Swathi – Sri Thatheeswarar temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Thatheeswarar temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Thatheeswarar

Ambal: Poonguzhali

Star:  Swathi


You are a man of special skills and many talents. Your Success is a manifestation of your own efforts. You do not tolerate any type of opposition or criticism. You tent to treat your critics with undue unkindness. It is rather difficult for you to work under anybody. It is also hard for you to respect the achievements of others. Thus, you create more enemies than friends. Scandals and blames also will be on the increase. However, you do take care of those who love you. Your masculine qualities, like strong determination and mental power are a source of help in many areas. You have to make special efforts to make a successful family life. Stomach problems are possible.


You are philanthropically inclined and enjoy helping people less fortunate than yourself. You are good at Small/family business transactions of all kinds. You do occasionally tend to use profanity. Your assets will be self made. You will probably live in a town other than the one in which you were born. You tend to second-guess yourself and your decisions. Your emotional burdens may sometimes seem enormous. You enjoy good food, expensive clothes and fine art. You have a probing mind and you have a tolerant nature. Your married life and your relationship with your in-laws may superficially appear to be happier than is really the case. You do not take criticism well. You should learn to communicate your longings and fears to the man you love.


One day, God invited the Nava Grahas to His kingdom.” Tell me, ” he said, ” which among the 27 nakshatras is the greatest? ” All the Nava Grahas preferred their stars of exaltation, because it was here that they felt most comfortable. Therefore, Surya voted for Ashwini, Chandra for Kritika, Budha for Hasta, Sukra for Revati, Kuja for Dhanista, Guru for Pushya, and Sani for Swati. Since there was no consensus, God wanted Rahu and Ketu to vote for one of the stars already mentioned above.

This irked Surya and Chandra, who complained and said that demons were not fit to vote on such divine matters. But God waved aside their protests and said that, in His kingdom, all were equal, and so both Rahu and Ketu had as much a right to vote as any of the other Nava Grahas. Both of them agreed with Sani and said that Swati was the greatest of the nakshatras.

Once again, Surya and Chandra protested, but God ignored them and said, ” Swati it is, then! But first, I think that we should know why exactly it is Swati. ”  Sani, who had first said that Swati was the greatest, stood up, bowed low before the Lord, and said, ” My Lord, I did not vote for Swati merely because it is the star of my exaltation. Neither did I vote for it because it is owned by my good friend Rahu, who owns Kumbha along with me. ”

God knew this, and He also knew what was coming next. But He pretended to be surprised. ” Why then, pray tell me, did you vote for Swati, Sani? ” ” Because, my Lord, this star signifies a desire to attain Your kingdom more than any other star. ”  ” Liar! ” screamed Surya, rebuking his son. ” How can a star owned by hedonistic Rahu signify Godliness? ” He then turned to God and said, ” My Lord, I request that you turn my son Sani out of Your kingdom. ”

” Silence! ” thundered God, ” You may be Sani’s father, Surya, but remember, that I am everybody’s father, including you. Keep quite now, or I shall tell Rahu to eat you! ” Surya sat down, trembling with fear.” Continue, Sani, ” said God in a calmer tone. ” In what way does Swati signify desire to attain My kingdom? Who taught you this? ” ” My Lord, I learnt this from a bird called the common hawk cuckoo, which is also called chatak or papiha. ”

” Pray, my son, please enlighten us. What is so special about this bird? ” asked Surya, keen on getting intoGod’s  good books once again by showing affection to his son. ” Father, the special thing about the chatak is that it will drink only rain water that falls when the star Swati is rising. “” Hah! ” said Surya, reverting to his customary arrogance. ” Is that all? Is this the only thing great about the chatak? ”

” Father! You are so proud of your kingdom that you fail to realize the greatness of small things. The chatak will refuse water from even holy rivers like the Ganga and the Yamuna. Even if it is offered water from a sacred temple tank, it will not drink it. In fact, I will not be surprised if it holds even the nectar of immortality in contempt, preferring instead the rain water that falls on a Swati. ” ” Son, ” said Surya, ” Being at the outer edge of the solar system, so far away from me, has no doubt confused your brains. Why else would you confuse
silliness with greatness? ”

” This is not silliness, but greatness, father, ” said Sani. ” And being away from your blinding light, I have savoured the darkness and contemplated long upon things dear to me, like Vairagya and Viveka. To me, the chatak is an exemplary example of both. ” ” In what way? ” demanded Surya.” Thanks to the Viveka possessed by the chatak, it is able to discriminate and realize that the water that falls on a Swati is the greatest. Because it practices Vairagya, it is able to give up its desire for all other sources of water. ”

Before Surya could interrupt him, Sani continued, ” This is what man has to do. He should shun everything-pecially the power that you can offer, father–and choose only God. Only then will he attain Moksha. ” Surya was quite keen on rebuking his son again, but a quick glance at God’s smiling countenance convinced him that if he spoke now, then God would surely set Rahu upon him. Sani continued, ” The chatak also shows us that the path to God is not easy. God, though pleased with the chatak for shunning all other water bodies, still tests the chatak to see if its resolve to taste only the rain water of Swati is strong. The chatak, by being firm, shows devotees that they must be willing to put up with hardships in order to realize Him. ”

When Sani finished, God was immensely pleased with him. ” Sani, your explanation is wonderful. From now on, you shall be called Swati Ucchan not just because you are exalted in Swati, but because you have grasped the inner meaning so beautifully. “As Sani bowed low before God, the other Nava Grahas applauded him. Budha, ever keen on depicting his poetic wit, and on having the last word, said, “Excellent, friend Sani! From now on, may Swati be to Sani what Swaha is to Agni! ”

A king, while commencing the renovation of the temple, found the idol of Mother, named Her Poonguzhali and erected a shrine.  Those facing obstacles in their marriage proposals, perform abishek to Lord with gooseberry powder, juice and seeds and milk to Lord and offer green vastras and bangles to Mother and light ghee lamps. Nandhi in the temple does not have the nose rope as it is soft in appearance.

There are carvings of some Siddhas in the pillars ensuring longevity to devotees. Padukkai Jadamudi Siddha and Prana Deepika Siddhas are in the Nandhi shrine pillars.  Those facing heart trouble light ghee lamps in this shrine. This is the temple for Swathi starrers.  Special abisheks are performed for Lord Muruga on Aadi and Thai Kruthika days and Panguni Uthiram day.  On the Karthika festival day, lamps are lit for all the 27 stars with special pujas.  10 day Margazhi festival is grandly celebrated.  The wedding festival for Lord Nataraja and Mother Sivakami is celebrated on Margazhi Tiruvadhirai day.  Those expecting to be married, worship on this day with all faith.

The sacred word Swathi has in it the combined graceful powers of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.  The letter ‘Va’ is in Namasivaya Mantra.  It also contains the sacredness of the seed letters in the names of Vishnu – Sundararajar, Vasudeva and Trivikrama.  Swathi starrers are advised to worship in the Chithukadu temple filled with the combined grace of Shiva and Vishnu.  They are advised to offer curd rice nivedhana with gooseberry pickle, tamarind rice and offer the same to the poor for a prosperous life.

Two great Siddhas, Padukkai Jadamudi Siddha and Prana Deepika Siddha performed penance in this place.  They installed a Shivalinga under a Gooseberry tree and named in Nelliappar.  Thathiri in Sanskrit means gooseberry and the Tamil name is Nelli.  As the place is fragrant, it is also called Tirumanam-good fragrance. It is called Siddhar Kadu as Siddhas lived here.  In the days that followed it is Chitukadu now.

Sri Panchamurthy procession on Chitra Poornima day in April-May, Vinayaka Chaturthi in August-September, Shivrathri in February-March, Margazhi Tiruvadhirai in December-January, Tirukarthikai in November-December, Aadi Kruthika in July-August, Thai Kruthika and Thai Poosam in January-February and Panguni Uthiram in March-April are the festivals of the temple.


Chithukadu is 8 km from Poonamallee on way to a place called Thandurai. Buses are available only at specific hours.It would be better to hire vehicles from Poonamallee.

Temple Timings:

8.00 a.m. to 10.00 a.m. and from 5.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m.

Temple Telephone Number:

+91 93643 48700, 93826 84485

Temple Address:

Sri Thatheeswarar Temple, (Chithukadu),

South Mada Street,

1/144, Thirumanam Village,

Via Pattabhiram,

Vayalanallur Post,

Chennai – 600072.

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