Devi Karu Maari Amman Temple, Thiruverkadu – Legends
Karuvil Illadha Karumari:
There was an ant-hill in this place long ago. People were worshipping this as Mother Ambica. Mother appeared in the dream of a devotee and asked him to build a temple for her in that spot. When people demolished the ant-hill, they found Ambica as a Swayambu and built the temple here. As she was not in the womb of a Mother, she is praised as one not from the womb (Karuvil Illadha Karumari).
In ancient days, this place was a forest filled with Velvela trees and hence was called as Velankaadu, which later turned to get its present name.
This is the place where Lord Muruga got his Vel from Parasakthi to destroy Suran and so is called Velkadu or Thiruverkadu.
Lord Surya got relieved of his curse here:
According to the legend, once Karumaari Amman took form of a fortune teller and went to Sun God for predicting his future. Surya Bhagwan neglected her and Mother vanished from his sight, because of which Sun God lost his powers and glory. Then Surya Bhagwan realized that it was none other than the Goddess herself and came and worshipped her here at Thiruverkadu, seeking apologies.
Goddess pardoned him with mercy and Surya Bhagwan requested her to bless that Sunday (Sun God’s day) be the auspicious day for the Devi here. Goddess obliged to it. Also, the Sun God spread his rays on the Goddess here during the Tamil months Panguni and Purattasi to show his devotion to the Goddess.
Ritual of First Pooja to Lord Vinayaga:
It is said that Vinayagar (Lord Ganesha) worshipped the Goddess here by performing Abishekam using Valampuri Sanghu (Conch). The Goddess got pleased with his worship and blessed him that the poojas at the temple will first be performed to Vinayagar and then to her. Vinayagar can be seen in the temple near Dwajasthambam. While entering the temple, one has to pray him and then go further to worship Karumaari Amman.
Verkanni taking over the duty of Lord Shiva here:
Once, when the Asuras gave troubles to Devas, they came and worshipped Lord Shiva at Thiruverkadu, to save them. Lord Shiva called his Devi Verkanni and directed her to look after his duties till he is back from Devaloka. Lord Shiva gave her the holy ashes from his body and blessed her. The Goddess asked Sage Agasthiyar to look for a holy place where she can perform the heavenly duties assigned by Lord Shiva.
When Sage Agasthiyar was thinking of such place, he heard an Asareeri (a holy voice) saying that the place where he was standing itself is a holy place. Goddess took abode here as Karumaari Amman and also blessed the place that one will be removed of all the sins by worshipping her at Thiruverkadu.
Thiruverkadu is the place where all 3 Gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva have worshipped the Goddess. Hence, she is called as Karumaari here. Ka means Brahma, Ru means Rudhra or Shiva, and Ma means Vishnu.
Lord Vishnu protect the position of Navagrahas here:
Once upon a time Lord Thirumal came to Thiruverkadu to witness the rule of Umadevi. When Thirumal personally met his sister Karumari, she requested him to sit there as Srinivasan of Thirumurai and assist her and bless the devotees who worship Navagraha and stand towards southern direction. He was happy and promised her that he would sit by her side and protect the position of nine planets.
Power of Turmeric of Devi Karumari:
Two sisters by name Sundari and Sarathai were in the snake world. They were attractive, but they could not get suitable bridegroom. To redress this grievance, they performed pooja for Kali. Narada came there and told them that the time was perfect to go to Thiruverkadu and pray to Karumari to get her blessings. Mother appeared before these sisters and instructed them to take a bath in the Sambar Poigai and drink turmeric water for one Mandalam and pray to Sakthi to ensure that their grievances were redressed and they would lead happy lives.
As per instructions of Devi Karumari, both the sisters performed the pooja. At the end of one Mandalam, two princes Sambu and Balan came there and saw Sundari and Sarathai. They fell in love with each other. Sundari married Sambu and Sarathai married Balan and they lived happily for a long time. Even now the turmeric of Devi Karumari blesses unmarried girls with bridegrooms and children for childless couples.
Kathavarayan was born from the rays of Lord Siva's third eye. Devi formed a garden on the banks of the river Ganga and appointed Kathavarayan as watchman. Once he took away the dresses of women who came there for bathing and so he was cursed by Devi Karumari. Because of that curse he had to take birth seven time. King also punished him to die on pointed stake (Kazhumaram).
When he was about to die on pointed stake (Kazhumaram), he got relieved from the curse. Karumari took pity on him and instructed him to sit on the North-east quarter side and bless all those who come to see her. Celebrations are being held for Kathavarayan on Chitrai Full Moon Day. Kathavarayan is taken round the temple in glass tank which is the specialty of the function.
Recreation of the World:
Long ago, the area where the temple is located today was surrounded by white Neem (Vela Maram). So, this place is called as Verkaadu and later turned as Thiruverkadu. Once the entire world got destroyed due to the flood, Shiva wanted to construct the world again from the beginning. Once the flood got drained he converted the four Vedas into trees and self-made Linga was there under the tree. Ambal also was created along with the Linga. With the blessings of the Ambal, all Devas and living beings had been created. The place where the Ambal and Lingam is there is called as Thiruverkadu.