CHANKU STAPANAM It is very important to perform the ceremonies of installation of a conch-shell (Chanku Stapanam) and incantations to invoke the protection of the regents of the cardinal directions (Thikku Bhandhanam) before raising a new house or a workshop in the place where an old building has been demolished or in a site where there was no building standing for many years. Performance of these ceremonies ensures plenty, prosperity and good fortune and nullify the evil effects due to the presence of evil spirits buried underground, and renews the gravitational power of the earth. During the first twelve years after the construction of a house, the divinity present in that house will gradually diminish. The residents of such houses could experience trials and tribulations in their health and occupation, the gravitational power of such houses having been reduced. The divinity of those buildings which are partially demolished and redesigned for the sake of convenience, is lost completely. On those occasions, the evil spirits that are buried under-ground will strongly establish themselves and cause many woes and sufferings to the residents. During such occasions it is very imperative to perform the ceremonies of Chanku Stapanam (installation of Conch-shell) and Thikku Bhandhanam (incantations to invoke the protection of the regents of the cardinal directions to give a new lease of life to such buildings). According to the ancient texts, it is Maya, the greatest architect, who has been responsible for the inaugural ceremony of the Construction of the famous temples at Thiruvannamalai, Thillai (Chidambaram) Thiruvarur, Thirukadayur and Thiruvanaikkaval. The Tamil months of Ani (June/July), Purattasi (September/October), Margazhi (December/January) and Panguni (March/April) are said to be inauspicious either for the foundation laying ceremony or for the house warming function and the inauguration of a temple. Only a strict adherence to be rules and regulations as enunciated by our ancestors and accordingly choosing the proper ways and means of performing the functions of laying the foundation or home-warming or inauguration of temples, could lead one to plenty, prosperity and a state of well being.