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Single rock cut temple by Pallava Varman
|Founded by||Mahendra Varman 1|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Arakonam|
The contribution of the Pallavas to the cultural development was significant. They encouraged the growth of Tamil literature. The Pallavas earned name and fame through their developed art and architecture. Mamallapuram finds a prominent place in the tourist map of the world. Even today, their temples and sculptures stand testimony to the cultural achievements of the Pallavas.
Presence of Pallavas can be seen in Mahandravadi. An ancient cave temple of the 7th century (monolithic rock cut temple) is under the control of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Maintenance is handled by ASI.
This village, erstwhile a big town was established by a Pallava King, Mahendra Varman I, who was ruling the great Pallava kingdom. It was considered that the historical town extended its boundary from the existing Mahendravadi as Mela Veedhi (West Street) and Keezh Veedhi (East Street). Kilvidhi is a village located at the distance of 4.5 km from Mahendravadi.
The Parpana street and Big Street shows evidence of a very old house system in culture and towards worship of Lakshmi Narayan and Siva. There are two old temples, namely Siva Temple and Lakshmi Narayanan Temple, which define the history of the village. It was believed that these temples were from the old Pallava history.
Very surprise to note that Mahendra varman 1 is towards Shiva. But the cave temple and Lakshmi Narayanan Temple dedicated to Vishnu.
During Karthigai month Tamil Month, karthigai deepam festival celebrated in ancient Shiva temple.
The temple on the lake is very attractive for devotees in and around the villages/town, where many people come and worship the goddess called "Madhuvathamman" (or "Madhagu Kattha Amman") meaning "Goddess of the Lake reservoir".
The nearest town is Nemili. Tourists can visit the town for the famous Lord Veerabhatra Swamy Temple, Lord Siva temple, and Ponniamman temples.
People speak only and mainly Tamil. This is something to be wondered, why other language people did not exist in this village by historical family roots. Almost 72.12 percentage literacy level in this village as per 2011 census.
Mahendravadi has a primary and higher secondary school run by state government. The quality of education and pass percentage is always higher level compare to any other schools in this region.
The only school (Higher Secondary School) which has purified drinking water plant for "students and Staff" in the Taluk region. Contributed by INGENUITY FOR SOCIAL & AMACE 94-98, Social volunteers on Nov 2017. Also, The school toilet was renovated the by these social volunteers and gardening, planting, school clean up has been done. Now it looks at par with any private run school felicities.
For further graduation and higher education, the students have to go to the nearby towns, kancheepuram, Arakonam, Sholinghur, Arcot, Walajah and chennai.
Mahendravadi is well-connected by bus to the nearby towns Nemili, Banavaram, Sholinghur and Arakonam.Every 30 minutes to 45 minutes the buses ply operated by state government transport corporation and private bus operators.
There is a railway station called "Mahendravadi"at 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) distance. However, usage of the railway is not great. Banavaram (Sholighur) railway station is the nearest railway station where Lalbaugh Express (Chennai-Bangalore), Kaveri Express (Chennai-bangalore), Yelagiri Express (Jolarpet-Chennai), Katpadi-Arakonam Passenger, Arakonam-Bangalore Passenger and Jolarpet-Arakonam Express. For the past few years sub-urban train service has been extended from Katpadi to Chennai as well.
Farming is the major source of income for the people, and they are all dependent on lake irrigation as well as bore well water. Paddy (Wetland), Groundnut and Sesame (Dry Land region) are the major crops cultivated. However, the catchment area for the historical pallava king made lake is occupied by small hamlets thus making the region very poor for rain water conservation. The lake region is slowly encroached by people. Moreover, the sand sediments of the lake have not been cleared for many decades.
There has been a direct canal from Palar river to Mahendravadi lake, which was natural water flow from Anaicut of Palar river. The main source of water through north east monsoon are the rains from October to December. However, the rainfall is far below average of north east monsoon fall.
The lake is fully dependent on Palar water, and the dark side is "palar river itself is a dry river".
The lake has been capable of supplying water resources to seven other lakes below its lake bed villages.
After 14 years, the lake filled with overflowing water on 24th Nov 2015. It is nice tourist attraction now. Whenever the lake gets full level of water, three time crop yield is assured for the farmers in the lake region.
Temples and Festivals
There are many centuries-old temples in existence. The village has historical Siva and Vishnu temples, which have the heritage and culture. Siva temple was managed by non-Brahmins, and Vishnu temple was managed by the Brahmin community. Every year, Karthikai festival was the lime light in these two temples, in the way it was performed in Thiruvannamalai.
The village people have great respect and worship "Madhagukatha Amman" (the goddess who takes care of the lake and reservoir gate) which is located on the lake crest. People believes that this goddess is very powerful, and there is a grand festival yearly once for the goddess. This festival has been celebrated for two days, and during this period, all family members join together to pray to the goddess for their health and wealth. Recent past 5 years this festival has been celebrated for 4 days.
The notable things to observe here is, the first right to worship the god (offering garland and pongal) is to scheduled caste when the god comes from her temple of lake crest to village entrance that means decoration and urchava veedhi ula. This is great example to extend of respecting scheduled caste is first in place. The harmony and being together is integral part of the village culture irrespective of caste system.
Newly Married couple offer their mangal suthra (thaali) to the goddess and tie the new mangal suthra. This happens invariably in all newly married couple. it is a must visit festival to see the offering given to goddess.
Every Amavasai (Dark moon day), full night festive happens at temple and thousands of devotees come and spend their entire night.
Pongal is another grand festival in the village, as like the entire Tamil Nadu celebrate. It has been a 4- or 5-day festival, and people enjoy these periods of harvesting.
Nowadays Diwali has also been getting colourful since it was not that much important, as per Tamil culture.
Also, the vibrant Adi Thiruvizha during July–August is very notable around the areas.
2017 Aadi Thiruvizha festival Goddess veedhi Ula galary pictures are below:
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mahendravadi.|
- http://www.schools.tn.nic.in/DispSchools.asp?DCODE=29&[permanent dead link]
- http://ddws.nic.in/bnp_hab/school_detail.asp?scode=29&dcode=2929&bcode=2929002&pcode=020&vcode=020&hcode1=001&schcode=02[permanent dead link]