SRI GURUVAYOORAPPAN ASTHIKA SAMAJAM

Nanganallur, a suburb of Chennai, between St. Thomas Mount and Meenambakkam with green lush paddy fields, became a residential area of middle class people in early 1960. By the year 1970, hand full of small independent houses came up in a scattered manner forming a small township. People, after their office hours, wanted to spend their time in useful ways for the betterment of society. So a small group of persons gathered and formed an association, in 1968 in a humble way. The residents of RAMNAGAR, Nanganallur under the guidance of Dr.T.V.RADHAKRISHNA SASTRY, an Ayurvedic Physician and also a scholar in Tamil, Sanskrit and English, thus formed a Samajam, with an annual membership subscription of Rs.1.00 fixed with a view for larger participation . Regular study Circles and Debates on our Puranas, Ithihasas Vedas Bhajans etc. were conducted on every Sunday and other Holidays. On such a Sunday debate, one broad minded bank Officer by name Sri.Gopalakrishnan, who was present at the debate, came forward with an offer to donate a piece of Land to the Association, if the land could be used by the Samajam in the name of Lord Sri Guruvayoorappan. With this an association, unnamed so far became SRI GURUVAYOORAPPAN ASTHIKA SAMAJAM.

The service and religious activities continued and by 1972 the membership of the Samajam rose considerably well and it was felt that the Samajam should set up a Prayer Hall of its own.

By this time, another Devotee of Lord Sri Guruvayoorappan, Sri.P.V. SUBRAMANIAM, made a contribution of another piece of Land where a thatched Shed was set up as a Service Centre and Prayer Hall, where pictures of Lord Sri. Vigneswara, Sri Guruvayoorappan, Sri Bhagavathi and Sri. Ayyappan were placed and regular poojas were performed by Sri.T.V. Anantharama Seshan, a member of the Editorial Board of the leading Daily “THE HINDU” The members felt that the Samajam should try their hands to construct a pucca temple installing the Icon of Lord Sri Guruvayoorappan. Since the members of the Samajam were not affluent enough to venture in the project, they had a doubt whether such a project was feasible and whether they would be able to maintain the project in the years to come. On the suggestion by some of the members of the Samajam, the prospect of the project was left in the hands of Lord Sri. Guruvayoorappan himself and in order to ascertain the probability of constructing the Temple, an Asthamangala prasnam was conducted by Bhramasri Vishnu Nambudiri of Pudusseri. The prasnam revealed that about four centuries ago this area was a thick forest and many Tapasvies were dwelling here. It also brought to light the great saint from Kerala Sri BILWAMANGAL, one of the ardent devotee of Lord Sri Guruvayoorappan was among those saints doing tapas. Lord Sri. Guruvayoorappan presented himself in front of the saint, adorning Shangu, Chakram, Gadha, and Padmam and accepted a cup of fresh cow’s milk. Then as per the request made by the great saint, the Lord gave assurance that at a future date their would be a temple for the worship of the common men. The Prasnam further indicated that the Prayer hall then in existence be considered as Balayam the poojas offered there accepted by the Lord as Uthamathama, and the entire village of Nanganallur is a sacred place and in the near future itself a good number of prominent places of worship would come up in this area. These predictions are taking shape now. Based on the prasnam, the Idols of Lord Sri Guruvayoorappan, Sri Bhagavathi Sri Prasanna Vinayaka, Sri.Dharma Sastha, Sri Sankarshana and the Navagrahas were made, taking granite from Trithala (Kerala) by Sri Unni Nambudiripad of Kanippaiyoor and all of them installed and the kumbhabhishekam was performed on 17th April 1975. As per the findings in the Astamangala Prasnam, the construction of the temple project is based on Kerala Architecture and an Idols of Saint Bilwamangal is installed in the Namaskara Mandapam. The Poojas are being performed thrice a day and SRIVELI is also brought out every day. Fresh, Unboiled, warm milk is the Pradhana Neyvedyam to Lord Sri Guruvayoorappan. Before the first Kumbahbhishekam in the year 1975 the samajam could construct the moolasthanams for Sri Guruvayoorappan Prasana Vinayaka, Dharma Sastha, Navagrahas, Shankarshanar and Bhagavathi covered with Malabar tiles. Again during the second Kumbhabhishekam, the churtambelam except the eastern portion was completed. In the meantime the Rajagopuram was also constructed. All these things were made possible because of the God Sent man Sri.D.Ramachandra Iyer, a retired PWD Official who put in all his efforts.

With the assistance of a leading construction company from Chennai and with the support of our Members, we could complete the construction of Sri Narayana Pravachana Mandapam, where almost every third day there is a Discourse. Now Musical Concert, Veda Parayanam, Bhajan and other cultural programmes conducted for the benefit of our members regularly.

In the year 1995, The Forest Department Tamil Nadu donated a Teak wood Log for our Dwajastambham which was installed in the year 1996,with copper Covering, to a height of 46 Feet.

During the year, 1998 it was felt that a complete renovation of the entire Temple was necessary and as the Third Kumbhabhishekam was due in 1999, the samajam started preparing for the same. Because of non-availability of liquid resources and also because of our commitment to complete the Mandapam and the Staff quarters named after the father of the first donor of the Land as SRI NEELAKANTA COMPLEX, on the 3rd main Road, of Ramnagar, Nanganallur, the samajam could not divert funds for the completion of the Temple Project in the year 1999. During July,1999 the work of the Sri Neelakanta Complex was completed and by October 1999 the samajam was ready to take up the renovation work of the Temple. It was earnest desire, to complete the entire renovation work in one stretch before the Kumbhabhishekam on the 17th April,2000. As the samajam had other regular commitments of charitable nature such as regular Annadaanam, running a Ayurvedic Dispensary, Education Assistance to the deserving poor, and Meritorious Students, Free Distribution of Clothing and Books, samajam could not draw the required resources from Capital and hence, it appealed to our members, the corporate bodies for the completion of the project. The estimate prepared in 1998 was to the tune of 36 lakhs of Rupees By the time the work started the material cost and the labour charges had gone up considerably high and in order to give more facilities to Members it was decided to some additional facilities also. The response to the appeal for resources to the Members was very encouraging but the time for such a large project was very short. Putting in all our efforts, of its dedicated members the samajam could complete the following projects.

  • Provisions of Granite Flooring in all Sannathis
  • Copper Roofing of Sri Guruvayoorappan Srikovil and the Namaskara Mandapam
  • Completion of the Eastern side of the chutrambalam
  • Construction of the New Base Kitchen for Annadannam with amenities such as Gas for Cooking, Provision of Drinking Water etc.
  • Construction of an Annadaanam Hall on the first Floor of the Base Kitchen and the Ayurvedic Dispensary.
  • Granite flooring within the Naalambalams of Sri Guruvayoorappan Sannathi and Bhagavathi Sannathi.
  • Granite flooring in front of Bhagavathi Sannathi.
  • The Office and Prasada Counters on both sides of Rajagopuram.
  • The front Prakara Mandapam and
  • The Back Prakara Mandapam

Of the above items Nos. 4,5,6,7 and 8 were not actually included in the original project proposals made in 1998.

Vilakku madam with copper covering were erected in all sannathis and new silver Ratham for Sriveli was also made to be used on special festival days and on specific days like Pournami, Rohini, Ekadashi, etc.

Chitra Festival Committee, on their part, has done exceedingly well with all the difficulties they are also facing, by way of lack of man power and resources at their disposal.

The samajam take this opportunity to express its gratitude to all its Members, and others who have helped in carrying out the Thiruppani to this extent and once again appeal to all of you to come forward with all your assistance to complete the remaining projects at the earliest.

The samajam invite you all to visit the Temple and involve yourself in all the activities of the Samajam to feel the changes you will attain in all walk of your life.

MAY THE GIVER OF ALL GOOD GIFTS LORD SRI GURUVAYOORAPPAN, BRING YOU ALL, LOVE, PEACE CHEER AND ENRICH YOUR LIVES WITH ALL BLESSINGS.


By Members