More than 60 volunteers reached the Gnayiru gramam in three vans on 10.03.2013 for doing Uzhavarappani at அருள்மிகு ஸ்வர்ணாம்பிகை சமேத புஷ்பரதேஸ்வரர் திருக்கோவில். The temple is situated at a distance of about 15 km beyond Red Hills, which itself is on the outskirts of Chennai. Buses are available from Red Hills, but without much of a frequency.
The presiding deity is called Lord Pushparatheswarar because, Lord Siva emerged from a lotus flower in the form of Sivalingam, when the Sun God Surya came down to this place to pray. Even today, during the Tamil month of Chithirai, on the first seven days, the Sun God does Paatha Pooja to Ambaal & Sivan. This can be seen every year in the mornings, when the Sun's rays fall at Their Feet.
One can see a big throng of devotees every sunday, as the Sun God here is famed for curing the eye related problems. Rest of the days, the temple wears a deserted look. We were told by the temple care-takers, that since most of the villagers in the neighbourhood have converted their religious faith, there is not much of a local support.
Adjacent to the temple outer wall, we observed a make-shift shrine of Yoga Narasimhar and Aanjaneyar. When enquired, we were told that the Vigrahams were found out while digging for the Shiva Temple renovation. Presently under asbestos roofing, plans are in the offing for construction of a pucca temple. Here too, on the second and fourth sundays of every month, Sudarsana Homam is conducted for which a lot of devotees turn up.
Another exclusive feature of this Temple is that it has a Thiruvodu Maram. This tree bears the fruit, from the shell of which Thiruvodu (the begging bowl of sanyasis) is obtained.
Since most of the devotees turn up from Chennai, and due to the absence of proper outside eateries, the temple authorities themselves arrange Annadhanam to all the devotees, every Sunday. Their service deserves a lot of appreciation and support.
This temple is one of the few better maintained temples in and around Chennai. As a result, there was not much of a major work for us within the temple complex. Outside the temple complex, about 400 yards away is the birth place of Sangili Nachiyar, wife of Sundaramurthy Nayanar. This place is a big open ground that has been fenced around, with a small shrine-like structure, that houses a large framed image of Sangili Nachiyar (Within the temple complex, there is a separate shrine for Sangili Nachiyar).
|The Birth Place of Sangli Naachiyar.|
This open ground was full of wild growth of plants and thorny shrubs. The temple authorities wanted us to spruce up this place, as they have decided to celebrate here the Sangili Nachiyar festival on 27.02.2013. Majority of our volunteers were pressed into the task of clearing up this place.
Dried leaves that had fallen down within the temple complex were also removed. The lady volunteers in our group cleaned the brass vessels, lamps and other artciles used in the Pooja. In the afternoon, after 1.30pm, the crowd of devotees had thinned down and thereafter we cleaned the Sannadhis using our water jet.
The temple has a well maintained big tank called Surya Theertham. We had the privilege of adding to the beauty of this tank, by writing சிவ சிவ on the inner walls of this tank.
After finishing our work around 3.30pm, we had a darshan in the various Sannadhis and started our homeward journey back to Chennai.
Additional photos @ : Gnayiru Uzhavarappani