perumallur is a very small town on erode -coimbatore highway & 10 kms north of thirupur.
kondathu kaliyamman temple is right on the main intersection of the town.
chora kings named this village perum-parana nallur which later came to be known as peruma nallur.
installed and worshipped by ancient tribes that inhabited this area , the powerful kundathu kaliyamman is known to bless devotees with every wish of theirs.
kundam – a long rectangular pit filled with burnt wood kept red hot on which devotees walk barefoot to fulfilll their wishes..
kundam became kondam colloquially and the amman came to be called kondathu kaliyamman.
englishman realizing the grace and power of the amman
during the british regime, one of the english man decided to ban this practice of fire walking. to prevent the devotees from fire walking, he ordered molten sealing wax ( arakku in tamil ) on the pit. the devotees did not know how to proceed ahead. at that time, a pig ( some say that it was a lizard ) came running, entered the fire pit and started running without any problem of molten wax sticking to its feet.
the devotees took courage and started walking on the pit. the english man saw a spectacle of a lady keeping her hands on the kundam and was protecting the feet of the devotees. while seeing this strange thing, his eye sight was suddenly dimmed. people realised that it was the amman who came in the form of the pig and asked the foreigner to repent for his mistake. when he prayed to the amman, his eye sight was restored. he made lot of offerings to this amman. ( text taken from a blog )
there is a similar story about one veerachandra mudaliar, who was a rich landlord in this area. once when he was passing through this place, the kundam festival was going on and hence there was lot of noise with the drum beats. the horses of mudaliar were frightened and could not be controlled. he became wild and using his authority, ordered all the festivities to be stopped immediately. he then went on his journey. even before he crossed perumanallur boundary, big eruptions started on his body. the people in his entourage told him that by ordering the cancellation of amman’s festival, he had incurred her wrath. mudaliar realised his mistake and prayed to amman to give relief. within a short period, he got relief. he made a stone image of himself and kept it as one of the steps to the sanctorum so that the priests would keep their legs on him before offering prayers to the mother!
kaliyamman temple is said to be 1000 years old. kundam festival is celebrated in a grand manner in the month of march which is tamir month panguni.
in the kongu nadu region encompassing the wester tamir nadu , bannari , paariyur and perumanallur kaliyammans form the most well known bunch.