Monday, September 25, 2017

Senganoor Sakthi Gireeswarar Temple

One of the 70 Mada Koils built by Ko Chenganan Chozhan
Thiru Gnana Sambanthar praises Senganoor as a prosperous location on the Southern Banks of Cauvery
Located just over 10kms from Kumbakonam off the Madras Highway is the Sakthi Gireeswara temple in Senganoor, a place praised by Thiru Gnana Sambanthar as flourishing with activity on the banks of the Cauvery. This is the birth place of Chandeswara Nayanar.

Sathya Gireeswarar temple is located facing the East and is one of the 70 Mada Koils built by Ko Chenganan Chozhan (

The temple has three prakaras and the Lord goes out on a procession around the four Mada Streets on festive occasions. There are three agraharams – Keezha Veethi, Nadu Veethi and Mela Veethi. Senganoor also stands testimony to the unity between Saivites and Vaishnavites.

100 yards from the temple facing the West is the Srinivasa Perumal Temple, whose idol was brought from Tirupathi and installed by Vaishnavite Acharya Periya Vachan Pillai (

In centuries gone by, Kola Villi Rama from Thiru Velliyankudi Divya Desam came here and went with Srinivasa Perumal on a joint procession to Kollidam for the Theerthavari Utsavam.

Reference in Periya Puranam
In the Periya Puranam, Senganoor is praised as being wealthy. Periya Puranam also refers to the place being on the Southern banks of Manni (Cauvery) river.

பூந்தண் பொண்ணி என் நாளும்
பொய்யாது அளிக்கும் புனல் நாட்டு
வாய்ந்த மண்ணித் தென் கரையில் மன்ன
முன் நாள் வரை கிழிய

ஏந்தும் அயில் வேல் நிலை காட்டி
இமையோர் இகல் வெம் பகை கடக்கும்
சேந்தன் அளித்த திருமறையோர்
மூதூர் செல்வச் சேய்ஞ்லூர்

It is said that Lord Subramanya came here to invoke the blessings of his father and took the ‘Sakthi’ weapon from here. After the Soora Samharam, he is believed to have come back here and created the ‘Kumara’ Theertham.

100s of Brahmin families lived here
To liberate himself from a disease, Sibhi Chakravarthy built 360 houses in this region and brought 360 Brahmins from across the country to reside here so one could hear the Vedic Recital continuously all through the year in Senganoor. He provided a home to each of them. One Brahmin lady gave birth to a child as she was about to enter Senganoor and hence could not reach here.

With one Brahmin less, Sibhi was worried that a house would remain unoccupied. It is believed that Shiva and Parvathi took the form of an old Brahmin couple and occupied the last house in the agraharam. When Sibhi came on his morning rounds around the agraharam to enquire about the well being of the residents, he found this house locked from inside and without a response. When he broke open the door, he found to his delight Lord and Ambal providing darshan from inside the house.  This house on Southern tip of the Agraharam still exists and is referred to as the ‘Lord’s home’.

After a bath in the Theertham, the king is believed to have been liberated from the disease.

Sathya Giri Kshetram
When Adiseshan held on to the Meru Mountain to show his superiority over Vayu, the God of Wind retaliated by blowing away the mountain with his power. Pieces from the mountain spread far and wide, one of which fell here in this region. Hence this is referred to as Sathya Giri Kshetram.

Chandeswara Nayanar
A Brahmin Echathathan belonging to the Kaasiya Gothram and his wife Pavitra had a handsome looking son by name Vichara Sarma. He took upon himself the responsibility of grazing the cows and took them daily to the Manni river bank. He was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. On one such trip, moved by devotion, he made a Shiva lingam with the pure white sand from the river bank and began performing abhisekam for the Lord with the milk that the cows gave.

When his father heard this bizarre episode from the villagers, he came to this place and called out for his son. But the son who was immersed in Bhakti did not respond to the father’s call. Angered at this the father kicked the sand mound with his leg. Upset with his father’s action, the devoted Vichara Sarma hit out at the father’s leg with the grazing stick. The stick turned into a weapon and cut off the father’s legs. 

Pleased with the devotion of Vichara Sarma that he took action even against his own father, the Lord provided darshan to Vichara Sarma at this place and blessed him as Chandesan and provided him with Mukthi. Those who offer worship to Chandesan at this temple are believed to secure the blessings that Chandesan himself had received from the Lord.

Brahmotsavam in Thai
Harischandra stayed here for a period and created the Appan Kulam (Oma Kunda Theertham) East of the temple. He also introduced the annual festival in Thai beginning on Uttaratadhi. The Chariot Festival is celebrated in a grand way on Punarpusam with the Theerthavari Utsavam the next day. 

Krishnapremi and his childhood days at the temple
It was at the Dakshinamurthy Sannidhi at this temple that Krishnapremi Swami spent a major part of his childhood in penance like prayer. Thanks to his efforts over the last decade, this entire place stands transformed.

Saint Poet’s Praise
Thiru Gnana Sambanthar in his praise of Senganoor says that Senganoor was surrounded by groves that gave out honey / nectar in huge quantities and the bees were seen buzzing around rendering sweet music. The temple was surrounded by beautiful mansions with greenery all around.
பாணடைந்த வண்டுபாடும்
பைம்பொழில் சூழ்ந்த அழகார்

சேணடைந்த மாடம் மல்கு
சேய்ஞ்சலூர் மேயவனே 

He also points out in the 6th verse that this was a temple built and worshipped as Mada Koil by Ko Chenganan Chozhan.
காடடைந்த ஏனம் ஒன்றின்
காரண மாகிவந்து
வேடடைந்து வேடனாகி
விசயனொடு எய்ததென்னே

கோடடைந்த மால்களிற்றுக்
கோச்செங்கணாற்கு அருள்செய்
சேடடைந்த செல்வாழும்
சேய்ஞ்சலூர் மேயவனே 

Kanchi Periyava stayed in this agraharam in 1949 for one long month.  In those decades, dating back over half a century, this entire agraharam was vibrant with several Saivite and Vaishnavite families. There were dozens of kids in each house and entire place was buzzing with activity says 67 year old S Chandramouli who spent his entire childhood here in the agraharam in the 1950s and 60s. His forefathers were trustees of the Sathya Gireeswarar temple.  He studied in the Government School till 5th and then had to move to Thirupananthal for his high school and higher secondary education.
He says that the anti Brahmin movement in the 1960s and 70s drove residents out of the agraharams into cities.

In those days, when he was a young boy in the 1950s, residents lived a contended and happy life. They consumed healthy home food throughout their lives. He could see happiness all around. 

A Vibrant Senganoor
The temple was rich in glory and there were positive vibrations all around. Peacocks were seen fluttering their wings and dancing around in happiness. Bees were seen playing music that was sweet to the ears. Repeatedly he refers to the place being amidst green fertile groves and amidst singing and dancing birds.
வீசடைந்த தோகை யாட
விரை கமழும் பொழில்வாய்த்

தேசடைந்த வண்டு பாடும்
சேய்ஞ்சலூர் மேயவனே

After decades, he is back in Senganoor after retirement from his corporate job and has settled down in the  traditional long agraharam home of his in the East Street. Over the last decade, he has been performing Kainkaryam at the Sathya Gireeswarar temple.

He says that many of the original inhabitants of Senganoor are now buying land here and is hopeful that this place will once again be vibrant like the centuries gone by. 

The temple is open between 9am-11am in the morning and between 430pm - 730pm in the evening. Contact TK Ramakrishnan Gurukal 93459 82373 / S Chandramouli @ 70948 29225 / 96006 30839

The Mei Kavalar Venkateswaran has been performing duty here at this temple along with his father for well over 5 decades. Contact : 73739 67693

1 comment:

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