Unusual elephant encounter at Pondicherry's Ganesha temple

September 2, 2016
Unusual elephant encounter at Pondicherry's Ganesha temple

Symbol of wisdom, the elephant-headed Lord Ganesha is popularly known as ‘God Of New Beginnings’ and ‘Obstacle Remover’. Markets are colorful with clay models of Lord Ganesha, artisans look delighted with their creations, people are shopping for sweets and decoration materials, such as the joyful sight one comes across during the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. Celebrations at places like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Goa are worth an experience.

This Ganesh Chaturthi, you can visit the extraordinary Manakula Vinayagar Temple situated approximately 400 meters away from the Bay of Bengal in White Town, Pondicherry. Read on to know why devotees, photo fanatics, and experience seekers flock to this special temple of Lord Ganesha.

1. How did this temple get its name ‘Manakula Vinayagar’

This magnificent temple was built before the 15th century, long before the French settled in Pondicherry. Manal means Pond, Kulam means Sand and Vinayaka is another name for Lord Ganesha which translates to Lord Ganesha temple close to the beach area.

2. It houses various incarnations and forms of Lord Ganesha

At this temple, God Ganesha showers blessings in all his forms. Resting on a golden chariot, the idol of Lord Ganesha is breathtaking, it may tempt you to capture its beauty. But remember, photography is prohibited inside the temple.

3. Depiction of important events from Hindu mythology

You will be amazed by the intricate paintings of this holy shrine. Renowned painters have created different events from Hindu mythology. From the birth of Lord Ganesha to his marriage to Siddhi and Riddhi to the killing of demons, you can catch a glimpse of more such historical scenes at this sacred place.

4. Meet Lakshmi - the main attraction of this sacred shrine

At the entrance of this temple, you will see locals as well as foreigners clicking pictures and taking videos of the elephant named Lakshmi. It is no less than a celebrity. When people offer money and food to her, she blesses them with her trunk. The sight is awe-inspiring and crowds of people gather here to watch Lakshmi showering her blessings.

5. Shop for beautiful idols of God near the temple

You can buy idols of your favorite deity from the various shops this place offers. Take some sacred souvenirs for your loved ones back home.

How to reach Manakula Vinayagar Temple

You can book your flight tickets to Chennai. Take a cab from Chennai, by road it takes approximately 3.5 hours to reach Pondicherry. You can also visit the Sri Aurobindo Ashram which is close to this temple.

Timings to visit this temple

Mornings between 5.45 am to 12.30 pm

Evenings between 4.00 pm to 9.30 pm

Click to read about Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations around the world.

Read about favorite sweets for Ganesh Chaturthi here.

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