History of Arulmigu Poovananathar Temple,Kovilpatti
As in Madurai, the importance goes to Goddess Shenbagavalli in this temple. There are two women securities (Dwarapalakis) in the shrine. While the Alankara (dressing) is done in accordance with form (standing or sitting) of the deity in all temples, in this temple the Alankara is done in a sitting form to the Goddess, though the original form is of a standing one. The place has the reputation that Lord Rama worshipped Lord Shiva here. As two snake leaders Chadungan and Paduman worshipped Lord Shiva here with Poovana flowers, the Lord is named Poovananathar.
The story that Sage Agasthya came to South to balance the earth level when it sank at north during the wedding of Lord Shiva with Mother Parvathi is popular. On his way to Pothigai hills, the sage destroyed two demons Vilvalan and Vadhabi and also relieved himself of the Brahmmahati dosha that afflicted him due to killing of the demons. He also created the Agasthya spring as requested by the sages of Ponmalai hills.One Vamanan belonging to Shivakuzhu was born as the king of Vembakkottai in the name of Shenbagan as ordered by Nandhi, the bull vehicle of Lord Shiva. He built the temple as advised by the Lord. As the temple is built by king Shenbagan, Mother is named Shenbagavalli. Later, the temple was renovated by Ullamudayan belonging the 10th century.
For total cure of prolonged illness, for a wedlock of imagination, children, progress in business, high farm yields, people place their prayers at the feet of the Lord and Mother and it is firmly believed that prayers do not go in vain.Besides usual abishek and pujas, devotees light lamps in Ambal shrine, offer vastras and perform milk and sandal abishek to the Lord with dhoties. They also feed the visitors to the temple.
Also, one Vamanan belonging to a Siva group was born as the king of Vembakkottai due to the curse of Nandhi and had his curse relieved by the Pujas to Poovananathar. The temple was built by King Shenbagan whose name the Goddess Shenbagavalli bears. The temple was renovated in the year 1929.
Prayer motto, offerings, specialities, importance of the place, general information, festivals and history details are as follows.Devotees coming to this temple carry with them benefit of healing of ailments and mental peace and family happiness and the abundant grace of Mother Shenbagavalli. They are also successful in their business ventures.Devotees offer Abishek in milk, sandalwood and adore the deities with Sari and Dhoti. Annadhanam, as in other temples, is important here also.As in Madurai, here too, the prominence goes to Devi, In the entrance are seen two powerful Dwara Balakis. While it is the practice in other temples to adore the Devi in the form she is installed, in this temple, the Goddess is adored in a sitting position.
Sri Rama offered his worship in this temple.
The name, Poovananathar was derived from the worship of two snake leaders Thungan and Padhuman. Goddess Shenbagavalli’s royal standing and promising posture adds more grace to the temple.
10 day Vasantha Utsav (summer festival) during May-June, Goddess Bangle festival-Aadi Pooram in July-August, 10 day Purattasi Navarathri in September-October, 12day Wedding festival, Chithirai-theertham Tamil New Year festival in April-May are the important and main festivals in the temple, besides Deepavali, Pongal and Tamil and English new year days. The crowd in the temple would be huge on new moon, full moon days and on Prdosham days.