Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Sri Manicka Swamigal aka Satti Samiyar Gnana Peetam, Enathimangalam

Sri Manicka Swamigal aka Satti Samiyar Gnana Peetam, Enathimangalam

My father-in-law had three framed photographs in his otherwise clutter-free pristine room. A picture of his father and two saints whom he had had an opportunity to meet and interact with in his younger days - Gnanananda Swami, whose tapovanam is found near Tirukoilur and Manicka Swamigal, commonly known as Satti Samiyar, whose samadhi is found in Enathimangalam, in Villupuram district.

During the early years of my marriage, my father-in-law would narrate numerous incidents about Satti Samiyar from his childhood. Manicka Swamigal had been in Sitthilingamadam at that time, where my father-in-law was undergoing education in his maternal uncle's house. No one really knew where he came from. Some say he walked all the way from Vellore. As young boys, my father-in-law and his cousins would bathe and play on the banks of the Then Pennai river flowing close by. Often, they would find Manicka Swamigal, either throwing sand upon himself in a state of ecstasy on simply sitting by the river, gazing into the horizon.

Shrine with lingam and photograph close to the entrance

As the boys approached, he would call them near and speak to them. Despite their age, he would call them Anna (Big Brother). Sometimes, they would find him floating on water. One day, my father-in-law found his body floating on the water while his head was watching it from a distance. Frightened, he ran home crying, only to be consoled by his grandmother, that the swami was demonstrating his siddhis.

Manicka Swamigal would not take any money if offered. He would take food in an earthen pot he always carried, which gave him the name of Satti (Pot) Samiyar. Sometimes he would eat, else he would just scatter the food around for birds and animals. He would only accept food from those he wanted to and not touch food offered by the others.

My mother-in-law for her part would proudly say that as a young mother, when she saw him visit our village, Sirumadurai, to which my father-in-law had moved to after he began working, she offered him some Omapodi,(Bhujiya) which was all she had at home, which he relished, making her very happy. In return he gave her a handful of sand from the street which she accepted as prasadam. She firmly believes that it was instrumental for them to build our house within the next couple of years.

Sri Manicka Swamigal aka Satti Samiyar, Enathimangalam

After hearing these incidents, I was very eager to visit his samadhi but it took me 29 years to do so. His Gnana Peetam is situated off the main Villupuram - Madapattu Road, in Enathimangalam where the Samiyar moved to from Siddhilingamadam. The villagers credit all their growth and prosperity to the saint who spent his days around the Murugan and Draupathi amman temples, lying in the open, eating when he felt like and accepting clothes only if he needed.

They say he would break the pot in which he would accept food often, and that the potter in the village would give him a new one immediately. Similarly, if he was given clothes, sometimes he would wear them, and in other occasions, he would either tear the garment into shreds or give it to someone else nearby. Those who assisted him saw remarkable changes happen in their lives, but then, he would not take help from any random person unless he wanted to.

Samadhi of Sri Manicka Swamigal aka Satti Samiyar, Enathimangalam

He attained samadhi on the 5th of September 1970. His Guru Pooja is celebrated on the Swathi Star in the Tamil month of Aavani each year when thousands throng his Gnana Peetam and annadhanam is provided to everyone.

The Gnana Peetam has a Murugan temple behind which stands the samadhi of Sri Manicka Swamigal. A lingam has been installed over his samadhi. There is another shrine where another lingam and his photograph are placed, which is close to the entrance. The Murugan shrine is larger and has a new idol of Muruga, while the torso of the older one has been installed outside. Not sure if it was vandalised at some point.

Abandoned torso of Murugan

It is interesting to note that the Kumbabhishekam of the Samadhi shrine was performed by Appa Paithiyam Swamigal, another renowned Siddhar. Do read about his life and times on Aalayam Kanden blog here.

The energy and vibration that one experiences in the samadhi shrine is immense, showing the divine presence of the saint there. The temple is opened in the morning for worship by the priest. But one can see the samadhi through the grills at any time of the day. You would be in the company of a couple of serious seekers who sit in meditation in different parts of the campus.

Inauguration of Samadhi Shrine of Shri Manicka Swamigal aka Satti Samiyar by Appa Paithiyam Swamigal

How to get here:

Enathimangalam is 15 kms from Villupuram, and 33 kms from Tirukoilur. The nearest town is Tiruvennainallur, the place where Lord Shiva claimed Sundaramurthy Nayanar as his slave and was instrumental in the latter singing hymns is his favour, starting with Piththa Pirai Soodi. To read more about this temple and the divine incident on Aalayam Kanden, click here.

Temple Timings:

The temple is opened in the morning around 8 am for worship. However, the samadhi can be viewed through the day behind closed grills.

Contact details:

95007 18233, 97515 52867

If you are passing by this part of the world, do stop by for a couple of minutes, to experience serenity and tranquility.

The rustic ambience that welcomes you

Acknowledgement: Many thanks to Shri. Kaushik Ramachandran, for helping me reconfirm many of the incidents I had heard, with documented evidence about the life and times of Sri. Manicka Swamigal aka Satti Samiyar of Enathimangalam.


  1. Delightful read. How blessed your parents in law were! My homage at the feet of Satti Samiyar

  2. So fascinating and wonderful to read. Thank you so much for sharing. Hope to visit once this Covid madness is over!

  3. As I texted you in FB earlier,I am a fan of your blogs and I feel blessed for being in these blogs consistent. I will one day reach this place to touch the sand and do pranams on temple whenever I come to India

  4. Thanks a lot sister.I will try to visit soon

  5. Thrilling and blessed 😇❤️🙏🏻