Samayapuram Temple aka Mariamman Temple, an ancient Hindu temple, is found in the city of Tiruchirappalli in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Samayapurathal, also known as Mariamman, is a form of Durga, Maha Kali, or Aadi Shakthi, the highest mother goddess.
Unlike many of the traditional Mariamman deities, she is not given the abhishekams (sacred bathing) accorded to most other Hindu deities; instead, the “abishekam” is performed on the small stone statue placed in front of her.
The custom of purchasing tiny metallic replicas of various body parts that need to be healed and depositing them in the donation box stems from the devotees’ belief that the Goddess possesses extraordinary healing abilities.
Additionally, devotees offer mavilakku, a delicious dessert prepared with rice flour, ghee, and jaggery. The rural devotees also present the Goddess with offerings of raw salt.
On the days that Mariamman considers to be holy, Sundays, Tuesdays, and Fridays, thousands of worshippers visit the temple. After Palani, Samayapuram is Tamil Nadu’s richest temple in terms of cash flows.
History of Samayapuram Temple
King Vijayaraya Chakkaravarthi constructed the Samayapuram Temple in its current configuration towards the beginning of the 18th century.
Although there is little information about the time before that, it is thought that the villagers worshipped the Goddess for many centuries before constructing the present temple.
According to tradition, the current deity was worshipped at the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam, but one of the chief priests there demanded its removal because he thought it was sickening Ranganathar.
In that section of the region, there is a widely held belief that these local deities possess incredible power and must constantly be appeased by suitable sacrifices and offerings.
The idol was taken from Srirangam and later discovered by some bystanders, who then constructed the Kannanur Mariamman Temple.
Trichi was ruled by the Vijayanagar monarchs during that time (about the 17th century CE), and the region served as an army base.
It’s thought that they promised to construct the temple if they prevail in the conflict, and when they did, they did so by erecting a shrine to the Goddess.
It was initially managed by the adjacent Thiruvanaikaval Jambukeswarar Temple. Later, control was divided, and the temple is now run by a separate trust that is overseen by the Tamil Nadu government, which also keeps an eye on the annadanam distribution (the process of providing food to devotees).
In 1991, a panchaloha idol known as the new utsava murti was gifted to the temple.
Samayapuram Mariamman Temple’s Importance
The Samayapuram Temple presiding deity is fervently referred to as Samayapurathal. The divine ritual of abhishekam (holy washing) is not carried out because the god of Samapurathal is built of clay and sand.
A little Mariamman stone edifice is also housed in the Garbha griha (sanctum sanctorum), and ‘agama pooja vidhi’ abhisheka’s are done for it.
In a sense, the Samayapuram Mariamman Temple can be referred to as a “Parihara Sthalam” because the Goddess is revered as having the ultimate ability to heal illnesses.
In order to seek divine assistance in healing, people have been known to purchase tiny metallic duplicates of problematic human body parts and donate them to temples.
Additionally, those who have measles, chicken pox, or smallpox come to this temple, stay inside the temple grounds, and pray for blessings.
To accommodate the devotees who choose to stay for several days at a time, the temple is furnished with a sizable resting hall.
In order to hasten a person’s recovery, the holy water gathered during the deity’s sacred washing (abhisheka theertham) is sprayed all over the body of the sick.
In this temple, devoted followers frequently roll over through the prakaram while wearing wet garments as part of the Anga Pradakshinam ritual to show their respect.
Festivals Samayapuram Mariyamman Temple
- Thai Poosam, which often takes place in Samayapuram Temple during the Tamil month of Thai.
- The primary celebration is held at the beginning of the summer, typically in April, like at the majority of Tamil temples. Teppams (water processions) and temple chariot processions take place at this time.
- In the Tamil months of Aadi (15 July–17 August) and Thai (15 January–15 February), every Friday is celebrated opulently.
Samayapuram Temple Is Famous All Over The World
This is both concerning and demonstrates how much diversity exists in the world.Tanjong Rambutan in Malaysia is home to the Samayapuram Mariamman Temple.
At the Sri Veeramuthu Muneeswarar Temple, which is situated in Singapore’s Serangoon Road and Yishun Industrial Park, there is also a shrine for the goddess Sri Samayapuram Mariamman.
The yearly Kozh Valarpu festival is held in Singapore’s Jurong West during the month of Aadi by the Sri Samayapuram Mariamman Pillaigal temple.
At Jurong West Street 71, a Samayapuram Sri Mariamman puja is held every year before the festival of fire walking by Anbalahan and Family.