Kamatchi Amman Temple - Devadanapatti (Theni)

Kamatchi Amman Temple - Devadanapatti (Theni)

7th Feb, 2018 by gopystar General


The Kamatchi Amman Temple is located on the banks of the Manjal River, near Devadanapatti. The doors of the temple are never opened and devotees can only worship from the portal. Every evening a special puja is performed in the temple. Masi Magam and Shivrathri are the main festivals celebrated in the temple, during the months of February and March.
Devadanapatti is a combination of two Tamil words which are Devadhanam and Patti. The Tamil word Devadhanam translates as Gifted to Gods and the Tamil word Patti Translates as Village. The meaning of Devadanapatti is a Village gifted to Gods. Goddess Parvati is worshipped as Moongilanai Shri Kamakshi Devi.
The Devadanapatti Kamakshi Amman Temple is an ancient temple situated in a tiny village called Devadanapatti which is 27 km from Theni. The temple stands by the Manjalar River. This temple story is described in the Tamil movie "Mahashakti Mariamman". Nearby this temple, there is a temple for Lord Karupannaswamy.
There is saying that buttermilk will not be available in this town even it has three time harvests in a year. A story is behind this saying. It goes like this: Once a monk visited this village and went on begging. But nobody gave alms. In angry mood the monk cursed the village as it will not flourish even it has great natural resources. People here believe it.
As families, villagers from nearby Genguvarpatti come by 'maattu vandi' during summer every year, cook at the temple premises, take bath in the nearby falls and then conduct uchchi kaala pooja at the amman temple and partake common cooked food for all. At this pooja they pray for rains as well as welfare of all villages in and around. As soon as the aarthi is done, without fail a 'palli' will answer the prayers which can be witnessed personally.
Another temple of Shivan Parvati is located in Muruga Hill. Here God is Swayambu. The festival is celebrated in the month of December. In the Movie Mahashakti Mariamman, this temple history is described.
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 Aarthi. In most of the temples, coconuts are broken in to two first, followed by abishekam and only after that aarthi 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 blessings! 
There is an interesting story behind this temple. ‘Amman Macchu’ is the moola-stanam of the temple. Amman Macchu is located farther away from this temple. When traveled from Devadanapatti towards the Kodaikanal foothills one can find a Manjalaru Dam. Once crossed the dam, starts the beginning of a mud trail. While hiking further, we get two creeks namely olaiaru and majlaru, respectively. The trail leads to “Amman Macchu’’. This is the place where the goddess Kamakshi did penance to subdue her anger after killing ‘Asura’ a demon that tormented people of all lokas.
Goddess came here and did penance in a bamboo bush. For the love of her devotees, goddess Kamakshi came here as a newborn baby, she was placed in a huge chest that was afloat in Manjalaru. She already communicated her arrival to her devotees in their dreams. As per her instruction devotees waited for her arrival. As the chest was floating, the bamboo trees of Manjalaru stopped it. The people understood that the baby inside it is the Kamakshi. Hence the goddess here is known as ‘Mungil Anai Kamakshi.’
During every temple festival, the procession being from ‘Amman Macchu’ the temple festival is celebrated in Maasi (Feb-March) month’s Amavasai (no-moon day) that coincides with Shiva Rathri. It was goddess's order that the temple should be built away from Amman Macchu. Devotees throng this temple for both to fulfill their wishes and to thank the goddess for the offerings received. 
Just a few yards away, on a hill sit the Karupanna Swamy temple. He is the official caretaker of Mungil Anai Kamakshi Temple. He also considered as the brother of Goddess Kamakshi. Before visiting the Goddess temple, it is a rule to visit Karpanna Swamy Temple. It is believed that Karpanna swamy temple was closer to the Kamakshi temple. However, later he moved away from the temple. Karpanna Swamy is a staunch non-vegetarian while his sister Kamakshi is a pure vegetarian. Due to the differences, he moved away to the nearby hill. However, he did not abjure is duty from guarding his sister’s temple and the village. Around the temple complex’s there are many small sanctums for many gods and goddesses, like said before there are no idols and doors in these small sanctums just the name plate. 
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, abishekam is done to the door. 
Sairaksha Pooja is done every evening. The prayers are carried out with blowing of conch, and beating of sekandi (kind of percussion instrument). After this pooja pin-drop silence is maintained at the temple. It is believed that Goddess kamakshi is still alive and meditates every evening. This is a temple that says idols are not the only way to come closer to god, one can still connect to the God/creator without having to worship idol. God is everywhere and it us who needs to realize this absolute truth!

History of temple
Mayasura an evil demon was killed by Goddess Parvathi and in order to cool herself she came and did penance here. Since the goddess is doing penance the temple remains calm.
A shepherd saw his cow feeding a young girl and was not able to believe it as the cow had not yet given birth. This sight turned the shepherd blind and he could see once again only after worshipping the goddess.
A night the Goddess appeared in the local Zamindar’s dream and stated that Manjal Aru will be flooded soon and she will save them. Likewise Manjal Aru flooded and as the waters approached their village bamboo shoots which came in the floods formed a dam like structure which prevented the village from being flooded. The villagers believed that Ambal came as bamboo shoots and saved them. Hence they place the naivedhana products as natural as possible to this goddess. The pusaris of this temple is known as Manradiyars and due to conflicts which they had with Zamindars, the Manradiyars asked the doors of the sanctum sanctorum to be closed forever and they left the village. Hence the temple’s sanctum sanctorum is even closed today.

Geographical position

Kamakshi Amman Temple in Batlagundu is located at 10°10'10.6"N 77°38'57.2"E or 10.169596, 77.649213.