Kurathi Amman of Anaivari village
Anaivari is a village which is 18 km from Pudukottai. Kurathi Amman has a temple in this village. There is an interesting story about this village, which goes back to the Ramayana. It seems when Sita was kidnapped by Ravana, Lakshmana and Rama went is search of her. Sage Valmiki who was in the forest accompanied them. They happened to come to Anaivari village. Somehow, sage Valmiki liked the village very much and decided to stay there. Rama and Lakshmana continued their search. Valmiki who did penance in the village, over time became a God to the village and settled there, the villagers started calling this God as Mayavar.
Kuravan is a nomadic tribe of Tamilnadu. They tell astrological l predictions, sell knick knacks like needle etc. If their woman (called Kurathi) stays outside their camp for one night, they used to murder them. Once seven Kurathis along with their babies missed their way and stayed for a night in the forest near Anaivari. The men of their group murdered all the seven woman along with their babies. It seems they appeared in the dream of a villager and told them, that if they consecrate them as Gods in the village and worship them, they would look after the village. The villages agreed and consecrated their statue near Mayavar temple. They were called by the villagers as Kurathi Amman.
After this one Kudukuduppai karan (a beggar who tell that he lives in the burial ground and foretells future of people accompanied by a drum in the morning) once stole the Thali (Mangalya Sutra) of a woman of the village. It seems immediately he became blind. People said that this was done by Kurathi Amman. He immediately came to her temple, kept the Thali at Kurathi Amman’s feet and begged forgiveness. Kurathi Amman pardoned him and restored his sight. From that time no thief has come to the village. The villagers also appointed the Kudukuduppai Karan as their police man. They gave him some grain as compensation during harvest. Now Kudukuduppai karan does not does police duty in the village but some of them come during harvest to collect the grain. Even simple things like hair pin which falls in the streets are not touched by anybody. Since Kurathi Amman is their God, if at any time a Kuravan comes to the village he is treated properly and given food. These seven Kurathi women stand on the left side of Mayavar. On his right side, Chinna Karuppar, Perriya Karuppar and Otha Mani Karuppar statues are there. A story is there about Otha Mani karuppar.
It seems once some villagers, who went to an outside market town caught hold of a goat and cut it and were preparing to cook it. At that time the owner of the goat came there. Recognizing him the villagers put the meat of the goat in a box. When the owner wanted to see what is inside the box, they were forced to open it. But the colour of the goat had completely changed and the owner said sorry and went his way. Then Otha Mani Karuppar entered one of them and told,”I have saved you. So build a temple for me also.” Thy built a temple for him near the existing temple of Kurathi Amman.
Another peculiarity of this village is that all statues of their God are made of Mud. When they break or get dilapidated, they build a new statue. This is done with a grand celebration. On all Mondays and Fridays, Kurathi Ammans are worshipped by preparing Pongal.
All girls of the village, who get married to an outside villagers, give three fifty rupees and seven measures (Marakkal) of paddy to the Kurathi Amman. This is given in a rope box. The paddy from this box is made in to rice and Pongal made out of it is offered to Kurathi Amman. A part of the pongal is given to the girl, to take it to her husband’s home.
People of the village believe that orders of Mayavar are executed by Kurathi Ammans. There is a pond on the way to the temple. People who have complaints against any body else and take bath in this pond and go the temple of Kurathi Amman with wet cloths. They pay Rupees twelve and Paisa twenty five at the temple. They believe that Kurathi Amman would punish the guilty. If a man outside the village makes such complaints he should observe silence till he crosses the village boundary.