This temple for Sri Maha Prathyangira Devi is situated in a small village called Ayyavadi around 6 kms from Kumbakonam.
Located just 500 mts from Uppiliappan temple, this village was once called as Aivar Padi.According to legends, the 5 Pandavas visited this place, kept their weapons under a tree, worshipped Sri Maha Prathyangira Devi and went around in the forests. As the five Pandavas worshipped here, it is beleived that the place was called as Aivar Padi which later changed as Ayyavadi.
Lord Vishnu took the Narasimha Avatar to kill the demon king Hiranyakasipu who is the father of Prahalada. After being so furiously fought with so much of power to kill the king, the anger and the fierce of Narasimha didnt come down. With so much of hyper Narasimha couldn’t make out between good and bad people and started disturbing everyone and no one could control him. People prayed Lord Shiva to save them.
Lord Shiva took a new and more powerful form or Avatar as Sarabeswara, with lion’s face and eagle’s wings. Shakthi accompanied Lord Shiva in the form of Sri Mahaprathyangira Devi seated on one of the wings of Sri Sarabeswara. Sarabeswarar went and subsided Narasimha’s anger to bring back peace. Hence both Sri Mahaprathyangira Devi and Sri Sarabeswara are beleived to be more powerful than any other powers.
In Ramayana, Indrajit, son of Ravana performed a Yaga called “Nigumbalai Yagam”, worshipping Sri Maha Prathyangira Devi. It is beleived that from this Ayyavadi he performed the Yaga. If he had completed the Yaga successfully, he would have got the powers to kill Rama.
But somehow it was spoiled by Lakshmana and Anjaneya before completion. Here the Devi is seated on the chariot with 4 lions, 8 arms with weapons possessing Lion’s face.
Sri Maha Prathyangira Devi’s worship will take away all evil forces and unsolvable problems from one’s life. In this temple Homams are conducted every Full moon day and No moon day, after which huge volumes of Red Chillies are offered to the Goddess.
Sri Maha Prathyangira Devi is an important Goddess in Shakthi worship. There is a Gayatri Mantra too for worshipping Sri Maha Prathyangira Devi.
Prathyankira and her moola manthram was discovered by 2 rishis in ancient times – they were Angiras and Prathyankiras, in whose honour the Goddess assumed the name of Prathyankira. She is also known as Aparajitha.