Day 7:52 pm

  • Girivalam shrines – Thalaithiruga Dhanam Tharum Vinayagar

    This is a very old shrine to Lord Ganesh and can be found on the right side of the outer girivalam road, a few metres after the Surya theertham. It had fallen into disuse for some years and has now been renovated by a kind Sadhu who performs the daily puja at his own expense. The name itself is quite intriguing and ‘Thalaithiruga dhanam tharum’ a tamil term literally means ‘he who bestows riches on head being twisted’. Ouch! how painful that this poor Ganesh had to have his head twisted each time a devotee approached him with a desire for riches! Mercifully this practice has been stopped due to the twistable head of the deity itself having been removed by some Raja in his greed for wealth. Apparently he met with a sorry end after this act. Another example of killing the goose which laid golden eggs?

    Today the deity presents itself as a full-fledged Ganesh (with figure intact and firm non-twistable head) carved on the front surface of a fairly long natural rock formation. The rock itself is so long that the two ends can be seen extending outside of the concrete structure housing the shrine. The Sadhu priest is earnest to show us the place on the rock where the earlier twisting-removable head used to be. This is now a depression in the rock on the top surface and is covered with vibhuthi. and a little glass prism. The priest also explains the legendary practice where-in the head used to be removed and a few brass coins placed in the hole underneath and the next day if the head was again unscrewed and removed, the hole underneath used to be full of gold and silver coins ! The devotee who placed the brass coins would then recover the gold and silver coins after giving one or two back as offering to the priest.

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