Great paths: Shenpakkam and Virinchipuram…..Son and the Lord blessing the world


Many Jaya Jaya Sankara to Smt. Sunitha Madhavan for sharing the sthala puranams of few ancient temples and one of the temple’s relationships to our Aacharyas. Ram Ram

Shenpakkam and Virinchipuram…..Son and the Lord blessing the world

This LINK provides information on Adi Sankara, Mahaperiva and Sri Jayendra Saraswathigal. Virinchipuram is our ancestral village. We still have  my great grandfather’s, grandfather’s house there near the temple! My mother’s name is Maragathavalli, the Goddess and consort of Margabandhu.

The name Shenpakkam first entered in my mind from Sri Chaganti Koteswara rao gari’s discourse. From that time, we were waiting for the call of the Lord to get the chance to step into that holy land. It is very near by to Vellore on the Bangalore-Chennai highway. It was 5th October, 2014 that made us grasp the grace of Lord Ganesha in eleven forms.(Ekadasa Ganapati swarupas).

The Sthala puranam goes like this:

Once when a Marata king was going this way one night, the wheel of his chariot struck something hard and stopped by itself. There was blood oozing out from the place. Surprised king decided to wait till next morning to decide about the further plan of action. That night lord Ganesha appeared in his dream and said, “I’m present here in 11 forms. It’s time for me to come out and bless the devotees. Dig the land where your chariot stopped and make a temple for me here.”

As the king followed the lord’s order, he could find the 11 idols of Lord Ganesha, some resembling the shape of a Shiv Ling. The main one that was struck by the wheel was Selva vinayaka. The names of other murtis are  Bala Vinayagar, Nadana Vinayagar, Omkara Vinayagar, Karpaga Vinayagar, Chinthamani Vinayagar, Selva Vinayagar (moolavar), Mayura Vinayagar, Mooshiga Vinayagar, Vallaba Vinayagar, Siddhi-Buddhi Vinayagar and Panchamuga Vinayagar. Bala Vinayagar is still under the ground and only the top portion is visible.

Sri Aadhi Sankarar once visited Virinchipuram Margabandeswarar Swayambu linga temple near this place and from there he came to know about this temple by his spiritual power and visited this temple. He is said to have installed a Sri Charka at the Esanya corner near the Navagrahas.

Once when Maha periyaval and Sree Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal were travelling by this route, the elephant on which the Chinna swamigal was sitting refused to move when it got near the temple. Any amount of coaxing or cajoling by the mahout did not make it budge. It was only then that the Maha Periyaval remembered having made a vow to offer 108 ” Setharu Thengai” (breaking 108 coconuts for the Vinayakas) to the Shenbakkam temple which he had totally forgotten about. He immediately requested the accompanying Mutt officials to organise for the same. Once the offering was made, the elephant quietly started moving forward without any protest. Vinayaka was able to remind Maha Periyaval about his prayer through himself! (The Elephant). This is really a one of its kind temple and a not-to-miss site for all Ganesha/temple lovers!

There is one more place here in this village named Nava Brindavanam sacred for Madhwas containing the 9 Brindavanams of the previous Mathadhipatis of their peetham.

One can get the Darshan of the following Swamis in these premises:

Sri Vidhyapti Theertharu, Sri Satyadhi raja Theertharu, Sri Kesava Udayaru, Sri Govinda Madhwa Udayaru, Sri Boovaraga Udayaru, Sri Raghunadha Udayaru, other few and The Mrittika from the bridavanam of Sri Raghavendra swami in His Brindavanam.

The next divine spot was Virinchipuram Margabandheswara temple.

The presiding deity is a swayambumurthi in a leaning form. The rays of Sun fall on the Lord in the month of Panguni (March-April). Palm tree is the sthala Vruksha of the temple which is in the inner corridor – prakara of the temple. This has a peculiar character of giving the fruits in black in a year and white the following year. The importance of the temple lies in the Rudraksha roof above the Sanctum sanctorum.

Sthala puranam:

Lord Brahma was born as Shivasarma here in a priest family. When Shivsarma’s father died at his early days, Shivsarma was to undertake the pooja responsibilities as a small boy. Shivasarma’s relatives had planned to take away the priest’s rights and land from them and so they warned that his rights and land will be taken away, if he does not perform the pooja when his turn comes up. Shivasarma’s mother prayed to Margabandeeswar and He appeared in her dream. It was the last Saturday night of the Karthigai month. The next morning, Shivasarma took bath in the Brahma theertham and Lord Shiva came as an elderly person and conducted the Upanayanam, Brahmopadhesam and Shiva Dikshai to Shivasarma and disappeared as Mahalingam in the temple tank bund. The small boy was then paraded on an elephant with the holy water pot and the temple door opened automatically to everyone’s surprise. As if he was very experienced in the pooja procedures, he conducted the pooja activities to Swarna Ganapathy and while attempting to do the abhisheham for the Margabandheeswarar, as a small boy, he was unable to reach the head of the lingam. He then submitted his inability to Lord Shiva.

In another legend, once Brahma and Vishnu got into an ego battle and they set out to reach the head and foot of Lord Shiva but both failed. Brahma lied to Shiva that he had seen the head with Tazhampoo as a false witness but here Lord Brahma accepted his inability to reach the head of Lord Shiva and offered his failure to the Lord Himself. Lord Shiva, then bowed His head to accept the abhisheham and Brahma got his curse cleared off and attained salvation. So the Margabandheeswarar lingam can be seen in a slightly tilted position here.

Dhanabalan, a Kundala desa pepper merchant lost his loads to thieves. He prayed to Lord Shiva and He came as a soldier on a horse and not only retrieved the pepper loads but also accompanied Dhanabalan till Kanchipuram. Due to this He is called ‘Vazhi Thunai Nathar’ in Tamil and Margabandu in Sanscrit (Marga meaning way and Bandhu meaning company).

The following divine place was the Ranganatha swami temple of Pallikonda. After Lord’s departure from Vaikundam, accompanying Him, divine serpent Adisesha offered himself as a bed to Perumal first in this place only, according to the history of the place-Sthala Purana. As Perumal took His reclining form in the milk ocean, the river also is named Palaru – Milk River. Staying in this temple for a night and worshipping Perumal ensure salvation to the soul, according to Brahmmanda Purana. The idol of Lord is made of Salagrama stone.

Near by on a hill Called Mahadeva malai, there is another Swamyabhu Shivalinga and a very huge temple construction is going on there now which holds many idols of Lord Ganesha and Ammavaru in different forms.


Thus our single day trip proved to be fruitful with blessings of Lord in many forms.


Thus our single day trip proved to be fruitful with blessings of Lord in many forms.

Categories: Devotee Experiences

2 replies

  1. I was blessed to have darshan of these two sthalams during early sixties ,many times. The Vinayaka in shenbakkam is like manjal Pillayar in cone shape. That too in the open courtyard! . Those who dont have Santhana bhagyam will get praying Virinjipuram Margabhandheeswarar. Appayya Deekshitha’s Maragabhandheeshvara shlokam is very famous.

  2. I had the opportunity to visit the temple once but i could get so much details as described above,I also visited Tiru Vallam temple/Janakiraman. Nagapattinam

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