I would like to know the etymology of the word 'sata-gopuram' (the 'chadari' placed on the head) with respect to the prefix 'sata' (or 'chada')

  • The post referred to as an 'exact duplicate' was already read prior to posting this query. However that post merely indicates that ' Sri Vaishnavas started using a crown, called the Sadagopam, to represent the head of Nammalwar (since his name was Sadagopan)'. This does not clarify the meaning of the prefix 'sata' / 'sada' (always? - but this doesn't make sense in this context.)
    – user95307
    Sep 3, 2017 at 12:08
  • @Pandya I too thought of that post when I edited the question but it post doesn't give the etymology of the word or the meaning of the word Sadagopan. They are not dupes. They are related. BTW, The word is Satagopan or Satakopan. But the word Sata gopuram is wrongly pronounced word and made popular by people who doesn't know the correct word. Sep 3, 2017 at 12:48
  • @Sinister the answer stats "So Sri Vaishnavas started using a crown, called the Sadagopam, to represent the head of Nammalwar (since his name was Sadagopan), " But if sats is prefix, then it may be different case.
    – Pandya
    Sep 3, 2017 at 12:51
  • 2
    @Tula In any case, the etymology of Sadagopan is "the one who defeated the Sata Vayu". When a baby is in the womb, it has a lot of knowledge, like memories of its past births. But then there's a wind called the Sata Vayu which takes away the baby's memories. Nammalwar prevented the Sata Vayu from doing anything to him in the womb. Sep 3, 2017 at 12:56
  • 1
    Article titled "Nammalwars Prapatti to Lord Srinivasa", by N Rajagopalan (pg 31) in Saptagiri: June 2017, TTD: Tirumala refers to the incident. I suggest we treat this topic as closed. Thanks for all your help.
    – user95307
    Sep 4, 2017 at 7:56

1 Answer 1


The Sanskrit root word here is “Shata” - शठ. In Vaishnavite tradition, one of Nammaazhvar’s titular names is Shata-kopan. Legend is that after He was born, He drove away Shata-vayu in anger. Keshav Srinivasan has discussed Shata Vayu’s significance above. Since He spurned off Shata in anger, thus the title Shata-Kopa.

As for “chadaari”, the word is actually “Shataari”, which would split as “Shata + Ari” in Sanskrit. The meaning being “enemy (Ari) of Shata”. The Shataaris are always placed under the feet of the presiding deity in sanctum sanctorums of the Vishnu temples, and are made with mini Padukas on top of crown like structures. The belief is that by placing this thing - Shataari - which is always at the feet of the Lord, upon devotee’s head, the devotee is graced with the ability to fight off Shata.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .