Among these Ammans, Thayamangalam Mariamman is most powerful and auspicious. She is a virgin goddess and so She is even more pious. People with incurable diseases, personal problems, blockage in Marriage, and with financial issues, visit this temple with the hope to seek answers for all their sorrows and struggles from Mariamman.
In the village Thayamangalam, this Mariamman temple is located. This village is very near to Madurai.
According to the legend, some three hundred years before people of Sivagangai used to go to Maduraiampathy for trade. Once a very honest and kind merchant named Muthuchettiar lived in Sivagangai and ran his merchandise very successfully. He and his wife were very generous and helped all their fellow men, voluntarily; they were also a pious devotees of Lord Meenakshi and Chokkanathar. The only thing that kept them unrest and worried is they are childless. They went to all the temples and sacred places wishing for a child, but their query was unanswered.
On the day of trade meet, Muthuchettiar went to Maduraipathi to sell his goods, on his way back, he was stunned to see a girl child standing alone and crying in Chinnamanur. He didn’t know what to do, anxiously he went near the girl child and calmed her down, he asked about her parents, residence and native place, but the girl couldn’t recall anything. Muthuchettiyar thought that this girl was the reward to his ceaseless prayers and so he decided to take care of her. He carried the child on his shoulders and started walking to his house. During his journey he wanted to take bath in the nearby river, as he felt tired, so he left the girl child near the banks, ordering her not to move and then went for bath. When he finished the bath and returned to banks he was numb to find the girl missing. He searched every nook and corner of the river side, but all ended in vain. He went to his house with a heavy heart and told everything to his wife, his wife was also very upset and worried. Without having dinner, the distressed couples went to bed. Surprisingly, the same girl appeared in the dream of Muthuchettiyar and asked him to raise a temple near the banks and vanished. When he woke up, Muthuchettiayar realized that the girl he has met is none other than Amman herself.
The very next day he started to build a temple for Mariamman and named the deity Muthumariamman, combining his name too. From that day onwards Muthu Mariamman became very famous among the locals, she is considered as the goddesses of prosperity. It is also believed that, after Muthuchettiar, this temple was looked after by his successors and they were given the prior preference in all functions.
People with incurable diseases, obstacles in marriage, physical problems, mental illness, restless mind and immense sorrow visit this temple to seek relief. People offer silver eyes and Trishool, if they got cured from eye diseases or any another diseases. Devotees blessed with child by Goddesses Mariamman, carry their child in sugarcane cradle around the temple, then they also offer Mavillaku( a sweet pudding made of Jaggery and flour), people wanting to get married soon offer red saree to Amman and do certain special poojas.
According to the devotees this Virgin Goddess is the healer of diseases and also worries of the people, She stays as their guardian angel and make them live a prosperous happy life. Some decades before only the locals used to visit this temple, but now the power of Mariamman attracts devotees from all over the world.
Festivals and celebrations:
Amman temples are famous for feasts and festivals. In Thayamangalam Mariamman temple Punguni festival is celebrated with fervor, this festival lasts for several days from March 20 to April 1, each day people engage in one or other event. There will be milk pot procession, flower pallak procession, pookuli stamping and ends with Devasthana Theerthavarai. During these days, the whole temple will be adorned with serial lights, flowers, and mango leaves. There will also be free food for all devotees.
Koddi Ettram is very famous in this temple, according to the temple rules, once the temple flag is hoisted the residents near the temple should not go to any other place till the function ends. There will be lots and lots of fun in this period. During the Aadi month (August), the devotees will be provided Kool (porridge) with dried fish curry.
Navarathiri, Aadi peruku, Thai poosam and Pongal are few other famous festivals celebrated in this temple.
Thaymangalam Amman temple can be easily reached from Madurai, there are busses from Madurai Mattudavani bus stand. You can also take busses from Sivagangai, Mana madurai, Parmakudi, and Parthibanur which are even easier. During festival time, for the benefit of the public, special busses ply from Madurai to Thayamangalam.
The nearest railway stations to this temple are at Sivagangai, Paramakudi, and Manamadurai. From there one can hire a taxi or take bus to reach the temple.
Madurai airport at Avaniyapuram is the only nearest airport to this temple.