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History and Significance of Sri Gowmariamman Temple, Cumbum 

Ambica Goumari Amman appears with Udukkai, sword, gadkam and skull in her hands. Swayambu Ambica is before this idol. Swayambu is dressed as Ambica. The first puja is dedicated to Swayambu and to idol Ambica next. Darshan of swayambu Ambica is available only during abishek. As Ambica blesses the devotees from their ailments, she is praised as Maruthuvachi, meaning a lady doctor. It is the staunch belief of the people that any disease prolonged or terminally threatening would disappear with the grace of Ambica. Women seeking child boon pray with bangles. There is a stone post opposite the shrine which is regarded as the Lord (husband) of Ambica. During the Chithirai festival a neem tree post with three branches is placed near Ambica with all music rituals. They shift it then near the stone post. Women praying for the safety and longevity of their Mangal Sutras pray near the stone post with turmeric abishek and offer jasmine and lime fruit garlands.To emphasize the philosophy that Shiva and Shakti are but one, and also as Mariamman represents Shakti, She is dressed as Lord Shiva with a forehead eye and crescent moon, udukkai and trident in hands and clad in a tiger skin design cloth on the Shivrathri festival day. According to Shiva puja rules, 6 pujas are performed on Shivrathri. This darshan is rarely missed by devotees of the place.Ambica is under four hooded serpent. She comes in procession around the prakara in a palanquin carried by women only. The 21 day Chithirai festival is very grandly celebrated in the temple. Devotees offer their prayers by walking on the fire pit and carrying fire pots.

History of Sri Gowmariamman Temple, Cumbum

Residents of this region were affected by serious diseases and were at a loss not knowing what to do. A woman came to this place, offered turmeric and neem leaves – manjal and veppilai in Tamil. They were cured and happy. They asked the woman who she was. She appeared in Her true divine form as Ambica. She also chose this place to stay as wished by the devotees as a Swaymbu. The temple was built around the swayambu. Later a full Mariamman idol also was installed behind the swayambu. The temple was further extended.

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