Monday, March 24, 2008

Cherappanancheri Sri Veemeeswarar

Cherappanancheri is located on the Padappai - Kanchipuram road and about 4 kms from Padappai. After crossing Padappai, one has to take right turn from the main road to reach this village. The temple is hardly 1 km from the main road.

Cherappanancheri has an old, dilapidated Lord Shiva temple. This temple dates back to Chozha and Pallava periods. The main deity here is Sri Veemeeswarar. People also mention it as Sri Bhimeswarar. Goddess is Sri Swarnaambigai. This temple is believed to be over 3000 years old.

According to the legend, Sri Surya Bhagavan has worshipped the Lord here to overcome some of his problems. Sri Surya Bhagavan is seen facing straight to the sanctum towards west. Unfortunately the road divides Sri Surya Bhagavan shrine and the sanctum. That is Sri Surya Bhagavan is on the other side of the road facing the Lord. Also Sri Veemeeswarar here is said to have blessed all 27 stars and is the Adhipathi (Leader) of the stars here.

The entire structure of this ancient temple is all open to sky. The temple is in a very poor state. This sanctum is beautifully built in Gajabrishta shape (apsidal). The entire structure is made of stone and many parts of the temple are in pieces lying all over the surrounding places.

The main deity Sri Veemeeswarar is so huge and beautiful, facing east. The rarity of this deity is there is a mark like Naagar (Snake) naturally on the Shiva Lingam. Goddess Sri Swarnaambigai is seen inside the sanctum itself, facing south.

It is said that there was not even a ceiling for the sanctum earlier. Some local youths and students had volunteered to collect some funds and have managed to cover the sanctum with an asbestos sheet.

Pieces of damaged pillars and deities are seen all over. While going around the sanctum, the entire structure at the back side wall of the sanctum is seen completely damaged. Many stone inscriptions are seen all along the outer walls of the praakaaram.

There are beautiful steps too to go up to the sanctum which are fully damaged. Few broken sculptures and carvings are seen in the temple, which are in unidentifiable condition.

There are 2 Nandhis one behind the other facing the sanctum. It is said that the Nandhi which is seen behind was the original one, which was hit by a lorry and got damaged. Later as requested, the lorry owner himself had made another Nandhi and offered it to the temple. Such is the state of the temple that any vehicle can hit the statues of the temple. It is clearly visible that the mud road dividing the temple looks to be the recent development. With the size of the whole structure and the places around, the temple must have definitely had huge praakaarams to the extent till the pond.

The Sthala Viruksham here is said to be ‘Vanni Maram’ which is not found now. The theertham for this temple is ‘Brahma Theertham’ which is present a few meters away from the sanctum, without any maintenance. The real estate promoters have made layouts all around the temple and also the pond.

Now the temple is in a very helpless state and definitely needs some oxygen. The priest now comes here everyday from Tambaram does 1 time Pooja and returns back. He attends full time during special days like Pradhosham, Pournami, and Sivarathri. He also suggests us that if anyone likes to help the temple, they can do it by kind and not cash.

Anyone willing to visit or help the temple shall contact Sri. N. Murthy (Archagar) at Sri Swarnaambigai Samedha Sri Veemeeswarar Temple, 149, Cherappanancheri Village, Kanchipuram District. Tel: 94443 14310

A grand temple with rich heritage lies unattended with many archeological evidences wrapped in it, which is yet to be unfurled.