Paucity of funds has slowed down the renovation works at Sri Satyavachakar Temple, Maathur..

It is known that there are many ancient temples in the Cholamandalam region of Tamil Nadu. But it is sad to see that many of these temples are in a dilapidated state, without the performance of the daily prayers/rituals and in need of renovation/rejuvenation. One such temple is the Sri Soundaryanayaki samedha Sri Satyavachakar Temple, located at Maathur village, about three km west of Thirukkadaiyur, in Nagai district, Tamil Nadu.

This temple, about 1,400 years old, finds mention as a ‘Vaippu Sthalam’ in the ‘Thiru Kshetra Kovai’ (2-39-7) composed by Saint Thiru Gnanasambandar, and in ‘Oorthokai’ ( 7-47-1) composed by Sundarar, two of the great four saivite saints. Sundarar has written a Tamil verse which clearly signifies that Sri Satyavachakar is the Lord who guides us in the righteous direction.

Kanva Maharishi, a great saint of the Hindu religion, has lived here and woshipped Lord Satyavachakar with the Bael leaves from the Bael tree (Sthala Vriksham) grown by him here.

Some incidents that are reported to have occurred at this temple/village are incredible. It is stated that Sri Satyavachakar directed the 16-year-old Markandeyan, to go and pray at Thirukkadaiyur to overcome his imminent pre-ordained death.

Chinnathambi Thevar, a respected elderly citizen of Maathur, narrates the story (handed down through the generations of his forefathers of this village) of how the Lakshmi Theertham (temple tank), of this temple, cured the Chola King of his skin disease. It is said that the Chola King in Thiruvarur used to get water fetched from Poompuhar (then Kaveri Poom Patttinam) through carts, for his daily bath. One day, as the water pots tumbled on the way, and the water got spilt fully, the cartman, without going back to Poompuhar, is reported to have taken the water from ‘Lakshmi Theertham’ of Maathur village. The Chola King who bathed in this water, felt a difference and found that his skin disease has been cured. When the surprised king made enquiries, the cartman, scared of punishment, maintained that he brought the water from Poompuhar only. When the King mentioned the miracle of how his skin disease got cured and insisted on knowing the truth, the cartman finally admitted that he fetched the water from Lakshmi Theertham of Maathur.

The king who was immensely happy, came to Maathur village, took bath in the Lakshmi Theertham and carried out major renovations at the Sri Satyavachakar temple.

It is now more than 75 years since the last kumbabhishekam was performed at this temple, which was in a dilapidated condition, with thick bushes and vegetation grown around it. The Lakshmi Theertham tank had also dried up and abandoned.

The Shree Maathur Sasthas Paripalana Trust, founded and supported by the erstwhile natives of Maathur village, along with support from the local villagers, ( and with the approval of the HR&CE Department, Government of Tamil Nadu), has now taken up the task of renovating this ancient shrine. The vimanams of all the sannidhis have been completely redone with impressive sculpting work. In addition to the main sannidhis of Lord Satyavachakar and Sri Soundaryanayaki, separate niches for deities such as Vinayakar, Subramaniar, Gajalakshmi, Chandikeswarar, Bhairavar, Nagaraja and Kanva Maharishi are also getting renovated.

A proper “prasnam” session, conducted by an experienced Namboodri from Kerala has also reconfirmed many of the ancient and religious beliefs and faiths held hitherto by the villagers. The visit by the devotees from the Thanjavur Vara Vazhipadu Mandram was an assurance of the support extended for the cause.

Donations are solicited to complete the renovation work at the earliest and perform the kumbabishekam on May 20, as scheduled.

Contributions may be sent to V.M. Govindakrishnan, trustee—secretary, Shree Maathur Sasthas Paripalana Trust, 28-A, (New No. 2), Second Floor, West Street, Raghava Reddy Colony, Ashok Nagar, Chennai – 600083. For details call 044-2489 8656, 99625 98656 or mail to vmg28a@gmail.com.