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Karaikal Mangani festival 2024 Date – Mango Festival - Karaikal Mangani Thiruvizha Dedicated to Karaikal Ammaiyar

Karaikal Mangani festival (Mango festival) is celebrated at Karaikal, Puducherry, and is dedicated to Karaikal Ammaiyar, the only woman among the 63 Nayanmars of Saivism. The month-long festival is organized by Sri Kailasanathar Swamy Temple and Sri Nithya Kalyana Perumal Devasthanam. Mangai Festival 2024 date is June 22. The various festivities are spread over a month.

The Mangani festival is observed on the full moon day in Tamil month Aani – usually coincides with the Guru Purnima festival.

During the festival devotees fling ripe mangoes from the top of the buildings when the utsavar murti of Pichandavar (Bikshadanar) is taken out in a procession through the streets. It is believed that Shiva appeared in the form of Bikshadanar, a beggar, before Karaikal Ammaiyar and she offered him mangoes.

People throw mangoes based on the belief that it helps in desire fulfillment.

The procession begins from Kailasanathar temple premises. Devotees all along the procession route — the Bharathiar Street, Kannadiar Street, Church Street and Lemaire Street — offer mangoes to the deity.

Paramathathar Azhaippu and Thirukalyanam are two important festivals observed after the Mangai festival.

Karaikal Mangani festival Story

The story of the annual Mango festival is associated with the unwavering devotion of Karaikal Ammaiyar for Mahadeva Shiva.

Young Punitavati lived in Karaikal with her husband Paramadhattan. Punitavati was an ardent devotee of Mahadeva Shiva. Once, her husband sent two mangoes from his workplace. Soon a hungry sage (Bikshadanar) appeared at the door and as food was yet to be prepared, Punitavati gave him one of the mangoes. In the evening, Paramadhattan wanted to eat the mangoes. The first one was so tasty that he asked for the second too. A helpless Punitavati prayed to Shiva Bhagavan. Miraculously a fruit fell into her palms. Her husband ate the fruit and wanted to know how the mango tasted different from the first one. Punitavati then told him the truth. Her husband then asked her to get more of the sweet mangoes. Punitavati again prayed to Shiva Bhagavan. A mango appeared again but when Paramadhattan attempted to eat it, the fruit disappeared. Paramadhattan was rattled by the experience, got scared, and he ran away from home.  A puzzled Punitavati continued with her prayers to Shiva Bhagavan and waited for her husband to return.

Soon her relatives discovered that Paramadhattan was living in another region, and he had got married. On seeing Punitavati, Paramadhattan was overwhelmed by devotion; and fell at her feet addressing her as Mother Goddess.

A stunned Punitavati prayed to Shiva and asked him to make her a spirit (Shiva Bhutagana) so that she can wander around singing the praises of Shiva, her true Lord. She prayed to take away her beauty and youthhood.

Shiva could not deny the wish of his ardent devotee. Her flesh melted away and soon the beautiful Punitavati was turned into an ugly looking figure - with lean breasts and shriveled skin. After the transformation, Punitavati was no longer the beautiful woman she used to be. Shiva addressed her as Karaikal Ammaiyar. The crowd who witnessed this miracle called her Peyar. Shiva ganas praised her glory and flowers rained from the heaven. Having achieved freedom from body, Punitavati sang hymns in praise of Shiva.

The Mangai festival is observed in remembrance of this divine event.