Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Less than a generation ago, Velachery was an ignored outpost of Madras, a temple suburb that was poorly connected with the rest of the city. Velachery - the name is supposedly a corruption of the original Vedashreni (the abode of the Vedas) - has two temples that go back several hundred years. And they used to be the major reason for people to go to that part of the city.
Now, Velachery is the hub of the new-economy; the temples have been largely forgotten. Not because of anything else, but it is just that the population of Velachery has grown exponentially in the last few years and the newcomers have not had the time or the inclination to think about the heritage of their new hometown. But not all is lost. The temples have been sprucing themselves up, in anticipation of new visitors.
One such spruce-up project was probably this gopuram. I am not sure if the Sree Dhandeeswarar Koil had a gopuram here earlier, but this one is surely of very recent origin. Unlike the normal colourful gopurams, this one seems to remain bare - or has it been painted over since I last saw it?!