Our uzhavarappani activities planned at Chandramouleeswarar Temple, Mamandur(near Ocheri) was successfully carried out last Sunday(28.10.2012). Due to the remoteness of the area from Chennai, not many could participate. Only 35 of our volunteers turned up. The first group reached Mamandur on the previous night and the second group landed on 28th morning by 8.00am.
In our earlier visit , we had noticed some wild growth of plants on the gopuram. Therefore a few of us climbed up the wall to clear it. They were taken aback to see the entire roofing of the temple covered with wild growth of weeds, plants and creepers, that was invisible from the ground level.
|Nature's own roof-garden|
This was something not anticipated by us. Hence there was no alternative than to deploy everybody in clearing the temple's roofing as a top priority. Most of these bushes were of thorny type and almost invariably all of us had to bear with thorn pricks in hands and feet. Our guys also encountered a few snakes that slithered away on seeing us and a number of leeches while clearing this roof garden. A few who were not used to life in rural areas had the opportunity of seeing the shed-skin of a snake for the first time in their lives.
As the temple was not sufficiently cared for during the last 50years or so, the old pattern of brick roofing, though nearly two feet thick, has crumbled in the top layers and nature has taken over the rest. No wonder, we encountered snakes, leeches and varieties of thorny bushes. The following pictures will give an idea of the situation that we faced.
|Skin shedded by a snake|
|Local lads giving us a helping hand|
|Ashok & friends removing wild growth on the mottai gopuram at the entrance|
|Spraying of weed-killer on the roofing|
Cleaning the temple praharam was comparatively an easier job. We made use of our high pressure water gun. However, we had to hire a generator as power cut was in force. Besides, there was no water source available as the temple well had gone totally dry. Just as the grown up lads joined us in clearing the roof garden, the village kids not wanting to be outdone, came to our rescue. They gleefully ferried water from their homes, atleast 500 yards away and filled up a big drum for our use.
For clearing the shrubbery adjoining the temple's compound wall, we had already arranged for an earth mover. That was fully made use of to clear the thorny bushes outside.
Before leaving, we told the little kids of the village that we would upload their snaps in the internet, as a mark of our appreciation for all the help they rendered us. And here it is.
This young generation of the Mamandur village did not simply watch us work. They readily identified themselves with their village and their temple and joined us without any hesitation. For us too, this was a different experience, since we are accustomed only to curious onlookers and by-standers, whenever we go for any temple renovation work. We are quite confident that Lord Chandramouleeswara will definitely bestow these kids with a bright future.