Samayapurathu Mariamman Temple is one of the renowned Amman temples in India. This temple is very ancient and is located in a serene ambiance, with many coconut trees surrounding it. Devotees affectionately call her “Samayapurathu Amma”. The temple is on NH45 between Tiruchirapalli and Chennai. It is about 20km from Tiruchirapalli town and 17km from Trichy’s central business district. The Amman here resembles Goddess Chamundeshwari at Mysore.

According to temple history, King Vijayaraya Chakkaravarthi built the current structure at the beginning of the 18th century. But, the locals supposedly worshipped the Goddess for many centuries before this.

The presiding deity was originally in the Srirangam Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple. But the priest felt that the goddess’ idol was making him ill. The belief is that local deities have immense powers and should be appeased with many offerings and sacrifices. Eventually, the priest had the idol removed from the temple.

The Goddess was retrieved by certain devotees, who then built a temple for her and named it the Kannanur Mariamman temple. The Vijayanagara Empire was ruling Trichy then, and it was their army base. The kings of Vijayanagara, who were waging war against their enemies, promised the Goddess that if they won the war, they would build the temple. Currently, the Trichy Samayapuram Mariamman Temple is run by a separate trust that the Tamil Nadu government controls.

The gold plates that adorn the main tower (Raja Gopuram) make the tower glow brightly during the daytime. One can see the presiding deity here from the main entrance of the temple, which is not the case in most temples.

Samayapuram temple is the second highest earning temple in Tamil Nadu, while Palani temple holds the first place. People facing delays and problems in marriage offer gold Mangalsutra to the goddess. People also offer silver idols of body parts seeking relief from diseases.

Rituals at the Temple

Devotees often carry out painful rituals here as an act of sacrifice. Tonsuring the head, ear piercing, walking on burning coals, carrying fire pots, anointment, Angapradakshina (rolling around the temple), fasting, carrying Mulaipari, etc., are some of them. They also offer money, gold Mangalsutra, and silver carvings of body parts in the hundi/donation box. On Tuesdays and Fridays, women light lamps in the lime cups during Rahu Kalam. Some tie red clothes or cradles in the neem tree inside the temple, hoping for progeny. Devotees also offer Maavilaku (a lamp made using rice flour, ghee, and jaggery) for prosperity and fertility.

Goddess Samayapurathal undergoes a 28-day fast period for the well-being of human beings (starting from the last Sunday of the Tamil month, Maasi). People offer her only fruits and some flour as Naivedyam during this period. When the fast is complete, a unique Abishekam is performed with flowers alone. This is the ‘Poo Choriyal festival’.

Legend of the Temple

Mystery shrouds the origin of this temple. Samayapurathu Amman means ‘the Goddess who offers timely help.’ Devotees believe that Amman will come to their help at the right time.

According to legend, Renukadevi, who was the wife of Sage Jamadagni, went to the river to fetch water. Due to her virtue and chastity, she had the power to create pots out of river sand and she would create a fresh pot every day for her daily needs. As she was drawing water from the river, she saw a handsome Gandharva passing across the sky in a chariot. Just for a moment, the chaste Renuka was smitten by him.

Due to this, her chastity was tarnished, and the pot she had made crumbled and dissolved in the water. Nonplussed, Renukadevi stood by the river, hesitant to face her husband, who would seek an explanation. As his wife didn’t return to the ashram, Sage Jamadangi used his spiritual powers to glean what had happened. The angry sage ordered his son Parasuram to behead his mother’s head. Under duress, Parasuram had no choice but to comply. The pleased sage then offered him a boon. Parasurama used his boon to restore his mother’s life.

When Renuka returned to life, she was very angry with her husband. The fury she felt became a great power within her, and she became Goddess Mariamman. From that day onwards, women began to worship her, as they believed that she was very powerful.

Another story says that Renukadevi jumped into the funeral pyre of her husband, and Shiva rescued her by bringing rain. However, she suffered some burns. To heal them, she applied some sandal paste, drank turmeric water, and wore neem leaves. Later these things came to be associated with Mariamman. ‘Mari’ means ‘rain ’ in Tamil. Since she was rescued by the rain, she got the name Mari Amman. Mariamman is said to have the power to heal all heat-induced diseases like measles, smallpox, measles, and chicken pox.

Mariamman has the status of a folk deity in Tamilnadu, and is found everywhere. One of the many forms of Mariamman is the Samayapurathu Mariamman.

Important Festivals: Poochoriyal (Flower Sprinkling Festival) in Maasi month – 28 days Thai Poosam in Thai month – 11 Days

Chithirai Festival in Chithirai – Panguni months- 13 Days Panchaprakaram in Chithirai – Vaikasi months- 15 Days Navaratri Festival in Purattasi month- 9 Days

Temple Timings:

Margazhi Month (Dec-Jan)

Morning: 4.30 am to 9.00 pm

Other Months :

Morning: 5.30 am to 9.00 pm

How to Reach

By Bus: There are lots of buses from the Trichy Chathiram bus stand. 

By Train:  The nearby railway station is at Trichy.