Kundrathur and Venkaadu Visit – Reach Foundation: Conserve our Rich Heritage!!
Report on temple cleaners’ visit to Kundrathur and Venkaadu on 26th March 2006
On the way to Venkaadu, we had to halt at Kundrathur for breakfast. While returning, we had the opportunity to visit the Shiva and Vishnu temples which was single-handedly renovated y the constant efforts of Mr.Ramamurthy, who has this temple renovation as a single goal and mission. He has been doing this for almost 16 years and had completed almost temples! Both the Shiva and Vishnu temples, located on your right before you climb up to the Murugan temple had an odd opening time! 9.00 AM in the morning. No choice, we had to wait there. First was the Shiva temple to open.Another group (Vadapalani Kovil Thuppuravu nanrpani Mandram) who have great men force of around 200 members, had already visited this temple an year before, and this group does a very effective job. They clean thoroughly the surroundings, white wash the walls (don’t bother for the stone carvings (kalvettu) and write sayings like Thiruvasagam, etc.) on the walls. Fine! What about follow ups and see if the place is maintained in the similar way? No follow ups.
When our “temple cleaner” group was formed, we decided we should follow up all temples and try to form a loca group who would inform us periodically about the maintenance and also try to make the village’s other social activities – temple centric!
So, we had now planned to take this temple also for cleaning in near future. The saddest part is – negligence of Kalvettukkal. The one shown in the picture was on the junction of the road!
I wonder what would happen to this important piece of history, the next time we come back
To add to our shock, the locals said that there were 2 groups of same community who were for and against bringing up the Shiva temple, just for their own petty egoes; God save God!
Also, the Vishnu temple was still closed even when the clock struck 9.30 AM. To add further burns on the wound, just behind the Vishnu temple, a few yards ahead, we had a rude shock!
A beautiful stone built sanctum sanctorum, of Shiva, in a circular pattern, full of Kalvettus, was seen in gay abandon, with shrubs around. Some philonthrapist there had only pulled the Shiva Linga out and had made a small make shift concrete temple nearby.
Presumably all temple land had been usurped by the local biggies and on either side, we had houses having the temple wall too close to their backyards!! May be if we leave this temple as it is, we would see the stones removed to become foot steps of a community leader or a washing stone at some quack’s house!! We are trying to get members who know to read Kalvettukkal and decipher the piece of history lying ruined before us.
As the time was getting late, we decided to visit the Vishnu temple some other time and rushed to Venkaadu.
Review visit on Venkaadu:
The villagers had done a remarkable job on removing the shrubs! A wire was drawn from the electric post nearby and had been put up at the shrine.
One person keeps coming in day time to have an abhishekam and offers some prasdam and flowers. The day we went there again,Mr.Ramamurthy gathered a group of youngsters who helped us in fixing garlic on all nook and corner of the temple (to drive away snakes) and taught them Shiva Mandiram and Thiruvasagam. They all repeated that in chorus. All were given free booklets by him and they were asked to chant this daily and on 16th April, when a medical camp would be conducted in this place, the boys were to compete with each other, and we would decide the best person in that bunch and give themaway prizes. This made the children cheer and shout with joy.
Mr.Ramamurthy had brought in stapathi to take the dimensions and measurements for the temple to be built and also discussed to bring in JCB excavators to unearth all land around the temple. Also we discussed about fixing some snake charmers to enter the sanctum sanctorum, pull out manually all the soil, clean the place and discover back the floor of the shrine! The task has been assigned for 6th of April, where 2 of our members would attend to supervise the JCB excavation.
Mr.Ramamurthy also talked of bringing ourselves a new Amman idol as he believes that the real statue would not have been thrown into the temple pond. The description given by Bharati an elderly person, did not tally with the Agama sastra size, how the amman should be and in all probability it should be Chandikesawarar.
And Dr.Subramaniam, of LDSF (www.bnaiyer.com/LDSF) had already decided that this temple would be reconstructed with their trust’s funds and be converted into a great place of worship compared to Maangadu! So, temple cleaning members were relieved that atlast the temple is now in safe hand and we would move further for other places.
The day was so hectic, as Mr.Ramamurthy had already got information about various other temples in nearby areas and we were asked to accompany him and record the details of the location, the name of the Gods, temples history.
We will give those details one by one in next editions.