Chenpaka moorthi Ayyanar
Iyamkottai is a small village on the road from Madurai to Dindigul near the station called Kodai road. Once upon a time this and the neighboring four villages were called Ammaya naikanoor Jamin. Once this Jamin was ruled by a Jamindar called Kamaiya Nayakkan. At that time due to continues failure of rain, these villages were suffering due to lack of food. So the people went and requested the Jamindar to do some thing. He called an astrologer and asked him. The astrologer told that, if an Ayyanar temple is built in the village all problems would be solved. The Jamindar took immediate action. He built an Ayyanar temple with Poornai and Pushkalai. At that time the Pandya king was called Chenpaka Moorthi. So in his hour the Ayyanar was called Chempaka moorthi Ayyanar. From that time there was regular rains and all the problems of these villages were solved.
Once a cowherd saw a box made of pal leaves in the forest. Being scared , he ran to the village and told them. But by the time he returned the box had vanished. People were surprised by this turn of events. Immediately after this the Jamindar told them to cut a big neem tree by the side of Ayyanar temple so that they can build a big temple for Ayyanar. One of the people went to cut the tree entered into a trance and said, “ My name is Chandana Karuppan , Without knowing where to go I am inside this tree.” The people t first did not believe this. Than Chandana karuppu asked them to back at that time and return next day, so that he can leave them signs of his presence. Next day when people returned to the need tree, they saw the box made of Palm leaves. In side was a statue of Chandana Karuppan .Chandana Karuppu told them that he was from Kerala and since the local people there were not able to worship him properly, he was causing them lot of trouble. Because of this the people put him in a box made of palm leaves and floated in a river. He told them that he reached their village through the river . He also promised them that he would guard their village properly. So they built a temple for Chandana Karuppan on the right side of this Ayyanar temple. Chandana Karuppu did his job with efficiency but there were also minor troubles. Even if people wear slippers and go any where near his temple, they were thrown back. So people were even afraid to walk near the temple.
It seems a Moslem family came to Madurai to see the festivities there. On their way back, they took rest near Chandana Karuppan’s temple. After some time they started their journey from there. After traveling a few miles they noticed that one girl babe=y was missing. They returned back to the temple. They heard a voice from the locked Chandana Karuppar temple, “The baby is sleeping in my temple, If you come tomorrow at this same time, you can take your child back.” Bu the family head broke open the door of the temple. There was no trace of the child. Karuppu has made the child a part of him. The members of this family are devotees of Chandana karuppu till this day. There were also other similar incidents. So the people went and complained to the Jamindar. He again called the astrologer who advised him to shift the temple of Chandana Karuppu to the left side of Ayyanar temple. This was done and afterwards there had been no problems caused by Chandana Karuppu.
When the temple was built for Ayyanar the priest was a man called Karutha Velar. The descendents of his family continued to worship in the temple. Sivanadiyan , who was the son of Karutha Velar was priest immediately after him. He was very famous and a great devotee of Chandana Karuppan. The villagers got jealous and alleged him that he behaved badly with a village woman. They decided to cut his head off and took him to a hill top, Meanwhile some people went and told about this to the Jamindar., Jamindar who had a very high pinion of Sivanadiyan rushed to that spot but could not save Sivanadian. Before beheading him the villagers asked for the last wish of Sivanadian. He told them that the land up to which his blood flows should be given to his family. Immediately after beheading him, there was a torrential rain and his blood spread over 8 acres. The Jamindar gave this land to his family.
Apart from Ayyanar and Chandana Karuppar , there are some more gods in the temple. There are two giant statues of Bhoothas(Ghosts) who are the assistants of Ayyanar. Below them there is Sonai Chami, Veera Bhadra Chami, Chandana lingam, Mayana Karuppu , Pechiyamman, Bhadra Kali , Rakkayi and Andi chami.
In the month of Adi (July-August)there is a horse giving festival (Kudirai eduppu vizha) for the Ayyanar. From the pat of village thy always order for two horses. These are made in the Thanihiyam village. From there the horses are brought ceremoniously. Before the horses reach a pot of sandal paste is offered to Chandana karuppar.
One of the horses is the steed for Ayyanar. The other horse is called Devendra Vahanam. Poornai and Pushkalai are supposed to be the daughters of this horse. People believe that this horse comes there to see his daughters. It seems for the betterment f village Poornai and Pushkalai make requests to Devendra Vahanam, who tells Devendra, and who in turn tells Lord Shiva, The God then sends his cow to the village so that they live in plenty. That cow is called Nachankalai. For this purpose that night they select a calf , anoint it with turmeric water, cloth it and worship it. Then they set free the Nachankalai.
TO satisfy the other Gods, there is a bull catching ceremony conducted in the village They believe that at least few drops of human blood falls during this ceremony and the Gods are satisfied. People of the village take permission from Ayyanar before taking any important decision in the family.