Tuesday, February 10, 2009

From Maharashtra to Madras.

It looks like just another temple. If it is a Friday, you'd probably be sure that it is just another of those 'Amman' temples which become animated on Friday afternoons with the womenfolk coming by to offer 'koozhu' to the Goddess who is the main deity here. Add those crowds to the packed mass of bodies that is Thambu Chetty Street and you have a potential recipe for a longjam lasting into next Wednesday.

That's what comes of having a gopuram which seems to be mass produced rather than one created just for this temple. The rajagopuram seen in this picture is just about a couple of decades old, having been set up in the late 1980s. What the it hides is a temple that has been at this spot for at least 300 years; legend has it that the temple was originally closer to the sea, but was re-located to this spot in 1640. That may not be borne out by available data and records, but more reliable is the visit of Chhatrapati Sivaji to this temple. On a campaign to south India, Sivaji stopped overnight at the nearby Armenian Street. He then offered prayers at this temple on October 3, 1677. Inside the temple there is a picture of Shivaji and a plaque recording his visit.

No one seems to know what the outcome of Shivaji's campaign of 1677; it must have been successful, for Shivaji became a nuisance beyond any borders for the British!


Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

interesting story to go with this temple. thanks for sharing

Hilda said...

Now that's one crowded roof! Amazing.

Shantaram said...

@ Julie: You're welcome :)

@ Hilda: That's why it is holding up!!