The Story Of Madras-1

  The Madras of today is 370 years old.But parts of this city are as old as the history of the Tamils.How much do we know about this great city?? well here are the places and people that would kindle the interest

                         In the centuries preceding the christian era,Tiruvalluvar lived here and wrote tirukural,an anthology of wisdom,during the sangam period.

                    The oldest part of Madras is probably Mylapore.It is named after goddess Parvathy,known as karpakaambal who took the form of a peahen and performed penance to marry lord siva in the form of kapaleeswara.This is one of the oldest temples in the city. According to the stala purana of the temple, It is located on the spot where lord brahma installed a shiva lingam.
            Mylapore was the home of peyalwar.In the 7th century A.D Tirugnana Sambandar visited Mylapore and described it thus:
 "where honey-trees grew in beautiful gardens in the sea-shore,where devi appeared in the form of a pea-hen and kapaleeshwara took her in marriage".
                      Mylapore was a seaport and commercial center under the pallavas.The pallava king Nandivarman-III was known as Mylai-kavalan,the protector of Mylapore.

                      The original Temple which was near the sea,was washed away and the present temple rebuilt much later by the vijayanagara kings.The gopuram(entrance) is 120 feet tall.Inside the temple is the punnai tree, beneath which the legend of Mylapore grew.The temple is of the typical Dravidian style.

                    Yet another old part is Triplicane or Tiruvallikeni,the sacred lily tank.The temple of Parthasarathy through a recent building,originally existed in the 8th century, which was built by the pallavas expanded by the cholas and later by the vijayanagara kings.This temple is one of its kind in the country where lord krishna is known as Parthasarathy (charioteer) to Arjuna during the Kurukshetra war (Mahabharatha). We can see the lord with a moustache and the idol has several scars indicating the war.

Tirumangaialvar sang of Tiruvallikeni:
"The fragrance of the kuravan flowers in cool shady gardens where cuckoos sing and peacocks dance.....The sun's rays never penetrate the thick foliage of tiruvallikeni"
 Neither Mylapore nor triplicane houses anymore trees or peacocks :(
.As the city grew,the first casualty was its natural surroundings.

Reference from : fore ever young, Editors collection.


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