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Amman (goddess)
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Amman (goddess)

Amman is the rural South Indian Mother Goddess (predominantly in Tamil Nadu). She is usually portrayed with a red-hued face, and cures all summer heat-based diseases like pox and rashes. She is most famously referred to as Maariamman.

In many rural shrines, She has no form - just a granite stone with a sharp tip, almost like a spear head. She is adorned with garlands made of limes.

During the summer months, people walk miles carrying pots of water mixed with turmeric and neem leaves to ward off illnesses like the measles and chicken pox. People also pray for progeny, a good spouse, et cetera. The most favoured offering is "pongal", a mix of rice and moong beans, cooked mostly in the temple complex itself, on firewood.

Most Amman shrines have an anthill that could be the resting place of a cobra. Milk and eggs are offered to propitiate the snake god.

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