ON A RAINY DAY....

We were waiting with anxiety to visit  the most important spot in Kannagi's life. It is the place where she finally stayed for a while and sheded her body and merged with her husband .

Kambham valley:

Kannagi walked with desperate mood all along the Vaigai river  bank. On the way she was identified and respected by the people of many villages. Finally she reached the western ghats valley in Kambham . This is at the border of Kerala and Tamil nadu. The Kanbham valley is very rich in rain and agriculture. One has to visit and enjoy the green and blue high mountains with chains of cascades during the monsoon season.

The bus route from Kambham to Kottayam [ a Kerala city] is well planned and it is a very adventurous trip in bus. We can reach Thekady [ wild life sanctuary] , where river Pariyaar flows towards Kerala. It is always green and drizzling . Clouds just touches  our heads and we can smell tea leaves, clove, cardamom, and other spices.

This is the place where the Chera king came for his summer camp with his family. The local tribes met them and narrated about Kannagi. This is the place where Elango adikal decided to write the  famous literature.

Near Thekady there is a place called '' Vannathi paarai'' about 4000 ft high above the sea level. This is the place where Kannagi finally stayed and died. Why she came here?

The final voyage:

The incidents happened in Madurai made Kannagi as a noble brave woman , but personally she got released  from all the materialistic pleasures. She sought  solitude and just walked all along the river bank and finally reached the boundary of Pandiya and Chera countries.

I personally believe that on her journey,  Kannagi  would have spoken about the reality of human life, spirituality and evoked  the villagers to stand for justice and truth. The wound on her breast would have made her weak and diseased. Finally she has reached this place where she was welcomed by the local tribes . The tribal community is still existing  in these hills . They are known as '' paleyars''. Their family goddess is Kannagi.

When Kannagi stayed with them they must have celebrated her braveness and her last breathing was faced by them . She became the most famous celebrity woman and after her death she was buried under  the Vengai tree under which she must have meditated finally. The paleyar community started worshipping her as their goddess. They just narrated all their experiences with Kannagi to the Chera king.

The queen's respect :

The Chera queen Venmol was very much touched in heart by Kannagi's life and she wanted to follow the worshipping cult in Chera country. She asked her husband to construct a monument with Kannagi's remains .The king also planned to erect a great monument as a temple for Kannagi. But he wanted to make it in a different way.

Chera Senguttuva set his expedition towards Himalayas in North India. On his way he met many kings and had few great wars with many kings and defeated them also. He selected a marble stone from Himalayas and washed it in Ganga river and brought it to Kambham valley. Kannagi's image got carved on it . It resembles like the stone idol in Kodungalloor shrine on which devotees put turmeric powder.

When the Pandiya and Chola kings constructed excellent gigantic temples , Chera Senguttuva king has just erected Kannagi's temple on this mountain peak . So we have planned to see that spot. It is named as '' Kannagi kottam''.

On an AAdi rainy day:

Aadi month is a sacred most Tamil month [ July - August ] . It is the monsoon month in Kerala. This month is dedicated to goddesses worship in Tamil nadu. Why? Hindus believe that all goddesses blesses us during this month. Especially the village goddesses will be worshipped with grand festival to begin the agriculture.

The ash Friday :

Silapathikaaram has recorded that Madurai city was burnt on Aadi month. It was a Friday evening, new moon day. The day was laying on Krishna paksham. By evening 4 P.M,  Kannagi burnt the city. So this month, Fridays, new and full moon days are considered as very sacred and celebrated by Tamils.

Aadi month in Tamil nadu:

During Aadi month , Tamils never do weddings, house warming functions and other important family functions. The newly married couples will be invited to the girl's home and special feast will be given to them with new dresses and sometimes gold and silver. Then the husband has to leave his new wife and live separately for a month. Abstaining from sexual inter course is suggested during this month.

This is to pacify Kannagi's anger and frustration. Why Kannagi has to be respected? Today many women face many problem, but why she lone became very special?

Yes today women are facing so many problems in life. But we need to go back to Kannagi's time when women were very very soft, not bold enough to face the social issues and they were just treated as luxurious dolls .

Kannagi was born in a very rich family. Her father has helped the Chola king financially. Elango adikal says that she has never stepped out of her home for any thing and she had a very comfortable life.

She has been getting commented by modern women who talk much about '' feminism''. But they must focus on her situations , in which she has used her intellect and awareness.

Let me highlight few important incidents to show her mastery of mind:

* When Kovalan left , her in - laws and parents tried to solve her problem. But she has refused to accept their interference in her personal life.

* When her close friend Devanthy asked her to perform certain rituals to get back Kovalan , she has refused to do it.

* She was waiting for the time to change. She was just patience. She very well knew about Kovalan's possessive character . She was ready for his separation from Madhavi also.

* She was not just waiting to live a normal materialistic life with him. She said that she was waiting to perform all the essential duties for the man kind along with him.

* Today we are advised to accept every body as how they are. No one can change others. The change in a man must be self motive and internalized.  So she has accepted him just like that. She had the trust on herself in correcting him . She has just showered the true love as a mother on him. This made her to accept him and he too has changed.

* She was waiting for the change from his side. This alone will make him to exist permanently with her.

* She must have planned within herself about Madhavi and her daughter's lives also. If Kannagi must have established her life with Kovalan in Madurai , sure she must have made him to accept Madhavi also. Because she knew how the child's life will be pathetic without her father.

* The most soft spoken woman stood before the great Pandiya king an argued for her husband. It is not for her husband, it is to save the truth and honesty behind a man.

* The idea and intellect in thinking about the anklets, proving the truth before the king also made her as a goddess.

So Chera king installed her idol and started worshipping her. Later slowly the Pandiya king and Pandiya country has adopted Kannagi worship. Why? Let us see in next article.


Dr.Madeswaran

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