Janakai Mari Amman Temple
This temple is located in a beautiful village called Sholavandhan, just 16 kms from Madurai, on the banks of Vaigai river. This is an ancient temple of age 2000 years old. Goddess Mari Amman originated as a Swayambu (naturally). She guards all the 48 village situated around her temple.
Vaikasi festival during June every year is celebrated in a grand manner for almost 15 days. The Goddess sitting on a Lion is taken in processions. Devotees carry fire pots on the 8th day, Milk pots and flower palanquin procession on the 9th day along with walking on the pookuzhi- fire pit.
Others festivals celebrated are Thai Pongal – falling almost on 14th January every year, Tamil New Year day falling mostly on 14th April, Purattasi Navarathri in September-October with Arrow festival on Vijayadasami day. On the day of Vijayadasami which is celebrated on the banks of Vaigai River, rain showers occur without fail till date.
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 12 noon. and from 4.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.
People pray for cure from the attack of small pox, wedding problems, for child boon, high farm yields, development in trade, professions and for good education, cure from physical disabilities and relief from spells and witchcrafts.
Those blessed with a child after tying the cradle with a doll in the temple tree, they go around the temple with their child. Farmers offer large quantities of grain and many punch their back and pull the car-rath with a thread tied at the back, walk on fire pit, tonsure and donate hens and cocks and pour pearls – i.e. offering seeds of a plant called Aamanakku. Some arrange feeding food -Annadhanam, offer pots with 1000 eyes-holes and idols, light lamps made of a paste of rice flour mixed in ghee called Maavilakku. Some contribute liberally for the renovation of the temple.
Rain showers without fail on the day of Vijayadasami during the arrow festival celebrated on the banks of River Vaigai.
Devotees believe this temple to be with strong medicinal powers and that the goddess cures diseases of any serious nature. Those suffering from small pox come to the temple, bathe in the well, pray to Mari Amman wearing the wet cloth and consume the threetha offered in the temple prepared with turmeric and neem leaves (Veppilai) containing medicinal effects along with Mother’s grace.