How to reach:
The temple is situated in Nattarankottai which is almost a part of Sivaganga. The temple can be reached from Madurai, or from Pudukottai. It is about 4 kms from Sivagangai from Melur on the madurai side. I went from Trichy via Pudukottai. It was exactly 125 kms. from Pudukottai reach tirumayyam on the Rameshwram road and take the right towards Thirupattur and cross Thirukoshtiyur to reach Mandiyampattu. In about 3 kims at 117 kms from trichy there is a board showing the left turn to the temple before Sivaganga. 8 Kms on this road is the temple.
History and legends:
The temple has been built by the Nagarthars as a way of fulfilling their vows to the Goddess.The Goddess Kannudainayaki was present in this place for many years.It was in the 18 th century a temple was built for her. There is a big pond in front and the temple itself is spacious.
It seems a yadava man who was daily walking here with milk on his head daily used to stumble on a stone and spill the milk on the stone. Enraged one day he decided to dig out the stone when it started bleeding and they discovered amman idol.
Excerpts from From the wikipedia:(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nattarasankottai)
The deity, Kannathal alias Kannudaya Nayaki Amman is famous for her powers in giving the boon of eyesight to the devotees with eye defects and other ailments. She is seen with eight hands and has an udukkai (a percussion striking instrument) and muvizhai sulam in her hands. Her left leg stamps the Asura by name Mahishan. As per mythology, Kannathal emerged with blessings she obtained fromLord Siva (the God of Creation,Sustenance and Destruction of evil, in Hindu Mythology) to vanquish Mahishan, who was giving trouble and anxiety to the people. Mahishan had a rare blessing from Brahmadeva that he will not die in the hands of men and he will only be executed by a woman. After heeding to the voices of the tortured people and Devathas, Kannthal appeared in Simmavahanam (Lion as vehicle) and executed him by stabbing in his heart. She is praised by many a number of devotees who have experienced her blessings. One could find names like 'Kannappan' (for male children), 'Kannathal', 'Kannammai' and 'Kanmani' (for female children) abundant in the community. Mavilakku, a flour made offering for the Goddess is offered by the devotees to appease her and to get her blessings. Vaikasi Visakam festival, celebrated for 10 days, is famous for the temple and on the 8th day, the Goddess in the form of KaliattaKannathal decorated by 'Kazhuthu Uru' (a Nagarathar Ornament) is taken in the silver adorned chariot around the temple.
Special government buses ply during these days from Madurai. The temple is famous for its architectural marvel and Golden Kumbhams over the Temple tower. Kaliattam, a festival celebrated once in 60 years was celebrated in 1996 with much pomp and pageantry. The first 'Kumbabishekam' (Consecration of the temple) took place on September 12, 1938, the second on September 6, 1976 and the third on May 1, 1989. The temple is efficiently managed by the village Nagarathars. 'Sevvai Pongal' during the Tamil month Thai, is a festival that is celebrated by Nagarathars of this village, during which tickets will be pooled and drawn and based on that places near the temple are allotted to all the nagarathar families for making Pongals. Non-Nagarthars also contribute a lot to this festival. Other festivals of the temple include 'Muzhalkuttu Thiruvizha' during the Tamil month of Aadi, 'Navarathri' during the Tamil month of Purattasi and 'Thailakkappu Utsavam' during the Tamil month of Thai. There are many temples in Nattarasankottai of which a Sivan temple is also famous. AshtamiThiruvizha and Sivarathri are the famous festivals of this temple. In addition that Nattarasankottai has lot of temples is covered this town like Ayyappan, Sivan, Perumal, Hanuman, Ramar, many marriammans etc.
The famous poet Kambar, who translated Valmiki Ramayana to Tamil, spent his last days in Nattarasankottai and his tomb is situated here. Not many public know of his tomb. The renowned town of Kalayarkovil which is famous for Kaleeswarar temple, is situated few miles away. The famous Kollangudi Vettudaiyar Kali temple is also nearby.
The Main entrance leads into a multipillar hall with eloborate carvings
The temple main praharam is east facing and you are led into a praharam with the main garbagruha in front.
The Amman is in the standing posture with 8 upper limbs and is smiling,
View from behind the garbagruha
It is a small and peaceful temple which gave me immense peace