Samana Malai Ayyanar and Karuppana chami of Keezh kuil kudi
Keezkuil kudi is a village is 10 km from Madhurai in Madhurai –Theni road. This village is in the bottom of Samana Malai. Samana Malai was once upon a time a great centre for Jainism in Tamil Nadu. There are several caves and drawings left by people belonging to this religion here. Vadivel kkarai was a neighboring village.
Once upon a time only Ayyanar temple was there below the hill and Karuppanar temple was in the top of the hill, During those times white men used to camp in Madhurai. They used to ride on horses in front of Meenakshi temple. They jeered at the Goddess and behaved like ruffians. Karuppana Chami, who was seeing all this from the top of hill, could not tolerate this behaviour. So one day, while the white men were crossing the temple gate the horses slipped and white man was injured. When this began to happen regularly, the white people asked an astrologer. He told them to shift the Karuppana chami from the hill top to the plane. The Velars (potters) did the job for the while men and consecrated the Karuppana chami near the Ayyanar temple facing north.
Keezhkuil kudi and Vadivel kkarai were in the banks of river Vaigai. Due to consecutive failure of rains, both these villages suffered great famine. Some of the villagers went to different villages in search of livelihood. Some of them went as priests to the Munu Chami Koil in Karumathur. Later there was rain and the economy improved. At that time those who went to Karumathur wanted to come back. But Virumappachami and Kasi Mayan whom they were worshipping prevented them from leaving Karumatrhur. So they brought a fist of soil from Moonu chami temple in Karumathur and consecrated Virumappachami and Kasi Mayan near Karuppannachami. Also they consecrated as their assistants Kazhuvanathan, Karppayi ammal, Irulappan, Sangili Karuppann chami , Chonai Chami and VeeraBhadra Chami . Before Karuppar was brought down from the hill top , Brahmins were priests in Ayyanar temple but later Velars were appointed as priests. They used to come from Vilachari which is 5 km from these temples. Since the path was full of wild animals as well as thieves, it seems the bears from the forest used to escort these priests to and from the temple. They believed that Karuppar was coming in the form of bear to help them. They even named their children as “Samana malai Karadi (bear of jain mountain).
In the month of Margazhy , the Brahmins who were original priests of the temple offer “Pavadai poojai” to the Ayyanar. The expenses will be collected by contribution from every family living in Keezh kuil kudi. They buy 160 padi (a local measure) of rice , make Chakkarai pongal (sweet pongal) and this is stacked like a temple tower in the hall opposite Ayyanar temple. All the villagers are summoned by a drum and then the Ayyanaradi gets down in the fire pit where this pongal was made and answers their questions. Later the pongal is divided equally among the villagers.
Similarly on all thirty days of the month of Purattasi pongal is offered to the gods.. The two villages each celebrate for 15 days each. O the first day they make a statue of Muthalamman with mud taken from the village , the women of the village worship her by lighting the flour lamp. Then Muthalamman is taken in procession and mixed with waters of the local ponds. Next day it is the horse taking festival. Several horses including the three horses on behalf of the village are got made in Vilacheri village. And they are brought in a procession from there. Then every house offers pongal and sacrifice a goat to the Karuppar.
The villagers protect a lotus tank in the village with care. It seems once a contactor who did fishing in the tank spoiled it. Later when the fish(they had three lines on them) caught from the tank were cooked, the food was full of blood. Then villagers approached Ayyanar and this was set right. They offered a lamp pillar to the God. Women and unclean people are prevented from entering the pond.
Whenever any villager wants to take an important decision , he picks a flower packet from the temple. If they get red flower, then they abandon the plan. If the get green flowers., they post phone the plan and later implement it. If they get white flower, they implement their plan immediately,