Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Koppudai Nayaki Amman Temple, Karaikudi, Sivaganga

Koppudai Nayaki Amman Temple, Karaikudi, Sivaganga
Koppudai Nayaki Amman Temple is located at Karaikudi in Sivagangai District of Tamilnadu. The murti of Amman is made from Panchaloha. She wears a crown like burning fire with four arms. The hands hold trident, rope and skull. One hand is in Abhaya posture. The temple was visited by Adi Shankaracharya and he is believed to have installed Sri Chakra in the temple. Amman blesses devotees with prosperity, knowledge and peace.

The temple of 'Koppudai Nayaki Amman' is situated in the main area of Karaikudi town. The Koppudai Nayaki in this temple graces here as the presiding deity as well as processional deity. This is a special feature about the temple. The guardian deity of the temple is Karuppannna Swami on his vehicle, horse. The Ugra devadhas are also present facing north. The Koppudai Nayaki Amman gracing on chakra is believed to have immense power.
Etymology
This region was once dense with Karai trees.  Efforts were taken to clear the place to create a town for human migration. This is called Kudi-Yetram in Tamil.  As the Karai region was converted for Kudi-Yetram, the place came to be known as Karaikudi. 
Legends
There is also a village deity (Grama Devatha) story for this place. This temple has a subsidiary temple in the Senjai Kadu region nearby known as Kattamman temple.  Koppudai Amman is but the younger sister of Kattamman. Koppudai Amman had no children but Kattamman had seven. When she comes to see the children of her younger sister, she would bring sweet preparations.  But the younger sister would not allow her to see her children as Koppudai Amman was issueless and used to keep her children in hiding.  In a fit of rage, Koppudai Amman cursed the children to become just stones, left the place, reached Karaikudi and became a Goddess, according to the temple story.
The Temple
Koppu in Tamil means branches. The idol of the Goddess is made of Panchaloka – an alloy of five metals.  She is wearing a crown of fire, holding the Trident in the right upper hand, the right lower promising boons to devotees (Abhaya Hastha), the left upper hand the rope (Paasam in Tamil) and the left lower a skull. Acharya Sri Adi Sankara had visited this temple for worshipping Mother Koppudai Nayaki Amman and had installed the Sri Chakra.
As Mother is on a Sri Chakra, Her power is immense. While Ugra Devathas (Gods or Goddesses with furious characteristics) are facing north in temples, She is facing east in this temple promising education, prosperity and courage. The other special feature of the temple is that unlike in other temples, custodian deity Karuppanna Swami appears on a horse vahanam.

The car for the festival is of a strange construction with palm tree frames joined with the stems of a special plant called Thaiyilan Kodi.  The car-rath procession starts in the morning of the eighth day of festival, passes through a canal, and reaches the Kattamman Koil in the evening.  The Rath will be back in the main temple on the 9th day.  
As a canal is on the way of the procession route, a regular sturdy car is not made as it would be difficult to manage the canal when water level would be more sometimes to stand the shocks.  It requires special skill and experience to build a Rath of this type using only palm frames and plant stems.
Among the Shiva temples in the state, only at Chidambaram Nataraja temple, the presiding deity in the sanctum sanctorum and the procession deity are one and the same. Next, it is so in Mother Koppudai Amman temple in Karaikudi.
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
Festivals
10 day Sevvai Perum Thiruvizha is grandly celebrated in the temple beginning from last Tuesday in Chithirai-April-May till the First week of Vaikasi-May-June. Poochoridhal festival is celebrated in Chithirai on the second Tuesday if there will be four Tuesdays in the month or on the third Tuesday if there will be five Tuesdays in the month. Tamil New Year day falling almost on April 14, Purattasi Navarathri in September-October, Aadi Tuesday in July-August, Margazhi Tiruppalli Yezhutchi in November-December, Panguni Darabishekam in March-April are the other festivals observed in the temple. Devotee crowd in the temple would be huge on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Prayers
Devotees pray to Mother Koppudai Nayaki for total cure from various illnesses they suffer from, for wedding and child boon, for profitable farm yields and progress in their trades. Performing abishek to mother and offering vastras are the general commitments by devotees realizing their wish.
Contact
Koppudai Nayaki Amman Temple,
Karaikudi, Sivagangai district,
Tamilnadu - 630001
Phone: 04565-2438861
Mobile: +91 99428 23907
Connectivity
Karaikudi is 51 km far from Sivaganga, 82 km from Madurai and 90 km from Tiruchi. Karaikudi is linked with convenient bus facility with almost all major district capitals. The temple is in the heart of the town and is easily reachable. Buses are available from various parts of Tamilnadu to Karaikudi. Nearest Railway Station is located at Karaikudi and Nearest Airport is located at Trichy and Madurai.

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