‘Kannarakudi’ is a picturesque village at a distance of five kilometers to the east of Thiruppanandhal, where Lord Arunajadeswarar straightened his head immensely pleased with the devotion of Kungiliya Kalaya Nayanar. This village is surrounded by renowned temples on all sides. The village is to the southwest of Pandanallur where Lord Siva is self-manifested, to the northwest of the famous Kadhiramangalam Durgai Temple, to the north of the very ancient Triloki Temple and to the east of Thiruvelliyankudi, one of the 108 holy Vaishnavite shrines.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, as we enter the village, we are welcomed by the tranquility of coconut trees swaying in breeze and birds twittering and making merry around the village pond. Elderly people in this village say that many saints have attained samadhi on the banks of the pond in the center of the village. This village was famous for Siddha physicians who treated eye ailments and hence the name ‘Kannaarakudi’. They received the patronage of the kings and their descendants are still practicing in the village.
Two or three generations ago there was a large library in this village which preserved rare manuscripts, Sanskrit and Grantham books. They were later handed over to Govindhapuram Madam. Maha Periyava inquired about this matter during one of his visits to the village.
A brief on the surrounding temples at Kannaarakudi:
Visham Theertha Vinayagar Temple
Vinayagar Temple is on the southwestern shore of the pond in the center of the village. Here Lord Ganesha is believed to cure eye ailments, Tuberculosis and also detox those
who are afflicted with poisoning. Natives of this village settled outside are drawn to the deity for his munificence in granting their wishes.
Sri Lakshmi Narayana Perumal Temple
Sri Lakshmi Narayana Perumal is enshrined in the southeastern side of the pond. He graces his devotees with his consort Mahalakshmi, seated on His left thigh. The beautiful idol is made of a single stone.
Akilandeswari samedha Agastheeswarar Temple
The significant feature of this 800 to 1000 years old temple as well as this village is that the temple is situated on the eastern side of the village. The presiding deity in the sanctum sanctorum is very big in size compared to other temples around Kannarakkudi. During anointment ceremony the deity’s dazzling radiance enthralls all devotees. Devi Akilandeswari’s shrine is facing the south. She graces us in a standing posture.
Lord Nandhi in this temple is very powerful. Whenever drought hits the village, walls are built around the Nandhi statue and the enclosed space is filled with water and the deity is immersed neck deep in water. Soon after this ritual, the skies open up with a heavy down pour accompanied by lightning and thunder. This has happened in the recent past also.
Another special feature of this temple is the twin Bairavas. The mutilated statue of Lord Dakshinamurthy up to chest, presents evidence to the huge size of this statue. It must have measured the height of an average man. Elders also believe that mystic saints (siddhas) circumambulate the temple from 12 midnight to 1A.M.
Many miracles have occurred in this temple. From the testimonials passed down through generations we learn that a bronze chariot with accompanying music of percussion instruments landed into the pond near the temple. An eye witness narrates that, a few years ago a devotee coming from outside wanted to offer Thumbai flowers to Agastheeswarar. The devotee helped by some locals searched for the plant and could not find it. When they returned to the temple after a long search they found two plants on either side of the temple tower to their surprise.
Kali Amman kovil is located on the western side of the village and the famous Periyanayagi Amman is in the center of the village. Periyanayagi Amman is famous for her benevolence. Divine energy permeates the air of this holy village and a visit this village charges us with divine energy.
Now let us listen to Kannarakkudi Rajam Mami’s reminiscences. 84 year old Rajam Mami’s life revolves around the temples in the village. Let us listen to her one and only wish!