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Story of Performing Thoppu Karanam to Lord Ganesha

There is an interesting story behind the origin of Thoppu Karanam practiced today by many Ganesha devotees especially in South India.

Thoppu Karanam is performing the prayer before Lord Ganesh by holding the hands crosswise across the breast with the fingers holding the earlobes and bending down and then getting up. This is performed several times by Lord Ganesha devotees. The original name of Thoppu Karanam was Dhorbit Karana. 

Legend has it that once there was a demon named Gajmukhasur. He was creating havoc around the world and started killing Devas and humans. Lord Ganesha intervened and began to fight Gajmukhasur. The fight was witnessed by Devas and Saints.

During the fight Lord Ganesh took a fierce form and started swirling the Gajmukhasur in air. Frightened and to avoid getting hurt from the violent swirl, Devas and saints started bending down and performing the Thoppu Karanam. Ganesha finally killed Gajmukhasur but the Devas and saints continued perform Thoppu Karanam as they were scared of the fierce form of Ganesha.

Finally Ganesha took a peaceful form. The Devas and Saints from then onwards started performing Thoppu Karanam before Lord Ganesh.

While performing Thoppukaranam some devotees also place their legs cross-wise. There is also a belief that performing Thoppukaranam will help in curing heart problems.

It is believed that after killing Gajmukhasur, Lord Ganesh got the title Gajamukha.