‘Karaikal Ammaiyar’ drama steals the show

Divine play: A scene from ‘Karaikal Ammaiyar’ drama performed at the ‘Manani Tourism Festival’.

Divine play: A scene from ‘Karaikal Ammaiyar’ drama performed at the ‘Manani Tourism Festival’.  

K. Subramanian

Play enacted as part of four-day ‘Mangani Tourism Festival’

KARAIKAL: People who had gathered at the Murugaram municipal grounds here were enthralled by a drama on the life history of Karaikal Ammaiyar staged by Kalaimamani Karai Subbiah and troupe on Friday evening. The drama was organised as part of the four-day ‘Mangani Tourism Festival’, organised for the first time this year by the Tourism Department of Puducherry.

A large number of tourists and locals who thronged the town to visit the festival witnessed the drama in rapt attention for nearly three hours. The life of Karaikal Ammaiyar, one of the 63 Nayanmars, an ardent devotee of Lord Siva who sang hymns in praise of the deity, was performed on stage by the artists.

The drama enacted the birth of Punithavathy to Danadathan; her intense love for Lord Siva; her wedding to Paramadattan; her ordeals and the ‘darshan’ she got of Lord Siva in Kailash.

Legend has it that one day Paramadattan sent her two mangoes. Punithavathy gave one of the fruits to a hungry Siva yogi and served her husband the other mango. When her husband asked for the second fruit she prayed to Siva who made a mango appear in her palm. When she told this to Paramadattan he challenged her to perform the miracle again. She prayed again and another mango appeared. The awed husband then felt that to live with her as her husband was a sin, so he left her. Punithavathy then prayed to Siva to change her into a demon, so the deity changed her into a skeleton and gave her a darshan in Kailash. She then went to Tiruvalangadu and spent her life singing praises of Siva. From then on she began to be called Karaikal Ammaiyar.

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