History & Culture

To sport a new look

Sri Vedhanta Desikar Temple in Mylapore in Chennai. Photo: S. R. Raghunathan   | Photo Credit: S_R_Raghunathan


Renovation involves quite a few changes at Sri Vedanta Desika Temple, Mylapore.

Sri Vedanta Desika Temple, Mylapore, started out as a place of worship of the Acharya - Vedanta Desika. Idols of Lord Srinivasa and Goddess Alarmelmanga were installed much later in 1924. The temple, however, continues to be known by the name of the acharya. Repairs, renovations and new constructions are on at the temple, to be followed by a Maha Samprokshanam sometime in April.

The temple is going in for a retro look. The marble flooring is being replaced by black stone. The polished granite in the walls of the sanctum sanctorum is being replaced with the kind of black stone one finds in old temples. “There is a reason why rough hewn stones were used for the walls,” say the trustees – R. Mugunthan, D. Sundaravaradan and R. Srinivasan. A paste of sandal and camphor should be periodically applied to the inner walls of the sanctum. The pungent smell of the camphor keeps insects at bay. The slippery surface of polished granite makes such application impossible. With the replacement of the granite by conventional black stone, the old tradition will be revived.

The Anjaneyar sannidhi now has a vimanam, with icons of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana above the entrance, and of Anjaneya in the corners of the vimana. Properties belonging to the temple, which were earlier not part of the temple complex, have now been annexed to it. In one such annexed portion, a Vasantha Mandapam is coming up, to which the utsava idol of Thayar will be taken on festivals. There will be a neatly laid out garden alongside the path leading to this mandapam. The hall of mirrors (Kannadi arai) is being reconstructed. The dining hall is being extended and the first floor of this building will serve as a lodging for visiting Vedic scholars with rest rooms coming up at the place where the cow shelter is now located. A new cow shelter is being built a little further away. Some donors have expressed a desire to donate Jersey cows and the shelter will be built keeping in mind the climatic requirements of the breed. The two kitchens are being reconstructed. The space adjacent to the main mandapam will get roofing and a total of nine pillars will be a part of the new extended mandapam. The dwajasthambam will be gold plated. The vahana mandapam is being expanded. A three-tiered rajagopuram is coming up too, as are quarters for the archakas.

The temple has been notified as one of historic importance by the Government of India in the year 1973.

Donations have been coming in, and those who wish to contribute may contact: R.Mugunthan (98410 47064), D. Sundaravaradan (9444 576601), R. Srinivasan (94443 98347). Email: svdd.mylai@gmail.com.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2017 7:46:03 AM | http://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/history-and-culture/to-sport-a-new-look/article4389733.ece