Chennai: At a time when religious leaders and political parties are trying to appropriate Thiruvalluvar’s legacy, it is important to know about the legendary Tamil poet’s history.
While there isn’t any historical evidence that gives us the exact time period during which Thiruvalluvar lived, it is believed that Thiruvalluvar was born in Mylapore and lived the rest of his life in the neighbourhood itself.
In today’s PNK Garden, Mylapore, which is believed to be the place where Thiruvalluvar lived, stands a temple that is the only temple built for Thiruvalluvar.
K Arumugam, the temple’s priest says, “There is no historical evidence that can date back to when the temple was exactly built. As far as we know it has been here for more than 100 years and it is said that Thiruvalluvar was born exactly at this place and lived here with his wife Vasuki. Both my grandfather and my father were priests of this temple and I have been the priest here for the last 39 years.”
Called Thiruvalluvar Temple, however, there are sanctums for Lord Shiva and Amman as well in the temple. Upon entering it on the left side, there is a separate sanctum for Lord Ekambareswarar. In a separate sanctum, Kamatchi Amman is also present facing south.
On the outer walls of the sanctum, Dakshinamoorthi, Vishnu, Brahma and Durgai are present. There is also Chandigeshwarar. On both the sides of the Siva sanctum entrance, Vinayagar and Murgar along with his consorts are present. In front of Vinayagar in a small alcove in which Hanuman is present. There are also five different Vinayagar idols in the temple named, Vallabhai Vinayagar, Narthana Vinayagar, Bala Vinayagar, Arasadi Vinayagar and Gajashakthi Vinayagar. This idol alone is made of marble.
At the extreme left corner of the temple, there is a sanctum for goddess Karumariamman. Adjacent to it is the Athi Tree, Neem tree and peepal tree intertwined with each other and placed below it are idols of Nagar.
On the right side of the temple, there is a separate sannadhi for Thiruvalluvar. On its right, there is a separate sanctum for Vasuki. There are also sculptures of Thiruvalluvar mentioning his birth, placed over a structure that was built in the year 1935. There is also Iluppai tree which is now covered. This is said to be the Sthala vriksha of the temple. Navagraham is on the extreme right corner close to the entrance. And close to it the idol of saneeswaran is also placed.
“In the year 1973, a kumbhabhishekam was done in the temple followed by another one in 1985 and then in 2000. We are planning to organise the next one shortly,” says Arumugam.
Speaking about special occasions in the temple, he says, “Everyday for all the idols in the temple including Thiruvalluvar and Vasuki, abhishekam is done twice a day. During the Tamil month of Thai on Thiruvalluvar Day special abhishekam will be done to Thiruvalluvar and programmes like Sirappu Pattimandram will be held. Also on that day Annadhanam will be given to 300 school students. In the evening, Uthsava Moorthi of Thiruvalluvar will be taken out on a procession.”
“Thiruvalluvar’s janmanatchathiram is on Vaikasi Anusham and special abhishekams will be done that day. Guru Poojai is conducted every year during the Tamil month of Maasi, On Chitra Pournami, Thiruvalluvar Thirukkalyanam will be conducted in a grand manner. Also during the Aruvathimoovar procession in Kapaleeswarar Temple, the procession idol of Thiruvalluvar is taken only from here.”
Apart from this, during Navarathri on all the nine days, special decoration will be done to Kamatchi Amman, For Sivan apart from Mahasivarathri, another special occasion is Annabhishekam during the month of Aippasi. During the month of Thai, Kamatchi Thirukkalyanam and on Kanda Shasti Murugan Thirukkalyanam happens in a grand manner.
The temple is open from 7 am to noon and from 4.30 pm to 8 pm. For details, contact 044 2498 1893.