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Biswakarma Temple

Srinivasan Balakrishnan



The Divine Architect Biswakarma’s Puja or Jayanthi will be befittingly celebrated this year on Sunday the 17th September.  Though he is acknowledged as such, in Tamil Nadu, however, the day is not observed in a grand manner or as community puja by erecting pandal and putting up his statue. 

But it is interesting to note that Lord Biswakarma has a shrine dedicated to him in the famous Shri Thiagarajar (Shiv) Temple in Thiruvarur town. The uniqueness of this small but exclusive shrine in the whole complex of the Thiagarajar temple is that it is an out and out granite structure; from base up to the kumbh /kalash on the tower, it is completely constructed of granite. The other shrines in the temple complex are a mixture of granite up to lintel level and then brick and mortar, because it calls for elaborate & minute designing and artistic workmanship on the tower above, as can be seen from the shrine at the far left. Biswakarma shrine’s granite tower is without much workmanship but for basic and mandatory decorations.

As Biswakarma is considered the divine and sole authority on architecture and engineering, even the Government of India has instituted awards on his name, called the Vishwakarma Rashtriya Puraskar and National Safety Awards. These awards would be distributed on his Jayanthi day in New Delhi.

Thiruvarur Town is some 300 kms. down south from Chennai and can be easily reached by road and rail.  This town is the headquarters of a district by the same name. The temple car festival of Shri Thiagarajar Temple is a very famous religious event of Tamil Nadu, because this temple car is the biggest of its kind in Tamil Nadu. Similarly, this temple’s sacred tank ‘Kamalalayam’ is considered one of the biggest temple tanks in India. It would be interesting to note that the BJP’s Tamil Nadu State office building in Chennai is named ‘Kamalayalam’. The tank is never said to have dried up. The sight of the biggest temple car gently dancing down the vast street with the soaring temple tower on one side and the brimming tank on the other side is a most graceful one! ..


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