Navaladiar of Mohanur
Mohanur is a village which is 14 km from Paramathi Velur of Namakkal district. In the eastern boundary of the village is the temple of Navaladi Karuppana Chami., who is referred to also as Navaladiyan. He is also known as Pattamarathan and Judge Durai.
It seems some merchants of the Chera kingdom came to do business with Tamil Nadu. They brought their material on bulls. They also had a cow and calf with them. When they were camping at Mohanur, they noticed that even without milking the udder of the cow used to go dry. They thought that there is some evil spirit in that place and were preparing to depart. On that day they found that their cow was missing. After great search, they located the cow in the forest bush of naval trees (Syzygium cumini (L.)). In spite of the best efforts, the cow did not come out of the bush. At last they found out that the cow was pouring all the milk in its udder at a spot below a naval tree and there was also a stone below the tree. They understood that the stone was divine. Near by there was also a neem tree. Since the stone was below the naval tree, the merchants called that God as Navaladiyar (He who is below the naval tree). They donated the cow and calf to Navaladiyar and went back. Local people started calling the God as Navaladi Karuppu. The local, king called Mogur Pazhayan , used to daily worship this God. Once he observed that milk was coming out of the neem tree nearby. He then made the neem tree as his Security tree. It was also worshipped then afterwards.. The local queen’s brother Nannan , who had the neighboring Viyaloor kingdom used to anoint Navaladiyar with milk , every time he visited his sister. Near Viyaloor , there was another kingdom called Ganga kingdom. The king there was Irungovel. These three kings had complete control of Kongu Nadu (present Coimbatore area) during that time.
In Nannan’s palace there was a mango tree which yielded one fruit , once in 12 years. During the year, it yielded tight security was put to the tree, as the people believed that by eating the fruit people would live a long life. Once there was a cyclone and the fruit fell in a nearby river. One lady who was taking bath in the river ate that mango fruit. Hearing this Nannan sentenced her to death. The local people tried their best to get pardon for the girl , but Nannan did not bother and put the lady to death. The people got angry on Nannan and cut of the mango tree in his palace. Nannan also turned mad. His sister made Nannan pray Navaladiyan three times a day for a period of 40 days. He became all right and went back to his country. Similarly king Irungovel also committed by refusing to marry one of the orphaned daughters of king Pari which made Sage Kapila to give up his life. So Irungovel came to Navaladiyar temple and by praying to him, got his sins excused.
Thus the fame of the God Navaladiyan spread throughout Tamil Nadu. Many other kings were jealous of the king Mogur Pazhayan in whose kingdom Navaladiyar’s shrine was located. One of them was Ayirai. He made a plot so the neem tree which was the security tree of Pazhayan was destroyed.
At this time Villavan kothai who was the Commander in chief of the army of Cheran Chenguttuvan came to worship at the Durga temple in the kingdom of Ayirai . Ayirai went and met the commander and told him that , “ Nannan killed an innocent girl. He should be taken before your king and given proper punishment. “ Villavan Kothai greed to this, He went and met Nannan and told him, “King Cheran Chenguttuvan wants your friendship. His minister is waiting in my country. If you come with me, I will introduce the minister to you,:”. Nannan was attracted by the proposal and accompanied ayirai. He was imprisoned by Ayirai, in his country. Nannan prayed Navaladiyar to rescue him. Then suddenly a tunnel appeared in his jail. He went out through the tunnel and reached his country. Later Pazhayan, Nannan and Irumborai set out to destroy Ayirai. Since Ayirai got information through spies, , in the guise of a woman , he escaped from his country. The three friends conquered the country of Ayirai. They also destroyed the Durga temple.
Ayirai went and met Cheran Chenguttuvan and told lot of lies about the three kings. Cheran decided to wage a war and destroy their country. They managed too kill Pazhayan . Ayirai then wanted to destroy the temple of Navaladiyar. Cheran Chenguttuvan prevented him from doing it. But advised him to cut the neem tree which was guardian of Pazhayan. Ayirai was not satisfied with this,. He shaved off the hair of the queen of Pazhayan and insulted her. The queen cursed him, “Oh rogue , you would be destroyed.” And died t that spot itself. Not satisfied with this Ayirai wanted to destroy Navaladiyan temple. He lifted a huge stone so that he can put it on the temple. A cobra came from underneath the stone and killed Ayirai. Cheran then understood , what a bad man Ayirai was and also the type of lies that was being fed to him. He arranged for the honourable burial of Pazhayan and his queen. Ayiran’s body was thrown as food to the foxes in the forest. He then did redemptive acts to Navaladiyan and returned to his country.
The Navaladiyan statue is now under a new Naval tree (the old dry tree also stands there. This called Patta Maram and hence the name Pattmarathan) which came out of the roots of the old Naval tree. Similarly a new neem tree also has grown up in the place of the old destroyed neem tree.
Once some villagers went for wishing in the near by river. They found a statue floating in the river and recovered it. Since it had the looks of God Chellandiamman of Madhukarai, they consecrated in the same sanctum sanctorum of Navaladiyan. They are calling it Chellandiamman. There are also Kannimar (maids) deivam and Ganesa in the temple. Outside the temple are very big statues of two Bhoothas. The original temple built by Pazhayan was a small one. Now they have rebuilt it but Navaladiyan temple has not been disturbed. There are two big mud horses standing outside the temple now. There is also a horse made of bell metal. Apart from a wooden horse.
There are no festivals for Navaladiyan . But if a devotee pays Rs 3500, Navaladiyan is decorated and taken out as procession. There is a practice of bringing the anointed water to the Uthsava statue and throwing it t the devotees face. It seems this act removes all the problems of the devotee. Opposite the Uthsavar Statue of Navaladiyan, a big Vel has been planted. It is called Shakthi Vel. While Vegetarian dishes are offered to Chellandiamman, animals are sacrificed before Navaladiyar.
This temple is very popular in Namakkal district. Any problem is brought before him for redressal and because of this he is also known as Judge Durai. Any thing can be offered by a devotee to Navaladiyar. For example a cobbler has offered a very big shoe to the God. He hangs it in the tree outside . Every year a new pair is brought and old one replaced. Goats and Cocks are offered to the Navaladiyar. There is also a mid night pooja known as Sathya Poojai ,in the temple.
Devotees also ca submit written requests to Navaladiyar. These should be written or typed and offered along with Rs 5. People believe such requests are heard by Navaladiyar and he fulfills them. These are pierced on several iron rods outside the temple. You may find medical reports , X rays and even ECG reports there.