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Healing and harmony

AT THE end of the Poonamallee High Road, on the route to Thirumazhisai, stands the temple of Lord Vaideeswara — a monument commemorating the greatness of the Chola dynasty. As one enters the town, one turns to the left opposite the Sundar 24-hour clinic.

The temple is at the end of the street. There is historical evidence that it was built 1,500 years ago by King Kulothunga Chola I. The temple has a lofty gopura at its entrance and is enclosed by a huge wall. The broad outer prahara must have accommodated huge crowds once. The dwajasthamba is high, made out of a single tree trunk and has been re-built to protect the old structure.

Behind the dwajasthamba sits a Nandhi facing Lord Vaideeswara. As devotees enter, they worship Lord Ganesha, who is seen in the abhaya pose, for protection. The sanctum is beyond a quadrangle where there is the navagraha, a special place for the Sun God, Surya, a pillar for Anjaneya and another pillar for a Siddhar named Karlakattai Siddhar who must have cured diseases in bygone times.

People still believe he gives solace if he is worshipped and his help sought.

Angaraka has his special seat too. One can only see his feet. Those who suffer problems due to rahu come here to get rid of it. The unmarried come to seek blessings to get married soon and the childless worship the Angaraka here. Saturn faces the south and is similar to the one in Thirunallaru near Chidambaram.

The temple is similar to the Vaitheeswara temple near Thanjavur and is called the `Vaitheeswarar of the south' The main sanctum houses Lord Vaitheeswara in the form of a Linga.

To his left stands Goddess Thailambal in the abhaya pose full of compassion. The main inner enclosure houses Muthukumaraswami with Valli and Devayanai. One finds three Chakras established by Adi Sankara, namely Srichakram, Shivachakram and Shanmuga Chakram.

The figures of the four great saints Appar, Sundarar, Gnanasambandar and Manickavachagar are carved out in the same row. The temple is under the care of the Dharmapura Adheenam.

There is a tank outside the outer enclosure and four mada streets surround it. Legend has it that the water of this tank cured all diseases and problems arising from seven-and-a-half-years of Sani.

It is believed that even Nala and his wife Damayanti visited this temple to get rid of their troubles caused by Sani.

Help is needed to remove the debris and renovate the temple. For, the comfort and solace derived by worshipping at this temple should be enjoyed not only by this generation but the coming generations too.

SANKARI AMRITKUMAR

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