Milagu Pillaiyar Temple, Cheranmahadevi, Thirunelveli
Milagu Pillaiyar Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Vinayaka located at Cheranmahadevi in Thirunelveli District of Tamilnadu.
A king ruling Kerala then was suffering from a disease that could not be cured by any medicine. He heard a voice in his dream asking him to make a doll equal to his height, fill it with emerald pearls of pulse size, place his disease also into it and donate the idol to a Brahmin. Following the divine advice, the king made the doll according to the specifications of the voice but no Brahmin was ready to accept it. A Brahmin youth in Karnataka heard of the news came to the king and accepted his donation.
Sooner the doll changed hands, it became alive and demanded a part of the benefits of the Gayatri Mahamantra the youth was chanting all his life so that the disease in the doll would not touch him. The Brahmin obliged but felt sorry later that he had done wrong due to his desire for the wealth. As repentance, he wanted to spend the wealth for a public cause. But he was not able to decide a particular project and decided to meet Sage Agastya for his advice.
Before his departure to meet Sage Agastya, he left the pearl filled doll with a Brahmin in Ambasamudram whom trusted and told him that he would take it back on his return. Sage Agastya, to test the determination of the youth created many obstacles on the way, but the youth endured all the sufferings and reached the sage. The sage promised him his wish and asked him what he wanted. The Karnataka youth expressed his desire.
The sage told the boy that of all the good deeds, creating water facility was the best. He told him to follow a cow he would meet on his return and asked to follow it holding its tail and note down the route carefully and dig a canal. He advised the youth to build dams in places where it leaves its dung and make storing places where it urinated. Also create lakes where it’s rested down. The cow would disappear at a place where he could complete his project.
The youth came to the Brahmin to get the doll back. There were only pulse pieces but not the pearls. He went to the king and explained his project and how he was cheated. The king came to the Brahmin and demanded him to swear in front of Lord Shiva in a temple. The Brahmin was burnt there as he swore falsely. The youth got back the priceless pearls. Cheranmahadevi is the place where the Karnataka youth found the cow. He did everything as instructed by sage Agasthya.
The cow disappeared at a place called Prancheri where he created a big lake. It is as vast as a sea even now. As noble souls never seek publicity for they did, till today nobody knows the name of the Karnataka youth. Hence, the canal is named after his mother tongue Kannada. He was annoyed what to do if monsoon failed and it so happened for three years.
The youth installed a Vinayaka, ground pepper on his body, performed abishek and made it fall in the canal. Dark clouds gathered and poured heavy rains. The farmers of Cheranmahadevi are following this worship even today.
The Karnataka Youth built this canal in Cheranmahadevi. The canal is named ‘Kannadian Kalvai’. He not only built the canal but also a Vinayaka temple with a totally different worship pattern in Cheranmahadevi in Thirunelveli district. His Holiness Sri Kanchi Maha Swamigal, in his “Voice of Divinity” (Deivathin Kural) has mentioned about this canal quoting from a book ‘Kavyamala’ published by Nirnayasagar Printers in Mumbai based on some old and other copper epigraphy collected by them. There is also a mention about Milagu Pillaiyar worship in the Government Gazette published in the year 1916 in page 367.
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 8.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m.
The farmers during deficiency of rain worship their Rain Deity, the statue of god Pillaiyar is anointed by coating his body with pepper paste or powder and then cleaned by pouring water. The holy pepper water flowing from his body is made to flow towards the Canal - Kalvai - close to the temple. Thus the people believe that rain will come by doing this practice.
Vinayaka Chaturthi is grandly celebrated in the temple.
When monsoon fails, the Farmers’ Association of Cheranmahadevi pray to this Vinayaka by grinding pepper on him, perform abishek in a way that the abishekam water falls in the canal so that monsoon would set in. Devotees perform special abishekam to Lord Milagu Pillaiyar and contribute what they could and feed the poor – annadhanam.
Milagu Pillaiyar Temple is located at Cheranmahadevi in Thirunelveli District of Tamilnadu. The temple is on the banks of the Kannadian canal near the bus stand. Cheranmahadevi is located at about 50 Kms from Tenkasi, 17 Kms from Ambasamudram, 6 Kms from Veeravanallur, 30 Kms from Thirunelveli, 190 Kms from Madurai & 155 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. Buses are available every 15 minutes from Thirunelveli to Cheranmahadevi. The temple is 30 kms from Nambi Divyadesam at Thiru Kurungudi and 20 kms from Kulasekara Azhwar Rajagopalaswamy temple in Mannarkoil (Ambai). Nearest Railway Station is located at Cheranmahadevi and Nearest Airport is located at Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram.