DOWN TOWN

Temple for MGR

ardent fan:L. Kalaivanan and (right) artist impression of the temple for MGR coming up in Thirunindravur.Photo: Sujitha Sivaraman

ardent fan:L. Kalaivanan and (right) artist impression of the temple for MGR coming up in Thirunindravur.Photo: Sujitha Sivaraman  

M.G. Ramachandran, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, was the idol of his times. His charisma has not waned decades after his demise too.

The ideologies propagated by him through films have created many a great personalities. He was not only a successful politician but also humane. There are fans who worship him. How do we pay respects to him? What can be better than a temple in his name? With such thoughts one of his fans is actually building a temple for him.

At Nathamedu

Not stopping with just thoughts, 52-year-old Kalaivanan decided to go ahead with the plan and began to construct one in Nathamedu Village in Thiruninravur, near the fringes of the city.

The bhoomi pooja was held a few months ago and work began in full swing. Now the plan is nearing completion and with a few finishing touches it will be ready for public viewing by August.

Kalaivanan has no political affiliation. “I do not want to become a politician nor am I interested in politics,” says he firmly. It was his wife, Shanthi, who gave him this idea. He was in the habit of distributing free key chains and stickers to the public. It was Shanthi who advised him to spend the money on a temple in stead of these gift items.

Kalaivanan was impressed with the lines of the song from the movie vettaikaran, ‘Boomiyil Neraga Vazhbar Ellorum Samikku Nigarallava Pirar Thevai Arindhukondu Vaari Koduppovargal Deivathin Pillai Illaiya.' “All his life MGR lived up to these lines and the only way I can repay his kindness and nobleness is by building a temple,” says Kalaivanan.

So the 52-year-old newspaper sub-agent, Kalaivanan, in order to profess his love for the actor, tried to buy a land within the city. But luck did not favour him and instead, he landed up buying three-fourth of a ground at Thiruninravur at a cost of Rs. 3 lakhs. As soon as the deal was finalised, he began the construction.

Cost of the project

The project has so far cost him around Rs. 12 lakhs. He has received a sum of Rs. one lakh from other MGR devotees so far. He has ordered for two idols _ one in white marble around 6-feet tall from Rajasthan and the other a black granite around 2-feet tall.

While abhishekams will be performed for the small one everyday, the bigger one will have a cap, dhoti, spectacle and other accessories.

Both the idols will be arriving within a fortnight. Gopurams, kalmandapams and the sanctum sanctorum are nearing completion.

Once the painting and other pending works are completely over , the temple called ‘Arulmigu MGR Aalayam' built on nearly 1,500 sq.ft. at Nathamedu Village in Tiruninravur will be ready for consecration which will be held in a grand manner.

There are more than 3,000 MGR devotees in the city. Even for the bhoomi puja of the temple, more than 300 devotees participated. They had come from Chennai, Madurai, Tiruchi and Coimbatore.

“We did not give any publicity but as the information was passed by word of mouth, they came in large numbers to witness the unique function,” says Kalaivanan.

Kalaivanan, who just earns around Rs. 15,000 a month, has spent his entire savings on the project. He feels proud that he has done something for a great person such as MGR.

Kalaivanan resides at 8, LG Road, Pudupet. He can be reached at 98408 95507.

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