The majestic ‘gopuram’ (grand tower entrance) has six tiers that are covered with sculptures of different Hindu deities and other beings.
The entrance contains a pair of massive doors that are intended to induce humility in the visitor in the presence of the divine. The doors are studded with small gold bells, which devotees are supposed to ring as they move through.
The main hall has elaborate ceiling paintings and contains the central shrine of Sri Mariamman. She is associated with the life-giving properties of rain (In Tamil, ‘maari’ means rain, and ‘amman’, mother).
For the Hindus, the cow is a sacred animal. It always gives and feeds and it represents life. Honouring the cow inspires in people the virtue of gentleness and connects them with nature.
Vishnu is the second god of the Hindu triumvirate. He is known to be the preserver and protector of the universe.
Mandalas represent the universe.
Ganesha is widely revered as the remover of obstacles. Devotees believe that Ganesha grants success, prosperity and protection against adversity.
Coconuts are a common offering to the Hindu deities. The coconut represents the human body. Breaking the coconut symbolizes the breaking of the ego as an offering to the deity.
Krishna is regarded as the eight incarnation of Vishnu.
We were fortunate to have witnessed a Hindu wedding during our visit to the temple. A celebration of such a special occasion was the reason why the inner sanctum of Sri Mariamman was unveiled during that time.