Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sembakkam Sri Jambugeswarar

Sembakkam village is situated about 45 kms from Chennai. It lies on the road connecting Thirupporur (OMR) and Chengalpattu and at about 7 kms while going from Thirupporur. There is an arch on the left side of the road, indicating the direction to the temple. The temple is about 1 km from the main road.

Sembakkam has an ancient temple for Lord Shiva where the main deity is Sri Jambugeswarar and Goddess Sri Azhagaambigai. This temple is also called Vada Thiruvanaikkaa or Uthara Jambugeswaram as this temple also represents Water element. Moreover, this temple is also built by the same king Ko Chengannan who built the Thiruvanaikkaa Sri Jambugeswarar temple.

According to the legend, when Lord Muruga killed Soorapadhman (Soora Samhaaram) the head of the demon is believed to have fallen here and hence the place was known as Sirampakkam (Siram means Head in Thamizh). It is said that the name Sirampakkam got changed as Sembakkam down the generations. Even today, the flag hoisting ceremony of Thirupporur Sri Kandhaswamy temple (for Lord Muruga) is done by the people of Sembakkam.

It is said that Sri Aadhiseshan along with Vasuki and other Naga Kanyas came here and worshipped Lord Shiva to get relieved of their sin as Sri Aadhiseshan spit Poison while churning the mighty ocean. Another story has it that Sage Naradha was explaining the sanctity of Sri Uthara Jambugeswarar to Lord Indra who didn’t pay much attention in listening to the sage. Because of this, Indra got into difficulties and came personally and worshipped Lord Shiva here.

As per Sthalapuraanam, the king Ko Chengannan who was childless was traveling across the country worshipping Lord Shiva at various places. When he reached Sembakkam the axle of his Chariot broke down here and he was resting at this place. Lord Shiva appeared in his dreams and directed him to build a temple here, where He would be called Sri Jambugeswarar along with Goddess Sri Azhagaambigai. The king built this temple for Lord Shiva and was blessed with a child.

This beautiful temple has a wide landscape inside the compound where a beautiful garden is maintained. Sri Jambugeswarar is facing east from a small sanctum with Dwarapaalakas guarding it. A beautiful Nandhi is facing the Lord here towards the sanctum.

There are beautiful Urchava Murthies like Sri Natarajar, Sri Somaskandhar etc., kept in the Mandapam just outside the sanctum.

Goddess Sri Azhagaambigai is facing south. At the entrance on the southern side, there is a well just near the entrance itself. It is said that the well was created by the Goddess itself which contains the powers of several crores of mantras.

Sri Dhakshinamurthy, Sri Mahavishnu, Sri Brahma and Sri Durga are present around the sanctum at their respective directions.

A new Dwajasthambham was being installed in the temple on 16.03.08 (when I visited).

A small, age old natural pond is found just near the temple entrance, which is said to be the source of water to enter the Sanctum. The temple is originally made in such a way that the water from this pond will always be percolating inside the sanctum to keep the deity always in water. But in later stages, as the temple has risen from the ground level, the water now does not enter the floor of the sanctum but remains in the pond and also under the ground level of the sanctum. Hence this Sthalam also represents ‘water’ similar to Thiruvanaikkaa.

It is also said that this village has at least one temple every street. Many small temples are seen on the corners of many streets here. Sage Agasthiyar has visited this temple and worshipped the Lord here.

It is believed that many Siddhars gather here on Pournami days to offer their prayers.

The Sthala Viruksham for this temple is ‘Naaval’ tree as same as Thiruvaanikkaaval. In Sanskrit ‘Jambu’ means ‘Naaval fruit’, and hence the Lord here is called Sri Jambugeswarar. The Naaval tree is present at the south east corner of the temple.

Sembakkam is an ideal place for people who seek peace from ‘within’.


  1. Very Informative blog.
    Thank You
    Sankaram Siva Sankaram
    Krishnamoorthy Venkataraman

  2. It is quite detailed, informative with the ever lasting effect of pictures which makes the information even more eye catching. Thanks a lot for the same. Do I have the permission to pass on the links to others. I would like to pass it on to around 834 mail addresses that I have.
    Thanks a tonnes.

  3. Shankaram Siva Shankaram

    Dear Saravanan,

    Not everyone can do the service you are doing. It is a privilege and Blessings of Baba or the Supreme Being that you are bestowed with this rare oppurtunity to visit various Kshetras and Thirthas unknown to many of us.

    The inquisitiveness to capture the small details and gather the sthala purana of those ancient temples and the eagerness to share it with all is laudable.

    My sincere thanks and wishes to you for this endeavour and prayers for you to carry on this sacred mission.


  4. Saravana,

    There is only a small difference between visiting the temple and reading ur blog. In temple we could see the Deity(molavar) and here we cannot.

    Otherwise around, i feel much satisfied when i read ur blog.because even if i go to the temple directly i will not be able to know the details u provide in ur blog.

    Crore of wishes.

    May god bless u with more energy to travel to many places and let us atleast know about that.


  5. Dear Saravana,
    I am Ambiga(Malaysia) now I am in Canada.I should said thanks to you for sending all the temples.I read all of them and will explin to my kids.
    Wanted to ask you is there any temple by the name of verkattu kaliamman.
    Thanks ,

  6. Thank you saravan it is really interesting to know about so many temples.
    with regards.
    Rajeshwari narasimhan

  7. Very interesting to read your comments.
    We plan to visit the place soon as we live in Valmikinagar,Chennai which is on the ECR.
    Enjoyed reading your descriptions. We can see the temple and surroundings with the information provided by you.
    Thanks once again

  8. Thanks a lot Saravanan- to seek peace from 'within' - an apt term to describe this beautiful temple.

  9. Dear Saravanan,

    please send me your mail ID and address.

    Sri Jamubugeeswarar Iraipani Mandaram,

  10. Dear saravanan,

    Thanks for ur interest in giving information about temples people least heard of.

    I am native of sembakkam village but missing the pleasant peaceful environment of this temple since I am settled now in Bangalore.

    remembering the days I spent in this temple in 1980s
    thanks for ur service.

  11. saravanan,thank you for your comments on our temple


  12. This is a Valuable Information...Thanks about the temple..


  13. hai saravanan sir, thanks lot i am very intrested with your blog, sembakkam is my native i am very happy to see our temple photos and details i wish you please keep ever.