Location: Punnainallur, near Tanjore city, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights:One of the most popular Mother Goddess or Mariamman temples
Nearest Railway Station:Tanjore
How to reach:Well connected by road and rail
Hotel: Budget hotels are found; for better options go to Tanjore city
Restaurants: Many restaurants mostly budget restaurants are found; for better options go to Tanjore
Punnai Nallur is a locality near Tanjore city in South India.The popular temple dedicated to Mariamman is located here. It is one of the most famous temples of mother Goddess and Mariamman in South India.
The Marathi King Venkoji (1676-1688 CE) of Tanjore went to Samayapuram on a pilgrimage. Samayapuram has a popular temple for Mari Amman. The Goddess appeared in the king's dream and told him that her idol was lying in a forest of Punnai trees near Tanjore. The king immediately found out the location and installed the idol. He also built this temple originally.
It is believed that the daughter of Tulaja Raja (1729-35 CE) of Tanjore regained her lost eyesight after worshiping this Goddess in this temple.
It is also believed that the idol was originally in the form of a white antihill. It was the saint Sadashiva Brahmendra Swamy who made the present idol from the anthill.
The east facing temple has a seven tiered tower. Outside the temple compound, there is a very big temple tank located. The surrounding area of the temple is vast and it belongs to this temple. Thousands of devotees use the surrounding area to offer their offering and there are many shops that sell the pooja items. Head tonsuring is one of the major offerings in this temple.
Mari Amman is found in the sitting posture in the sanctum sanctorum. Mari Amman is Renuka Devi, the mother of Lord Parasuram. In Tamil Nadu, she is worshiped as the Mother Goddess and is one of the main village deities.
There is a separate shrine for utsava metal idol of Mari Amman. There is another shrine dedicated to Vishnu Durga.
The temple has just one prakara. At the entrance of the temple, the idols of Ganesha, Kartikeya, Dharma Shasta with his two consorts are all found.