Thursday, December 07, 2006

Stolen manhole covers?

"Currently the south-western monsoon is in full swing. Chennai is of course in the south-east of India but the rains appear to have no respect for geography and there is a regular downpour every evening at the moment. Yesterday night we were attempting to get home by autorickshaw after the rain had subsided, only for the main road to have turned into a large lake. Undeterred our rickshaw-wala put his foot to the floor and charged into the maelstrom at a good 10mph. Given that autos have a ground clearance of about 15cm the predictable happened and we stalled in the middle. There was nothing for it but to wade out into the murk and push... Happily no-one had stolen the manhole covers, as occurs in some of the flood-prone metros here!"

by Matthew Mayer


Lord Ayappa

Who is Lord Ayappa ?

The amazing phenomenon, which takes place at the hill temple of Lord Ayappa is spell binding & defies all explanation. Lord Ayappa, is said to have been born out of the union of Lord Vishnu & Lord Shiva & is therefore also called Hariharaputra & Sasta. His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Shankaracharya of Kanchi, thus describes the phenomenon : "When the merciful charm of Vishnu and the serene jnana (knowledge) of Shiva combined, an effulgent light (tejas) was the outcome. Out of this tejas was born Lord Ayappa.

What is the significance of Lord Ayappa ?
In south India, atop a hill, is situated an ancient temple, where Lord Ayappa is said to reside. It is said that the Lord entered the sanctum sanctorum after the completion of his mission and disappeared, as He re-united with the supreme. Lord Ayappa has been the refuge of millions, who come here to get their wishes granted. Millions converge at this temple to witness the the following incredible spectacle at a particular time of the year, which enacts itself every year, as a proof of Lords existence & his continuous benevolence.

How can we reach the temple and what is the tour ?
People from all castes, creed & religions trek to the temple, chanting "Swamy Sharanam Ayappa," which means "O Lord Ayappa, I come to Thee for refuge." This chant turns into a roar, when at the time of the aarti or worship service, a flame is lit in the temple. At the same time, there emanates a miraculous celestial light, from inside the forest covered mountain, on the opposite side, to the one on which the temple is situated. It is said that sages & celestial beings pray to the Lord at the same time. Not a soul lives on the said mountain. Another amazing sight is the appearance of a mysterious eagle, which soars above the treasure (treasure includes the priceless ornaments & items of clothing, with which the idol of Lord Ayappa is adorned on this day), as if guarding it. It sits perched atop the temple, till such time that the worship is over and the treasure is returned to it’s place & put under lock & key. Thereafter the eagle disappears to re appear exactly after one year. This is an incredible sight to see & experience.


India - Stats

31 states, 1618 languages,6400 castes,6 religion,6 ethnic groups,29 majour festival

1 country