Salute to Queen of Temple Renovation / கோவில் திருப்பணி திலகம்

A poor man’s tribute to great couple! I wish I were an emperor to honor mama/mami appropriately! After all, I am a web-master. All I can do is write 🙂 Even my writing is not of an editorial-grade English….

Mahalakshmi mami

I am extremely happy to see mami’s interview that was posted recently by Sri Sai. Mami has probably several hours of incidents/anugrahams to share on Mahaperiyava. When I asked mami for an interview, mami was not keen on doing that. Now that mami has given an intro, maybe we should request mami to tell us more..

Mami & mama are true blessings to our society. They have been doing this thirupani that even emperors could not do in those days. Mami’s knowledge in Tamil literature is beyond words. Every time I talk to mami, she quotes thevaram, thiruvasagam, scriptures in temples.

Periyava, as we all know, would choose only qualified people to do certain job. From the little experience mami had shared, it is very evident why Periyava was looking at mami for more than one hour when mami’s mother laid mami as a baby at the holy feet of Periyava!! He has been giving strength, courage, perseverance, tolerance in doing this thiruppani. I know the kind of insults/problems mami gets during each and every kumbabishekam when she approaches donors. I have been on several calls when mami has cried – not for insults to her, her pain of seeing how some people tries to stall the work etc. People say all sorts of things straight on her face. Anyone other than mami would drop the whole project right at that moment and go back to their personal business. Only mami, with Siva krupai, has the maturity to brush aside all those insults and discouragements and do this. Her bakthi and confidence towards Iswaran is quite amazing. Even Rs 10 crore project will not make mami to worry. She is always confident that swami won’t let her down. So far, He has always been with them!

I was talking to Shivaraman after Vedharanyam kumbabishekam. Shivaraman was out of words to describe the kind of energy mami gets during the kumbabishekam. Traveling on the road for several hours, arranging a million things for the event…She barely sleeps during those kumbabishekam days – wakes up at 3.30 AM to carry our her nithya puja and deal with 1000s of organizing issues. Temples like vedaranyam are so huge and that too when ministers and govt officials show-up, the pressure mounts and mami and mama dealing with all of them is beyond imagination. To speak for me, at home, to conduct a 2-hour Anusham puja by calling 15-20 people, we feel beaten up at the end of the event – imagine mama & mami doing at a himalayan scale at her age. Only Periyava has been giving them needed energy and motivation.

Mami’s contribution is not limited only to temple renovations but more importantly to making changes at the grass-root level. She has talked and help several villagers and their families to adopt to religious principles and helped women empowerment at those levels. These have resulted in villagers to give up their drinking habits, get back to normalcy and so on! These women consider mami as their guru/guide etc.

Mama’s contribution to this is unimaginable level of efforts. I have seen mama working on his camera, laptop, getting the images, uploading them, creating power point presentations and the list goes on…In contrary to the saying, here “mama is behind mami’s success”!

HH Vaariyar Swamigal, during his old age used to feel worried that there is successor to take over His job. I have heard in His lecture, “How many years I am going to do this upanyasam? Pulavar Keeran has attained siddhi – I am the only one doing upanyasam…Some more people need to take over this”. I quote this analogy as these thiruppani is currently done one and only by mami – none other. Without mami, nothing will happen….We want mami to continue this thirupani to revive our culture, help 100s of shivacharyar’s families and help prevent so many innocent people getting converted to other religions etc. At the same time, we want more people to take up such tasks and do it sincerely and selflessly.

Only after inspired by mami, as part of the Kanchi Guruparampara Foundation, I included temple renovation as one of the key focus areas. As a foundation, we are committed to support temple renovations. In 2016, the foundation has plans to do undertake at least 1 “vaanam paartha shivalingam” – hope Periyava and mami would give us to do this. I have already mentioned this to HH Balaperiyava during my last trip. We will do this project with mami’s support.

Before I end this note, I ask all the readers only one thing – participate in these projects even in a small way – it does not have to be financial help alone. Even if you pass the message around to your friends, that is a great help. There are always lots of donors for popular kshtrams but when it comes to very small dilapidated temple in a remote place, mostly no donors come forward to support. Please pay attention to all my postings in periyava karyam blog and do your best to support in whatever way possible.

Also visit mami’s blog at to know about past and upcoming kumbabishekams.

She is a real scholar in Tamil Literature and history. While our universities take pains to honor film actors etc with a honorary doctoral degree, I wish they do this for mami also. It is not that mami wants a Ph.D, but  to honor a person who is selfless in her contribution to our culture.

We seek Parameswaran’s blessings towards this noble couple for more and more punarudhdharanam of temples in the future.

On behalf of all you, my namaskarams to this great couple!

Mami/Mama – i am fortunate to know both of you. I still remember our first meeting in Ilayathangudi adhishtanam! What a divine place to meet you both!


Categories: Announcements

14 replies

  1. Dear Mahesh,
    I was in Chennai in February, went for Darshanam of Pudhu Periyava before He attain Siddhi, I was so fortunate to get His blessings. I tried calling Lakshmi Mami several times but failed, as nobody was answering the line. I wished to donate a large amount towards Periyava’s Kainkaryam that Lakshmi Mami was doing but couldn’t get hold on her. There were many different phone number in many of the website that mentioned her name. I understand she must be really busy. I even sent her an email stating where I am staying in Chennai and my contact number but still there was no answer. I took as Maha Periyava’s Will that the money is not needed at this time. Next year, by the Will and Blessings of Maha Periyava….I am planning to donate 50 Kadamba and 50 Vilva plant for Maha Periyava Orikkai Manimandapam when I am there in February as I see that the surrounding area of the Manimandapam is empty and needs some greeneries. I have emailed Kanchi Mutt about this and yet to receive an answer. My only wish and hope is that Sri Bala Periyava would plant the first Kadamba and Vilva plant with His Divine Hands. I am still trying to source the plants and it would be really helpful if you can emails me some plant nurseries names where I can purchase the 50 Kadamba and Vilva plants so that I can make arrangements for the plants. Thanking you in advance. Om Namo Bhagavathe Kamakoti Chandrasekharaya.

  2. Dear Shri Mahesh
    You people are blind when checking in credentials. When a renovation takes place it is important to retain the heritage value and the aesthetics of the temple, also important is the materials they use. They renovate using cement and stick tiles, apply gaudy acrylic paint, which are detrimental to the structures’ strength and longivity. I even had fights with them, as I do not have anything personal, but for the sake of the life of the heritage temples they have been destroying in the name of conservation. I bet these temple will crack in due course of time as against the work done using conventioanl lime mortar. So there is a big opposition to thiese type of inst-renovations and the jihadi work they are doing. Many heritage enthusists have taken it to court and now the Supreme court and high court have appointed scholars like dr Nagaswami to check all renovations, per se. even the HR&CE is not spared, leave alone these couples. When we check with them they ridiculed us saying REACH foundation ஆ இருந்தா போறாது. RICH foundation ஆ இருக்கணும்! Is it they arrogance that they have money and we are rich only in our technical expertise, we were unable to FUND temple renovations, made them say that? If it is a open debate, I have 100s of proof of how the old temples have been destroyed by people like them. It is jihaadi worser than what the moghuls did plus arrogance does not pay. எனினும் பெரியவா பார்த்துப்பா.. we are also silent spectators, as we do not have money, but மார்க்கம். I am also a strong believer of Mahaperiyavaa, and live and breath only because of him. So do not write glroifying articles without checking credentials.
    Thenit is left to you to decide. I feel sorry for the donors as they are paying for destruction…

    • Dear Sri Chandrasekharan,

      I had a long conversation with mami. Almost all of the work done by mami are towards places that had no structures/roof at all – so they are technically new constructions. For all other old temples, such renovations are surveyed and approved by HRCE’s own architects who have certain norms and standards and done by them, where mami had no say and does not get involved. Technically she works with both villagers and HRCE for all the work. In fact in two temples, your REACH foundation seem to have provided guidances in few temples – (1) Kamarasavalli (2) Parameswaramangalam. In fact your boss Sri Sathyamurthy requested mami to do a kumbabishekam of one temple when he met her in Chidambaram kumbabishekam. Not sure where the disconnect is.

      As with you, we all are equally concerned about any such unintentional damages. I have definitely requested mama & mami to look into these points.

      Thanks for bringing this to my attention.


  3. It is a fact that they are doing great service to the society by organizing such wonderful temple renovations, the recent being those of Thirupunavasal, and Vedharanyam. It is all due to Lord Sivqa’s grace and Shri Maha Periyava’s blessings, these respectable couple have arranged and performed the Kumbaabishekams of these two temples. All of us must contribute whatever we could towards the renovation of at least one of such temples in future. Our namaskarams to the respected and blessed couple.

  4. Wonderful and Admirable service. We are planning temple renovation in our village near Kalavai. How do I contact share their email id

  5. Dear Mahesh,

    Thanks for the wonderful write up on Mahalakshmi Mami and her husband and their dedication to Sri MahaPeriyava and Renovation of old temples. We plan to see the posted interview soon.

    Bye the way, as you know my native village is Ammankudi, about 10 Kms from Kumbakonam after Oppiliappan temple and Thirunageswaram. The presiding deity is Durgai with Kailasanathar and Parvathi. The temple is about 1000 years old and build at the same time as Tanjavoor temple by Commander-in Chief of Tanjavoor maharaja.

    Here is a short write up about the temple from the website.

    About Temple: Ammankudi, also known as Rajarajeswaram and Devi Tapovanam is situated near Kumbakonam in Thanjavur District. It is about 20 km from Kumbakonam. Presiding deities are Parvati and the Kailasanatha Swamy.

    History: During the Chola period, this place was known both as Ammankudi and Rajarajeswaram. During the time of Rajaraja Cholan I, (985-1014 AD), this place was known by one of the titles of Rajaraja, Keralaandhaka. This is one of those temples of Tamil Nadu, whose stretches back to more than 1000 years. This was the place where the chief of army of Rajaraja Cholan I, Krishnarama Brahmarayan lived. The temple was consecrated by him in 944 AD, according to the stone inscription found on all the three sides of the sanctum sanctorum. Goddess Devi, after killing Mahishasura, had her holy dip in the river Cauvery and reached Ammankudi. Devi washed her trident that she used for killing Mahishasura in the pushkarani in Ammankudi. Since Devi herself washed her trident in this pushkarani, this is known as ‘papa vimochana theertham’. She then went on a penance for 12 years to atone for the killing of Mahishasura. The pond never goes dry, even during the worst summer. Mahishasura was wearing a Lingam around his neck. Devi took that Lingam from his severed neck and installed in Ammankudi and called it by the name Kailasanathar. She then went on a penance for 12 years in Ammankudi to atone for the killing of Mahishasura, though he was an evil force. She installed the Vinayaka idol for her to go on with her penance without interruption. At the end of the twelfth year Kailasanatha appeared before her and told her that the evil effects of the killing of Mahishasura have vanished and He told her to remain in Ammankudi to protect the devotees. Because Devi herself chose this place to perform her penance, it is known as Ammankudi, originally. The names kept changing with the passage of time, as we saw above; but whatever the change of name be, it was known by the name Ammankudi also, always Durga Parameswari, the presiding deity has eight hands and is installed facing the east. Since she assumed this form to obliterate Mahishasura, she is known as Mahishasura Mardini. Since Devi herself presides over the ‘navagrahas’ there is no separate shrine for navagrahas in the Temple.

    The temple is getting renovated now and hopefully the Kumbabhishekam will be performed next year.

    I wonder if you can write a short note about this temple and the renovations in your blog! I am not soliciting any donations. Let me know.

    Thanks Mahesh.


    Frankfort, IL

    References[ edit]

    1. Jump up^

    • sir ammankudi temple kumbabhishekam is going to take place on 11.7.2016. please help by contributing liberally. nobody to support for this temple and there is no support from government also. Please help and if possible anybody willing to publish this in newspaper it will be helpful. I am venkatakrishnan in chennai and my number is +919444057435

  6. Dear Mahesh

    One of my relatives attended the Kumbabhisekam at Vedaranyam and narrated me the grand manner in which the kumbabhisekam was performed. We have no words to describe the outstanding work done by Shrimathi Mahalakshmi mami. In one of your earlier blog, you had mentioned that she lives in T.Nagar. Can you please tell me where does she live in T.Nagar? I would like to meet her and do namaskarams to her.

  7. Pl inform the activities planned. Will definitely help at least in any one of the activities

  8. Namaskaram to Maama & Maami,

    Even I wish to do contribution the level possible. Whether it is possible to share the bank details if you do not mind.

    I fully agree with one of the statements made here. Many people pass insulting remarks when we request for donation for temples or any other charitable work. In fact, they are all believers of God but for some reasons they do not come forward. To push aside their material comforts and extend a little help for such device cause requires His blessings. Despite that, I know a few of like minded people and I will make an attempt.

    Maha Periava Saranam

  9. மிக நல்ல திருப்பணி.என்னால் முடிந்த உதவியை கட்டாயம் செய்கிறேன். முரளிதரன், புதுடில்லி.

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