Location:- The beautiful city of Paris in France is situated on the Seine river. Paris has always been well known as a tourist destination and is almost on everyone's must visit list. Like the rest of France, Paris has a predominantly Catholic population. However, other religious communities like Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, have their places of worship here too. In Rue Pajol (Pajol Street), there exists a Hindu temple, known as the Sri Manicka Vinayakar Alayam temple. This temple was founded in 1985 by Vaithilingam Sanderasekaram.
Main Deity:- The presiding deity at this temple is Sree Ganesha. Ganesh or Ganpati is also known as Adidev - the first to be worshiped. No Puja or Yajna is complete without paying respects first to Sree Ganesha. Besides Shree Ganesha, there are shrines for other Gods and Godesses like Nataraja (Shiva in his dancing form),Ayyaan, Mahalakshmi, Durga, Murugan, Sree Karunari Amman, Saraswati and Mahakali.
Architecture:- The temple is decorated with various sculptures and paintings of Indian Gods and Goddesses. A small porch takes you to the main courtyard. The vigrahas (idols) are made up of stone. These idols are from Mamalapuram and Mahapalipuram (South India). The Yantras, mostly of copper are also made up of different metals and gemstones.
The Vimana (crowning) consists of the Kumbas (pots) made of copper. These pots are moulded with 22 carat gold.
The flagstaff known as the Kodimaram, is also Gold plated. This staff lies at the center of the main sanctum.
A small shop in the temple premises sells, souvenirs, Puja items and prayer beads like the Rudraksha. The Puja basket includes Beetel leaves, coconut, Jasmine flowers and fruits.
Festivals/Prayer:- Ganeshotsav is the biggest festival here. During this 10 day festival special Pujas are done. During the Chariot festival, where the Lord is taken out on a procession, saffron water is sprayed all around. The yatra (journey) begins at 9 am and ends at 3 pm. The procession is taken out through 10th and 18th district of Paris. Kavadis or traditional dancers and Drummers walk with the chariot. Women lead the procession holding camphor pots on their heads. Devotional songs are sung and food is also distributed among devotees. During Ganesh Chaturthi, coconuts are broken on the road. The shops decorate their awnings with banana leaves which are considered auspicious.
There are three Pujas done everyday at morning 10 am, 12 noon and 7 pm in the evening.
Maha kumbhaabhishekam is also performed here where the fire ritual of Homam is done with different herbs and 9 different types of woods.
There is another ceremony which is known as the Netronmelan (Opening of the third eye). During this ceremony offerings are done and ritual mantras are chanted. It is believed that this ceremony provides the idols with divine energy.
There are various other religious services that are offered at the temple. These include Skanda Homam (to get rid of enemies), Agni Rudra Homam (to invoke Lord Shiva's protection), Lalitha Shahashranam chanting, Durga Homam (for women, children), Navagraha Puja, Mrityunjai jaap etc. Hindu weddings can also be conducted at this temple.
Address: 17 Rue Pajol, 75018 Paris, France