Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Road trip to Thirumalpur: III

Part 1 here.

Part 2 here.

The last of this series.

BTW, everything in the temple signifies unity between Shiva and Vishnu. There was even a statue with the face of Hanuman and the base of Nandhi. After spending some more time looking and clicking around, we both bade the priest farewell and exited.

And I have to say that Mr Sambu was very patient in explaining everything about the temple to us: right from history to what has transpired in recent times.

The priest - Mr Sambu

Some more notes from what he told us:

- The temple was built in the period around 500 BC by Sundara Chozhan

- The original Shiva linga in the temple was actually made of mud and made it through 1500 years!!! (albeit decreasing in height with the passage of time). And when the temple was renovated in 2002, a metallic kavasam was clamped on top of the small lingam. But even now, it looks fairly diminutive

- The temple is now under the aegis of the Archaeological Department

Once we came out, I set my camera on my tripod and began to lock in on the fa├žade of the temple. Hardly 5 seconds later, I was surrounded by native kids who peered from around me into my cam’s LCD display. There were some who excitedly ventured to the front and peered into my lens barrel. I looked on amused, as an old man came and shoo’ed the boys away from my camera. I then clicked a couple of pics and dismantled my tripod. As I packed it in my carry bag, the oldie asked for alms. I fished a coin from my purse and gave it to him. He had a brief look at it and handed it back saying “What can I do with one rupee? Have it yourself.” Though he actually did not say the words, his tone seemed to suggest something along the lines of “mayi*a kooda ******* mudiyadhu”. Then I realized how true that was. With the kind of hair he had, that was well nigh impossible. I have nicknamed him oldie-locks.


My bro got very angry at the man’s doing and wanted to ask him whether he accepted Visa and Mastercard.

But the kids were still lurking around, talking in hushed whispers. I called them on to pose for me, and they obliged!

Each one has emoted differently :) My favo is the topless guy

Anyway, with our expectations met, my bro and I began our return journey, briefly stopping to click some pics.

But not too many, as we were damn hungry and bro wanted to eat at home and nowhere else. We reached Chennai in record time with the weather still being too good to be true: chill and cloudy. The moment we reached home and entered the main door, it began raining cats and dogs outside!

On the whole, though the “newness” of the temple was a bit of a disappointment for me, the bike-ride and the village more than made up for it. Thank you, Dwija!

Some details for those who want to visit Thirumalpur:

Name of the temple: Manikandeeswarar Temple -- Get this right. There are a couple of other temples too in that region. One is of Guru (Dakshinamoorthy). Another is of an Amman.

Name of the place: Thirumalpur / Thirumarpaeru

Location: Around 15 km from Kanchipuram and from Arakkonam. 80 – 85 km from Chennai.

How to reach Thirumalpur (by own vehicle):

Take the Bangalore Highway. Near Kanchipuram, there is a huge flyover. Do not get on the flyover; go beneath it to its left and turn right to reach the Kanchipuram – Arakkonam main road. Drive along for about 12 km, parallel to the railway track. Once you reach Thirumalpur station, you would have to take a left and go on for a few more km to reach the temple.

How to reach Thirumalpur (by bus or train):

There is an electric train that starts at 7 AM from Chennai Beach and reaches Thirumalpur (the last stop) at around 9.00 – 9.30 AM. Take share autos from there to the temple.

But return would be a problem. There is a train from Pondy at around 2 – 2.30 PM that would take us back to Chennai. And maybe a couple more in the evening. That’s all.

Bus would be a better choice: Reach Arakkonam or Kanchipuram and reach Thirumalpur from there by bus at anytime (one bus every half hour, I believe).

And make your own arrangements for food! No decent eateries around there.


Alpine Path said...

wow! cool yaar! Next time I come to chennai, I'm sure going to take a look at Thirumalpur. Hope it has a lost a bit of its "brand-new"ness coz I love temples that are more in the old part than the newly restructed ones.

desh said...

oldie locks incident reminds me the incident in the movie Pushpak with Kamal Hassan and the begger (on some bridgr near windsor manner in Bangalore)

btw awesome beard tht guy has got :P

seems like chennai has a not so hot goodish weather right now, enjoy it :)

King Vishy said...

@alpine path: Sure do check it out.. And would be great if you go on your own vehicle so that you can enjoy the drive through the village better..

@desh: I haven't watched Pushpak.. But a friend here concurs that her people too had the same issue with this same oldie :) he has even used the same words to return the one rupee they had given him.. at least the man is strong in his principles :)
And ya.. it's quite chilly here now.. But it gets a bit irritating when it rains during peak traffic hours :(

cafm said...

nice trilogy man :P...your evoking my travel "buds" too ;) ...after jan maybe...

by the way thanks for calling me a cant give me a bigger compliment :P

Sheks said...

how many bears did oldie-locks have with him?

Anonymous said...

hi i am purushoth from thirumalpur i wants to my villege photos.please send me my mail.