PLACES OF WORSHIP
Manakula Vinayagar Temple
Manakula Vinayagar Temple has a 400 years old history to tell. Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple was in existence before the French came and settled in Pondicherry i.e. before 1666. According to Sasthra, Lord GANESHA is named in 16 types based on his various forms out which this god facing the east cost near Bay of Bengal it has been named as Bhuvaneshar Ganapathy, now called as Manakula Vinayagar. In Tamil 'Manal' means sand and 'Kulam' means pond near the sea, earlierly which was full of sand around pond. So the people called the god as Manal Kulathu Vinayagar [means God near the pond of sand]. Later it is named as MANAKULA VINAYAGAR.
The Jesuits and missionaries tried to demolish Manakula Vinayagar, but they could not demolish the temple. During 1700 French prohibited performing poojas and festivals particularly on Fridays in the temple. All the Hindus who were worshipping Lord Vinayaga objected and migrated to Moratandi English Territory.The elephant-headed God is worshipped by all and sundry and no one starts a work without praying to him. The speciality about this temple is that the life story of this half-human and half-animal Lord is told in several fresco paintings
Vedapuriswara Temple, built in the 18th century is another ancient temple that lures hundreds of pious minded everyday. The four pillars of the main temple, exhibit the various poses of the dance of Shiva. Vedapuriswara (Lord Shiva) was the presiding spirit of Vedapuri by which name the present Pondicherry was once known
This temple was built in Dravidian style. It is one of the most famous and the oldest temples in the Town. It is located within the Bouleward on the M.G.Road, Puducherry. The Gopuram and the sculptured pillars in the temple are with bright colours and it is dedicated to Lord Vishnu
A Famous shrine of Pondicherry where Guru Sithanandar a saint was burried alive (Jeeven Samadhi). Lord Shiva Temple has been constructed over his samadhi and is a best place for peace lovers.
Swamy Sithananda was born and lived in a small village called Vandipalayam near the historical place of Thirupathiripuliyur, and also served as Garland man and "Sadhu" to God at the Sri Padaleswarar temple. Muthukumarasamy pillai who lived at Muthialpet, Pondicherry, came to know about Swamy Sithananda. The wife of Pillai was suffering from a disease for a long time. He believed if his wife was blessed by Sithananda Swamy she would recover from her illness. So Pillai requested Swamy Sithananda to visit his house at Pondicherry. A miracle had happened. When he entered into the house of Pillai and blessed his wife, she recovered from her illness. From then onwards he stayed in Pondicherry. People far and near daily came to Him to get his blessings. One day Swamy Sithananda and Pillai were walking along the village Karuvadikuppam. Then Swamy Sithananda showed a place to Pillai which was suitable to be for his Samadhi-People strongly believed that the blessings of Swamy Sithananda would bring peace, prosperity and happiness in their life. He attained Jeevasamadhi on 28th May 1837. People hope and trust that a visit to Swamy Sithananda temple would shower what they aspire to achieve in their life.
On Thursdays special poojas are offered to Guru Dakshinamoorthy statue in which devotees from all over Pondicherry take part in large nos. This is an important pilgrimage for tourists visiting Pondicherry.
Located on Subbayah Salai, this white and brown neo-gothic church is one of Pondy’s finest Catholic churches. It was built by French missionaries in the 1700’s in a contrasting Neo-Gothic manner, with towers flanking a central gable and stained glass windows on the side. The church has an imposing entrance and the beautiful stained glass panels depict incidents from Jesus Christ’s life. Further along the southern boulevard is the cemetery which has some interesting tombs with ornate marble decorations.
Church of our Lady of the Angels on rue Romain Rolland was built in 1852 in the Greek Roman architectural style. Its façade, flanked by two unadorned square towers, faces east towards the ocean. The interior is roofed by a barrel vault, witha great dome rising over the crossing. The pastel peach and lime colours give it a very serene appearance.
This church is also famous for its rare oil painting of Our Lady of the Assumption, which was a gift from the French emperor, Napoleon III. The cemetery next to the church has the tomb of Marquis de Bussy (dated 1785), who was one of Dupleix’s most enterprising followers
Located on Mission Street, this cathedral, which bears a strong resemblance to a church in France, was built in 1791 in the place of a former church. The imposing façade presents paired Doric columns below and ionic above. In front of the church is a statue of Our Lady with the infant Jesus in her arms. The interior design consists of eight barrel vaults and a central dome pierced with eight circular openings.
Sri Lauda Chinna Amman Temple is situated at No. 46, Lally Tolandal street, Gingee salai. The main deity of this temple is a unified form of Amrnaiyappan and Arthanareeswaran. Another deity available at the south-eastern part of this temple is Jeya Veera Anjaneyar. His tail with a bell and fire at his hand is an unique scene of Ramayana.There is a Pond with ancient touch at the centre of the garden in the temple.
The Kamatchiamman Temple is situated in the Bharathi Street of Pondicherry and is an important Pondicherry pilgrimage spot. The singularity of the temple lies in the unembellished form of the temple structure. The place of worship is frequently visited by the tourists and the local people who arrive in the temple to offer their prayers to the temple deity.
The temple is devoted to the worship of Goddess Durga who is representative deity of war. The temple is decorated in the interiors on occasions when special prayers are offered to the Goddess. However, the exterior walls of the temple are dark and rust in color. The architecture of the temple is deprived of the furnishings that are present in the other temples of the region. The temple withstood the atrocities of time and still stands in its magnificence in the region of Pondicherry. With time, the ancient temple has been further deprived of its initial luster and sheen. Although bereft of any ornamentation, the temple never lacks the devotees and pilgrims who gather in large number every year to offer their prayers to the goddess.
The austere Kamatchiamman Temple is one of the chief tourists attraction of the territory of Pondicherry although the temple is different from most of the other temples of South India. On the festive days, the temple is flocked by pilgrims who arrive from the different parts of the region and from all corners of the country to participate in the celebrations and to seek the blessings of the Goddess Durga..
The first Jain temple of Pondicherry was built in the year 1977 in a rented place that was in the cutting of Gandhi Street and Chetty Street. Now it has been shifted to Door No: 48, Anna salai, Pondicherry on 13' February 2005. The temple that has been built now is in the own land and full) marbled with two storeys.
Totally there are 8 Gods in Jainism. The main God is SHANKESWAR PARASNATH, a nine headed King Cobra is guarding over his head. All people, irrespective of their religions go there and worship the Gods. The temple is open on all days from 6 am to 11 am in the morning and 5 pm to 9 pm in the evening.
Sri Gokilambal Thirukameswarar Temple, architecturally the finest in Pondicherry, is located 9.5 kms away. During May-June, a ten-day annual festival (Brahmothsavam) is held here which attracts hundreds of devotees. The temple car rising to a height of 15.25 metres is profusely decorated, pulled out from its usual position and taken on a procession around the town. It is an awe-inspiring sight.
his very ancient Shiva temple is one of the 275 Thevara Padal Petra Sthalangals and is located at Irumbai village in the vicinity of Auroville International Township. Just before reaching the temple, you will be passing through a beautiful path with coconut trees on both sides. The temple is in a nice and serene atmosphere with giant banyan trees, many coconut trees and the temple tank in frontThe speciality of the temple being that the main deity Maakaaleswarar in the form of a Shiva lingam is broken in pieces and tied together with a copper string . Lord Subramanyar shrine is of significance here but it was closed due to the renovation.
One of the 275 Thevara Padal Petra Sthalams.
Once in dilapidated condition, now being renovated with beautiful and rich paintings. When completed it should be one of the most beautiful temples.
The shiva lingam in broken form and tied together with a copper string.
Location: Irumbai Maakaalam near Pondicherry .
Ambal: Kuyilmozhi Ammai
Other Shrines: Lord Subramanyar
Panchamuga Anjaneya Temple has been built at Panchavadi, a small village, on the high way leading to Tindivanam. It is just 12kms distance from Puducherry. The gigantic idol of Anjaneya which is standing 32 feet high is becoming popular day by day and attracts all worshippers, young and old, alike from far and near.
Located on the Tindivanam-Pondicherry National Highway, is the Jayamangala Panchamukha Sri Anjaneya Swamy Temple around His Magnificient Viswaroopa form standing 36 feet tall and 15 feet wide - not seen anywhere else on this earth.
There are two magnificent sannidhis, one for Jayamangala Valampuri Maha Ganapathy and another for Sri Ramachandra Prabhu in Pattabishega Thirukolam (Coronation Durbar) showering their benign blessings on all devotees.
This Temple has been constructed on a 12 acre land, located on the 29th kilometre on the Tindivanam - Pondicherry National Highway. This area where the Temple for Sri Panchamukha Anjaneyaswamy is located is known as Panchavatee Kshetram. The Panchamukha Sri Anjaneyaswamy’s Vigraham, installed at the Panchavatee Kshetram on 11th June 2003, is in unique Viswaroopa posture (Thirukolam), 36 feet in height not seen anywhere else on this earth. Besides this sannidhi for Anjaneyaswamy, the Temple also enshrines Sannidhis for Jayamangala Mahaganapathi and Sri Ramachandraprabhu in Pattabhisheka Thirukolam.
The Consecreation (Maha-kumbhabhishekam) for this Temple was performed on 31st January 2007
Special Sevas to Panchamukha Sri Anjaneya Swamy
Special Sevas are to be carried out only at specific day and time. The Special Sevas to Panchamukha Sri Anjaneya Swamy are:
Details for donations by cheque or demand draft:
Payable to: Panchamukha Sri Jayamaruthi Seva Trust
Send To: Mr.S.Narasimhan
51C 3rd Main Road, Kasturibai nagar, Chennai - 600020
P: 4213-4179, 2372-7485 M: (98410) 27456
Details for donations by wire transfer:
Account Name: Panchamukha Sri Jayamaruthi Seva Trust
Account Number: 01100050010
Bank: State Bank of India
Tamil Nadu - 605111
SWIFT Code: SBININBBA-474
This temple has been built to dedicate to Goddess Shakti. It is located on Mahatma Gandhi Road, Puducherry. It is with the blend of Dravidian and French architecture. The walls, windows and the decorations made on the ceiling shows the influence of French Culture. The granite pillars and the sanctum and sanctoram of the temple have the Dravidian style of architecture.
The Saneeswarar Temple is located not too far from the Kali Temple about 8 km outside Pondicherry off the main road on the Pondicherry-Auroville route.
Sri Chidambara Gurukkal, an astrologer, built this temple for the Navagrahas, the Gods of nine planets: Rahu (Shadow Planet), Angaraka (Mars), Chandra (Moon), Guru (Jupiter), Budha (Mercury), Kethu (Shadow Planet), Sukhra (Venus), Saneeswara (Saturn), and Surya (Sun God).
As you enter there is a 27 foot tall idol of Shree Saneeswara facing the entrance. At the base are the Zodiac signs. Facing Shree Saneeswara, at the top of a flight of stairs, is a beautiful 34 foot tall gold Lord Ganesha. There is a Shiva Linga in front of Ganesha (at the top of the stairs).
Behind the idol of Shree Saneeswara are 12 foot high idols of the Navagrahas in their positions. The idols are beautifully done in stone each with their respective vahanas (temple chariot/vehicle), stones, and tree. Notice the details specific to each. In the center is Surya, the Sun God.
As you come out of the shrines, to your left is a small temple for Lord Shiva.
The property itself is two and a half acres large. There are 60 trees - each representing a year in the Tamil calendar - and an additional 27 trees - one for each star. It is a beautiful and peaceful place.
Before entering the property you may purchase small oil lamps to light in front of each shrine.
The Prithiyankara Devi Kali Temple is located in Moratandi about 8 km. outside of Pondicherry. It is an easy stop on the way to/from Auroville.
It is likely that you will have noticed the 72 foot statue of Kali from the road. Stalls line both sides of a dirt lane as you approach the temple where temple offerings, religious items, and food are sold. There are long lines to enter the temple, but the inner sanctum is for Hindus only.
With bulging eyes and a long necklace of skulls around her, Kali appears monstrous. Her skin is blue. Several cobras (manifestations of Kali the Destroyer) rise above her head. In her right hand she holds a trishul which symbolizes the balance of the three forces of creation, preservation, and destruction. In her left hand, she holds a severed head.
In Hinduism, Kali is the goddess of time and transformation that is death - Lord Shiva in his destructive form. But Kali is also a loving mother, a banisher of darkness.
You'll need to read her story to understand Kali. Of course, there are many variations. A simple one is here (although the source is unusual)... http://www.lotussculpture.com/kali.htm
Information about Kali herself can be found here... http://www.goddess.ws/kali.html
Directions: On the main road along the Pondicherry-Auroville route
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St. Thomas Parish - Pondicherry, Reddiarpalayam, Pondicherry, India
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Iyannar Koil - Ozhukarat, Pondicherry, India
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Mahalakshmi Temple - Reddiarpalayam, Pondicherry, 605010, India
Sri Subramaniya Swamy Temple - Nellithoppu Rd, Puducherry, Pondicherry, India
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Drowpathy Amman Temple - Murugampakkam, Pondicherry, India
Digambar Jain Temple - Pattinakkadai, Pondicherry, India
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Perumal Koil - Koodappakkam, Pondicherry, 605502, India
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