For those who haven’t been to Trivandrum, the capital of God’s Own Country, this temple is a must see! The diety is not in battle fatigues, but there he sits, our own Ganpathi / Ganesh(son of Shiva) in his small form devoid of splendour but as majestic in his might as can be imagined by the followers and believers. He is strong, he is powerful and he doesn’t like sweets in this avatar!
Nothing auspicious can begin in Trivandrum-Hindu homes without breaking coconuts at his doorstep. It is a sight to behold, where men, mostly men, line up with coconuts, like Olympians with shot-puts, numbers varying from one to a hundred and one(all depends on your financial and muscular might), and pound them onto a designated stone slab in an enclosed ally, with just one throw! Slam, boom, clack! Your coconut should snap open at the first impact and then on, your muscles register the required intensity for the subsequent throws!!
You carry home a few splintered pieces of the coconuts as prasadam(the take away from God) and that is it! The coconuts of Kerala are naturally tender and sweet. For the weaker gender, the priests offer their coconut breaking prowess and the shy, sari clad lady with a coconut held in reverence, also manages to address her prayers at his doorsteps.
Our military Ganesh has a very ancient history. Started as a worshipping place by the King’s soldiers in the 5th century A.D, it has very fondly kept its military lineage and is now looked after by the Indian Army. In our home, we follow a 5 coconuts policy for thanksgiving as well as for blessings. It suits our pockets and muscles and dear Ganapati has yet to get fed up of our frequent visits!