At the ancient temple for Lord Vishnu in Olaipadi village is under way.

Olaipadi, a small village, situated on the northern side four km from Swamimalai near Kumbakonam and one km northeast from Adhanur, one of the 108 Divyadesams, has a temple for Lord Vishnu. The shrine, which lies in a state of disrepair due to negligence over the years, has the idols of the Lord and His consorts as the only remnants.

The stone inscriptions found inside the temple hails that this temple is 1000 years old.

The deities being carved out of Salagramam stone is a speciality here. A thatched roof was put up, by an ardent devotee, to house the deity and His Consorts, who were without a proper shelter earlier.

Interesting episode

According to legend, when azhwars, sages and kings took up the construction of the Srirangam temple and the compound walls surrounding the shrine, there was an affluent devotee who also wished to partake in this religious endeavour.

His bhakti and richness made him an easy target for those who worked under him. They exploited his bhakti to their advantage and swindled all his money, making him penniless. But this did not deter the devotee who prayed the Lord to show him a way to complete the holy task that was undertaken by him.

Pleased with his steadfastness, the Lord appeared in his dream and promised to help him out of the situation. He instructed the devotee to bring along with him a measure (marakkal) and his workers, who cheated him, to the bank of the river Kollidam, where he promised to pay the workers their dues.

The Lord, in the guise of an old man, gave each of them a measure of sand from the bank of the river according to the work done by them. Much to their surprise, it turned into precious stones for those who toiled and it stayed the same for those who shirked work.

The workers who did not get anything were enraged and started chasing the old man. At this juncture, the Lord appeared in his original form and made the workers realise their mistakes.

The temple with such hoary past is being renovated and to complete other works such as construction of compound wall, madapalli, gopura mandapam, painting, mandapam for deities such as Anjaneyar and Garudazhwar at the earliest, donations are solicited from devotees.

The estimated cost is Rs. Five lakhs. Those interested may contact N. Pandian, VAO Olaipadi, Athanoor Post, Pullabhoodhangudi (SO) – 612 301. Phone 94425 35361.

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