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Festivals in Karaikal

 

Mango Festival or Mangani Thiruvizha

Karaikal Ammaiyar, is the only woman among the 63 Nayanmars, an ardent devotee, blessed by Lord Siva. There is a small but beautiful temple in the heart of the town for KARAIKAL AMMAIYAR. The temple was constructed in 1929.

Karaikkal Ammaiyar, a woman named Punithavathi, belonging to the vaishya (merchant) community, lived in Karaikal sometime in the sixth century A.D. Punithavathi was married with Chettiyar. One day he sent two mangoes to the house. Before his arrival for lunch Lord Shiva take Pichandavar (Beggar) avatar and requesting for food to Punithavathy. She provided the food with one mango (Amuthu Padaiyal). After his departure Chettiyar came. After refreshing he sat for lunch. The lunch was provided with remaining one mango. After eating one mango he asked for another. Not liking to say 'no' to her husband, she prayed the God and one mango was came and she served. Eating this mango Chettiyar doubted on the taste and asked his wife. She told the truth. Chettiyar was not hoped and asked for another mango to prove her. Punithavathy once again requested the God and astonishment to the Chettiyar another mango came. When it was handed over to the Chettiyar by his wife the mango went to the sky. On seeing these he decided his wife is a noble lady and he leaved to next country (Pandiya Nadu). There he married another girl and they had a girl child who was named after Punithavathy. On hearing his husband is at the next country, Punithavathy went with her relatives. When he saw Punithavathy, Chettiyar with his II family lay down and said She is a Goddess. On hearing this, Punithavathy shocked and requested the God to give her the evil figure and got. She went to Kailayam by her hands. The Goddess Parvathi asked Shiva who she is.He replied My Mother and He instructed Ammaiyar to go to Aalangadu. Ammaiyar went there and provided Tamil devotionals. At last she reached the Sivalogam. There she is the only person who is sitting.

Remembering the Amuthu Padaiyal the people are throwing the mangoes in the route of the god Pichandavar (An avatar of Lord Shiva) and hence the festival is called "Mangani Festival". One of the famous festival celebrated at Karaikal, Puducherry State, South India is Mangani Festival. It will amuse the person participating first time in the festival as the mangoes are thrown in the streets.

The `Mangani' festival is celebrated on the Pournami day (full moon day) in the Tamil month of `Aani' (June-July) at the Karaikal Ammaiyar temple in Karaikal. Thousands of devotees thronged the Kailasanathar temple in Karaikal region of Puducherry and Tamilnadu on the occasion of Mangani festival.

The main `Tirukalyanam' of Karaikal Ammaiyar will be performed and the `Bikshadanar' (Lord Siva) procession will be held when the devotees throw mangoes during the procession, which is considered as `prasadam.'

To commemorate this incident, curd rice and mangoes will be distributed to devotees near the temple during the main day of the Mangani festival every year.

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