A well-known, well-visited centre of Shakti worship in Tamil Nadu. Here Goddess Durga is worshipped as Kali.
Legend says that Lord Shiva created Kali out of the poison that he swallowed during the palazhi mathan (churning of the milky ocean). He directed kali to kill the mighty demon Daraksura, which she did.
At Samayapuram, Goddess Kali is known as Mariyamma. Unlike many of the other famous temples of Tamil Nadu, this temple has some folk culture touch on it.
Thus seeing devotees doing unusual things as offering to this Devi is not uncommon. Some undertake extreme steps like walking on fire, holding hot iron bar for long time etc… It signifies the native culture of rural Tamil Nadu.
Mariyamman or Samayapurathal is known for her healing power of communicable disease like small pox, chicken pox etc…. She is also associated with health and wealth.
The temple, as we see it today, is a Vijayanagara contribution. They used this area as a military camp for long.
Although there are many other festivals throughout the year, the chariot festival in the Tamil month of Chithirai (April) attracts a huge crowd.
Besides, there are large gathering on all Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays which are considered holy days for Mariyamman.
The legacy of Goddess Mariyamman of Samayapuram is also spread beyond TamilNadu. There are many temples to her in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Fiji, Singapore etc….
Samayapuram is 15 Kilometers from Tiruchirapalli, on the Chennai – Tiruchirapalli National Highway.