What is Sengol in English: Know the History and Significance of Sengol in the Parliament House

Dr.Santosh Kumar Sain
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Sengol, meaning "scepter" in English, holds great historical significance and has become a topic of contention between the ruling party and the opposition regarding the inauguration of India's newly constructed Parliament House. On May 28, 2023, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi officially inaugurated the new Parliament House.

What is Sengol in English: Know the History and Significance of Sengol in the Parliament House


The Significance of Sengol

Prior to the inauguration, Indian Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced the installation of Sengol in the newly constructed Parliament House. Sengol serves as the Indian scepter and has been placed within the premises of the new Parliament House.

You might be wondering, what exactly is Sengol? Why is it utilized? What is its historical background? In this article, we aim to address these queries and shed light on the significance of Sengol in the Indian Parliament House.

Historical Background of Sengol

Sengol, known as a scepter, holds a significant place in Indian history. It was traditionally used in the Chola Empire to symbolize the transfer of power to a new successor. When a king declared his successor, he would hand over the Sengol scepter as a symbol of authority and transition.

Symbol of Fair and Just Rule

In Tamil Nadu, located in South India, the Sengol scepter is revered as a symbol of fair and just rule. Its historical association with the Chola Empire signifies the principles of justice and equitable governance.

Sengol in the New Parliament House of India

Continuing the legacy of the Chola Empire's fair rule, the Sengol scepter has found its place in the newly constructed Parliament House of India. It is installed adjacent to the Speaker's seat, serving as a symbol of justice and good governance within the parliamentary setting.

Reviving an Ancient Tradition

The installation of Sengol in the new parliament building revives a tradition that dates back thousands of years in India. While its history is primarily associated with the Chola dynasty, some historians also attribute its use to the Maurya and Gupta dynasties. The Sengol scepter represents a timeless symbol of authority and just rule.

Historical References

The history of scepters like Sengol can be traced back around 5,000 years, as mentioned in texts such as the Mahabharata. During the periods of the Ramayana and Mahabharata, stories depict the scepter being used as a symbol of succession and power, sometimes spanning over a hundred generations.

The Scepter's Role in Coronations

During the coronation ceremonies of kings, an ancient practice involved the transfer of the scepter. When the king ascended the royal throne, he would proclaim "Adandyo: Asmi" thrice, asserting his immunity from punishment. However, the Rajpurohit (royal priest) would caution the king by stating "Dharmadandyo: Asi," reminding him that even the king could be held accountable by dharma (righteousness). Following this, the Rajpurohit would present the scepter to the king, signifying his authority to uphold justice.

The Sengol scepter embodies a rich history and tradition that spans centuries, representing the ideals of just rule and the responsibility of those in power to protect and uphold dharma.

The Meaning of Sengol: Significance in Hindi, Tamil, and English

Origins and Variations of Sengol

The term "Sengol" derives from the Tamil word "Semmai," which encompasses the meanings of religion, truth, and loyalty. In Hindi, " Rajdand", Sengol is also considered to have a profound significance. In English, Sengol translates to "Righteousness," which aligns with the Hindi interpretation of "ethics." Additionally, Sengol is often associated with splendor, wealth, prosperity, impartiality, and the rule of justice.

Sengol as a Symbol of Power Transfer

Sengol serves as a scepter symbolizing the transfer of power and authority. While the term is used in the Tamil language to refer to capital punishment, its origin is believed to be rooted in the Tamil word "Semmai."

The Historical Background of Sengol

The Chola Dynasty and the Transfer of Power

The history of Sengol in India dates back several thousand years, with its origins linked to the Chola dynasty. During power transitions in the Chola Empire, the outgoing king would pass on the Sengol scepter to their successor, symbolizing the transfer of authority.

Sengol's Role in India's Independence

Sengol is also associated with a significant event in India's history—its independence. During the transfer of power, Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India, pondered over the symbol that would represent India's independence and power shift. Seeking advice, he approached Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister, who turned to the former Governor General of India, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari.

Rajagopalachari, with his deep knowledge of India's cultural and historical heritage, suggested the Sengol scepter as a symbol. In South India and Tamil Nadu, the Sengol scepter is revered as a representation of just rule and authoritative power.

Following Rajagopalachari's suggestion, a golden Sengol scepter was crafted, adorned with Nandi, a sacred bull, at its pinnacle. It is customary for the Rajguru (royal priest) to present the Sengol scepter during transfers of power. Therefore, Mahasannidhanam Srilashree Ambalavan Desigar Swamiji, the 20th Guru of Thiruvaduthurai, was entrusted with this responsibility by Rajagopalachari, despite his poor health at the time.

Once prepared, the golden Sengol scepter was sent to Lord Mountbatten by the Rajguru of Thiruvaduthurai Math. It is said that the people of Tamil Nadu presented this Sengol scepter, shimmering in gold, to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru around midnight on August 14, 1947, signifying India's independence and the transfer of power from the British.

Since then, the Sengol scepter has become a cherished symbol of India's independence and the significant shift of power within the nation.

The Jeweler Behind Sengol's Creation

Entrusted to Wummidi Bangaru Chetty

The prestigious task of crafting the Sengol Scepter was assigned to Wummidi Bangaru Chetty, a renowned jeweler from Chennai. It is worth noting that according to available information on the internet, Wummidi Bangaru completed the construction of this golden Sengol in less than a month.

The Living Legacy

Two members of Wummidi Bangaru's family, who were involved in creating the Sengol, are still alive. Wummidi Ethirajulu, aged 96, and Wummidi Sudhakar, aged 88, had the honor of attending the Sengol installation ceremony during the inauguration of the new Parliament House on May 28, 2023.

Nandi's Presence on the Sengol

The symbolism of Lord Shiva's Vehicle

The figure of Lord Shiva's sacred bull, Nandi, is seated atop the Sengol scepter. In the beliefs of South India and Tamil Nadu, Nandi symbolizes fair justice and good governance, making its presence on the Sengol significant.

The Royal Symbol

Shaped as a rod, the Sengol represents the royal power of the empire. The Sengol handed over to Jawaharlal Nehru measures approximately 5 feet in length. It was retrieved from the Sengol Museum and presented to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who then had it installed next to the speaker's seat in the new Parliament House of India.

Sengol's Placement and Preservation

Sengol's Prior Location

As per information provided by the Indian Home Minister, Amit Shah, the Sengol scepter was previously preserved at the Anand Bhawan Museum in Prayagraj.

Investigation and Transfer

Upon learning about the Raj Dand (Sengol), Prime Minister Narendra Modi initiated an investigation, which led to the discovery of all the relevant information about Sengol.

Handover of Sengol to PM Modi and Inauguration

Presentation to PM Modi

On May 27, 2023, one day before the inauguration of the new Parliament House, the sacred Sengol scepter, representing ethics, fairness, and justice, was handed over to the esteemed Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi. Adhanam Mahantos from Dharmapuram and Thiruvaduthurai visited the Prime Minister's residence in the national capital, New Delhi, on the eve of the inauguration ceremony. They presented the Sengol scepter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Continuing a Historical-Honored Tradition

Since the days of the Chola Empire, it has been customary for the Rajguru to hand over the Sengol scepter. After independence, the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, received the Sengol scepter from the Adhinam Mahant of Thiruvaduthurai. To uphold this tradition, subordinate Mahants were invited to Delhi for the inauguration of the new Parliament House. They provided the Sengol and participated in the inauguration program, offering their blessings.

On May 28, 2023, Prime Minister Narendra Modi installed the Sengol scepter in the newly constructed Parliament House of India, marking a momentous occasion.

Installation of the Sengol Scepter in the New Parliament House

Symbolic space

During the opening of the new parliament building on May 28, 2023, the Sengol scepter found its place next to the Speaker's chair. The purpose of this important installation is to showcase its historical and cultural significance while reviving a tradition dating back thousands of years.


After the above historical and current information, we came to know the history and importance of Sangol. But many questions are still cropping up in my mind. For example, is the new parliament a symbol of a transfer of power or a building? If it is a transfer of power then it is not a monarchy which the king used to hand over to his successor. If it was a ceremony of transfer of the building then what is the importance of Sengol in it? What is the use of the symbol of the scepter in a democracy?

When it was handed over to Nehru, there was a transfer of power from the British to the Indian people. Now there are many such questions whose answers will be found in the future. Will Narendra Modi turn India into a monarchy? It is still hidden in the womb of the future whether the Constitution of India will end. Will India once again move on the path of dictatorship?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q-What is Sengol?

Sengol is a scepter that symbolizes state power and was traditionally handed over to the new successor during the transfer of power in the Chola Empire.

Q-Sengol's presence?

The Sengol Scepter stands at a height of 5 feet and takes the form of a punishing rod, which is given to the new heir to the throne.

Q-Which artisan was behind the construction of Sengol?

The Sengol scepter was crafted by renowned jeweler Vummidi Bangaru Chetty of Chennai.

Q-Latest place to set up Sengol?

Sengol was installed in the new Parliament House of India, serving as a symbolic representation within its premises.

Q-When was the new Parliament House inaugurated?

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi inaugurated the new Parliament House on May 28, 2023.

Q-Which dynasty is associated with Sengol migration?

The practice of transferring the Sengol scepter is linked to the Chola dynasty.

Q-When did Jawaharlal Nehru get Sengol?

On the night of August 14, 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru accepted the Sengol Scepter from the people of Tamil Nadu.

Q-Who are the recipients of the Sengol Scepter?

Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi accepted the Sengol Scepter and installed it in the newly built Parliament House of India.

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