Samana malai Ayyanar Karuppannachami of Nagamalai
The Jain religion was once flourishing in Tamil Nadu near Madurai of Tamil Nadu. There is a mountain there called Samana Malai with several artifacts and inscriptions of that religion. Nagamalai is a village in the foothills of this mountain. There was a famous Ayyanar temple there. There was a temple of Karuppannachami at the mountain top. It seems when Madhurai town was under the occupation of British. , One British General used to go near the meenakshi temple and insult the Goddess. Karuppannachami could not bear this. So he knocked the horse of the general. This started happening daily. One astrologer told him that it was done by Karuppanna Chami of Samanar Malai. He advised him to bring down Karppanna Chami from the mountain and consecrate him near the Ayyanar temple in nagamalai. This was done and the problem disappeared. The general gave land donations to the people who helped him do that. Since this village as well as the neighboring villages of Keezh kuil kudi were in a barren area, there was always famine there. So people of this village went to other villages for jobs. Of them two people went to Karumathur and worked as priests of Moonu Sami temple. After the famine when they were about to return , The Gods Virumappa Chami and Kasi Mayan of Karumathur asked them to take one fist of mud from their temples to their villages. They took the mud and consecrated temples for these Gods near Karuppanna Chami of their village. They also consecrated Kazhuvanathan, Karuppayi Ammn , Irulappan , Changili Karuppannachami etc as security Gods.
Before bringing down Karuppannachami from the mountain, Brahmins used to worship in the Ayyanar temple. But afterwards this was entrusted to the Velars. These people had to come through thick forest to reach this temple from their village Vilacheri. It seems , both while coming in the early morning and going back late at night. ,Karuppaannachami used to accompany them as bears for their protection. These Velars gratefully named their children as “Samanar Malai Karadi (The bear of the jain mountain.”
Every year there is a pavadai festival in the Ayyanar temple , in the month of Margazhi conducted by the Brahmin priests even now. On that day they build a tower made of Pongal with 150 measures of rice.. This is later equally divided among all the houses of the village.
In the month of Purattasi there is a 15 day festival during Purattasi pongal. A muthalammman idol is made of mud , worshipped and later mixed in the local tank. Three horses are also kept every year on behalf of the village. Several goats are also sacrificed.
People of this area do not start any important job without getting permission from this temple.