The joys and wonders of Mylapore will never cease. Rounding the straight yesterday at East Mada Street, I as usual stopped the car for a moment to marvel at the elegance of the Vanniar Sangam hall’s ground floor and then shudder at the unparalleled ugliness of its first floor. Strangely, the hall was not locked. It had a couple of temple umbrellas resting against the wall and inside I could see Pancha Murthies from a temple.
It then dawned on me that this being Vaikasi (May/Jun), it is time for the brahmotsavam of Velleeswarar. Last year I wrote about the most important day of this festival, when Shiva-Velleeswara restores the vision of Shukra after the Vamana Avataram. This year, I was fortunate to see the Adhikara Nandi.
Unlike the Kapaliswarar temple, the Adhikara Nandi here is not plated with silver but only has silver paint. However, the decorations have an understated elegance about them. The pillars of the Vanniar Sangam hall only added to the beauty of the event.
Legend has it that Velleeswarar is the original resident deity of Mylapore with Kapali moving in later. And so in keeping with it, Velleeswarar goes around the four mada streets just like Kapali does. Only the crowds are a lot less. Arupathu Moovar is celebrated with just four devotees – three from the 63 – Appar, Sundarar and Sambandar, coming out along with Manikkavachakar. However, I am not so sure about the authenticity of that claim about the age of the temple. The list of Dharmakarthas dates back to 1884 or so.
The temple is gearing up for a kumbhabhishekam soon. Its interior must have been once graceful but it is now cluttered with too many sub shrines.