Sathyagalam is a little village on the banks of the holy Cauvery. It is also known as Saktimangalam or Sathyamangalam. It has a shrine for Sri Varadharajar and Perundevi Thayar. Sathyagalam had the distinction of being selected as a perfect setting for swami Desikan’s daily Anushtanam , worship and writing. It is about 125 Kms southwest of Bangalore and is well connected by road. It is close to some popular picnic spots like the Gaganachukki Falls, Madhyarangam temple, Bluff ( name of a power generating station), Tallakad etc. 


How did Sri Desikan come here?

Outside attack on Srirangam: It was sometime in the 13th Century when Srirangam city became a veritable hotbed of attacks from northwest of India and was invaded by enemies, forcing people to flee Srirangam. One of those who could not escape was Sudharshana Bhattar, author of Shrutha Prakashike, the famous commentary on Ramanuja’s famous Sri Bashyam. He wisely entrusted this book as well as his two young children to the safe custody of Swami Desikan, who thinking it was God’s will, left Srirangam for a safe place. He traveled along the course of river Cauvery to reach SATHYAGALAM and decided to make it his home for the next 12 years.

Swami Desikan settles down:

Swami Desikan settled down comfortably at Sathyagalam and got into his routine of Aradhanam, meditation, writing and delivering Kalakshepams on Sri Bhashyam. It may be mentioned here that swami had the unique distinction of giving Kalakshepams on Sri Bhashyam over 30 times , a feat which does not appear to have been matched by anyone ever since.

He is said to have written a number of books while he lived here and the one which is frequently mentioned, is “ABHITISHAVA”, the recitation of which is said to ward off all types of fear.

Once again SATHYAGALAM beckons Desikar 

Swami Desikan left SATHYAGALAM for Srirangam when all the trouble had ceased there. His fame kept growing by leaps and bounds with his unique contributions and display of “Pandithyam”. Kanthadai Lakashmanacharya was a descendant of a famous Acharya vamsam with a following in those times. One of his disciples insulted Swamy Desikan because he did not show respect to his Acharyan( Kanthadai Lakashmanacharya). Then Swami Desikan returned to Sathyagalam once again.

This was not true Lakashmanacharya himself did not cause any injuries to Swamy Desikan . Infact , Lakashmanacharya was unaware of the trespass by his sishyan .The sins of the sishyan landed on the door of his Acharyan and as a result , he developed Leucoderma. Then Kanthadai Lakashmanacharya rushed to do Sathyagalam. Kaimakryam at the feet of Swamy Desikan at Sathyagalam removed the Leucoderma and also blessed Lakashmanacharya with a son after being childless for a long time. Since the child was born due to the partaking of Swamy Desikan’s SrI Paada Theertham , the child was named Theerttha PiLLai. 

Very Very Special Feature :Ninra Thirukolam

There is a unique feature in the Desikar’s Idol at Sathyagalam. Swami Desikar is in Ninra Thirukolam or in standing pose. It is said Swami is standing and anxiously looking towards Srirangam to see if peace has returned or not (his standing posture gives an impression that he was literally on his toes, to head back to Srirangam). You will generally find him in all the temples in a seated pose and not in standing pose.

Special note: Seven hundred years is a long period of time for any Kshetram to have its rollercoaster ride through many good and bad times. Fortunately for us, by the infinite grace of Swami Desikan and Perumal, the state of the deities, idols of Azhwars and Acharyas are all intact and in good shape having withstood the test of time.


Two more specialties of Sathyagalam


1. A tortoise races past

Swami Desikan once had a dream in which a “Satvik” person requests that he allow him to do some form of service {Kainkaryam} to him. Swami Desikan did not read too much into this dream. The very next day when swami was returning from the river after his “Ahannikam”, a tortoise followed him all through and “raced fiercely”. This happening also did not bother him in anyway. However, that night in his dream, he had a vision of GOD wherein he was told to do “Anugraham”. The next morning when swami Desikan returned to his special spot under the Gnyaanaashwattha, he found a stone Peetam in the form of a tortoise [“Koormasanam”]. The swami started using it during his “Anushtanam”. The unique Sri Koormasanam (naturally formed in granite) on which Our Swami performed his Nithya Anushtanam on the Banks of Cauvery is now preserved in his Sannidhi.

H.H. Sri Abhinava Ranganatha Parakala Mutt Swami visited Sathyagalam in the 1920s and renovated the temple. His Holiness got the Desikar Sannidhi built and installed Swami Desikar’s idol & moved the Koormasanam (which was near Gnyaanaashwattha) in the sannidhi where it now lies. It was His Holiness again who organized for the Thirunakshatram festivals to be held every year in ‘Thula Masam’.

2. Gynaashwatha

While in Sathyagalam, Swami Desikan had selected a particular spot on the riverbed for his daily “Anushtanam” and meditation under a “peepul tree” {Ashwatha Vriksham}. This spot has been revered by generations of people who acknowledge the tree as Swami Desikan’s “special seat” seated where he composed many literary compositions. The entire setting with the “peepul tree” {Ashwatha Vriksham} is known as Gynaashwatha. This spot was in bad shape until recently, when it underwent renovation and was spruced up to make it fit for visiting Holinesses and others to observe their “Anushtanam”.

Due to heavy rains our Gynaashwatha got uprooted but fortunately some small shoots and saplings are growing.