Muppandal esakki amman temple
This temple is also called as Muppandal avvayaramman temple .Muppandal is a small village which is 25 km North of Naagarkoil town of Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu.People believe that the Goddess was originally called “Iyakki” meaning she makes things work and this over time became Esakki,. The temple has a statue of the great ancient poetess of Tamil Nadu and hence it is called also as avvayara amman temple . There are two stories about this temple, one about its recent origin and another about its ancient origin. Another interesting fact about the temple is that the Goddess remains under a cactus plant here.
Story of the recent origin of the temple
In a place called Panakudi of Tirunelveli district a lady devotee was greatly suffering due to unbearable stomach acheThough she consulted many doctors nobody was able to cure it..Then she thought of her clan Goddess and shouted crying “Amma(mother)”.That night in her dream her clan God Esakki Amman came , sat neat her and massaged her stomach and asked her, “ I am now below a cactus plant. Can you not build a thatched shed for me?” and then vanished.The pain of the lady vanished and she ran to the temple of her Clan Goddess and she saw The mother Goddess in the form of a already made stone below a cactus plant .The villagers immediately built a thatched shed for the Goddess there itself.. several people whose prayers were answered slowly improved the temple by matcking it in to a built temple..This temple is in a valley whose three sides are covered by mountains of the western ghats ands one side is a plane.Possibly this lead thre place to be named as Muppandal( Three temporary sheds),There is also a story that The chera, Chozha and Pandya kings of ancient Tamil Nadu , met at this temple to solve their problems.When they came for meeting they erected three different temporary sheds and lived there. This again could have lead to the name Muppandal(Three temporary sheds).”
Ancient story of the origin of the temple.
There was an ancient temple of Lord Shiva in a nearby village called Pazhavur, He developed relation with a Prostitute of the village. She being a great devotee of Lord Shiva , protected her virtue by being faithful to only the priest. When the priest lost all his wealth, the other prostitutes were trying to get her separated from the priest..The priest who was interested in getting back all his wealth murdered the Lady Prostitute m, near a cactus bush,.The ladies elder brother who saw her dead also died there itself and the priest who tried to escape was bitten by a snake and he also died. That girl and her briother to take revenge were born as a Yaksha boy and girl called Neelan and Neeli and lived in Chozha kingdom. When the people found out that they were not human beings, they ran away from their residence and reached a Cactus bush. The brother turned in to a neem tree and the girl lived under that neem tree., The priest was born as a merchant and when he came once near the cactus bush, , she created a baby , followed him and told people that he had cheated her and when he came back with her , she killed him near the cactus bush..When with great anger she was going away from the great poetess Avvayar who was an old lady, told her that since her mission is over, she can stay near the cactus bush itself. When Lord Shiva , the friend of Yakshas took pity on Neeli and requested Goddess Parvathi to help her , the Goddess gave her the great power called Veera Shakthi.From that time Neeli , then known as Easkki started the protecting Goddess of the villages nearby. In that Cactus shrub even today there is a neem tree and a Temple of a Goddess.People call that place as Adhi Moola sthanam(The ancient sanctum) ,There the goddess statue made of baked clay is still there.Even today people who want to be blessed with children keep cradles at The mantapam at the Aadhi moola Sthanam.
IN the other temple built as per the words of Avvayar , the Goddess Esakki has a very peaceful look.On her right side there is the Goddess Kalyani called Piranathi Amman., The temple is guarded near the gate by the two brothers of Esakki Amman called Sudalai Madan and Pattavarayan , There are separate statues of Durga, Vaishnavi and Avvayar in the outside corridor of the temple,.Outside the temple there is a 33 feet tall Statue of Esakki Amman in the I open ground.
In the temple a protective sacred thread is tied so that evil spirits and black magic does not give any trouble to the devotees of the temple. They offer White Pongal and Payasam to the Goddess and distribute it to people as Prasada.There is a huge crowds of devotees at the temple on full moon days. People believe that if they worship on that day, the unmarried girls would get married soon. After the worship on those days, the priests tie an yellow thread on the hands of the girls..It is also a practice of the farmers to offer a part of their harvested to the temple. The Goddess is also offered a sweet made of jiggery and Gingelly ,
All the vehicles passing in front of the temple stop their for a minute and drivers pray for their safety.The last Tuesday of the Adi month is celebrated in a grand way in the temple.On the second Tuesday, the Amman is anointed with turmeric water..There is also a ritual of walking on fire by the males who do penance for 41 days at the temple on that day, . There is another prayer when the devotees offer scented flowers and cover up the Amman statue. But all festivals and worship start only at the Adhi Moola Sthanam
The temple is open daily from 6.30 Am till 8 PM. Tuesdays , Fridays and Sundays are considered as special days to worship the Goddess.