Thiruneermalai temple, near Pallavaram, Chennai is unique for many reasons. The fact that Perumal appears in four different poses (Ninra – standing, kidantha -reclining, nadantha – walking and irundha – sitting ) is only one of them.
In fact, there are two separate temples. One in the foothills adjacent to the road (Neervanna Perumal – Lord Rama in standing pose) and one in the top of the hill which has three shrines – Ranganatha (reclining ) is the main deity. Soumya Narasimha (sitting) and Thrivikrama or Ulagalantha Perumal (walking pose) are on a higher floor.
The modest navagraha shrine is on the roadside behind the Neervanna Perumal temple, by the side of the Pushkarani.
The kiosk adjacent to this was closed. It is perhaps a store selling puja materials. Thankfully, it is painted with ‘kaavi’ stripes to go with the temple and not covered with any garish paint or posters.
One can not miss the flower shops in the small lane leading up to the Kapaliswarar temple, Mylapore. The colours and arrangments are so appealing that these must be the most photographed shops in this area.
The cycle rickshaw stands majestically in front the religious icons painted on the walls of a school in George Town, Chennai.
The idea of these icons is not to spread spirituality but to dissuade the public from committing nuisance here. In some cases, the idea works. In many cases, it doesn’t. A case of “urgency” vs. spirituality. In Singara Chennai, invariably, the former wins!
In Chennai, whichever way you turn you can see banners, posters, cutouts and flex boards. They may be from political parties, cinemas, temples, evangelists, training centres or sex clinics. These are not only eyesores but also hindrance or distractions for the citizens. Somehow, we have been tolerating the situation due to our indifference or helplessness.
Occasionally, there will be initiatives by NGOs or by individuals through the court (as in the present case), but none of these have had sustained impact on the outcome. What can be done?
During my recent trip to Odisha, I was pleasantly surprised to see most of the public walls were covered with tastefully painted themes, both in capital Bhubaneswar and in the pilgrim town of Puri. If a state like odisha can do it why not Tamil Nadu?