Saturday, June 3, 2023

Shore temple

There are some temples built along the sea coast, but I daresay those on banks of rivers would be more in number. Chennai has a few such, including one that is almost at the mouth of the Cooum. This one is hidden away inside Tholkappiyar Poonga; it appears that there is some arrangement by which worshippers can access it at specific times of the day. 

Angala Parameswari, who is the presiding - and sole - deity here is a kaaval deivam (guardian deity). In this form, the Goddess Parvati had chased down and killed an asura who had taken refuge inside a corpse in a burial ground. Angala Parameswari is therefore depicted with a waist-sash of human bones. 

These days, the Goddess is appeased with a few lemons stabbed on the tines of her trident; and there are at least 5 tridents in front of her sanctum - may those help Her in protecting us all!

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