Ammainathar, Cheran Mahadevi, Tirunelveli
Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Ammainathar||Ambal / Thayar:||Aavudaiamman, Gomathiamman|
|Timing:||7 to 9 & 5 to 7||Parikaram:|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Cheranmahadevi||District:||Tirunelveli|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Tirunelveli (18.6 km)||Nagercoil (74.4 km)|
|Thoothukudi (80.3 km)||Kanyakumari (84.3 km)|
Cheran Madevi is located 24km from Tirunelveli.
Sthala puranam and temple information
Two sisters, who used to trade in paddy and rice, were staunch Siva devotees but were very poor. The Siva lingam which was consecrated by Romaharshana was under a banyan tree without any shelter. The sisters were unhappy that the lingam had no shelter, and wanted to build one, and so they started saving a little money from their already meagre earnings, to build a temple. Lord Siva was pleased with their devotion and wanted to test them. He visited them one evening as a starving brahmin and was offered food by the sisters. When the brahmin was about to eat, the lights went out and the rishi said that he cannot have food in a house which is dark. The sisters could not locate a lamp and ultimately used a coconut with ghee and wick and lit it as a lamp. The brahmin (the Lord) then asked them for their wish, and they requested that the brahmin contribute to the building of the temple. Pleased with their selflessness, he granted them their wish. And after that day, all sorts of treasures, gold and wealth started accruing to the sisters. The sisters used the funds so received, to build the temple. As a remembrance of this incident, devotees even today use the coconut lamp as an offering to the lord, and offerings to the Lord and temple are of rice. There is also a sculpture of the sisters preparing rice from the paddy, in one of the pillars at this temple.
The temple was subsequently renovated in the time of Kulothunga Chola I.
Though not built by Kochchenga Cholan, the temple is built in the style of Maadakoil.
The traders in rice and paddy pray here with the offering of rice to enable their business to grow.
Goddess Avudaiambal/ Gomathiamman blesses the devotees, in a separate shrine sitting to the right of the moolavar, which is unusual.
This temple is one of the three Mel Kailasa temples.
Those born in the karkataka / kataka rasi undertake special poojas here.
The river Tambraparani is believed to very special at Cheran Madevi, as being the confluence of the rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. This is one of the legends as to the etymology of Cheran Madevi (Cher+Ma+Devi = Confluence / joining + Great Goddesses ie the rivers). Another legend is that a Cheran king gifted this town to his wife / daughter, and hence the place is called Cheran Madevi.
There is a rock on the banks of the river Tambraparani, known locally as the rina vimochana paarai. It is believed that if one takes a bath in this river, near this rock, for 41 consecutive days, they are rid of debts and diseases.
Some believe that this is the place where Hanuman set one foot, when carrying the Sanjivani herb from the Himalayas to Lanka, to revive Lakshmanan.
Other information for your visit
It is considered a blessing to cover all nine Nava Kailasam temples in a single day, in the correct order (ie, starting with Papanasam and ending with Serntha Poomangalam).
Budget and mid-range accommodation is available at Tirunelveli. If coming down on the East Coast Road, then some limited options may also be available at Toothukudi (Tuticorin) and Tiruchendur.
If you want to follow the order of temples by legend, then it is preferable to stay somewhere near Papanasam or Ambasamudram (which have some budget and small hotels / resorts). In that case, the order of visits should be: Papanasam, Cheran Madevi, Kodaganallur, Kunnathur, Murappanadu, Srivaikuntam (Tiruvaikuntam), Thentirupperai, Rajapathy, Serndha Poomangalam.