Manakula Vinayaka Temple, Pondicherry
Manakula Vinayagar Temple (Tamil: மணக்குள விநாயகர் கோவில்) is a Hindu temple in the Union Territory of Puducherry,
India. Dedicated to the god Ganesha, it is a popular pilgrimage site and tourist destination in Puducherry.
The temple is of considerable antiquity and predates French occupation of the territory. During the tenure of Dupleix, there were attempts
to destroy the temple but the temple was finally spared owing to strong
protests from the Hindu population and the threat of British and Maratha invasion of the territory.
Manakula Vinayaka Temple was constructed during the French territory
of Pondicherry that dates back to 1666 years ago. This majestic building is named after
a pond (Kulam) that used to be located inside the temple with sands blown in from the seashores.
It is believed that the Ganesha idol here was being thrown into the sea several times, but it reappears in the
same place every day, making the place famous among worshippers. Till date, the idol is positioned at the same spot
in the center of the French Colony. Brahmotsava, and Ganesh Chaturthi are two most important festivals of the temple,
celebrated with great fervour and zeal by the people of Pondicherry.
The temple has an elephant, whom the visitors offer a coin to get a pat on their head through his trunk as a blessing.
The golden chariot was made purely on the basis of collection of donations from the devotees.
The total weight of the gold used in this chariot is 7.5 kg with the estimate of around Rs.35 lakhs.
The height & breadth of the chariot is 10 ft & 6 ft. The chariot was fully made up in teakwood covered by
copper plates duly engraved with beautiful art works and the plates duly attached with golden rakes. 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 fulfill 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 thetemple i.e. only in the maada veedhis.