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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

MRTS halts at Mundaka Kanni Amman Temple station from today !!

Me in my usual hurry got in to the MRTS train at Triplicane around 08.00 am … before 08.05 there was a little surprise !

This famous place in Chennai (Madras) predates British rule by several centuries. It was historically known as Vedapuri. As the available historical and archaeological evidence shows, it could well be the oldest part of Chennai, with written records of early settlements going back to the first century BC. It was known for its ancient port with a flourishing trade with the Roman Empire, receiving gold in exchange for its products like pepper and fine cloth. Marco Polo visited the place in the late 13th century, and the Portuguese settled here  in the early 16th century….it is Mylapore..

Thirumayilai ~houses the famous Kapaleeswarar Temple.  The temple tank is very prominent as also the mada veethis.  There is Adhi Kesava Perumal Temple and its Chithirai kulam.  Nearer Sanskrit college, you have many more TemplesAppar Swami temple, Sri Madhava Perumal Temple, Sri Anjaneyar temple, Mundaka Kanni amman temple, Karaneeswarar temple and more… on the beach stands century old Santhome church too. Mylapore is a cultural hub having many sabhas where carnatic music and barathanatyam has flourished. Legend has it that the word Mylapore is derived from Mayil arparikum oor, which means "Land of the peacock scream”…. and this post is something about a new occurrence in the area.

Chennai Mass Rapid Transit System, is the state-owned subsidiary of Indian Railways, a  unique  elevated railway line in India.   The line runs for a distance of  19.34 km (12.02 mi) with (17 stations), from Beach to Velachery…… with plans to get extended to St Thomas Mount thereby getting linked to the existing Beach Tambaram EMU line.   The alignment from Chennai Beach to Park Town is along the existing broad-gauge suburban system (2.75 km (1.71 mi), surface); alignment from Park Town to Thirumayilai is along the Buckingham canal (6.21 km (3.86 mi), elevated) ~ further till Velacherry is also on elevated line. The train takes around 40 minutes to reach Velacherry from Beach…

~ and from today @ early morning 04.30 am – something has changed – a change for good …. The first train of the day from Beach, …. Fort, Park, Chintadripet, Chepauk, Triplicane, Lighthouse – stopped at this new station – not exactly new, built and awaiting this day for long …. It is ‘Mundaka Kanni Amman Koil Station’

The station derives its name from the Temple in the same street where the Station too is located … the Ambal ‘Mundaka Kanni Amman’ is swaymbu (risen on its own) appearing with twin arms donning serpent crown. Mundakam means lotus flower.   There is the Banyan tree behind Ambal’s sanctum.  Those who pray to her offer turmeric, sandal, saffron powder, kaappu and also annabishekam. 

The new station ‘Mundakakanni Amman Koil’  railway station is  located between Thirumailai and Light House railway stations and is behind Sanskrit college. The station was constructed by Southern Railway reportedly  at a cost of Rs. 20 crore. The Station has a booking office too which will function during the operation of all the train services in the section.

Earlier there had been lot of discussion in naming it…. a section of residents of the area felt that it is under  Madhavapuram limits of Mylapore, and therefore has to be named Madhavaperumal Koil Station. There were other suggestions that it be named  Valluvar Vattam and Sree Madhavaperumal Seva Samiti, Valluvar Statue Station (as there is a bus stop in the name of Tamil poet nearby) and Santhome (the church being a landmark). All has been laid to rest and it was named ‘Mundaka Kanni Amman Koil’…

Already there is criticism that the stations in the MRTS line are too proximate to each other – now this is much closer to Thirumayilai station and perhaps, the train would come to a halt as immediately as it leaves Mylapore station…… but sure would serve more residents of the locality.

Happy travelling – though this could mean adding couple of more minutes to the existing travel time.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

14th May 2014.

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