Pachai Amman Temple - Chennai
Pachaiamman Temple at Thirumalaivayal is located at the northeast of Arunachala hill, it has the best ambiance of all Amman temples. This temple is built amidst a lush forest area with many water bodies running nearby. This temple not only serves as a religious spot but, also a place of tranquility and serenity.
About 120 years back, this temple was built and recently it is modified. The outer premise of the temple is adorned with 14 statues of guardian angles, even the animals which had helped Goddess Pachai Amman were revered in this temple. There are effigies of an elephant, five horses, and a dog. It is a wide belief that even today, these animals are the watching guardians of Pachai Amman. The temple’s fame reached all over Tamilnadu, after the visit of Sri Ramana Maharishi. He is a very prominent and peerless saint of Tamilnadu, he and his followers, stayed many days at this temple and people say that he comes often to this place, for taking an oil bath in the water tanks near the temple. As this temple is located amidst the dense forest, many Rishis, saints, gurus, and religious persons come to this temple to do penance and gain enlightenment. The water bodies near this temple are believed to have many medicinal powers and can relieve any kind of body pains.
Location of Pachai Amman Temple:
Pachai Amman temple is anchored at Thirumullaivoyal. This place is 23 km away from Chennai..
Like all other Amman temples, people with marriage obstacles, childless couples, skin diseases, health problem, and planetary effects come to this temple to seek the blessing of the Goddess. The most unique feature of this temple is the pure water bodies that flow around it. As these water bodies come from the dense forest, it has many rare medicinal values, which can cure any kind of diseases.
Many a century before, Lord Shiva and Parvathi lived in Kailash( heaven), Shiva being the ruler of the world, always spent his time watching and guarding the world and the people. Parvathi was very upset, as Lord Shiva never spent time with her, so she playfully blindfolded the eyes of Lord Shiva, unaware of the consequences it may lead. The very next moment, the whole world ceased revolving and was encircled by darkness, nothing on the earth moved, and all were frozen and dead. The Rishis and Saints of heaven were stunned to see what had happened, so they hurried to the court of Lord Shiva. Suddenly Lord Shiva opened his third eye in the forehead (netrikan), and spread the light with the heat on the earth and brought the dead world to life.
Even though Parvathi blindfolded His eyes playfully, Lord Shiva was displeased and sentenced her to take a human form and to do penance until his anger subsides. Goddess Parvathy pleaded Shiva to forgive her, but once said can’t be modified, so Shiva consoled her saying that during her endeavors in the earth, she would be praised and will gain fame wherever she goes. Later Parvathi came to earth and went to Kasi the most sacred place, she went along the trails of Shiva temples. She visited Kanchi and did penance under a mango tree to please Lord Shiva, later she went to Tiruvannamalai, on her way to the temple, she took rest at Thirumalaivayal, and made this place very sacred; after taking rest in this place she made atonement by standing on a needle at Sengoku. On her stay at Thirumalaivayal, seven Rishis ( sapta munivarga) and Seven damsels ( Sapta Kannigal) accompanied her and guarded her. Hence why their statues are installed in the temple. Once Her sentenced period was over Lord Shiva accepted Parvathi as his other half known as Arthanareeswara (half Shivan and half Shakthi).
The reason behind the name’ Pachai Amman:
Pachai means green, which signifies that the Goddess is green. There are few legends of this name. One of the folklore is that a few centuries back, Gautama Maha Rishi performed a Yaga, to invite Goddess Shakthi, for this he had created a holy seat (prana sala), with Durbar grass—a yellow-green grass used for auspicious poojas. When Goddess Shakti sat on this holy seat, the yellow grass transformed into lush green color. And thus the Goddess was named as Pachai Amman.
Yet another story states that, while the pursuit of Goddess Parvathi for enlightenment, she used to take rest on the deep green banana leaves and was fond of greeneries, so she was named as Pachai Amman.
During Shri Ramana Maharishi’s stay at Pachai Amman temple, he gave the reason for Goddess’s name. According to him, when the Goddess Parvathi did austerities at Gauthamashram, her body color changed to emerald green due to the power emitted during her penance, and after this, she went around the hill performing austerities at many places and finally confluence with Lord Shiva. Ergo, she got the name Pachai Amman
Folklore of seven damsels and Rishis:
The legend is that when Goddess Parvathi did penance at Thirumalaivayal, due to her enormous energy the clouds started to group together above the village and engulf the village in darkness. Seeing this the King of this village was furious and sent his brothers to stop Parvathi from performing penance and throw her out of his village. His brothers returned to him and described how beautiful Parvathi was. This urged the king to marry her. So he went to the forest himself and compelled Parvathi to marry him. Parvathi got furious by his behavior and took the form of kali. Along with the help of Seven damsels and seven rishis she killed the king. This is why the statues of these damsels and Rishis are found inside the temple
How to Reach Pachai Amman Temple?
Bus: This temple is located at Thirumulaivoyal, which is near Chennai. Local buses ply from Chennai to Thirumulaivoyal. From the bus stand, one can take a taxi or Auto to reach the temple.
Train:The nearest railway station to this temple is at Chennai.