Monday, January 17, 2005

Malaikottai (The Rockfort)

The gates of Mainguard gate are closed for renovation. Chennai silks has opened a branch just opposite Mainguard gate. Two brightly lit, artificial coconut trees advertise the new store. Browsed around their collections. The churidhar and short tops collection is ordinary. Nothing tempted me to undo my purse strings. Other than the novelty of escalators for Trichy residents, it is going to be yet another store. In view of competition, Sarada Stores in Chinna Kadai veethi has expanded his shop to nearly the entire block before malaivasal. The front of the store has undergone a huge makeover intended to convey size as well as splendor. But everything else remains the same.

Had good darshan of Manickavinayagar. Renovation work is going on around the sannidhi. Vinayagar Agaval which was inscribed on the walls around the sanctum sanctorum have now disappeared and given way to marbled walls. New sculptures and paintings adorn the walls above. I preferred the old, authentic temple. Went upto Thayumanavar Sannidhi. As usual, the climb had me huffing and puffing. The temple is as serene and inviting as it has always been. Then visited Uchi Pillaiyar. The view of Trichy atop the Malaikottai is worth having. Looking across the Kaveri, one can see the Srirangam temple tower. The white eastern tower can also be seen. Tiruvanaikkoil is also visible. To the east, one can see the paddy fields near Ariyamangalam. Chathiram bus stand bustles as usual.

Took some pictures with the temple elephant: a playful, young animal. Roamed around Chinnai kadai veethi and Theradi veethi. The unique flavour of Malaivasal mixed in with the smell of jasmine flowers, santhanam, javvadhu, camphor and agarbatthis still lingers in my nostrils. So long till my next visit!

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