Kannaki Amman Temple - Theni
Kannaki is one of the greatest women in India, she is known for her peerless chastity and sacredness. She is an icon of all married women. This kannaki temple is located in a hillock near Theni. Kerala people revere this Amman as their family deity and visit this temple often. The temple stands majestically and attracts many devotees.
Location of Kannaki Amman Temple:
The location of this temple is at Gudalur near Kumuli.
In this temple goddess, Kannaki is the main deity, the idol of Kannaki is carved on a stone from Kailash (Himalayas). There is a shrine for Lord Shiva and Lord Karuppaswamy (guardian deity), the uniqueness is, both of them are formless in this temple. Lord Shiva graces as the Avita Linga (only pedestal, devoid of lingam) and Muneeswarar is also graces in the void. As Kannnaki reached these places after burning Madurai, the devotees believe that the Goddess is still in a fury state, so to calm down her only Curd rice and sandal paste are given to the Goddess. The Prasad in this temple is a mixture of flakes, ghee, milk, sugar candy, banana fruits, dates, grapes, sugar, and cardamom.
The legend of Kannaki is one of the famous ones. It is one of the five Tamil epics (silapathygaram). The legend has it that, Kannaki was married to Kovalan at a young age, they lived happily for a few years. But later due to some ego clash Koval left Kannagi and fell in love with Mathavi a court dancer. Though Kannaki’s husband was disloyal to her, she loved him and believed that he will come back to her one day. And that day arrived, and Kovalan came to Kannaki without a penny. In order to start a new life, both of them arrived Madurai and planned to start a business. As both did not have any money, Kannaki gave her anklet and asked Kovalan to sell it and get some money.
When Koavalan went to sell the anklet, he was falsely implicated for steeling Queen Kopperud Devi’s anklet. King Neduncheliyan without even enquiring the case, he orders his soldiers to behead Kovalan. When Kannaki was informed about this, she plucked her other anklet and went to the king with all fury. And she proved that her husband was innocent. The king died at the spot for declaring a wrong judgment and the queen too dies after her husband. Even though Kannaki’s fury didn’t satiate, She burnt the whole Madurai and walked 14 days and reached this hill. Where a celestial vehicle came with Kovalan and took Kannaki. This spectacular scene was witnessed by the hunters in the region and they reported the story to the Chera King Senguttuvan. Later the king erected a rock temple for Kannagi and started worshipping.
Festivals of Kannaki Amman Temple
In the month of April on full moon day, hunters of that region offer special Pooja to the Amman and revere her with all faith and respect. During the chittirai pournima day, abishegam is offered to the Amman five time and the water for abishegam is fetched from the falls Suruli. People visit this temple for better understanding between husband and wife and for the harmony of the family.
How to Reach Kannaki Amman Temple?
The temple is located in Gudalur. The trip to this temple is a challenging one. As the temple is atop a hill, the only jeep can go. That too Jeep services are available only on full moon days. On other days, we have trek through the dense enchanting hillside. Gudalur is near to Kumuli.