Friday Review

A shrine of his dreams

Madurai is known for many temples that have a rich past. But the one at Ayilangudi, near Madurai, for Sri Lakshmi Varaha Swami is recent and has an interesting story behind it.

Built by ‘Graphico’ Seshadri, it was a surprise for many known to him to see him undertake the task of constructing a temple.

Though a non-believer, Seshadri, a 78-year-old printer based in Madurai, was inspired by the popularity of the calendar featuring Sri Lakshmi Varahaswami that he had printed. He decided then to build a temple.

Investing his savings and with contributions by friends and devotees, Seshadri began work on the temple in 2007, the consecration of which took place in 2013.

Recalling incidents that prompted him to undertake this task, Seshadrisaid, “I had gone to Ayilangudi to buy land. After the formalities were cleared, a thought flashed across my mind that the land belonged to Sri Lakshmi Varahaswami. I just brushed it aside. But the thought haunted me through the nightand the image of the Lord kept appearing in front of my eyes.

“As if reassuring my thoughts, when I was about to leave for Ayilangudi, a book with a picture of Sri Lakshmi Varahar’s fell from the bookshelf. I was now convinced that the land belonged to the Lord.”

Next, Seshadri went to Mahabalipuram to meet Selvanathan stapathi who offered to make the idol of Sri Lakshmi Varahar for a meagre amount.

“With help from the locals we were able to install the 8 ft. high and four-and-a-half ft. broad idol. Many people came for the samprokshanam that took place on January 23, 2013.

“The highlight was that five Garudas hovered over the gopuram while the proceedings were on.”

In April this year, Varahar Jayanthi was conducted with fervour.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 1:53:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/A-shrine-of-his-dreams/article16441808.ece

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