Saturday, May 28, 2016

Kottai Mariamman Temple, Salem

Kottai Mariamman Temple, Salem
The Kottai Mariamman Temple is one of the oldest pilgrimage centres of Salem City and is situated in the heart of the city and on the banks of River Tirumanimuthar. The presiding deity of his temple is Goddess Kottai Mariamman. The most popular feature of this temple is its Shevapet Mariamman Temple Car Festival, which is held at this temple every year, between the months of July and August and lasts for a week.

Arulmigu Kottai Mariamman Thirukoil was built during the period of Chera kings, as the present Salem district then belongs to Chera Nadu. The Mariamman Temple, known as Kottai Periya Mari is the guardian deity of Salem Fort during the Pre-British period. This is the oldest temple in Salem. From New Bus Stand the Temple is only 3 KM which situated near old bus stand.

This temple was built during the periods of Chera Kings, as the present Salem District then belongs to Chera Nadu. In Olden days there was a fort in this place. In the said Fort the then rulers built two temples, one Perumal Temple and another Mariamman Temple. This Fort was then guarded by the soldiers of Chera Kings.

The Mariamman Temple, known as Kottai Periya Mari is the guardian deity of Salem Fort during the Pre-British period. This is the oldest temple in Salem. The guardian deity namely Goddess Periya Mariamman was worshipped by the people of Salem for decades together.

The Goddess Periya Mariamman was then brought to the present place on the Eastern bank of the famous Thirumanimuthu Aaru (river), by Kanakasabhai Mudaliar, Siva Sankara Mudaliar, Kumbabishekam was conducted later on and the Goddess Periya Mariamman is being worshipped by the people of Salem District.

The Temple
This is probably the only Mari Amman temple in the state with a small sanctum sanctorum to define the philosophy that however rich one may be, he/she should bend and bow down before God or Goddess to have the darshan. Mother Mariamman is facing Eesanya – northeast direction.  Mariayamman graces in the sanctum by placing her feet on the head of a demon under & has a lotus bud under her feet. Instead of offering the nivedhana symbolically, here Mari Amman is directly fed.

There are 9 stone pillars inside the Sannadhi Mandapam. At the bottom of the pillars beautiful sculpture are carved depicting a devotee worshipping the Amman at the bottom of the Kili mandapam (Parrot mandapam) and another Sculpture depicting Amman fighting a demon with her leg. Malaimari is carved at the top of the pillar.

The Goddess is known as Malaimari. Mari means rain. So as and when rain fails, Devotees pray to this Goddess for rain. Abishekam and festivals are conducted in honour of Malaimari to get proper rainfall and help them from drought and to produce agricultural produces.

Temple Opening Time
Oru Kala Poojai is being conducted. The temple is kept opened for the devotees from 6 A.M to 2 P.M and again from 4 P.M. to 9 P.M. daily. Thousands of devotees coming to the temple during Aadi Festival will be in Lakhs, The devotees can contact the Executive Officer of the temple for all details.
Abhisheka Aradhanai
The Abhisheka Aradhanai is being regularly done from 12 noon to 2 PM daily. The necessary fees of Rs. 25/- is collected at present for the same. The abishekam expenses will vary according to escalation of price.
Pooja Fee Structure
Special Entrance
Ma Vilaku
Pongal Vaithal
The most important and ancient festival of the temple is Aadi festival with an event called Poochattu. During this festival, flowers are supplied to other Mari Amman temples in Salem from this temple only. This is a 15 day festival.
This includes many programmes as planting the Kambam, inviting Mother Shakti, Karaka - a folk dance by men and women with a pot on the head without touching them by hand but balancing only by body movements, Uruludandam, offering Pongal to Mari Amman and Maha Abishek etc.
Festivals such as Vinayaka Chadhurthi, Navarathri (nine nights) Deepavali, Kruthikai, Thai Pongal, Sivarathri, Tamil New year celebrated every year. The famous Aadi Festival is conducted every year in the Tamil month of Aadi for 22 days in a religious and harmonious ways. Lakhs of people will gather during this festival to get Dharsan of this Goddess.
The Goddess Kottai Periya Mari relieves her devotees from all diseases and physical troubles. The diseases such as small pox and chicken pox are completely cured by the Goddess, when the affected person devotionally prays. People who are suffering from small pox use to drink the water from the Theertha from the temple and consume it. After recovery, they use to make a clay doll, carry it on their head and go round the temple thrice.
Likewise for the other physical disturbance and troubles, the devotees used to pray The God and they will come to the temple and they will make Angapradakshinam by way of coming around the temple in rolling the entire body on the temple prakaram.
By way of submitting kannikkais such as doll having the appearance of human being, the Kannadakkam, which is made up of a Gold, Silver or metal plate bearing the impression of eye of human being, for the curing their eye problem, by the Goddess.
The devotees also used to put kumkum along with salt on the Pali peedam of the temple for the relieving of the troubles in their business, agriculture and protecting the cattle’s from diseases. It is the sole belief of the devotees that the Goddess is protecting them from all sorts of natural and unnatural calamities.
Those facing vision problems of any kind, pray to Mother. They offer small silver or gold piece embossed with eye symbol and offer it in the Hundi. Some affected with some problems in any part of the body, follow the same procedure. This will have the symbol of that particular part of the body subjected to a disease.
To realize the wish in their mind, devotees circumambulate the temple step by step thrice. This is called Adi Alandhu Koduthal – offering the prayer by walking step by step. Seeking cure from any disease and relief from a problem, devotees place kumkum mixed with salt on the Bali peeta and pour water on the same.
As the salt dissolves and disappears in water, it is believed that their problems too would dissolve and disappear in the air. Devotees use to place two flowers packed in small packet to seek the approval of Amman before beginning wedding talks or other important proposals as business etc., If they get the flower of their choice , the proceed, if not drop the idea.
Arulmigu Kottai Periya Mariamman Temple
Salem -636 001
Phone: 0427 - 2267845
The temple can be easily reached as it is situated in the heart of Salem city. The Temple is located close to new bus stand and Salem Railway Junction. The distance between Chennai to Salem is 335 KM.
One can travel to Salem by Train or bus. Travelers can reach to Salem Junction from Chennai via Aarokanam, Katpadi, and Jolarpettai. The distance between Salem Railway Station to the temple is 6 KM.
They can reach the temple by town bus via new bus stand. The buses are available during night also. By bus one can reach the Salem New bus Stand from Chennai via Villupuram, Kallakurichi and Attur. From New Bus Stand the Temple is only 3 KM which situated near old bus stand.
Nearest Airport is located at Trichy (190 Kms) & Coimbatore (180Kms).

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