Saturday, July 29, 2017

Dhanasekar Rugby Star

Car Driver's Son aims to play for the Country
Financial Constraints pose as a challenge to meet even the basic Protein intake requirements for this 19 year old
Son of a Car driver in Gandhinagar, Adyar, Madras, 19 Year old K Dhanasekar (Dhanush) has cherished dreams of playing for India as a fly winger from the time he entered the Gandhinagar Sports Club ground in 2009 as a class 6 student of KRM Secondary School.  He has been from a financially weak background and continues to be but his sheer enthusiasm to give his best on the field ignited his TN State coach Arul Venkatesh to take special interest in this young lad, even then, almost ten years ago.

He is passionate and spends almost the entire evening each day of the year at one of the Rugby grounds in the city trying to hone his skills. There are days when one finds him practising hard at the SDAT. On some days, he is seen at the Anna University grounds. He is also slogging it out in the Gym trying to get  up into the desired levels of body strength to play this game at the highest levels.

He is good at both the (Rugby) Sevens as well as the Fifteens. 'Back' is a position that he has always been comfortable with.

Rugby is gaining momentum in India and is now being played across the country. It has also been included in the Asian Games, Common Wealth Games and the Olympics.  Sponsorship of the game is likely to take off in the coming years. 

Arul Venkatesh, who has represented in India in international tournaments remembers that first meeting from all those years ago ‘He was a small  and a lean boy. He was very shy, yet had the confidence to come and ask me if he could practice along with other boys, much senior to him. Through that period as a young school boy, he was a very disciplined student and would not miss a single practice session. He would come to the ground directly from school and would practice here at the Gandhi Nagar Sports Club ground till 7pm every day.”
Arul Venkatesh

Arul Venkatesh says that Dhanasekar is highly skilled and has the right ingredients to be a top notch Rugby player and could don the India colours for many years. The coach is of the view that Dhanasekar is easily a Top 10  Rugby Player in Tamil Nadu.

Given his talent and on the back of the hard work he put in, Dhanasekar represented Tamil Nadu in all the age group tournaments starting with U 13. By the time he was into college, he was already in the Tamil Nadu Senior State team. He also played for the TN U20 when he was just 15 years old.

Just last week, Tamil Nadu won the South Zone Nationals in Bangalore with Dhanush being an integral part of the team. He will now be accompanying the State team to Patna to play in the all India Nationals. A good performance there is likely to get him a place in the national camps.

Rugby gets University recognition
A great boost to him came when Rugby gained University recognition and now there would an official University tournament. Now into his 3rd year in B.Com at Hindustan College of Arts and Science, he has now been inducted into the Sports Quota at the University and the financial aspects relating to the third year of his college education are taken care of, as part of that system. 

In earlier years, it was the Secretary of the TN Rugby Association Senthil Thyagarajan (Director of Sathya Jothi Movies) who has been supporting his education as well as the expenses relating to Rugby including getting him the best of boots from the US.
A University tournament is coming up soon and that will be another opportunity for Dhanush to showcase his skills.

But with financial constraints he is quite a way behind on the body building aspects that are important for a Rugby player. Protein intake is a big challenge as it would cost  at least Rs. 15000 just to take care of the strengthening of the body (food nourishment) in addition to working out at the Gym. He is around 75 kgs but ideally a rugby player of his age is expected to be at least 10 kgs higher. 

His long term aim is to play international club rugby that will also help him become financially secure. A first step in this direction would be to play for India. Dhanasekar is confident of playing for the country in the near future.

A Coaching Engagement with a leading University 
He is also hopeful of getting into the police force after completing his academics. He has just got a coaching assignment from a University in Madras for next year as soon as he completes his graduation. If he chooses to accept this offer, he will be able to double up both as a player and a coach for the University in addition to pursuing his Masters Education from the University.  This coaching engagement will also help him financially.
Potential to play for the country
His coach Arul Venkatesh believes that Dhanasekar has the potential to play for the country, though he is personally worried that financial constraints could delay the body strengthening process that is so integral to Rugby. 

Having spent almost an entire decade at the Rugby grounds, Dhanasekar has grown from being a budding talent and  has emerged as a star player for Tamil Nadu. For him to graduate into the next phase and  in his quest to don the national colours, it is important that his basic financial requirements are taken care of so he can fully focus on his dream of playing for the country. While sponsors are ever willing to cash in on a player after his big achievements, it is hoped that Dhanasekar will find the right people to support him financially in his sporting endeavour at this early stage in his career when he needs them the most.

In the years to come, it is likely that we will hear a lot more of this teenager.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Thiru Cherai Saranatha Perumal

Bhattars had to auction Family jewels for survival in the 1970s

Most Festivals that had come to a grinding halt in the 70s and 80s including the Big Chariot Festival have been revived through the efforts of Raman Bhattar over the last decade

Trustees, a pre requisite at temples in TN, done away with at Thiru Cherai temple for decades 

Renovation/Samprokshanam slated for next year
Historically, the Saaranaatha Perumal temple in Thiru Cherai ( was praised as a location that had big and wealthy jewel like mansions so tall that it seemed to touch the moon.

கண் சோர வெம் குருதி வந்திழிய
வெம் தழல்போல் கூந்தலாளை
மண் சேர முலை உண்டு மா மதலாய்
வானவர் தம் கோவே என்று

விண் சேரும் இளங் திங்கள் அகடுரிஞ்சு
மணி மாட மல்கு
செல்வத் தண் சேறை எம் பெருமான்
தாள் தொழுவார் காண்மின்
என் தலை மேலாரே – Periya Thirumozhi 7.4.1

Thiru Mangai Azhvaar in his subsequent verses refers to the temple being amidst fragrant sandal groves with bees humming all around (‘வம்பலரும் தண்  சோலை’/ ‘தாதோடு வண்டலம்பும்’ / சந்தப்  பூ மலர்ச்சோலை)

HR & CE’s Power spells doom
The temple went through a tough phase in the 2nd half of the 20th Century with the Bhattars finding it difficult to live even a reasonably secure life. Raman Bhattar first performed Aradhana at this Divya Desam in 1979 when he was in his mid 20s. He had completed his Agama education from Ramaiah Sastrigal and had undertaken the examination in Tirupathi and Mannargudi.

His family /fore fathers had performed service at the temple for seven generations. The kings had written the Agraharam for Brahmins to help them perform pooja in a devotional way. During the Nayak period, lands were given as gifts to Brahmins.
However, unfortunately for Raman Bhattar, his entry into the temple coincided with the HR & CE gaining administrative control over the temple. The entry of HR & CE and their quest for power spelt doom for the temple and the Bhattars at Thiru Cherai Divya Desam. Gradually, the HR & CE took back a lot of the rights away from the trustees which culminated in the termination of the appointments. Earlier the leading shots of the temple town were the trustees. They were dependable and managed the temple well. They were a team that the residents of Thiru Cherai trusted. 

Thyagaraja Swamy (Elayur Pillai) never ate the temple food because he believed that he could not take the Lord’s property!!!

After HR & CE took over, they cancelled the committee office that had been in existence for several decades. For a one Kuzhi of land (12x12), the Bhattars were given Re.1 for Punjai. For a typical 100 Kuzhis that they held, they were to be given Rs.100 but with HR &CE taking over, this was completely stopped. The Uchchi Kaalam Pooja too was done away with. For over 2 ½ decades, the monthly Pancha Parva Utsavam too had stopped.

Incentivising Chariot Pullers
Chariot Festival was the biggest day in the temple’s festival calendar. Interestingly, 50 paise was given to the person pulling the chariot as a mark of respect for their effort. Similar to the Sarangapani temple ( where the trustees incentivized the Sri Patham Thangis who were present in proper attire (12 Thiruman/Panchakacham), the trustees here motivated devotees to come in large numbers and participate.

As per the description of Thiru Mangai Azhvaar, the lakes around the temple had a large number of blue coloured lilies (வந்டு ஆர் நீலம் செய் விரியும்).
The farmers, who came here, removed these lilies with their feet only to find nectar spilling over from the flowers on to their feet. He says that his heart goes out to those who are blessed to worship this Lord at Thiru Cherai.

விளை வயலுள் கரு நீலம் களைஞர் தாளால் தள்ள
தேன் மணம் நாறும்
 தண் சேறை எம் பெருமான் தாளை நாளும்
உள்ளத்தே வைப்பாருக்கு இது காணீர்
என் உள்ளம் உருகும் ஆறே

Farmers and their families from 26 villages came for the grand Chariot Festival on the Thai Poosam day. Each of the Village heads would be asked to hand over details of the number of people present from their respective villages. With HR & CE taking over power, the Chariot too came to a halt in the 1970s!!!

Bhattar auctions jewels for basic survival
The decade of the 70s and 80s was a torrid period for the Bhattars at the temple. As they were hereditary Bhattars, there was no salary. Raman Bhattar’s father Santhana Krishnan Bhattar would get Rs. 2 per week. He auctioned his wife’s jewelry in the 1970s to pay the electricity bill. His grandmother Lakshmi ran a betel nut shop. If she received Rs. 2 on any day, the family bought provisions and this helped them continue their ‘survival’ mode.
Entry of Political forces into temple administration sent shock waves in the hearts of the Bhattars. A frustrated Raman Bhattar went away for a couple of decades to a temple in Bombay as he found it a futile exercise to handle the HR & CE officials. Many of the annual utsavams came to a halt.

There has been no appointment of trustees at the temple for decades, similar to many other Divya Desams. Through this period, a few like Raman Bhattar went westward for survival, while others participated in a support role during festive occasions at nearby Divya Desams to help make ends meet.

Speciality of Aadi Utsavam - Cauvery's Penance here at Thiru Cherai
In the early 1990s, a temple dedicated to Cauvery was planned to be built near the sea shore in Poompuhar. The permission of Periya was sought for this by the villagers. Showcasing Thiru Cherai as the place of Cauvery's penance, he directed them to the original penance location of Cauvery here in Thiru Cherai. Every time, Periyava came to Thiru Cherai, he would walk around and visit the exact location of the penance of Cauvery. 
As per his direction, the 32 feet idol still lay in Poompuhar, un-erected. The grand annual festival invoking the blessings of Cauvery takes place here in Thiru Cherai on Aadi 18/28.

Bhattars now turn Marketing Officers for the HR & CE
In recent times, the rate for 'Thaligai' has increased dramatically and more than doubled for some of the devotee favourites.  As per the unofficial mandate, the Bhattar has to pitch this with the devotees and secure that income for the HR & CE. Hence, these days you find a number of Bhattars from across HR & CE administered temples in Tamil Nadu making frequent trips to cities pitching for various kinds of donations for the temple activity. Renovation activities could begin soon with the Samprokshanam slated for next year (the walls of the prakaram below shows its current state) and it will be the Bhattars with the Kainkarya Sabha team that will once again pitch for devotee contributions for the renovation activity.

It was only after the enterprising Raman Bhattar came back to Thiru Cherai in the early part of the last decade that the temple saw a revival. Devotees had until then ignore making a trip to this temple. Those visiting Kumbakonam would visit Oppiliappan temple and then stop in this direction with Nachiyar Koil. They would travel no further. And hence Thiru Cherai was often ignored.

The Chariot did not run till 2003 and was revived only through the efforts of Raman Bhattar along with SSS Kainkarya Sabha. Using his networking skills, he has brought back the traditional utsavams at this temple over the last decade. The Pancha Parva Utsavam too has revived.

Hoping for the Trustees to come back
Raman Bhattar is hopeful that the income from land belonging to the temple will come back. At one point of time, 2500 kalam of rice used to accrue to the temple twice a year (once in Puratasi and another in Thai). This was distributed amongst the Sirpanthigal and Archakas. 
More importantly, he is hopeful that in the not too distant future the independent trustees will be back at the temple for they were ones that the Bhattars banked on for conducting the poojas and festivals in a devotional way.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Arun TNPL Tiruvallur Veerans

Within 72 hours of the Gala Announcement appointing him as the Head Coach, B Arun quits Tiruvallur Veerans
Will VBC now look for another coach with less than a week for the TNPL??
VB Chandrasekar seen with B Arun (far left) and Muttiah Muralidharan at the appointment announcement

Last Saturday afternoon, VB Tiruvallur Veerans announced the official appointment of Muttiah Muralidharan as its Mentor at a Gala Function at a city hotel. There were 100s of young cricketers from the VB academy who were present on the occasion. And in the front row there were a galaxy of star personnel from the TNCA that included KS Viswanathan, PS Raman (Chairman TNPL), V Ramesh (VP, TNCA and Secretary Kanchipuram CA) and RI Palani (he preferred the last row).

Also, present on the occasion was B Arun who was introduced and announced as the Head Coach of the Tiruvallur Veerans by Franchise owner VB Chandrasekar.

When asked by VBC to talk about the roping in of the two stars, PS Raman recalled the year when Arun, VBC and himself were part of the Madras University team in Delhi well over three decades ago. He spoke about the value that Arun would bring to the Veerans and how roping in Arun to the TNPL was a big boost.

Kasi Viswanathan, who VBC introduced with a tinge of sadness as the ex Hony Secretary of the TNCA, also spoke of Arun signing up with the Veerans as being a great positive for the  TNPL.
VBC spoke glowing about Arun’s capabilities and how he was a great addition for the team and how the team would benefit from him. Interestingly, he also added in his introductory address that Arun was being spoken of as the ‘likely’ bowling coach of India.

After such a gala announcement and with the entire media featuring this news on Sunday, Arun has announced quitting as the coach (even before he started his engagement!!!) of Tiruvallur Veerans.

While Arun’s elevation is a matter of great pride for the city, the gala appointment announcement amidst top officials of the TNCA / TNPL and now  his quitting within 72 hours or so is not a great sign of the way TNPL is being handled.

If VBC knew that Arun was in line for the India coaching job and if it was a matter of time before that announcement was made (either way), could he have waited a while longer before taking this call/ making this announcement and positioning it as a being a big uplift for the Veerans.

This is the problem of over hyping every thing in cricket and making announcements to up the glamour quotient of an event. While 'moves' are part of the cricketing system, with VBC himself announcing that Saturday afternoon about Arun being the likely choice for India, he could have deferred making the announcement but he chose to go for the big headline in the Sunday's newspapers.
With less than a week for the start of the tournament, will he now look for another Head coach or will he himself double up as a coach as well.

We will wait and watch.

PS: TNPL may be all glamour with TV coverage. But for the lead up nets sessions, players belonging to Tiruvallur Veerans are having to ride (two wheeler) 25 kms one way  to the ground in Kelambakkam - That's a whopping 50 kms for a nets session. The players are likely to be worn out by the time they reach the ground for practice!!!

Azhagar Koil Thiru Maliruncholai

60 years ago, devotees thronged to Azhagar Koil in multiple bullock carts from afar and stayed through the 10 days to watch the grand Brahmotsavam celebrations

8 different musical instruments were played out before the Lord every day
Koodal Iyizhaittal was a historical game played by girls seeking to be united with their beloved

100s of Mooligai Paintings have been painted White by the HR & CE, Mirasu Personnel have lost their rights, income is not spent on the temple, Quantity of Thaligai has come down drastically!!!

The long agraharam in the South that once resonated with Vedic Chants and Prabhandham recital is now gone 
Azhagar Koil at Thiru Maliruncholai ( on the outskirts of Madurai is one of the Divya Desams praised by several Azhvaars in all its glory 1000s of years ago. In a much earlier praise in the Paripatal belonging to the Sangam period, Thiru Malirun Kunram finds a detailed praise ( The most fascinating description of Thiru Maliruncholai in the Paripatal is of Balarama and the extent of worship dedicated to him in this region, the reference to his chest ornaments and the beautiful single ear pendent. One wonders as to how the worship of Lord Balarama got dispensed with at the temple. The devotees who throng the roads to the hill are advised to worship the hill itself as it is seen as the seat of the God who removes all worries and destroys the sins of devotees.

Koodal Iyizhaittal – A historical game at Thiru Maliruncholai
In the Nachiyar Thirumozhi provides insights into the astrological predictions referred to as Koodal Iyizhaithal. Andal presents to us a historical system that was in vogue even during her time that of Koodal Iyizhaithal where one looks at the set of lines to decide the fate of the lovers. Andal addresses the angel and asks if the omens are good for her to unite with her beloved.
 Historically shells were used in a game through one of the two processes – either by putting them together in small groups or by drawing a number of concentric circles and seeing them in twos. If the final result ended in even number, it was seen as a Good Omen and the wishes of the lover was said to be fulfilled.

Koodal Iyizhaittal was a historical game played by young girls who were looking to be united with their beloved. By the end of the game based on the result, they get an indication on whether they would unite with their lover. This is a game of dots and lines drawn to see if the final formation ends in a good omen.

She invokes the blessings of the Lord of Thiru Maliruncholai to ensure that the lines drawn will form the right concentric circles so it ends up in good omen.

Garuda Bhattar and Kuthirai Bhattar
Into the 20th Century, there were two different sets of the Bhattar clan that managed the temple. One set was called Garuda Vahana Bhattar (clan) and the other Kuthirai Vahana Bhattar. As from the name, one set took care of the popular Garuda Vahana Utsavam while the other set took care of the other popular utsavam – The Horse Vahana Purapadu. 
There was a big agraharam south of the temple with 40 families residing there. The entire agraharam resonated with both Veda Parayanam and Divya Prabhandham till the mid 1960s.

Huge Service Personnel
32 different sets of people managed the temple. Sathatha Vaishnavas ( and Kanakkupillais were an integral part of the system at the temple. Every single kainkaryam was a Mirasu in those decades through the 20th century. Even to wash the Lord’s clothes, there was a Mirasu person assigned. There was an Aasaari, Kothanaru, Ochan and Thiru Kai Valakkam (Light Man) at the temple. The Pandaris who held the maximum land at the temple were assigned the Pushpa Kainkaryam service.There was no salary for these service personnel but they took great pride in serving the Lord. Mirasu personnel had a lot of freedom and power and they used it with a lot of devotion and responsibility.  The only Mirasu left are the two archakas.

There were service personnel managing the Saamaram, Kudai, Suruti, Theevatti, Theemara and Bandham and they were all devotionally attached in performing their respective roles at the temple.

8 different Vathyams
Different musical presentations for each of the Pooja Kalams was a special highlight at the temple. 8 Vathyams were used at different times in the day and there was a big display board that gave details of the day’s presentations. Thiru Changu, Chinnam, Serandi, Thavandai, Nagara, Nadaswaram, Thavil, Thaalam and Oththu were all in Vogue till the 2nd half of the previous century. Entry of the HR & CE saw the exit of most of these Vathyams and just three remain now. Most of them were Mirasu and they only got prasadam for their round the year service. Interestingly, the Thiruvabaranam box was carried by the villagers and they too received just the prasadam for this service.

Vaishnavites lived in large numbers.  The traditional Sri Patham Thangis, who carried the Lord during the big Vahana processions, were a treat to watch in their devotional presentation.

An Opportunity to serve the Lord
In his early school days in the 1950s/60s, Parthasarathy Bhattar, who had a major part of his education here, would run behind Lord Kallazhagar during utsavams and he would yearn to get one flower from the Lord. And then for over two decades, he has had the blessings of standing in front of the Lord and offering service to the Lord including presenting flowers every day to him.

He says that no amount of money can equal the opportunity to serve the Lord by standing alongside him and the satisfaction he gets from it.

He recounts the devotion of the Keerai Vendor who would never accept cash from the Bhattar. She would always ask for rice or paddy that they had received from the temple as an exchange for the Keerai that she sold.

Kallazhagar and his trip to ‘Alankara’ Nallur
Centuries ago, Kallazhagar entered the Vaigai in a chariot as it was scorching hot in Chitrai. He would go on a pallakku to Alanka Nallur. It was there that he mounted on the horse vahana after the Alankaram. Hence that place came to be called ‘Alankara’ Nallur (now Alankanallur). It was from there that he went to Thenoor where he entered the Vaigai on Chitrai Pournami.

During the utsavam of Meenakshi Amman, the procession of the deity takes place in the respective months and streets - Maasi Utsavam on Maasi Streets and Chitrai Utsavam on Chitrai Streets. The grand 10 day festival now celebrated in Chitrai still takes place in the Maasi Streets indicating that this utsavam was once celebrated in Maasi. With the intention of making this the biggest festival, the Maasi utsavam was moved to Chitrai in the 16th century during Thirumalai Nayak’s rule to coincide with Azhagar’s trip (Also the farmers were not ready with their harvest in Maasi and could only bring them in Chitrai). Azhagar’s trip was extended to Madurai from the previous destination of Thenoor.

The Closed Raja Gopuram
The Raja Gopuram is closed through the year except during the 10 day utsavam in Aadi when Chakrathazhvaar makes his way there. At the entrance is a Sannidhi for Karuppanswamy, the Kaaval Deivam. Devotees throng from across the erstwhile Pandya Kingdom to invoke his blessings.

Description in Divya Prabhandham
Andal in her praise of the place refers to the tall and fragrant groves where elephants played all the time. She calls the peacocks that are seen flocking and spreading their feathers wide as beautiful dancers and seeks their help in attaining the Lord.  

The place she says is full of Kavuvilai, Pata and Kaya flowers and Mullai Creeper that filled her heart with instant love for the Lord. She says that this place was also home to Kala fruit. This was also the place of the ‘Kongu’ trees. Andal also refers to the big lake around Thiru Maliruncholai that was full of red lotuses.

Like Andal, Thiru Mangai Azhvaar too refers to peacocks flocking in groups and dancing at their best making a pleasing sight for everyone at the temple. Repeatedly he makes a mention of overflowing honey dripping flower groves in the hills of Thiru Maliruncholai. He says that with so many flowers of different kinds, the bees are having a good time collecting honey from the mountain flowers. The tall groves of the Vengai trees as described by him give us an indication of the seasons of the year.
 தடங் கடல் முகந்து விசும்பிடைப் பிளறித்
தடவரைக் களிறு என்று முனிந்து
மடங்கள் நின்று அதிரும் மாலிருஞ்சோலை....
Thiru Mangai Azhvaar describes to us a scene during the monsoon season when he found the lions mistaking the thick clouds arising from the ocean for the roaring of an elephant. And he says that in their typical aggressive style, the lions roared back in extreme anger.

சிலம்பு  இயல் ஆறு உடைய திருமாலிருன்சோலை
He also makes a mention of Nupura Ganga (the place where Durvasa cursed Subadavasthu rishi) that flows through Thiru Maliruncholai hills.

Tuft and its embarrassment
Parthasarathy Bhattar and their forefathers never considered quitting temple service even when times were tough and they were financially poor. Parthasarathy Bhattar’s uncle was an archakar at the Madana Gopalan temple in Madurai. He would get an income of Rs. 1 a day but did not complain!!!

While he and his family survived the onslaught of the HR & CE in the final decades of hte the century gone by, Parthasarathy Bhattar is not so sure of what might happen into the future. He is also saddened that the community has been going down in recent decades. When once upon a time, tuft was considered an integral part of the Vaishnava Personality, today the Vaishnavites almost consider it an embarrassment to their lifestyle. Even on the biggest festive occasions, those that carry the Lord don't have a tuft.Traditionalists have been lured into the modern way of life.

Entry HR & CE and Traditions take a back seat 
As HR & CE took over and gain monumental power, the focus shifted to increasing the income. They pushed the priests to expand the donor base. There are now a whopping 453 Mandagapadis during Azhagar’s trip to Madurai for the Chitrai festival i.e 906 stops on the way to Madurai and back. Just the deposit to secure the Mandagapadis runs into several lakhs. And each devotee donor has also to pay Rs. 2000 for the Sevai at his location. That is a huge amount of income for the HR & CE from just one festival. And yet, the money does not come back into the temple.

In the 70s and 80s, there were no barricades, no tickets. Today over 10000 devotees visit over the weekend and it is ticketed. In those decades, with limited bus service, devotees would walk a long way to reach Thiru Maliruncholai. They would stay overnight at the mandapas to have darshan of the Lord the next morning.

60 years ago, devotees came along in bullock carts from afar and stayed through the 10 days to watch the grand Brahmotsavam celebrations. There were no proper roads to the temple and one had to wade through a forest path to reach the temple.

In 1965, the temple tank was closed. There was a fort around the temple at the entrance in the South. That was demolished and with those stones the tank was closed. Decades later it was reopened by the Wodeyar.

Mooligai Paintings lost forever
In the Vasantha mandapam, there were 100s of beautiful historical Mooligai paintings. Agamas were taught here and several students graduated from here. It was named as Azhagar Koil Gurukulam. The Mooligai Paintings at the Vasantha Mandapam have all been painted white after the HR & CE came into power. And thus the centuries’ old paintings have been lost forever. 
After HR & CE took over, service personnel were cut and reduced drastically. From every service having the hereditary Mirasu tag in the earlier centuries, today almost all have moved into the HR & CE’s control except the archakas, where too an effort is being made to get them under their control. Several of the traditional practices have come to a halt. Almost all the vaishnavites have been shown the way. In earlier decades, Hundial money was spent on the temple but not anymore.

The Thaligai quantity presented everyday to the Bhattars too has reduced drastically. This too has to now be funded out of devotee contributions. Madapalli always had spirituality to it. Now it is all gone and is more like a job to be done every day. Aacharam and Anushtanam that were so sacred at the temple has become a thing of the past. Absence of Acharya at TMC is a big loss to the region

Earlier it was all devotional service with no money. Today it is all money with no devotion.

For Cab to go around Divya Desams in the Madurai region, Contact: Manimaran @ 99659 99222/ Vinod @ 96773 23382