Hindu goddess appeared before a British Collector!
It is not a story but happened really.
A British collector named Rose Peter who was appointed as collector of Madurai during 1812 to 1828. Though he was being a christian he gave more importance to Hinduism and gave honor to Local practices.
Historians recall that Rous Peter acquitted himself as the administrator of the temple with sincerity and respected the religious sentiments of people.
It is believed that Rous Peter respected and treated people of all faiths equally and this attitude towards the people earned him the popular nickname ‘Peter Pandian,’ says Ambai Manivannan, lecturer, Department of Tamil, Thiagarajar College.
Goddess Meenakshi Amman Temple was situated between Peter’s residence and office. Everyday he used to go to office by his horse and when he crossing the temple, he get down from the horse by removing his hat and shoes and crossed whole path on his foot. Through this he expressed his reverence towards Goddess!
One day there was heavy downpour in the Madurai city. The collector was sleeping in house house, suddenly he was disturbed by the sound of anklets and he was leaving his bed to find from where the sound came. He saw a girl who was wearing precious ornaments and calling him as ‘Peter come away’. By obeying he came out and follows her, the running girl in the rain. Then he was shocked to see his residence- building which was destroyed within a second. He turned aback and looked at the girl and on the instant she disappeared by running. On that second he saw that the girl ran without any shoes in her foot and with anklets. He realized and believed that Goddess Meenakshi only saved his life.
A few days later, he wished to give a gift to Lord Meenakshi, which should be a thing which was not available in the temple. To get an idea, he discussed with the priest of that temple and he ordered to make a pair of golden shoes for Goddess Meenakshi. It is thus that this Paadhukam consisting of 412 rubies, 72 emralds and 80 diamonds was made and donated to the temple. His name was sculpted as “peter” at the bottom of shoes. Till this day this Paadhukam is known as *’Peter Paadhukam’.(photo attached?)
Still they were safeguarding the shoes in the temple and every year at the time of ‘chitra Festival’, utsava moorthy of Lord Meenakshi wears that shoe. This is the real incidence happened for the respect given to the Hindu God by the collector.