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Thread: Origin & the spread of the Cult of Kannaki (Paththini)-2

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    Brought forward on account of "Aattukaala Pongala" Festival (Mahotsavam) scheduled to takes place from the 3rd of March to 12th of March at Aattukaal in Thiruvananthapuram District, Kerala, India, venerating Goddess Kannaki (Paththini = Bagawathi Amman = Maari Amman = Mangaladevi))

    The origin and the spread of the Cult of Kannaki (Paththini) - Part 2

    (9) The Kannaki worship in the present day Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Sri Lanka

    In Kerala

    Idukki district - Kumily

    The first Kannaki (Paththini) Amman Temple built by the emperor Cheran Chenguttuvan of Chera Country (in Kerala) has been identified as the temple complex 200 ft square known as "Mangaladevi temple" in granite on a hillock known as Mangaladevi Malai at the village Vannaaththiparai in Kumily, in Idukki State of Kerala bordering Tamil Nadu. This square temple complex has two entrances. The the entrance on the east is bigger and has the characteristics of the 10th century style, while the one on the west is smaller and resembles a much earlier style possibly the second century style.

    Silappathikaaram refers to Kannaki as Paththini and as Managala Madanthai. Mangala Madanthai is the exact equivalent to Mangaladevi. Silappathikarem further states “she kept steps and climbed the Neduverl Kutram” (hill) where she finally demised, and it also refers elsewhere to the temple built by Cheran Chenguttuvan as Mangala Madanthai Koattam(temple). Hence it has been identified that Neduverl Kuntram was the present Magaladevi Malai at Vannaathiparai in Kumily in Idukki state of Kerala bordering Tamil Nadu and the former Mangala Madanthai Koattam is the present Mangaladevi temple at Kumily.

    There is a Vatteluththu Inscription of Rajaraja Chola - 1 in this temple which refers to the Goddess of this temple as "Sri Poorani" and Kulasekara Pandiyan's Tamil Inscription refers as "Sri Pooranigiri Aaludai Naatchiyaar". This temple is presently in partly dilapidated condition, and an idol of a Goddess badly damaged is found there even today. This Goddess statue is of two feet height and has no crown, but with bored years gold flowers and three necklaces on the neck, and in the seated pose with left leg folded on the seat and the right leg stamped vertically dowards from the seated level, and resembles as a work of as old as 1800 years as per Scholar C.Govindaraasanaar who re-discovered the Kannaki temple at Kumily.

    Even in this dilapitated condition temple poojas are conducted by priests once a year on the Chitra pournami - Full Moon Day in the month of Chiththirai, and on this occasion devotees flock here both from Kerala and Tamil Nadu for Kannaki worship. This temple is now coming under the purview of the Archaelogical Survey of India but it is very pathetic to note this temple of much historical significance have not undergone any restoration and preservation under them.


    From the foregoing we note the Inscription of Rajaraja Chola - 1 at Mangaladevi Temple on Mangaladevi Malai states the presiding deity of this temple is Sri Poorani. We also note from the Kulasekara Pandiyan's inscription at this temple that Sri Poorani was the Aludai Nachchiyaar (presiding deity) of the temple on the hill Sri Pooranigiri, traditionally known as the Mangaladevi Malai. Hence it is very clear Sri Poorani is the subsequent name given to Managaladevi (Mangala Madanthai) of Silappathikaaram the other name of Goddess Kannaki) by possibly Vedic Priests during the period of Rajaraja Chola or earlier.

    Silappathikaaram refers to Kannaki as Paththini and as Managala Madanthai. The site falls well within the geographical description of the region as given in Silappathikarem.

    The following URLs helps to have a glimpse of the above Kannaki Koattam at Kumily in Kerala:

    Trichur District - Kodungallur (This year being 2016 - the "Meena Barani" {meaning the Barani Natchaththiram day of the Kerala month "Meenam" (=Tamil Panguni = "March/April"} Festival (Mahotsavam) takes place from 4th of April and ends up on the 9th of April)

    The Chera emperor Chenguttuvan after the consecration ceremony of the first Kannaki temple at Neduverlkuntram, built another Kannaki temple just out side his capital city the Vanji Nagar, which as confirmed by "Manimekalai" had the 'statues of both Kannaki and Kovalan' venerated unlike at the temple in Kumily.

    This Temple undoubtedly is the present Baghawathi Amman Temple in north Kodungallur (the former Vanji Nagar), confirming the reference in "Manimekalai' that this temple was just outside the city of Vanji (Kodungallur - puranagar), where the traditions relating to Kannaki worship exists even today.

    The main festival called Bharani is celebrated in Kerala Month "Meenam" (March-April). The temple has a practice during it's festival time when thousands of pilgrims mostly from Kasargode and Kannur districts of the northern end of Kerala come with swords in hands agitatingly dance before the temple to appease the goddess and get her blessings for their well-being.

    However some ugly practices prevalent in this temple in connection with her worship, probably came upon at a latter date should be abolished, and much more reverence and sanctity given to the actual worship of Kannaki at this Baghawathi Amman in this temple.

    The following URL helps to have a glimpse of the Kodungallur Baghavathi temple & other songs related to the Silambaatam (Barani song) at this temple.

    Courtesy: Sargam Musics

    Thiruvananthapuram District - Aattukaal (This year being 2017 - the "Aattukaala Pongala" Festival (Mahotsavam) takes place from the 3rd of March and ends up on the 12th of March.)

    The Aye king of Venaadu apparently participated as an invitee at the consecration ceremony of the first Kannaki temple at Kumily that took place on the orders of Cheran Chenguttuvan - the overlord of all other kings of Kerala of that period. The Aye king on his return to Thiruvananthapuram capital city of Venaadu constructed a temple in her veneration, and arranged for the annual festivals and daily rituals of worship to be conducted at this temple.

    It is this temple is which is presently known as the Baghavathi Amman Temple located at Aattukaal in the city of Thiruvananthapuram. It celeberates a ten day annual festival, with the "Aattukaala Pongala festival" being on the tenth day being the Makkam Natchaththiram day of the month of 'Meenam' (Mid Feb to mid Mar). This is a Pongal Festival with the boiling of Rice and Milk with Paayasam and other ingrediants, and placed before Goddess Kannaki and religious rituals done to appease her to shower her graces on her worshippers for their welfare. This is an all ladies festival participated in the recent years by more than 30 lacks (3 million) women gathered at this temple to worship the Goddess Kannaki presently known as the Baghavathy Amman & Attukaal Amma, having traditions connected with Kannaki even today. The hymns of "Thottampattu" sung on all ten days during this annual festival at this temple is nothing but the entire story of Kannaki. This festival is the largest gathering of women at any function or festival in India or overseas, which has now entered the Guiness Book of Records. Pongala is an event which lasts for 10-days. This ten day festival commences with 'Kaapukkattu' on Karthika natchatthiram day in the month of Kumbham (February/March) and concludes with 'Kuruthi Dharpanam' (sacrificial offering) in the night of the tenth (last) day.

    The following URLs helps to have a glimpse of the above Aattukaala Pongala festival held at Aattukaal, Thiruvananthapuram:

    The present tradition that Kannaki personaly came to Aattukkaal in Thiruvananthapuram from Mathurai after the great tragedy has no credence, as she could not have come all the way to this region from Mathurai in Tamil Nadu under wiered and grevious condition after the tragedy, trekking a very long distance within fourteen days on foot. Further there is no mountain at Aattukaal sacred to God Murugan, where Kannaki spent her last days as per Silappathikaaram.

    Kollam District - Vadekkenadayil

    There is an old dilapidated Kannaki temple in this region which was damaged by sea and said to be 1800 years old, and its place just opposite to it is a new temple built few years ago and known as Bhagawathi Temple. The traditions in this region holds that the Kannagi statue enshrined in the old temple that was washed away by the sea at Vadekkenadayil in Kollam, too was brought earlier from the Chola capital of Kaviripoompattinam on the east coast of present Tamil Nadu, after a sea errosion that took place at Kaviripoompattinam around 1800 years ago. In mid May each year a ten day festival known as 'Thottampattu Utsavam' is celebrated in this new Kannaki temple, and the Kannaki story as told in Silappathikaaram is staged.

    Could this Kannaki statue said to be brought from Kaviripoompattinam after the sea errosion of the city and installed at the dilapidated temple at Vadekkenadayil was that which was originally installed at a Kannaki temple in Kaviripoompattinam, possibly by the Chola king Nedumudikkilli after the consecration of the first temple for Kannaki at Kumily in Kerala by Cheran Chenguttuvan ??. Is this original statue is still seen at the Vadekkenadayil old dilapidated temple ?? which will be of much historical importance. Further research has to be done on same.

    The Vadekkenadayil Kannaki temple was first highlighted to me by Thiru Podalangai of as follows:

    "......In relation to your list of temples in Kerala, there's also a Kannagi temple in Kollam (Vadakkenadayil Bhagavathi). The current temple is rather new - only around a couple of decades old - but it's said to have been built on the site of a much older temple which was washed away. The idol, according to the locals, was originally installed by the Cholas in Pumpuhar, and was brought to the Chera kingdom when the sea took Pumpuhar. That's their legend, anyway......"

    The following URL helps to have a glimpse of the above at Vadekkennadayil, in Kerala

    Alleppey District - Chengannur

    There is also a Baghawathi temple at Chengannur in Alleppey district in Kerala with Kannaki traditions. It is said that Kannaki came to Chenkunnu (Chengannur) in Kerala and did penance under a tree. Kovalan appeared before her in a vimana and took her to heaven.

    The following URL helps to have a glimpse of the above at Chengannur

    This tradition too could not be accepted as correct, as the Chengannur has been confused at some time or the other with the Chengkuntram appearing in Silappathikaaram, in which it is very clearly stated that the Chengkuntram was a hill within the close vicinity of Neduverlkuntram where Kannaki demised, and clearly not the place far west in Allepey district of present Kerala.

    But it is quite possible with the acceptance of Kannaki worship in many parts of Kerala during the period of Cheran Chenguttuvan, possibly a subordinate king or chieftan ruling this region of Kerala would have built this Kannaki temple which is now known as Baghavathi temple and having the above mentioned tradition.

    Then the tiny golden idol of goddess will be taken around the shrine on an elephant for 3 times. I am explaining other rituals and legends about this temple now.

    Ernalulam District - Chottanikkara

    The Chottanikkara Baghavathy temple has as its principal deities the Narayana and Lakshmi - also worhipped in the form of Saraswathi & Durga. The existing traditions of this temple doesot hold anything relating to Goddess Kannaki even though Baghavathy was a specific name of Kannaki that prevailed in various regions of Kerala over a long period. It appears with the heavy inflow of Hindu Brahmin priests from Karnataka & Tulu countires into Kerala after thirteenth century, the original Baghawathi temples dedicated to Kannaki in Kerala, probably were turned more into Saivite & Vaishnavite - temples.

    This is confirmed by the very fact that during the personal visit of Dr Madeswaren & Dr Pradeep of Sakthi Foundation to Chottanikkara Baghavathy temple, have discovered a tiny golden idol of a Goddess in this temple with two hands, one with an anklet and the other with a sword, whom they have identified as that of Kannaki. This tiny golden idol of Goddess (Kannaki) is taken around the shrine three times on an elephant, as part of the evening rituals of this temple.

    The following URL helps to have a study on the Kannaki idol found among the deities at Chottanikkara

    Palakkad District - Kannaki Nagar (Moothanthara)

    There is a Kannaki Bagavathi temple at Moothanthara (presently known as Kannaki Nagar) in Palakkad, in Kerala where she is worshipped in her idol form. The poosai rituals at the temple to the presiding deity of Kannaki Bhagavathi are performed by the Namboodiris of Animangalam Illam, while to Siva- Parvathi and to all other deities are performed by Tamil acharyas. The people in the region around this temple wake up in the morning with the sound of Sangu (Conch Shell) and Udukkai (Drum) coming from this temple.

    Kannaki Nagar is the dwelling place of "Moothans" (trading community), and 'tradition holds' that "Moothans" have decended from the same trading community as Kannaki, having come from the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu in the historic times.

    The following URL helps to have a glimpse of the above at Kannaki Nagar (Moothanthara), in Palakkad, Kerala

    Palakkad District - Kudavayoor

    In Koduvayoor there are three Kannaki temples all located within a short distance to each other at Aathimara Chodu, Kunnumpuram, and Vepin Chodu. The Koduvayoor Kannaki temples are well known for their famous folk dances the "Kanniyar kali" and "Thalapoli" performed at their annual festivals. These ritualistic temple dance has its origin to the belief of calming down the Goddess Kannaki by her followers, after she met the great tragedy at the royal court of the Pandyan king at Mathurai.

    The following URL helps to have a glimpse of the above three Kannaki temple at Kudavayoor (Moothanthara), in Palakkad, Kerala

    There is another Kannaki Temple at the Kudavayoor region of Palakkad district of Kerala known as Oduvanpara Kannaki temple, and appears to be a temple of recent construction.

    The following URL helps to have a glimpse of the above Kannaki temple at Kudavayoor in Palakkad, Kerala known as Oduvanpara Kannaki temple

    Palakkad District - Vadakkanthara

    At Vadakkanthara Bagawathy temple is another Kannaki temple with her height idol in the shrine. Vadakkanthara vela (festival) is celebrated once in three years in the month of Kumbam (February-March), to receive the blessings and protection of Goddess Kannaki. This is one of the famous festivals of Palakkaadu.

    The Kannaki in this temple is said to be very powerful and rush of devotees is large, especially on Tuesdays and Fridays. The Koottu Payaasam valipaadu (worship) at Uchcha puja is famous and the taste of the payasam prasadam is pleasent.

    The following URL helps to have informations on the above Kannaki temple at Vadakkanthara in Palakkad:

    Palakkad District - Nedumpati Mannam

    It is also said that the earliest Kannaki temple in Palakkad was established at Nedupati Mannam but the temple was reduced to rubble by king Tippu Sultan.

    Palakkad District - Valiyangadi

    Also at Valiyaangadi (Vali Angaadi [in Tamil] = Street Market))in Palakkad there is an old Sri Kannaki Amman temple which was recently renovated. It is said the history of the temple began with the advent of Kannaki the great heroine of the epic Silappathikaaram. After breaking the anklet in the court of Paandiyan king to prove the innocence of her husband she came to Kerala then called as Chera Nadu and settled there for the remaining period.

    The following URL helps to have a glimpse of the above at Valiyaangadi (Moothanthara), in Palakkad, Kerala

    Though it could be accepted the old Kannaki temple was of some historical antiquity, the legend connected with this temple have no credence as historically Kannaki didnot come deep in to present Kerala beyond the Mangaladevi Malai (Neduverlkuntram) at Kuminly Idukki district at the present Kerala/Tamil Nadu border, that too she demised at the end of fourteen days since she left Mathurai and not settled for the remaining period as held by the traditions held regarding the importance of the region of this temple.

    It was only Kovalan's father, Kannakis parents, and Manimekalai Kovalan's daughter by Mathavi came to Vanji Nagar (Kodungallur) the Chera capital city, and settled therein after their hometown Kaviripoompattiam was swallowed up by sea.

    Palakkad District - Thiruvaalathoor

    The Kannaki deity in this temple is known as Mukkolackal Ceerbakkavu. The custodians of this temple are well to do goldsmiths. The festival in this temple falls in the month of Markali and Kannaki story is recited in Malayaalam language after the Pujas.

    The following URL helps to have a glimpse of the above at Thiruvaalathoor:

    "Kannaki story" related song from the Malayalam Film "Kannagi" of the year 2001"

    In Karnataka

    Dakshin Kannad District - Mangalore

    The Mangalore region on western coast of India adjoining the Arabian Sea and north of present Kerala is almost an island between the converging Netravati and Gurpur rivers. It is confirmed in Sillapathikarem, that the king of the Kongar dynasty of Tuluva Nadu too was present at the consecration ceremony of the Kannaki temple at Kumily. The Tuluva Nadu of that period had as it's capital the present Mangalore.

    Also from Silappathikaaram it is seen Kannaki Koattam (temple) was also known as the "Mangala Madanthai Koatam" a direct equivalent of "Mangaladevi temple", and it is 'quite possible' the king of Tuluva Nadu on his return to his capital city, named it after Kannaki as "Mangalapuram" which became the present Mangalore. The Kongar king of Tuluva Nadu also built there a temple to Goddess Kannaki named as "Mangaladevi temple". The fact that it was a former Kannaki temple is further confirmed by the praise songs on Mangaladevi in Kannada, which also refers to her as Bhagavathi as in Kerala and as Rajarajeswari as in Tamil Nadu.

    However the present traditions only holds that this temple at Mangalore is venerated to Goddess "Sakthi" known as "Mangaladevi", undoubtedly it is the 'forgotten truth' of the worship of Kannaki as Mangaladevi of Mangalore - which presently forms a part of Karnataka state of India.

    A video on Mangaladevi temple at Mangalore

    Courtesy: Vanitha TV - YouTube

    Courtesy: ETV TV - YouTube

    Courtesy: ETV TV - YouTube

    In Tamil Nadu

    Tamil Nadu was the place of origin of the "Kovalan - Kannaki episode" of Silappathikaaram with Kaviripoompattinam (Poompuhar) being the birthplace of "Kannaki and Kovalan", and the great tragedy having taken place in Mathurai with Kovalan being wrongly be-headed by the ruling Paandiya king Nedunjeliyan, and ended up at Neduverl kuntram at Kumily in Idukki district in Kerala where Kannaki met her death and later deified.

    The Kannaki Cult spread in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Sri Lanka. Thus many Kannaki temples and Maariamman (another name for Kannaki as she was also regarded as the Goddess of Rainfall) temples came into existance in the Tamil Nadu. However with the domination of Vedic priests in the temples of Tamil Nadu they converted the Kannaki temples into Kaaliamman and Rajarajeswariamman temples. This is further confimed by the fact many of the Amman Images on stone and bronze Deities in the above temples of Tamil Nadu still have the Silambu in one hand.

    Thiruchirappalli District - Uraiyur

    The Kannaki worship was introduced in Chola Nadu by the Chola king Perungkilli the successor to the Chola king Nedumudikkilli. It appears the Nedumudikkilli who participated in the "Indra Villa" at Kaviripoompattinam where Kovalan met Mathavi for the first time, died within a period of three years towards the time of the consecration ceremony of the Kannaki statue in the temple built at Kumily, and his successor Perungkilli was the Chola king who participated at the the consecration ceremony.

    The Chola king Perungkilli on his return to Chola country after his participation at the consecration ceremony, built a temple for Goddess Paththini at Uraiyur the inland capital of Cholas, and arranged for her daily worship at this temple (as per Silappathikaaram)

    The reason for king Perungkilli for having built the first Kannaki temple in Chola Nadu at the location of Uraiyur the inland capital, rather than the seaport capital the Kaviripoompattinam, was due to the fact the city of Kaviripoompattinam was destroyed by a big sea erosion that swept the city, at a time between the "Indra Villa" and the Kannaki Statue consecration ceremony.

    The present Venkaliamman temple of Uraiyur seems to have some connection with the earlier Kannaki temple built by Chola king at Uraiyur. This inference is further confirmed as the Venkkali Amman of Uraiyur too has a Silambu in her hand which confirms this was an earlier Kannaki Temple. This is clearly noted from the following Video on this temple.

    Thanjavur District - Thanjavur

    The Chola emperor Rajendra Chola - 1 who invaded Sri Lanka in A.D.1017 took the Sinhalese king Mahinda-5 and his family as captives to the Chola capital Thanjavur, and apparently settled them in his capital city. During this period the Queen of king Mahinda said to have requested Rajendra Chola to provide her the continued facilities to worship Goddess Pattini, and accordingly he built a temple for Pattini closer to the Thanjavur Rajarajaeswarem temple (the present Birahatheeswarem temple). {This information awaits confirmation in respect of it's authenticity}

    This temple of Goddess came to be known as the 'Singala Naachchiyaar Koyil (temple)' meaning temple built for the Sinhalese "lady of high dignity"(queen ??), and presently known in it's corrupted form as 'Sengkalachchi' temple derived from the word 'Singhala Naachi'. Even today there are religious rituals conducted in this temple to the presiding Goddess.

    Perambalur District - Siruvachur

    The tradition hold that Kannaki left the burning city of Madurai and proceeded northwards. Near the city of Trichy, Kannagi came across an Amman temple and decided to rest there for the night. The temple’s presiding deity was Chelliamman. Kannaki went into the deserted temple, and came to know of a Socerrer who comes there and harmed the devotees. On that day too the great surprise the Socerer appeared, and Kannaki sprang out and with one sweep of the sword she cut his head off.

    There after Kannaki took over the seat of Chelli at the temple. She came to be known as "Madhura-Kaaliamman", since she had come from Madurai and considered as an incarnation of Kaali. Soon, word spread of her power all around and people started coming to this temple. The town of Siruvachur became famous with the the Madura-Kaaliamman temple known for the grace and protection of the presiding deity.

    We cannot give much credence to this tradition as Kannaki never went northwards towards Perambalur, but westward along the Vaikai river and it's branch the Suruli river towards Cheranadu (Kerala). Further under wiered physical condition and heart broken mental condition she would not ever had the energy to cut the head and kill the Socerer with a sword. However there should be some other connection of this Temple with Goddes Kannaki which has to be further researched.

    The Temple of Madura Kaaliamman (Kannaki) - Siruvachur. Courtesy: "Temples of Tamil Nadu" - Website.

    The following URL too helps to have a glimpse of the temple and existing traditions in connection with the Madura Kaaliamman at Siruvachur:

    Karuvur District - Karuvur

    There is a temple of Goddess Vanchi Amman at Karuvur, and it is said this statue of the deity is less of a breast. It is undoubtedly a Kannaki temple, as the Kannaki statue in the second Kannaki temple built by Cheran Chenguttuvan at Vanji Nagar (Kodungallur) now known as Kodungallur Baghavathi temple, is also referred to as the "Ottrai Mulaitchi" (single breasted) Amman. As this single breasted Amman temple of Kannaki was at Vanchi, there is a good possibility the temple at Karuvur was built to represent the Goddess of Vanchi at Karuvur, and hence it was called as Vanchi Amman temple of Karuvur.

    Thiruvallur District - Thiruvottriyur

    Within the complex of the Thiruvottriyur temple (north of present Chennai) there exists a Thurkai Amman temple. This Goddess is presently also known as the Vattapuri Amman. In this temple today there exists a practice with a long tradition in which at the end of the fifteen days festival a false panthal is built, and following some rituals is burnt reminding the devotees the Kannaki's burning of the city of Mathurai. This goes to prove that this Thurkkai Amman temple formally was a Kannaki Amman temple.

    Thiruvallur District - Thiru Evvul

    At Thiru Evvul (in north-west Chennai) in the Thiruvallur District there is a Vainava Temple known as Sri Veeraraghava Perumal Temple. While the principal deity of this Temple is Perumal, there are other seperate Sannithis (Sanctums) within this temple complex dedicated to other deities, and one such Sannithi is that of Goddess Kannaki.

    The following URL helps to know of the Kannaki temple at Thiruvallur:

    Mathurai District - Mathurai

    There is a Sellathi Amman temple closer to a region called Simmakkal in the North street highway in Mathurai. Here exists in the mandapa in front of the karuvarai on a pedstal the statue of the deity Sellaththaal with an anklet in one hand which is in fact the statue of Kannaki. The tradition holds that on the way to the Mathurai City, Kovalan and Kavunthu Adikal left Kannaki in the care of Mathari of Ayar Cheri on the outskirts and proceeded to the city. With the great tragedy that took place in Mathurai and Kannaki being deified the people of the region built a temple to Kannaki which is now refered to as Sellathi Amman temple. (re-discovered by the Scholar C.Govindaraasanaar)

    Mathurai District - Mathurai

    The traditions still exist in Mathurai the capital city of former Paandiya Nadu, that it was at Kovalompottal near Palanganatham in Mathurai that Kovalan of Silappathikaaram - the husband of Kannaki was killed, by the city guard of Pandiya king on his instruction.

    This valuable information was provided by Thiru Podalangai and Thiru P_R of as follows:

    ".......In villages around Madurai, you used to be able to find people who could tell you a lot of legends about Kannagi connected with places around Madurai - in their spoken Tamil, they called Kovalan "Kovalom" and Kannagi "Karnagi" or "Karni". There's a place called "Kovalompottal" where they believe Kovalan was killed......."

    ".......There's a place called "Kovalompottal" where they believe Kovalan was near PazhangAnatham. There is a graveyard with a huge banyan tree there. Local tales there say that is the place where Kovalan was killed (there is now a residential area a little further away called Kovalan Nagar which was my stomping ground when growing up). Long back I heard that they found some sherds of bural pots there. But they have not excavated the place, because it is still used by the people as a graveyard......."

    Tamil Nadu Archaeological Department who did excavations at this spot has discovered Urn Burials with bones. Is that have anything to do with the traditions that "Kovalan" of Silappathikaarem was decapitated at the Kovalan Pottal region ???? (Further studies have to be made on same to come into any positive conclusions)

    Other traditions relating to Kannaki in the present Tamil Nadu

    Coimbatore District - Pollaachi

    Presently there is a community known as Mudhuvans who are also known as the Adivasis of the region located in the mountains west of Pollachi, who claim to be descendents of people who accompanied Kannaki as she left Madurai after the great tragedy. Kannaki is feared and worshiped among this community even today.

    Neelagiri District - Udahamandalam

    Today there Thoda community of the Udahamandalam claim the deity Durga Baghavathi whom they worship is the one who burnt the Paandiya Nadu for having killed her husband for the sake of an anklet

    In Sri Lanka

    The worship of Goddess Pattini was introduced into Sri Lanka from South India by king Gajabaahu - 1(A.D.113-135). She was considered as the goddess of chastity and virtuous life and provides blessings of wellbeing to all. She was worshiped for cure from infectious diseases, and at times of drought and famine in the country, for unfailing rain and crops.

    The worship of Goddess Kannaki as "Pattini" found a place of importance among the Sinhalese in Sri Lanka along with the other deities, and today many Pattini devales (temples) are found in the Sinhalese regions of Sri Lanka. Prominent among them are the Pattini devales at Anuradhapura, Kandy, Nawagamuwa and Matale.

    The worship of "Pattini" by her real name as "Kannaki" (also as Kannakai) Amman found grounds among the Tamils of Sri Lanka, especially in the Batticaloa, Amparai, Wanni, Trincomalee, Mannar and Jaffna regions, and presently there are many Kannahai (Kannaki) Amman temples are found in these regions.


    Rajaavaliya a 'seventeenth century' historical chronicle of Sri Lanka states that king Gajabaahu - 1 brought the Pattini worship and the gold anklets to Sri Lanka. The contemporary period Tamil Literary work Silappathikaaram of the 'second century' states as follows:

    "......The king Gayavaahu of ocean surrounded Ilangai (Sri Lanka) built a temple for Nangai (reverend lady = Pattini) and an alter for daily offerings considering her as one who destroys evils and bestows favours, and in the month of August held a festival 'in the city' and taken several times, there had been rain fall with unfailing agriculture and all prosperity......."

    The location of the first Pattini temple built by king Gajabaahu - 1 is mentioned as 'in the city' in Silappathikarem, undoubtedly it was his capital city of Anuradhapura of Sri Lanka, but the exact location not known. Today we are made aware that at Isurumuni temple in Anuradhapura there is a beautiful Pattini statue with one anklet in hand, but the antiquity of this statue is not not known.


    In the city of Kandy there exists today a Pattini (Paththini) devale (temple) of rectangular brick structure on a stone basement closer to the famous "Dalada Maligawa" - being the temple of the sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha venerated by all Buddhists of Sri Lanka.

    This temple celebrates an annual festival in the month of July/ August, and also performs religious rituals held daily to the deity Pattini at this devale. The month was being considered as a period for virtuous life and kept sacred for the Pattini's blessings, for the availability of plenty of rain and water in the country leading to its prosperity as recorded in the Sinhalese text ‘Pattini-Halla’.

    In the last five days of this period there are Peraharas (ceremonial processions) conducted on each day dedicated to the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha carried in a Golden casket on a beautifully decorated elephant. This procession is followed by the processions of the other four deities in sequence, first being that of the deity Natha (Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara), followed by that of the deity Vishnu, the deity of Kataragama (Skanda), and the deity Pattini - with their respective golden armours and the golden anklets carried on elephants, with the final Randoli perahara being conducted on the full moon night of the month of August.

    The following URLs helps to have a glimpse of the 'Kandy Esala Perera', in which is also seen the procession from the Pattini temple too moving out, with the signia of Silambu being taken to be placed on an elephant. In this temple a screen with the picture Pattini is seen having two Silambus (anklets in both hands). Also the temple priest is seen waving two other Silambus at the begining of the procession. This Procession of Pattini is sequenced at the last in the procession of the Esala Perahara, and noticed by the procession entirely with female Dancers while the other processions are with male Dancers. In the third Video the commentator mentions of Pattini worship and its origin from the (Tamil) Epic Silappathikaaram, also seen the Pattini Signia the Silambu being taken in procession on an elephant:

    The first two Videos listed below illuminates on the Final Day Perahara dedicated to goddess "Pattini", who was "Kannaki" of great Tamil Epic "Silappathikarem" - fame. This Perahera is part of the major "Kandy Esala Perahara" dedicated to "Lord Buddha" - being one of the most beautiful pagents of South & South-East Asia.

    - Kandy Esala Perahara - Pattini Devalaya Perahara, Courtesy: LankaMaxQ - YouTube

    These combined ceremonial processions (Peraharas) dedicated to Lord Buddha, Natha, Vishnu, Katharagama deviyo (Murukan) and Pattini are very populerly known today as the famed "Kandy Esala Perahera".

    There is also another Buddhist Temple at Kandy known as the 'Lankatillaka Vihare', where other than the main temple dedicated to Lord Buddha there are six more shrines within this temple complex, one of which is dedicated to Goddess Pattini.


    At Nawagamuwa situated on the way to Avissawella from Colombo there is a Pattini devale. The legend holds that this Pattini devale close to the Kelani river, traces its origin as early as the Anuradhapura period.

    The Pattini Devale was earlier famed as the Pattini Kovil. Mention is made in the Sinhalese Chronicle 'Godagama Sannasa' that Sinhalese king Buvanekabahu V (A.D. 1521 - 1580) made a royal decree for the gift of oil to be made use at the Nawagamuwa Pattini Kovil perahara. This Pattini devale, which is the main devale at Nawagamuwa, has a gold plated statue of the goddess Pattini enshrined within.

    The following URL helps to have a glimpse of the Pattini Temple at Nawagamuwa, Sri Lanka:

    - Nawagamuwa Pattini Devalaya Perahara Courtesy: Udayakumara - YouTube


    There is a Pattini Devale on top of a hill at the village Wilbawa in the Kurunagalla district, said to have been built during the period of the king Gajabahu - 1. Here the Pattini worship is done with a Silambu (Silamba). Annualy at the end of the paddy harvesting in the month of March/April a Perahara festival is held in honour of Pattini. Also in the month of Oct/Nov a special festival held in her honour with the lighting of fifty Lamps. The water-cutting ceremony at the end of the festival takes place at the lake of Kurunagalla.

    Pattini Devales in the other regions of Sri Lanka

    There are further Pattini devales at Ammaduwa in Ratnapura district, Hanguranketa in Nuwara Eliya district, Weediyagoda in Kalutara district, Helahalpe in Badulla district, and also at Devinuwara, at Godagedera Devale, Maduwe Devale, Nurugala Kovila, Galmaduwa Kovila, Galmangoda Kovila, Gotakapola Kovila, Waturugama Devalaya, Doka Welikanda Palliya. Usweli Kanda Devale, Kosgoda Devale, Duwe Modera Kovila, Devage Kovila and Gappumulla Aliya Kovila.

    The other well-known Pattini Devales are at Dedigama, Medagoda in Sitawake, Seenigama in Hikkaduwa, Saman Devale in Ratnapura, and the Purana Ranakadu Pattini Maha Devale in Kaduwela.

    The following URL helps to have informations on the Maduwe Pattini Dewale and Pattini Dewales in other regions of Sri Lanka:


    Sri Muthumaari Amman temple situated at Matale in the up-country region, is a very sacred shrine well known today where Pattini is worshipped along with the other Hindu deities. This temple was built around two centuries ago by South Indian Traders who did trading at Matale and the surrounding tea estates regions. This temple underwent renovations recently with a newly built ‘Raja Koburum’ 108 feet tall.

    In the month of February/March the annual festival take place in this temple, and in this month of Maasi on the Makam Natchaththiram day the Ther (Chariot) festival takes place to evoke the blessings of Gods, including the Goddess Pattini. Thousands of devotees flock to this temple to offer poosaikal (pujas), and many with their new born babies to get the blessings of the Gods.

    The statues of the Gods Murugan, Ganesha, Sivan & Ambal, Chandeshwarer and Goddess Pattini are kept in beautifully decorated and illuminated Ther (Chariots), and drawn by devotees along the streets of Matale in the morning and finally returns to the temple. Earlier there was only one chariot made to take Goddess Pattini around the streets of the Matale, but later four more Chariots were added to take all deities in this procession.

    It is said that presently around half a million people attend the annual Ther festival of this temple where Goddess Kannaki is worshiped as Pattini - with much reverence and devotion for her blessings.

    The following URL helps to have informations on the Matale Muthumaariamman temple of Sri Lanka, where Pattini Theivam too is worshipped:


    It is said presently there are more than twenty five Kannaki (Kannakai) Amman temples found in this region. There is a Tamil literary work known as "Udukuch Chinthu" which refers to Kannaki temples at Anganaakkadavai, Kaarai theevu, Vantharumoolai, Chetti Paalayam, Kaluvaanchikkudi, Veeramunai, Thurai Neelavanai, Thambiluvil, Kalmunai, Kallaaru, Mahilur, Eruvil, Puthukkudiiruppu, Muthalaikkuda, Kokatichcholai, Chittraandi, Manmunai, Kaluthaavalai, Aaraipattrai, ThuraiNeelaavanai, Chiththaandi, Pattinagar and one at Thaandavanveli.

    Kummi Paadal on Kannaki at the Temple in Kaluvaanchikkudi. Courtesy: tkaranj - YouTube

    Kummi Paadal on Kannaki at the Temple in Thambiluvil. Courtesy: Anjanan Vivek - YouTube

    The following URL helps to have informations on the Thandavanveli Kannakai Amman Temple at Batticaloa in Sri Lanka

    Many of these temples are opened once a year during the festival time in the period of May/June, and ending on the fullmoon day of the Tamil month of Vaikaasi (May/June)


    At Mullaitheevu in Vanni district there is the famous Vattraapalai Kannakai Amman Koyil. On the full moon day in the month of Vaikaasi (May/June) worshippers have Pongal festival and pray to Kannaki for her blessings which draws a very large crowd annually.

    The following URL helps to have informations on the Vattraapalai Kannakai Amman Temple in Mullaitheevu in Vanni district in Sri Lanka. In this Website under the subheading 'Pattini (Kannaki) cult' the photos of this temple and the Kannakai Amman bronze statue too can be viewed


    In this region too there are many Kannaki (Kannakai) Amman temples found today, where annual festivals and daily pusai rituals are conducted to Goddess Kannaki. Among these temples are those found at Thuvaali in Tellipalai , VanVadametku in Aanaikottai, Kalaiyodai in Navaali, Vannaankulam in Omanthai, Urelu, Pulloli metku, Pulloli thetku, Kovitkulam in Mirusuvil, Pakkatti in Kodikaamam, and Palaanai in Kopaai.

    Kaaraitivu Island

    There is a Kannakai Amman temple at Kaaraitivu Island also in the north-west of Jaffna which underwent A Kumbaabishekam recently.

    The Bronze Statue of Kannakai Amman enshrined at tis temple with a Silambu on her right hand. Courtesy: Tamil CNN - YouTube

    Pungudutheevu Island

    There is a further Kannakai Amman temple at Kannakaipuram in the Island of Pungudutheevu also in the north-west of Jaffna.

    Other traditions relating to Kannaki in the present Sri Lanka

    Western Coastal regions of Sri Lanka

    It is said there had been Kannaki (Pattini) temples along the western coastal regions of Sri Lanka, and with the capture of these regions by the Portugese in the sixteenth century, they have been replaced by them with St Anne's Chuches.

    The following URL helps us to have informations on Kannakai Amman temples that have been thus replaced with St Annes Churches


    As seen above the worship of Goddess Kannaki has also been deeply rooted among the Tamils in Batticaloa, Jaffna and Wanni over a long time. However it was unfortunate that the Hindu Revivalist of Jaffna of the British period - Sri Lanka, namely 'Aarumuga Naavalar' has said that Hindus should refrain from worshipping Kannaki as she was of a different religion (Jainism). It is said following him many Kannaki temples in the north, were turned into different Amman temples during his time.

    An indepth study of Silappathikaaram reveals that Kannaki was from the Tamil Vanikar (Trading) Community of then Chola Nadu which was part of the present Tamil Nadu, and was a Hindu by religion unto her last.

    Also refer to a clip from the "Hindu" - News Papers of Tamil Nadu, on the study 'by others' in Sri Lanka - on Kannaki Cult in Sri Lanka at the following URL

    The above is Under further construction...........


    Last edited by virarajendra; 3rd March 2017 at 11:13 PM.

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  3. #2
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    Last Month i went to mangala devi temple in Kumily. It was a great experience.

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    Dear Dr Pradeep some weeks back I happened to pop in into your Website and noted series of Articles on Kannaki written either by you or one of your collegues in Sakthi Foundation - which is not clear from the Website as Author's name is not clearly given in same.

    In the series of 12 articles on Kannaki what interested me were some valuable first hand informations such as a Goddess statue in "marble stone" in one of the ruined temple at Kumily etc etc , Proff Indrachudan's informtion re secret Chambers at Kodungallur temple etc etc which you and your collegue had visited and seen, which I would like to document in my Thread (with your kind permission) with evidence being a Link given in my Thread leading to your Website which speaks of same.

    But now I find difficult to relocate your Webpage on Kannaki Articles in the Sakthi Foundation Website and very kindly request you to provide the exact URL leading to your Kannaki Articles page.

    Thanking you very much Best Regards


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    Please use the information. Dr.Madeswaran is very informative about kannagi. Early this year we visited kaveri poompattinam. He is continuing with his research. Recently he is taking about kannagi's friend devanthi and Shastha.

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    Dear Dr Pradeep, I am very very thankfull to you for responding to my earlier request for the correct URL of the Kannagi articles. I am incorporating the relevent chapters under the appropriate sections. I understand from you reply Dr Madeswaran is the author of these articles and assisted by your goodself (correct me if I am wrong). I am bringing forward my another Thread on The Tidal Waves that destroyed Tamil Nadu (only 90% complete) which may be useful to Dr Madeswaran in his research on Poompuhar. He is free to make use of all informations in my Thread - Virarajendra
    Last edited by virarajendra; 19th December 2011 at 07:24 AM.

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    "Attukal Pongala" is a great "Pongal peru vilaa" celebrated at the "Bagawathi Amman" also known as "Attukal Devi" - temple {Temple of the "Kannaki (Amman)" of Tamil Silappathikaaram fame} in the region Attukal, at Thiruvananthapuram of Kerala, India - a very famous festival celebrated annually.


    "Pongala (Ponkala) is a special naivedya made by the women to the Attukal Devi. The significance of Attukal Devi Temple Pongala is entered the Guinness Book of World Records is the largest gathering of women in the world in a single place on a single day irrespective of caste, creed or religion.

    The Attukal Pongala 2013 Festival begins on 18th February 2013 and concludes on 27th February 2013. The world famous Attukal Pongala is on February 26th 2013, Tuesday. Pongala ritual commences at 10:45 AM and its will be offered to Goddess at 02:30 PM on February 26th 2013" - as per Baghawathi Amman Temple, Attukal - Website.

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    brought forward

    Courtesy: Sargam Musics
    Last edited by virarajendra; 18th February 2017 at 07:44 PM.

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    brought forward

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    brought forward

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    Last edited by virarajendra; 12th June 2016 at 08:54 AM.

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