Mangala devi (kannagi ) temple at Vannathi parai
This dilapidated but ancient temple dedicated to Kannagi , the celebrated heroine of possibly the greatest epic of Tamil Nadu viz Silappadikaram is situated on the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It is located about 7 km from Pazhiyankudi in Theni district and 15 km from Thekkadi of Idukki District. From Kumili town of Kerala jeeps can be hired to reach the temple,. (there is considerable difference of opinion of it .People of Kerala believe , the temple dedicated to her is n Kodungaloor and people of Trivandrum believe that it is in Athukal temple in Trivandrum)
Due to an unjust judgment of the Pandya king, KOvalan, the husband of Kannagi is put to death by the Pandya king. Overcome by wrath Kannagi burnt the city of Madurai and walked fourteen days to reach the Chera kingdom. She is received there by the hunters (some say Kuravas) who inhabited that area. It is said , that in front of them Kovalan came to that place and took away Kannagi to heaven. This area at that time was ruled by the great king Cheran Chenguttuvan. When the hunters informed this incident to the king, he consecrated there a temple in honour of Kannagi by bringing stones from the Himalaya mountain and the local people started calling this temple as Mangala Devi temple. Engravings at the temple record that The king Gajabahu (Kayavagu?) of Lanka attended the consecration ceremony of the temple. Even today there is a pond near the temple in which that great lady Goddess took her bath. Initially only the people in the Kambam valley of Tamil Nadu were worshipping at this temple. The Britishers recognizing the importance of the temple even constructed a road to reach the temple in 1897. Earlier records suggest that a festival of about two weeks was being observed here. After the division of linguistic provinces, this temple was located in Kerala state. From then on The temple is opened for pilgrims only on the Chithra pournami day(6 Am-5 PM) . It seems that the original statue of Kannagi was broken and the board the trustees of the temple who live in Tamil Nadu, carry the idol with them on Chithra POurnami day , consecrate it, do pooja, anoint it with Sandal paste, offer curd rice to the idol and bring back the idol once the festival is over. Large number of devotees who want to get married and also devotees who want children visit this temple the temple or those who want to reunite with their husbands.. Every year free food is provided on Chithra Pournami day to about 30 thousand pilgrims who visit this temple.