Vekkali Amman Temple
The southern state of Tamil Nadu is truly a treasure trove of temples, with each temple having a quality about it that makes it unique and stand out. The Vekkali Amman temple is one such temple and is dedicated to the goddess Vekkali, another form of goddess Kali. It is located in Woraiyur, a suburb that’s around 7km from Trichy city (also known as Tiruchirapalli).
The specialty of this temple is that the central shrine where the image of Vekkali Amman resides is actually roofless! There is no roof over the inner sanctum, the most important part of the temple where the deity resides on a chariot covered with gold and silver. Over the years, many attempts have been made to build a roof over the inner sanctum, but all were in vain. There are many captivating legends too that go with the temple in relation to its being roofless.
In this temple, the goddess Vekkali is seen facing the north; in ancient times it was believed that deities facing the north would bless the kings with the victory, hence all the kings in the neighborhood used to seek blessings from Vekkali before proceeding into battle. Till this day, people are in the habit of worshipping at this temple before starting any new venture or seeking marriage alliances.
Vekkali Amman is believed to have immense mental and physical strength and is an epitome of kindness, peace, and harmony. Believers light lamps in her shrine to remove obstacles from theirs and their family’s lives; you can see people writing down their problems and dropping it in a box or tying it onto a trident, with the full faith that the goddess will read their appeals and fulfill their wishes.
This temple is believed to have existed in this settlement since the reign of the Chola dynasty. It’s believed that the goddess appeared while the temple was being built and instructed her devotees not to build a roof over it till every human had a roof first. According to legend, she doesn’t want humans to suffer, but due to their karma, humans are bound to suffer. Thus, she doesn’t want to have a roof until all human beings have a shelter of their own first.
There are a number of other equally interesting and important temples in and around Trichy that you must visit. Getting to Trichy isn’t difficult either as it has an airport and railway connection, along with great road connectivity. There are many nice hotels to stay in too such as the charming Sangam Hotel.