Sunday, 10 May 2020

11 Shapeless Swayambhu Ganesha Idols In Main Shrine With No Roof - Sri Selva Vinayagar Temple - Shenbakkam - Vellore

Shenbakkam, a small village near Vellore, on the route of Chennai to Bangalore in South India, is famous due to its rare temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva, is named as Selva Vinayakar in this temple. Shenbakkam Selva Vinayakar temple has totally 11 Pillayar (Ganesha) idols. The highlight is not the number of idols but the shape of those idols. All the idols are shapeless and formless. They are considered as Swamyambu - meaning which formed on their own. You cannot find a proper shape for any of those Ganesha idols. That is the highlight of this temple.

Sri Selva Vinayagar Temple
Sri Selva Vinayagar Temple
There was a time when there were Ekadasa Swayambu Vinayakas here and they subsequently got buried under the ground over time. Once a Maharashtrian Minister called Thukoji was travelling on this route when suddenly the axle of his chariot broke. When he got down to see what had happened, he found that there were blood stains on the ground but could not find anyone injured. He was perplexed, and prayed to Lord Vinayaka, not able to understand the reason behind this Vignam (hurdle). As it was getting dark, he decided to spend the night there, and look for someone to repair his chariot at dawn. Lord Vinayaka appeared in his dream, and told him about his existence as 11 swayambu moorthys arranged in "Omkara" shape under the ground there and asked him to excavate them and build a temple for them. Thukoji was overwhelmed and gladly performed the task. The chariot wheel impression can still be seen on the back of Selva Vinayakar.

Pathway Leading To Main Shrine
Pathway Leading To Main Shrine
The place was once called Swayambakkam since Vinayagar appeared hear as Swayambu and later became as Shenbakkam. It is also said that the original name of the village was Shenbagavanam as it was full of fragrant Shenbaga trees even though no trace of the trees is to he seen now. Aadhi Sankarar once visited Virinchipuram Margabandeswarar Swayambu linga temple near this place and from there he came to know about this temple by his spiritual power and visited this temple. He is said to have installed a Sri Charka at the Esanya corner near the Navagrahas. When enquired about it, It was told that it is installed under one pillar but there is nothing there to indicate such a sacred spot to the devotees.

Sri Selva Vinayagar Temple Main Shrine
Sri Selva Vinayagar Temple Main Shrine
Selva Vinayagar is present surrounded by 10 other Swayambu Vinayagars in the form of lingams and in the formation of ‘Om’. The 11 Vinayagars are present in the following order: Bala Vinayagar, Nadana Vinayagar, Omkara Vinayagar, Karpaga Vinayagar, Chinthamani Vinayagar, Selva Vinayagar (moolavar), Mayura Vinayagar, Mooshiga Vinayagar, Vallaba Vinayagar, Siddhi-Buddhi Vinayagar and Panchamuga Vinayagar. Bala Vinayagar is still under the ground and only the top portion is visible. Sri Somasundareswar in the form of lingam is present in a separate shrine just behind the Selva Vinayagar.

Sri Swayambhu Selva Vinayagar Temple Main Shrine
Sri Swayambhu Selva Vinayagar Temple Main Shrine
Shenbakkam Vinayakar temple has a tank outside the temple structure and a small tower. Munjur (mouse) is the vaahan of Ganesh. In this temple, in front of 11 swayambu Vinayak idols, there are four mice and one elephant standing as vaahans. Another highlight of the temple is that the flag staff is present right inside the main shrine. Behind the 11 Vinayak idols, there is a shrine where Meenakshi, Sundareswarar, and Mariamman are found.

Some of them (the larger ones) have been adorned with Silver Kavachams
Some of them (the larger ones) have been adorned with Silver Kavachams
The temple also houses the idols of Dakshinamurthy, Nalvar, Chandikeswarar, Viswanathar, Vishalakshi, Dakshinamurthy, Vishnu and Murugan with Valli-Devasena. There are a lot of "sudhai" idols in the temple walls depicting various forms of Ganesha. Some of them are really rare forms such as Five faced Ganesha, and Ganesha on peacock. There is a shrine where all the metal utsav idols are kept. Navagraha is also found in the temple.

Temple Timings:

Morning Timings : 06:00 AM to 01:00 PM
Evening Timings : 03:30 PM to 08:30 PM
On Special Occasions timings might differ.

Sri Shenbakkam Vinayagar Temple Tank
Sri Shenbakkam Vinayagar Temple Tank

Temple Location:

3 km from Vellore en route to Bangalore, this famous temple is dedicated to Sri Selva Vinayagar and Somasundareswarar. Temple is located at about 2 Kms from Mullipalayam Bus Stop, 2.5 Kms from Vellore Town Railway Station, 3 Kms from Vellore Bus Stand. Shenbakkam is situated on the Bangalore - Chennai highway. While going from Chennai to Vellore, you will come across a bridge at the entrance of the Vellore Town. Travel down the bridge and take a right turn at the third intersection will take you to the Temple.

Temple Address & Contact Details:

Sri Swayambu Selva Vinayagar Temple,
Shenbakkam,
Vellore District,
Pin Code : 632 008.
Tamil Nadu.
Phone : 0416 2290182 ; 94434 19001

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