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The origin of Devangars, according to the Indian religious lore, can be traced back to Devanga Maharishi, who born in the spark from the Third Eye of supreme deity Lord Shiva. Devangars are descendents of Devanga Maharishi, who was the first person to weave the cotton cloth and give it to Lord Indira and Devars. A majority of Devanga community have taken weaving as their family business.

It has been a traditional practice of Devangars to establish a sacred temple of Goddess Sowdeswari, wherever they settle in. Devanga is a well-knit community with various levels such as Sesharaju, Chettumaikkarar, Periyathanam, Pattakkarar and Kulaguru Peethams.

The Ramalinga Sowdeswari Amman temple in Kanakkampalayam, a village situated in a serene environment in the famous Kongu Region, is a sacred shrine. There are well documented evidences available for the holy events that took place in the village over centuries.

Sambusaila Matathipati, who born in 1823 in Kollekal and received his Guru Theetchai - a kind of divine blessing - from Guru Raho Ramalinga Swamigal in Hampi Hemakoota Mutt, visited Kanakkampalayam, when he was touring South India. The legend has it that he waited at the village entrance for three days expecting someone to receive him. Learning about the Sambusaila Matathipati's visit, Annamalaisamy, a Devanga Thrikala Gnani, told the villagers about His Holiness. The villagers extended a grand traditional reception and invited the Guru to visit the shrine of Sowdeswari. The Guru stayed in the temple and blessed the villagers.

The village also had the honour of accommodating six families belonged to Agasthiya Maharisi Kothiram (Lathekarar) and six families of Mandvaya Maharishi Kothiram (Bakthi mallanar). The families were devoted followers of Veerashaivist tradition. Devangars presented rice and grains to these families during ceremonial rites and rituals.

The holy village also witnessed Om Sri Sambalinga Moorthi Swamigal blessing Mallikarjuna Moorthi, the youngest child of Kichadi Pedha belonging to Agasthiya Maharishi Kothram, as his heir and disciple, by offering Upanyasam and Gayathri Theetchai.

Sri Mallikarjuna Swamigal along with his Guru and woman saint Sri Veerammal from Salem Shevapet created the holy idol of Goddess Gayathri Amman for Gayathri Peetha. The idol was sculpted at Ayakudi near the sacred place Palani.

The Peetha spent about Rs. 48,000 for the idol. With the large amount of gold jewels from Jameendars, the idol was created by 59 sculptors in three years.

Vedanthi Veerammal, a woman in Kanakkampalayam, who was suffering following a curse, had the darshan of His Holiness Om Sri Mallikarjuna Swamigal during her last days and attained Mukti.

(More about the Guru Peetha is described in Devanga Purana). The devotees can witness the sacred idol of Gayathri Amman at Jalakandapuram near Salem.

Om Sri Mallikarjuna Swamigal visited Kanakkampalayam on several occasions and performed special poojas in the Sowdeswari Amman temple. He conducted the ‘Guru Pattabhishekam’ for his heir and disciple Om Sri Sambalinga Swamigal (born in 1903) on 17th March 1929.

Sri Sambalinga Swamigal, the third generation Guru, also performed special poojas and Kumbabhishekams in Kanakkampalayam on several occasions.

He attained ‘samathi’ in Jalakandapuram in 1977 after touring several parts of the country including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

His heir Om Sri Chandramouleeshwara Swamigal, who adorns the Guru Peetha, performed Abhisheka poojas for Gayathri Amman, at Kanakkampalayam in 1992.

The swamigal would conduct the Maha Kumbabhishekam of Sowdeswari Amman temple scheduled to be held in September 2008.

These events establish the spiritual linkage between Guru Peetha and the holy village of Kanakkampalayam.

The Maha Kumbabhishekam would be performed at the holy shrine of Sowdeswari Amman on September, 2008. The ‘Peru Vizha’ or ‘Thottappa’ celebrations would follow it.

The temple committee welcomes people from all the parts of the world to visit the holy village of Kanakkampalayam, witness the Maha Kumbabhishekam and receive the blessings of Goddess Sowdeswari.

 
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