The legendary redeeming of the curse of ‘Mandooga' Maharishi takes place
People thronged the Vaigai for the second consecutive day on Monday to witness the legendary redeeming of the curse of ‘Mandooga' Maharishi by Lord Kallazhagar as the second main event of the ongoing Chithirai Brahmotsavam of Sundararaja Perumal Temple. But the second day's gathering was not as big as that of Sunday.
After an overnight stay at Veeraraghava Perumal Temple at Vandiyur, Lord Kallazhagar reached the ship-shaped Thenur Mandapam on the Vaigai by mid day. The deity, till a few decades back, used to be carried into the mandapam constructed by King Tirumalai Nayak for the people of Thenur.
Today, even ordinary people cannot climb up the aesthetic structure as it is deemed unsafe, thanks to years of neglect.
According to a legend, Maharishi Suthapas incurred the wrath of Maharishi Durvasar while bathing in the perennial ‘Noopura Gangai' stream atop Alagarkoil. Durvasar cursed him to be a frog but later said that Lord Sundararaja Perumal would redeem him of the curse. Suthapas, in the form of a frog (mandoogam), performed penance on the banks of the Vaigai at Thenur village near Madurai. The presiding deity of the temple, popularly known as Lord Kallazhagar, visited Thenur from Alagarkoil to relieve Suthapas from the curse. Even the ceremonial entry of the deity into the Vaigai took place at Thenur till King Tirumalai Nayak shifted the festival to Madurai to telescope it with the Chithirai festival of Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple. The present Chithirai festival was once the Masi festival of the temple. Every year, the deities are taken around the Masi Streets in procession during the Chithirai festival.
After shifting the festival from Thenur, King Tirumalai Nayak constructed the ‘mandapam' on the banks of the Vaigai for performing the ritual. A pit is dug on the riverbed in which a frog is kept in waiting for the deity's arrival. To signify the redemption, a stork, brought from Thenur, is made to fly away. The whole event is performed by people of Thenur, who reach the mandapam early in the day from their village. After performing the ritual, Lord Kallazhagar proceeds on his onward journey along the Vaigai bank atop Garuda Vahanam. The Lord appears in 10 avatars (Dasavataram), signifying the evolution of species, at the Ramarayar Mandapam during the night.