Thenachi Amman Temple
Chiravayal puthur is a small village near Pillayar Patti of Siva Gangai district of Tamil Nadu. Near by in the banks of the river Thenaru and on its bank is the temple of Thenachi Amman. There is a story about its origin.
A cowherd woman was supplying butter milk to the surrounding villages near the river Thenaru. Once after completing her trade, when she was washing the butter milk pot in the river, she saw a big Statue of a goddess made of stone floating in the river. She requested the Goddess to remain there till she comes back. Then she rushed to the near by villages and brought people from there. Once the people assembled, they took the statue from the river and placed it in the banks of Thenaru. One of the ladies in the crowd was taken over by the Goddess and she showed where exactly the statue should be consecrated. The cowherd woman also started living with the Goddess. It seems after death she was also made a minor goddess of the temple called Idaichi Amman and consecrated near the idol of Thenachi Amman. There is another unconfirmed story also It seems a cow herd woman who was in the family way visited the temple and the goddess killed her. The cow herd lady’s soul started troubling the villagers in various ways. So they built a temple for her. Even today no lady in a family way enters the temple.
The goddess is with eight hands and is in the pose where she is killing Mahishasura. She appears very furious and faces the north. The idaichi Amman faces her. Near by there is a separate consecration for Sani (Saturn). By his side is Bhairavar. Also statues of Shiva, Visalakshy, Ganapathy and Subrahmanya are also found in the temple.
In the entrance room of the temple there are many broken statues. People say that they are the statues of the people who built the temple.
It seems that there was one Minnam Chettiyar who used the services of Ghosts (Boothas) to build the temple. Once the job was over, they were not compensated properly so the ghosts stayed in the temple and started troubling the devotees. The devotees thought that by breaking the statues where they reside they will go away. That is the reason why those statues are broken, Later all the broken pieces were collected and buried out side the temple. They also consecrated a Kali Statue there. That Kali is called Minnan Chetti Kali.
On the 3rd of Thai month (January 17th) there is a Manju virattu (Taming of bulls) held at the temple. After witnessing a violent bull fight , it seems the European Collector of the district (in pre independent days) asked them that it should be conducted with out Kombu(horn of the bull) .The organizer was very sad because of it. That night the goddess told him to conduct it without Kombu (A musical instrument). He conduced without Kombu music next day. The collector, who appreciated the reply, gave a huge land for conducting Bull fight to the village.
This temple is managed by the Kundra kudi adheenam. Huge crowds gather at the temple on Tuesdays and Fridays. The Nattu Kottai Chettiars (nagarathar) who brought the Goddess from the river and constructed her temple do not commence any important activity without praying o this Goddess.