Chennai: Angala Parameswari Amman temple at Mylapore is preparing to celebrate its 100th annual festival, the Mayana Kollai Vizha, this year. The small temple, located in Mundagakanni Amman Koil Street, is more than 100 years old.
Speaking to News Today, K P Selvaraj, the temple’s trustee, said, “Earlier, these places were small fishing hamlets. Centuries ago, an epidemic broke out and people were affected by it. Angala Parameswari Amman then came in a dream of an old man, asking him to build a temple, so that the deity can help protect the villagers. Soon, the temple was built and people too were rid of the disease.”
It was Selvaraj’s forefathers who started looking after the temple and the tradition continues for the sixth generation running.
Upon entering the temple one can see the calm-faced Angala Parameswari Amman idol.
Lord Vinayagar and Murugan are kept on either side of the deity.
Behind Lord Murugan is Anjaneyar. Chitraguptar, Nagar, Naga Subramanian are also placed on the left side, adjacent to each other.
“This is the only temple in Chennai to have an idol of Chitragupta,” added Selvaraj.
On the opposite side, a photo of Madurai Veeran is kept and a small statue of Muneeswarar and Pavadai Raayan, the Gods of Protection (kaval deivangal), are present.
One of the important annual festivals being conducted here is the Mayana Kollai Vizha. “This festival is held in the Tamil month of Maasi during the New Moon Day in which the processional deity is taken to the Mylapore cemetery. This year, we are celebrating the 100th year of the festival which will take place 6 March,” he informed.
Adding details about the festival, he said, “The Mayana Poojai will start at 7 pm and by 12 midnight, oonjal vizha will take place followed by annadhanam the next day.”
To mark the 100th year, he said plans are afoot to provide annadhanam to everyone, every day, from 19 February onwards till the Mayana Kollai Vizha.
Apart from the annual festival, during every New Moon Day, special pooja takes place in the temple from 10 pm to 12 noon.
“Navarathri is also celebrated in a grand manner during which the Amman will be decorated specially on all days. In the month of Aadi, during the last week, paal kuda vizha takes place and the Amman is taken out in a procession after 7 pm. During Aadi Pooram, valaikappu for Amman takes place. During Maasi Maham, the processional deity will be carried to the sea for theerthavari,” added Selvaraj.
Many childless couples come here and pray to the Goddess for an offspring. Apart from that it is believed the Goddess can solve problems related to body ailments.
One common ritual followed in the temple is after worshipping the Goddess, people keep three lemons on the tip of the thirusoolam at the entrance. “It is believed that by doing this all that they wish for will be granted by the Goddess,” said the trustee.
The temple is open from 6.30 am to 12 noon and from 4.30 pm to 9 pm.