Moolavar : Kannaki (Bhagawati Amman)
Urchavar : –
Amman / Thayar : –
Thala Virutcham : –
Theertham : Mangala theertham
Agamam / Pooja : –
Old year : 1000-2000 years old
Historical Name : –
City : Gudalur
District : Theni
State : Tamil Nadu
Chitra Poornima in April-May
Significance: There is a shrine for Vinayaka and for Lord Shiva with the Avudayar (a stage on which the Linga appears) only without Shivalinga. The temple is at a height of 4,380 feet above sea level
The temple is open from 5.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.
Sri Kannaki Temple, Gudalur, Theni district.
Karuppuswami (a guardian deity) in the temple is formless. The well and the Mangala theertha in which Kannaki had a dip are near the temple.
Couples pray for unity from separation and women pray for life with their husbands till their end and protection from widowhood.
Devotees offer abhishek and Vastras (clothing) to the deity.
Greatness Of Temple:
On day worship. The temple is built on the Western Ghats at a height of 4,380 feet above sea level. Goddess Kannaki graces in a standing form. The hunters who worshipped her as their community deity, performed a festival on the full moon day in the month of Chitrai (Chitra poornima in April-May). The same tradition is followed till now.
On the Chitra Poornima festival day, poojas are performed five times. Water (Surabi theertham) is fetched from Suruli falls for the abhishek of the deity. As Kannaki reached this place in a furious mood, people apply sandalwood paste for the dressing (alankara) and offer curd rice as nivedhana. They also offer Her a mixture called Akshaya made of flakes, ghee, milk, sugar candy, banana fruits, dates, grapes, sugar and cardamom.
Keralites worship Kannaki as Goddess Bhagawati.
Kannaki Kottam: Chera king built a great temple (kottam) with strong and tall walls as a castle. Hence the name, Kannaki kottam. There are many epigraphy details in the temple.
The temple is closely related to the epic story Silapathikaram forming part of the five Tamil epics – Silapathikaram, Manimekalai, Jeevaka Chintamani, Valayapathi and Kundalkesi.
Kovalan came to Madurai along with his wife Kannaki to sell her anklet and settle in Madurai with a business. But he was falsely implicated in a theft case that the anklet belonged to the queen Kopperundevi. King Nedunchezhian believed the prosecution and executed Kovalan for the crime. When Kannaki appeared before the king and proved that her husband Kovalan was innocent and killed wrongly, realizing his fault, the King fell dead and his queen followed him.
Yet furious at the injustice done to her, Kannaki burnt Madurai and walked 14 days and nights southward and reached this hill region when Kovalan landed there from the Pushpaka Vimanam (an aircraft belonging to the king of celestial beings) and took Kannaki with him.
Seeing the wonder, the hunter inhabitants of the place, woshipped Kannaki as Goddess Mangaladevi and also narrated the story to the Chera King Senguttuvan when he visited the place. The king, in accordance with the tradition “that the noble honour chaste women” decided to erect a temple for her. He went to Himalayas, chose a stone, bathed it in Holy Ganga, made an idol of her, installed it in this place.