Vattapalai Kannaki Amman Kovil is an ancient Hindu temple situated in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. It is located in the small town of Vattapalai, which is about 20 km from Mannar and around 300 km from the capital city, Colombo. The temple is dedicated to the goddess Kannaki, who is widely worshipped by the Tamil community.
History of Vattapalai Kannaki Amman Kovil
The history of Vattapalai Kanaaki Amman Kovil dates back to the 16th century. According to the legend, Kannaki was a Tamil woman who lived in the ancient city of Madurai in Southern India. She was married to Kovalan, a wealthy merchant. One day, Kovalan was falsely accused of stealing a queen’s anklet and was executed by the king’s soldiers. Kannaki, who was devastated by the loss of her husband, sought justice and went on to burn down the entire city of Madurai in a fit of rage. Kannaki then travelled to Sri Lanka and settled in Vattapalai, where she was worshipped as a goddess.
The temple was built in the 16th century by the Pandyan kings of Madurai, who were ardent devotees of Kannaki. It is believed that they built the temple in Vattapalai in order to commemorate the goddess and to spread her worship to the island of Sri Lanka.
Why People Visit Vattapalai Kannaki Amman Kovil
When you arrive at Nandikal Lagoon, you will be greeted by a cool breeze mixed with a religious aroma that wafts through the tall Havana grasses surrounding the lagoon. Many miracles had occurred in this location, and it had become a sacred place of worship for Hindu and Tamil people alike. It can be seen that a large number of people come to worship here to express their grievances to God, pray for a better life, and pray for babies who have not yet been blessed with children.
Significance of Vattapalai Kannaki Amman Kovil
This sacred site, known as Vattapalai Kannaki Amman Kovil, is dedicated to the goddess Kannaki. It is located in Vattapalai, Tamil Nadu. This Kovil had been constructed during the same period of time as a Kovil had been constructed in Tamilnadu, which was dedicated to the same Goddess. Vattapalai Kannaki Amman Kovil is regarded as one of the most important temples in Tamil Nadu, as well as in India. When it comes to the Sinhala community, Goddess Kannaki is referred to as Goddess Paththini.
The Nandikadal Lagoon, with its Havana grasses, wide stretch of paddy fields, a small marketplace, and beautiful sunset all contribute to the enchanting beauty of this location.
This temple is located in the Mullaithivu district of Tamil Nadu and is a part of the Maritimepattu DS Division. Buses are a convenient mode of transportation to the destination. Mullaithive bus station is located nearby. Once they arrive at Tanniyuttu junction, they must transfer to the B260 route bus to reach VattapalaiKovil, which departs from the bus station on the A34 route.
Vattapalai Kannaki Amman Kovil is regarded as one of the most important temples in Tamil Nadu, as well as in India. The Nandikadal Lagoon, with its Havana grasses, paddy fields, small market place, and beautiful sunset all contribute to the enchanting beauty of this location.
Love Story about Goddess Kannaki
Goddess Kannaki has a long and illustrious history that is worth exploring. Kovelen was a wealthy merchant from India who fell in love with and married Kannaki. During one of his trade tours, he met Madhavi, who was working as a dancer at the time, and they began an affair. After a few months, he found himself with a penny less in his pocket, and he realized that he had abandoned Kannaki. Afterward, he returned to Kannaki and made the decision to sell her anklet. At the same time, the Queen’s anklet has been stolen by an unknown perpetrator. As a result of this error, Kovalan was apprehended and killed by King Pandian without a trial. Consequently, she exacted revenge on King Pandyan, who ruled the Madurai state and was responsible for the unjust killing of her husband Kovilan. As a result, she cursed the state of Madurai and completely destroyed it.
Festival Time at Vattapalai Kannaki Amman Kovil
The month of May is the most significant for this temple. This is due to the fact that the main “Pooja” will take place this month. ‘VaikasiVisakamPongalTiruvilla’ was the title of the piece. Approximately one million devotees have taken part in this ceremony on an annual basis. It was organized by the Foundation of Contributors of Kovil, which provided all of the necessary facilities to devotees, including food, sanitary facilities, and other necessities.
The “Poojas,” or religious ceremonies, in which people pray to the Goddess are typically held in the mornings and at night. Helicopters drop Pooja flowers from the sky in the early hours of the morning each day. The main Pooja ceremony takes place at night. When it comes to the main Pooja, the head priest leads the congregation in religious hymns and invites Goddess Kannaki to the Kovil (temple). Following the Pooja, a special meal dedicated to the goddess, known as “Prasadam,” is distributed among the devotees.
“Pandaram” drummers, who play specially designed drums, and “Kavadi” dancers from all over the country can be seen performing for Goddess in this location. It is a unique custom that can only be experienced in this location.
On the final day of the ceremony, the “Diya Kapeema” ritual can be experienced in the final morning of the ceremony as a final ritual. They have used that water to light the lamps, demonstrating that miracles have indeed occurred in this sacred place in their efforts. The miracle is witnessed by a special “Kohomba Tree” and a well that continues to overflow throughout the year.
Goddess Kannaki has a long and illustrious history that is worth exploring. She exacted revenge on King Pandyan, who ruled the Madurai state, for unjustly killing her husband Kovilan. As a result, she cursed the state of Madurai and completely destroyed it. It was organized by the Foundation of Contributors of kovil, which provided all the necessary facilities for devotees. The “Diya Kapeema” ritual can be experienced on the final day of the ceremony.
Where to Stay
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In conclusion, Vattapalai Kannaki Amman Kovil stands as a testament to the rich cultural and religious heritage of Sri Lanka, particularly among the Tamil community. Its ancient origins, dating back to the 16th century, and the powerful legend of Kannaki make it a significant pilgrimage site and a place of deep reverence for devotees.
The temple’s architectural splendor, crafted in the distinctive Dravidian style, captivates visitors with its intricate stone carvings and sculptures. The grandeur of the 18-foot tall statue of Lord Hanuman, hewn from a single granite stone, leaves an indelible impression on all who behold it. The sacred well, believed to possess healing properties, adds to the spiritual ambiance of the temple and provides an opportunity for devotees to seek purification and blessings.
Throughout the year, the temple hosts a variety of vibrant festivals and celebrations. The annual chariot festival, where the idol of the goddess is paraded through the streets in a magnificently adorned chariot, creates an atmosphere of joy and devotion. The Thai Pongal festival, dedicated to the Sun God, further enhances the cultural significance of the temple, as it brings together families and communities to celebrate the harvest and offer gratitude.
For travelers and enthusiasts of Hinduism and temple architecture, a visit to Vattapalai Kannaki Amman Kovil is an enriching experience. It provides an opportunity to delve into the spiritual fabric of Sri Lanka, witness the timeless traditions and rituals of the Tamil community, and appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship of ancient Dravidian architecture.
Beyond its religious and cultural importance, the temple also holds historical significance, as it serves as a bridge connecting the histories and traditions of Tamil Nadu in India and the Tamil population in Sri Lanka. It stands as a symbol of the enduring faith, resilience, and devotion of the Tamil people, transcending geographical boundaries.
In essence, Vattapalai Kannaki Amman Kovil is more than just a place of worship; it is a living testament to the rich tapestry of Sri Lanka’s cultural and religious diversity. It invites visitors to explore its sacred halls, soak in its spiritual aura, and appreciate the artistry and devotion that have made it a cherished landmark in the region.