Serfoji’s Minister completed the task with dedication

Efforts are on to renovate a Siva temple, over three centuries old, at Marudhur, Karuvazhakkarai, Tharangambadi taluk, Nagapattinam district. That was a time when King Serfoji was plagued by problems his enemies caused. After much thought, the pious king despatched his Minister Lakshman Pandit with some instructions.

The Minister travelled north of the Cauvery touching Tiruvaiyaru, Swamimalai, Tiruvisainallur and Gowrimayuranathar. Close to Dharmapuri, he spotted a grove of trees and was excited. Was he at the end of his quest?

Deciding to raise a temple for Siva, he set about the task by making preparations for a yaga. Scolars of the four Vedas came from Thanjavur, Sengalipuram and Kanja. He donated them land and houses. Marudur village came into being. The temple brochure notes that recently, a Rig Veda scholar family has moved there from Irulniki.

A Saivite Brahmin was brought from Thanjavur and with his help, Lakshman Pandit built the temple, with Rajadiraja as the deity. The priest was sumptuously honoured with gifts of land and house. A tank was created to grow lotus for puja and a garden for other flowers.

With great forethought, the pandit made arrangements for revenue from vast lands so that daily pujas and festivals could be conducted. The maintenance of the temple was handed over to the priest, as found in the inscription. His mission accomplished, the Minister returned to Thanjavur to find the king happy and peaceful as his problems had vanished.

With the passage of time, the temple came to be neglected. Misappropriation of temple land and property did not help. It is significant that Paramacharya sat in meditation at this temple twice during his pilgrimages. Renovation of the dilapidated temple was taken up with the blessings of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. Work started in June last year and dearth of fund has slowed down progress. Those who wish to contribute can send their donations to V. Swaminathan (Anandathandavapuram), 1134, Arul Nagar, Chennai Road, Kumbakonam, 612001. Phone 0435-2442483.