Here’s the first of my posts on the temples that I visited recently.
We started at early morning with a beautiful sunrise and excellent music giving us company.
Eppadi irundha beautiful golden-yellow sun ippadi aaidthu: 😛
We first stopped over at Panchamukha Anjaneyar Temple at Panchavati, in the Tindivanam-Pondicherry Road.
We reached the temple at around 8 am. As we entered the temple, the two imposing tall doors of the Anjaneyar sannidhi were closed. All other sanctum/sannidhis were closed too since they were doing alankaram for all the deities at that time. We had to wait for more than half an hour before the doors to the sannidhis were opened. Being a weekday morning, very few people were there in the temple.
The entire story of Ramayana has been depicted here with paintings of the important incidents in order, at the top on the walls on both sides in front of the Anjaneyar sannidhi. Were those glass paintings or were those, paintings framed in glass frames? I guess those paintings will be lighted up from inside in the evenings. At least that’s how they appeared to be, when I saw the temple from outside on an evening, during our return journey to Madras. But am not sure about it though.
The idol of Panchamukha Anjaneyar here is 36-feet tall! But I felt that the lotus-base, on which Anjaneyar is standing, itself was way too tall and the Anjaneyar didn’t appear as tall as the 32-feet Anjaneyar at Nanganallur. When the doors opened, alankaram was still in progress and we saw them using lifts to put a garland on Anjaneyar! While only the four faces of Anjaneyar are visible from the front, you can see the fifth face, which is on the back-side of the head, from a small glass window on the back-side wall, while doing pradakshiNam. In front of the Anjaneyar sannidhi, there is a vessel filled with water which has a floating stone that was used by Lord Ram’s Vaanar Sena to build the bridge to Lanka.
Apart from Anjaneyar, the other sannidhis in this temple are: a piLLaiyaar sannidhi that has a huge idol of PiLLaiyaar and a rAmar sannidhi where idols of Rama and Sita along with Bharata, Shatrugna, Lakshmana, Hanuman, Jambavan, Vibhishana, Angada, Sugreeva, Garuda(?), etc. are present. Apart from these, one other sannidhi, the deity in which we were not sure of, was there.
We got a yummy Chakkara Pongal with lots of Cashew nuts and raisins as prasadam. The Chakkara Pongal was cold though!
Do try to visit this temple the next time you go to Pondicherry, in case you have not gone there before.