Kanda Sashti is celebrated with piety and fervour throughout the state of Tamil Nadu.
Devakottai, a famous town near Karaikudi and Trichy has a special place in the Chettinadu World. Several Nattukottai Chettiars and philanthropists of Devakottai have done sacred Kumbabishegam (Thiruppani) for almost all the Lord Sivan Temples where four Nayanmars have rendered Thevaram recitals on Lord Shiva. Along with divinity Devakottai Chettiars have shown special Interest in developing Saivam and Tamil literature, in Devakottai, a place in which Tamil Music festival was celebrated. “Vainagaram” Ramanathan Chettiar, “Vandrondrar” Narayanan Chettiar, Mela veettu Chinnaiah chettiar, Balakavi Ramanathan Chettiar are the famous people among the several Tamil devotees who developed Saivam through Tamil and Saiva Sidhandha classes. When Karaikudi plays an important role in developing Tamil through Kamban Kazhagam Devakottai plays an important role in developing Tamil through Kandhar Shasti Vizha Kazhagam. Velimuthi, Eluvan kottai, Kanda devi, Iraguseri are the four corners of Devakottai were Lord Siva Temples are situated and in the centre of the town the Nagara Sivan Kovil is situated.
The famous Sivan temple is situated in the centre of the town and during Kandhar Shasti Vizha festival the temple reverberates with the chant, 'Vetrivel Murugannukku Arohara'. Lord Subramanya is the hero of the festival and he is enshrined in a separate sannithi in the Sivan temple.
Kanda Sashti Vizha Kazhagam was born in 1946. The founder-members, Lakshmanan Chettiar, Ramanathan Chettiar and Kasi Chettiar, were involved in observing Kanda Sashti by arranging pooja to the deities, providing annadhanam and arranging music and dance recitals from the year of its inception. The nine days Utsavam is witnessed by devotees who surge to the temple from far-off places.
Many devotees observe fast during Kanda Sashti. After the usual abishekam for the deity in the mornings, alankaram is done and the Lord with his consorts Valli and Devasena looks mesmeric.
The members of the kazhagam take interest in Iyal, Isai and Natakam by organising debates, discussions, music and dance recitals in Murugavel Chadukkam. The members of the Kazhagam take pains to make this event a grand success. They collect funds from several people from all over the state and Nation and also from foreign countries to organize this festival. None of the important musicians, renowned Tamil poets and lecturers, artists, writers and orators have been left out in performing at Devakottai Kandhar Shasti Vizha stage. Pandidhamani Kathiresan Chettiar, Variar Swamigal, Tamilkadazhal Raya. Cho, Kundrakudi Adigalar, Kambanadippodi S. Ganesan have rendered their service to the Tamil literature through their performance at Kandhar Shasti Vizha, Devakottai.
Musicians like KB. Sundarambal, Madurai Mani Ayyar, Madurai Somu, Soolamangalam sisters, MS. Subbulakshmi, ML. Vasanthakumari, DK. Pattammal, AK.C. Natarajan, Unni Krishnan, Kumari sachu have performed here. It is a honour to mention here that our present Tamil Nadu Honourable Chief Minister Selvi. J. Jeyalalitha has performed a dance programme in her teen age. Those who have all played a role on this stage have grown to a greater heights which is true from the life history of all the personalities performed programmes on this stage.
This year 2011 Kandhar Shasti Vizha Kazhaga Festival starts on October 26th 2011 Deepavali Day and it runs for eight days till November 2nd 2011 with Valli thirumanam. The inauguration day starts with President AR. Ramanathan’s Presidential address and former Chief Justice Supreme Court of India, Chair person, Arbitration Committee of Indian Sports (Olymbics and Indian Sports), Tamil Nadu representative Mullai Periyar empower committee by the Supreme Court Dr. AR. Lakshmanan delivers the inaugural address and 292nd Gurumaha Sannithanam Shrilashri Arunagirinatha Gnana Sambantha Desiga Paramachariya Swamigal, Madurai Aatheenam delivers the message (Aasi Urai). He also honours the Judge AR. Lakshmanan with a title “NAGARATHAR SAMUGA NEETHI KAVALAR” since he has brought name and fame not only to his family, Devakottai, Tamilnadu but also for the entire nation with his valuable service to the general public and Nagarathar community and for constructing Shridi Sai BabaTemple at Devakottai at a huge cost to render service to divinity.