Moongil Anai Kamakshi Amman Temple at Devadanapatti, Theni

This temple is located amongst lush paddy fields near the Manjalar river in batalagundu in TamilNadu, India. The most unique feature of this temple is that the worship is performed only the doors of the sanctum sanatorium. The main doors of the temple are never opened.The Goddess Kamakshi is an aspect of Shakti. She is said to be doing penance in this temple. The Ghee which is kept in this temple never melts and no ants or insects come near it.

There is a puranic legend for this temple. The goddess had vanquished a demon Vajradanta and was doing penance in the hills near the temple. Cowherds used to frequent this place. One day a cowherd saw a child drinking milk directly from a cow. He lost eyesight immediately. This was reported to the Zamindhar there. Goddess came in his dream and instructed that she would come in a basket after a week in the Manjalar river (Haridhra river). That basket should be installed in a temple and pujas performed. In a week, there was heavy rains and a basket floated down the river. It got stuck inside bamboo trees. It was taken by the Zamindar and a temple built. The cowherd got his eyesight restored. The place where the cowherd saw the Goddess is known as Amman Machu and can be visited even today which is 3-4 kms from the temple towards the hills.

Initially the doors of the temple were kept open. Later on, due to a dispute among communities the temple doors were permanently locked. One can view the hut of the temple from a raised platform built nearby. It is said that there a lot of snakes guarding the hut.

There was one lady Kamakkal from whom the Goddess used to converse from behind the doors. One day her son was curious and tried to open the door. He had a vision of the Goddess and passed away soon after. Kamakkal on losing her only son, prayed to the Kamakshi and asked who would perform her last rites when she dies. Ambaal instructed the local Zamindar to do so. Till date, the Srardha ceremony for Kammal is being peformed by the descendants of the Zamindars. 

In the Movie Mahashakti Mariamman, this temple history is described. It is also said that Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra was involved in this temple construction.  The great Srividhya saint Kulandaiananda swamigal who stayed in nearby Batalagundu used to visit this temple often.

Mystical aspects

This temple highlights the worship of ambaal as Nirguna Brahman. But it also has the 3 aspects:The deity is considered as a form of Bala Tripurasundari or Bala Kamakshi. Kamakshi in her woman form is seen in Kanchipuram Kamakshi temple. In any case, the deity here is offered toys meant for children and she is treated as a child.

This temple has a symbol of a lizard as in Kanchipuram Varadharaja temple. Also, conch and chakra are seen on the doors of the temple as in a Vishu temple. 

Vibuthi is a offered as a prasadam in this temple. Main festival is on Mahashivaratri. The villages named devadanam were usually gifts for building Shiva temples by Pandya or Chola kings. There is also a shiva temple nearby.

There are 2 more shrines inside the temple without any names. One has just a photograph of Lord Rama. This temple is full of mysteries and worth visting.

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