TIRUCHY: At 104, Mrs Dhanalakshmi is still an indefatigable devotee to climb up the steep rock fort hill on top of which is perched the famous Uchipillaiyar temple in Tiruchy.
The unassuming Dhanalakshmi has been doing it for the last 70 years and she did it this year too, on the eve of Ganesh Chaturthi festival on Monday, to offer prayers to the Lord, revered as 'remover of all obstacles'.
Without taking anybody's assistance, the 104-year-old woman climbed up the 417 steps to reach the top shrine, overlooking the temple town and the sweep of the majestic Cauvery as it curves past the town.
Across the river is the island of Srirangam that houses the ancient Sri Ranganathaswamy temple, a panoramic view of which can be had from the Uchipillaiyar shrine atop rock fort hill.
Below the Lord Ganesh shrine is the 'Thayumanavar Sannidhi', dedicated to Lord Shiva, who legend says came in the form of a midwife to safely oversee the labour pangs of a woman devotee, wife of a businessman.
Dhanalakshmi said she observed her routine fast and then climbed up the rock fort hill and worshipped Lord Ganesh. “Only on returning home, will I have breakfast,” she quipped with delight that spiritual fulfillment brings....