Arulmigu Muthu Mariamman Temple
Main Deity : Muthu Mariamman.
Other Deities : Murugan.
Theertham : Aagasa Oorani, Thalavar Singam, Thalumbu Sunai, Pazhudhupadaa Sunai. [Sunai is the naturally occuring fountain / waterfall in a mountain].
Temple tree : Vembu (Neem tree).
Temple History : The Muthu Mariamman in the Narthamalai temple blesses the devotees abundantly in a seated position. Since the name of the plae is Narthamalai, the Goddess is also known as Narthamalai Muthu Mariamman. The “Perungalur Sthala Puranam” says that since the Vedha Rishi Naradha did penance in the mountains here, the place came to be known as Naradhamalai. As days passed by, the name evolved as ‘Narthamalai’.
Approximately 1300 years ago, [Between 7 AD and 9 AD] the place which was a part of the Pallava kingdom, had been under the direct control of the Thanjavur Mutharaiyar kingdom. [ In the first part of the Ponniyin Selvan tamil novel, the Pazhuvoor fighters who mock Vandhiya Devan’s horse belong to the same Mutharaiyar lineage. In the 9th century, Narthamalai came under the Chola empire after after Vijayalaya Chola defeated the Mutharaiyars.
It is also believed by some that centuries ago, the Business men / Traders who were also known as ‘Nagaratthaar’ received the temples, ponds [ Kulam ] belonging to the temples, subsidies and aids from the kings and governed them efficiently. Apart from preserving the place, village development schemes and collection of taxes were done by them and thus they secured a very good name. Therefore this place was prosperous and became a wealthy, business trade capital where business flourished.
Particularly, a Vanigar Kuzhu [ business group ] called ‘Naanadhesatthu Ainnootruvar’ had been the head office of the business community. Hence the people called the place as ‘Nagaratthaar Malai’ to honour them. It is also believed that this name evolved as ‘Narthamalai’. There are more than 80 hills in the surroundings like Melamalai, Kottaimalai, Kadambarmalai, Paraiyarmalai, Uvakkanmalai, Aaluruttimalai, Bommaadimalai, Ponmalai, Manmalai and so on.
During the war between Rama and Ravana, Hanuman brought the Sanjeevi Mountain from the North to bring back the soldiers who died in the course of the war to life. As Hanuman was bringing the mountain some fragments fell onto the ground and they are the Narthamalai hills. It is also believed that therefore these Narthamalai hills still have some rare herbs which could cure many uncurable diseases.
A village called Keezhakkurichi is 4 km away from Narthamalai. A priest living in this village while walking through a narrow path in the middle of the farm everyday stepped on something in a particular spot and he stumbled and fell down. So, with the help of the people working in the farm, he digged in the ground and unearthed a beautiful Amman idol. Immediately, he heard a divine voice. It instructed him to build a temple for the idol in the foothills near the temple for Lord Shiva.
It said that thus the people of the village will be saved from disease and infirmities. Accordingly the people have built a small temple and placed the idol there. The villagers say that since the people have been living healthy and resistant to diseases like small pox, the Amman is called as Muthu Mari. The villagers say that the Muthu Mariamman residing in Narthamalai became famous because of Malaiammal. Malaiammal was born in a Zamindar family in Vetta Valam, a district near Thiruvannamalai.
When Malaiammal was young, she was affected severely by small pox. The zamindar brought Malaiammal to the temple and left her at its entrance and went away. On hearing the cries of the little girl, the Amman blessed the girl and cured her from the disease. Malaiammal had spent her entire life in the temple, cleaning the shrine and meditating before the Amman. Muthu Mariamman blessed and glorified Malaiammal.
Malaimmal gave ‘Arul Vaakku’(prediction the future) to the devotees who came there with sufferings and worries and her Vaakku became true. Many devotees came from different places to worship Muthu Mariamman and to get ‘Arul Vaakku’ from Malaiammal. Malaiammal extended the temple premises. Soon, Narthamalai became a famous temple. The Malaiammal Sannidhi is near the temple. Every year, a group of people from Vetta Valam worship Malaiammal here by offering Pooja and ‘Bali’. [Animal Sacrifice].
Prominence of the shrine : The Muthu Mariamman temple is approximately 300 years old. The temple stands magnificently with a five storeyed Raja Gopuram facing the East. If we cross the Maha Mandapam and the Artha Mandapam we can reach the Garbagraha and see the Amman who is seated in a calm and composed manner. She has four hands, each having a Kadgam, Kabaalam, Damarugam and Shakthi Hastam. In this temple, in the Muthu Mariamman Sannidhi, there is a Murugan yendiram made of stone on the right side wall.
The devotees say that it has immense power. Since the Goddess has a Shakthi Hastham which is generally possessed by Lord Muruga, the devotees also worship by taking the ‘kaavadi’ for the Goddess. In this temple which is in the control of the Pudukottai Devasthanam, the Poochoridhal Vizha takes place on the Second Sunday of Panguni tamil month. On the 3rd Sunday, the Kaappu tying festival, on the 4th Sunday , The Ettam Nal Thiruvizha, The next day [ Monday ] Therottam, Patthaam Nal [Tenth day] the Theerthavaari Thiruvizha, take place.
The devotees gather in huge crowds during this time. Special Poojas also take place on the Fridays of Aadi tamil month. Pox, Marriage obstacles, child want, prolonging uncurable disease, continuous struggle and other problems of the devotees are solved. On the Muhurtham days, many people have their marriages in this temple. On the way to Melamalai, one can see the Sunai [waterfall occurring naturally in a mountain] called Thalai Aruvi Singam.
Below, this Sunai, there is a lingam. The name of the Lord is Jirahareshwarar. After fetching water from the Sunai, worshipping is done for the Lord here. The devotees say that the presence of the Muthu Mariamman who solves the troubles of the devotees and blesses them abundantly is the reason for the prosperity of the Pudukkottai district. It is a belief that the people who want children and those who wish to get cured from pox can get their wishes fulfilled if they tie a ‘Karumbu Thottil’ [Sugarcane cradle] here.
People who worshipped here : Malaiammal.
Temple Timings : Morning – 06:00 a.m to 11:00 a.m, Evening – 04:00 p.m to 08:00 p.m.
Temple Festivals : Every year during the first Sunday of the Panguni month, the poochoridhal takes place. On the second Sunday, the Kaappu tying festival followed by the Ther Thiruvizha take place. On the day of the Poochoridhal, many types of flowers are offered to Amman by the devotees. Special Poojas also take place on the Fridays of Aadi tamil month.
Nearest Town : Pudukottai.
Address : Arulmigu Muthu Mariamman Temple,
Narthamalai, Pudukottai District – 622 101.
Hotels Near Muthu Mariamman Temple Narthamalai, Pudukottai :
1.Chidambara Vilas Chettinad, (4.1 km from Temple)
Ramachandrapuram, Kadiapatti | Off Thirumayam Fort,
ph :095855 56431.
2.Saratha Vilas Heritage Home in Chettinad, (13.3 km from Temple)
832 main road, Kothamangalam,
Kariakudi taluk, Tamil Nadu 630105.
3.Chettinadu Narayana Vilas, (9.5 km from Temple)
Near Raja Palace,Raja Front Street,
Kanadukathan, Tamil Nadu 630103,
ph no:04565 283 199.
4.Hotel Sathyam, (19 km from Temple)
1 Sathyamoorthy Road,Pudukkottai,
5.Visalam, (9.2 km from Temple)
7/1 - 143, Local Fund Road,LF Road,
Kanadukathan, Tamil Nadu 630103
Restaurants Near Muthu Mariamman Temple Narthamalai, Pudukottai :
1.Appus Curis Family Restaurant, (18.2 km from Temple)
No : 5/p, Poonga Nagar, Rajagopalapuram,
Railway Station Road, Near State Bank Poonga Nagar,
Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu 622003,
ph no:04322 261 541
2.Shri Aiswarya Restaurant, (19.7 km from Temple)
Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu 622001.