A girdle is called ‘mekhalA’. If there are tingling bells in it, it is called ‘kAnchI’. The name ‘raNat-kiNkiNi-mekhalA’ that occurs in the LalitA-sahasranAma is just this ‘kvaNat-kAnchI-dhAmA’, namely, the jingling girdle with bells. The string of bells is also called ‘maNi’. So ‘kAnchI’ is also known as ‘mani-mekhalA.
In Tamil literature ‘Mani-mekhalai’ is one of the five great epics. The heroine of that epic is Manimekhalai. At the end of the story she finally comes to the town of Kanchi where she feeds the poor from her inexhaustible vessel (akshaya-pAtram). This work ‘Manimekhalai’ is slanted towards Buddhistic religion. Accordingly the heroine reaches salvation after getting the initiation from a Buddhistic Guru. But the incident of feeding the poor from an ‘akshaya-pAtram’ is a traditional story of the Goddess Kamakshi of Kanchi from age-old times.
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