Vettudaya Kali Temple, Ariyankurichi, Kollangudi, Sivaganga
Vettudaya Kali Temple is dedicated to Hindu Goddess Kali located at Ariyankurichi near Kollangudi in Sivaganga District of Tamilnadu. Ariyankurichi is a small village which is about 13 km from Sivaganga town on the road to Thondi.
Vettudaiyar Kali and Vettudaiyar Ayyanar:
Earlier, there was an Aiyanar temple only in this village and located deep in forest with path covered by stones and thorns, this temple was looked after and worshipped by two brothers Kari Velar and Karuppa Velar. Kari Velar went to Kerala learnt magic and Manthra Sasthra came back and went inside the thorny forest, cut the idol of Ayyanar from the ground and brought it outside in the Ariyankurichi village.
When he was consecrating the idol of Ayyanar, Kari Velar saw the magical words written on the ground and realized that the place where they are consecrating the idol had been chosen by Kali to do her penance. And so he consecrated a Kali idol also in the temple. Since the Ayyanar was cut from his place, he was called Vettudaiyar (one who has a cut) and the kali in the temple also was referred to as Vettudaiyar Kali. Over time the importance and power of Kali grew many folds and the temple now is referred to as Vettudaiyar Kali Temple.
Kali slaying Chandasuran at this place:
There is an epic story behind Kali. It seems once goddess Parvathi playfully shut the eyes of Lord Shiva. Because of that darkness spread all over the world and Parvathi also became jet black. This form of Parvathi is called Kali. For getting rid of the sin of making the world dark for a moment Kali had to do penance in our world. At that time Chandasuran was giving lot of trouble to Devas and also men. So Devas requested Kali to kill Chandasuran. The place where they requested came to be known as Deva Kottai. The place where Kali came before them and consented to help them was called Kandadevi.
The place where Kali fought with Chandasuran and destroyed his flag as well as Chariot was later called as Kodikulam. The place she won over him was called as Vethiyur and later named as Thiruvethiyur. The place where the grateful devas worshipped Kali with flowers was known as Poongudi. Then Kali started penance towards Lord Shiva so that her black colour would go away and the unintentional error that she committed is pardoned in Ariya Kurichi (Ariya-means without knowing).
Ayyanar in the guise of Girl to a British General:
It seems when the British were hunting for Velu Nachiyar who was fighting the British for freedom. A General called James smith came near the temple in search of her. There he saw a young girl tending the cattle. When he asked about the whereabouts of Velu Nachiyar, the girl replied, “I know where she is but will not tell you.” The furious General cut off the head of the girl without realizing that it was the Vettudaiyar Ayyanar.
Later it seems Velu Nachiar gave several gifts to the temple including her Diamond studded Mangalya. After some time, people were thinking that it is not proper to worship a cut statue wanted to change it. But at that time Ayyanar entered a girl and she told, “I am in the form which is suitable to Kali and so leave out this plan.”
The Temple is amidst paddy fields at Ariyankurichi. It has a small tower at the entrance and Lord Muruga and Lord Ganapathi on either side of it. Artha Mandapam, a building which leads to sanctum sanctorum, has the idols of Lord Murugan and Lord Vinayagar. Karuppa Vellalar statue is situated outside the Ardhamandapam right side to Ayyanar, who performed poojas on the back of the hearts around 60 villages. He is sitting on the horse appears beneath Dwaraka Palagar. There are Kurichi plants abundant in the forest area hence it is called Ariyankurichi.
Diagonally apposite to Ayyanar has the Sanctum sanctorum of Goddess 'Vettudaiyar Kali', looking towards the west. There was no idol 200 years ago at the spot, where the stone idol exists now. The stone idol replaced the mud idol some sixty years ago. The corridor next to sanctum sanctorum features the paintings of Goddess blissful adventures.
Kali is seen sitting posture with her right leg folded and left leg hanging, with eight hands in which she holds various weapons, as if she is doing penance. Her look is so frightening as if warning that any evil force, however strong it is, would be destroyed by her. Ayyanar on the other hand is sitting with his right leg folded and folding his left leg, with a flame as his cap, wearing Dhothi in the Pancha Kacha style and tying the Yogic cloth on his waist along with Poorna and Pushkala.
Opposite to the Kali temple, the idols of Hanuman, Cholaimaali, Meenakshi Sundareswara, Vishnu, Karuppasamy, Veerappachami, Muniyappa Chami, Pechiamman, Solattukali and Bhairava are consecrated. Among them the Soolattu kali attracts us more. Opposite to the Ayyanar statue, there is his elephant steed. In this temple daily early morning the sun’s rays falls on Ayyanar in the morning and on Kali in the Evenings. Lord Karupannaswamy is not inside the campus of the temple.
There is a tank in the temple. One who circumambulates this tank in good faith is rewarded with best reliefs from the problems he/she faces. After worshipping Kali and Aiyanar, devotees come to the shrine of Sonai Karuppannasami. People of Vellala community in Kollangudi village are the priests of this shrine performing the daily pujas. Sthala Vriksham is Eecha tree – belongs to Palm tree family. In front of Vettudaya Kali there is a flag post.
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. continuously.
Panguni Swathi festival in March-April; Vinayaka Chathurthi in August-September; Aadi Perukku in July-August, Navarathri in September-October; Margazhi pujas in December-January and Full moon day – Poornima pujas are the festivals celebrated in the temple.
On Swathi Nakshtra day in the month of Panguni a great festival is celebrated in this temple for 12 days. On the ninth day there is also a chariot festival. On 18th day of Adi month there is a poo Choridal (shower with flowers), on last Friday of adi month there is a lamp festival, During Navarathri the Goddess comes out on a horse steed. There is a book called “Vettudayal Veera Chakram” which extols her greatness.
It is the experience of the devotees that any prayer placed at the feet of Mother for relief from poverty, illness and mental agony is mercifully responded by mother without fail. They also go to Mother Kali to punish those who did wrong to them and for reunion of those separated due to evil effects. Devotees perform abishek to Mother and offer vastras.
There is a very peculiar form of prayer in this temple which involves cutting a coin and putting it in a cage in this temple. Those who are not getting what is due for them take a Coin, pray Ayyanar and Kali, cut the coin and put it in this cage. It Seems Kali sees to it that what is justifiably due to them would reach them quickly. People with children whose speech is late come to this temple and their children start speaking soon. People also pray here to meet their old friends. Devotees also pray the Goddess for getting children and to get married.
Sri Vettudaya Kali Temple,
Sivaganga District, Tamilnadu
Mobile: +91-90479 28314 / 93633 34311
Kollangudi is located at a distance of 13 Kms on the Madurai-Thondi road from Sivaganga. Ariyankurichi is 2 km from Kollangudi where exists Mother Vettudaya Kali temple. Nearest Railway Station is located at Sivaganga at a distance of 13 Kms and Nearest Airport is located at Madurai at a distance of 53 Kms.