October 12, 2009

The Lord of Knowledge - Yoga Hayagreevar Temple, Chettipunyam, Chennai

Chettipunyam is a small village with just 5-6 streets. However, this small village has become a center of attraction nowadays thanks to Yoga Hayagreevar temple located over here.

Hayagreeva is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. When two Asuras, namely Madhu and Kaidabha stole Vedas from Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu took the form of Hayagreeva (horse face and human body), killed the Asuras and handed over the Vedas to Lord Brahma. Hence, Lord Hayagreeva is considered as the God of Knowledge. Yoga Hayagreeva is a rare form of idol which is present in the Yoga Hayagreevar temple in Chettipunyam village.

Chettipunyam village is located at a distance of around 3 kms from Singaperumal Koil, near Chennai, in South India. If you take the GST Road from Chennai (the highway connecting Chennai and Trichy), after crossing Singaperumal Koil town, you would find a small road on your right side. You can find the board directing you to Hayagreevar temple. You need to take that small road and travel for around 2 kms to reach the temple. The best way to reach the place is by your own vehicle or taxi. Otherwise, you need to take public transport till Singaperumal Koil and you may have to arrange for an auto rickshaw from there. There are buses to this village; however, they are very rare.

The temple is around 500 years old. The temple orginally belongs to Varadaraja Perumal (a form of Lord Vishnu). In 1868 CE, the idols of Devanatha Swamy and Yoga Hayagreeva were brought from Tiruvahindipuram temple near Cuddalore to this temple. It was done to protect these ancient and popular idols (mobile idols - utsav idols) from alien invasion. Since then, this temple was referred either as Yoga Hayagreeva temple or Devanatha Swamy temple. In the recent time, the popularity of this temple has increased as people started bringing their school going children to this temple (as Hayagreeva is considered as the God of Knowledge).

The temple is small. The main shrine consists of Varadaraja Perumal along with Yoga Hayagreeva and Devanatha Swamy. The idol of Varadaraja is found along with his two consorts Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi. There is a separate shrine for Goddess Hemambhuja Nayaki. There are also separate shrines for Andal, Alwars and Garud. In the corrdior surrounding the main shrine (prakara), you can find the idols of Hayagreeva and Nagaraja. There is a big shrine for Lord Rama, where he is found along with Sita, Lakshman and Hanuman.

Happy travelling.

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  1. The temple is conducting a Spl Archanai on 29th Jan 2012 under the blessings of Sri AM Rajagopalan. One has to book for this archanai at Executive Officer, Arulmigu Devanathaswamy Thirukoil, Chettippunniyam Village, Chingleput Taluk,Kancheepuram Dist., Tamil Nadu – 603 204. For more details, please contact Chettippunniyam Temple +918675127999 or the SYHSS Trust at +914428173263 & yogahayagriva@gmail.com