Friday, September 11, 2009

The river link

In one of his forms, Siva had agreed to cushion the Earth from the river Ganga as she came down from the heavens. 'Ganga-mai' is of course the most sacred of rivers and temples in various parts of the country claim that Ganga-mai's waters reach their premises - through un-mappable subterranean channels, is the usual explanation - so as to offer more value to the devotee. One alternative was to have Siva in his form as 'Gangadeeswaran', implying the presence of the holy river.

Supposed to have been built by a Chola king, the Gangadeeswarar temple at Purasaiwakam honours that form of Siva. The story also goes that the spot where waters brought from the Ganga were placed during the consecration of the temple turned into a tank that would never run dry, not even during the times of drought which emptied all other wells of Purasaiwakam.

For a temple that is supposed to have been around for at least a millenium, there is very little information available about it - and I can't think of any explanation as to why it should be so!

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