Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple in the Union Territory of Puducherry (formerly known as Pondicherry), India is a temple dedicated to lord Ganesha. It is believed to be in existence before 1666, i.e. even before the French occupation of the territory. The deity here is known as Manakula Vinayagar as there was a pond (‘kulam’ in Tamil) with lot of sand (‘manal’ in Tamil) located on the west side of the shrine.
The deity in this temple is plated in gold. The presiding deity blesses his devotees with four hands, the top two holding Angusam, Pasam and the right lower hand showing ‘abhayadana mudra’ and the left one ‘varadhana mudra’.Sculptures of deities are placed in three rows the southern side pragaram wall. Colour paintings done by renowned painters are also featured inside the temple.
The temple features a 10ft tall and 6ft wide golden chariot made with 7.5kg of gold. It is made through donations from devotees. The teakwood structure is covered by copper plates decorated with beautiful art works. The copper plates are attached with golden rakes. As per the temple website, “At first the running of the said Golden Chariot was held on 05-10-2003 in a grand manner. At present most of the devotees are very much interested to fulfil their prayer by pulling the Golden chariot inside the temple on payment of fixed fees. Once in year i.e. on Vijayadhasami day, the said Golden Chariot run outside of the temple i.e. only in the maada veedhis.”
The main festival here is Brahmothsavam. It is celebrated every year for 24 days during the month of August and September.
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