Arulmigu Vekkaliamman Temple - History
Annai Vekkali History :
Annai Vekkali (Mother Vekkali) relieves the devotees of their distress and blesses everyone impartially with her protecting hands. The devotees who write their problems in “Prayer papers” that are sold at the temple, place them at the glorious feet of Goddess Vekkali and hang them in the Trishul, which is in front of the Goddess. Once a devotee does this he is sure of his problems being solved. This Holy place is the most ancient, Glorious and extraordinary “Sakthi’s sthal” in Tamilnadu. That those who workship Annai Vekkali need not fear the evil effects of planets is an everyday experience. his Abode.
Woraiyur was the capital of the Chozhas during the Sangam Age. According to Chekkizhar, a renowned Tamil poet, woraiyur contains all the great beauties of the world.
It was in this city that Thirupanazhvar lived. It was here that kamalavalli Nachiyar, (The daughter of Kotchenkannan the king of woraiyur who built seventy mada temples.) fell in love with Lord Sri Ranga and married him. The great queen of Pandyas, Mangayarkarasi was born here. Kings like Kopperum Chozhan, Karikar Chozhan and Pugazh Chozhan were born here and they ruled the chozha kingdom with this city as the capital.
Talented Sangam poets like Elam pon vaniganar, Eane Cherimudhamosiar, kallian kumaran, Siruganthan, Palshayanar and Maruthuvan Thamodharan were also born at this place. We come to know from Abithabi Chintamani and Ottakoothar’s Thakkayaha Parani that the ancient Woraiyur which was covered by a heavy rain of sand about twenty feet below the ground is now known as Pandamangalam.
As per Hindu legend, once a Chola king who had Woraiyur as captial, was a staunch devotee of sage Sarama Munivar. The sage was a Shiva devotee and maintained a garden for worshipping the Thayumanaswami Temple in Tiruchirapalli. The garden was having lot of flowers and the king took the flowers for the queen. The sage opposed the move and informed the king that the flowers are for the worship of god, but the king refused to obey feeling that all in the kingdom belongs to the king. The sage appealed to god and Thayumanaswamy turned his head towards Woraiyur and burnt it to ashes. The people ran towards safety to the ground of Vekkali Amman temple. The queen was pregnant and she fell into river Kaveri for safety. She was saved downstream on account of her devotion towards Vekkali Amman. From then, the Cholas became staunch devotees of Vekkali Amman.
The temple :
The central shrine of the temple houses the image of Vekkali Amman. The major feature of the temple is the absence of roof over the sanctum. The image of Vekkali Amman is seen in a seated posture in Yoga Pitha posture facing north. She is seen holding a trident, udukkai (percussion instrument), a rope and Akshya patra (divine bowl of elixir) in her four hands. Her right leg is sported in bent posture while the left leg is over a demon.The temple has a golden chariot 9.75 ft (2.97 m) in height, made of 10.5 kg (23 lb) of gold and 25 kg (55 lb) of silver. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.