Before writing about the Mahalakshmi temple in Karur District, Tamil Nadu we should talk a little about our rich culture and its diversity. A wonderful amalgamation of history, culture, and tradition has happened in this great India of ours. Although Indians are very advanced in thinking, they are not abandoning the ancient way of thinking, but are moving forward with it towards the twenty-first century. A temple in South India has some such customs spread across India. The present article is arranged with some facts.
A festival is celebrated on the 18th day of the Tamil month of Adi at the Mahalakshmi Temple in the Karur district of Tamil Nadu. Strange festival! Hundreds of people attend the temple on this day to see. Curious tourists come not only from India but also from abroad to witness this festival. Devotees line up on the temple premises and sit on the ground hoping to receive the silver from the temple priest.
After the puja, the temple priests bring lots of coconuts to the seated devotees. They then hit the fans one by one on the head and tried to crack the coconuts. Devotees believe that if they do this, bad effects will be removed from their lives and immense happiness and peace will come.
There is a story about the breaking of coconuts on the heads of devotees at the Mahalakshmi Temple on the occasion of this original festival. Which was told by the priest of the temple. When the British were ruling India, the British administration once decided to demolish this temple and lay a railway line through this place. At that time, the local residents strongly objected to this and staged a protest. Seeing the devotion and trust of the local people towards this temple, the British rulers initially backed down. Later they changed their strategy.
The devotion of local people to testing, they call a strange competition. The English representatives of the British ruler thought that the local people would shy away from participating in this competition. That is why they call this strange competition. The British excavated 187 coconut-shaped stones from the temple site to test the devotion of the villagers. Then they ask the local villagers to break these stones by placing them on their heads. The English said, “If you can break this stone by placing it on your head, then this temple will not be broken. I think your goddess is very awake.’ According to many, that stone breaking of those days has changed to coconut cracking today.
On that day the Indians passed the test of devotion taken by the British. They broke the hard stones like coconuts given to them with a smile on their heads. The devotion and respect of the South Indian people towards God were so unwavering that in spite of their hardships, they did not shed so many tears while breaking stones on their heads that day. In respect to them, the British bowed their heads that day. Respecting the wishes of the local people, on that day they diverted the railway without destroying the temple.
Despite the warnings of doctors, that rule is still in force in this Mahalakshmi Temple in Karur district. The number of devotees in the queue to crack coconuts on their heads is increasing day by day.
Temple Timings: 3.00 am to 11.00 am and 4.00 pm to 8.00 pm
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