Pathini Worship: Kannagi


Kannagi is an immortal character from the south Indian epic called ‘Story of Anklet (Silapathikaaram)’

This is the first epic from the language Tamil. Surprisingly, this epic stands out from most of the epics. The main characters are not from royal family. The epic is called as ‘Citizen’s epic’ to mention – it is about the commoners.


Kannagi and Kovalan are two main characters of the epic. The Story revolves around non-royal family members. The climax of the story makes Kannagi as god. The courage of Kannagi to question the King, who misjudged her husband for robbing the queen’s anklet (silambu) makes her immortal in Tamilakam ( the present day kerala and Tamil Nadu) and Tamil Parts of Sri Lanka.

It was difficult to calm down Kannagi. Kannagi cursed Madurai to become infertile and die in fire. Vetri Vel Pandiyan, another pandiyan took steps to bring back Madurai to normalcy.

On the same note, a holy story states the Tamil god Murugan came down as infant to calm down Kannagi. Hearing the cry of the infant, the mother inside Kannagi tried to convince the kid, which resulted in bringing Kannagi back to normal.

Kannagi is worshipped as god of Rain (Maari amman) and God of female worship. She became mother goddess of the land.

Kannagi comes from merchant community and seems to be richer than the royal communities ruled the south India. The message is South India had people richer than kings.

Kannagi is not only god,but the symbol of Tamil Culture. The atheists too give importance to her.

Kannagi has a big statue in the marina of Chennai Beach. Kannagi’s courage to question the king is the vital part of the story. Kannagi is the first revolutionary character in the nation’s epics.

Silappatikaram is the best literature to be learnt by all to understand the first revolution against the king of the land.

Kannagi was more than patini. She was revolutionary. It is must to know the story of Kannagi to understand the courage a normal women had in the era of kings.


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