Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the main sponsors?
The Satabdhi Manimantapam is being built solely from regular contributions of the innumerable devotees
of the Kanchi Mahaswami. The SriSriSri Mahalakshmi Mathrubutheswarar Trust (SSSMM Trust in short) was incorporated in
1989 for the purpose of building this Manimantapam to mark Periyava's Birth Centenary in 1994 and is involved in
raising the funds required for the project and overseeing the construction work.
Heading the list of Trustees is Padmashri T.H. "Vikku" Vinayakaram. Complete list of Trustees are
- Padmashri T.H. "Vikku" Vinayakaram, Ghatam Artist.
- M.Subbaraman, Retd.Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Bombay.
- K.Vedamurthy, LIC of India(Retd.)
- N.Subramanian,Civil Engineer of M.Narayanaswamy and Co Gopalapurum.
- T.H.Subhash Chandran, Ghatam Artist.
- R.Sankaran (Chartered Accountant, Chennai)
- B.Sankar (Engineer, Chennai)
- Challa Venkateswara Sharma (Sri Karyam and Agent of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam)
- N.Rama Sarma (Manager, Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam)
- T.S.Venkatasubban (Auditor and Vice-President, RajaVeda Patasala, Kumbhakonam)
- V.Shankar (Secretary, South Indian Education Society, Nerul, Mumbai)
Both the illustrious Peetadhipathis of the Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt, Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal and Sri Sankara Vijayandera Saraswathi Swamigal have blessed this
noble effort by issuing a Srimukham(Go-ahead message) for collection of funds for this project and
by visiting the site to see for themselves the progress of the work.
Queen Irene of Greece visited the Spot on the advice of Sri Sankara Vijayendra Saraswathi Swamigal.
And wrote in the Visitors book:
"It is a fitting Tribute to a Saint who spent his Entire life for the Welfare of Humanity".
We are eager to have the willing participation of as many devotees of His Holiness as possible in this marathon
project. Hence we appeal to you to spread this message amongst your dear friends and close relatives.
The list of trustees was updated last on 6 Jan 2010
What is the current estimate? How much has been collected so far?
The latest estimates will be updated soon. 6 Jan 2010
Padmashri S.M. Ganapathi Sthapathi is rendering
his services to the project,free of charge.
Bharat Ratna M.S.Subbulakshmi, and her patriot husband late T.Sadasivam contributed Rs.30 Lakhs
from Music Concerts and royalties from cassette sales. The fillip to the work was provided by the
munificence of an Indian lady doctor living in Houston U.S.A - her generous donation of twenty thousand
dollars is a landmark in the progress of the Mani Mantapam work. But, given the size of the project,
all amounts, big or small , will help in taking the project forward; no sum is negligible.
Periodical contributions [ as paid to Tirumala Shrine ] will also be of help. Spreading
the message by word of mouth is working wonders.
How can I donate to the trust? Are contributions tax deductible?
You can donate to the Trust either online (Click here) using our new credit card payment gateway facility or debit from your
net banking account in India. Click here to
see the list of credit cards accepted and net banking accounts.
Or you can send a Rupee cheque or Draft in favour of "SSSMM Trust". Contributions are tax deductible under section 80G.
Click here for further details.
I live abroad. What is the easiest way for me to send money to the trust?
You can now donate in Rupees to the Trust online (Click here) using your International credit card or debit from your
Rupee banking account in India. Click here to
see the list of credit cards accepted and net banking accounts.
Or you can send cheques in your local currency (USD, Sterling Pound, SGD etc) in favour of "SSSMM Trust" to the Trust.
If you live in the US and would like to avail of tax exemption for the amount you donate then please make your cheques in
favour of Kanchi Kamakoti Seva Foundation with a memo that it is for SSSMM Trust/Manimantapam, and mail it to
Prof D. Sundararaman,
3206 Cherry Mill Drive Adelphi
Please click here for further details.
There are already so many temples in India. Why build another temple?
It is not often that the Divine manifests itself in a form easily accessible to all - Our Maha Periyava was
without doubt one such phenomenon. Is it then not reason enough to celebrate by building a temple, which we
hope will stand as a living testimony of our collective faith in the MahaSwami and His ideals even thousand years hence.
Why is it so expensive? Why not build something on a simpler scale?
We would like this Manimantapam to become a source of perennial inspiration to our future generations
and so all the best features of all our ancient temples and the best features of our Shilpa Shastra are
being given form and shape here - like the sapthaswara pillars, the simha pillar with the lion holding
a ball captive in its mouth (it took three months to carve this so that the ball could roll freely inside
the lion's mouth - it is all made of a single stone!), the Rudraksha Vimana for the Padhuka mandapam.
(Click here to see some pictures of the work in progress)
It is hoped that people who visit the completed monument will have the satisfaction and elation of having
visited several temples at once. Padmashri SM Ganapathi Stapati, who is visualising and designing this Manimantapam
, has the privilege of having been associated and discussed with the MahaSwami several intricacies of our
Shilpa Shastras. He is trying to capture the entire glory of our arts and culture in this Manimantapam. In fact,
Sri Ganapathi Stapati agreed to work for this project only after obtaining the spiritual blessings and the gracious
permission of His Holiness Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal.
It should be mentioned here that the Trust has meticulously avoided all extravagant expenses - even the ads
that come in the papers and appeals are printed free of cost by willing sponsors.
Why is the pace of the project slow? The work was started several years back?
Two reasons for it -
a. The work involved is very intricate and time consuming. Everything is sculpted by hand. The trustees are keen that there should be no
mistakes whatsoever since this is something that should hopefully last hundreds of years, and therefore
are trying their best to ensure that the quality of the work is of the highest order possible. Similar temples built entirely in
granite have taken several decades to complete in the past. Therefore there has been slow but steady progress.
b. Funds are only trickling in as it is - if more funds were to flow with more certainty, then more skilled
labourers can be put to work improving the pace of the project.
By the Grace of the Sage of Kanchi and the blessings of the Kanchi Acharyas, His Holiness Sri Sri Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal and His Holiness Sri Sri Sri
Vijayendra Saraswathi Swamigal, the Trustees hope to celebrate the Kumbhabhishekam of the first phase of the project namely the Paduka Mantapam in May/June 2010.
The estimate is huge. What difference can my contribution make?
Your contribution and your interest in this project will go a long way in making this project successful. Many a drop make an ocean.
As the Sage of Kanchi once remarked to Arthur Koestler, "One's passive interest too generates an influence..an active Shakti or force". Which is why
we would like your enthusiastic and soulful participation in this project. Please plan a visit to the construction site in
Orirukkai to see for yourself the beautiful sculptures and pillars.
What is the progress of the project so far?
We are happy to report that the project has been making steady progress, and by the Grace of Kanchi Mahaswami, and the blessings of the Kanchi Acharyas, Their Holiness
Sri Sri Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal and Sri Sri Sri Vijayendra Saraswati Swamigal, the Trust hopes to celebrate the Kumbabishekam of the Garba Griham in May/June 2010. The
exact dates for the Kumbhabhishekam and other events will be announced soon.
Work in the site of the Satabdhi ManiMantapam was inaugurated on June 9 , 1997 in Orirukkai in the
presence of Smt.M.S.Subbulakshmi and Sri.T.Sadasivam of "Kalki", with the Auspicious Ceremony
"Sankusthapanam ", performed according to the agama Sastras.
On Dec 11, 2009, His Holiness Sri Sri Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal inaugurated the sculpting of a granite idol of the Kanchi Mahaswami to be installed in the Garba Griham of the Manimantapam.
In July 2009, Brahmarandram, an Agama ceremony to close the threadlike hole running from the ceiling of the Mulastanam of the 100 feet tall Vimanam to its summit, was celebrated in a grand manner with PujyaSri Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal gracing the occasion.
More land needs to be acquired for the purpose of installing the Deepasthambam and the Nandi Mantapam.
Padmashri S.M. Ganapathi Sthapathiyar who served the government of AndhraPradesh as Chief Engineer for many years and has to his credit, construction and
renovation of many temples in India and the U.S. (notably the Pittsburgh Venkateshwara temple) is the architect of the Mani Mantapam.
He lives in Kancheepuram and is devoted to this Project.
About 70 Skilled workers (Sculptors) with 30 semi-skilled assistants are now working at the 7.5-acre
site. More people can be put to work if there is a greater flow of funds to meet their wage bill
and cost of stones.
Is the Manimantapam in any way different from building a temple?
A Mani Mantapam is an edifice in token of homage by a grateful public or group of disciples to
a contemporary saint or stalwart or to an historic figure worthy of tribute.
This Mani Mantapam is also a temple in the sense that it is meant to be a center of learning, promote
universal understanding and preserve India's ancient culture and heritage, but unlike a temple which
has a presiding deity (Gods and Goddesses), this is dedicated to the Sage of Kanchi.
In the case of this Satabdhi Mani Mantapam, it is not very different from building a temple. It is
an all granite structure architecturally blending Chola, Pandian and Pallava styles of architecture
-Unique in its own way as the constructionn and sculpting work are being done in strict conformity with
the Agama sastras.
The Sacred Sandals(Padukas) of the Sage of Kanchi will be adorning the sanctum sanctorum of
this Satabdhi Mani Mantapam.
Pujas to the sacred sandals in the Sanctum Sanctorum will be in accordance with the established
traditions of Sri Kanchi Sankara Mutt in such matters.
"Many of the architectural features of the ManiMantapam are rare and delicate- The stone chains
that have taken three months to carve, the saptaswarasthmbam(pillar) that emits the seven notes of
the musical scale when tapped, the various types of pillars, the rudrakshas to be embedded on the
vimana of the sanctum sanctorum, the scenes from the life of Periyava to be depicted on the panels
and so on" (from the article by Kausalya Santhanam in "THE HINDU" dated 3 June 2001).
Whose vision is this Mani Mantapam?
It is the vision of one of the Devotees of Sri Kanchi Mahaswami by name
V. Venkataraman Iyer. It is believed that
if you have Darshan of Lord Shiva during Pradosham, all your sins will be wiped away and you
will attain Moksham. Venkataraman Iyer believed our Kanchi Mahaswami was Pratyaksha Parameswara and hence
never failed to have darshan of Him during Pradosham, every fortnight, for many years, wherever His
Holiness was camping at that time. He was affectionately called Pradosham Mama by fellow devotees.
The SSSMM Trust is engaged in translating his dream Project into a concrete (or rather Granite)
reality which will be a marvel of architecture and a temple of universal peace once it is completed
How was Orirukkai chosen as the site of the ManiMantapam?
The Devotee Sri Pradosham Mama of loving memory whose dream project is this ManiMantapam for Kanchi
Mahaswami, chose this site by inspiration, which later received the tacit approval of His Holiness
It is narrated vividly, by Brahmasri S.Ganesa Sarma of TAFE in his seven day discourses in Tamil,
called Periyava Saptaham.
From the Hindu dated June 3, 2001,
" Orirukkai promises to leap on the national map in a big way in a few years time both of the
architectural marvel that is springing up there and the spiritual solace it will offer to millions
who are devotees of Sri Chandrasekhara Saraswati Swamigal of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam.
As you stand in the site, you realise what an ideal spot it is for the grand project. The breeze from
the nearby Palar River neutralises the heat of the noonday sun. Both here and in the huge sheds where
the tinkle of chisel on stone provides Rhythmic music, the bustle of the mundane seems far away "
Why not build hospitals or orphanages instead?
This Satabdhi ManiMantapam, when completed, will be a center of serenity and understanding to devotees in quest
of peace. In a way, it will obviate the necessity for hospitals or orphanages at least to some extent - with peace of mind
paving the way for a sound mind in a sound body, health problems will grow less day by day and when family life centers
on morality and ethics, need for orphanages will slowly but surely disappear. Spiritual resorts of this type are the
crying need of people torn by conflicts of every kind in the 21st Century.
It must be mentioned here, that this project is only one of several projects going on to commomerate the
life of the Kanchi Mahaswami. With the blessings and the guidance of the present Acharyas of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, several
charitable and social welfare institutions such as hospitals, old age homes and Rural Development Trusts are functioning. See
www.kamakoti.org for further details.
Can I visit the ManiMantapam? How do I reach the site?
Devotees are welcome to visit the ManiMantapam anytime during the day and see the sculptors at work.
You can also see the pillars and chains that will adorn the Garba Graham.
The site is located at a distance of 9kms off the Bangalore Highway as you turn towards Kanchipuram
on the Highway. Milestones at every KM point the way to the site of the Mani Mantapam. It is just 5kms
away from the Town Bus stand on the Uthiramerur Road.