Uzhavaarath Thiruppani- News
  • Dear all...

    Today, I called up Mr. Aadalarasan, who runs the Uzhavaarath Thiruppani
    Mandram at Velachery (Chennai). This group, consisting of roughly a 1000
    members, does valuable work with regard to temples- they clean, wash, scrub
    and weed the temple premises. The extra-ordinary thing about this is that
    they do not accept monetary help. Anyone who wants to offer financial help
    may do so directly to the concerned temple authorities (especially for
    renovation & construction purposes).

    So far, they've covered temples in and around the city (ie. Chennai),
    Chenglepet, Thiruvallur, etc.

    Work on temples is generally done on the first sunday of every month.
    Details about the temple they're going to cover, appears at least two days
    beforehand in papers like 'Dinamalar'. Members assemble at the appointed
    temple at around 8 AM, and after a morning of work, they break for lunch-
    which is served in the temple, by the Mandram itself (and that's a full
    three-course meal). After that, a 'Sorpozhivu' is arranged (at the temple

    It seems that on one of their uzhavaarap pani excursions, they actually
    unearthed 9 'Aimpon' figurines at a place called 'Melaiyur' - 13 kms east of
    Gooduvaancheri. And sometimes, when a temple is particularly in bad shape,
    those who can and want to, can contribute in plenty- to the temple

    Here's an excerpt from the conversation I had with him (in Thamizh):

    Q: Sir, when did this service start?

    A:(With a chuckle) Actually, it started during the times of Appar.
    Seriously, it started at my home, with a few members- and then it grew from
    strength to strength.

    Q: What kind of people volunteer for this?

    A: Anyone and everyone- there are even a few IAS officers in it. Once, even
    actor Sivaji Ganesan volunteered, having seen reports about us in the

    Q: How do the members assemble on the day of the Uzhavaarath Thirupani?

    A: If its inside the city, then we simply send a postcard to your address a
    week before the actual day. For this, you'll have to send your address to
    us. If its outside city limits, then we usually arrange some form of
    transport. Conveyance expenses are borne by the members.

    Q: Have you visited the temples mentioned in Kalki's 'Ponniyin Selvan', sir?

    A: I've read PS many times, and have visited all the temples mentioned in
    it. I can help you with the routes and directions, if necessary. The
    Pazhaiyaarai temple, built by Kundhavai Devi is in bad shape, though. In,
    fact, I've visited almost all temples in TN- five or six times. I'm yet to
    visit the temples in Sri Lanka.

    For those who are interested- the Mandram is doing a Uzhavaarap pani (note:
    NOT Thiruppani, which means renovation- and they DON'T accept money on
    principle) at the Komaleeswarar Temple (Pudupettai) on Mount Road, on April
    6th. Volunteers can assemle there at roughly 8 AM, bringing some gardening
    tools with them (kalaikothi, manvetti,etc...).

    Mr. Aadalarasan's address:

    14, Balasubramaniar Kovil Street,
    Lakshmi Nagar,
    Chennai 600 042
    Ph. No. 2 245 1555

    PS: I intend to give it a try, people. Shall give a report when I do so.

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