When people came together to build shrine

Lakshmi Ganapathy temple at Jafferkhanpet is nearly four decades old

Chennai, Feb 28: On the busy Jawaharlal Nehru Salai in Jafferkhanpet is present Sri Lakshmi Ganapathy temple which has been in existence for nearly four decades now.

Located at Vasudevan Nagar, next to Ekkatuthangal bridge, the residents of the locality wanted a temple in their neighbourhood and came together and constructed it.

Speaking about how the temple came into being, one of the trustees of the temple, S R Neelakantan says, ”To realise the people’s wish of a temple at Vasudevan Nagar, nine of us – N Velayudham, D Venkatesan, A V Ramanathan, R Gomathinayagam, S Rajamanickam, S Lakshmi Narasimhan, M C Vaikundam and M N Vedachalam – came together and put efforts to construct a small mandapam initially at the place where the temple is currently located and kept a photo of lord Vinayaga and started worshipping it in September 1980.”

”Initially there was only the sanctum for lord Ganesha. Then with the help of people living in Vasudevan Nagar, Thiru Nagar, Kasi Estate, Anjugam Nagar and Pari Nagar the temple was built and the first Kumbhabhishekam was done 7 November, 1982. Later, all the other sanctums for the deities Murugan, Shiva, Ambal, Durgai, Ayyappan, Ramar, Lakshmanar, Seetha, Anjaneyar and Navagraham were built and the second Kumbhabhishekam was done 13 December, 1998. Later, the temple was rebuilt and expanded with additional sanctums for Saraswathi, Venkatachalapathy and Kala Bhairavar and the third Kumbhabhishekam was done 20 February, 2014,” he says.

Upon entering the temple, lord Lakshmi Vinayagar is present in the main sanctum facing east. On its right Visalatchi Ambal and Sri Kaala Bhairavar idols are placed. On the left side of the Vinayagar sanctum, there is a separate sanctum for Sri Kasi Viswanathar present in linga form. On the wall next to the sanctum, idol of Lord Dakshinamoorthi is placed facing south.

Next to the Sivan sanctum, in a separate sanctum, lord Murugan is present along with Valli and Deivanai on either sides. Next to it, in a sanctum goddess Saraswathi is placed with Sri Brahma and Hayagreevar idols placed on either sides inside the sanctum. Next to it is a large idol of Venkatachalapathy and in front of it Anjaneyar idol is also placed along with Sri Ramar, Seetha and Lakshmanar.

Next to this sanctum, Sri Sastha is present and on the extreme left, Sri Durgai Amman is placed inside a sanctum facing north. On the extreme right corner, Navagraham is also placed. On the prahara, on the extreme right, Chandigeshwarar idol can be seen.

Speaking about the special poojas done in the temple, Neelakantan says, ”Every year Vinayagar Chaturthi is the speciality here. On that day the deity will be taken on a procession. During Panguni Uthiram, Murugan Thirukkalyanam will happen in a grand manner. On Tuesdays, Raahu Kaala pooja will be done from 3 pm to 4.30 pm. Special poojas will also be done during Mahasivarathri, Guru Peyarchi, Sani Peyarchi, Navarathri, Pradosham, Sngadahara Chathurthi, Pournami, Sashti, and Ashtami.

The temple is open from 6 am to 10.30 am and from 5.30 pm to 8.30 pm. For details, contact Neelakantan 94447 47854.

Aaditya Anand M