Kannathal (kannudaya Nayagi) of Nattarasan Kottai
Nattarasan Kottai is a small town in the Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu , which is 51 km from the city of Madhurai. There is a famous temple of Kannudaya Nayagi (also called as Kannathal) , 2 km out of Nattarasan Kottai.
Once upon a time the butter- milk merchants of Nattarasan Kottai were not able to go beyond Pirandikulam which is a near by village in the forest , Some power upturned their butter milk pots,
The merchants wanted to approach the king to solve this problem. That day Goddess Kannathal appeared in their dream and told them that she was lying buried beneath the mud in Pirandikulam, Under the orders of the king while the people were digging in the village for finding out the idol, the spade of a devotee hit his own eye and it started bleeding. When in spite of it he continued, he could recover the statue and as soon as it was taken out , his eye injury was cured. Because of that they started calling her “Kannathal(mother of the eye)”, The statue has eight hands holds a small drum (udukkai ) and trident in her hand and her left leg is seen stamping an Asura called Mahisha. When the people(Cowherds) were trying to transport the statue, they were not able to take it beyond a point and there it was consecrated facing east in a village called Nayanmarkulam. The Nattu Kottai Chettiars(Nagarathars) were directed by the Goddess to offer sacrifice and Kaliyattam. .They assembled , made them selves in to two groups called Kallar and Kanakku Pillais and sacrificed 1499sheep.No blood came out of any of them. But when the 1500 th sheep was sacrificed , blood came out and the statue started moving and it halted in a place called Virakandan Urani in the south of the Shiva temple and the statue faced north. Initially the Pujas were performed by people belonging to the Bangle sellers (Valai chetty community) and then the Goddess ordered through voice from the sky that she should be worshipped by people belonging to the Uvachiar community (The poet Kambar belonged to this communityand his tomb is situated near this temple ),Till today only people belonging to this community are priests in this temple.
A kaliyattam festival is celebrated in this temple once in every twelve years, which coincides in the year when Mahamaham is celebrated in Kumbakonam.This festival is celebrated for 22 days. There is an annual festival lasting for 10 days in the month of Vaikasi(May-june). On 7th day the idol is taken out in a golden chariot and on 8th day the deity is taken out in a silver chariot wearing a Nagarathar ornament called “Kuzhutu Uru” . On 9th day she is taken out in a wooden chariot. On the 10th day a rabbit is sacrificed to please her. On the pongal day , pongal is offered to her by the Nagarathar community.
The temple is open from 7.30 Am to 12,30 PM and from 4 PM to 8.30 Pm. . The goddess is decorated in a golden dress during the first Friday of every month and this dress is contributed by Nagarathar community in Singapore.
People with eye problems, people wanting a child , people who are not able to get married worship at this temple and get their wishes fulfilled. After fulfilling their wishes, the devotees arrange for Abhishekam of the Amman and offer her new cloths .Maa vilakku is also offered to the Goddess ,