Sage Jamadagni suspected the fidelity of his wife Renukadevi when she stood wondered at the handsomeness of a Gandharva seeing his reflection in the water. He immediately ordered his son Parasurama to chop off her head which the son obliged but restored her life back with his own powers. She-Renuka Devi is worshipped as Mari Amman.
Mother Durga is but the incarnation of Mother Parasakthi, ruler of the worlds. She created a Shakti from Her body to kill demon Mahishasura of the Yaksha family. Lord Shiva gave her the face, Lord Brahmma the body, Lord Vishnu 18 hands, Yama hair, Agni the eyes, Manmatha the eyebrows, Kubera the nose, Lord Muruga lips, Chandra-Moon her breasts, Indira hip and Varuna Her legs. Thus, she was the combination of powers of all Gods and is praised as Mahishasura Mardhini as she killed the demon.
Though Mariamman and Durga are different from each other, they represent Ambica. To emphasize this truth, they appear as two in a single form. This is a rare of form of Durga-Mariamman.
Ambica appears with all smile, holding Pasam (rope), Angusa the controlling stick. She is sitting with her right leg folded while the left is half folded pressing Mahishasura on the floor. Though generally some demon is seen under the feet of Mariamman, as the Ambica in the temple is Mother Durga, Mahishasura particularly is seen under Her feet.
Ambica-Durga is the main Goddess-custodian deity of Madurai. She is praised as Aadhi Deivam. People of Madurai seek permission and approval from Her before planning any event. The first puja is dedicated to Ambica here by all temples before commencing their festivals. The abishek water is stored in a big bowl which people take as Prasad and medicine for curing small pox and vision related problems. Those facing skin problems offer Salt as prayer commitment. Many light lamps in lime fruit cups.