Ammankudi Mahishasuramardhini Temple, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur
Ammankudi Mahishasuramardhini Temple is known for alleviating various kinds of Dosha. The image of Saraswathy, the Goddess of Knowledge in this temple draws devotees especially those with children who want to excel in academics. Ammankudi, also known as Rajarajeswaram and Devi Tapovanam is situated near Kumbakonam in Thanjavur District. It is about 20 km from Kumbakonam. Presiding deities are Parvati and the Kailasanatha Swamy.
According to a legend, Goddess Devi, after killing Mahishasura, had her holy dip in the river Cauvery and reached Ammankudi. Devi washed her trident that she used for killing Mahishasura in the pushkarani in Ammankudi. Since Devi herself washed her trident in this pushkarani, this is known as ‘papa Vimochana theertham’. She then went on a penance for 12 years to atone for the killing of Mahishasura. The pond never goes dry, even during the worst summer.
Mahishasura was wearing a Lingam around his neck. Devi took that Lingam from his severed neck and installed in Ammankudi and called it by the name Kailasanathar. She then went on a penance for 12 years in Ammankudi to atone for the killing of Mahishasura, though he was an evil force. She installed the Vinayaka idol for her to go on with her penance without interruption.
At the end of the twelfth year Kailasanatha appeared before her and told her that the evil effects of the killing of Mahishasura have vanished and He told her to remain in Ammankudi to protect the devotees.
Because Devi herself chose this place to perform her penance, it is known as Ammankudi, originally. The names kept changing with the passage of time, as we saw above; but whatever the change of name be, it was known by the name Ammankudi also, always Durga Parameswari, the presiding deity has eight hands and is installed facing the east. Since she assumed this form to obliterate Mahishasura, she is known as Mahishasura Mardhini. Since Devi herself presides over the ‘Navagrahas’ there is no separate shrine for Navagrahas in the Temple.
During the Chola period, this place was known both as Ammankudi and Rajarajeswaram. During the time of Rajaraja Cholan I (985-1014 AD); this place was known by one of the titles of Rajaraja, Keralaandhaka.
This was the place where the chief Commander of army of Rajaraja Cholan I, Krishnarama Brahmarayan lived. The temple was consecrated by him in 944 AD, according to the stone inscription found on all the three sides of the sanctum sanctorum. Presiding deities are Parvati and the Kailasanatha Swamy.
The image of Lord Shiva worshiped by Goddess Durgai is called Kailasanathar and Goddess Durgai is known as Durga Parameswari. The idol of Durga in Ammankudi Durgai Temple is very unique since she is seen with eight hands holding weapons used to destroy Asuras including one that holds Mahisasuran’ s head (This posture is referred to as Surasamharam)but her face bears a very benevolent smile indicating that she will protect her devotees by destroying sin. The idol of Goddess Saraswathi is also unique as she is seen without the Veena in her hands.
Idol of Durga Parameswari in Ammankudi Temple:
The idol of Durgai in Ammankudi Durgai Temple is very different in shape and it is very nice statue with eight hands and Goddess Durgai is sitting on Tiger. Each hands of Durgai holding some weapons used to destroy Asura. They are Sulaayutham, Sangu, Sankaram, Kedayam, Vil, knife, Ambu and one hand holds Mahisasuran's head. This posture is called Surasamharam. There is a reference in Skantha Puranam, a famous Tamil poem about this temple and reference about the Goddess Durgai. But face of the Goddess looks very nice with smile on her face, which says to her devotees that “I will keep you and your family from your enemies and your sins".
This temple is famous for special poojas for Sin and Dhosham. Yoga Saraswathi is a special idol in this temple. Goddess Saraswathi for education, she is having Vena in her hand. But in Ammankudi temple Yoga Saraswathi doesn't have Vena in her hand. More parents take their children to this temple before admitting their children in to school to get more knowledge and get concentration on education.
Temple Opening Time
· Morning: 6.00 AM to 1.00 PM
· Evening: 4.30 PM to 8.00 PM
· Special Pooja held on every Tuesday, Ammavasai, Full moon day for the devotees for their marriage problem.
· Pooja on every Tuesday and ashtami day for reducing Ragu Kethu Dhosham.
· Every Friday there is a special pooja for getting rich.
· Every Monday there is a special pooja for the devotees who wants child.
· To get reduce from disease, win in court cases, and for jobs devotees can attend Ragukala pooja on every Tuesday.
· Devotees, who attend Special pooja on every Saturday, will get long life.
Important festival associated with this temple is Navarathri, Eighth day of Navarathri Ashtami day there is a festival called Surasamharam done by Goddess.
Ammankudi Mahishasuramardhini Temple,
Phone: +91– 435 – 246 7167
Mobile: +91 – 94430 46255, +91 – 94439 32983
Kumbakonam is well connected to all the cities in Tamilnadu. Ammankudi is located at a distance of 15 kms from Kumbakonam.
Nearest Railway Station is located at Kumbakonam.
Nearest Airport is Trichy Airport. From Trichy we have to go Kumbakonam by bus. Ammankudi is 15 kms from Kumbakonam.