Punnainallur Mariamman Temple is an important temple
situated at Punnainallur, 6 miles from
Thanjavur. The temple is built
in the typical south Indian style with Gopurams and Mandapams (also spelt
as Mandapa). Inside the Mandapam there are depictions of the different
forms of Ashta Shakti viz., "Gaja Lakshmi", "Veera Lakshmi",
"Soubhagya Lakshmi", "Santana Lakshmi", "Dhana
Lakshmi", "Dhanya Lakshmi", "Vidya Lakshmi", and "Karunya
The Legend Behind The Origin Of The Temple
It is believed that before waging a war with the demon Tanja of Thanjavur, Lord Shiva placed the Ashta Shaktis (eight powers) one at each of the eight directions, and the one stationed at the eastern direction is now the presiding deity of this temple.
Venkoji Maharaja Chatrapati (1676 - 1688), a Maharashtra king of Tanjore during his pilgrimage to "Samaya- Puram", where there is a famous temple dedicated to Kali, had a dream in which Mariamman appeared and told him -that she (the idol) was in a forest of Punna trees at a distance of about 3 miles from Tanjore. The King rushed to the spot indicated to him and recovered the idol from the jungle.
A temple was constructed at the place in 1680 and the idol was installed, so the deity of this temple is known as "Punnainallur Mariamman". It is said that the daughter of Tulaja Raja (1729-35) of Tanjore, who lost her eyesight in an illness, regained it on offering worship at this temple.
The kings who ruled Tanjore took great interest in the development of the temple and they vied with one another in constructing Gopurams, Mandapams, Entrances, etc., to the temple.
In the month of 'Purattasi' (September-October) the 'Floating Festival' takes place in the holy tank located at the temple. Brahmotsavam takes place in the months of 'Adi-Avani' (August-September). Sundays are considered to be the most auspicious days for worshipping the Goddess, when huge crowds mainly consisting of womenfolk and children pay their homage.
Air: The nearest airport is at
Tiruchirappalli (Trichy), 58-km
Rail: The nearest railway station is at Thanjavur, which is directly connected by rail to Tiruchirappalli, Madurai and Chennai.
Road: Tourists can access Punnainallur by road from Thanjavur, which is just 6 miles away. Regular government bus services are available from Thanjavur.
Accommodation is available at the moderate class and small budgeted hotels, lodges, Devasthanam cottages and choultries in Thanjavur.