Thiruchendur Subrahmanya Stops Storm Idol Recovered From Dutch ?


What is evidence in history?

When you publish a paper, it gains credibility if it has more sources,links,related articles and more sources that have references as in the earlier references.

This applies to ancient writings, epigraphs and other records as well.

When you look at closely, it boils down to one testimony, by word, preferably contemporary in nature.

Even here if there are more versions, the record becomes questionable.

And History is what one chooses to write.

And Conqueror’s History remains unless one is vigilant enough.

So authenticity of historical facts are dependant on oral evidence which could have been recorded in writing, epigraphs, literature.

Hence at times I am faced with problems like this as I research Indian history.

One such is the information about Thiruchendur Subrahmanya temple,Tamil Nadu.

Thiruchendur Subrahmanya.image.
Thiruchendur Subrahmanya,An Arupadai Veedu

Temple records state that the Idol of the temple was looted by the Dutch and when they set sail with it, they encountered a severe storm and only after throwing away the Idol, the storm ceased.

And the idol was restored through the efforts of Mr.Malayappa Pillai.

I have provided three versions below.

I consider Sri. Neelakanta Sastry as a credible source.

But his report has been quoted by some one in the Tamil magazine, Kalaimagal issue of 1939.

The magazine was founded in 1932.

But the original paper or reference to this issue or the basis on which Sri.Neelakanta Sastry arrived at his conclusion, is not available.

I am not sure whether this information is the usual secularist’ misinformation.

Hence I am unable to arrive at a conclusion.

Those who have information may share.

The Murugan temple at Thiruchendur was occupied by the Dutch East India company from 1646 to 1648, during the course of their war with the Portuguese. The local people tried to free their temple, with no success. The Dutch finally vacated the temple on orders from the Naik ruler. However, while leaving, they removed the idol of the main deity of the temple, and took it with them. While they were sailing away, they encountered a strong storm and realised their mistake of stealing the idol. They dropped the idol in the middle of the sea and seen the storm stopped immediately. Later, Lord Senthil Aandavan appeared in a dream to Vadamaliyappa Pillai, an ardent devotee of Lord Muruga, and revealed the place in the sea where the idol had been abandoned. Vadamlaiyappa Pillai and Athitha Nadar, a sponsor of services in the Thiruchendur temple, went to the spot in a fishing boat and retrieved the idol in 1653. The story is shown in paintings inside the temple.

Reference and citation.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thiruchendur

Another version.

The Nayak and his agent Vadamalai Pillayyan sent an embassy of four men to the Dutch in to demand the return of the temple idols. The Dutch Governor referred the demand to Dutch Government at Batavia, who directed the return of the idols to the temple at Tiruchendur, accepting however whatever amount they were offered.

Accordingly the idols were brought back to Tiruchendur in January 1651 and re-installed at the temple after consecration. And the inscription of Vadamalai-appa Pillayyan mentions this incident as in kollam 866.

http://tiruchendur.org/history.htm

Yet another version.

he loss of the idols was discovered and duly communicated to Vadamalaiyappa Pillaiyyan, the local administrator of the Nayakkan ruler at Tirunelveli. A great devotee that he was, Pillaiyyan was sorely affected and knew not what to do. He ordered for a similar idol to be made in panchaloka. As the duplicate one was ready, and was on its way to Tiruchendur to be installed, in 1653 Vadamalaiappa Pillaiyyan had a dream.

Acting to the advice conveyed to him by the God, he put out to sea and following the instructions that the idol was to be found at the spot whereon a lime fruit would be found floating, and the place marked by the circling overhead of a kite, the bird of Vishnu.

Vadamalaiappa Pillaiyyan recovered the original idol and reinstalled it in the temple in the year 1653. The replacement idol was then consecrated in the shrine of Tiruppirantîsvarar alias Venku Patcha Kovil situated east of Palamcottah (known as Murugan Kurichi).

Vadamalaiappa was greatly struck by the Lord’s grace in giving him this great relief, in memory of which he erected a mantapa at Tiruchendur in his name and endowed it largely for the performance of a Kattalai abhishekam and pujas for Subrahmaniam on the seventh days of Masi and Avani festivals. An inscription at the mantapa relates the incidents referred to.

Among many others, kirtanas composed by Venri Malaik Kavirayar, are sung at this mantapa at the time when Shanmukhar is brought here for Ubaya Mandagappadi on the seventh day of the Masi and Avani festivals. The poem relates the incidents and their rejoicings at the Lord being got back again. “Vadamalai Venba” is another poetic panegyric on Vadamalaiappa Pillaiyyan.

M. Rennel, the French author of A Description, Historical and Geographical, of India (published in Berlin, 1785), gives a picture of the temple, which, he says, he got from a soldier in the service of the Dutch Company. He relates an incident which offers a reasonable explanation of the Tiruchendur tradition. “In a descent made by the Dutch off the Coast in 1648,” he says, “the Dutch halted in the temple and on leaving did their best to destroy it by fire and by a heavy bombardment. But they only partially succeeded and the tower defied all their efforts.” Possibly the capture of the idol was one of their achievements.

As a matter of fact M. Rennel calls the place Tutucutin, but from the picture and an accompanying sketch-map it is clear that Tiruchendur was meant. The Dutch were incessantly at war with the Portuguese on the coast.

Reference and citation.

http://tiruchendur.org/history.htm

From the Temple site.

A familiar local tradition runs to the effect that about 1648 AD, a race of seafaring men, identified later as Dutch, descended upon Tiruchendur and carried away the idol Shanmukhar and Śiva Natarajar, thinking that they were made of gold. Their attempt at melting it proving futile, they tried to carry them away by sea. But the sea suddenly grew boisterous, and rocked the ship violently, so the sailors threw the idols into the sea.

The loss of the idols was discovered and duly communicated to Vadamalaiyappa Pillaiyyan, the local administrator of the Nayakkan ruler at Tirunelveli. A great devotee that he was, Pillaiyyan was sorely affected and knew not what to do. He ordered for a similar idol to be made in panchaloka. As the duplicate one was ready, and was on its way to Tiruchendur to be installed, in 1653 Vadamalaiappa Pillaiyyan had a dream.

Acting to the advice conveyed to him by the God, he put out to sea and following the instructions that the idol was to be found at the spot whereon a lime fruit would be found floating, and the place marked by the circling overhead of a kite, the bird of Vishnu.

Vadamalaiappa Pillaiyyan recovered the original idol and reinstalled it in the temple in the year 1653. The replacement idol was then consecrated in the shrine of Tiruppirantîsvarar alias Venku Patcha Kovil situated east of Palamcottah (known as Murugan Kurichi).

Vadamalaiappa was greatly struck by the Lord’s grace in giving him this great relief, in memory of which he erected a mantapa at Tiruchendur in his name and endowed it largely for the performance of a Kattalai abhishekam and pujas for Subrahmaniam on the seventh days of Masi and Avani festivals. An inscription at the mantapa relates the incidents referred to.

Among many others, kirtanas composed by Venri Malaik Kavirayar, are sung at this mantapa at the time when Shanmukhar is brought here for Ubaya Mandagappadi on the seventh day of the Masi and Avani festivals. The poem relates the incidents and their rejoicings at the Lord being got back again. “Vadamalai Venba” is another poetic panegyric on Vadamalaiappa Pillaiyyan.

M. Rennel, the French author of A Description, Historical and Geographical, of India (published in Berlin, 1785), gives a picture of the temple, which, he says, he got from a soldier in the service of the Dutch Company. He relates an incident which offers a reasonable explanation of the Tiruchendur tradition. “In a descent made by the Dutch off the Coast in 1648,” he says, “the Dutch halted in the temple and on leaving did their best to destroy it by fire and by a heavy bombardment. But they only partially succeeded and the tower defied all their efforts.” Possibly the capture of the idol was one of their achievements.

Reference and citation.

http://www.tiruchendurmurugantemple.tnhrce.in/historical_event.html

2 comments

  1. Though I had darshan at Tiruchendur and had blessings, I was not aware of Murugan Kurichi. Now that I know the details, I have decided to go to Murugan Kurichi near Palayamkottai also along with Tiruchendur.
    Thank you Sir, for bringing out such historical facts.

    Like

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