Vettudayar Kali of Ariyakurichi
Ariyakurichi is 15 km from Shiva Ganga town. One story about the origin of the temple is as follows. This area was completely occupied by forests once upon a time. Two brothers called Karuppa Velar and Kari Velar went o this forest for digging of tubers. Once they got a statue of Ayyanar from the place that they cut. They started calling the God as Vettudaya Ayyanar. They built a stage there, consecrated the statue and started worshipping it. Once Kari Velar went to Kerala for learning magic. When he returned, he saw some writing in the mud before Ayyanar. He understood that they are the chants meant for Kali. Using his magical powers, he immediately made a Kali statue and consecrated near Ayyanar. She was called the Vettudaya Kali.
Another story about the origin is as follows. A king of Shiva Gangai called Muthu Vaduga nathar was killed by the British during a war. His queen was Velu Nachiyar. After completing the death rites to her husband, she escaped to her to one of their minister called Thandava Rayan. She was being followed by the Britishers. When the army neared Ariyakurichi, the army saw a Shepard girl called Udayal. When they enquired about the whereabouts of the queen, she told them that she will not tell them. They immediately beheaded her. It seems later the queen consecrated her as the Vettudayar Kali. It seems she gave several of her costly ornaments to the temple. Her statue is fearsome and stands with eight hands. If unjust acts of individuals are brought to her notice, she punishes them severely. There is a cage behind the temple, where people cut coin and put in it with a prayer to get them justice. There are lovers appealing them to unite them. She fulfills all their requests. Her judgment comes within 8 days. If the people against whom allegations are made, have anything to say, they should come to the temple within these eight days and ask for her pardon and right the wrongs made by them.
On the north side of her temple is the temple of Sonai Karuppannachami, who is her guard as well as assistant. He carries out her orders faithfully.
Though the Kali temple is more famous, the first worship in this village is only to Vettudaya Ayyanar. Within the temple there are small temples for Karuppar, Solattu Kali and Bhairavar. The temples are open from 6 Am till evening 6 PM. From the Thiruvadirai of Panguni month, a ten day festival is observed in this temple. There is phenomenal rush in these temples on all Fridays and Tuesdays.