Lord Skanda-Murugan

Vaelundu Venai illai… Mayilundi bhayam illai… Muruga, neeundu enakkena kurai
Valli Teyvayanai Samedha Kanda Swami, Śrī Karthikeya Swami Temple, Chandigarh
Valli Teyvayanai Samedha Kanda Swami, Śrī Karthikeya Swami Temple, Chandigarh

Temple History: Śrī Karthikeya Swami Temple, Chandigarh

Far from home, Tamils in Chandigarh, the Union Territory and capital of Punjab and Haryana states of India have been striving to keep their Tamil culture and traditions intact. The threat of decade-old militancy, which took a heavy toll in this part of India, did not deter them though, however, for they believe that Tamil Kadavul (Tamil God) Murugan protects them from any eventuality.

It was during the peak of militancy in Punjab in the 1980's when Tamils of Chandigarh city felt the need of a temple for Lord Muruga, who is the warrior fighting evil, to safeguard people from the militants. First a small vel (spear) was erected on a pedestal. Devotees started worshiping the vel by chanting Tiruppugazh bhajanam under the cover of darkness.

It is worth noted that not even a single family opted to shift to safer states out of fear but stood fast with a strong faith that Lord Muruga would save them. Their belief was not in vain, as the militant movement started waning soon thereafter. By 1990 the whole region was free from militancy.

People then felt that there should be a full-fledged temple for their Lord and started working towards it. A committee was formed to coordinate with people back in Chennai for arranging the architect, idols and other elements necessary for constructing a temple. Sthapati Rajagopal and his disciple Sthapati Thiagarajan from Chennai drew the blueprint for the temple and built the temple following Dravidian temple architecture with a mixture of Chola and Pallava style of gopuram.

Idols of Lord Muruga flanked by Valli and Devasena, Lord Ganesha and Goddess Krishna Mariamman along with small idols for the temple praharam (peripheral walls) such as Narthana Ganapati, Dakshina Murti, Vishnu, Brahma, Durga and Chandigeswar were chiseled by sculptors from Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu and brought here with utmost care. Maha Swami of Kanchi Sankara Mutt named the deity as 'Lord Karttikeya Swami'

Mahakumbabishekam of Śrī Karthikeya Swami Temple, Chandigarh Mahakumbabishekam of Śrī Karthikeya Swami Temple, Chandigarh
Mahakumbabishekam of Śrī Karthikeya Swami Temple, Chandigarh, on April 29, 2002

Shivacharyas from Kanchipuram led by Rajappa Gurukkal along with Viswanatha Gurukkal performed Mahakumbhabhishekam (grand consecration) in January 1992. The temple has grown from strength to strength in the last decade. His holiness Jagathguru Śrī Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal and Bala Periyawar Vijayendra Saraswati Swamigal of Kanchi Mutt visited the temple and blessed the devotees.

After a gap of ten years, the second Kumbhabhishekam was held in April 29, 2002, by the same group of Shivacharyas led by Rajappa Gurukkal. The temple has now two new additions; a separate sannidhi for Lord Hanuman and Navagrahams. A new dais along with a huge hall (mandap) now facilitates the community in conducting cultural events such as dances, music and bhajans. 'Thirupugazh' Raghavan (with red band around his head in the picture) was falicitated on that occasion. Pictures of the occasion are included here for the benefit of devotees.

How to reach Śrī Karthikeya Swami Temple, Chandigarh

The nearest airport is Chandigarh, which is some 15 kilometres from the bus stand in Sector 17. Flights are available from New Delhi to Chandigarh. The temple is reachable by rail as frequent trains from New Delhi and other part in Punjab to Chandigarh, are available.

Mahakumbabishekam of Śrī Karthikeya Swami Temple, Chandigarh

One can also reach the temple by road, as plenty of buses are available to Chandigarh from Delhi and adjoining areas. The Inter-State Bus Terminus in Sector 17 is about six kilometres from the temple. Auto-rickshaws and taxis are available from the bus stand and railway station to the temple and charges are fixed by the UT administration.

Nearby religious places

Aiyappa Temple

Situated very close to Karttikeya Swami Temple, this is an another South Indian temple in this vicinity, dedicated Lord Aiyappa. Managed by Śrī Aiyappa Samajham, Sector 47, the temple, apart from the main idol of Lord Aiyappa, also has Ganapati and Bhagavati. The temple is one of the meeting points of Malayali community. An interesting point here is the existing good will and cultural bonds shared between Tamil and Malayali communities through these temples. On every Skanda Shasti and sthapana day (in Aiyappa temple), processions from these temples visit one another and perform customary pujas.  

Balaji Temple

Situated about 15 kilometres from the ISBT, this temple is in Panchkula, a town adjoining Chandigarh. The main idol here is Śrī Venkateswara flanked by Śrī Devi and Bhu Devi on each side.Pujas are conducted as per the temple traditions of Tirupati. The temple is managed by the Andhra community.

Mansa Devi Temple

This popular Devi temple is considered to be one of the 52 shakti pithams according to Hindu scriptures and situated about twelve kilometres from Chandigarh. It was build by the Maharaja of Mani Majara (Gopal Singh) in 1872.

Chandi Devi Temple

The temple of goddess Chandi is approximately 15 kilometres from Chandigarh. The city of Chandigarh derives its name from this temple located in the vicinity of the city.

Temple timings

  • Summer: 7 am – 1 pm and 6 pm – 8 pm
  • Winter: 8 am – 1 pm and 5 pm – 8 pm

For details about Śrī Karthikeya Swami Temple, Chandigarh, or offerings to the Temple, write to:

Lord Murugan Bhaktha Samaj
Air Force Temple Complex
Sector 31-D
Chandigarh - 160 047 India

Or contact Rama Nathan ramaknathan@yahoo.com.

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