Ezhai Katha Amman, Vellalur, Madurai
Ezhai Katha Amman Temple is a Hindu Temple located at Vellalur in Madurai District of Tamil Nadu. This temple is located within the Panchayat limit of Kurichipatti. People call this place as Vellalur Nadu (Nadu means - own country). Ezhai Katha Amman Temple and Valladikaarar temple are two important temples for these people. Lord Valladikaarar and Goddess Ezhai Katha Amman are brother and sister.
The Chozhas used to maintain armies in several places in their country to protect their kingdom. One such group was called Ambalakarar and who were stationed in Vellalur Nadu near Sivagangai and their job was to protect the kingdom from the sea robbers. The chiefs of these castes were eleven in number and they were called “Karaikararkal”, The Ezhai Katha Amman (Goddess who protected the poor) belonged to this caste.
In Vellalur about 900 years ago lived two sisters. The elder one though married did not have any children. The younger sister had about 8 children. The elder sister loved these children, and fondled all of them. The younger sister became jealous because of that. Other people told her that all her children will desert her and go with her elder sister. One day, when the elder sister came in search of the kids, the younger sister locked all her kids in the Chicken cage and told her sister that they were not there.
The elder sister who happened to see the children in the cage, then said, “If they are not there, then they would not be there.” After she went back the younger sister found that all her kids had turned in to stone. When her neighbours saw this, they advised the younger sister to go and approach the elder sister. The kind hearted elder sister then brought back to life all the kids. This elder sister was well known for helping poor people. After her death, her clan members started worshipping her as Goddess.
Temple Opening Time
On Tuesdays and Fridays temple would be open from 9 am to 2 Pm.
The festival for Ezhai Katha Amman take place in the month of September and for Valladikaarar swami take place in the month of March. During the festival time of both the temples people fast for 15 days without eating non-veg foods and flour involved food. They will not break or cut the coconut, lemon, trees and construction works won't take place. (No mixing of cement or mud) and even the hotels won't be running, they celebrate this festival with joy more than any other festivals like Diwali or Pongal.
Seven young girls of about 10 years of age around more than 18 villages which comes under Vellalur Nadu are selected as Daughters. They respect girls as Goddess as well as they will do holy service for entire 15 days. These seven girls are selected by Ezhai Katha Amman Temple priest (Poosaari - Melavalasai).
On the last day of the festival, women from the village and the seven girls are asked to carry pots of liquor as an offering to the goddess. While doing so, women too are not allowed to wear blouses. During the festival, for 15 days, these children are treated as goddess. It would indeed be a matter of pride if their child is selected as one among the seven. Every day, they have to perform activities that relate to the Amman and they will not be allowed to attend school for 15 days.
People believe that praying this Goddess for anything connected with children would be answered positively. People believe that prayers done on Tuesdays and Fridays are more effective.
The Temple is located at about 100 meters from Vellalur Bus Stop, 10 Kms from Melur, 10 Kms from Melur Corporation Bus Stand, 38 Kms from Madurai, 40 Kms from Madurai Railway Junction and 48 Kms from Madurai International Airport.