|Kamakshi Amman, lamp on either side is burning since 500 years|
|ghee pots at the temple storage|
|Kamakshi Amman in Chest form|
The Temple is located in Devadanapatti, near Pariyakulam in Theni Dist.; TN. Devadanapatti is located at the foothills of Kodaikanal Hills. The place is beautiful, serene and unperturbed by the mans interference. Temple is surrounded with lush green forests, waterfalls, creeks and other wild animals & birds. Temple is unique in every sense. The uniqueness is that it has no Temple Towers, Doors or Idols. Yes, there are no Idols in the sacred sanctums here. The main deity here is Kamakshi Amman. The idol is replaced with a door. Yes, door is worshiped here and it is revered as goddess Kamakshi. The other difference is that whole coconut and unpeeled bananas are offered. The coconuts are broken after the Aarathi. In most of the temples, coconuts are broken in to two first, followed by abhishekam and only after that aarathi is taken. A lot of rituals are different. The lamps of this temple are lit only with clarified butter (ghee). A lamp that was lit some 500 years ago is still burning to this date in this temple. Devotees offer mainly ghee to the temple. There is a storage room with no doors and pots of ghee are accumulated. Some of the pots in this storage are as old has 500 years. The pots do not have coverlids; they are open and their aroma wafts around the temple complex. The ghee is still fresh, and has not gone off. They do not attract any insects either. Devotees believe this is because of Goddess Kamakshi’s blessings!
|Mungil Anai Kaakshi Amman Kovil|
|A view of the temple|
|Lizard similar to theone in Kanchi Temple|
|Ant House, goddess penanced here|
|Karupanna Swamy Sannidhi|
|Karupanna swamy temple at top|
There is a reason as why the idols are not kept inside the sacred sanctums. The worshipping of door in this temple came in to practice after a tiff between the priest and the king. To express priest’s dissatisfaction, he locked the sacred sanctum and went home and never returned. The locked sanctum was never opened again, and all the prayers were offered to the door instead. She is in ‘chest’ form. The temple tower is replaced with a dome made out of hays called Nana Pull. When the temple sanctum was closed down, the goddess again appeared in her devotees’ dreams to watch out for her, she gave all the instructions as well. Like before, she again arrived in a chest form. This time the chest was stopped by the ‘Naananpull’ a type of grass. People weaved a hut using these hays. This replaced the usual sacred tower. Raja Kumbalathar are the ones who manage and maintain this temple. An elderly male (above 60) from Raja Kumbalathar Nayakanmar family changes the hay roof by weaving a new one. There are certain rituals that need to be followed before weaving a new roof. They have to fast for 48 days, should collect all the materials required from Murugamalai, a dense forest. When all the materials are gathered the elder person should climb upstairs blind folded from the backside of the sacred sanctum to the terrace and weaves it without looking in to it. Until they are done they are not supposed to leave and women are prohibited from entering the temple, till the weaving work is finished. Once it is completed, abishkam is done to the door.
|The Holy Chest|