Akasa Mariyamman of Thirunarayur
Once upon a time the people of Thirunarayur were bangle sellers. They used to carry glass bangles on their head go from home to home I villages and villages and sell their bangles.Once these people went to Samayapuram..That time Panguni festival was being celebrated in Samayapuram. Then old bangle seller saw a dream.One young and very pretty came in his dream and asked him for bangles. At that time the old man had very less bangles . He put each bangle he had in the ladies hands and all of them broke. Then the old man told the lady “all the bangles I had have broken and so if you come to my village , I would make you wear pretty pretty bangles. Then she said, “Would you give me bangles only if I come to your village? No, there is no need for that,I would make your village people wear bangles.”
And she disappeared. The old man woke up suddenly and he saw that all the bangles had broken and were lying by his side and he saw that all other villagers had pox all over the bodies, At that time the priest of Samayapuram temple came there and told them, “The goddess wanted to compensate you for the broken bangles.” And he gave them the cash for it.” Then the old man realized that the young lady who came in his dream was Samayapuram Mariyamman herself.,Then he applied the ashes got from Samayapuram temple on their bodies and all the pox marks disappeared.,Then the goddess appeared to them on the sky. They called her akasa Mari and saluted her and requested her to visit their village.. She asked them , “Which is your village?” and they replied “They said it is narayur famous for its Jasmine flowers.” And she said, “ I would come every year to your village for the sake of jasmine flowers and your bangles.”
It is believed SAmayapuram Mariyamman comes there through the sky every year (may-june) and stays there for twelve days during the spring. She has a temple there in the north east side of the path where chariot runs. Lakhs of pilgrims come there on all those days a, pray to her and make her offerings. There is no statue or idol for this goddess. During the festival days using a potm, silk cloth, Durbha grass and decorations the form of a very pretty Mariamman is made. She is made to wear all sort of gold and jewel ornaments. She daily travels on a palanquin made of flowers on the shoulders of her devotees. All the Nadaswara artists assemble there and a special Raga called “Mangala Mallari “ is chanted. It is a custom in the village, during these 14 days, no other individual family celebration would take place.Devotees bring Kavadis to the templke.Non stop feast is given in the temple during the festival days.On the thirteenth day , Amman would depart to Samayapuram. On other days a lighted lamp is kept in the Akasa Mari temple and is worshipped. The temple is kept open from 6 Am to 10 Am and 5 pm to 8 PM .People pray here for marriage and child birth.. The temple is 10 km from Kumbhakonam on the Kumbhakonam- Nagapattinam road near to the Nachiar kovil town.