Mathura Kaliyamman Temple, Siruvachur – The Temple
The temple is small with a main shrine and one prakara. A small tower and a pond outside the temple are found. The beautiful temple is situated at the village limits surrounded by mounts, lake, tanks and green fields blowing a gentle and a cool breeze. This was renovated by Kulothunga Chola. Madura Kaliyamman is in the sitting posture with four hands. There are few village deities found in this small temple. The idol is about 4 feet tall facing northward. She has weapons and an Akshayapatra – a vessel always full of food – in her four hands. The mother is sitting with one leg bent and the other on the lion, the vehicle of Shakti. The absence of demon under the feet of Kaliyamman as usually found in Kali temples denotes that the deity is all merciful and not furious.
In front of the main sanctum is present the Samadhi of the evil sorcerer who had commanded over Chelli. The devotees stamp over the Samadhi in the rush during the pooja, as had been requested by him. Also, it is believed that all the priests at the temple are descendants of the sorcerer. It is believed that Kali keeps a close watch on them so that they do not; in anyway, inherit the evil mind of their forefather. And so remains Madhurakali, in the village of Siruvachur, granting solace and refuge to all her devotees who come to her in times of need, just like she had protected and solved the problem of Chelli eons ago.
Aiyanar is the guardian deity of this Temple. The temple is open to devotees only twice a week – Monday and Friday. It is believed that the main deity, Mathura Kaliyamman, stays with Chelliamman during the remaining days of the week. The temple has the Sri Chakra installed by His Holiness Swami Brahmmendra. The temple is open only on Mondays and Fridays, as was commanded by Kali. All the other days it is believed that Madhurakali Amman retreats into the Periyasami hills to spend time with Chelli. The temple teams with thousands of devotees on these two days. At every pooja, when the Aarathi is being offered, the priest first lifts the Aarathi upwards in the direction of Periyasami hills, offers prayers to Chelliamman and then only proceeds to worship Madhurakali.
As flour lamp lighting is the main form of prayer commitment in the temple. The devotees neither buy the flour outside nor bring it prepared from their homes. They bring only rice, soak it in the water and then pound it in the temple premises only. They add ghee and prepare the paste for making the lamp. These lamps are placed before the shrine of Shakti. The temple has special space for pounding the rice to make the flour. There are also people for hire to help devotees pounding the rice.
The Periyasami Malai mentioned earlier maybe a place to visit if you are inclined to walk. Keep in mind that only males are allowed to visit. The foot of the hill is about 4 kms from the temple. There are two temples in the hill. The first one has the deities of Selliyamman, Laada Saami, Periyasami, Periya Kanni Ayya and Kinaththadi Ayya all as clay idols.
The next temple is that of Aathadi Gurusaami, where the idols of 11 Siddhars are present. Also near the temple are Naaga Kanni, Sengamala Aiya, Ponnu Aiya, Saptha Kanni, Seeri Muthaiya, Ariganda Aiya and Sirappuliyaan. Like in most villages, these are all located under a large number of trees. The Kamba Perumal temple nearby is seen to be auspicious during Purattasi Saturday and attracts devotees who throng in large numbers. Monkeys in this place are a menace to the devotees.