskrit, which was the dominant language in these days. Just a few vital hymns (pann) of the Saivite saints had been sung by Oduvaar Manikandan. By the point the members disbursed after a four-hour temple stroll, they had been soaked within the temple’s wealthy historical past.

(With inputs from R. Srikanth)

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