What is the history of Melmalayanur Temple?
If we want to know how powerful and magical this temple is, we have to know Melmalayanur temple history first. The story behind this temple is a unique and peculiar one. It is believed that Goddess Saraswati cursed Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati for beheading Lord Brahma. Now, the only reason that Lord Shiva cut Lord Brahma's head was that Goddess Parvati was extremely confused about his five heads and requested her husband to cut off one of the heads of Brahma. This cut head of Lord Brahma affixed itself to Shiva's hands, and Goddess Saraswati cursed him for being hungry, sleepless and homeless.
As a result, Lord Shiva had to roam in graveyards, and whatever food he would take in his hands would be consumed by the severed head of Lord Brahma, leaving him thirsty and hungry. On the other hand Goddess Parvati was cursed to lose her beauty, and all her assistants would become demons. The only way she could avoid this was by taking birth as a serpent, and taking a dip in the water tank of the temple of Melmalayanur. Thus, Parvati Mata took a bath in the water tank and successfully saved herself and her assistants from the curse. Pleased with the outcome and the potent qualities of the temple, Goddess Parvati decided to bless the temple, its people, and her devotees who would visit this holy temple of Melmalayanur. Since then we know the place as Melamalayanur Angala Parameswari temple.
What is the significance of this Angala Parameswari Temple?
- Known as the creator and maker of everything cosmic, Goddess Angala Parameswari is worshipped as the main energy of power and divinity. She is an integral part of the holy trinity and executes necessary actions like creation, maintenance and destruction. As a fusion of both male and female personalities, Goddess Angala Parameswari has a male counterpart on her left and a feminine counterpart on her right. It is believed that the combination of these powers and energies creates the universe.
- Let us discuss Malaiyanur temple’s architecture. The temple of Goddess Angala Parameswari is designed in the classic Dravidian style and features a granite stone compound wall.
- All the shrines are surrounded by this wall, and the Dwajasthambam or the flag post, is opposite the shrine's entrance. Inside the temple, the Goddess graces her devotees in a seated position.
- It is believed that if anyone offers their prayers to the Goddess with a pious and sincere heart, Goddess Angala will bless them with eternal prosperity and happiness. Melmalayanur Angala Parameswari is the energy that created the Holy Trinity's deities, Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Therefore, worshipping the Goddess can be highly beneficial for those looking for better opportunities in marriage, progeny, and understanding in their relationships.
- Women looking for prosperity and stability in their married lives can pray to the Goddess to get blessed with the same. Sincere prayers and offerings to the Goddess can benefit the devotees in miraculous ways. It is also believed that whoever worships Goddess Angala Parmeswari regularly can reap maximum benefits in their life.
What are the festivals celebrated in the Sri Angala Parameswari Temple of Melmalayanur?
- Although many festivals are observed in the temple, the most important festival is the Simimasana Kollai festival. This ritual is observed between February and March, and during this festival, devotees cook large quantities of food made of grains and place it on the burning ground. In some of the areas this festival is known as ‘Mayana Kollai’ festival.
- Many devotees are seen to visit the temple during the days of Amavasai or the New Moon day. It is considered an auspicious day to seek the blessings of the Goddess. First let us tell you about what an ‘Amavasai’ is. In Hindu mythology, some people refer to the new moon as ‘Amavasya’ or ‘Amavasai’. The last date of Krishna Paksha is called Amavasya. If some of the legends are to be believed Pitra dev is the lord of ‘Amavasai’ or ‘Amavasya’.
- Other essential festivals during Chithrai or April are the Tamil New Year and the Laksha Deepam. On the day of Laksha Deepam, small lamps decorate the entirety of the temple. The name Lakshadeepam is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Laksha’ which means one hundred thousands and ‘deepam’ means light or lamp. As the name suggests, this festival involves lighting one hundred thousands(one lakh) lamps around the temple.
- Masi Car festival is celebrated with many prominences where the deity mounts the ambulated temple chariot.
- Besides these, other significant festivals are Deepavali, Thai Pongal, Navratri and Shiva Ratri.