Shenbakkam Selva Vinayagar temple
This temple is situated in the district of Vellore in Tamilnadu south India. It’s for Lord Ganesh. Lord Ganesh is in 11 forms here. The idols of Lord Ganesh were not chiseled by any sculptor but they were self-made so it is called as suyambu Vinayagar. Previously the place where the temple was present was called as Suyambakkam because of this but later it transformed into Shenbakkam. Some also say there were many Shenbaga trees those days so the place was called Shenbakkam but now there is no trace of these trees.
Architecture of the temple
The main gopura is colorful with idols of many gods. Actually, the outside wall and mandapa are recent construction with the original temple inside. Once you enter the main entrance is an open area and after crossing this is the main temple. Actually when we look straight is the garpagraha of Lord Meenakshi Sundareswarar and we tend to search for Lord Ganesh. But just in front of the Lord Meenakshi Sundareswarar in an open area are the idols of Lord Ganesh. The idols don’t have the exact carving of Lord Ganesh. But the shape and some natural chiseling when looked close show us that they are the idols of Lord Ganesh. There are totally 11 of them starting with Bala Vinayagar in the lying down posture in water. The center idol is that of Selva Vinayagar. The idols are placed in an open area with no roof top. The garpagraha of Lord Meenakshi Sundareswarar and the surrounding area is covered with a roof but the idols of Lord Ganesh is uncovered. This is because it is believed that the heavenly devas come here to pray to Lord Ganesh so the top is left open for them to give their offering from above. Also, it is told that the 11 idols keep growing with time this is shown by the silver armor which now covers only half the idol although in those days it covered the idol fully.
The 11 Vinayagars are present in the following order: Bala Vinayagar, Nadana Vinayagar, Omkara Vinayagar, Karpaga Vinayagar, Chinthamani Vinayagar, Selva Vinayagar (moolavar), Mayura Vinayagar, Mooshiga Vinayagar, Vallaba Vinayagar, Siddhi-Buddhi Vinayagar and Panchamuga Vinayagar.
Here the temple for Lord Meenakshi sundareswarar is not in the usual way. Usually, in any lord Shiva temple, the main garpagraha is surrounded by idols of goddess Durga, Lord Brahma, Vishnu, Chandigeswarar, Dakshina Moorthy, and Ganesh. But here they are present on the side and not around. Actually, to understand this you should visit the temple.
In the right-hand corner is the temple of the Nava Graha.
Outside is the temple tank and behind are many varieties of trees which are also worshipped and we can see many cradles and bangles tied to those trees showing that many people have offered prayers for them to be blessed with a child
In front of the temple is a huge peepul tree.
History of the temple
The temple was actually built by a Maharashtra minister by the name Thikoji. The minister had once crossed this place in his chariot. At the place where the present day temple is situated his chariot broke and the wheel got buried in the sand. At that spot, blood came out. The minister got upset but since he did not have enough people to lift the chariot and since it was almost night fall he had no other go but to sleep there. At that time in his sleep, Lord Ganesh appeared and told that his idols underneath that place and asked him to remove those idols and to construct a temple. It is this temple we are seeing now
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