The Mathura Kaliamman Kovil, Siruvachur is connected to Silapathikaram. The story is about Kannagi’s fierce vengeance against the wrong meted out to her husband Kovalan. Kovalan was the son of a prosperous grain trader in Kaveripoompattinam. He married Kannagi who was also from a wealthy family.
Kannagi and Kovalan were a happy couple until Madhavi, a dancer entered their life. Kovalan was floored by the beauty of Madhavi and fell in love with her. He stayed with her totally neglecting his lawfully wedded wife Kannagi. His attraction for Madhavi made him spend all his wealth on her. Slowly but surely, he squandered all his wealth and was a pauper. Only then he remembered his wife Kannagi and returned home. Kannagi forgave him and gave him one of her precious anklets to sell. The idea was to regain the lost fortune by starting a business with the money raised by selling one of her anklets.
Accordingly, they came to Madurai to rebuild their life. Kovalan went to the marketplace to sell the anklet. As luck would have it, the queen of Madurai lost a similar looking anklet. Word had been sent out to every jeweler in kingdom to look out for a possible seller of the anklet. When Kovaln ventured to sell Kannagi’s anklet, he was promptly handed over to the soldiers by the jeweler thinking that it was the Queen’s anklet. He was produced before the Pandya King Nedunchezhiyan. The King was very angry and ordered the beheading of Kovalan. The death sentence was carried out without any enquiry whatsoever.
On hearing the news of her husband’s fate at the hands of the King, Kannagi was fuming with anger. She went to the King’s court and accused him of being unjust for not holding a fair trial before her husband was executed. She was distraught and threw her other anklet on the ground. The anklet broke and rubies from inside the anklet scattered on the ground. Her anklet was filled with rubies while the Queen’s anklet was filled with pearls. The King immediately realized his mistake and was apologetic. The King overcome by guilt and shame dies in the court and so does the Queen. However, Kannagi’s anger is unabated and curses the whole of Madurai to be burnt to ashes.
After the incident she wanders aimlessly and reaches a village where she decides to spend the night at a temple. She sought the permission of the Deity Selliamman for staying. Selliamman told her that Kannagi has to leave immediately as this temple was the abode of an evil magician. The Goddess went on to explain this evil magician had sought a boon from Her and made Her his slave. Kannagi decide to save the Goddess and invoked her family deity Mathura Kali Amman and got the powers to kill the magician. That evening, she killed the evil magician and relieved Selliamman from her bondage.
The magician made a dying request that his Samadhi should be at the entrance to the temple and all devotees should stamp on his Samadhi before entering the temple. The priests of this temple are believed to be in the lineage of the magician.
After the slaying of the magician, Selliamman went to the Periasamy Hills nearby. She asked Kannagi to stay here as Mathura kali Amman to stay here and bless Her devotees. She agreed to this said that she would do so only on Mondays and Fridays. The rest of the week She is said to be at Periasamy Hills with Selliamman. Even today, the first Arathi is done by the priests towards the Periasamy hills.
Worship benefits at this temple include protection from evil spell (Pilli sooniyam), Black Magic etc.
Additional information posted by Mr. N.R. Balasubramanian in the comment Section. I am adding it here so you do not miss reading it.
“Billi Soonyam, Kaathu Karuppu will all fail to work and backfire on the originators. At the outset, I wish to thank you for posting this information for the benefits of HER devotees.
The temple besides the above has many significant events. Ambal has given darshan to Aadhi Shankarar who desired for the consecration of the Goddess, besides Sadashiva Brahmendrar installed the Sri Chakram and the Siddhars worshiped HER during their penance at the Hills. Over above the King, The temple lies at the foot of the Pachamalai Hills and is the most important temple in the district. Sri Mathura Kaliamman, one of the different forms of Goddess Kali, is the main deity worshipped here. The temple is open for public worship only for two days a week – Monday and Friday.
Poochorithal is the main festival, celebrated on the first Tuesday after the new moon day in the Tamil month of Chithirai (April-May). Aadi Perukku, Navratri, Puratasi, Diwali and Karthigai Thirunal are the other main festival celebrated.
Siruvachur is situated on the Tiruchirapalli-Chennai highway.
The following information is required to be read along with the above.
This small temple is built at the foothills of Madhira malai, hence the name Madurakali Amman. Many popular legends have been associated with this deity which does not have any written records so far. The history of temple and the goddess has been established through oral history and from stone edicts discovered in Trichy district.
The temple is believed to have been built during early Chola period by Dharma Varman. The issueless king prayed to Goddess Kaliamman and a son was born to him. In gratitude to the goddess he had the temple at the foot hills built. 300 years later Srila Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra Swamigal installed the “Sri Chakra” in the Sanctum Sanctorum and consecrated it.
According to legends Goddess Parvati, consort of Lord Shiva came down to earth in the form of Kali to destroy the asura Charukan, who had been terrorizing the innocent and helpless living in these hills. After Kali destroyed him, Lord Shiva appeared and cooled her anger. He blessed Kali and asked her to stay as the guardian and benefactor of the people in the hills.
Another legend regarding the goddess’ name is attributed to the story of five rishis. The five Rishis- ‘Mudavar, Panthagar, Boumar, Arunar and Sigandeesar’ were performing penance in the hills. Each day of the week except on Monday’s and Friday’s each rishi used to take turns to perform various rituals to Goddess Kali. The goddess appeared before each of them and showered her blessings on them. Overwhelmed by the Goddess’s visit, the rishis requested her to make home under the Kumkumam tree, so that they could visit and pay obeisance. The Goddess granted their wish. Each day when one of the rishi’s prayed to her, honey dropped from a beehive above the Goddess and fall on their lips. This honey drops was regarded as divine nectar, hence the Goddess was called “Madhura Kaliamman”, Madura meaning divine nectar.
Perumaruda malai the hill behind Madhira malai is now known as Periasamy malai. A legend regarding this hill is the story of three Siddars – ‘Notchindar, Neminadar, Sambu’ who lived here. One day they came across an abandoned child and brought him up. He grew up as Boodhar and was educated by the siddhars. On completion of their earthy duties, the siddhars were transformed into honey bees, a curse of their previous birth when as shepherds they stole honey from a saint. The saint cursed them to become honey bees in their next birth to atone their sins.
The siddhars as honey bees made their home in the beehive of the tree at Madhira Malai. These honey bees made honey which fed the rishis when they came to pray Goddess Kali. This feeding of devotees through hard work absolved them of past sins. Boodhar who had come to pay respects to his teachers saw the rishis praying to the Goddess. He realised his true self and fell at the feet of Goddess Kali.She recognized him as the incarnation of Lord Narada and blessed him. Boodhar requested his teachers to pray to Kali to get back their human forms. The Goddess, pleased with their devotion blessed them and transformed them to their human form. Boodhar requested the Goddess that he should always think of her and pray to her.Kali granted his wish by giving him permission to perform rituals on Mondays and Fridays as the other days of the week rituals were performed by the rishis. Hence the practice of performing pujas to Madurakali Amman only on Monday’s and Fridays came into practise and is followed even today.
Another popular legend regarding her descent from the hills to the foothills revolves around the great Saint Adi Shankara.One day Adi Shankara was passing through the foothills of Madhira malai and rested under a tree. As he was concentrating on the Goddess, she appeared before him as a spring to quench his thirst. She showed her true form to Adi Sankara, blessed him and become an idol. Adi Sankara then consecrated this idol which is now worshipped as Madurakali Amman.“
The temple is open only on Mondays and Fridays between 8 AM & 8 PM.
Siruvachur is about 41 kms from Trichy Toll Gate on the Chennai Trichy highway. The temple is located at a distance of about 1 km from the highway. There is an arch at the entrance which you cannot miss. There are buses plying from Trichy to Siruvachur.
View Trichy Temples in a larger map
Other Temples Nearby:
Samayapuram Mariamman Temple
Ekambareswarar and Dhandayuthapani Temple, Chettikulam