What have I been doing lately? Cleaning a temple. In India. From Australia.

Rameshwaran

You may have noticed that I have not been blogging much lately. If you are a blogger, then you will understand how much work it is to blog. Cook. Take photographs. Edit photographs. Write post. Upload photos. Maintain blog. It is a b i g commitment. Every blogger needs a break every now and then.

But I have not been idle, and I thought that you might like to know what I have been up to. I have been cleaning a temple. From my lounge room.

Ramanathasway Temple

Just a note that the photos in this post are copyrighted to Himalayan Academy and were taken by Thomas Kelly, our intrepid photographer.

When I was in India just 12 months ago, one of the incredible places that we visited was Ramanathaswamy Temple on Rameshwaran Island. Rameshwaran is a small island between India and Sri Lanka. It is an island and a town focused around an amazing and huge temple, a town where every inhabitant is in someway connected to the temple. Selling artifacts to the visitors. Providing food and lodging for the pilgrims. Working at the temple. Playing in the temple bands. Hauling water from the 22 temple wells. Providing clothes for pilgrims. …

Ramanathasway Temple

The temple is a very auspicious temple in India – one of 12 Siva Temples (a Jyotirlinga Temple) and the only one in South India. It is ancient, centuries old, with incredible architecture including one of the longest carved corridors. It has 22 wells (the first being the ocean) where one can be drenched in the water of the well be washed clean spiritually if not physically. It is a temple with great significance spiritually, culturally, historically and architecturally.

It has millions of visitors each year – no exaggeration. In our time there we had amazing experiences, but at the same time, noticed how it suffers from the effects of all of those pilgrims. It is a challenge in India, to maintain these amazing places with limited funds and the taxes that the government imposes on Hindu temples (but not Christian or Muslim Temples).

Ramanathasway Temple

Our group decided that we could help. We decided that we would donate to help clean the temple. We thought that if we found enough money to clean a brick, we would clean it well and let it shine to inspire others. If we raised a bit more, we would clean a column and that would shine as an example. And if we raised a ton of money we would be able to assist with the management of the water in the temple. With such a high water table and the amount of water that gets sloshed through the temple from the bathing pilgrims, it is a real problem.

Ramanathasway Temple

We have a website. I would love it if you had a look. If you feel that you can donate a dollar or two or ten or a hundred, then I am sure that blessings will flow to you from the temple.

The temple itself is excited about the fund. I had the Commissioner of Temple Endowments in Tamil Nadu call me from India to personally thank us for the fund. We have a liaison officer in India who will apply the funds and ensure that the specified work is carried out. I also will visit as soon as I can. In this recession affected world, it won’t be as soon as I would like. :-(

Ramanathasway Temple

There is a lot of information about the fund that we have established on the website. You can read about it. In summary, the fund has been created and is managed by Hindu Heritage Endowment Funds. It is an endowment fund which means that the principal remains and the interest is provided to the recipient. This way, the fund gives year after year after year.

Join me, won’t you, in cleaning this temple from your lounge room?

Ramanathasway Temple


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About Ganga108

Heat in the Kitchen, Cooking with Spirit. Temple junkie, temple builder, temple cleaner. Lover of life, people, cultures, travel. Champion of growth, change and awareness. Taker of photos. Passionate about family. Happy.
This entry was posted in Hindu, Travel, TT and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to What have I been doing lately? Cleaning a temple. In India. From Australia.

  1. Arundathi says:

    that’s amazing. looks like you’ve been doing a lot and enjoying it too. good for you.

  2. Aparna says:

    Rameshwaram is traditionally a “must visit” pilgrimage temple. And this is a remarkable initiative, and no effort can be too little.
    I’m sure many more of us will join in.

  3. Suganya says:

    I vividly remember my first visit to the 1000-pillar mandapam. Breathtakingly beautiful. You are doing a wonderful job, G.

  4. bee says:

    dear ganga, hope you are enjoying the cooler weather. it’s good to hear from you.

  5. What a worthy cause! It’s also great to hear from you. I’ve been feeling rather drained from blogging recently and thought about retiring or taking a break…

  6. Janet Ching says:

    I do feel there are times when I feel like blogging more frequently than other times. Like this month, I have my in laws visiting coming all the way from Switzerland, I should spend more time with them. What you are doing is so meaningful. Thanks for updating us and more importantly to hear that you are doing well.

  7. I know how you feel about blogging, it’s certainly a labor of love.
    THANK YOU for sharing these amazing pictures, I’m so inspired.
    -diane

  8. Shankari says:

    Hi Ganga, Thanks for the wonderful picture. My late grandpa was Endowment Commissioner for temples and I know what you mean. He worked very hard to retain the temple artifacts that were being taken away by the British.

    Your group is doing a great job..Kudos!

    • Ganga says:

      Thank you, Shankari. i have been in touch with the current commissioner and the first funds from the endowment will be available to them later this year. How wonderful for you to have such a great association with the temples.

  9. Kitchen Goddess says:

    Very inspirational photography, thanks for sharing. I know exactly what you mean about blogging being a labour of love too :)

  10. Kitchen Pans says:

    I love those pictures. Wonderful project too. I wonder if there is an all natural cleaner company that might sponsor some product for a commercial?
    Just asking…

  11. Hi Ganga,

    First time I came across your site. I must say you are really doing a wonderful job. Although I am from India, I have’nt got a chance to visit this holy place. Thanks for the nice write up and photographs. You carried me all the way back to our homeland. keep in touch. love to hear from you.

  12. Deepa says:

    Hi Ganga,

    There seems to be a problem with the website’s donor page, it keeps giving me an error msg about confirming that I am not an automated server:( Would you pls look into it if possible?

    Thanks!

  13. Srivalli says:

    Ganga, thats such a wonderful post…very beautiful pictures and inspiring too!..thanks

  14. Hi Ganga:

    heh! I had seen this post some time ago and always thought I’ll back and make the donation!
    Finally, I read about your fund (again) in Hinduism Today! Congratulations!
    And also made a small donation to the temple cleaning fund!

    But more importantly, I had visited the temple in Dec 2007 and am preparing a post on it. It may take a while, but is in the works ~ you know how long it take to do the research, find the right pics and compose a nice article.

    then I’ll link to your post here and also your article in HT.

    Awesome Job!

  15. An inspirational post! Good luck with this project, uou have my prayers going with you all.
    Ronell

  16. Pictures look amazing! Awesome adventure.

  17. Janani says:

    Hi,
    Feels great to see westerners taking interest in the maintenance of these Temples. Actually these needs to be done by the Indians themselves, but unfortunately no one is interested nor interested persons find time to allocate themselves to such activities or are helpless w/o knowing what to do. The government themselves do nothing about it and even if they try, the people are either uneducated (in practical sense) to do it. I believe the best way forward would be when foreigners show the way because the Indian gov and the people start following only once they see foreigners doing it. When you do, there will be publicity and hopefully that will open the eyes of the government to the condition of many such historical monuments in this country, which usually is turned the other way.

  18. Rajanganesh says:

    Hi,
    What a wonderful service. If you are not mistaking me there are groups which are involved in such service across Tamil nadu who does the cleaning on a regular basis in those temples which are not much known to the outside world/less visited by pilgrims. Volunteers belonging to these groups visit one temple everymonth and clean the entire premises of all the shrubs/bushes etc, clean the tank, the utensils used, clothes etc. these are dedicated teams of volunteers who does this activity with uttermost sincierity. The temples they visit mostly belongs to the HR& CE (Government Contolled) but are in bad shape as the HR&CE does not focus on maintaining the temples. it would be really greatful if yoy can think of helping such groups in any way possible.

    please drop me a mail in case you are interetsed in knowing more details.

    Hope this comment is taken in correct Spirit.

  19. medium guy says:

    what a splendid site and revealing posts, I am bookmarking your site.Have an awsome day!

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