Thiruchendur Murugan’s London Journey
Arrives in London from Chennai. Remains at Sri Sabapathipillai’s residence (Wimbledon, South West London)
Prana Prathisda (grand homam and abhishekam)
(Skanda Sashti) performed by Pandit Dr Sharma of the Hindu Centre, London
Following this Prana Prathisda, there were daily poojas to His vigraham for 40 days at the Sevashram Sangha (Shepherds Bush) including the final day one on Thirukathigai (Karthigai Deepam) at Wimbledon Park Hall. Thereafter His vighram was taken back to the Sevashram Sangha where daily poojas were performed by the late Swami Purnananda (Patron of Sevashram Sangam, ethnic origin unclear). The exception to this was once a month when pooja was conducted in Tamil by Sri Sabapathipillai and occurred at various venues across London such as Ealing, Wembley, East Ham and Lewisham (all places that now have Saivite temples).
Poojas held to Thiruchendur Murugan monthly by Sabapathipillai and on auspicious occasions (such as Thai Pongal, Navarathri and most notably Maha Sivarathri; the latter was performed annually at the home of the Ratnasinghams (Wimbledon, South West, London)
In between poojas, Thiruchendur Murugan was held at Sri Sabapathiillai’s residence
In March 1976, weekly Friday poojas (performed by Sabapathipillai) were commenced at Garratt Lane (London, SW17)
The congregation size mandated a larger hall and hence the weekly poojas to Thiruchendur Murugan moved to Kenneth Black Memorial Hall (London, SW17). It was during this time at Kenneth Black Memorial Hall that the Hindu Association of GB began to ‘flourish’ as members grew from 100 in 1976 to 300 in 1979
In addition to the monthly and then weekly poojas, Thiruchendur Murugan also travelled to various locations outside London including Wales and Birmingham as mentioned in the article. His vigraham remained at the Sabapathipillai residence in between poojas.
In 1974, the Britannia Hindu (Shiva) Temple Trust was formed as the offspring of Hindu Association of GB with the sole aim of building a Saivite temple in London.
200A Archway Road, Highgate Hill is bought for the purposes of building a temple. First phase construction work completed during this initial two year period.
Installation of Thiruchendur Murugan at the Archway Road site (the ceremony was performed in an annexe building to the main Highgate Hill Murugan temple complex as it stands now). Following this the main temple complex building work started resulting in Highgate Hill Murugan Temple with the official mahakumbhabhshekam in 1986.
Concurrently weekly Friday poojas were continued at Kenneth Black Memorial Hall, however devotee numbers were dwindling in the absence of their beloved Thiruchendur Murugan.
Nov 1979- Feb 1982
Thiruchendur Murugan remained at the Archway Road site with daily poojas by Saiva aiyas
Shree Ghanapathy Temple Mahakumbhabhishekam
Due to devotees in South London ‘missing’ their Thiruchendur Murugan, Hindu Association of Great Britain decide to move His vighram back to Wimbledon (South West London); this time to Wimbledon Little Hall, Durnsford Road, London SW19. Again in between poojas, Thiruchendur Murugan is held at Sri Sabapathipillai’s residence.
The Highgate Hill site continued poojas to a new six-faced vighram of Lord Murugan (Arumugam) alongside His Consorts.
Friday weekly poojas had been performed by Sri Sabapathipillai until 1982, when late Sri V. Subramanium Kurukkal was appointed as the officiating priest to perform these poojas. He was one of the first official fully ordained sivacharyas to perform poojas in London
Highgate Hill Murugan Temple Mahakumbhabhishekam
Sri Sabapathipillai passes on. Thiruchendur Murugan is moved to the home of Sri Subramanium Kurukkal where daily poojas were performed, in addition to weekly Friday and special poojas continuing at Wimbledon Little Hall.
Mr R Kunasingham and late Mr C Vinayakamoothy (both long term members of the Hindu Association of Great Britian and founding members of Sri Rajajeswary Amman Temple) approach Mr C Krishnamoothy after a Friday pooja at Wimbledon Little Hall reporting that they are buying Church building in Stoneleigh (Surrey) to build a Sri Rajajeswary Amman temple. They proposed this as a permanent home for Thiruchendur Murugan. Mr Krishnamoothy visited the site and felt an immense sense that Thirucendur Murugan would be happy in this
Motion passed with majority vote by Hindu Association of GB that Thiruchendur Murugan should be housed in the upcoming Sri Rajarajeswary Amman temple.
Weekly poojas continued to Thiruchendur Murugan at Wimbledon Little hall (remaining at Sri Subramanium Kurrukal’s home between poojas) until March 1995 when He was moved to Sri Rajarajeswary Amman temple, Stoneleigh, Surrey. Here He remains until today with continued poojas to Him on monthly Kartigai days as well as His festivals such as Tai Pusam, Skanda Sashti, Thirukarthigai (Karthigai Deepam) and Vaikasi Vishakam.
Sri Rajarajeswary Amman Temple Mahakumbhabhishekam